AVAILABLE ON: GB, GEN, GG, NES, PC, SMS, SNES
DEVELOPER(S): Eurocom Entertainment Software (GB, GEN), Syrox Developments (GG, SMS), Virgin Interactive (NES, SNES)
PUBLISHER(S): Virgin Interactive, Disney Interactive (PC)
1993 was a very busy year when it came to Disney games. In the end of the year, Virgin Interactive published a game for the Sega Master System, that was based on the 1967 Walt Disney classic The Jungle Book. The game was received so well that once Virgin Interactive inherited the licensing rights to Disney games for Nintendo systems previously held by Capcom, the Master System title was ported to the Game Boy, the NES and the SNES, in addition to Sega's other platforms. The Jungle Book was received as a quality platformer, but many agreed that the golden era of Disney games was over with its release and Capcom's dismissal. They were more right than I would've expected.
Welcome to the jungle, we've got "fun" and games...
Mowgli is a young boy raised by wolves in the jungles of India. For years, he has lived with the animals, but now, he is forced to return to his fellow man because the tiger Shere Khan, a fearsome predator with a taste for humans, has returned to the jungle. Mowgli is guided back home by his mentor, the panther Bagheera, and a carefree bear by the name of Baloo.
|Bare necASSities. Wonder why they the censors |
let that pass and didn't replace it with something
like Christopher Lambert's face.
The graphics are pretty good, but one can't help but to make an instant comparison to the last game based on a Disney movie, which was Aladdin by Capcom. It lacks the same fine edge, it's somewhat blurry and unfocused. Tunes from the movie play at a constant loop, and the sound effects are nothing less of deeply annoying.
I never believed I would come to this, comparing a 16-bit Disney platformer to a game I never thought to mention again. Some people instantly compare The Jungle Book to Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, which came out some time after the 16-bit versions of the Book. I couldn't agree less, the games only look the same. No, the game I'd compare The Jungle Book to is Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind. Those who have stuck around since the early days of this blog or read the backlogs, know damn well how much I hate that game. Whenever there's just some element I deeply hate about a game, I very often take the opportunity to mention Bubsy the Bobcat. I am downright saddened that this game brings back actual memories of Bubsy, not just vague references.
|Yep, even those little birdies are lethal.|
The levels - or chapters - are quite repetitive, after all the movie has one single binding setting, the jungle. I seriously have to wonder why Virgin went for a movie that was 25 years old and didn't have much good material for an exciting platformer in the first place. The Jungle Book doesn't look that hard in the beginning, but hell, it's a nightmare - a nightmare spawned by lacking gameplay, and that alone. It's probably good to mention that you have no continues, no passwords, and no save feature, which might also, at a very high probability, lead to having no desire to play the game. I won't blame you for that. It's a somewhat decent game, but no one can be expected to bear the hell that breaks loose in the later levels without any chance to continue after the game rapidly drains your lives with everything that does and doesn't move.
The Jungle Book is a huge drop from the Disney standard. I don't get what the hell people saw in this game, or still do. No, I also don't get what some people saw in the Bubsy franchise, that even less. Since I don't even like the movie, I don't have any desire to return to the jungle any time soon.
GRAPHICS : 8.1
SOUND : 5.9
PLAYABILITY : 5.5
LIFESPAN : 6.5
CONCLUSION : 5.9
a.k.a. Disney's The Jungle Book
GameRankings: 69.00% (GB), 75.00% (GEN), 75.75% (SNES)
Ubisoft published a game with the same title for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. Although the game is often referred to as a remake of this game, the two games are completely unrelated.