Received: August 7th, 2010 / Written: March 2nd-16th, 2015
Published: March 17th, 2015
Published: March 17th, 2015
Year: 1993 | Developed and Published by: Capcom
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit. =) Disney's animated movies have been on a role for the past half-plus decade. From Bolt to The Princess and the Frog to Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen to even Big Hero 6, their latest animated fare have proven to be not only some of the best movies of their respective release year but also in some cases some of the most successful to date. Watching some of these movies harkened back to the ten-year Disney Renaissance period that lasted from 1989 to 1999, which is a good thing because animated Disney is on a roll. =) And speaking of classics, let's talk about one of my favorites from the '90s: Disney's Aladdin.
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In 1992 Ron Clements and John Musker (of The Great Mouse Detective and The Little Mermaid fame) unleashed upon the world an animated feature that took audiences to a whole new world with Disney's Aladdin, based a little on the tale of Aladdin when he finds his lamp from One Thousand and One Nights. I may not have been of age to see it when it was on the big screen (I was one at the time), but I was been introduced to it via VHS years later and it's a movie I've got a lot of fondness for. =) The animation was wonderful, the characters were fun and likable, the music is timeless, and the way Disney interpreted the folktale was good. Many people seem to agree since it's got critical acclaim since release and has been a very successful movie. So successful that the people who loved Aladdin wanted more.
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So then in 1994 Chip'n Dale: Rescue Rangers creators Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove wrote, produced, and directed the first made-for-TV animated sequel under the Michael Eisner reign The Return of Jafar which followed up on the events of the first Aladdin. In this movie Aladdin is still hanging around with Jasmine in Agrabah (not married... delayed much?) when unbeknownst to them the evil villain Jafar has been freed from the lamp that Aladdin tricked him into at the end of the first movie, by the thief Abis Mal; while this is going on Gilbert Gottfried's Iago released himself and decided to turn a new leaf, but it takes him awhile to be accepted. I don't think the sequel is awful, and I have to give it credit for trying something risky by establishing a continuous franchise; but because it was made on a small budget the animation is not as fluid as the previous film and the color palette sometimes feels weird without any shading. In hindsight, The Return of Jafar didn't need to be a movie (least not one that lasted sixty-eight minutes); I liked the idea of them bringing back the characters, but I think it would've worked best as a three-part pilot for a series.
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And that is where the Aladdin TV series came in, for after the sequel came out the same people involved decided to follow up with various adventures in Agrabah (and out) with Aladdin and friends. Lasting three seasons from 1994 to 1995 at eighty-six episodes, the show was very fun to watch and honestly I felt it was a better experience than The Return of Jafar. Oh, yes, I have to address this: the late Robin Williams (who has sadly passed away last Summer), who was voiced the Genie in the first movie, refused to return due the way they used his voice in Aladdin's marketing campaign, so the role went to Dan "Homer Simpson" Castellaneta for the first made-for-TV sequel and entirety of the series. I liked the stories involved, and the villains were fun and memorable: Abis Mal, Mirage, Sadira, Aziz, and Mozenrath to name some. Some of the allies that were made for this show was solid as well. =)
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Finally there was the second made-for-TV Disney animated feature under Eisner's reign and the final one centering on Aladdin; 1996's Aladdin and the King of Thieves, inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, which Tad Stones helmed on his own. In a way it's like the animated equivalent of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in that it's a father-son adventure where Aladdin meets his once thought to be lost father, Cassim, who has been lording over the forty thieves (the awesome thing is that he's voiced by John Rhys-Davies). =) Not only is this made-for-TV follow-up a hundred times better than The Return of Jafar, but I honestly think it's genuinely good; I like the dynamic between Aladdin and Cassim, the running time was more sufficient, the songs were memorable, it was a great sendoff for the characters we've known for years, and while still not movie quality the animation is pretty good on its own (with actual shading, lighting, and occasional camera revolving); at times it was really intense (I love this movie). Best of all, Robin Williams was back as Genie after one of the Disney crew apologized for using his voice for merchandising purposes; while Castellaneta was not a bad Genie, you just cannot top Williams. *sigh* May he rest in peace. =(
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So after Disney's Hercules came out in theatres in 1997 (also by Clements and Musker) Disney decided to create a midquel TV series that took place during the demi-God's school days, which looking back sort of contradicts Hercules' statement of having never rescued a city before in the movie (that, and Hades). I thought this series itself was okay personally, but imagine my (and everyone else's) surprise Aladdin was going to cross over with Hercules in the latter's show in 1999 in the episode "Hercules and the Arabian Knight". It was incredibly fun (despite the one glaring fact that neither series take place in the same time period), and it was great to see Jonathan Freeman's Jafar once more revived by Hades after having died in The Return of Jafar. This was a good crossover, and the hero and villain team-ups fleshed things out with each character working to their advantage. =) And finally, they maintained continuity that Aladdin and Jasmine got married in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, which I appreciate a lot.
And since the first Aladdin was a big hit there were not only merchandises that resulted from the movie's success but video game adaptations as well... a year later in 1993.
With Capcom's Nintendo 16-bit Disney licenses The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse and Goof Troop (Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken in Japan) having proved to be fun and charming for critics and audiences, the reliable company decided to take the task of creating the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo version of Disney's Aladdin (since at the time Capcom was the only company allowed to release Disney games for Nintendo consoles, but that contract would expire after today's game's release) while Virgin Interactive made their own video game adaptation for the Sega MegaDrive/Genesis console at the same time. More on that later, but for now let's see how Capcom treated this movie license. =)
In case you've been living inside a cave for the past twenty-plus years here is the story: a long time ago in the land of Agrabah, located near the River Jordan, there was a time of wonder and adventure. A young man's life was changed once he stumbled upon an ancient treasure that was highly sought after: the magic lamp.
Out in the desert the unnamed Sultan's grand vizier Jafar and an humble thief named Gazeem that he enlisted stumble upon the Cave of Wonders.
But just as the thief enters the cave proclaims that only can enter here, "one whose worth lies deep within, the diamond in the rough" before Gazeem is devoured alive. So Jafar sets out to find the "diamond in the rough".
In the streets of Agrabah lives a young street urchin named Aladdin who steals to survive. One day he meets a young maiden in the streets who's about to be punished for having not paid for an apple she gave to a hungry boy, so he saves her just in time. They discuss their futures and have a moment but are interrupted by the Sultan's guards, where Aladdin is captured and it is revealed that the young maiden was the young princess Jasmine who had run away from the palace. Under Jafar's orders the guards lock Aladdin deep in the heart of the dungeon, where the young thief is met by an old beggar who's actually Jafar in disguise who'll offer freedom in exchange for helping him retrieve the lamp in the Cave of Wonders.
Once inside the Cave Aladdin and his simian friend Abu meet a sentient carpet named Carpet, who helps them find what they're looking for. But just as Aladdin retrieves the magic lamp an entranced Abu has touched the forbidden treasure, causing the place to burn and collapse. Just as they reach the entrance they give the lamp to Jafar, who winds up double-crossing the group trapping them inside. Luckily Abu snagged the lamp back while the grand vizier was not looking, and it's at this point they encounter an all-powerful Genie who's resided inside the lamp all this time and was summoned once Aladdin rubbed it. With the help of Genie they escape the depths of the sand, granting one of Aladdin's wishes turning him into a prince so that he can take Jasmine's hand in marriage. But he learns that it's not the outside but the inside that counts.
Capcom's version of Disney's Aladdin for the Nintendo 16-bit console reverts back to the 2D sidescrolling platformer genre since Goof Troop opted for a top-down adventure previously. Unlike the other Disney Capcom games for the system that used at least three major buttons, this game uses all four, and fortunately you can select one of four gameplay types in the options screen to suit your personal comfort. As for me, I often choose the second one; Aladdin's main action buttons are jumping, running, apple throwing, and parachuting (should you procure a piece of cloth). Other sets of actions that you'll find yourself doing in this game pouncing on enemies and objects, bouncing on trampolines, ziplining, swinging, ducking, pulling ropes, and even the ability to hang onto and climb over ledges.
That last ability is something that wasn't often utilized in 2D platformers back then, and for this game it can be a bit of a godsend as there might be some moments when you might not make it right on top a certain platform but you may find yourself grabbing on to it; same for if you're trying to climb right up higher sections. I like it, and I think it's pretty cool how much range Aladdin has got in terms of actions in this game. =) The goal of each area is to reach the arrow sign at the end; but on the way there you'll have to contend with enemies, procure some power-ups and apple for long-ranged ammo, and gathering the small gems and red rubies (worth five gems) sprite-lifted straight from Goof Troop. If you find a heart power-up or if you collect a hundred gems your health capacity will augment itself. In certain areas you might find a golden scarab, and should you grab it before it flies away you'll access a bonus mini-game with Genie.
Essentially the equivalent of Wheel of Fortune, this is a chance for something big or something small. In the spinning wheel you'll be granted either a life or two, full health, or even extra credits if any of the icons stop right under Genie's finger in the bottom center. Grabbing the golden scarab is optional, but it's nice to have the option anyway. =)
The gameplay is very good, and because of the variety of actions set at your disposal and how well-polished they all are they prove to be very intuitive. There are also a couple segments where Aladdin rides on Carpet, which controls decently enough but it's best to not touch the ceiling and floor lest you want to fall off of it. When swinging you can choose whether to do the medium jump or the high jump, but it depends on which position Aladdin is in as well as pressing the proper direction buttons the moment you decide to let go. The ability to run helps give you speed in your movements, and using the parachute is very useful when it comes to gliding gradually to (or near) a platform. Each stage comprises of either one to four areas, and once you beat a stage you'll be given a password.
The music in the movie Disney's Aladdin by Alan Menken was great and fit well with the various environments of Agrabah, which also contributes to its memorably catchy songs written by both Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman. The composers of this game version did a nice job at trying to stay as faithful to the instrumental style and tone that the movie's music had, and frankly speaking it's much more listenable and engaging than most of the music that was used in Capcom's previous 16-bit Disney outing Goof Troop/Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken. =) Much of the background music has got an Arabian feel that incorporates a great deal of instrumentation, and when heard in context with the game's respective areas it works wonders in augmenting its sense of atmosphere.
Some incredible examples are the Cave of Wonders with its sweeping orchestration and softly mysterious cues, and the pyramid theme sounds eerie yet inviting with its Egyptian-like vibe. Some of the other cues are good as well; and fortunately some of the songs from the movie manage to be transitioned into 16-bit (sans lyrics). During the Genie World areas a very energetic-sounding and pumped up "Friend Like Me" is playing in the background (and that includes some of the very final notes); and I'm enamored with the notion that there are three different versions of "A Whole New World" in the same game, two of them being the magical-sounding one from the magic carpet ride sequences and a deeply resonant sounding version played during the credits. =) The intro and Jafar themes sound great as well. A few of the sound effects were lifted from The Magical Quest, but for the ones that were originally made for this game they range from either solid (grabbing and landing) to hilarious ("mwwah" as Aladdin bounces off of enemies).
Disney's Aladdin has got great visuals, which is always something to look forward to when it comes to Capcom's games on the Nintendo 16-bit console (even their lesser efforts); also as far as 16-bit Disney Capcom goes I think it's the best-looking of the sextet. =) The settings are colorful and polished throughout, and there's a neat sense of detail from time to time. The streets of Agrabah is a pleasing setting for the eyes with the slightly detailed walls with occasional glimpses of open markets and other people in the distance; what's cool is the way it gradually becomes darker the farther you progress and in one segment there is a breathtaking view of the Sultan's palace looming in the backdrop amidst an impressive array of parallax scrolling buildings in the distance. =) But that's only the start of the game.
Each segment of the Cave of Wonders has got an immersive way of using their hues and shades of primary colors, whether it be the start where it's all blue (with the entrance lingering in the distance), yellow with the glowing treasure, and scorching red as you try to escape a setting where it radiates with boiling heat and fire as it fills with lava (which after a while will scroll fast). I like the Egyptian and snake motifs and décor in the pyramid and Jafar areas respectively, and I especially appreciate the color-layering running sand in the former and moments where lightning strikes in the latter. =) And of course there's the Genie areas which have a playful look and feel to them, with platforms and springs that have got Genie's face on them (which change reactions whether you get on them or plunge to your doom) which all transpire in a cloud-filled environment; and if you look very closely in one segment you'll notice Abu holding on to dear life grabbing on to Carpet flying in the distance.
What I also think works very well is how the cutscenes all have a Carpet-like border surrounding them, which adds a lot and fits with the theme of Agrabah; and speaking of cutscenes they are really well-drawn and match the tone of the movie (and perhaps it's just me, but a couple of them almost look like stills from the actual movie). =) Aladdin's overall animation is fluid and very intricate to a T; whether he's walking, running, jumping, and even swinging, I find it amazing how thoroughly detailed his motions are for a 1993 Disney Capcom platformer (a neat touch is how his sleeve-less vest flutters as he falls down). His sidekick Abu has also got his fair share of animations, even when he's just following Aladdin around or reacting to stuff, which adds levels of charm to the game.
In Disney's Aladdin you'll find yourself dealing with the Sultan's guards, bats, snakes, scorpions, sand bats, and a series of vases (even winged ones) with birds' feet protruding from them. I have no idea what these enemies are about and why Capcom decided to add them, though it does add a sense of mystery to them. All their animations are decent, and the best part about them is their incredulous look upon being tossed an apple or when you pounce on them. =) I like how the default title screen is a slightly glowing and slightly fading version of the original movie poster, and there's a handful of Mode 7 effects--like when the title zooms out and how the bonus wheel with Genie makes its entrance by bouncing in until it begins to rotate. Finally, both of Jafar's forms look great.
Being a Disney Capcom game, Disney's Aladdin is on the easy side and out of the six SFC/SNES games it's actually the easiest (and that's despite the fact that this is the only other Disney Capcom title outside of Goof Troop to have limited continues). And part of that may attribute to the ability to run, which is not only manageable but it also winds up alleviating much of the difficulty in the process (like Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master). Enemy projectiles and enemy attacks are easy to avoid if you're really careful, the bosses have simple patterns to follow, and the stage designs are well-made but do not scream high challenge. While passwords are convenient if you don't feel you have the time or confidence to beat it in one sitting, they're not necessary otherwise; but at least they're brief and to the point at just four (literal) characters (which is more than I can say for The Legend of the Mystical Ninja's extraneous thirty-one character password system).
That's not to say there aren't any obstacles to overcome in the game, because there are plenty. Early on in the Cave of Wonders there are a couple instances where you must pull down a rope to open up a passage over a stream of rolling logs and you cannot leg go until one is below you. In one segment of the pyramid there is a moment where you must swing on a series of chains which alternate between being raised and lowered above a floor of spikes. In Genie's world there are some Genie balloons with hooks below them and you have the option to either jump on said balloon or swing on the hook. As for a last example there are times when fire rises up and down and you must pull a switch to adjust the trail of a moving platform.
After having made Goof Troop for the SNES pre-Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami returned to the Disney mold to work on this game, which was released in November of 1993 in North America and Japan, and early 1994 for European gamers. Disney's Aladdin was actually the second Disney Capcom game that Japan got to play, as 1993's Goof Troop would not arrive there until the very following year in 1994. So instead of the release order being The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse -> Goof Troop -> Disney's Aladdin like it was in North America and Europe, the release order for Japan was Mickey's Magical Adventure -> Disney's Aladdin -> Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken.
November 1993 was also the month that Virgin Interactive released their video game adaptation of the movie for the Sega MegaDrive/Genesis console, which Capcom's Nintendo 16-bit incarnation found itself competing against. This was back when Sega still made consoles to compete with Nintendo, and this has resulted in a long-argued bout over which version of Disney's Aladdin was superior; for despite the variation in terms of design and gameplay, comparisons were inevitable. One side tends to prefer the Capcom adaptation while another side of gamers strongly believe that Virgin's version is the dominant one that did the movie justice. While the SFC/SNES did very well and has got a loyal following, there are a few people (believe it or not) that find it to be weak or not all that good (even when compared to the Sega 16-bit game); same is true in the case of vice versa. It doesn't matter which version you prefer in the end, as there will always be someone who picks a side and it's not going to resolve the argument any time soon.
What are my thoughts? Having played both versions myself (well, the PC version of the MegaDrive/Genesis game, actually), I think Disney's Aladdin on the SNES did a lot of things better than the Virgin Interactive adaptation; while it may not have the animation from actual Disney animators it does look prettier in my opinion (as well as its music being crystal clear), and I liked Carpet's introduction better here as it was faithful to the movie (and he did not appear right out of nowhere after a midboss fight), and I loved that Capcom incorporated an "A Whole New World" stage with Aladdin and Jasmine--sure, it may have been a throwaway stage with zero enemies in the way, but it was much appreciated. =) Plus, there was an actual ending scenario here as opposed to abruptly cutting to Aladdin and Jasmine flying away on Carpet in the moonlight and giving their kiss during the credits after defeating Jafar. But despite all those aspects one-upping the version done by Virgin, I have to admit that otherwise that the Sega 16-bit version is a tad better as it had more depth and challenge (and there's a whole 'nother reason too, but I'll get to that later). A lot of people feel the same.
Even Mikami himself shares that sentiment, which comes as a surprise since he designed the Capcom adaptation, admitting that had he not worked on the Nintendo 16-bit version he would've done the Sega 16-bit adaptation instead. But his reasoning behind that is not unfounded, for some of the reasons he preferred the Virgin game was the fact that it had animation done by Disney animators and the fact that Aladdin actually carried a scimitar, which Mikami wanted for his version (despite the deceptive SNES cover, he carries no such weapon in-game). What's equally mindblowing is the fact that Dave Perry, designer of the MegaDrive/Genesis version, stated in a different article that he would've worked on the SFC/SNES game if he hadn't been a part of the version he worked on. It's amazing what you learn of games (and developers' thoughts behind their own games) you like after years of playing them. =O
There was also another video game adaptation of Disney's Aladdin in the form of the Sega Master System and the Game Gear in 1994, developed by SIMS and published by Sega. I have not played either 8-bit version, but from what I gather its narrative and dialogue is the most accurate to the movie and that it's essentially the Disney equivalent of Prince of Persia.
Which makes sense since the Jordan Mechner classic did have some elements that were influenced in the movie (from the grand vizier sharing the name Jafar to him asking the princess to marry him to Jasmine being trapped inside an hourglass which is an homage to that game). In fact, some gameplay elements in the Capcom version of Disney's Aladdin have been derived from Prince of Persia, for Aladdin can hang on to the side of ledges and either lower himself down or even climb up said ledge; a couple obstacles in the pyramid stage even feel Prince of Persia-esque to me (sans the swordplay), and the way the animation is fluid in both games shows what influence the 1989 game had over the 1993 movie-to-video game adaptation. =)
There is actually a bit of history as to how I got exposed to Capcom's adaptation. Back in the '90s you either grew up with the version made by Capcom or the one made by Virgin Interactive. I grew up with the latter... three of them, in fact (first on the original Game Boy, then the PC version of the MegaDrive/Genesis game, and finally the Game Boy Color version), and I didn't know of the feud between versions when I was a little until I was in my mid-teens. I actually recall one time when I was at a Toys "R" Us as a kid having spotted a box of Disney's Aladdin for the SNES, but I never bought it (this was long before one of my cousins loaned me his SNES console, and the thought of getting it for my cousins who actually owned one never crossed my mind either). I only saw the front cover from a distance, and I presumed that it was equal to the versions I grew up with (this was back when I had no resource or prior knowledge to the Nintendo 16-bit game or the feuding adaptations at the time).
Until I was eleven I lived in Italy and only visited our relatives in America once a year before having moved to the continent in 2002 (which I'm all for; as much as I like Italy I much prefer the living conditions here--I still visit my old home city each year). I remember often visiting one of my Italian cousins' house to play Famicom and NES games on plug-and-plays directed to the TV (legal or not, it was a pretty neat way of accessing Japan-only 8-bit games without actually having to import them) which I enjoyed tremendously (plug-and-plays being my first exposure to the Nintendo 8-bit console, which in the ensuing years I begun to realize they were actual games). Then one day in 2001 or 2002 one of my cousins had a new plug-and-play with about fifteen-twenty games on it, and the very first game on the list was Aladdin. Now, bear in mind, this was during my pre-teen years (without little knowledge of all things FC/NES), and after years of playing the Virgin games all I thought of this at the time was, "Whoa, another video game version of Disney's Aladdin? Sweet!!!" In 1995 a company called Hummer Team made a (surprisingly playable) hack of Capcom's game, but I didn't know that back then.
It's been years since I last played it but from I remember it was playable (even if it didn't have the ability to run) and while the visuals weren't as polished as the Nintendo 16-bit original for what Hummer managed to design as 8-bit it looked fine. I remember the music stopping absolutely after you either paused and unpaused or if you lost a life; I even managed to beat it once (this despite being on a 16.7% slower than an NTSC 50hz controller connected to the TV). In late 2003 there was a small blurb on a Game Informer magazine about a Game Boy Advance version of the SNES game which had a screenshot with visuals that were not at all like the Virgin Interactive version and more the version I played on the plug-and-play. I remember being amazed at that news, but despite being initially interested I never played that handheld adaptation.
But the real surprise was not until September of 2005, when Hurricane Rita threatened to hit our neighborhood in Texas (my God, has it been ten years since the hurricane trio Katrina, Rita, and Wilma already?); my family and I drove to one of my mom's friend's houses far in the distance and stayed there during the week (our neighborhood went unscathed, but some cities were not so lucky). The family was nice as I recall, and their kids had video games I played during our stay (many of which I played for the first time). One of the consoles they owned was an SNES, and one of the games I owned was Disney's Aladdin. At fourteen I had presumed it was the same as the Virgin versions (not knowing at the time of the feud), but when I actually played it I was floored. It played like the hack I experienced on the plug-and-play years prior, only it was a hundred times better (polished, even) and more enjoyable; it was at that point that I realized that Capcom created this version in 1993 and not a then unidentified developing team in 1995; on a related note, I also remember having watched Aladdin and the King of Thieves on Disney Channel (which never got old for me even back then). Flashforward to Summer 2010, a year and a half after one of my cousins loaned me his SNES console, I decided to order my own copy of the SNES game on eBay. The rest, as they say, is history. =)
Disney's Aladdin on the SNES is not perfect, and after The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse and Goof Troop it feels like a bit of a step down. The root of it all isn't linked to the fact that it's easy, as even if it is it's enjoyable to play in its own right. And while one could make the argument that this adaptation would've greatly benefitted better from having different difficulty settings, there actually is replay value to be had here. =) In the first of Genie's levels depending on whether you got there the first time or after you lost a life a tuxedo-wearing Genie will conjure up a path of either clouds and/or balloon hooks.
Opening up certain chests in certain levels will unleash a golden scarab, but grabbing it is completely optional. There are also the red rubies scattered in each stage (excepting the final one), each having ten; some are located right in the open while others take either more precarious methods of accessing them or some are found in hidden parts of an area. There are a total of seventy red rubies in the game, and while's there no guarantee you'll be able to get all of them with no problem they are optional to collect and depending on whether you have forty-five to fifty-plus amount of them at your disposal: well, you can never really change the ending of Disney's Aladdin, but you can change its credits sequence (but only in one whole sitting). And speaking of alternate sequences:
If you wait until the first demo is over the title screen will be that of a blue silhouette of Genie protruding from his lamp (with "Friend Like Me" playing in the background). =) Pretty cool!
This was the second and last Disney game Capcom made based on a movie, after The Little Mermaid on both the NES and Game Boy. But while that adaptation opted to create its own story and subplot which did not exist in the animated originator (somehow managing to bookend the story in an equal way for both media), at least in the case of Disney's Aladdin Capcom tried to stay more faithful to the movie's story this time around. But that sadly is this Nintendo 16-bit adaptation's own undoing: it was maybe too faithful for its own good. On the surface it doesn't sound bad, but when you think about how many settings there are in the movie... it's quite small. The first stage takes place in Agrabah, the second and third stages transpire in the Cave of Wonders, then there's the Genie stage, the "A Whole New World" stage later, and then there's the Jafar stage. It wouldn't have been so bad had the stages had more length and complexity to them.
One of the reasons gamers tend to lean towards the Virgin Interactive adaptation is the way its areas had a more open-ended and mazelike design to them, not to mention the fact that Virgin took more liberties with the license. The areas in Capcom's Disney's Aladdin are brief, linear, and not all that complex; yes, there are occasional moments of secret segments if you look hard enough but they are too few and far between (not that it makes the stages any less linear), and before you know it the areas are finished. In Virgin's version there were some areas that while not in the movie they helped add some length (like the desert and the palace dungeon); while adding a stage set in the confines of a pyramid was a nice touch for the Capcom edition, I wish they did more than incorporate the same environments as in the movie. =( Maybe add a sequence where Aladdin escapes from the dungeon or something.
I'm not saying Capcom's unwillingness to stray from the source material enough makes the game bad, nor am I saying that movie-licensed games should be note-for-note adaptations. I just wish there was more. On its own terms, the SNES version of Disney's Aladdin is a fun game while it lasts, for the flexibly intuitive play control and lovely aesthetics are worth the price of admission alone, even if it does take roughly forty to forty-five minutes to beat (give or take depending on your skills as a gamer). =) I don't mind the fact that it was easy, nor do I find the lack of difficulty settings an issue as I said earlier there's a ton of replay value that works to the game's advantage despite its shortcomings (even if its areas are on the straightforward side). Capcom's interpretation is a game I liked when I was younger and while it's shy from being great I still like playing it once in awhile. =)
When Virgin Interactive and Capcom made Disney's Aladdin for the Sega and Nintendo 16-bit consoles respectively, it was during the time when only Capcom was allowed to make Disney titles for Nintendo consoles; while on the Sega side of things it didn't really matter who handled the Disney license so long as they approved. And I think it was at this point when the two versions were competing against each other that Nintendo realized that the exclusivity contract was silly so in 1994 they decided to tear said contract up so that way other companies besides just Capcom could work their Disney licensed magic from the Super Famicom and Super Nintendo to Nintendo's consoles of today. =)
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Frankly speaking, I think they made the right call with this decision, because as much as I love Capcom I believe that restricting the Disney license to just them for Nintendo consoles was a huge disadvantage from the start (disallowing variety from other companies was also a minus), as Sega was already outnumbering Nintendo as far as their Disney library was concerned. Had Nintendo not done that the SFC/SNES console would've only had six Disney titles total (by Capcom, the first of which was done in 1992), which is a pretty small number if you think about it. Luckily the developers during the mid-to-late lifespan managed to make up for the tiny abundance available by 1993 so that the console would have a sufficient amount of Disney games to play for everyone (by Capcom or no). Who says (video game) feuds are a bad thing? =)
I think Disney's Aladdin by Capcom works better as a game on its own, but if you've played both competing versions then comparisons will be highly inevitable. But if you don't compare then I think you'll have better enjoyment for this game. If you're looking for a fun Disney platformer that's easy with enough challenges and replay value, I think you'll enjoy it enough. If you're looking for an in-depth and overtly challenging adaptation of the movie with open-ended design, you won't find it here. If you're a fan of all things Disney or Aladdin it's incredibly fun to play once in awhile. It may not be the best Disney Capcom experience around, but for what it is it's good fun while it lasts; this version of Disney's Aladdin may not have been as in-depth or as lengthy as we would've liked, but at least Capcom gave us a chance to see their take on a whole new world. =) Until next time,
|"A snake, am I? Perhaps you'd like to see how|
sssssssnakelike I can BEEEEEEE!"
I'm StarBoy91, and may your day shine brightly! =)
My Personal Score: 7.5/10
<(^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^)>
P.S. Speaking of Disney works done by Clements and Musker, I cannot wait for next year's Moana. =) I like all the movies they co-directed so far, so I say bring it on.
P.S. 2 I think it would've been cool to have played video game adaptations of The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (I could totally picture them in my head); too bad mixed to negative word of mouth towards these sequels by critics prevented them from happening. A kid at heart can dream. *sigh*
P.S. 3 I swear, talking about video games (even ones I have a fondness for) can be really hard at times, especially when I don't physically script them before starting my reviews (I tend to play them by ear). =(
P.S. 4 The next time I talk about a Disney Capcom game will be when I review Bonkers, for which I'll preface with a very awkward explanation as to why it took me so long to actually go for it. O~O
P.S. 5 In other news, I recently got to see Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (and the short Frozen Fever) in theatres. I honestly loved Branagh's take on the story, it took me by surprise just how genuinely good and beautiful it was, it was charming throughout, and it's become one of my favorite movies of 2015--so far (and as for the short, it was a blast seeing the Frozen characters on the big screen once more, and I thought it was cute). =)
Thank you for reading my review, my reader, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Hope you have a great day, take care =)
R.I.P. Robin Williams (1951-2014)