The only real fight in the Great 16bit Console War me and my mates had was between Aladdin on the Megadrive and Aladdin on the SNES. So forget your Crash Bandicoot vs Super Mario 64 as that wasn’t a contest. Forget Last of Us vs whatever toss Gears of War shite XBox360 had, and forget Sonic vs Mario. The only thing us “90s kids” actually cared about was Aladdin or Aladdin.
And with that, Aladdin on the SNES.
Aladdin is a platformer, so you do the regular platforming type stuff. Run left to right, jumping on or over platforms navigating fairly linear levels.
Our good buddy Aladdin throws apples at enemies to stun them, and kills them by jumping on them. This mechanic is a little annoying as when you successfully land a jump attack you then flip off the enemy in magical parkour fashion with you landing a good distance to the side of the enemy. This imechanic can be very frustrating as it adds a pointless level of challenge to attacking enemies as you can easily send yourself over a ledge and fall to your death.
The next problem I noticed is the platforming does feel a little off. Aladdin is slippery if you’re holding run, and the controls somehow feel a little stiff the rest of the time. So playing Aladdin initially is very awkward, takes getting used too, and ultimately means you never feel as though you’re fully in control of Aladdin.
Seen the film? Well this is an almost verbatim retelling of the film. Level 1, Aladdin runs through Agrabah, and saves Princess Jasmin from the fruit seller. The cutscene between 1 and 2 has Aladdin arrested and thrown in prison. Level 2 is the cave of wonders retrieving the lamp. Level 3 is escaping the cave.
From here the game kinda makes it up. Level 4 is inside the Genie’s lamp. But level 5 is some Prince of Persia bullshit pyramid with falling sand which I guess is supposed to be the bit towards the end where Jafar becomes a genie. But isn’t, as the cutscene after this is Aladdin being drowned so artistic license is being taken with the sotry, but in a slightly odd manner.
Level 6 is it. Jafar’s Palace.
Alright so Aladdin quickly gets hard, and sadly it isn’t from good level design. It is from shitty knockback and instadeath. Level 2 piles on the shit with crappy platforming, and a number of fairly quick reflex moments of platforming. These are only hard because you need to learn the stage rather than relying on skill. It means Aladdin can quickly feel cheap.
However, the final level is easier than level 3, 4, and 5 so it feels a little backward.
THIS was the war. And while this battle was won by Sega, the war was eventually won by a company that seems hell bent on Sega-ing itself.
Aladdin on the Megadrive is simply a far superior game and while not broken Aladdin on the SNES is average at best.
Pros: some of the film’s music appears.
Cons: It is simply meh
Back in the Day:
Aladdin on the SNES scored mid to high 80s almost entirely across the board. The only stand out was Games Master Magazine which only gave it 78%