Retro Saga part 25: Aladdin on the Super Nintendo

Disney has a lot of great animated movies that still stand strong by today’s up-to-date animation. Tarzan, Mulan, Alice in Wonderland, and the list goes on. One of my favorite movies however, has to be Aladdin. It just had a charm that I loved. It also doesn’t hurt that Robin Williams does a great job as the Genie. Of course, with any popular movie, there has to be a game. Well, yes, Aladdin had a couple of games made for it, one for the Genesis and one for the Super Nintendo. The one I will be reviewing is Aladdin for the Super Nintendo. This version of Aladdin was developed by Capcom, which you all know made Resident Evil, Street Fighter and other great games.

I was thinking for a while about typing up the story of this game, but since it’s based off the famous Disney film, I would think that everyone has seen it and knows about it. However, since it doesn’t follow the movie, scene-by-scene, it is a little confusing for people who haven’t seen the film, though I have never met someone who hasn’t seen the movie. So, I think I’ll sum it up in a quick sentence. An evil wizard named Jafar is trying to get the lamp from within the Cave of Wonders, and keeps failing, and needs to find the one person who can enter the Cave without dying. Enters our hero Aladdin, who is a street rat and, well, lives on the streets. One day after getting captured after meeting Jasmine, the princess of Agrabah, Aladdin gets swindled into going into the Cave of Wonders, and then is off on a magical adventure. I’m sorry if this isn’t the best summary, but if you have seen the movie, you already know what happens. Then again, if this followed the whole movie, it would be stupid boring.

The game play is in the form of an action plat-former. However, this game does emphasize more the plat-forming, making Aladdin more of an acrobatic character. This really does fit his personality, since the first time we see him in the film, he is running away and eluding the guards for a few minutes. In the Genesis version though, the game takes on more of an action theme, where Aladdin uses a sword. While that is cool, I prefer this version, since it suits him better. He can also use apples that can kill smaller enemies, but they will only stun the bigger enemies. Aladdin’s main form of killing bigger enemies, and mostly hurting all the enemies, is jumping on their heads. Now, at first, you could say that it is copying most other games like this, and isn’t original. Though if you look at it with a different perspective in the character itself, it fits him, since he is acrobatic, and it fits him jumping onto an enemy’s head. Aladdin can also gain a tarp-like item, where he can slowly float down when he is high up in the air. During each level, there is a golden beetle, which if you can get it, makes you go to a bonus thing at the end of the stage where you can either get more continues, more hearts, or more lives.

Even by today’s standards, I still think the game’s graphics look wonderful. Everyone is fully animated and detailed. The music for the game is also amazing, with remixed versions of the songs from the movie, with a spicy touch of their own sound to the songs. I also enjoy the whole game play, since I’m happy they didn’t turn it into a Megaman or Bionic Commando-like game. They kind of did that with the first Magical Quest game that Mickey Mouse was in. The game also stays true to the movie for the most part, like for example, the first boss you fight is the merchant that almost cut off Jasmine’s hand in the movie.

However, I do have some gripes with this game. I wish they didn’t use passwords for this game. It’s kind of tiring going through the same levels over and over, because I can’t use a save file. The plat-forming, while nice, is a little awkward during the later parts in the Genie level, where you have to jump or grab onto stuff that the Genie makes out of nothing. I also wish you didn’t have an ammunition count for the apples. They are pretty useful since your “jumping on the head” attack is your only form of defense. Speaking of defense, since they made Aladdin so agile in the game play, why not add something like a backward jump or something? Oh well, these are just minor gripes

So, Aladdin isn’t the Triple A title everyone thinks it is, but I think it’s a very good game, and is a wonderful addition to anyone’s SNES collection. I say, pick up a copy of the game. It’s fun and enjoyable to play. Aladdin will always have a special place in my heart, due to it being one of the first games I ever played. Because of that, I say go buy it.

This game gets a 7.9 out of 10.