Aladdin (Sega MD/Genesis 1993)

Aladdin! Another Disney game based on one of our favorite movies. The Sega MD/Genesis was the system to get if you wanted to play good Disney games. We already reviewed Lion King and liked it, Aladdin is up and later i will look at Jungle Book. All great looking games with soundtracks we all know and love from the movies. But can Aladdin’s gameplay live up to its great presentation? Let’s find out!

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The game tells a simple, shortened version of the movie’s stories in little still cutscenes that look pretty good. The gameplay is pretty straightforward. Three buttons: Jump, hit with your sword and throw apples who are limited in supply but found throughout the stages. This is just your average platformer really, but the controls are pretty tight and there’s nothing to complain about. Your main enemies in this game are various types of palace guards that will not really test your skill much along with flying annoying bats, birds and stuff. The game has traps and pits, so sometimes your most formidable enemy might be tough jumps which can be annoying especially at this one spot when you are running out of the Cave of Wonders (grumble grumble). The level design is not really outstanding but most of them are pretty fun.

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You can slice this jerk up or you can just throw apples at him from a safe distance

The game has 10 levels who are all platforming levels except for when you are escaping the Cave of Wonder on your magic carpet. It is not particularly long but it can be a bit tough at times. I often died because I fell into pits I was not sure were pits at the time which was very frustrating and at one point when you are escaping the cave you have to run from a giant boulder and make tough jumps at the same time. At one point in that level, there was a small ledge I thought was just a part of the background, not for walking. I didn’t have time to stop and look around so I died multiple times there and was not able to clear the game in my first run. You have the difficulty settings of “practice”, normal and hard so with the tight gameplay and great presentation you definitely have a reason to play through this game again but it’s still just going to be more of the same. Plus, of course it’s Aladdin, one of your favorite movie of all time… Maybe.. 🙂

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You can fucking run and that red/whitey rock ledge thing the boulder is on…. Man I felt stupid for dying so many times there….

The overall gameplay is pretty good, but I cannot say the same thing about the boss battles. They are pretty uninspired and a simple question of just spamming apples or your sword at least on the two lower difficulties, in hard mode you might have to get clever especially on Jafar’s second form which can be rough.

The game mentions that Aladdin hopes he can meet Jasmine (the girl from the market) “again” but he never sees her in market (level 1) or the whole game for that matter. Her absence plus the absence of her tiger and the Genie is a bit disappointing and a little lazy not to make sprites for them. All sprites and backgrounds look great though, the animation looks a lot like the cartoons themselves and still holds up 23 years later which is amazing. All the most memorable tracks are present from the movie plus a few more good ones and the Mega Drive makes them sound pretty good so that certainly is refreshing.

Just take a look for yourself! Longplay!

Overall, Aladdin is a great looking game with superior presentation and good gameplay with a difficulty setting for everyone. The gameplay is rather simple though and boss battles leave much to be desired. The legacy of the movie and its great presentation is what makes Aladdin the most memorable though. If you are a fan definitely pick this one up! If not… you will have a good time but your time might be better spent with a game with a more deep, engaging gameplay. If you have a kid that you just recently showed Aladdin the movie to, you should follow up with this game. It’s simple gameplay might be a downer for us giant nerds but it’s perfect for kids.

Sadly it can only be played on the Sega MD/Genesis or through emulation, but I’m sure you can find a way to play it 😉

Gameplay 7
Visuals 9
Music 8
Lasting appeal 7
Is it fun? 7,5

Overall 7,5 a good game

 

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