Sunday 12 June 2016

Disney's Aladdin (SNES review)

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: 1993

Disney's Aladdin is a platformer with completely different gameplay to its Mega Drive counterpart (1993).

It consists of six worlds and your mission is to find the magical lamp, defeat Jafar and rescue Princess Jasmine. Your main attack is jumping on enemies' heads, but apples can be collected as a long-range weapon. Locating a White Rug also allows you to glide through the air. Despite not having a sword (like in the Mega Drive version) the combat is enjoyable; it has a very rhythmic, acrobatic feel and bouncing on multiple objects / enemies resembles parkour. It's also satisfying to swing around a pole and take out a bad guy as your feet move around! On top of this, hovering through the air is an amazing feeling and it's fun taking leaps of faith to find hidden treasures. The controls can be a bit slippery at times though (as Aladdin's momentum carries him forwards) which can cause some overshooting. The level design is varied and constantly keeps you guessing; for example, Stage 3 is an auto-scrolling level where you avoid falling in the lava, and then ride on a magic carpet. Stage 4 is a trippy level set inside the lamp and it's easily the highlight of the game; it introduces tricky vertically scrolling sections with sliding tongues that act as ledges and platforms that disappear from under you. It's imaginative and the colourful, vibrant world is a nice contrast to the previous environments. There is some trial and error involved throughout the game but each stage is brief meaning the action is rarely annoying. The bosses are disappointing though as neither the battle against Jafar or the Snake are very memorable. The graphics are stunning with first-rate animation and excellent use of parallax scrolling.
Disney's Aladdin on the Super Nintendo is a fun platformer with some great variety, tight level design and a fair difficulty. It does stick closer to the source material than the Mega Drive version and while the action / combat isn't quite as interesting it's still worth a play-through if you want to see a completely different take on the franchise.
Random trivia: This version was re-released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003 (Japan) and in 2004 (Europe and North America).

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