Pros: New GBA exclusive levels, graphics still look good, new save feature
Cons: Designed for little kids, easy to beat, level design is dated
It seems like every game on the Super NES is getting a Game Boy
Advance port now a days. Capcom has been re-releasing its Disney based
games since the birth of the GBA. Enter Aladdin, a game based on the hit
Disney movie. When Capcom released Aladdin for the Super NES it had
strong competition from the SEGA version, which had the help of the
actual Disney artists. Sales of the SEGA version were higher than the
Super NES version, so why would Capcom re-release Aladdin? Maybe because
its easy money or just maybe because Disney is going to release Aladdin
on DVD soon. In any case it means another game joins the GBA library.
Disney's Aladdin is a platfomer in every sense of the word. You play
as the "street rat" hero, Aladdin through the story of the entire movie.
Small cut scenes take place in between levels to describe the story if
you don't already know it. In levels Aladdin has the ability to jump or
better put vault on top of enemies heads or on top of poles. Aladdin can
also throw apples, which are in limited supply to stun enemies for a few
seconds. The level design in the game isn't anything revolutionary, but
it has enough jumps and enemies to make the game fun. Many of the levels
of have a Prince of Persia for kids feel to them. You'll be running,
jumping and climbing on to platforms for the majority of levels. All of
this is standard platformer fare, no surprises here. Capcom did add in an
extra bonus over the standard platfomer repackage, they added a few GBA
only levels. These new levels use the same sprites as previous levels
and aren't any harder. Even though they're more of the same kudos to
Capcom for not just selling the exact same game.
The original Super NES Aladdin looked graphically weaker compared to
the SEGA counterpart. Mainly because of the support of the Disney
animators. However, compare the Game Boy Advance version of Aladdin to
the Sega Genesis version and the GBA version looks much sharper. The
backgrounds have depth to them, which was remarkable in the SNES days
and up to par by today's standards. All of the levels accurately
represent different areas of the movies. While the animation many not be
as high quality compared to the SEGA version, the lack of colors in the
Genesis version make the game appear washed out. Whereas the Super NES
port is still filled with vibrant colors compared to standard GBA games.
Scenes The only thing that is a big change is the larger menu screen on
the top, but it's a minor change.
While the graphics are still great, the music isn't. The SNES score
sounded like the original Aladdin soundtrack. Classic songs like "A
Friend Like Me" and "A Whole New World" sound muffled and distorted.
Even some of the synthetic instruments chosen sound out of place. The
game's audio should have remained the same, if not gotten a slight
improvement. Another nice addition would be to have some voice samples
as sound effects like some of the Mario advance games.
Bottom line is Disney's Aladdin is the same as it was ten years ago.
Capcom did make a few improvements like added a much needed save feature
instead of a password system to the game to make it more portable. There
are also Game Boy Advance exclusive levels, which add some value to the
game. Although the game is really easy to beat. Unless you're in the
5-10 year old demographic, you can do it in one sitting. There is the
additional challenge of collecting the 80 red gems scattered throughout
the levels, but not even that is a daunting task. The only to make you
come back to the game is the fact that it's a fun, yet brief play
Story text is in Japanese for the Japanese version. If you must have
accompanying English text you can pick up the European version.
Disney's Aladdin has a US release date in September.
Aladdin remains a fun, but short ride best for younger gamers.