Thursday, 24 May 2012

Aladdin (SNES)

Disney's Aladdin title screen for the Super Nintendo
A.k.a. Disney's Aladdin (again). I hate it when companies give two entirely different games the same name.

I'm just hoping it's going to be easier than the Genesis/Mega Drive game, or at least more consistent about it. Hey I just noticed that this is by Capcom! Makers of games like... Super Ghouls'n Ghosts. Oh.

Well it looks nice and everything, but what happened to all the swords? How am I supposed to cut a bloody swathe through Agrabah's guards without a blade?

Genesis/Mega Drive
It's hard to say which is the better looking game. The SNES version has prettier backgrounds for certain, but the Mega Drive game's characters look like they've been ripped straight out of the movie, and I think I prefer the colours.

Well I can throw apples at the guards like in the Mega Drive version, but in this they only stun them for a couple of seconds. Not really a solution to my guard problems.

Quick Abu, stab him with that arrow while he's down! Fine, just sit there and be useless then.

Fortunately Aladdin is more acrobatic in this game, and can knock a man out by swinging into him from a pole, or by leaping onto his head. To be honest I think this suits his character much better than the sword combat in the Mega Drive game. The guy was going on a full GTA rampage against the cops in that one.

    
NES    Game Boy
The game was also released on other Nintendo systems like the NES, Game Boy, and Game Boy Col... hey wait, these are crappy ports of the Genesis/Mega Drive version, sword and all!

Apparently Capcom held the licensing rights to games on Nintendo consoles based on Disney intellectual property when the SNES version was made, so they got to make their own Aladdin game. But it ran out before it was time to make the Game Boy ports.

The Game Boy Advance does have the actual SNES version of Aladdin though, except with a narrower screen.


STAGE 1-2.


Damn, I wish I knew I could knock these things over earlier. I'd found an extra hitpoint in a chest, but I've been letting all these other pickups go to waste. Not that apples are much use to me, it's delicious health-restoring bread I'm really after.

Damn, there was a guard that thought he was Donkey Kong in the Mega Drive Aladdin game too. Fortunately this one can be taken down with one good stomp to the head. Actually every enemy seems to take a single hit in this so far, which is a good design choice in my opinion. Keeps things moving.

SNES Aladdin hasn't got any ropes to climb, so he's had to learn to climb ledges instead. Getting in the right place to jump up is slightly more awkward than it needs to be though, because Aladdin likes to take a step forwards when he turns.


STAGE 1-3.


Like the Mega Drive version, the game keeps things interesting by adding new types of obstacles as I go. And then makes it even more interesting by encouraging me to take stupid risks to get pickups.

This could have been a screenshot of me heroically hanging on to the edge of a swinging platform to grab a rare red gem underneath, but I chickened out and left it there. Hey, I don't even know what the things even do! It's not like there's a shop in this one.

Shit, didn't expect that. Dropping me into enemies is more the Mega Drive game's idea of fun. Plus I was distracted by watching Abu slide down the rope above me. I love that little monkey sprite.


STAGE 1-4.


Hey, how come that guy gets to hold a sword? He's harassing Princess Jasmine for stealing an apple so I should probably step in before she loses a hand.

It took me a while to figure out this boss fight. Apples don't work, and he holds his sword over his head so jumping on him is a bad idea... and I got distracted by Abu again. It's not my fault, he was dancing around on top of the stall, shadowboxing.

I finally took down that boss, and I get a hard earned second to rest before the next crisis. Not that there's a time limit or anything (thankfully).

It turns out that I had to jump on the guy at the exact same time he was slashing at me. Fortunately I was able to hide behind the conveniently located barrel until I was ready to pounce. The dumb shopkeeper never thought to just walk around it.

Well I found 10% of the red gems... on this stage. But I don't even know what they do yet so I don't much care.

Plus I got a 'password', which is something the Mega Drive version stubbornly refused to give me. Score 10 points for the SNES version, though I'm deducting 5 points for lying to me. These are clearly passpictures.

Though with only four symbols for my code, it doesn't seem likely that this is going to store my extra hit-point or any of my stuff. Shame they didn't go with save games really (or a level select screen, it a shame how few games actually have those.)

Like the Mega Drive game, it fills in part of the story with cutscenes between levels, this time shown on a widescreen magic carpet.

Uh... no, I think I'm fine right here mate, thanks.

Huh, I'm in the Cave of Wonders already? In the Mega Drive version I had to visit a desert and a prison level before I got here. It seems that this game is actually trying to follow the plot of the movie.

Agh, fucking bats again! Fortunately these ones just wander back and forth, so they're not much of a problem. Still wish I had my sword with me though.

I keep finding these golden scarabs inside chests, but I can never grab the things before they fly off. But maybe if I use this bat as a step... nope, it's gone.

Now that's a classy way to handle a blind jump, using the animal sidekick to tell me it's safe. Another SNES platformer called Spirou did a similar thing if I remember right, and I was impressed then too.

Well okay it didn't turn out to be entirely safe down here, but then where is? Aladdin can't even go down to the shops without being attacked by a legion of guards.

I love Abu's reaction to finding a carpet creeping up behind him. It's all animated too, very impressive. Doesn't really show up too well against this monkey-coloured background though.


STAGE 2-2.


I was kind of hoping that this version of the Cave of Wonders wouldn't have a jumping section over insta-kill water, but no such luck. The magic carpet flew off without me just like in the Mega Drive version as well.

Well, that's Aladdin's final life flushed away.

Hey I've got credits!

I love their reactions as I walk over to each choice; the animation in this game is fantastic. But you can see now why I'm having trouble getting him to stay on the platforms. Unlike the Mega Drive Aladdin, this guy likes to skid for a while when he turns.

The game has a lot more scope for exploration than the Mega Drive version, with lots of stuff off the main path. I'm not entirely sure why I'm jumping around grabbing diamonds yet, especially as I was specifically told not to touch anything valuable down here, but I'm sure there'll be a good reason for it. Probably.

Damn, I pulled the rope down to open the door, but my log didn't float through in time. Poor Aladdin got knocked back by the falling door, right into the water. I've already lost a few lives this way because of bats knocking me in. Back to the start of the level again then.

It makes me wonder why in platformers the punishment for falling down a hole is often way more severe than for getting hit by an enemy. Land on an enemy, lose a single hit point, land on spikes/a hole/a bit of water, INSTANT DEATH. It means the difficulty ramps up whenever there's a few tricky jumps.

Through the magic of picture editing software, I've put together two screenshots to show how the game sometimes tells part of the story during the level. In this case it's showing me how my damn monkey is about to trigger a bloody lava jumping section.


STAGE 2-3.


Oh fuck, I was hoping I was wrong. At least it seems fairer than the Genesis/Mega Drive version, though Aladdin's slightly awkward movement means I keep accidentally sliding off the rocks.

Damn, I'd been wondering what that piece of paper or cloth I kept finding was. Turns out that it enables Aladdin's glide ability, which I definitely didn't have in the Mega Drive version. Maybe now I'll have a chance to actually make it out of this damn cave.


SOON.


I DID IT! I got past the lava jumping, and even grabbed that damn golden scarab for once. And for my trouble I got a bonus game, where I can spin the wheel to win big prizes. I was aiming for a 2up, but I ended up with an extra credit. I think I can live with that though.

Oh I also figured out that collecting 100 gems increases my maximum hit-points, so it's definitely worth hunting them down.


STAGE 2-4.


Oh shit, we're not out of the cave yet? At least the magic carpet's finally decided to help out.

Fuck, I got crushed by a boulder out of nowhere. I'll have to try to remember where this happened so I can be elsewhere next time I'm here. If you see what I mean.

Son of a bitch! I can't touch the walls even slightly without instantly failing.


EVENTUALLY.


Jafar turned out to be a dirty double crosser, and trapped me in the cave. But fortunately my monkey double crossed him and swiped the lamp back, so now... I'm trapped in a cave with Robin Williams.

But it's cool, because he's going to offer me unimaginable power. First though, I have to step inside his lamp....


STAGE 3-1.


Well this just took a turn for the weird. I don't exactly remember this bit happening in the movie, but then it's been a while since I watched it.


STAGE 3-2.


I think I'm going to have to stop playing here before I end up with too many pictures. Also they've started adding spikes to the ceiling, and I do hate those.

I always assumed (for whatever reason) that there were two Aladdin games: the one on the Mega Drive, and the crap one. But this is actually a really solid platformer, probably just as good as the other game. In fact I might even give this one the edge because the passwords mean I actually have a chance of ever finishing it. Consider it recommended.


1993 - Aladdin (Genesis/Mega Drive)
1993 - Aladdin (SNES)
1994 - Aladdin (Master System)

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  3. Sorry guys, but this really isn't the right place for rom sharing.

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