|Platforms||Sega Genesis, Amiga, DOS, NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance|
|Genre||Fantastic Scimitar Swinging Platformer|
|MtAMinutes to Action||1|
|Score||9 Gameplay: 8
Fun Factor: 9
|Buy from Amazon|
Aladdin for the Sega Genesis was released in 1993 about a year after the film was in the theaters. It was created by the same team that would go on to make Earthworm Jim and features animations drawn by Disney animators. The game was released on a wide range of systems, but the Super Nintendo Aladdin was actually an entirely different game created by Capcom. For all these years I asssumed it was Nintendo's infamous censorship at work because you couldn't wield a sword like on the Genesis, but it was simply a different game under the same name (though I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo still had a hand in swordless Aladdin).
I reviewed the first hour of Lion King back in March and did not have a good experience. Considering both Aladdin and The Lion King were both developed by Virgin Interactive, could I possibly have a similar first hour? Let's get into it.
(minutes are in bold)
00 - I select Press Start and the first hour of Aladdin for the Sega Genesis begins. A gold scarab beetle appears signifying the start. A screen quickly shows me all the items to collect. Thanks I guess... The story is introduced with a block of text and some Arabian music.
01 - Oh, I have to press a button to advance. The first level begins, Agrabah Market. Wow, here we go! I'm already jumping over fire pits and slashing away goons (who disappear in a puff of smoke). Who did Aladdin piss off today?
02 - Haha, even the bad guys are affected by the coals. And now some skinny dude is throwing knives at me.
03 - I have to admit, the animations are simply stunning.
04 - Aladdin wields both a sword and projectile apples. There is a heck of a lot of stuff going on here, I think I reached a checkpoint.
05 - Ouch, got hit one too many times and Aladdin is down for the count.
07 - Enemies are throwing knives at me from off screen and behind pillars, got to really keep on my toes here.
08 - The music is the Prince Ali tune and it is extremely catchy. I buy an extra life from the vendor for 5 gems.
09 - Wooh, first level complete, no boss though. A quick slot machine game to score the stuff, first I hit a gem but then Jaffar so I lose!
10 - Then a short mini-game with Abu the monkey where I dodge falling pots. Next level is The Desert. Find the Scarab flashes on the screen.
12 - Now I'm dealing with snakes and more knive throwers. One of them slices the apple I throw at him with his knife!
14 - Definitely not an easy game, spikes and swords are constantly in my path. Very fun though.
15 - Picked up the first half of the scarab beetle. Hit detection is a little poorer than I would like, my only real complaint so far.
16 - Picked up another half of the beetle, maybe there are more than two halves? Heh. Picked up a third and that's the level!
17 - An old crusty dude tells me I still need another half. I think I was actually just chasing the one half across the level, that would make sense. Next level is Agrabah Rooftops.
18 - Now I have to find the flutes? I don't remember this from the movie. At least now they're playing the Street Rat song.
19 - Found a flute! X number more to go... Cool, just rose up on a floating rope.
20 - Aladdin's sword is a lot shorter than the bad guy's. That's unusual for a video game I believe.
21 - The level builders did a great job with the use of foreground and background objects. Oh yeah, I've picked up a few more flutes. It's really annoying though when you land on enemies when jumping from above. I guess I could hold down and look though.
23 - That was odd, I fell down and had to retrace my steps a bit and the game put a health power-up where I had already been. It's like, you're stupid and suck, here's a reward.
25 - Died again, now that was a blind jump down to a knife tosser.
26 - The game has placed a 1UP just out of reach... But I did just hit 10,000 points. Ah, the days where games had points.
27 - Okay, the game really does think I suck, it just placed a 1UP right in a spot I was 10 seconds ago.
29 - Just re-feathered Iago, stupid bird. Only 8 minutes ago I complimented the game on its great use of backgrounds and foregrounds but that means it is sometimes difficult to see what are real platforms and not... Woah, a boss! It's a little midget guy who rolls around and throws knives. He rolls into a corner and I beat him down there pretty cheaply. He gives up the other half of the scarab.
30 - I grab another flute then grab hold of a flying piece of rope that steers me around and lets me pick up some health refills. How nice.
31 - Wait, what? Another boss? Some big dude with a sword plays Donkey Kong and rolls barrels down at me. I just jump in place and toss apples at him until he's dead, periodically jumping barrels. Odd. Level complete.
32 - In my slot machine mini-game I pick up an extra life. I now have both halves of the scarabs but then Aladdin is ambushed by the palace guards. Next stage: Sultan's Dungeon.
34 - Now the main enemy are these really tiny red bats that fly around, quite annoying. Arabian Nights is the current song.
35 - Ouch, there are also exploding skeletons. This level is much more vertical than the others, seems to be okay so far though, I like the huge change in color pallette.
36 - Another 1UP appears behind me, thanks! There are some nifty 3D effects with swinging wrecking balls.
37 - The exploding skeletons are like the worst enemy, there's no way to avoid the bones that come flying at you.
38 - It's the street vendor again (in a prison?) and this time I have enough gems for both an extra life and a "wish." No idea what that is, maybe a continue?
39 - A bat kills me.
41 - Platforming could be a little more solid, I'm having some issues falling through blocks.
43 - This music is way too catchy, I'm humming and singing along with it. So far, this seems like a pretty long level. Ugh, I somehow get killed by a guy with a stick.
45 - Well, there's a door with an exit sign over it, guess that's it for this level! Next level is the Cave of Wonders! My goal is to "Hit Statues." I thought we weren't supposed to touch anything?
47 - It's official, Aladdin can't swim. Stupid water in video games.
48 - Ugh, another water death, and that one was even lamer.
49 - There are like these statues of voluptuous women that throw crap at you and when you get near them and hit them with your sword, the whole place shakes like there's an earthquake. It's really weird.
51 - In between all the red bats and crap falling from the ceiling, I find another statue to destroy.
52 - It's my good friend the vendor! I buy four more lives, that should be enough for the next eight minutes.
53 - Boss! It's some flying monkey statue that breathes fire and swings a sword around. I try hitting him a few times but I have no idea if I'm having any effect on him! Then I die.
55 - The boss also disappears, but he's easy to beat once you beat down on him right when he reappears. Still took about 10 hits. Oooh, after I beat him, the Magic Carpet appears and beckons me to get on!
56 - Carpet carries me to a checkpoint and some health. Needed the checkpoint as the next thing I do is die in the water. There's like an impossible jump that's way too far for Aladdin.
57 - I guess it is makeable, even if it looks impossible. I find the magic lamp and its level complete.
58 - Another bonus stage, Abu in the Cave. That was tough, rocks fell from the ceiling and bounced around skeleton bone style making it pretty difficult to collect gems. Next level is The Escape.
59 - Now we're getting hardcore! Lava, PURPLE bats, Indiana Jones style rolling boulders, and super long jumps. And also no checkpoints!
60 - I finish Aladdin's first hour with three rolling boulders in a row and then an extra long jump!
Time for some scores out of 10.
Minutes to Action: 1
Aladdin is a pretty frantic first hour platformer, including lots of enemies tossing lots of projectiles at you and featuring just average hit detection. I had a lot of issues with getting hit when I'm pretty sure I didn't, but Aladdin generally has enough health to balance things out pretty fairly. The inclusion of both the sword and the apples as weapons gives you options but the game doesn't focus too heavily on fighting. There's also some fun platforming with just a bit of trouble with falling through solid objects.
Fun Factor: 9
For at least Aladdin's first hour, we have a really fun movie based game. It's the little things that made me smile: the music and animations topping the list. Plus I love Aladdin, so I really got a kick out of the whole thing. Great presentation, great fun.
Graphics and Sound: 10
Aladdin is absolutely gorgeous with some of the best animation I have ever seen from a 16-bit console. It features beautiful sprites, detailed backgrounds, and excellent use of foreground elements. One super minor issue is that Aladdin icon showing how many lives you have left has him with brown hair, it's a bit weird. About the music, it's nearly perfect. Great midi versions of some famous Disney songs, just wish I had more time to hear more!
Story-wise, Aladdin is a little more streamlined than The Lion King. There's some text in between levels explaining what's going on, but like most movie-themed games, there are some stages that never really appeared in the movie. But what can you do?
Seven months ago I really thought I would have a good time playing The Lion King's first hour, and I was greatly disappointed (nostalgia sometimes fails me). So I wasn't expecting much from a game that was a year older and also made by Virgin Interactive. Turns out, Aladdin's first hour was great. So great in fact, that I would highly recommend it. Though seek out the Sega Genesis version, as this score and review applies only to that game!