Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King Review

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King Review

When Aladdin and The Lion King were originally
released in the 90s, they were tag along video games for the animated movies. Over 20 years later, both come back in a bundle
package to celebrate the release of the live-action remakes. Let’s see just how well these classics have
aged and who exactly this special bundle is for. This review is going to be stylized a bit
differently since we’re tackling multiple games and different variations of each game. Presumably, you already know the story of
Aladdin and The Lion King and if you don’t, then go watch the animated films, they’re
timeless classics. Anyway, this collection features both Aladdin
and The Lion King but across multiple different consoles. Aladdin, for example, has the Sega Genesis
version, a new final cut version, the Japanese version, and a demo used to showcase the game
at trade shows. There’s an additional handheld version of
the Gameboy version, both with and without color. It’s a bit of a bummer to not see the Super
Nintendo version be included in this section, especially since Lion King features both Sega
Genesis and Super Nintendo. Aladdin though seems to still have gotten
the better end of the deal. Besides having the classic Genesis version,
the new final cut version is an updated version that adds some fixes the original developers
would have loved to add given the time. Playing through both the Genesis original
and the final cut, I noticed the camera tracking was significantly smoother. It’s so much less disorientating while playing
and the hit detection is miles ahead of the original. On the opposite of that is the demo version,
an unfinished three levels that were used to show off Aladdin before it was released. Of course, the game isn’t done in this state
but it was incredibly fascinating to see what was cut and thought of on the cutting room
floor. There are even sprites here that aren’t colored
in yet. On the Lion King side, there are both the
Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo versions along with a Japanese version. No final cut or demo versions here. Playing both the genesis and super Nintendo
versions shows the differences in the hardware for the time. Super Nintendo featured more saturated colors
and a lively soundtrack while genesis offered a darker but sharper look. On top of the console versions is the GameBoy
version that can be played in black and white or color. As for how well the games have aged, well
they’re both pretty tough platformers. Aladin feels like a more bearable experience
that feels more forgiving than Lion King. You control Aladdin throughout the events
of the movie with the ability to jump, run, throw apples and swing his sword. It’s a basic platformer but one that does
a great job at capturing the aesthetic of the movie but an average attempt at a good
platformer. Hit detection and the camera is still a bit
wonky though that’s been improved with the final cut version. I do wish Lion King had gotten the same treatment
because that’s leaps and bounds more brutal than Aladdin. Luckily both Aladdin and Lion King have added
some new features to make them more approachable to gamers of the modern age. For example, a rewind button mapped to the
shoulder button lets you rewind gameplay at just about any point. Each playthrough also has a single save state
to let you pause and continue your progress at another time. Other accessibility options include changing
the difficulty, toggling invisibility and choosing which level to start on though you’ll
lose out on the in-game achievements when active. There’s also a handful of visual options to
change up the look of each game. Three different screen sizes offer a sharp,
full screen or stretch view of the gameplay. If not stretched out, you can add a unique
border to go around the gameplay. A selection of filters makes the gameplay
look like it’s being played on an LCD or a monitor. I preferred to play without a filter for a
more authentic feel to the art. Playing on a Nintendo Switch lite felt like
the perfect platform for the collection. Having gameplay go full screen and yet still
be so pocketable, it felt like a match made in heaven. Outside of the games is the museum content
featuring developer interviews, concept art and the soundtrack for the main console versions
of both games. There’s plenty to dive into here regardless
if you have an emotional attachment to the original games or not. While I personally wasn’t too into these video
games as a kid, as an adult, I found the art and videos incredibly fascinating to watch. The retro renditions of the famous Disney
songs weren’t bad either. Overall, Lion King and Aladdin on console
have aged decently well. It’s more of an appreciation of the art and
nostalgia than the actual gameplay though. These are still incredibly difficult platforms
and that’s partial to level design and the odd precision platforming that isn’t always
precise. The accessibility options make them much more
playable in 2019 and with the behind the scene videos, it’s a bit more understanding as to
why these games turned out the way they did. So who exactly is Disney Classic Games for? Well for anyone that had a close nostalgic
connection to the original games during the 90s. For $30, it’s a bit of a steep price for some
old releases bundled together but some love and effort was put into this. The collection of developer interviews, concept
art and the animation to game process is a fun deep dive even as someone that doesn’t
have a deep connection to these games. There’s noticeable closer attention put on
Aladdin over Lion King here with all the new interviews being done for Aladdin while the
Lion King dev videos are from the 90s. The final cut is the most apparent example
but it goes to show that this is way more than just a bunch of ROMs on a disc.

14 thoughts on “Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King Review

  1. Hey everyone! Thanks so much for checking out the review! It's a little different in style but thought it fit for this type of collection. I'm working on Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Outer Worlds and Luigi's Mansion 3 this week. All are pretty lengthy so forgive me if I'm a bit late with them (it's why this review came out in the afternoon instead of in the morning with the embargo). Love you all <3

  2. Animated movies: Aladdin = Lion King
    Games: Aladdin >>> Lion King
    Live Action Remakes: Aladdin >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Lion King

  3. I never played any of these as a kid but loved the movies they are based on. I like how they included so many versions of the games on this collection.

  4. Played the Genesis Aladdin for an hour this morning and had a great time with it! I like this collection a lot, and I agree that the "Final Cut" version of Aladdin makes some welcome adjustments. Now I'm going to gave to git gud and make use of save states to work my way through. Going to try to avoid resorting to rewind, though ha! Haven't played this game since we rented the cart from Blockbuster back in the day. I also think Lion King is beautiful, but really hard.

  5. This new style of doing game reviews where you dont show your ugly face is definitely the way to go. Awesome video bro

  6. Hey, Luis. The Nintendo numbers for the quarter will be up soon I believe. Anyway, I played with the past numbers to try to predict the results. The order is name, sales in the quarter, total sales (numbers in millions)

    Nintendo Switch – 3.67 – 40.54

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 1.29 – 19.18
    Smash Bros. Ultimate – 1.05 – 15.78
    Super Mario Odyssey – 0.66 – 15.60
    Zelda BotW – 0.70 – 14.31
    Pokémon Let's Go – 0.20 – 11.18
    Splatoon 2 – 0.28 – 9.30
    Super Mario Party – 0.30 – 7.29
    New Super Mario U Dx – 0.60 – 4.70
    1, 2 Switch – 0.06 – 3.07

    Also, I hope Link's Awakening broke 2 million units

  7. When I heard that they were releasing a "remastered" version of Alladin and The Lion King, I was excited because I thought that it was going to have the same treatment as the Duck Tales game. To my disappointment, nothing has changed graphically. I owned the original Sega Alladin and enjoyed it, but never finished it as a kid. Thank goodness for "saves" on this new port. Still, with it being so easy to get the ROMS by "googling" it, and playing it on the computer, phone, or other methods, this release of the games with nothing really enhanced seems like a wasted opportunity.

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