Written by  :  Mumm-Ra (412)
Written on  :  Oct 20, 2004
Platform  :  SNES

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A good action game in Capcom way

The Good

Aladdin, one of the most famous tales of the 1001 Nights, became the most successful movie of 1992 as it was released by Disney. In 1993, both Super NES and Sega Genesis had their games about the movie. But they were totally different. The Sega Genesis game was released by Virgin, while the Super NES game was developed by Capcom. They have nothing to do with each other; the Sega Genesis game is mentioned here just as a parameter of comparison.

Aladdin for Super NES followed a traditional hop-and-bop styling. It was a quite common platform game, in fact. The action was very fast. Aladdin had to jump from one side to another, avoid enemies and run as fast as he could.

Graphics were very good. Sprites were reasonably big and cartoonish and the animation was fine. Capcom did a well job here. But the quality of animation couldn't be compared to the Sega Genesis game. Virgin had the help of Disney animators, so the animation was revolutionary and broke boundaries while the Super NES version followed the traditional (but still good) Capcom style. As a result, the characters seemed not so real as in the Sega Genesis game and much more static.

If the quality of sprites was much inferior to the Sega Genesis game, Super NES had its revenge on the background scenes. Capcom took advantage of Super NES 32,000 color palette and turned all the backgrounds into paintings. The game was very colorful. Backgrounds had rich details and a real sense of depth. In the first stage, for example, some buildings could be seen as the background. Behind these buildings, there were other buildings and, behind them, other ones. All these layers of buildings gave birth to a city. That level of detail made the game look cinematographic. And the intense use of all the colors Super NES could provide made a difference: beautiful sunlight and sunset skies, golden treasures, dark caves! It's all there, thanks to the incredible backgrounds! The details were much richer than in the Sega Genesis game, which featured elaborated scenes, but lacked so many details and colors.

Sound quality is also fantastic. Capcom used all its expertise to provide a real good soundtrack. Of course the game featured some of the Oscar-winning songs from the movie, such as "A Whole New World", among others. Some of the songs couldn't be found on the movie. And they were all very well executed. Sometimes it seemed the songs were played by an orchestra, with all the instruments. The overall quality of the sound was slightly better than the Sega Genesis version, although the Super NES one did not use so many elements taken from the movie.

Absolutely no complains about gameplay, which is terrific. Capcom knows how to do great games since it released the first Mega Man. The action is very fast. It is curious how in both Super NES and Sega Genesis games Aladdin runs instead of walking... it makes the action very fast in both games and it is probably faster in Super NES. There are lots of platforms to jump, lots of places to hang, lots of places to hide... the action in the Super NES involves more jumping than the Sega Genesis one.

But the response of the controls is excellent. The buttons respond precisely. The action is intense and keeps the player entertained. The game is very funny to be played and the overall gameplay is at least satisfactory. It is also not really hard and not too easy, but has the proper size and difficulty level. Controls are very simple (there is absolutely no secret about them, like in most action games) and everyone can get used to them in just a few minutes.

The game is, in fact, not really surprising. It is a common action game with a superb quality. There are many games like it; but very few with these great graphics, great sound, great gameplay and overall quality.

The Bad

Aladdin for Super NES certainly has some weak points, as any game does. If compared to the Sega Genesis game, it can be said that Capcom's Aladdin lacked some innovations. The game is too traditional, while the Virgin version tries to be revolutionary. And that makes some difference.

Graphics were good, as already said. But the sprites were somewhat static. Aladdin looked like a puppet and did not seem to have life in his veins. He did not perform any movement while the player did not used his controller to move Aladdin. In comparison, Sega Genesis Aladdin seemed full of life, thanks to the excellent work of art of Disney animators.

Besides that, the animation is fast, very fast. And that is a problem with Super NES. The slow 3.5 MHz processor can't deal with fast animation in very detailed scenarios. So, there are lots of slow motion, because Capcom does not want to compromise the quality of the backgrounds to provide faster action. And that is certainly annoying, especially when Aladdin jumps and seem to break the gravity law...

One can also say that the game lacks a choice of difficulty level. Yes, it does. The game is not easy, but when you reach the end, the challenge is over. The player can play again just to see the beautiful graphics and Jasmine's blue eyes, to be entertained by the delicious gameplay and to have the pleasure of defeating evil Jafar again. But a "hard level" option would increase its replay value.

The Bottom Line

Aladdin for Super NES is a great action, hop-and-bop, platform game, which follows the success of the Disney movie. Expect a traditional game in a good quality package. Dazzling background graphics, colors that will certainly please the eyes, music that will massage the ears. But nothing really outrageous.