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Aladdin

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Reviewed by Inkhands Aladdin the movie was a Disney animated cartoon that was released in late 1992 as best that I can recall. I know I was in the 10th grade at the time. I didn't watch the movie until about a year later, but I did play one of the Aladdin video games that was released around the same time as the movie. The version I played was the Super Nintendo version. That game frustrated me beyond end and I gave it back to my brother and let him put it back on the shelf at his video store. All these years the Genesis version had eluded me. I assumed it was very much like the SNES version. However, when I began playing this game I was very intrigued to find that they are two completely different games. Certainly they are based on the same movie and the same cartoon. This gives them both a few characteristics in common. However, for the most part the games are miles away from being exactly like each other. After playing both games through recently I was left with a question to consider. Which of the two was the superior game? No question in my mind that this version has a much higher level of quality than the Super Nintendo version. In the movie there is a street kid named Aladdin. Basically he's a thief. He encounters Princess Jasmine in the streets of Agrabah after she has escaped from her father's palace. Not that living there is bad for her, she just wanetd to see what the world is like outside of the palace. Aladdin and Jasmine fall in love, but there's a problem considering she can only marry a Prince. The main element however was the magic lamp that contained a big blue genie that was ready to give anyone three wishes. Jafar had a plan to acquire this lamp from the Cave of Wonders and use it for evil, naturally. He sends Aladdin to the deadly cave to pick up the lamp and that's the basic setup of the game. To find out the rest you'll have to watch the movie or play the game. Or well watch the movie and play the game. This game follows the story of the movie very closely. There are about ten levels in this game. They of course proceed in the order of the action in the movie. You start out at the market, then you will proceed through a desert, and across rooftops. Aladdin is imprisoned in a dungeon and getting out of this dungeon can be a bit tricky. I'll get to the reason why a little later in the review. Aladdin then journeys through the Cave of Wonders, picks up the lamp, and then of course must escape by avoiding rocks and a large wave of lave. Of course in this level you do get to ride around on the magic carpet and essentially this section of the game is mostly just a bonus round anyway. All that's is to make your way out of the Genie's lamp, which for some reason or another, Aladdin has been drawn into. Also, the Sultan's Palace and then your final confrontation with Jafar at his palace. That's all there is to this game except the bonus levels. They mostly just consist of Abu, the monkey, avoiding falling pots and picking up gems. I wasn't all that impressed with the bonus levels of the game. I honestly didn't care if I accessed them or not. Along the way you can pick up apples to throw at your enemies. The enemies range from snakes, to guards, to knive throwers. You also have a sword to attack with. If you touch a blue vase you will start back at that position if you die in that stage. Also you can pick up gems and use them to purchase either extra lives or extra continues. Five gems will buy you an extra life. An extra continue will cost you ten gems. You pick these up from a peddler that appears in the stages. Sometimes he's in plain sight and you can't miss him. Other times you have to do something special before he'll appear. It's a good idea to get all the gems you can, because those extra continues really come in handy, quite obviously. This is generally a side scrolling platform game. Occasionally you have to climb ropes or swing around on clotheslines, but for the most part the action simply consists of jumping, throwing apples, and swinging your sword. This game doesn't present you with a complicated control setup. It's very basic. Each of the buttons do one thing, such as attack with the sword, throw the apple, or jump. Nothing special about the controls at all and it's quite easy to get used to. They respond very well and if you need to jump quickly then you won't find any problems doing that. Let me give you an example of some of the tasks in this game. In the dungeon level Aladdin has to escape by jumping from ledges that are moving out and back inside the wall. They only stay out for a few seconds. You have to be fast to be able to jump from ledge to ledge. This could have been impossible had the controls been stiff. However, it all works smoothly and I had no trouble with jumping around those ledges at all. It's all a matter of timing thankfully, and not a matter of control. Have you ever seen the movie? If so, then you have seen this game. If not, then I shall tell you a bit about what this game looks like. The genie is very large and blue, just like in the movie. Abu is a short monkey with a red looking hat. Aladdin himself looks great. He is animated well and he is extremely well detailed. He has black hair while also wearing a little red cap. He has white baggy pants and a purple vest. No shoes and no shirt. Some of the minor animations in this game are just great. When he clears a level he'll dance across the screen. In the opening level there is fire on the ground to avoid. If a guard walks over it he'll grab his foot and hop around. If you stop Aladdin and don't move him after a period of time he will begin to look around. After even longer he'll begin to toss some apples around. The backgrounds are also impressive in this game. The opening level features large buildings in the back. They are brown, but they have patches on them, which gives them a very old look to them. People are in these building throwing pots out the windows at you for some reason. In the desert you'll see a very beautifully drawn oasis complete with water and trees. Inside the genie's lamp is also a colorful level. The dungeon is dreary as you might expect. The cave of wonders has a black, dark background, which you also might expect. Another thing I liked is the way the story is told in between the levels. You get a really good idea of the story without having watched the movie, thanks to these very good sequences with both nice looking pictures and some nice text for you to read to follow along. In general, the graphics have an Arabian look to them, and are just really great. Some of the best grahpics I have ever seen particularly on the Genesis, considering most of the games I have played on the system have had very dull graphics. The music in this game sounds very much like the music in the movie. You can hear "A Whole New World" and a few other tunes. I don't know them by their names, but I certainly know them by their notes. For the most part the music in this game is great. If you liked the music at all in the movie, then you'll be happy to hear them as you make your way through this game. I can't really find much to say about the sound effects in this game. Just the sound of throwing apples, swinging your sword, and hitting your enemies. Nothing special about the sound effects in the game. Overall, the sound isn't quite as good as the graphics, but the beauty of most of the music saves this game in the sound category. This game is for one player. You can set the game at either practice, normal, or difficult levels. The challenge of the game depends on which level you selected. It's not a very difficult game either way. There are a few areas that aren't just straightforward jumping that require a bit of thought. Otherwise you'll just be giving your reflexes a good workout in this game. Some of the levels are very easy. Even the later levels are easy for the most part. I'll say the challenge is almost low and almost medium. Somewhere in between those two areas. This game certainly has great graphics. It has interesting gameplay. It's not too hard, but not exactly too easy either. Almost too easy, but not quite. The controls are good and responsive. Despite all of this it just doesn't have good replay value. There is absolutely nothing about this game that makes me want to play it again. I really liked it and I was highly impressed with it the first time through. However, it's appeal doesn't last beyond that first time and it gets quite boring even the second time. This gives you nothing to go back for and low replay value. Overall if you are really wanting to play an Aladdin game then this is the one you want. The Super Nintendo version is good, but nowhere near as good as this one. Great graphics with detailed backgrounds and humorous animations, such as when the guy loses his pants. The music is well done. The controls are not a problem at all. The challenge is low, as is the replay value, but the fun factor is pretty good the first time. It's a good game, but lacking enough appeal to make a person want to play it over and over. That's really the only flaw this game has. Otherwise I recommend this game. Even if you never go through it again, it's certainly worth at least playing through once. Graphics - 10/10 Sound - 8/10 Control - 7/10 Gameplay - 9/10 Fun Factor - 8/10 Challenge - 6/10 Replay Value - 6/10 Overall - 9/10

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