Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nerdicus SNES Review #34: Disney's Aladdin

Title : Aladdin

Publisher : Capcom

Developer : Capcom

Genre : Action Platformer

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1993

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $7-$10

Last night, we lost a comedic genius. The power of humor, and the ability to make others laugh is a genuine gift, and Robin Williams was exceptional at it. He was full of so much energy and life, and there isn't a doubt in my mind that it will never be replaced in the entertainment industry.

It almost felt like this loss hit closer to home, mainly because Robin Williams was one of the major reasons I started getting into voice acting and impersonations. It's not my profession, but it's something I do on the side, and to lose one of my inspirations like that, makes you appreciate what they had to offer even more.
I may have never met him, but I felt like I knew him through his diverse talents that he graced us with over the years.  As a child, Robin Williams was a household name, and I lived and breathed every single one of his movies. From Aladdin, to Hook, to Mrs. Doubtifre and even Popeye, I have never laughed as hard as I did than when I watched him on the big screen. As I grew older, my respect for him did as well. He was just as impressive in his dramatic roles as he was his comedic ones. For a talent such as his, to be lost due to something so serious as depression is heart wrenching. 

I wanted to skip ahead a bit, and review one of the games that also holds a special place from my childhood, Disney's Aladdin. It was not only one of my favorite Disney movies, but also one of my favorite video games on the SNES. Robin Williams took on the role of the all-powerful Genie, trapped to grant the wishes of those who discovered his lamp, and only to later be freed by his one true friend, Aladdin. The Genie, for me anyway, is one of Robin Williams most hilarious characters, and also one of Disney's greatest creations. While you don't get to play as him in Aladdin for the SNES, he's character makes multiple appearances, and just playing through the game, you can't help but think of the of the songs and voices that Robin Williams provided for the character.

Let's take this opportunity to thank the legend, Robin Williams, for all he has given us over the years with his unrivaled comedic talent. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and we are all incredibly lucky to have been able to witness his smile and laughter over the years.

Onward to one of the best games released by Capcom for the SNES, and also one of the most enjoyable Disney movie themed games of the 16-bit generation - Disney's Aladdin.

If you want to talk about brilliant action-adventure platformers, you need to bring DIsney's Aladdin into the conversation. If you played this as a kid, you either begged your parents to buy it or you rented it probably every other weekend from the video store. I think I did a little bit of both actually. There's so much going RIGHT in this game that it's almost impossible to find anything WRONG.

The game was released for both the SNES and the SEGA GENESIS, but my personal favorite was the SNES version. Don't get me wrong, they are both equally good with the major difference being that the Genesis version had Aladdin carrying a sword, but there was something about the SNES version that grew on me. I do believe the music and the graphics were far more appealing in the SNES version, but then again I thought that about most games that were released on both systems.

The game follows the movie pretty damn closely, and it tackles it scene by scene. Hell, you even get to a magic carpet ride with Princess Jasmine which is more like a bonus stage, but it's still entertaining. Not as entertaining as say using the magic carpet to escape the Cave of Wonders (which is almost IMPOSSIBLE), but still fun nonetheless.

The game follows some pretty basic platforming elements, while introducing the original parkour master. Seriously, Aladdin can destroy any professional parkour-er out there today. No one swings from pegs sticking out of random walls as efficiently as Aladdin. Your little monkey friend Abu even helps out from time to time, though I think he's really there just to look cute.


You'll collect gems, destroy enemies, and make death defying jumps. Luckily, you'll always have a sheet in your back pocket to float down to the ground and assist your landings. Seriously, where does Aladdin put that sheet all the time? I'm guessing down his pants...ew...street rat pants.

As I said earlier, you don't have a sword in the SNES version, so you might be wondering what the heck you use to defeat enemies. For the most part, you can either jump on their heads or just avoid them. But, if you're feeling adventurous, you can always throw apples at them. Yup, apples. Take that bad guys...apples of DOOM. I mean, it's a Disney game so I guess they didn't want to be too violent, but I never did understand that.

The game isn't about the enemies though. I would say its 75% platformer, and 25% action game. It's all about making those jumps, and a lot of them are seemingly impossible in the beginning. Once you get used to Aladdin's maneuverability though, and the use of the hovering sheet, the game becomes easier and easier even at the later levels.

Until you fight Jafar, who as one of the only bosses in the game (if you don't count the merchant from the first level), is a pain the ARSE.

What can I say about this game? it's a trip down nostalgia lane. The animations are so incredibly fluid, and along with the epic soundtrack it really feels like you're playing through the movie scene by scene. It's really a shame that the Genie didn't get a bigger role, and is only primarily seen in cut scenes, but he's there. Doing his genie thing in the background.

Final Score (out of 5) :

As one last side note before we conclude this review, I want to thank Robin Williams again for his years of laughter, and his endless amount of impersonations that were so accurate it was as if he had a hundred personalities living inside him. Not only that, but Robin Williams wasn't shy to admit what sort of impact video games had on his life. So much so, that he even named his daughter after the Princess Zelda. Their relationship was obviously magical, and full of love that I hope to have with my own daughter one day.

If you haven't seen the video before, please check it out here. You will never see something more touching than the love they had for each other. 


RIP Robin Williams, you will be missed. Bangarang.



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