Ever being the fair champion of giving something the benefit of the doubt, I finally sat down and gave a fair shot to the SNES version of Aladdin. Already going in to it knowing the Genesis version was the superior version, I do admit I was kinda rooting for this game to suck (just a bit though)
Starting off in Agrabah and forgetting that I have to jump on enemies and do a weird flip off of them was a bit hard to keep remembering, since I am so familiar with the Genesis version. Once getting the hang of the jumping and the high jump off an enemy to go even further mechanically, I was breezing through the game. A lot of the levels are simple, and don’t offer a lot of challenges.
The levels are very vertically focused and offer lots of collectables out of sight if just running along the ground. You have to use extra high jumps to even explore the sides and tops of most buildings and it just felt like the collecting didn’t offer much reward for the risk involved. Sure 100 gems would result in an extra life, but when you're not dying until the final levels, it’s kinda pointless. Also the set amount of Red Ruby gems that are in the levels offer you chances to the bonus stage. The bonus stage is different from the Genesis version as well. Instead of a randomized slot machine in Genie’s head, it’s a big Price is Right spinning wheel. I think this might be more fun than the slot machine, but at the same time it seems kinda too slow for you to want to do it several times. That, and there also is no Abu bonus stages that the Genesis version has.
The levels themselves are pretty interesting, but again don’t touch the magic of the Genesis version…. Ok, I’ll stop comparing it to the Genesis version now. You get the idea.
The levels are fun, and follow the story pretty faithfully. The Dungeon level has been replaced with a pyramid level and that feels super out of place, but the addition of “A Whole New World” flying level is easily the best level in the game. It’s a decent length, auto scrolling and tons of pickups. However it is very simplistic and no challenge to be found. The Flying Carpet escape from the Cave of Wonders was decent too, but didn’t have the same feel of excitement. Maybe it was just a bit too slow
Everything about the game is a “by the book” Disney game made by capcom. It feels perfectly fine… and that's ok if you only had the SNES. But, nothing about the game seems extraordinary, it’s just… fine. The colors don’t pop, the music seems tinny and muted and only A whole new world and Friend Like Me are the only movie music tracks, and they just sound like mediocre midi songs. The jumping and dodging everything feels lame and I never really found a happy consistent rhythm to the game’s extra jump after flipping off an enemy. It was nice to see what the game was, but anyone who still thinks the SNES version is better than the Genesis is flat out wrong. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact.