Welcome back to Retro Journey!
Yup, we’ve done a rename now! The series is based on my adventures on the train, so it only makes sense for it to be named after that basis.
Yesterday we decided we’d run through Aladdin on the Mega Drive today. I’m quite excited to play Aladdin as I played the game they did for the Super Nintendo. I never got the chance to touch Aladdin for the Mega Drive in my youth, so this looked to be quite exciting. I’m rather fond of the film series too – Having grown up watching the film and animated series, I found myself drawn to the streetwise Aladdin and his adventures. Genie was a riot and scenes with him still have me laughing to this day.
So as a bit of an Aladdin junkie – I saw no harm in tackling this next game. Heck, I welcome it. What awaited me was a challenge far tougher than I had expected. So welcome to my latest… Retro Journey!
As stated, I have only ever played the SNES version of this game. So I expected something along the same lines. What I was treated to was a far better experience, if not a bit frustrating.
Starting the game up had me surprised. Nothing felt familiar from the SNES version that I remember, other than the overall theme of ‘Aladdin‘. A nice little start up screen greeted me that broke down the story of Aladdin and the deep lore behind the movie. Then I jumped into the game, and the graphics had me smiling. These seemed to fit the bill of the film far more than the SNES version did, which was refreshing!
After reading up on the game, I discovered why. The team behind the game worked very closely with Disney animators to help make sure that the sprites could match the style of the film as much as possible. The team that worked on the game were comprised of staff such as industry legend Dave Perry who would go on to make Earthworm Jim, and their style is felt very heavily in this game.
Music wise – VERY good. I loved the translation of the classic tracks that the team managed to pull off. It had me buzzing the whole time; each tune was pretty much pulled from the movie soundtrack. Humming to myself comfortably alongside some decent sound effects, it was a good showing for the music. No complaints on my end!
Then I started to play the game, and oh my goodness. I consider myself to be a good platformer player, Mario, Skyblazer, heck, even the jungle jumping sections in Maple Story. I’ve put my hours into the genre for sure. But Aladdin took me for a hell of a ride the my time I spent with it. It seems easy out of the gate, but the hit detection is pretty deceiving. I think to myself “Okay, I’ll judge this jump and then swipe my sword at this next enemy.” and next thing I know I’m stood practically kissing the man and taking damage!
Combine this with the slew of obstacles the game throws at you. From lava rocks on the grounds to jump over, to careless denizens of Agrabah tossing their pots at you as you walk by! What a group of savages! I’m just a poor street rat minding my own business only to have containers fall onto my head!
Now here is where I have to admit a very hard to admit fact. I didn’t manage to get very far in the game. I died – A lot. I’m not sure if it was my own lack of focus, the train, or if I have to accept that I’m no longer the platforming master I once was. I found the game to be pretty frustrating, in where I considered myself to a veteran of the genre, it was quite the opposite with Aladdin. I felt like I must have been bothering the people next to me as I could swear I had done a few frustrated huffs upon a few deaths. I do suggest some serious patience to pick this game up.
Continue playing Aladdin? Yes.
With gritted teeth, I say that statement. I enjoyed it. I didn’t love it or anything. But I’d continue it for the sake of my own pride. I’ve finished many games, Superman 64, Sonic 06, etc. Aladdin isn’t anywhere near as bad, sure. But it is a game I just want to complete to say I’ve done it. Since I felt like it really threw a few punches at me.
So bring it on Aladdin. I’ll show you a thing or two!
John Stickley over on Facebook gave a slew of suggestions for me to give a shot. I picked one out of the list that I’ve always been keen to play – Alien Breed.
I know, I know. “You’ve never played Alien Breed?!” Do forgive me, guys. But I’m excited to hear about what people think since I’ve heard nothing but love for the series. Hearing about the development caught my interest in the game. So I’m pretty excited to give Alien Breed a playthrough tonight.
Don’t forget! You can suggest a game to me to play! I might just feature you in this series! Besides, it gives me an excuse to keep playing games in my spare time!
Check back tomorrow for my next Retro Journey!