Disney Classic Games – Aladdin and The Lion King (Switch) Review
In the 1990s you had movie tie-in games for everything. No matter the show or movie, it got a game. Not a lot of them were very good, but the ones that were have been remembered fondly since. I had heard for years that the Aladdin and The Lion King games were good and that despite being hard and obtuse they were worth playing even today. So do these games have a place today? Let’s find out.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin & The Lion King doesn’t feature just two games – there are multiple versions of both games from a number of consoles. While they’re never named, there are Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Megadrive versions of all the games. There’s also the Super NES version of The Lion King, but not Aladdin as that game was made by Capcom. Perhaps because of that missing game they felt the need to do more with Aladdin, so they’ve included a ‘Final Cut’ version of the game as well. There’s also a trade show demo of the game which hasn’t been playable by the public since its initial appearance in 1993.
Despite all these choices about which version of the games to play, all versions of both Aladdin and The Lion King play pretty much the same. If you play through the Gameboy versions of Aladdin, you’ll realise that whilst looking completely different, they’re pretty much the same games as the Megadrive version, just with the limitations of the handheld systems. It’s great that they included the Game Boy versions for completeness sake, but the low framerate and the way the games move on a screen that isn’t 2.6 inches wide just gave me motion sickness, and just isn’t much fun. The Final Cut version of Aladdin tidies things up a bit, and that’s probably the version you should play.
Home console games used to be insanely hard. As a lot of games used to be arcade games, developers would make them harder so you would feed it more credits. In the 90s however, there was a new reason to make games hard – rentals. They made these games more difficult by design to prevent people being able to finish it in one night’s rental. Now in 2019, all this leaves you with is frustrating games that seem obtuse for no reason. It obviously was not the case originally, but that reason simply doesn’t exist anymore.
To mitigate this, instead of tampering with the game’s code or making them easier, they’ve added a few tools to help get you around the difficulty. All of the games feature a rewind function – just tap a button and you’ll zip back in time and get your chance over again. There’s also a watch feature which lets you watch the games play themselves. You can even fast forward and then take over whenever you want. The question is though should you even play these games if all you’re going to do is watch it? On the other hand, if you’re not going to use these assist features, can you put up with the difficulty?
Like most collections you can choose to play the games in a number of views – zoomed-in, stretched (please don’t though) and with a number of filters if you really want to put on the rose-tinted glasses. There is something kind of funny about playing a Game Boy game with a TV filter. There’s also a bunch of included behind-the-scenes features, artwork from both the games and movies (at least for Aladdin). You can also listen to both games entire soundtrack should you wish.
Aladdin and The Lion King are amongst my favourite movies ever, like most kids who grew up in the 90s I’m sure. One thing I never did though was play through any of the games on this collection before, at least not for more than a handful of minutes. I’m not sure if that helps me here or not, but despite this being a great and well put together collection, there’s just not a lot here if you have no nostalgia for the games.
+ Perfectly presented and emulated
+ Watch and rewind overcomes games difficulty
+ Lots of bonuses content
- If you don't cheat, they're stupidly hard
- Still short games
- No parity with special features between the two games