Mean Machines Sega


Aladdin
By Virgin Games
Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

 
Published in Mean Machines Sega #14

How To Play

Each level has an exit, leading to further adventures. Pick up the necessary objects on each level. Fight the guards.

Aladdin

The scarlet skies of twilight in ancient Baghdad set the scene for the Adventures of Aladdin. At that time, a beautiful, veiled young maiden would be taken to the highest minaret of the Sultan's palace. There she would tell elaborate tales, knowing that failure to please her exalted audience would lead to death. For 1,001 nights, she wove myriad stories into one seamless strand, The Arabian Nights. Aladdin is just one thread of Scherezade's rich tapestry.

Aladdin is a fearless young man - bold and often foolish. His adversary is the cruel and devious Vizier, Jafar. His goal is wealth and the hand of the fragrant Jasmine. Disney has produced its own version of his adventures, but the main elements of exotic places, magic carpets, a princess and a Genie's lamp and all here.

Scenic Route

Disney's Aladdin

Each of the areas of Aladdin has a distinctive and lavish decor. A variety of fantastic locations is very much part of the tradition of fairy-tale. Here is a glimpse of some scenes, and a rundown of dangers.

  1. Desert
    Dunes and sand snakes, oases and rocky outcrops, the Desert is a flat, spike-infested wasteland. The comic element of Aladdin is present here, with Mickey Mouse ears left out to dry, and impeccable outdoor toilet.
  2. Agrabah
    Aladdin's home town, but an unfriendly place. Boorish guards and hot coals are avoided by swiming across washing lines. Two separate levels take you across the rooftops.
  3. Lava Levels
    The cleverest levels, involving a hair-raising escape, Indiana Jones style, then a reflex-testing dash on the magic carpet, with only the aid of the Genie's finger. All with a glowing backdrop of scarlet magma.
  4. Cave Of Wonders
    Aladdin explores caverns that have lain dormant for centuries. The wonderful colour schemes and gloomy graphics make this extremely atmospheric for a platform game.

    Limpid pools disturbed by darting fish, dripping limestone and strange Simian statues.

Bazaar Inc.

At the start of each game, Aladdin provides you with an instruction screen laid out as a market stall (much in the style of Cool Spot). It covers every area of gameplay.

Genie Bonus Level

Disney's Aladdin

The Genie level pops up after each completed level. An object flashes in the Genie's mouth, the player presses the button to select it. Extra jewels, apples or lives are awarded until Jafar's face appears. You are given one chance for each Genie head collected on the previous level.

Abu Bonus Level

Aladdin's pet monkey has a few bonus levels of his own. Bonus items appear at various points of the screen. Abu collects them while avoiding or breaking the many missiles dropped on him. The level continues until Abu is hit.

Health

Aladdin takes quite a few hits. His health meter is shown as a wisp of smoke. Blue hearts restore a small portion of the smoke. Some spikes, lava or boulders cause instant death.

Throw Apples

Disney's Aladdin

Apples are collected automatically, and offer a safer calternative to close-range sword-fighting. A maximum of 99 apples may be held at any one time. Some bosses need a hail of apples to be beaten.

Spend Jewels

Sparkling jewels are a valuable bazaar commodity. If Aladdin collects five or ten, he can barter them for an extra life or continue with the merchants.

Restart

Restart points are spread across the levels, allowing Aladdin to avoid areas he has already negotiated. Once the Genie smiles, Aladdin's progress is recorded.

Save Princess

Disney's Aladdin

Rescuing Jasmine from Jafar is the ultimate aim, but there's a dozen sub-tasks to be completed beforehand. Finding the two halves of the Scarab, exploring the Cave of Wonders, flying the magic carpet and even travelling inside the lamp are all on the way.

Gus

Aladdin is a landmark game. In many ways a disturbing one. Even a short play illuminates the massive effort that has gone into making a beautifully coloured, stunningly animated depiction of the Disney film. Surely the media of games and films are getting inexorably closer?

But this game that is technically excellent is elementary in terms of gameplay. The action is basic beyond belief, and totally untaxing throughout. The amount of extra lives and continues offered in so many ways makes it about as thrilling as trapeze-walking with a safety net, parachute, jet-pack and 'copter helmet.

Disney's Aladdin

Though the game strives for graphical originality, the gameplay offers nothing new - being a transparent rehash of Cool Spot.

Despite Aladdin's incredible appearance, my first impression was disappointment. These doubts were confirmed by seeing a rotten end sequence within one and a half days.

Games like these once fared very well, even in this mag, but with the range of challenging Megadrive games as alternatives, they no longer deserve to.

Lucy

Disney's Aladdin

Gorge graphics, excellent music and stunning animation do not a great game make - Aladdin is living proof of this. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad game by any means - it does look and sound good and the animation is tremendous and very reminiscent of the Disney film but sadly the gameplay is just standard and somewhat shallow platform fare and, although nice to control, is much too much like Cool Spot to offer any real excitement or incentive to splash out more dosh if you already have the other.

A game which can be completed in less than two days isn't worth £50 of anybody's money - why oh why were so many extra lives and continues included? It would have been so much better and almost worth buying if the challenge factor has been upped.

As it is though, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except Disney fans and die-hard platform nuts who don't already own Cool Spot.

Verdict

Disney's Aladdin

Presentation 85%
P. Three skill levels, and some great cut-screen character portraits.
N. In many ways the game presentation is 'standard' and unimaginative.

Graphics 95%
P. Colours, definition and animation are of the highest order. As close to cartoon likenesses as possible.
N. Some of the areas look a bit two-dimensional, despite parallax.

Sound 84%
P. The familiar themes of the movie.
N. The arrangements are okay, but not rick and romantic.

Disney's Aladdin

Playability 83%
P. Easy enough to get into. Each level covers a large area, with plenty of action.
N. Aladdin is standard platform fare, very much going through the motions.

Lastability 74%
P. The hard level offers the best value. The game is lovely to sit and look at.
N. Aladdin is just far too easy. Most players will complete it within a week.

Overall 82%
The talent and the effort has been channelled into Aladdin's cosmetics. The game behind the painted face is nothing special.