An updated version of the Disney Classics Game Collection is coming to PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, adding both The Jungle Book and the classic SNES version of Disney’s Aladdin from 1993. The previous version of the collection was released in 2019 with only the Sega Genesis version of Aladdin, but considering how different the two games are, it only seems fair to add the SNES game to the updated collection.
Which version of the game is the best one has long been debated by gamers and developers, with designer Shinji Mikami, who worked on the SNES game, noting in old interviews that had he not worked on the SNES game, he would have been more likely to buy the Genesis version. So, which game is really the best, and what makes it stand out?
Super Nintendo’s Aladdin game was designed by Capcom, who was known at the time for creating incredible versions of games based on a number of Disney films. The SNES version of Aladdin has always had a lot going for it, especially aspects that make the gameplay far superior. Controlling the character was much smoother, which meant running, leaping and encountering enemies was a lot easier to manage, and the controls system responses were more carefully timed.
Speaking of timing, the pacing of the SNES game was also superior, despite the fact that some levels deviated pretty far from the original plot of the movie. In platformers, the pacing is often everything as the player character travels through their world, leaping through obstacles, exploring hidden crevices, collecting items and jumping on enemy heads to defeat them.
In many ways, the SNES version felt much more like a platformer than its Genesis counterpart, which led to familiar game experiences for platformer fans. This also made it a little bit easier to play for younger fans of the film.
Developed by Sega and Virgin, it can’t be denied that the Genesis version of Disney’s Aladdin stuck much more closely to the plot of the movie, featuring familiar scenes and moments, as well as those catchy songs that make classic Disney films unforgettable. For a lot of the older games inspired by animated films, the plot and design were often so distant from the movie, all that seemed recognizable was the character.
Genesis offered more opportunities to explore Agrabah, which wasn’t entirely possible in the SNES version because of the game’s platformer style. While it wasn’t always easy to figure out which way to go in the game, exploration led to intriguing bonuses and Easter Eggs that weren’t present in the SNES game.
Aladdin also had a sword in the Genesis game, which allowed him to battle his enemies fiercely, rather than jumping on their heads to quash the attack unrealistically. He felt more like a real hero, but a lot of the things that made the Genesis version feel superior were often met with the game’s downfalls. It was much more difficult to play, and the controller wasn’t intuitive at all, which led to a lot of player frustration.
Choosing between the two games is almost impossible because they are so different from one another. One of the only similarities they seem to share is the characters, but beyond that, they don’t even come close to being the same game. Taking a look at which of these games Disney chose to include in the original bundle suggests that the Genesis version is superior, and in a lot of ways it is.
The Genesis version is a more complex game which, in a lot of ways, makes it more rewarding to play. Mastering the gameplay while exploring quests and locations that are related more closely to the actual movie gives it an edge the SNES version just doesn’t have. The graphics were also much better, which is always welcome when it comes to older games.
On the other hand, the platformer simplicity of the SNES version makes the game more accessible to a wider range of players, especially younger gamers who are still grasping controls, movement and coordination. Anyone can argue that the games weren’t made for younger players, especially the Genesis version of the game, but given the subject material, kids are gonna want in on that action, and the easier it is for them to play, the better.
In the end, it comes down to player preference, and everyone’s opinions are different. The nostalgic draw of both games will appeal to a wide range of gamers who can’t wait to get back to Agrabah and help Aladdin face the foes that oppose him.
The original releases for Disney's Aladdin on SNES and Sega Genesis were so vastly different from one another, they were barely even the same game.