In tandem with the release of a pair of live-action reimaginings comes Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King. The compilation includes a host of Game Boy, Super Nintendo, and Genesis versions of licensed Disney video games with various enhancements, special features, and accessibility options. As far as collections like these go, it’s one of the most complete you could ask for.
Five Disney Classic Games that take you from Agrabah to the Pride Lands
The Disney Classic Games collection includes the following titles: Aladdin‘s US and JP versions on the Sega Genesis, plus colorized and monochromatic versions of the Game Boy game and even a brief trade show demo version. Also, The Lion King is represented with its US and JP Genesis iterations, multiple Game Boy versions, and the port that was present on the Super Nintendo. All of these have accessibility options such as being able to rewind the game to redo a certain action. You’re also able to have each of the games play themselves and take control at any point.
First, Aladdin on the Genesis is one of the highlights of the library. It has numerous differences when compared to the Super Nintendo version. Most notably, Aladdin has a sword that makes the game more of an action platformer. The title takes players through the Cave of Wonders and even inside Genie’s lamp. It has excellent music, level design, and art that all still holds up today for a fun experience.
As an added bonus, a “final cut” version of the game is also present, which provides a variety of bug fixes, combat improvements, and level design enhancements. It just makes Aladdin on the Sega Genesis an even greater sidescroller than it already was. It’s a highlight of the Disney Classic Games collection, and the tweaks are subtle enough to keep it feeling just like the original.
It means no worries, unless you’re playing on Super Nintendo
The Lion King is another great game based on the Disney animated film. It’s a full package, featuring excellent 16-bit sprite work alongside distinct sound and level design. It takes you through many highlights of the movie, ranging from levels in the Elephant Graveyard and a chase sequence with the water buffalo.
For The Lion King though, if you’re playing the Super Nintendo version, you’re going to be using that rewind system quite a bit. While it’s very similar to the Sega Genesis version, the difference is that on the Super Nintendo there is an overwhelmingly brutal difficulty curve. Enemy spawn rates are increased, hit boxes are tricky to comprehend, and even the jump height is lowered. This is a shame since the Super Nintendo version is the obvious winner when it comes to presentation.
An overall excellent package of some 16-bit classics
If you had already assumed that the Game Boy versions present in this collection are nothing to write home about, you’d be right. While they’re nice additions to have in the Disney Classic Games collection merely as a novelty to see how far portable gaming has come, they’re only passable ports of their Genesis iterations. You’re best diving into their home console counterparts.
Overall, this is a great package of some excellent games from the 16-bit era. While I personally believe that the Genesis version of Aladdin is much better than the one seen on the Super Nintendo, the Disney Classic Games collection could’ve used the Super Nintendo version of Aladdin to make this feel more like a complete package. However, the art gallery, quick-save features, and added extras such as the final cut of Aladdin solidify this collection as the definitive way to experience these games. It would certainly be great to have more Disney compilations following this.
A review code was provided by the publisher.