Aladdin: SNES vs Genesis

So the other day I posted in a thread that I thought the Genesis version of Aladdin was not very good and that the SNES game fared better. A few people disagreed with me. Since I can't stand the thought of people being wrong, especially on the internet, I decided to make a couple gameplay videos and write a long winded blog proving my point. Hold on to your butts.
 
Let's start with the Genesis version.
 
 

 
 
The Genesis version was made by some of the guys who would go on to form Shiny and become famous for Earthworm Jim, and knowing that fact you can definitely see some similarities in style between the two. In fact, there's quite a few, because Earthworm Jim is also a game with a solid concept and questionable execution. But I'm getting off track...
 
I'll be blunt: I don't think that this is a very good game. First of all, what's up with that health... smoke? I think that's gotta be among the most inaccurate depictions of video game health, joining such infamous examples as the Resident Evil heart rate monitor thingy and the Trespasser boob tattoo. No, seriously, the health gauge in that game was a tattoo on your character's boob.
 
Er, moving on, not many games had problems with the camera keeping track of the action on screen until the 3d era, but in this one instance, Aladdin on the Genesis is ahead of its time. Moving too fast for the camera is an extremely common occurrence and can lead to many cheap hits as enemies suddenly appear on the screen before you can react.
 
Speaking of cheap, how about the enemy placement? Someone had the bright idea to put all these foreground objects all over the place, but if that wasn't bad enough, they put enemies directly behind them. WTF? If you think the first level is bad, wait until you're in that dungeon level. There's pillars and chains and shit obscuring your vision approximately 100% of the time down there.
 
The music is pretty poor too. The SNES version gets some flack for not having as many songs from the movie in there, but at least they don't sound like garbage. They don't even loop! Let them go long enough and they fade out, then restart a second later. Pathetic. The title screen music is decent, but its is all downhill from there.
 
So yeah, it's pretty bad. I would have recorded more, but for some reason the combination of my Genesis emulator and my screen recording software was causing random system crashes, hence the abrupt end as I decided not to bite off my than my system could chew. But suffice to say that the entire game is riddled with problems. I mentioned the foreground crap all over the dungeon level, but there's also a shit ton of annoying sliding block sequences that will make you pull your hair out. The Cave of Wonders level has spikes that are almost completely indistinguishible from odinary ground all over the place, and the escape from it doesn't have a single checkpoint. Several later levels require you to ride on magic carpets that move super fast in erratic patterns, while enemies appear to take cheap shots at you (Your only defense? Mashing on the 'swing sword' button). The final boss is incredibly anticlimactic. Etcetera.
 
Okay, let's see the SNES game.
 
  
 
 
 
Whereas the Genesis version had some hack and slash going on, the SNES one is a straight up jump-on-their-heads-to-kill-them platformer. Aladdin has more moves, like handspringing off of stuff, swinging from poles and rings, climbing up ledges, and floating with a blanket. The controls feel tighter, especially the jumping and air control, as befits a game with a much greater focus on jumping on and from stuff. The bosses... Well they aren't that much better than the lame Genesis ones, but at least the final boss is suitably epic and requires a little bit of a strategy to kill.
 
But it's far from perfect. The music is aurally decent, but the tracks are super short and, damningly, every segment of each level has the same music. There's something that's just not right about completing an area, the music stopping, then the exact same track starting up again as you begin the next section. Especially when it happens two or three times in a row. It's got an automatically scrolling level, and games with those get instant demerits. There are two magic carpet sequences; one is frustrating in the same 'memorize or die' fashion as the Battletoads speeder level, and the other amounts to an overlong, incredibly boring bonus stage.
 
So in conclusion, we have two flawed games, but one of them is much more flawed than the other. Genesis version apologists, the ball's in your court.
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Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

So the other day I posted in a thread that I thought the Genesis version of Aladdin was not very good and that the SNES game fared better. A few people disagreed with me. Since I can't stand the thought of people being wrong, especially on the internet, I decided to make a couple gameplay videos and write a long winded blog proving my point. Hold on to your butts.
 
Let's start with the Genesis version.
 
 

 
 
The Genesis version was made by some of the guys who would go on to form Shiny and become famous for Earthworm Jim, and knowing that fact you can definitely see some similarities in style between the two. In fact, there's quite a few, because Earthworm Jim is also a game with a solid concept and questionable execution. But I'm getting off track...
 
I'll be blunt: I don't think that this is a very good game. First of all, what's up with that health... smoke? I think that's gotta be among the most inaccurate depictions of video game health, joining such infamous examples as the Resident Evil heart rate monitor thingy and the Trespasser boob tattoo. No, seriously, the health gauge in that game was a tattoo on your character's boob.
 
Er, moving on, not many games had problems with the camera keeping track of the action on screen until the 3d era, but in this one instance, Aladdin on the Genesis is ahead of its time. Moving too fast for the camera is an extremely common occurrence and can lead to many cheap hits as enemies suddenly appear on the screen before you can react.
 
Speaking of cheap, how about the enemy placement? Someone had the bright idea to put all these foreground objects all over the place, but if that wasn't bad enough, they put enemies directly behind them. WTF? If you think the first level is bad, wait until you're in that dungeon level. There's pillars and chains and shit obscuring your vision approximately 100% of the time down there.
 
The music is pretty poor too. The SNES version gets some flack for not having as many songs from the movie in there, but at least they don't sound like garbage. They don't even loop! Let them go long enough and they fade out, then restart a second later. Pathetic. The title screen music is decent, but its is all downhill from there.
 
So yeah, it's pretty bad. I would have recorded more, but for some reason the combination of my Genesis emulator and my screen recording software was causing random system crashes, hence the abrupt end as I decided not to bite off my than my system could chew. But suffice to say that the entire game is riddled with problems. I mentioned the foreground crap all over the dungeon level, but there's also a shit ton of annoying sliding block sequences that will make you pull your hair out. The Cave of Wonders level has spikes that are almost completely indistinguishible from odinary ground all over the place, and the escape from it doesn't have a single checkpoint. Several later levels require you to ride on magic carpets that move super fast in erratic patterns, while enemies appear to take cheap shots at you (Your only defense? Mashing on the 'swing sword' button). The final boss is incredibly anticlimactic. Etcetera.
 
Okay, let's see the SNES game.
 
  
 
 
 
Whereas the Genesis version had some hack and slash going on, the SNES one is a straight up jump-on-their-heads-to-kill-them platformer. Aladdin has more moves, like handspringing off of stuff, swinging from poles and rings, climbing up ledges, and floating with a blanket. The controls feel tighter, especially the jumping and air control, as befits a game with a much greater focus on jumping on and from stuff. The bosses... Well they aren't that much better than the lame Genesis ones, but at least the final boss is suitably epic and requires a little bit of a strategy to kill.
 
But it's far from perfect. The music is aurally decent, but the tracks are super short and, damningly, every segment of each level has the same music. There's something that's just not right about completing an area, the music stopping, then the exact same track starting up again as you begin the next section. Especially when it happens two or three times in a row. It's got an automatically scrolling level, and games with those get instant demerits. There are two magic carpet sequences; one is frustrating in the same 'memorize or die' fashion as the Battletoads speeder level, and the other amounts to an overlong, incredibly boring bonus stage.
 
So in conclusion, we have two flawed games, but one of them is much more flawed than the other. Genesis version apologists, the ball's in your court.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

I was always under the impression that the Genesis version was considered superior as a matter of fact. However, because I have only played the SNES version (and that must have been more than 10 years ago) I really can't contribute anything extremely meaningful to this discussion. I will enjoy reading the replies though.

Online
Posted by SuperfluousMoniker
@ArbitraryWater:  See, that's the problem! At the time, the Genesis version's graphics blew people away, and review scores tended to favor it for that very reason (I'm tempted to dig out my old magazines and compare the reviews now...) But when you strip that edge away in light of the fact that we obviously have tons of better looking games now and judge them both on pure gameplay, the winner is painfully obvious.
Posted by buzz_clik
@SuperfluousMoniker said:

" Genesis version apologists, the ball's in your court. "

 Awww, man. Y'see what you've done? Now I'm going to have to go home and play both just to check that I am right in preferring the Mega Drive version.
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Posted by Deusoma

The Genesis version is superior, if only because they actually give you a weapon. Everything else is graft.
 
And for the record, I prefer the songs to play out to the end and then start over, rather than looping endlessly. Made the midi files sound a little bit more like the real songs from the movies.

Posted by animateria

I thought the PC version was the best?

Posted by TheHT

SNES version is better.
 
Dun dunana dunanananun nunnanun nunnanun nunnanun nunnanunanana. Doo doop dee doo doodidoo doodidoodoo.

Posted by Stefan

Sorry but you are wrong with both games, the Game Gear version was the best. Though it still seems strange to me that the Genesis version was the same as the GameBoy version. 

Posted by Lunar_Aura

It's 2010. My God, let it go man.
Posted by mylifeforAiur

I've only played the Megadrive version, great game ;)

Edited by Supermarius
@SuperfluousMoniker:  well, the gameplay, animation, music, and level design are all better in the genesis version so i don't really see what the snes version has going for it except for better still-image graphics.
 
The gameplay is noticeably worse in the snes version. Very generic hop on-a-dude's head action. Blech.
Posted by niamahai

The MEGA DRIVE version had aladdin using a giant scimitar to fuck dudes up.
The snes version he just had to sit on them. 
 
So MEGA DRIVE wins.
 
 
but i will admit i enjoyed the snes's genie level more.
...maybe the end boss was better, genesis can't render giant snakes yo
...carpet ride levels was fucked up
...nice lava graphics on genesis..
..erg end level mini games..

 but y'know what.
 
 

on the MEGA DRIVE I CAN SEE ALADDIN'S FACE RENDERED AS PER SEEN IN THE MOVIE
 
FUCK YOU SNES APOLOGIST!
 
BLAST PROCESSSORRRR WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by Tordah

Wow, they look like two completely different games. I didn't know that.
 
Since I've only played the Genesis version I can't really comment on which version is better. What I do know, however, is that I have very fond memories and strong nostalgia for the Genesis Aladdin, so I would be completely biased towards it anyway.

Posted by JJWeatherman
@Supermarius said:
" @SuperfluousMoniker:  well, the gameplay, animation, music, and level design are all better in the genesis version so i don't really see what the snes version has going for it except for better still-image graphics.  The gameplay is noticeably worse in the snes version. Very generic hop on-a-dude's head action. Blech. "
Agreed. The controls may be tighter on the SNES, I'm not sure, but it just doesn't look (or sound) as unique.
Posted by JJOR64

I'm one of the few that enjoyed the SNES game over the Genesis game.

Edited by CaptainFish

Genesis version was sweet growing up. Never played the SNES one. That video didn't make me want to. Capcom usually has great sample choices but I didn't like the ones used here, made the music sound too electronic. The genesis version's music honestly sounds like a midi, but all the instruments are spot on. The enemies on the SNES were static obstacles, while Aladdin had a very similar feel to Cool Spot which was also great. I liked all the various traversal stuff in the SNES game, but honestly this isn't really enough for me to compare.

It does seem like a lot of your complaints come from the game being cheap because of scrolling and foreground stuff blocking and what not. That's easy to look back on now and call lame, but back then it was just extra challenge. Also I remember the sliding blocks from the dungeon levels basically being like a Mega Man thing. You can't mark down an obstacle like that as a con for a game. 

Posted by Tebbit
@TheHT said:
" SNES version is better.  Dun dunana dunanananun nunnanun nunnanun nunnanun nunnanunanana. Doo doop dee doo doodidoo doodidoodoo. "
How did I follow that tune!?!? Great work.
Edited by bartok

The Genesis version was by far one of the prettiest games of the 16-bit era but was a standard platformer that wasn't that memorable but wasn't that bad. I never played the SNES version.

Edited by Ujio
@LunarAura said:

" It's 2010. My God, let it go man. "

Seriously. What this guy said. I didn't even realize there was a "controversy" until reading this blog. Oh wait, that's right, because back then I remember PLAYING THE GAME AND HAVING FUN rather than nitpicking its flaws.
Edited by RenegadeSaint

I'm kind of shocked that anyone actually prefers the SNES version.  I see that you're playing on an emulator, but I can assure you that the original Genesis version had excellent controls.  The graphics were beautiful, the music fantastic, and the gameplay rock-solid.  I would advise not running so far to the right of the screen that you get hit by enemies and perhaps you'd enjoy the game a little more.  Sure, there is no excuse for the flying carpet levels, but those don't ruin the overall experience.  Agree to disagree.

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker
@RenegadeSaint:  I don't think the emulation was affecting the controls, I've played plenty of games that way and never had an issue before (I use my PS2 controller, not the keyboard). And I shouldn't have to worry about moving too fast for the camera, that's my point. How many times do you see the camera get off centered like that in any other 2d game, ever? Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, all of em manage to keep the player in the center of the screen. It's sloppy design.