This is going to destroy a lot of childhoods.

 


Aladdin

( I know what some of you are thinking about this game.) "Your Majesty, why would you play this game? You know that the Ancient Ones said that no game based off a movie can ever be good!" While I'm confused as to who the hell the Ancient Ones are, I'm still going to flip them off, since I knew this game would be good. I had the Genesis version as a kid (also the SNES version, but that's irrelevant), and it was actually pretty good. However, this isn't the Genesis version; no, I played the DOS version, which, sad to say, isn't as good as the Genesis version I beat so long ago.
 
Normally, this is the part where I tell you about the story, but let's be honest, we all know what the story is: thief wants princess, finds magic lamp, Robin Williams uses his insanity to get him the princess. However, what actually needs elaboration is how the game covers the story, and I can answer that by saying "really well." It covers all of the bases in the movie, even getting a lot of the little details right ( jumping across the coals, the Cave of Wonders escape, Columns A AND B (I was surprised, too)), even if there are some weird portions where the story kinda conflicts with the gameplay. For example, the second level is a desert. Wait, when did Aladdin go to the desert? And why's he going? To retrieve the pieces of the scarab thing? I though Jafar already had the damn thing in the movie!
 
And why does Prince Ali play in the first level, but One Step Ahead play in the one after this? That just seems weird, especially since Aladdin doesn't meet Robin Williams until WAY later! Also, why the hell am I complaining? These songs are as awesome as they were in the movie, and moreso than the Genesis tunes, since they're more orchestrated than tinny. Yet there is one thing I don't like about the music: the timing. No, not the aforementioned song order, but just the way they're played. Certain songs just won't play when they should, and level themes continue until you hit a cutscene, meaning you'll fight that Donkey Kong guard to the sound of that same guard falling into a pile of shit. I think it's some weird glitch, since there were some songs that just wouldn't play ever.
 
Three paragraphs in, and I haven't even bothered mentioning the gameplay whatsoever. Basically, it's a heavily modified Earthworm Jim. By "heavily modified", I mean you don't get extra weapons, the bonus stages are 100% different, and the game focuses a bit more on physical combat than long-range. Or at least that's how I remember the Genesis version; this time around, I found myself pelting the apple-shaped rocks at enemies like crazy. It didn't change much, since the levels were littered with apples, like the level designer thought they were making an Aladdin adaption of Super Mario Bros. However, for the DOS version, they were making a crap version of Earthworm Jim.
 
 Genie just fucking loves monkeys.
The first thing I disliked were the graphics. Don't worry, they're still the same cartoon-y Genesis animations, they're just not as good. I noticed that there were certain features missing, like vibrant colors and blurring effects, and the frame rate would sometimes slow down to the point where I could see each frame of carefully designed animation. You'd think a slow frame rate would help for some portions, like that rug escape or some of the boss battles, but no, the former kept killing me again and again. I think it was just fucking with the storyline. The worst part about it is that unlike the Genesis version, you can't skip past this if you die enough times; it's either perfection (again, moreso than the Genesis, since the gaps are far tighter than before) or a billion deaths. And you only get three wishes. And you haven't gotten the genie yet.
 
So if one level is absolute hell (wow, that was more appropriate than I thought), then the bosses must be harder than the Seven Rectum Rippers, right? (No pun intended.) Actually, no, they're mostly piss-easy. Like the regular enemies, they all have an odd allergy to apples and swords, so just pelt them with apples and whack them with your sword until they go down. OK, Jafar's different, but that's only because he's set fiery landmines across the battlefield, meaning you now have to worry about hitting him AND avoiding flames of death (and his attacks). Not that you'll stand a change; the controls are slippery compared to the Genesis version, and you can't turn around without moving in that direction. Prepare for a lot of death. Either that, or just play the f'ing Genesis version, since it's better in every way. If I had three wishes, they'd be this, in this very order: to become sexier than Bushwald Sexyface, to make this game at least on par with the Genesis version I love so dearly, and for twelve more wishes. Oh, that one doesn't count? OK, then, how about for a PS3 Slim or whatever? I wasn't going to wish to give this game the One Step Behind Award, mainly because I can do that myself.
 

Review Synopsis

  • Decent, glitchy music.
  • Slow, muted graphics.
  • Adequate gameplay that's better on the Genesis.
 
 
 
 
Wow, this was surprisingly well done.
 
 
 

Sonic the Hedgehog

( I originally intended for this to be Sonic Battle, but what should have been a 10 minute tech demo is taking longer than I imagined.) So I went for the next best thing: Sonic the Hedgehog 1 on the GBA. A lot of people think Sonic Team sucks at making 3D Sonic games, but I say those people are wrong, and this game proves it. Sonic Team is so bad at making Sonic games, that they manage to fuck things up when the game's already made for them. That's a level of failure that not even Cartoon Network can reach.
 
What makes the new Sonic so bad? Well, first, the story. Gone is the lovable underdog we admired in the Genesis classic; now, we have to deal with a gruff punk who refuses to take any c-what's that? Sonic originally had all this attitude in the original game? Well, fuck. I guess I can't criticize the game based on that. I can't criticize it based on the original gameplay, either, since that's remained unchanged, too. OK, there's a new Anniversary Mode that adds the spin dash from other game, but the emphasis is still on speed, and while that kinda gets buried beneath a myriad of other platformer elements, like exploration or basic puzzle solving, the actual speeding through levels at insane speeds is still pretty fun.
 Also, the high scores are stupidly high. Weird.
 
On the Genesis. Keep in mind that I was playing the GBA version, which, for some reason, is a helluva lot slower than the original. I don't understand this; the GBA is more powerful than the Genesis, so why does the frame rate drop lower than the effort I put into this particular analogy? I thought the main feature of Sonic the Hedgehog was his blazing speed and attitude. Didn't people like the original game because you could travel as fast you'd like but stop on a dime? Here, Sonic jerks along at about 12 miles an hour and usually manages to trip over a dime and into an instant death chasm. I forgot to mention that the controls aren't good, partly because of the aforementioned jerkiness and partly due to it being slippery at times. You'll often find yourself colliding head-on into enemies you saw and planned to stop before. I suspect this is because Sonic replaced his shoes with banana peels.
 
This mean's you're going to hear Sonic's screams of agony a lot, although you'll wish you hadn't. Not because you're a good person and do not enjoy the suffering of others, but because Sonic Team butchered the sound to the point where his screams of agony sound more horrific than they originally did. Again, I don't understand; the GBA isn't the best sounding system, granted, but it sounds better than what the Genesis was pumping out. So why am I hearing crap like this? Or this? Or...you know what, I'll spare you the trauma such nightmares would produce. In fact, I could go on about how there are graphical glitches or how the screen is too small for a lot of the action, but I think I've made my point: Sonic's much better on the Genesis. I should've known that before this, given crap like Sonic Advance and Sonic Battle, but apparently it took a somehow bad version of the original to teach me the obvious. Perhaps I should give it the Captain Obvious Award for Obvious Reasons. Yea, that'll do.
 

Review Synopsis

  • AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! THE MUSIC!!!!!!!
  • Sonic is supposed to be fast and fluid; the GBA version tried to be creative by being nothing like that.
  • The Sonic goodness is still there, it's just buried under a bunch of crap programming errors.
25 Comments
26 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

 


Aladdin

( I know what some of you are thinking about this game.) "Your Majesty, why would you play this game? You know that the Ancient Ones said that no game based off a movie can ever be good!" While I'm confused as to who the hell the Ancient Ones are, I'm still going to flip them off, since I knew this game would be good. I had the Genesis version as a kid (also the SNES version, but that's irrelevant), and it was actually pretty good. However, this isn't the Genesis version; no, I played the DOS version, which, sad to say, isn't as good as the Genesis version I beat so long ago.
 
Normally, this is the part where I tell you about the story, but let's be honest, we all know what the story is: thief wants princess, finds magic lamp, Robin Williams uses his insanity to get him the princess. However, what actually needs elaboration is how the game covers the story, and I can answer that by saying "really well." It covers all of the bases in the movie, even getting a lot of the little details right ( jumping across the coals, the Cave of Wonders escape, Columns A AND B (I was surprised, too)), even if there are some weird portions where the story kinda conflicts with the gameplay. For example, the second level is a desert. Wait, when did Aladdin go to the desert? And why's he going? To retrieve the pieces of the scarab thing? I though Jafar already had the damn thing in the movie!
 
And why does Prince Ali play in the first level, but One Step Ahead play in the one after this? That just seems weird, especially since Aladdin doesn't meet Robin Williams until WAY later! Also, why the hell am I complaining? These songs are as awesome as they were in the movie, and moreso than the Genesis tunes, since they're more orchestrated than tinny. Yet there is one thing I don't like about the music: the timing. No, not the aforementioned song order, but just the way they're played. Certain songs just won't play when they should, and level themes continue until you hit a cutscene, meaning you'll fight that Donkey Kong guard to the sound of that same guard falling into a pile of shit. I think it's some weird glitch, since there were some songs that just wouldn't play ever.
 
Three paragraphs in, and I haven't even bothered mentioning the gameplay whatsoever. Basically, it's a heavily modified Earthworm Jim. By "heavily modified", I mean you don't get extra weapons, the bonus stages are 100% different, and the game focuses a bit more on physical combat than long-range. Or at least that's how I remember the Genesis version; this time around, I found myself pelting the apple-shaped rocks at enemies like crazy. It didn't change much, since the levels were littered with apples, like the level designer thought they were making an Aladdin adaption of Super Mario Bros. However, for the DOS version, they were making a crap version of Earthworm Jim.
 
 Genie just fucking loves monkeys.
The first thing I disliked were the graphics. Don't worry, they're still the same cartoon-y Genesis animations, they're just not as good. I noticed that there were certain features missing, like vibrant colors and blurring effects, and the frame rate would sometimes slow down to the point where I could see each frame of carefully designed animation. You'd think a slow frame rate would help for some portions, like that rug escape or some of the boss battles, but no, the former kept killing me again and again. I think it was just fucking with the storyline. The worst part about it is that unlike the Genesis version, you can't skip past this if you die enough times; it's either perfection (again, moreso than the Genesis, since the gaps are far tighter than before) or a billion deaths. And you only get three wishes. And you haven't gotten the genie yet.
 
So if one level is absolute hell (wow, that was more appropriate than I thought), then the bosses must be harder than the Seven Rectum Rippers, right? (No pun intended.) Actually, no, they're mostly piss-easy. Like the regular enemies, they all have an odd allergy to apples and swords, so just pelt them with apples and whack them with your sword until they go down. OK, Jafar's different, but that's only because he's set fiery landmines across the battlefield, meaning you now have to worry about hitting him AND avoiding flames of death (and his attacks). Not that you'll stand a change; the controls are slippery compared to the Genesis version, and you can't turn around without moving in that direction. Prepare for a lot of death. Either that, or just play the f'ing Genesis version, since it's better in every way. If I had three wishes, they'd be this, in this very order: to become sexier than Bushwald Sexyface, to make this game at least on par with the Genesis version I love so dearly, and for twelve more wishes. Oh, that one doesn't count? OK, then, how about for a PS3 Slim or whatever? I wasn't going to wish to give this game the One Step Behind Award, mainly because I can do that myself.
 

Review Synopsis

  • Decent, glitchy music.
  • Slow, muted graphics.
  • Adequate gameplay that's better on the Genesis.
 
 
 
 
Wow, this was surprisingly well done.
 
 
 

Sonic the Hedgehog

( I originally intended for this to be Sonic Battle, but what should have been a 10 minute tech demo is taking longer than I imagined.) So I went for the next best thing: Sonic the Hedgehog 1 on the GBA. A lot of people think Sonic Team sucks at making 3D Sonic games, but I say those people are wrong, and this game proves it. Sonic Team is so bad at making Sonic games, that they manage to fuck things up when the game's already made for them. That's a level of failure that not even Cartoon Network can reach.
 
What makes the new Sonic so bad? Well, first, the story. Gone is the lovable underdog we admired in the Genesis classic; now, we have to deal with a gruff punk who refuses to take any c-what's that? Sonic originally had all this attitude in the original game? Well, fuck. I guess I can't criticize the game based on that. I can't criticize it based on the original gameplay, either, since that's remained unchanged, too. OK, there's a new Anniversary Mode that adds the spin dash from other game, but the emphasis is still on speed, and while that kinda gets buried beneath a myriad of other platformer elements, like exploration or basic puzzle solving, the actual speeding through levels at insane speeds is still pretty fun.
 Also, the high scores are stupidly high. Weird.
 
On the Genesis. Keep in mind that I was playing the GBA version, which, for some reason, is a helluva lot slower than the original. I don't understand this; the GBA is more powerful than the Genesis, so why does the frame rate drop lower than the effort I put into this particular analogy? I thought the main feature of Sonic the Hedgehog was his blazing speed and attitude. Didn't people like the original game because you could travel as fast you'd like but stop on a dime? Here, Sonic jerks along at about 12 miles an hour and usually manages to trip over a dime and into an instant death chasm. I forgot to mention that the controls aren't good, partly because of the aforementioned jerkiness and partly due to it being slippery at times. You'll often find yourself colliding head-on into enemies you saw and planned to stop before. I suspect this is because Sonic replaced his shoes with banana peels.
 
This mean's you're going to hear Sonic's screams of agony a lot, although you'll wish you hadn't. Not because you're a good person and do not enjoy the suffering of others, but because Sonic Team butchered the sound to the point where his screams of agony sound more horrific than they originally did. Again, I don't understand; the GBA isn't the best sounding system, granted, but it sounds better than what the Genesis was pumping out. So why am I hearing crap like this? Or this? Or...you know what, I'll spare you the trauma such nightmares would produce. In fact, I could go on about how there are graphical glitches or how the screen is too small for a lot of the action, but I think I've made my point: Sonic's much better on the Genesis. I should've known that before this, given crap like Sonic Advance and Sonic Battle, but apparently it took a somehow bad version of the original to teach me the obvious. Perhaps I should give it the Captain Obvious Award for Obvious Reasons. Yea, that'll do.
 

Review Synopsis

  • AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! THE MUSIC!!!!!!!
  • Sonic is supposed to be fast and fluid; the GBA version tried to be creative by being nothing like that.
  • The Sonic goodness is still there, it's just buried under a bunch of crap programming errors.
Posted by dankempster

That is one awful looking port of the original Sonic. Those YouTube vids were painful to watch. Also, thanks for the blast from the past with Aladdin. I remember playing the hell out of that way back when on the ol' Mega Drive/Genesis. Great blog, your kingliness.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@dankempster: 
 
Yes, that port was awful. I hope more people play it, if only to shut up the "Why won't Sonic Team make another 2D Sonic, that's what they're good at" discussions.
 
I do as well. One of the first games I've ever beat, but not THE first.
 
I didn't think so, but whatever. Wait until the next one * evil laugh*.
Posted by Driadon

Man, no wonder both of these ports turned out to poorly: no Blast Processing. 

Posted by Video_Game_King
@Driadon: 
 
But Aladdin doesn't have blast processing. If he did, he would've escaped the Cave of Wonders in under a minute, destroying about 40% of the movie.
Posted by Evilsbane

Nice review duder.

Posted by Jeffsekai

I was expecting rule 34

Posted by mracoon

I always like Alladin, even the DOS version. It's probably because I didn't have many other games but it was still a fun platformer.

Moderator Online
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Jeffsekai said:
" I was expecting rule 34 "
You want rule 34? Here you are:
 
  
@mracoon said:
" I always like Alladin, even the DOS version. It's probably because I didn't have many other games but it was still a fun platformer. "
I suggest you go back and play the Genesis version. Trust me, it's MUCH better.
Posted by Whisperkill
@Jeffsekai said:
"I was expecting rule 34 "
Posted by GunnBjorn

Alright, i wanna know if other people had the same problem i had with the Genesis version of Aladdin. 
 
I grinded myself to the end, and in the very beginning of Jafar's Palace level i jumped on the rug and then... the screen/game freezed! 
Not lag, not a framedrop, it just freezed and nothing worked anymore. 
The only thing i could do was pushing the reset button and start all over again
Needless to say i tossed the controller and never played the game since. 
 
Is this a glitch in the programming, my genesis or something else?
Posted by Video_Game_King
@GunnBjorn: 
 
It's probably you, as I've never had nor heard of that problem.
Posted by GunnBjorn
@Video_Game_King said:
" @GunnBjorn:   It's probably you, as I've never had nor heard of that problem. "

My good friend, how could it possibly be me. 
I took good care of my games and genesis.
Yes, out of frustration i molested the controller once in a while, but that should not have any effect on my game carts/system.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@GunnBjorn: 
 
Again, this is the first time I've heard of it. Maybe you have crappy cables or something.
Posted by Sweep

I played both the DOS and Genesis versions of Aladdin and enjoyed both of them wholeheartedly. I do not care to look back in case my blissful nostalgia is shattered by the harsh reality. I don't care what version you played, the magic carpet level was fucking badass :D

Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Sweep: 
 
Only in the far-more-forgiving Genesis version. On the DOS, it amounted to little more than a long string of Quick Time Events.
Posted by MysteriousBob

You think Sonic Advance 1 and Sonic Battle were bad. Sonic Battle, while decent I'll let slide. SA1 on the other hand is one of the best games in the GBA library. You don't even know the meaning of the word "bad". Or quality for that matter.

Posted by vidiot

/Reads headline about GBA version
/Begins to shudder violently

Posted by iam3green

cool, i played alladin for the SNES. it was a fun game to play.

Posted by Video_Game_King

  @MysteriousBob said:

" You think Sonic Advance 1 and Sonic Battle were bad. Sonic Battle, while decent I'll let slide. SA1 on the other hand is one of the best games in the GBA library. You don't even know the meaning of the word "bad". Or quality for that matter. "

I've played Pac Man on the Atari 2600. I know meanings of the word "bad' that you can't comprehend.
 
@iam3green said:

" cool, i played alladin for the SNES. it was a fun game to play. "


Different game, probably gonna blog about that one in the future.
Edited by Clbull

 

A lot of people think Sonic Team sucks at making 3D Sonic games, but I say those people are wrong, and this game proves it.

 
 
Actually, Sonic Unleashed more or less proved this. They try to make a new 3D sonic with mainly 2D gameplay, yet they manage to screw that up. And how? Heres a simple explanation.
  • Werehog levels were the most 'fun' part of the game, and thats saying something when many thought it was just a cheap gimmick. Although each werehog level was a 20 - 30 minute hack and slash bore-fest.
  • Controlling Sonic in his normal form at high speed was about as easy to control as a sports car with three flat tyres driving on ice. Too much emphasis on speed and too little emphasis on making a controllable character that can turn without either turning too slowly or skidding out across the level and often into a bottomless pit of death.
  • Annoying cheap sections where an enemy or obstacle can hit you and knock you off a small platform uncontrollably to your death, ESPECIALLY in Werehog levels which can take you from an S rank to a C - D rank in just one death.
  • Requirement to pick up hundreds of Sun/Moon medals to progress in the game. Once I got to the Adabat day stage and realised I need 20 - 30 more Sun Medals, I said "Screw it."
Posted by Video_Game_King
@Clbull: 
 
I can't exactly argue with you on that, not because you're right (you probably are), but because I haven't played Sonic Unleashed. Yes, I AM that lucky.
Edited by ArbitraryWater

I have only played the SNES version of Aladdin, which I understand to be kind of bad in comparison to its genesis counterpart.  Oh well. Can't really remember more than that my cousins had it.
 
I am totally apathetic about sonic at this point. I liked the genesis games when I was a kid, and Sonic Adventure 2 was my first Gamecube game  (Looking back, I probably should have gotten Smash Bros, because SA 2 is kind of mediocre), but now it's clearly evident that Sonic Team can't develop new games worth shit, and I am perfectly fine with that, having always been a Mario guy first and foremost (and come on, even SMS is leagues better than anything Sonic related that has come out in the past 10 years) Bummer about the port though.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@ArbitraryWater: 
 
It's completely different, so you can't compare the two.
 
I LOVED Sonic as a kid, and also played Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. I'd play the Dreamcast originals, but can't find a way.
Posted by ArbitraryWater
@Video_Game_King said:
" @ArbitraryWater:   It's completely different, so you can't compare the two.  I LOVED Sonic as a kid, and also played Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. I'd play the Dreamcast originals, but can't find a way. "
What do you mean? Both Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 were ported to the Gamecube and made Player's Choice with minimal (and I mean minimal) enhancements. I'm sure you could find a copy for dirt cheap without much looking.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@ArbitraryWater: 
 
No, I've played both of those; I'm talking about the Dreamcast originals.