This is going to destroy a lot of childhoods.

 

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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.
 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.
 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.
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