RGB Plays - March 2018: Aladdin (SNES/Genesis)

Now that we’ve reached March, it’s time for our second “RGB Plays” thread. The voting was well fought, but in the end the winner was Aladdin:

(Poor Gauntlet Legends getting vanquished)

Despite the fact that the winner was Aladdin on both SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive, these are two completely separate games, both released in 1993, and have driven comparisons and debates as to which is better for years.

In one corner of the ring, we have Aladdin on Sega Genesis as developed by David Perry and his team at Virgin Games (who would later find fame developing the Earthworm Jim games). It had a lot of hype at the time due to the animation, which started as hand-drawn before being digitized as sprites.

In the other corner, Aladdin on SNES. Capcom was known for many things, including their stretch of successful Disney video games. Relatively unknown (at the time) lead designer Shinji Mikami created another classic Disney game conversion, with a specific focus on platforming and swinging.

Both games were huge hits, and both still hold up extremely well today. And they’re both relatively easy, so I really encourage everyone to play each one! I look forward to continuing the debate about which one is better. I’ll leave you with THIS ARTICLE from Polygon, in which David Perry and Shinji Mikami comment on their counterparts’ games, and which one they like more.


Aladdin is awesome though. I’ll try and play through both versions.

Sweet! Prince Abubu won. I’ll probably play through both versions.

I love the SNES version of Aladdin. It’s really good. And great music.

Aladdin Genesis has really, really good animations and that’s about it. I admit I have a bit of irrational disdain for anything Tommy Tallarico is involved with, though.

And why is that?

I’ve been eyeing copies of Gauntlet Legends for the Dreamcast, but alas, it is no to be. :wink:

Thanks for taking the reigns @BTails !

I’m off for the next 2 weeks so I’m going to be playing through both games!

I played through the Game Gear version of Aladdin recently. Was short, but pretty fun. Also, it looks great and did a good job of recreating the story from the movie.

I have the Genesis version, which I haven’t played in a long time, so I’ll start with that. I’ll probably play it on the SNES as well.

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The SMS/GG version of Aladdion is very good in it’s own right. It’s yet another game entirely, absolutely worth playing. Some of the most gorgeous graphics on the console, with background parallax scrolling.

A word of caution, the PAL release of Megadrive Aladdin is optimised and all releases are region-locked. You need a modded console in addition to the NTSC cartridge to play the best version.

Awesome! I’ll start with the Mega Drive-game, but probably play both.

I played through Aladdin on the Genesis last night for the first time since the mid-90’s. (Not sure if I had beaten the game before – I remember Jafar giving me quite the challenge.) The game’s easier and definitely simpler than I remembered. Gameplay-wise the title is probably a B- level platformer at best, but at the same time, perhaps for nostalgic reasons, Aladdin is more than a sum of it’s parts. The backgrounds make smart use of the Genesis’s color palette and the sprites are incredibly animated thanks to the Digicel process used to digitize Disney’s hand-drawn animations, although at times this was detrimental to the gameplay. Many of my deaths were due to trying to do something while the previous animation hadn’t finished.

Looking forward to trying Aladdin on the SNES for the first time and comparing the two titles.

Playing it right now. Damn, I’m still terrible at these Abu levels, I got hit by the second falling pot haha

Is it just me or the escape from the caves has a difficulty spike? It was more or less a stroll through the levels, and all of a sudden insta-deaths traps and trick jumps over pits everywhere.

Is being PAL optimised a bad thing?

On the Megadrive, it is.

Most of the time, only the music tempo is optimised, meaning the gameplay is still tied to the framerate, and the picture is vertically crunched. Aladdin is like that.

When it’s done “better”, the gameplay is at the correct speed, but the picture aspect ratio can’t be modified. Usually coloured borders are added. Sonic Spinball iirc has the correct speed.

But most importantly, these modifications mean that the game cannot be played at 60Hz any more. The music would be played too fast, the gameplay could be too fast too, and sometimes the sync is messed up and you get a rolling garbled picture on the TV. To prevent users from seeing these nasty effects, the cartridge is usually region-locked.

Rarely, the optimisation is done “well”. Not that the PAL experience is the same as NTSC, but at least switching back to 60Hz before powering up the console cancels the optimisations. Sonic 2 does that, but don’t switch during gameplay or the music will be off.

Thankfully, there are plenty of games that weren’t optimised. Using a switch and buying the cheap local PAL cartridge means we can still play the games as they were designed. Unlike on the PS1 where you need to import your collection if you want 60Hz.

But not everything PAL is terrible. PAL-exclusive games are meant to be used with 50Hz and 288 lines and work great!

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I played the first few stages of the SNES game and it’s alright

The way Aladdin jumps on things takes some getting used to but once you figure out the feel the game starts to move along. The game hasn’t grabbed me yet but I also don’t really care for Disney stuff. What’s the purpose of finding all the crystals, is it worth it?

Escape was a huge difficulty spike on Genesis / Mega Drive. By far the hardest level for me.

When I revisit the game, this is where I stop. I’ll try to push through this month. Also, I have the Game Gear version so I’ll give that a fair shake this time as well

I played through the Game Gear game for the first time a few days ago. It’s bite sized but fun. The rooftop levels are pretty neat, and the inclusion of Jasmine is a plus. She is a surprising afterthought in the Genesis game given the character’s popularity at the time.