Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King, PS4
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- The collection includes multiple playable platform versions of the games including their Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and Super Game Boy releases
- A Helping Hand – Players who want to experience the Disney magic in true “Hakuna Matata” fashion can use the Interactive Game Viewer, Rewind feature and cheat codes to aid gameplay progression
- A treasure trove of behind-the-scenes development assets including interviews, an art gallery and a music player shares the rich history behind the Aladdin and The Lion King 16-bit games
- Region/Version: R1/US
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Authentic Game Content with Modern Improvements – Fans old and new can enjoy the original game builds, up scaled graphics, customizable controls, special filters for visual enhancement and more
1x DISNEY CLASSIC GAMES ALADDIN & THE LION KING GAME PS4
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Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King is a compilation of games that stem from the early-to-mid 1990s, an era where licensed movie tie-in games were extremely common. Another commonality of the era was that often the same license would be distributed to different developers for different platforms, so the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions of games would often be markedly different despite sharing the title and source material. This leads to the biggest disappointment, and quite frankly, the reason this set gets 4 stars instead of 5 from me: the SNES version of Aladdin is missing. All of the titles on this set were developed by Virgin Interactive, but Capcom developed the SNES version of Aladdin and evidently the parties were unable to negotiate its inclusion into this package. That fact is disappointing, as the SNES version of Aladdin is quite good and very different from the Sega Genesis counterpart.
The games that are included are the Sega Genesis version of Aladdin, the Game Boy and Game Boy Color ports of the same game, a "Final Cut" version of Aladdin which includes several bug fixes and smaller improvements, and a trade show demo from a trade show in Chicago in 1993 which shows an in-development version of the first level of the game. The Lion King games include the SNES, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy versions.
All of the games play wonderfully and are phenomenally emulated. They look and sound exactly as you would expect. The SNES version of The Lion King is a particular treat from an audio standpoint, featuring an excellent array of remixed music from the Hans Zimmer film score. The set includes all of the features you'd expect: backgrounds, different screen size options, button mapping, etc. There is also the option to turn on certain cheats such as stage select or invincibility, which help but some of the cheats deactivate trophies/achievements (the ones available from the main menu; cheats entered in the games themselves do not).
The biggest improvement to these games is the ability to rewind by tapping or holding L1. In the 1990s, the rise and popularity of Blockbuster Video and similar rental stores irked game publishers. Consequently, some games were specifically designed to combat that by being virtually unbeatable in a single weekend rental. The Lion King is one such game. The first stage is extremely easy, but the second stage, themed around "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," is extremely difficult, featuring complex-for-a-kids-game puzzle segments and several auto-run sections where death is practically assured. Using the rewind feature, you can simple try a jump again. As a kid, I completed the second level of The Lion King exactly once. As an adult, I have no shame in admitting that I abused the Rewind feature to get through it. The Rewind feature, unlike the more formal cheats, does not deactivate trophies either.
One minor gripe about trophies is that there are 15, 12 of which come from playing the Aladdin games. The only Lion King-related trophies are for beating the game on its various difficulty levels. There are far more creative ways to implement trophies than this, and it is disappointing to see how they were utilized in this game.
Finally, the collection includes an incredible volume of extras. Videos of the games' production, key art, excerpts from style guides, music players--it really is pretty much everything you could ever ask for in terms of digging into the games' history.
If you grew up with the original versions of these games, this is a great way to re-experience them. I'd sooner pop in the PS4 disc or Switch cart than pull out my original cartridges for them. With the live-action remakes that came out in 2019, many kids may be interested in experiencing the original animated movies and possibly their tie-in games. This is easily the best way for kids (and adults) to experience these games thanks to the rewind feature which makes them far more playable and fun and removes the frustration factor. An underwhelming trophy list and the absence of the SNES version of Aladdin are disappointing and the latter materially impacts my overall score, but these should not deter anyone from buying this set. This is doubly true if you grew up with these games and now have kids of your own--it's a wonderful way to share these games with a new generation and make for some fun family experiences.
They added some amazing features here that I would love to see more of for future releases. Not only is every version of each game included, they even added some unreleased or "patched" versions of the game. One mode allows you to play the game in the way the developers intended, if they had more time during the original development. It's a genius concept and deserves praise.
This package brings nostalgia in the sense that they are just as bad and frustrating as you remember. Good luck tossing Scare off that cliff Simba! I would much rather spend my time in the places the light can't touch than play these for more than a laugh.