Aladdin


Title		Aladdin
Game Type       Platform
Company		Virgin/Disney Software
Year            1994
Original Price  29.99
Programmer      John Twiddy (coded Cool Spot) & Hugh Riley (Last Ninja gfx)
Players		1
Compatibility	AGA only (use the JST or WHDLoad patch for 030 and above)
Submission	Carlo Pirri (email: pirri@hotmail.com)

Review
The storyline of this game tries to stick closely to the plot of the film.
The short version is that you're Aladdin, prince of thieves, and you have
to save Princess Jasmine from the scheming Jafar. Jafar is the Sultan's
adviser and lures you in to steal a magic lamp from the Cave of Wonders
that will allow him to take over the kingdom. If you want the long version
then buy/hire the video, read the kiddie's storybook of the film, or play
through the whole game! :-)

Aladdin is played over 13 glorious stages including the market place, the
desert, the dungeon, and the cave. You guide Aladdin through each
location, all of which have their own unique set of hazards. For instance,
in the market place you leap over burning coals, dodge pots been tossed at
your head out of windows above, and fight off sword-wielding and
knife-throwing Arab thugs. Things don't change too much on the desert
level where the burning coals are replaced by pointy spikes spearing in
and out of the sand, snakes replace the women throwing pots, and in
addition to the sword and knife-wielding thugs you get humorous baddies
tip-toeing about wearing laundry baskets over their heads. The baddies
aren't all that difficult. They mouth off a lot shouting things like,
"Come on!", but often disappear in a puff of smoke after showing them your
big sword 2 or 3 times, or throwing a few apples at them. The biggest
difficulty really is in the timing of your jumps so you can progress
through each stage. It's especially annoying when you're on a ledge that
gives way from underneath you and you fall down, only to have to make your
way back up fighting through the baddies again and losing precious energy
for one of your 3 lives. Thankfully there are a lot of power-ups along the
way to increase your health or number of lives. There are also bonus games
after the completion of each stage where you can earn extra points and
lives, or collect gems that can be used to barter for extra lives or a
wish from the genie. There are other things scattered across the stages to
collect and they are thoughtfully shown to you before the game begins.

Graphically, Aladdin could almost be mistaken for watching the film- the
use of colour and animation is that good!!! Who said AGA is completely
crap?! Readysoft (makers of the Dragon Lair and Space Ace games) and
Cinemaware, couldn't have done it better themselves. However, unlike
Readysoft's "great graphics, shame about the game" productions, Aladdin
has heaps of playability. Humour is also abundantly sprayed throughout the
game. For instance, the trousers of the baddies are made to fall down to
reveal cute boxer shorts (sorry ladies, no G-strings here!), when camels
wheeze on them after you jump on the camels. Aurally, Aladdin is also a
treat. Sound effects, speech, and Eastern tunes really make the most of
the aging 8-bit Paula chip. Also, just to make the game as cinematically
touching as the film, the movie soundtrack, 'A Whole New World', plays
softly in the background with sung lyrics to boot, as the game begins.

Overall, this game probably ranks as my all-time favourite Amiga
platformer. What makes it even better is that it is AGA and thanks to the
JST and WHDLoad guys, it can be played off HD on just about any Amiga
configuration you can think of. The only thing I can perhaps fault about
this game is the somewhat easy difficulty level if you're a seasoned games
player. Being a game of a licensed film that essentially was aimed at
children, this is not surprising. In any case, you can set the difficulty
level higher using the options on the title screen. My advice to anyone
reading this review is to buy it if you don't have it. If you don't have
an AGA machine, then beg, borrow or steal one NOW!



My Ratings February 1999
------------------------

Presentation             88%
------------
Delightful Disney introduction to the game including storyboard, which can
be skipped if desired. Some options to change the difficulty and mode of
control, including a joypad option (yes!). Scores big points for being HD
installable (yes again!)


Graphics                 85%
--------
Splendid cartoon animation throughout the game. Great use of graphical
humour. One of the few games on the Amiga to do AGA justice.

Sound                    86%
-----
Very much in tune (arghhh!) with the film, with the inclusion of the
soundtrack. Splendid use of sound effects, speech and Eastern tunes that
add to the element of mayhem about the game.

Hookability              95%
-----------
The game just screams out to you to pick up the joystick and play it (if
you can drag yourself away from the spellbinding cinematic experience
first)!!


Lastability              85%
-----------
You'll get addicted just trying to beat this game. Once you have you'll
probably go back to it every so often just for the Disney experience.

Overall                  94%
-------
Simply the best platform game on Amiga. It will have you absolutely
mesmerised.




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