“Aladdin on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis are both amazing games. It’s possible that both games are a perfect 10, and yet they are completely different games.”
– Handsome Bobby AKA The Chronicles of a Gamer.
So, lets figure it out in a coveted 16-bit Sega VS Nintendo showdown.
The rules are as follows: the 2 games will go head to head in 7 categories. Which ever game wins the most categories wins the showdown. The categories are story, looks, sounds, controls, gameplay, fun factor, and replayability.
Both Aladdins were released in 1993. The one on the Super Nintendo was developed by Capcom and the version on the Genesis was developed by a joint effort of Virgin Games and Disney Software.
Round 1 – Story
It’s Aladdin: chances are you have seen the old animated movie or maybe you recently saw the live action rendition of the tale, but if not there’s a genie, a lamp, a flying carpet, a love affair, and a whole new world. The games are based off the plot of the animated Disney film. Both stories are told in cutscenes that take place in between the stages. The Super Nintendo version is told in much more detail. The love between the main characters is highlighted more effectively. There is a romantic carpet ride stage where Jasmine and our hero ride together while we the player control their ride and collect jewels in the night sky. The love story element in the Sega Genesis version is almost non existent. The SNES version wins this round.
1- 0 SNES
Round 2 – Gameplay
Both games are platformers and they have a share of similarities: there are collectables, and both have difficult flying carpet stages. The Genesis version gives us a sword which is handy for blocking enemy attacks. There is no melee striking in the SNES game. To defeat enemies we have to jump on their heads Super Mario style. Don’t try that in the Genesis one.
The Aladdin on the Sega has checkpoints within the stages while the SNES one doesn’t. To compensate for that the Super Nintendo version has shorter stages. The SNES game does the carpet ride better since the level design does a good job of letting us know where to go and creating an organic feeling of fun. During the carpet ride in the Genesis version an arrow will appear telling us which way to navigate. It’s more of a reaction test then an enjoyable video game.
The Genesis version has annoying bats that swarm you and Mega Man disappearing blocks. Both those elements slow down the pace of the game. The level designs aren’t made for a fast rate of play, while the opposite is true over on the Super. Nintendo’s version has a great flow to the entire game. Both games are platformers and the SNES one is a better platformer, so it takes this round.
2 – 0 SNES
Round 3 – Controls
Both games would have the same controls if it weren’t for the Genesis version having a button for the sword. Other than that it’s the same. Both games also handle great and are responsive. This round is a tie.
2 – 0 SNES
Round 4 – Looks
The Genesis version comes off as a bit goofy: there are stop signs poking up through the sand in the middle of the dessert, and when you hit enemies with apples their pants will fall down. The SNES one is more colorful is has a more cheerful color palate. Therefore the Genesis version looks shadier and comes across as more serious, which is appropriate since Aladdin is in a dire situation. The animations in the Genesis release are better. The way the sprites move are more cartoon like. It’s not too surprising either because Disney did work on the game. The SNES game has better transitions: coming out of a stage or after dying is poorly executed in the Sega one. Nothing really happens and the game just moves on to the next screen. Despite that the Genesis version still takes the round. It’s just more appealing.
2 – 1 SNES
Round 5 – Sounds
The music in the Super Nintendo game sounds almost Mario like. It’s that happy and bouncy Nintendo music we all know. Halfway through the mood turns more dramatic as we get deeper into the story. The Genesis one has a wide variety of song styles. Some are slow and moody while others are melodic and just plain catchy. One game has the better music and that game lives on the Sega console. We are all tied up.
2 – 2 Tied
Round 6 – Replayability
Both games have collectibles and bonus stages. The Genesis one has a slot machine mini game that gives you extra lives between stages. The SNES version has a wheel of fortune type of game and once you spin the wheel it takes forever for it to stop. This round would have been a tie if not for one thing: The SNES version has a password system that makes the games easier to pick back up after you put it down. It makes the game and its secrets much more user friendly to explore.
3 – 2 SNES
Round 7 – Fun Factor
Bonus games in between stages are fun and both games have them. In the Sega version there is one boss that is reminiscent of playing the original Donkey Kong. The sword is a great addition. Swiping at enemies after blocking their initial attack is fun. And, in the Sega one there are secret shops hidden through out the stages that allow us to stock up mid level. The Super Nintendo version creates its fun organically. Swinging around the levels then springboarding off of enemies heads is great fun. Mastering the timing in some stages will make you feel like a champion gamer. Which is just what the Super Nintendo version of Aladdin is: the Champ!
4 – 2 SNES FINAL SCORE
Aladdin found on the Super Nintendo is the best version of the game.