Some of us will remember playing Aladdin and The Lion King for the first time in the early ’90s. Back then, these were huge titles that have since been played for decades after release. Well, we aren’t finished yet, because now they’re back in a bundle with lots of modes and features, like saving and rewinding, in the Disney Classic Games collection. I don’t think I really need to explain what these games are. With the release of the live-action movies, it seems perfect timing for these games to be dusted off and reworked for today’s generation.
Here’s what I liked:
Forever a Classic — I can still remember playing these as a kid. I was at my cousin’s house. I didn’t own an SNES but he did, and we beat both games when they released. Later on, I had an emulator on a computer and downloaded Aladdin. It had features like saving whenever you wanted and rewinding the game. I didn’t play it at this time, but my mom did and loved it. Since that time in the early 2000s, I haven’t put much thought into these two games. But now it released again, in the same year the new movies have. It’s like hitting the refresh button. They’re exciting again, and when you play them, you’re reliving “the good old days” which to me was basically what Hakuna Matata means (no worries). I could just end things right here, I mean what else is there to say besides it has released and you should go play it?
Extra Modes— We can’t just have a straight port without any extras, that would be cruel. Luckily there are quite a few versions of the games included. You can even play Gameboy versions! I was surprised these modes were added, as I had never played them before. I didn’t realize that there was a way to rewind the game. I had beaten Aladdin about five times to get all the achievements. I did it by mistake while playing The Lion King. I don’t know if I would call it cheating, but I took advantage of it after I figured it out. Saving when I wanted was also great. I didn’t have to lose all my continues and start over. If you can tell, I enjoy having any advantages to complete games.
Music — No Disney film seems complete without a musical score. The game delivers, and while you play you can almost sing along to it. There really wasn’t anything added that I was aware of, but it’s always something to enjoy. It’s present in every version of the game. Don’t feel like playing the game in order to hear the music? That’s fine! There is an in-game music menu that allows you to pick what tracks you want and even gives you the option to shuffle and repeat them. What an awesome feature. Now if they could have only added the sing-along versions.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Longevity — How long you’ll be able to enjoy these classics is up to your love for nostalgia. You can complete both games in just a few hours, and the modes while adding game time, are really just altered versions of the same thing. While I loved the content, I don’t see myself launching the game again any time soon. I guess my main concern is the price tag being a bit steep. Sure there’s lots of content, but these games are 25 years old! This amount I think would be better suited for a complete remake with better graphics. That’s all I have to complain about, even though it’s not much of a complaint. For what it is, they did do a great job.
What isn’t to like? It delivers on all fronts and comes as advertised. The only reason not to buy it is the higher price tag. That is just my personal opinion. There is indeed a ton of features and extra content to look at. You can even watch videos from the making of the games. It’s like Blu-Ray features that you’d actually want to watch. I think they just needed one more game. Maybe I’m getting greedy, but why not include Toy Story? It came out after these two and the newest Toy Story launched this year. That would have been just perfect. For those who absolutely love the two games included, you’ll be happy. Anyone who thought they were just decent, well they’re still going to be just decent and you have no reason to replay something you’ve already played. Unless you like achievements, then that’s a good reason to buy this because it is a very easy list.
Score: Highly Recommended
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King was published by Rising Star Games and developed by Amplify Creations on Xbox One. It was released on August 29, 2019, for $29.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.