Two of Disney’s iconic games from the ‘90s have made a comeback with “Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King”. This new collection brings the 16-bit games back to life for players young and old to enjoy on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
This collection features versions of each original game, but upscaled to support high-definition displays and playability on modern consoles. A new “final cut” of “Aladdin” and a tradeshow demo of the game (that hasn’t been made public since 1993) are also included.
Having owned both of these games on Sega Genesis when I was a kid, as soon as I put the cartridge in my Nintendo Switch, the memories came flooding back. As Timon says, “It starts.”
I found each game to be exactly as I had remembered them, though certainly much better looking than on my old-school tube TV and ancient gaming console. As a recent fan of modern 16-bit-style games like “Stardew Valley” and “Graveyard Keeper,” “Disney Classic Games” fit right in my game library with its polished take on the old-school titles.
You can play both games either in their original aspect ratio, in a “full screen” square mode, and in a “stretched screen” mode that fits whatever you’re playing on – in my case, the Nintendo Switch. I preferred the full-screen mode in my playthroughs.
The challenge that I remembered most from these games was certainly still there. I had an easier time getting through “Aladdin” than I did with “The Lion King,” though that’s not to say they weren’t as impossible as I had thought as a kid. Game saves, the ‘Rewind’ feature, invulnerability, and playthrough-viewing options were great additions that really helped with this.
It would be impossible not to mention the music in both games. I would be lying if I said I never got caught jamming out to the chiptune versions of “Friend Like Me” and “Circle of Life” (though The Lion King’s “Death Tag” will forever remain in my brain after how many times I died). It’s worth mentioning that you can listen to these songs (from all versions of the games included) any time via the Soundtrack menu for each game.
What I loved most about this release was the addition of the “Museum” to each title. The Museum is jam-packed with videos, concept art, even Pantone color matches for the characters. My love for behind-the-scenes Disney was definitely catered to with this inclusion; I loved watching videos of the animators and game developers at work. It’s definitely part of what makes this game a must-own for Disney fans.
The least-likable thing about these games has always been and continues to be their extreme difficulty, though the developers have added new features this time around to alleviate that frustration to a degree. If you find yourself stuck, as I did often, utilize the “cheat” features to get you through the tough spots until you land on your paws, er, feet again.
If you’re looking for a classic way to pass the time on your morning commute, pick this up and throw it in your Switch for a most magical nostalgia trip. “Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King” is rated E10+, and is available for $29.99 at major North American retailers.
Check out the trailer below: