Video game adaptions from huge films are nothing new. Infact they have been doing them since aaaaaages ago.
Rewind the gaming clock back to 1993 and hot off the heels of the Disney blockbuster animated flick Aladdin (1992) came the video game accompaniment.
And, as with the movie, the interactive 16BIT title was just as astounding.
Releasing on the cartridge based SEGA Genesis or Megadrive (depending on which territory you lived in) and Super Nintendo, this was a 2D action platformer where you played as the movie and games’ namesake, Aladdin himself.
Featuring multi-tiered Levels, collectibles galore, film based memorable scenes, voice actors from the film including the late Robin Williams and one epic carpet flying Level which was then a ground breaking 3D-ish flying sim segment.
As a follow up to Aladdin, Disney then outdid themselves with what I still believe to be the greatest animated film ever, The Lion King in 1994. A game released that same year on the 16BIT cartridge SEGA and Nintendo systems.
Taking stock from what made the Aladdin game a must own among gamers of the 90s, The Lion king in its eye popping graphics at the time seemed to push the home consoles to their limits – or opened up untapped power inside their innerworkings.
The Lion King game featured you playing as a young Simba at the onset. Certain new initiatives had been added in the way of gameplay mechanics and further character movement fluidity.
If it weren’t for the slight pixeled environments and characters, you could be forgiven for mistaking The Lion King video game as a high calibre present day mobile title.
Now, 25+ years on both titles have been re-released in one bundle, just as they were back in the day with Disney’s Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King.
Each game separately playable has its own set Menu which includes differing versions of the game, from the EU, North American and Japanese aswell as differing console versions too.
To compliment both games each one has a series of a Behind the Scenes and Making of aswell as Art and full history on how the titles came to be.
Each game generally offers up a few hours of golden retro play – and if you get stuck, each one even has a play-through video you can watch.
I remember playing both back in the day each weekend and after school, gameplay was challenging at the time and even now it holds itself in that difficulty area in parts.
Unlike back then though, you can save your game progress – in the 90’s (until the Sega Saturn and PlayStation) there was no saving anything – death was permanent, unless you had a game that gave you a Passcode to pick up where you left off.
Disney’s Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King also gives you varying screen ratios to play in.
In the era where everyone has a flat screen, most have a smart TV and a large portion of those are 4K or higher, you’re likely to opt for the boxed view, but if you want to see each pixel in its glory you can opt for full screen.
Being games that I had not played for quite some years it was fantastic to go back to the days and two of the many games that solidified me as a gamer all those years ago.
Those that played in the 16BIT days will most definitely want to replay these, and for those that did not have the privilege of being born before the hey-day of video gaming both Aladdin and The Lion King games have stood the test of time and are still just as playable now as they were when they originally released.
Released: October 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Genre: Platformer, Retro
Developer: Digital Eclipse