In the modern age, we have been conditioned to accept multi-platform releases as the norm. Equally, nowadays each title is a carbon copy of its competitors. Hence, Similar graphics and same features. Virtually everything, a direct match, in all but a few cases. Mainly, this is due to the proliferation of hardware, which over time, gave development teams the equivalent means to production.
As a result, these advances have leveled out the playing field. In today’s world, tech-limitations are few and far between. Those that are aged enough to have lived through the 16-bit era in all her majesty will recall the dog-eat-dog days of the late ’80s and onwards.
A period when games had alternate versions on competing consoles, which only stoked the flames of the ensuing console war at the time. Sega Genesis Vs. SNES locked in battle, in what was the ultimate fight for supremacy.
Just the other day, I was conversing with a colleague about Disney’s Aladdin released in 1992. Not before long things escalated, and a hostile war of words took place. Of course, tempers flared on either side. Soon enough, I realized where Her loyalties lied, and that we sat on opposing sides of the fence. It was all good-natured of course, but the hot topic had got our blood-racing.
Convinced that the Genesis version of the game was superior, and far too stubborn to shift my firmly held belief-system, I went out to set the record straight. Recently, I revisited both games and deemed it only right to share my thoughts.
The only accurate way to do this, of course, is via a side-by-side comparison. So that is what I did.
Aladdin-SNES VS Genesis Head-To-Head
The SNES version, licensed by Nintendo and remade by Capcom released just a few weeks after SEGA’s iteration. Hence, the reason for many of the subtle yet visible changes. Most notably, compositions vary between the two. Unlike the SNES title, Aladdin on the Genesis props up the action, with official themes from the movie. For the most part, it sounds beautiful. In contrast, the SNES OST deviates from the film but does a decent enough job of complimenting the mood and feel of on-screen action.
Sega’s launch benefited from its collaboration with Disney, whose animators worked closely with the development team. As a result, the eye-popping animations accurately portray the cast and settings of the film. What’s more, the high-fidelity sprites bring each model to life with renewed vigor. Although the character models on the SNES version are decent, the reality is, they finish second best by comparison.
Regarding visual standards, both versions are stunning and offer graphical excellence way ahead of their time. Playing the two in sync, I was surprised to see that the SNES version held more detail within its backdrops. On the contrary, Aladdin on the Genesis shares bland backgrounds with little substance, often blurred or jaded. Up close though, it’s more of an even affair. That said, a greater depth of color makes the visuals pop on the SNES, and the distant vistas appear fleshed out. It’s more of an even contest than you might think.
Perhaps the most significant margin of difference can be drawn from the varying playstyles. Aladdin on the Genesis offers up a more action-themed adventure boosted by the ability to use a sword. Here, the game incorporates hack-and-slash elements and direct enemy engagement. Instead, Aladdin on the SNES places the onus on platforming, and world traversal via death-defying acrobatics, which acts as a fresh and fun departure.
To conclude, Aladdin on the Genesis pips SNES’s equivalent to the post. Mainly, this is courtesy of its faithfulness to the film, an official OST and the action-orientated game-play it promotes. Surprisingly though, I thoroughly enjoyed Aladdin on the SNES, and it may well be nostalgia that’s clouding my judgment. In truth, there isn’t a great deal between them, and a lot of it comes down to taste.
It’s a hot topic, with loyalties split on the subject. So please let us know your take in the comments. Your thoughts matter to us.
Screenshots via MobyGames