Aladdin & Lion King
Switch version tested
Remember when Disney used to enjoy torturing gamers back in the 1990s? Man, how many times was Mickey Mouse responsible for me punching doors and walls, and for my dad threatening to “cut the plug off that bloody thing”, referring to my console, if I didn’t cut it out? Well now, thanks to the jolly fat man (Santa, not my dad), I get to relive the frustration and the chest pains that accompany it by playing both The Lion King and Aladdin on my Nintendo Switch.
Both games are presented in their original console format but come with a plethora of additional versions which allows you the chance to play versions of each game that you never had access to as a kid. For example, Aladdin has the Sega Genesis original, the Japanese Mega Drive version, 2 Game Boy ports, and a special edition ‘Final Cut’. The Lion King has a similar number of options but has a Super Nintendo port thrown in for good measure. What a time to be alive! If only we’d been able to do this in our teens instead of now when we’re pushing 40 and get tired easily.
Controlling either Aladdin or Simba is as easy as you remember – which is to say, it’s all good until you need to do anything fiddly and then you’ll remember how painful ‘Console Thumb’ really used to be. Fatigue of the old fingertips is a real thing with the Disney Classic series, but it’s not enough to stop you playing. If anything will make you give up it’s that the games haven’t gotten any easier over the last 25 years, so don’t think that having a quarter of a century more gaming experience will make you any better at either of these titles – because you’ll undoubtedly be as terrible at them as you were back then. Not having an autosave option doesn’t help matters either, but at least there’s a rewind option.
If bonus material is your thang, then you won’t be disappointed either. As well as playing multiple versions of your favourite title, you can also indulge your inner Disney geek by checking out behind the scenes artwork and storyboards, all while listening to the entire video game soundtrack. Hakuna Matata my friends. Hakuna. Matata.
Hats off to Disney for remastering these classic platformers. Aladdin and The Lion King have always both been highly collectable titles for gamers from the original console era, so having them readily available to enjoy on a modern-era system is a massive bonus, and even at full price, the Switch version is probably cheaper than buying original Mega Drive/Genesis cartridges from a dealer. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come and more classic titles will find their way onto the Switch with as much love and attention paid to them as Disney has here.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion King is now available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Relive the fun and anxiety of two classic 90s console titles on your Switch, Xbox One or PS4, and remember exactly why you rage quit them so many times in your youth. But despite being painfully tough to master, even for the most accomplished gamer, these remain two shining examples of how platform games should be. Seek thee out the Aladdin/Lion King double-pack, for they truly are a diamond in the rough.
Beard Score: 9/10
Platform: Steam, Xbox, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29/10/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Platformer
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Download link: eShop