Shinji Mikami Prefers The Sega Version Of Aladdin, Even Though He Worked On The SNES Game
Posted by Damien McFerran
"The Genesis version had a sword, actually"
Those of you old enough to recall the epic 16-bit console wars will remember that Sega and Nintendo fans utilised every available weapon they could to belittle each other. SNES owners boasted that they had Street Fighter II first, and Sega fans wore unbearably smug grins on their faces when they got an uncensored (via a code) version of Mortal Kombat while their Nintendo-owning chums had to make do with a rather lame blood-free port.
Another famous bone of contention is Disney's Aladdin, which was released on both formats in different forms. The Sega Genesis / Mega Drive edition is perhaps the most famous, having been coded by legendary designer Dave Perry, founder of Shiny Entertainment. The SNES version, on the other hand, came courtesy of Capcom, and Resident Evil creator worked on the game as a designer.
Mikami has broken his silence to finally put the debate to rest — the Sega version is the best one:
If I didn't actually make [the SNES game], I would probably buy the Genesis one. Animation-wise, I think the Genesis version's better. The Genesis version had a sword, actually. I wanted to have a sword.
It's not only the lack of bladed weapons which has tainted Mikami's memory of the game; the cover art also threw up problems — it didn't include the Genie character, which was arguably one of the most iconic members of the cast:
Originally, the front of the Super Famicom package had a genie on it. Disney said no to that, so we had to move the genie to the back of the package in a smaller size. But the Sega version, they had the genie on the front.
According to Polygon — and Dave Perry himself — the lack of Genie could have something to do with Robin Williams and his annoyance at the way Disney was using his character's likeness in promotional materials, such as video games. "That put the use of the Genie as 'sensitive' during those discussions," says Perry.
It must be nice to have someone like Mikami picking your game over his own, but to his credit, Perry admits that he would take the opposite view:
I'm really biased as we made the original game and got Disney to deliver the animation. So I'd flip the quote, 'If I didn't actually make the Genesis version I'd probably buy the SNES one'.
So, which version do you prefer? Do you think Mikami is being too hard on the game he helped to create? Let us know with a comment.