News Article

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.

[via polygon.com]

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User Comments (93)

Artwark

#1

Artwark said:

Yeah the genesis one's better. Though both versions are still great regardless.

RadioShadow

#2

RadioShadow said:

Well the fact Dave Perry and Doug TenNapel later on made Earthworm Jim for the Mega Drive (again, the original on the Mega Drive was superior), it's no wonder the Mega Drive version was superior!

Spoony_Tech

#3

Spoony_Tech said:

@RadioShadow Yeah the Sega one was better but they were both different games! It's not like it was the same game but just ran better on Sega hardware. Now Earthworm Jim is a different story as it was slightly better on Sega systems. Can't figure out why it sounded better on Sega as oppose to Nintendo. Nintendo was suppose to have better sound chips.

Dpishere

#4

Dpishere said:

I still own this game for my Genesis, and as a kid it was one of my favorite games to play because of the excellent music. Some great level design too!

Nintenjoe64

#5

Nintenjoe64 said:

I remember when Disney games and Bubsy the Bobcat being the 'proof' that Mega Drive was better than SNES. Now it's MGSV proving PS4 is better than XB1.

Peach64

#6

Peach64 said:

Both great games, but I prefer the Megadrive one too. I played it again recently expecting that it would never live up to the childhood nostalgia but it still felt great.

KeeperBvK

#7

KeeperBvK said:

The Mega Drive one is definitely the better one.
But man, I had no idea Mikami worked on the SNES one.

eviLaTtenDant

#8

eviLaTtenDant said:

I didn't play much of the Sega version but i still remember the SNES game as quite a masterpiece while ridiculously easy though.
Man, would it be awesome to see these games on the Wii U's VC.

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

And in these days he has zero problems sacrificing his regal beard for a Zelda commercial. Sounds about right.

WaveWarlock

#9

WaveWarlock said:

I played both games during my youth and i still prefer the SNES version.
Sure the genesis version wiped the floor over the SNES version in terms of character animation and yes, Alladin had a sword(didn't matter to me)but the SNES version did everything else better. The genesis version had horrid music, terrible washed out darker & limited colors(go figure, this IS the genesis), blander and uglier environemnts and weaker SFX.

The SNES versions music was beautiful, the visuals were more diverse, far more colorful and packed more detail ultimately making the experience more pleasing to both the eyes and ears. :P

Jeyl

#10

Jeyl said:

I prefer the SNES version. The sound design was good, the graphics a bit larger and, I'll be honest, that reveal of the palace once you make it on top of the roofs was an amazing reveal.

And honestly, Aladdin without the sword just fits his character better.

dsparil

#14

dsparil said:

I liked the SNES version much more. I thought it was weird that Aladdin had a sword in the Genesis game. I associate Aladdin more with acrobatics than swordplay and the SNES had that sense to it.

burninmylight

#15

burninmylight said:

I got the Genesis version for Christmas one year, and it's still sitting somewhere in my old bedroom at my mom's house. Guess it's about time to dust off old Genny and take myself back to simpler days.

MAB

#17

MAB said:

I would have been disappointed buying the SNES version because the box clearly shows Aladdin with a sword ↓

Untitled

I mean come on, even Abu has a sword in the Megadrive version ;)

Untitled

KeeperBvK

#18

KeeperBvK said:

The Mega Drive one having worse music, SFX and visuals than the SNES one? Au contraire. The SNES one had comparatively washed out colors and overall looked surprisingly unpolished for a Capcom game, while the Mega Drive one had vibrant colors, more diverse backgrounds, better animation, better music and also better SFX.
Plus, the collision detection was better, it had a far better sense of challenge to it (the SNES one just switched back and forth between being either laughably easy or frustratingly hard, especially if you wanted to get all gems).
Nah, the SNES one is inferior in every single regard.

Gonzo1

#19

Gonzo1 said:

Megadrive version for me, still one of my most favourite games today.
Another awesome game which was also better on Megadrive was Robocop vs Terminator.

WaveWarlock

#20

WaveWarlock said:

Comparison vid. ;)

Genesis

SNES

Yeah, the Genny version has richer colors(with the limited pallette that the genesis has) and superior character animation/effects, but boy does the sound hurt my little 8-bit ears. Sounds like tingey ear piercing bleeps and sega bloops that rose from the depths of 16-bit hell. The SNES version based on what i remember smoked the genesis version in the gameplay department which i'd imagine has held up a lot better. No surpise there, this is capcom we're talking...Vs some silly western dev. ;)

MAB

#21

MAB said:

The SNES version is way too slooooooow and the circus music sounds like it was composed by little old lonely Larry ;)

Untitled

Plutonian

#22

Plutonian said:

The Genesis version was one of my favorite games at the time, and I beat it countless times. It looked fantastic, had great sound, smooth controls and was just incredibly fun. In my opinion it's a classic.

retro_player_22

#24

retro_player_22 said:

I got both versions so it doesn't really matter to me, though if I just need to play one I'll go with the Super NES version. The Genesis version is good, though I felt Capcom did the best work in bringing Aladdin to gaming just like how they did Chip 'N' Dale, Duck Tales, and Darkwing Duck. Sega basically just paid the Disney animators to make the game, Capcom on the otherhands create their version on their own.

Stargazer

#25

Stargazer said:

I liked both. The Genesis version had the better graphics, animation, and music. But the SNES version, imo, is more fun to play and has held up better over the years gameplay-wise.

TeeJay

#27

TeeJay said:

Whoa, I didn't even know the Genesis had their own version of this game. Of course, I didn't even know the Genesis existed at the time but still. The SNES vesion was a part of my childhood.

sdelfin

#29

sdelfin said:

@Spoony_Tech while the SNES sound chip was superior in some ways, it was not necessarily the best in every case. I think the biggest limiting factor for the SNES' sound would be cart sizes. SNES sound was sample based, so the sound samples would have to be stored taking up valuable ROM space. SNES sound is only as good as the quality of the samples.
The Genesis chips generated most of the sounds so audio quality did not have to be compromised. The end result for the SNES was a version of Earthworm Jim that didn't sound as good and was missing a level.

RantingThespian

#31

RantingThespian said:

You can thank Mike Dietz for the animation for the Sega version. Currently he's up to his elbows in clay working on Armikrog.

Untitled

Ralizah

#32

Ralizah said:

I guess they could only include the sword feature properly if they utilized the power of BLAST PROCESSING!

God, I miss my childhood.

But yes, the Genesis version is quite superior.

HyperSonicEXE

#33

HyperSonicEXE said:

The Genesis gameplay was awful. Throwing apples makes sense against, say, guards, but that's it. The scimitar is out of place compared to the majority of the movie. On top of that, the levels were a clusterfluff, and don't get me started on the carpet level.

The SNES version was more colorful, the HUD was more streamlined, and the music was better. Yes, it's easier, but that's a small price to pay for more fun and accuracy.

unrandomsam

#35

unrandomsam said:

The Genesis one I think is the best as well.

(I mostly played the PC port of that version for its superior resolution and the fact the music sounded ace on a yamaha daughterboard I had and also avoided the 50hz problem).

SheldonRandoms

#36

SheldonRandoms said:

Did Aladdin even use a sword in the movie? If that's a yes, then wasn't that towards the end though. Also apples can kick your butt.........yeah they could, because that's how they keep the doctors away ;)

unrandomsam

#37

unrandomsam said:

@WaveBoy You missed out the MS DOS port of the Genesis version. Double the resolution much better colours. The Yamaha DB50XG made pretty much everything sound ace.

SparkOfSpirit

#38

SparkOfSpirit said:

The level design is clearly better in the SNES version. The levels are simply not very fun in the Genesis version.

unrandomsam

#39

unrandomsam said:

They definitely are fun levels in the Genesis version (Once a bit of effort is put into learning the game - it is all in time with the music).

Someone did a homebrew port of the Genesis to the SNES.

Mickey

#40

Mickey said:

I think this is just a case of "the grass is always greener on the other side."

... But the Genesis version was so much better.

sugarshack

#41

sugarshack said:

after watching the Sega version for the first time, I clearly can't understand how anyone thinks the Sega version is better, sound design is awful, commenters saying it's great must listen to lil Wayne or Taylor swift for their music, cause there is no good melodies in there.

hydeks

#44

hydeks said:

That's because the Genesis game was way better :-P I had both versions, and the snes one was ok, it didn't have the look, sounds, or awesome gameplay feel that the Genesis version had.

HopeNForever

#45

HopeNForever said:

I did play the Sega version before, and I do own the Nintendo version, but I would have more preferred the Nintendo version simply because it had better cut-scenes, better music (and audio overall), and was definitely far more faithful to the source material.

I mean, even in the film, Aladdin used more wit and parkour-like stunts to get by, and very little of the film depicted him actually using a sword. In fact, I only recall him using a sword haphazardly simply to distract the giant cobra being Jafar for a while.

soma

#46

soma said:

Just looking at those vids, the Snes version looks far more polished. The animation, graphics, colors, sounds, level design. All looks better imo.

Tasuki

#48

Tasuki said:

The lack of Genie IS because of Robin Williams. That was the reason why Robin didn't voice the Genie in the sequel or the tv series. In fact the only reason he came back for the third one was because Disney got rid of Eisner and apologized big time to Robin for his mess ups.

Anyway about the article I only played the SNES version since I got my Genesis late in its lifespan. I always enjoyed the SNES one and rented it quite alot back in the day. I need to track down a copy of the Genesis version one of these days and see for myself which one is better.

Mr-DNA

#49

Mr-DNA said:

@Spoony_Tech The Earthworm Jim music is pretty subjective. I prefer the music in the SNES version. The backgrounds looked nicer too because of the larger color palette. Of course, the Gen/MD version has better animation and an extra stage.

speedyboris

#51

speedyboris said:

Not sure why my earlier post was deleted- are external links not allowed in the comments section?

Anyway, I like both versions for different reasons. But I give a slight edge to the Genesis version simply because it's more challenging.

Tony_342

#53

Tony_342 said:

I would imagine the only reason Mikami prefers the Genesis version is because he worked on the SNES version for so long that he became sick to death of it.

I've never understood the opinion that the Genesis version was better. The SNES version was far, far superior in practically every way. The actual gameplay was much more fluid and fun, and the level design in the Genesis version was horrible. Playing them back to back makes it very clear that the SNES version is an obviously better designed game. Honestly, by comparison, the Genesis version - aside from the animation - feels like it was thrown together at the last minute.

Stu13

#55

Stu13 said:

This one very rare occasion that I'd take the Genesis version of a game over the SNES. I'd still like to take that carpet level out back and beat it, though.

WitchSugoi

#56

WitchSugoi said:

Hm I have to agree with Waveboy, the Genesis' versions music is pretty grating on the ears. The SNES is superior in that regard (at least). :P

khululy

#57

khululy said:

I used to play the 'Genesis' version on my pc back then it had better music depending on the quality of your audio card (gotta love midi music)
and it had

one of my favorite tunes from the entire game
The SNES version always felt stiff to me and less like an interactive version of the animated feature. It's still one of my favorite games to date right up there with the SNES version of The Lion king.

HylianSane

#58

HylianSane said:

As a kid, I distinctly remember going to the store with my dad to buy Sonic 3 for the Genesis. When I got back out to the car, I realized that they had mistakenly sold me a GameGear Sonic game, so we took it back in and returned it. Instead of getting Sonic 3, I ended up getting Aladdin at the last minute.

As big of a Sonic fan as I was and still am to this day, I have never regretted changing my decision on getting this game instead. It was simply brilliant, and is a constant reminder of how bad video games based on movies or shows these days are compared to the glory days of old.

evildevil97

#59

evildevil97 said:

There's not enough love for the 8-bit Aladdin, on Game Gear / Master System. So much truer to the story too...

Austroid

#61

Austroid said:

Loved the SNES version, I remember fondly playing it when I borrowed it from a friend. I still remember one time I called them at around 10 pm just to ask what the code was to get to the final boss! :D

Oh how times were simpler...

rumple88

#66

rumple88 said:

I really need to play both these games again. I remember the music being so horrible on the genesis version me and my friends would turn it all the way down and put the radio on but the graphics/animation and game play were allot better(I thought as a kid). I need to revisit to be sure since I didn't really own either but rented them multiply times. Forgot about these games.

Alucard83

#67

Alucard83 said:

A lot of Nintendo fans here that's why they prefer once again only snes version over genesis. Just like Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Sure the graphics was less beautiful, but gameplay wise the Genesis version was WAY better. With better animation! Jade weapon had even colour. Just like on Mortal Kombat Trilogy and sure music was a bit less, but it gave me a lot of Mortal Kombat 2 feeling. Some of you really care only about graphics and sound. Open your ears and eyes for once. THANK YOU

SKTTR

#69

SKTTR said:

Feels nothing like a straight port. After watching the video, they could have released them as Aladdin 1 (SNES) and Aladdin 2 (MD). Entirely different levels, animation, music, gameplay.

BulbasaurusRex

#70

BulbasaurusRex said:

@Jimonfire You can throw apples in the Genesis version, too.

I've only played the Genesis version, but it is one of my favorite Genesis games, although it does bother me how they took so many liberties with the story.

Watching the video of the SNES version, I don't know if I would enjoy it much. The platforming looks very awkward, as does defeating the enemies by jumping on them, and the music is pretty annoying. Swordplay was definitely the way to go. They didn't even give the guards swords, yet they gave some of them bows which were never in the movie?! What's up with that?!

FritzFrapp

#71

FritzFrapp said:

The Mega Drive version is so much better it's not even close. The gap between them almost looks generational.

TreesenHauser

#72

TreesenHauser said:

I love the Super NES and all, but I definitely liked the Genesis version better. I know it'll probably never happen but I would love to see it come to Virtual Console.

Now, The Lion King on the other hand... SNES version wins. :-P

tobio

#73

tobio said:

The Genesis version's music is sublime - do refresh your memories and listen again here!

Some of the composed for the game tracks fit right in with the feel of the movie tracks too

speedyboris

#74

speedyboris said:

^ My favorite tracks in the Genesis game are "Camel Jazz" and "Cave of Wonders".

The music based on songs from the movie was decently arranged but I can't help how much better it had sounded on the SNES. Heck, we got two examples where the SNES arrangements were clearly superior: "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me".

KingMike

#75

KingMike said:

Why would Disney be opposed to putting Genie was on the cover of the SNES version?
They actually help make the Genesis version and had no problems putting him on that cover. Unless that was the reason, they wanted the Genesis to sell better? (I don't know the sales numbers, but it's probably a safe assumption the SFC sold more in Japan, considering the popularity of Disney and the lack of popularity of the MD in Japan?:D )

withoutdk

#76

withoutdk said:

i would love a remake of this game.... i enjoyed this and the lion king on the SNES... :D

unrandomsam

#77

unrandomsam said:

@speedyboris What about comparing e.g the Amiga 1200 versions of the same songs. (The MSDOS videos are all without using a good wavetable daugterboard never sounded like that for me). You are comparing the SNES sound hardware to the Megadrive not the Arrangement.

speedyboris

#78

speedyboris said:

@unrandomsam I checked out the Amiga 1200's music... it has more varied instrument choices but I actually think the Genesis music sounds better than it.

Plus, it has that pet peeve of mine where they randomly shuffle music. What is "Camel Jazz" doing playing on the Cave of Wonders stage?

Vriess

#79

Vriess said:

I liked them both very much but the Mega Drive version a little bit better.

retro_player_22

#81

retro_player_22 said:

@unrandomsam

There's also a homebrew of the Super NES version of Aladdin released for NES since the official NES and Game Boy versions were both port of the Genesis version (the one with the sword). Capcom re-released the SNES version for GBA later on so if you own a GBA system of any kind you basically got both versions (Genesis port on GB and SNES port on GBA).

Moviefan2k4

#82

Moviefan2k4 said:

I currently have a Genesis cartridge of "Aladdin", and it sucks compared to the SNES. The graphics look more rushed, the music is muffled, and the difficulty is insane. The SNES version is no cakewalk, but its developers struck a better balance on all counts.

MAB

#83

MAB said:

Alright, the votes have been counted... AND THE WINNER IS ↓

Untitled

WaveWarlock

#84

WaveWarlock said:

@Moviefan2k4

Yeah, the genesis version is torture to the ears and eyes, regardless of that smooth dinsey character/effect animation. It's not very fun either and feels cheap & rough around the edges. :P Capcom did it better.

YoshiTails

#85

YoshiTails said:

Mega Drive Aladdin is the first videogame I ever owned/played - remember being pretty stunned by what I was seeing and controlling on the TV, just 6 years old.

Jatbat

#86

Jatbat said:

What foolish conclusions people are drawing from this. It also has false information calling him a designer. First off the article is about people from both games saying they have things they like in the other teams game. The Capcom PLANNER (and that is all he was pfff. He wasn't even part of any decent Disney games prior to this.), would have purchased the Genesis one. And? So what? He doesn't put his own game down. He is a violent man. He later went on to make a horribly gory game series, Resident Evil. Of course he is going to want more violence. And then we have Perry stating full out the Capcom one is the one he likes more. Of course! The animation style used in these games made for some terrible hit boxes. The controls were a mess, the level lay out was horrendous, the music was ear grinding, the story got all screwed up (why was Iago fighting you if he had a scarab piece????), etc. Was it cute? Kinda, for the characters and cameos. But that doesn't make for a good game. The stages was pretty fugly and controls were floaty. Like so many big titles today, it was all flash and pizazz, but the underlying game was terrible. Capcom really knew how to make great games back then. Aladdin just lead the way for more and more terrible games.

speedyboris

#87

speedyboris said:

@Jatbat Well, thank you for setting the record straight. I guess all of us Genesis version fans are going to change our votes thanks to your level-headed, enlightening post.

In all seriousness, I disagree on the music. While the music quality was inferior to the SNES version, it was in no way "ear-grinding". There are some catchy tunes in there.

The stage graphics were NOT fugly. Maybe not as pretty as the SNES version's rich color palette, but they get the job done. But of course that's another matter of opinion.

The controls aren't as bad as you're saying. I consider bad controls to be where you have to fight with your character on-screen to get them to do what you want. Didn't experience that here. The hit detection could've been better, I'll give you that.

And come on, it's not like the SNES Aladdin had some amazing level layout. A few levels are just straight runs from left to right. Proof: http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/ I consider the two Genesis Agrabah levels to be superior to what was on the SNES, though zip-lining and bouncing on awnings was pretty fun, I'll admit.

And your last comment makes it sound like Genesis Aladdin single-handedly was responsible for a trend of games with pretty graphics but bad gameplay. That's really debatable, especially since I don't consider it an example of pretty graphics but bad gameplay.

BulbasaurusRex

#88

BulbasaurusRex said:

@Moviefan2k4 The difficulty of the Genesis version isn't that bad. While I've never done it in a single playthrough, I've beaten every level except the carpet ride (where they give you a pass to the next level after three tries, as well as a decently obtainable extra life on at least one try) and the last one, and I'm probably below average in platforming skill level (still can't get up the waterfall in Level 6 of "The Lion King").

PachterStation

#89

PachterStation said:

Hands down, the Mega Drive version was better. The SNES version was decent, but it didn't look or play as good. Back in those days, Mega Drive games would top £40 and SNES games would top £60. I remember getting the Mega Drive version (brand new) for £40, I think the SNES version was £50 (I got it used ages after). If my memory serves me right, I think there was an Aladdin SNES pack in the UK. But games like Quackshot, Tazmania, Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion have gone down as classic Mega Drive games. But as soon as the PlayStation was released, Disney games died, but Tarzan was decent. On the SNES, Magical Quest was a decent game (I didn't play the sequel). The Mega Drive had the better Disney games hands down. Mega Drive versus SNES, I much preferred the Mega Drive. Having a UK console, Genesis games came out first and could be bought for as little as £20 new. But UK games had better covers. As for Street Fighter 2 on the Mega Drive, it was ace using an official 6 button controller.

ogo79

#90

ogo79 said:

i like both systems but the cold fact is the genesis is a faster console. period.
but yay for blast processing and yay for mode 7...

Williaint

#91

Williaint said:

I've never played the Genesis version, so I can't compare, but I did borrow the SNES one from a friend for a while. It's a fun game to just sit down and play through.

Bizzyb

#92

Bizzyb said:

I think this basically comes down to whether you prefer audio over visuals. Sega had better animation while Nintendo had a clearly superior soundtrack.

Jatbat

#93

Jatbat said:

@speedyboris I don't like cluttered screens, filled with objects that made the background difficult to differentiate from the foreground. Where hit detection is spotty at best. Cheap enemy hits are considered fun. Where Aladdin controls with all the floaty grace of a feather in the breeze. As for the level design, there was so much that could be done with Aladdin as you bounced and climbed around. Looking at the screens alone does not tell you anything. You have to explore the world within. It was wonderfully laid out, so you could use your acrobatic skills to the most. It wasn't confusing, or ugly, like the horrible Genesis version.

Next time you want to make an argument, don't make any remarks against the user in question. -Lz

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