Both Aladdin and The Lion King have had reimaginings on screen this year, bringing in a new audience whilst trying to give a sense of nostalgia for those who loved the original animated versions from the 90’s. Sadly the films didn’t do anything for me, but it seems someone at Disney didn’t want my memories of the games to become negative, so have repackaging together two of the best licensed tie-in video games of the 16-bit era and release them for Nintendo Switch.
I can officially say I have beaten both Aladdin and The Lion King a mere twenty years after playing them as a child, all thanks to the nifty rewind feature that both titles are blessed with. Thus allowing you to rewind those silly miss jumps or any other daft mistake you make along the way. It ultimately makes playing through these classics a lot less frustrating, allowing you to appreciate what both titles have to offer. It’s great for accessibility which is the main hook in this great collection of two great games.
Both of these 16-bit classics were notoriously difficult, especially The Lion King. The inclusion of two features ensures the experience for all players becomes more positive rather than leaving you feeling frustrated and burnt out in the more challenging parts. The first, as I mentioned at the start of this review, is the Rewind button. At any time a tap of a button will whizz back the action to place of your choosing preferably before that mistimed jump began. The second feature is the Watch Mode, this allows you to watch what is essentially a lets-play to the point you want and jump in taking over the action. These, of course, are optional, in case you want to play without feeling like a cheat. Yet I wouldn’t worry, I didn’t see this as cheating in my playthrough and you are never penalised for using them.
Each title comes with multiple versions, although in Aladdin’s case the SNES version is sadly omitted. These versions even include the lesser known GameBoy versions, a rare trade show version of Aladdin and the Japanese versions of both games. In terms of actual game content, it’s a decent amount to play through even if the games are overall short and the GB versions aren’t that fun to playthrough.
Also included in this bundle is a Museum with behind-the-scenes footage, Q&A videos, art from the games and the option to listen to your favourite tracks. Each game has multiple aspect ratios with multiple borders to choose from, adding to the retro feel of the whole collection. Slap on a CRT filter and let the nostalgia wash over you. While these additions weren’t necessary, each one is a delight to watch/look/use.
Although the added features help alleviate some of the issues the original games have, both of them, especially The Lion King still suffer with some unfair difficulties and design choices. This isn’t the fault of Digital Eclipse, their aim was to preserve what made these games classics to begin with. Both of them are untouched apart from the ‘Final Cut’ version of Aladdin, which does tighten some of the design screws up. Ultimately the games were made slightly harder due to worries that the rental market would stop potential customers paying for their product.
With everything that is included in The Disney Classic collection it’s hard not to be impressed, with two outstanding licensed video games with a plethora of extras that are all interesting to go through I can’t recommend it enough. At below £30 you get a healthy dose of nostalgia each time you boot it up, as far as collections from this era go, this is the benchmark.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*