It’s amazing to me, when I look back at some of the platformers I used to play as a young ‘un, how I or any other child managed to last one level, let alone an entire playthrough, of games like Donkey Kong Country, The Lion King, or Aladdin. They were vicious and unforgiving, and yet kid me ate them up, pouring weeks and months into mastering a level that had been besting me. When you got a single game on birthdays or Christmases, you were determined to make it last. Maybe it’s that learned patience (or stubbornness) that has given my generation such an appreciation for games like Dark Souls – we like to see our tenacity pay off.
I don’t know where Johnny Chiodini was for all of these important life lessons, however, because he was absolutely dire at the PC rerelease of the Sega Mega Drive version of Disney’s Aladdin when I put it in front of him earlier this week. Watch him charge headlong into enemies and then wonder why he keeps dying – mind-boggling. At least we got to sing Prince Ali over and over. And over.
For the record, I have to say that I prefer the SNES version of Aladdin. It just looks and sounds better to me, but it’s hard to stick up for a game when even one of its own designers – one Shinji Mikami – says he prefers the Mega Drive version. Ain’t never had a friend like him.