Nowadays, when the word videogames is mentioned in relation to Disney, the first title to come up might have to be the massive crossover with Japanese developer Square-Enix, the “Kingdom Hearts” series which released its latest main installment just this January. And that knowledge might only be for dedicated fans of the “Eastern” RPG genre in general and “Final Fantasy” particularly. That was not the case in the last decades of the 20th Century, which saw Disney licensing developers to make games based on their TV shows and animated films, from “Ducktales” to Darkwing Duck,” to “Jungle Book” and, famously, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”
Well according to Metro UK, the 1990s videogame adaptations of Disney’s “Aladdin” and “Lion King” will soon see the light of day again as re-mastered versions for the “big three” videogame consoles of this day and age. The revision is being made by Disney and Nighthawk Interactive, featuring the console and handheld videogames featuring the above two animated classics as originally developed by Virgin Games. The compilation will therefore feature the Virgin-developed “Aladdin” games for Sega Genesis and Nintendo Game Boy, while “The Lion King” is available in Super Nintendo (SNES), Genesis and Game Boy.
As Nighthawk Interactive only worked on re-mastering the Virgin Interactive Disney game titles, this modern compilation lacks the SNES version of “Aladdin,” which was developed by Capcom (of the “Ducktales” videogame fame). Strangely, this also includes the Nintendo version of “The Lion King,” despite being a Virgin game itself, and famous for being the last game title ever released for the venerable Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in Europe. Still, the other additions are worth it, with the Game Boy titles being playable in “Super Game Boy” format (emulating the SNES peripheral allowing GB games to be played in more colorful form on the SNES console). “Aladdin” meanwhile also comes with a “Final Edition” Genesis version and a trade show demo.
But Nighthawk Interactive also went far beyond just re-presenting some old Disney videogames in more vibrant 1080 format for new-generation consoles. They also added nifty extra features such as in-game saving (in addition to the original Password option) and “Watch Mode,” which automatically plays the games to the end and allows the player to assume control at any point. A Rewind function can also wind back gameplay for a moment, allowing players to avoid getting their characters killed. Extra options include a Sound Test for all background music and an art gallery showing game development.
“Aladdin” and “The Lion King” are thus compiled into the “Disney Classic Games” collection, available physically for Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, plus digitally on Steam. The collection arrives in fall 2019.
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