Aladdin In Nasira's Revenge
The camera slowly pans in on an island surrounded by fire. In the center of the island stands an ominous figure -- she raises her hands to the skies and summons the once great Jafar. In a plot to bring Jafar back from the depths, Nasira has taken over Agrabah. By casting a spell over the Palace guards, she has had Jasmine and The Sultan kidnapped. Is there no one who can stop Nasira in her evil plot to collect all the magic relics she needs to resurrect her wicked brother Jafar? Enter our hero, Aladdin and his crazy friend Genie. Run through the streets of Agrabah, battle through the Cave of Wonders, and roam through the Palace and its dungeons. You are on a collision course with the evil Nasira herself, do you think you are tough enough for the job?
There are several elements to this game -- it’s comprised of collecting items, jumping and maneuvering through obstacles, as well as fighting and searching for goodies. There are ten different worlds to go through and in each world there are several different missions to complete. This is not a quick game, nor is it terribly difficult.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
As you run through the worlds, you are tasked with finding jewels, coins, etc. As you search for the hidden treasures, you collect money much like Mario Brothers or Sonic. While searching and collecting, you battle guards, fire breathing foes, and a number of other bad guys. There are also bosses to contend with later in the game. As for the game play itself, it was a little dull in the beginning, just a lot of jumping, and a little fighting, nothing too spectacular. As I played on I found myself getting more and more into the game. The challenges became increasingly difficult as I progressed.
Finding the necessary items is not as big a task as I thought it would be, although some of the items are pretty well hidden. After beating a level, you enter the world of the Genie where, depending on how many jewels you’ve collected, you have a chance for extra cash and prizes. You can also use your collected Genie coins in a bonus level where you get to spin a wheel and win extra lives -- you are assigned a set number of lives to complete the missions, and three "continues".
You are armed with a sword and the ability to collect apples and hurl them at guards. Some of the guards you must beat in a battle of the blades, some you have to bean with an apple, and some you have to bribe. None of these baddies are too hard to defeat.
To add a different feel to the game, you get to play as Abu the monkey and as Jasmine as well. This breaks up the monotony of the game nicely. Once you get used to the controls as Aladdin, you have to learn new ones as Abu and Jasmine. After I had gone through a couple of levels, there came a screen that gave new instructions for character control. Next thing I know, I’m a monkey cruising through a dungeon. A little confusing but all in all, pretty cool.
You will have the option to play the game using the regular D pad or the analog control. I found it easier to use the analog. Speaking of controls, these were a little hard for me to master in the beginning. Not a big concern considering a blind man has more hand-eye coordination than I do. You get to make use of all the buttons the controller has to offer which was not too difficult to master.
The action of the game is smooth and didn’t leave me questioning what was going on. The camera shots change depending on the action you are completing. If you are on the run and fighting, the camera is behind you, and if you are jumping from building to building, then you get a side view. Whatever the case, it all works well within the game. There was one confusing thing about the camera view: The game has a 3D world in which you can pan around to see everything. So, if you are running forward, the camera is to your back while you are pushing up on the directional control. A quick 180 turn and now you are running the opposite direction, the character is facing you, and you can’t see where you’re going. Not to mention that you are now pressing down on the directional button. So to correct it, you can spin the camera around using R-1 or R-2 so that the camera is again to the back of your character. Only problem is that the control is still backward until you stop, then start again. Not a big deal once you figure out the logistics of it.
The graphics were surprisingly good in this game. The characters themselves were well animated, there was no pixilation to speak of, and even with the different camera view changes, the characters changed appropriately. There was a great sense of texture through the game. While running through the game, the views of the surrounding are clean and clear -- running through water will slow your character and movement becomes restricted, while on ice you will slip and slide across the surface. One nice feature was the footprints left behind by your character while running through the sand. It’s always good to see little extras like that in games. The surroundings were also done well. In the palace there are plenty of things to look at: statues, pillars, plants, etc., all well rendered. All the places that you visit have something new to look at and present a realistic feel to your environment.
The sounds were well done and the game features voices from the television series to add continuity. They have also thrown in the song "A Whole New World" as some of the background music. But other than that, I didn’t recognize any of the other tunes. I got so involved in the game after a while that I didn’t even realize there was any music playing. During the battles you will hear the clang of swords or the splat of an apple. The sounds were real enough, but could have been done a little better.
Aladdin: Nasira’s Revenge is a good filler game. If your wallet is as thin as mine, save your pennies for the bigger releases this year. The graphics were decent and the game had it’s challenges; however, I would recommend this as a weekend rental.
There haven't been this many Disney titles on the video game landscape since the days of Mickey's Castle of Illusion. Now Aladdin stages a comeback, facing down Nasira, the ticked-off sister of Jafar. The game plays like a traditional 3D adventure, with gamers utilizing easy-to-control jump-and-slash mechanics to get Aladdin through the game. Helping him out in this 3D adventure are playable characters Jasmine, lago, Apu and, of course, that wisecrackin' Genie. Developed by the able hands at Eurocom (Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, Crash Bash) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Aladdin should be available by the time you read this.