Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Lion King 3 (Mega Drive)

In case you haven't worked it out from the title, this game is a chinese bootleg. It's one of the high quality ones, though. There's a more well known one called The Lion King 2 as well, and amazingly, this isn't just the same game with a different title screen!
It's a platform game, with a mix of graphics taken from the official Lion King game, a few from other games, such as Donkey Kong Country and Aladdin, plus some original graphics.
Obviously, you play as Simba, but you get to choose at the start of the game whether you play as cub or adult Simba. Who would ever pick cub Simba? It seems every Lion King game does this differently: The original, official game follows the plot of the movie, and you play the first few levels as a cub, becoming adult Simba later on and The Lion King 2 has a Mario-style power up that turns you into adult Simba until you take a hit.
Seems I'm typing "Simba" a lot in this review.
Anyway, although it's just a generic platform game with Simba as the playable character, it's a lot of fun. Jumping around the stages clawing other animals to death (especially birds. for some reason, there seems to be a ton of different bird enemies, one of which is Iago the parrot from Aladdin with a crazy new colour scheme) or maybe defeating them with Simba's new psychic wave attack (no, really). There is just one main flaw; there are various items (they change depending on the stage) that you're supposed to jump, grab and swing from. The problem is, the collision detection for them is awful, and a lot of the time Simba will just fall straight past them. There are several points in the game where you'll have to do several of these in a row, all above a bottomless pit. If you have the patience to get past these parts, though, they don't completely ruin the rest of the game. It's just a shame that such a nice game has such a terrible flaw.
As for sound, at least some of the music is ripped, being Mega Drivey renditions of songs from the Lion King such as The Circle of Life and I Just Can't Wait to be King (Speaking of which, the awful grab-swing things in this are somewhat reminiscent of the Just Can't Wait to be King stage in the original, although that stage did a better job of ruining the game, since it was a whole stage of stupid swingy jumps, and it was only the second stage at that, so anyone without saintlike patience would just have to miss most of the game.), the rest of the music being either original, or ripped from a source with which I am not familiar. The sound effects are okay, too. nothing spectacular. But there is a kind of flying beetle that makes monkey noises, and the noise Simba makes when he gets hit sounds a lot like he's saying "Quahoon!", the made up swear word that Jack Tenrec says in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs/Xenozoic Tales.
So if you have a bit of patience and are interested in the crazy world of chinese bootleg games, this is one of the better ones that I know of, and is definitely worth playing.
One last thing, there's a white tiger in the intro. No tigers of any kind have shown up in the game so far, although I haven't been able to complete it yet (a later stage taking place in the clouds has a particularly brutal set of swing-jumps), it would be nice if there is some later on.

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