September 02, 2010, at 10:36 AM

Mini Review: The Lion King

Following fast on the heels of The Jungle Book, let’s see another Disney platformer by Syrox. Is it any different?

Graphics

A pleasantly large number of animation frames (although lacking any standing animation) gives a decent amount of life to the character. Backdrops are well-drawn and nicely atmospheric (the stampede stage has some decent parallax too), and there’s some nice movie-derived art.

Sound

Covers of the movie themes. Some of them have a pleasingly chippy feel to them.

Longevity

The game is overall too easy. There’s a decent amount of variety, although mostly it’s plain old platforming, with some occasionally dodgy physics. Where it does well is by having a non-standard character - a not-too-anthropomorphic lion, in fact. This makes the movement much more interesting and raises this above being totally a cookie-cutter movie licence.

Plot

I think it follows the film reasonably, although I haven’t actually watched it. There’s a rather jarring cut in the middle when lion cub Simba becomes adult lion Simba and we’re forced to figure out that he’s fighting the evil lion for control of the whatever-it-is.

Fun

Reasonably so. There’s a pleasing characterisation in the young Simba animation which makes you enjoy the jumping around more than you might otherwise. The variety helps, too. However, sometimes the physics is poor - in particular, attaching to “swing points” is difficult to judge and the ends of platforms are not very clear.

At one point I got caught in a part of the stage where I couldn’t get out and couldn’t die, and there’s no timer. That would rather spoil the fun on a real system.

Innovation

It’s another “platformer without any square blocks”, and does it well (there’s no building-based stages). As mentioned, the non-humanoid character is interesting.

Conclusion

Better than you might expect. Definitely worth playing through once.


Mini Review Ratings