I bought Castle of Illusion a couple of years ago, most likely in an attempt to get all of RG's Perfect Ten for the MD. I only played it once though. Despite having excellent visuals, I found the leisurely pace not to be to my liking. Getting only just as far as the leaves section at the end of the first level, I fell to my death, thought 'so what' and soon gave up on it in favour of a game of Zool instead.
Having just spent another half hour or so on it, I can see that it has an awful lot more to offer than I first gave it credit for. The second level, in a toy shop of some description, is full of clever touches. Such as in the first sub-level, when you get to the top and find the key for the exit, no sooner do you think, 'now I have to traipse all the way back down to the bottom where the exit is' than all the platforms turn into slopes and you get to slide all the way down, easy as you like, collecting diamonds along the way. And in the second sub-level, you come across icons with vertical arrows on them - touch them and they flip the screen upside-down! What at first appears to be an impediment is actually quite helpful, as when the display flips, any enemies on the screen will plummet to their deaths.
So, are all these excellent ideas enough to distract my attention from the more high octane run and gun thrills I'm more at home with? Well, for a while perhaps, although I still find the somewhat stodgy inertia in Castle of Illusion a bit off-putting. Still, it's a game which rewards a considered approach, and on the basis of the second level, I'm intrigued to see what other tricks the game has up its sleeve in later levels.
Mention should be made of the music too - I may have been spoiled by some of the excellent SNES games I've been playing lately, but the music in Castle of Illusion is well written and atmospheric.
Soon you will have forgotten all things: soon all things will have forgotten you. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 7)