Submitted by: Darren Jones
Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Developer: Sega Australia Studios
Systems: PC (tested) Xbox 360, PS3
Release: Out Now
We’ll admit to being a little unsure about Castle Of Illusion when it was first announced. The graphics didn’t feel right, while there were concerns that Sega Studios Australia would lose site of what made the Mega Drive original so enjoyable to play in the first place. After playing through the game several times, those early concerns simply evaporated.
Castle Of Illusion is a complete delight to play, easily capturing the feel and fun of the original Mega Drive game. Structurally it’s very similar to the Mega Drive game with mostly identical levels and the same bosses to battle. Sega has worked hard to expand on these for today’s audience, however.
When an apple chases Mickey during the first level it becomes an in-to-the-screen frantic dash. Sweet World has also been greatly expanded, with pools of cookies to jump across and waterfalls to avoid. The bosses are also far better, offering a little more skill to beat, but still staying true to their 16-bit roots.
Graphically it’s of a very high standard, with Mickey looking superb as he saunters through the beautifully recreated environments. Animation throughout is excellent, with certain levels looking truly stunning. The audio is also extremely strong, with slick adaptations of the original tunes, which have also been included for purists. Add in some fun narration and Castle Of Illusion really does feel like a cartoon come to life, just like it did all those years ago.
Yes it’s easy (clocking in at around two hours), but so was the original. Longevity is at least ensured thanks to the inclusion of speed-runs and several costumes to collect, making it easily worth the £10 asking price. The controls don’t feel quite as tight as the original, and the lack of the Mega Drive game is disappointing (but not entirely unexpected), but there’s no denying that this is an excellent update of a 16-bit classic. Highly recommended.