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Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (2013)

Step into a castle filled with illusions with our own Page as a tour guide in his review of the remade Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.

Developed by: SEGA Studios Australia
Published by: SEGA
Released: 3rd September 2013
Price:  £9.99 (UK); €12.99 (Eurozone) $14.99 (US/Canada/Australia) 
Tested on: PlayStation 3 (PSN download)

There is a lot of it about these days. Stuff that we had as kids being polished up and presented to the new generation as the latest thing, the Fiat 500 for example was a cheap rusty rattle box that everyone had (due to its cheapness) back in the misty past that has been reborn with all the modern conveniences bolted on and sold to the hopelessly nostalgic who drive about misty eyed remembering how great everything was back then.

Game companies are keen to get a slice of this action, and recently have dropped on us a plethora of remakes, enhanced with today’s HD graphics, analogue control and 5.1 sound, and for most, these have received a luke warm welcome with a lot of muttering how the original was better. So its with some trepidation I fired up this new slice of retro gaming from SEGA, remembering how I had loved Castle of Illusion as a nipper, and how many times I had thrown my Megadrive controller at the TV as Mickey met yet another gristly end. Could this re working of the original with its polish and dazzle live up to its predecessors greatness? Only one way to find out.

Flashy HD graphics do not impress me or make a bad game into a good one. Once the initial 'woah' has worn off, if its a bad game to play, all the shiny high def, bazillion colours in the world wont help. Luckily this is not the case here. The graphics are nice, the animation well drawn and the 2.5D effect is pleasing to the eye without getting in the way of the gameplay. These powerful consoles are not going to be pushed graphically, things are looking hopeful!

The controls are crisp and responsive, timing your jumps is pretty simple you have plenty of oppertunity to change direction while in mid air so if you miss it, you really do feel its your fault and not a failing of wooly, vague controls which are the bane of some platformers. The gameplay mechanic is a tried and tested one, lots of it have been lifted from the original game, and there will be a lot that is familiar to anyone that has played it, but you can see other influences in there too. For example, the main castle where you choose which level to play has various locked doors that need a certain number of diamonds to unlock them. You move around in 3D, exploring the castle and its many rooms and staircases, complete with spaces for unlockable extras like paintings and statues, it reminded me of a certain Princesses castle in a certain 3D game featuring a certain plumber. No criticism here though, it works and gives a nice interlude from all that 2D jumping which you will do a lot of.

This is a platformer in every sense of the word. Run, jump, squish or shoot the bad guy, collect as much stuff as you can along the way, destroy the bosses, save the girl. That's it in a nutshell, but its fleshed out with a great narrative, lots of secret places to find and lots of extras to unlock. Even a hamfisted gamer like me that is MUCH more at home shooting things with my M16 or blasting round the Nurburgring in my impossibly fast car the difficulty is set just right, nudging the curve ever higher as you get deeper into the game.

This brings me onto an important point. Yes this game features Mickey and Minnie Mouse so the more 'serious' or 'badass' gamers out there reading this might be tempted to skip it and assume its 'just for kids'. This would be a huge mistake as everyone can get something out of it, there are some tough levels and some bosses that made me sweat and yell but left me with enough encouragement to make me take just one more go, the sign of a great game in my opinion.

The sound is fine, the music is recognisable from the original score, I'm not sure if the music will have as much of an impact as the original but time will tell if it makes it to the RadioSEGA playlist.

Spot effects are fine, all the usual boings and pings that you would expect from a game like this, nothing too intrusive

With the exception of the narrator.

Now I'm all for a bit of story telling, but anyone that is familiar with a certain hedgehog will detect the ghost of a certain omochao, as the jolly ol' narrator tells you one more time that you fell from the sky. Its not a massive problem just a bit irritating.

Its not perfect, its not that long and it is not that difficult, perhaps adding more to the argument that games today are getting easier as games become more casual and gamers loose their edge. Indeed if you play the original after playing this you will die. A lot. That said its a good fun game with lots to do with something for everyone at a very nice price.


16th September, 2013 - 11:51 GMT Page Article viewed 4270 times 0 Comments


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