Thursday, September 5, 2013

A mouse and the illusion castle

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse

Genre: 2.5D Platformer

Released by: Sega

This game is a HD remake of an old 1990 game with the same title. I haven't decided my side on HD remakes of old games. There are good ones, there are bad ones... This is a mediocre one. I didn't play the original game, so I can't make a comparative analysis.

This game is more suited for a child, mainly because it is about Mickey Mouse. Of course everybody loves Mickey, but I don't. He is the most annoying cartoon character I've ever seen. I don't know why the studio felt like they needed to put money in this game, but oh well thy know it better.

It is a shame, that this wasthe last of Sega Studio Australia's games, they would have deserved a better happy ending.

The Good:
- the environment is well done and good for the overall mood of the game
- we have collectables

The Bad:
- Mickey Mouse is in there
- short and unchallenging

Once upon a time...

Mickey and Minnie Mouse were having a romantic picknick when suddenly appears the witch from Snowwhite and the seven dwarfs (how did she get there? wasn't she pushed brutally down from the top of the rocks? how could she survive that?) Moving on. What would the witch, Misrabel want from them? Oh of course! Minnie's youth. She kidnaps her, and takes her into the castle of illusions. Mickey, like a brave cartoon mouse goes after her. Before he goes in, a wise old mouse appears out of nowhere (what? is he standing there all day waiting for boyfriends whose girlfriend was kidnapped by the witch?), and tells him, he has to collect 7 gems from 7 gemkeepers to defeat Msirabel.

Magic tricks

You have a brief tutorial and some tips in the Help and Options menu. You have your character, Mickey, who can jump on enemies and throw objects at them. I like that it is 2.5D, not just simply 2D platformer. You enter the castle and has to collect diamonds to open new doors in the castle, and that is also a plus. Also you have other collectables in the levels, statues, treasure chests and lives for yourself. There are some parts, like running from a giant apple, and I don't really like parts like that. Behind every door you unlock there are 3 acts, and in the end there is a boss, the gemholders. The whole gameplay, beside that it is 2.5D (I would have liked to see more 3D), very very similar to the Ducktales Remastered. Mickey doesn't react 100% perfectly to the buttons, so that can be irritating. He is also very vulnerable, you have to be very precise when attacking enemies and jumping on smaller or moving platforms (like on top of those poor little chained ghosts, I wonder what they did to deserve it). Another good aspect of the game is, that you can continue if you are out of lives and don't have to replay the whole act, although you lose most of your collected stuff. There are some pretty good and unique elements, like the crates making you go upside down, and puzzles like when you have to get through some black and red tiles, and they sometimes disappear and you fall. But oh wait there is a trick... Yeah you will have to figure it out for yourself. After completing the levels, you can go back and replay it with a time limit. This game is not too challanging (there is a boss who literally beats himself up), it can played played through in a couple of hours. After the big fight with Misrabel, which is a though one (of course final boss and everything), it would have been great to have a little more exploration.

Illusions, eh?

All in all it is a castle of illusion, and there are some fun illusions. I liked the overall setting and environment, the enemies and diamonds and other stuff you have to collect, also the bosses were neat (like a Jack-in-the-box), jumping through magic hats, etc... Mickey's voice is just realy annoying. But come on how could they make a game about Mickey Mouse without his voice? No illusions needed here: don't make another game about Mickey Mouse. Why not Goofy? He is more adorable and not a creepy looking high-pitched voiced mouse. All in all without the main character, I have a positive opinion about the game.About the music, you can choose from the remastered soundtrack, or the old 16-bit music. The narrative can get sometimes pretty annoying. Maybe without any speech this game would have been more enjoyable.

Through the looking glass

This game is not much about the graphics. Simple models, simple environment, not too much effot put into it, although much more effort than intoDucktales Remastered. I it's art it can be seen that it is a Disney game, which is good, I'm a big fan of Disney.

Final Verdict

Enjoyable for children, whose parents don't want them to play GTA. For a remake (even if it's hard to recognize), it is from the better ones. It has the best elements of a platformer game, combined with a 3D look. If it weren't a remake I would have expected much more of this game.

Final Score

4/10 (because of Mickey's Hops)

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