Graphics:
7.8
Gameplay:
7.7
Sound:
7.5
Control:
7.0
Replay Value:
6.5
Overall Rating:
7.4
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Sega, Disney Interactive
Developer:
Sega
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Platformer
Release Date:
September 3, 2013


If you had a Sega Genesis back in 1990, chances are, you played Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse . If you missed out, though – or you simply want to relieve the good ol’ days where innocence and charm reigned – you’ll want to check out the high-definition update that’s currently available in digital format. While the adventure is short and the game is admittedly “kiddie” (if you have a problem with enjoying video games designed expressly for children), it’s still artistically impressive and a lot of fun to play.

These upgraded high-def visuals benefit greatly from the original concept. Thing is, the imagination on prominent display in Castle of Illusion was always impressive; when you apply a gorgeous HD sheen, they really shine. It was merely a matter of allowing that boundless creativity to take center-stage. The animations are excellent, the backdrops are meticulously crafted, and the diversity of the engaging environments is appreciated. This is an older game that looks eons better with a graphical overhaul simply due to a wonderfully inspired design palette that was already in existence.

The audio is another highlight, as the well-constructed soundtrack accompanies every lighthearted bounce. The narrator properly fits the style and theme, and the effects are crisp and nicely choreographed. There’s nothing particularly mind-blowing about the music selection or the special effects, but they do their jobs. That’s what’s most important, especially with retro experiences such as Castle of Illusion : You’re not expecting next-gen-level technical elements, but you do want the upgraded elements to complement the gameplay. In this way, the sound is worthy of mild recognition.

This is one of those classic platformers that relies heavily upon your reactions and dexterity. Mickey can also throw projectiles when necessary, as these are used to defeat enemies and open presents and treasure. However, for the most part, you spend the majority of your time negotiating a wonderland filled with obstacles and dangers. There are some beautifully drawn and presented environments, and you’ll smile as you tackle each new area. There isn’t much to slow your progress – even though a few of the boss fights are moderately challenging – and you’re always given more chances. That’s key because this is supposed to be a breezy little romp.

And breezy it is. You hop along, bouncing off the heads of enemies that hardly seem like dangerous foes (marching toy soldiers, toy planes, ghosts that aren’t exactly menacing, etc.), gathering diamond-shaped gems and discovering treasure. The narrative, while basically just a footnote, involves the evil Mizrabel and Mickey’s romantic interest, Minnie. Mizrabel has kidnapped Minnie and to rescue his sweetheart, Mickey must brave the Castle of Illusion and snag all seven magic crystals. Only then will a pathway open for the stalwart hero. Like I say, it’s not overly compelling but then again, it doesn’t need to be.