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Castle of illusion is a rather polished side scrolling platform game for Sega Mega Drive and Amiga, and whilst nothing groundbreaking it remains a solid little game. The game sees you playing as Mickey Mouse, ona quest to rescue Minnie from the clutches of an evil witch, working your way through numerous levels including an enchanted forest, toyland world, spooky gothic castle, a giant's library, and across gloomy mountains complete with thunder and lightning and creaky rope bridges.
The cartoony graphics and animation are of particularly high quailty for the time, the controls are responsive, and there is a lot of variation on show here, both in the varied range of enemies and bosses and in the level design, which ranges from underwater sections, sections requiring you to run at high speed down a series of ramps Sonic The Hedgehog style, and working across cavers that frequently flood with torrents of water that will esnd you back to the beginning if they catch you.
You attack both by jumping on enemies and by hurling apples and marbles at them, and the constatnly changing levels keep things exiting, with mickey wobbling along huge cobwebs in a forset one minute and dodging sugar cubes in a giant cut of tea the next.
A well made little platform game that whilst nothing stunningly original remains of a high standard thrughout both graphically and gameplay wise.
After writing the Sonic 2 review, I felt that after going back to the Megadrive and playing all the old games that a few more of them are worthy of reviews, so I will be continuing with a review of the Megadrive game Castle of Illusion.
Please Not this review is of the Megadrive format, although all the Megadrive games have been put in the Amiga games on Dooyoo!
*** Castle Of Illusion ***
Castle Of Illusion was released on the Megadrive back in 1990 by Sega in partnership with Walt Disney. The game came as all Megadrive games did, in a box that was in-between DVD and Video Box size. This box contained an instruction manual and 16-Bit cartridge specifically for the Megadrive system.
*** Gameplay ***
This game stars Mickey Mouse who is on the trail of an evil witch who has kidnapped Minnie Mouse. In order to rescue Minnie and defeat the witch you must play as Mickey and work your way through the levels defeating enemies and collecting gems along your way, sounds simple enough... actually it is!
Upon putting the cartridge in the Megadrive and waiting a short time for it to start up, there is a short story shown on how Minnie was kidnapped by the witch and then a title screen will appear showing Mickey Mouse. At this point you can choose a simple start the game or options.
In the options screen you can have a play with various sound effects and select the difficulty of the levels. If you choose easy you will only have to complete 3 levels and defeat the witch. If you choose Medium or Hard you will get the full 7 levels and the witch. The difference between medium and hard being very slight, as there is just a few more baddies thrown in and a couple of the levels did seem a bit longer.
Once you have adjusted the settings to your liking you can start the game. The first screen you will see Mickey is in a corridor with doors along it, he will walk up to the door and at the bottom of the screen will be some text saying "I wonder what's behind this door" and with that he enters the door. This is where the first level will start. The first level is set in a forest where you must walk along and as you go collect the apples (or whatever object is your weapon, as it varies depending on the scene you are in!) that are dotted about as these are your best weapon against the baddies. During this level you are met by walking trees, jumping mushrooms and flowers that spit seeds at you amongst other various flying things and random enemies. The easiest way to defeat most of these is to either throw and apple at them by pressing the attack button, or by double pressing the jump button Mickey will lift his legs up and use his bum to bounce on them and defeat them that way, this is the way you must continue through about 3 screens until you reach the end of the level, then using the same tactics you must defeat the boss and earn yourself a gem. In easy mode you only need 3 gems to rescue Minnie; however in Medium and Hard modes you must collect 7 gems.
The environments you will go through include Forests, Toys, Machinery, Jelly, more Toys and more forests except this time at night with 'scary lightening!' Each level does get a little trickier ass you work your way through them.
The music in the game is basic and can be very annoying as it is so repetitive of the same tune and I do have memories of turning the TV down and playing my own music instead, although I haven't done that this time and I find the music irritating!
I found the controls of the game to be very easy as it is simply a jump button, and attack button and the directional pad to move around. The attack jump can be a little tricky if you don't time the double press of the jump button right as Mickey will not do it and will instead land feet first on the enemy and get injured himself!
I have completed this game a number of times in all 3 difficulties and I found the ending to be more amusing than rewarding! I wont tell you the exact ending as it will spoil it for you, however it does involve the rainbows and cheesy music along with classic Disney 'happy ending' togetherness!
*** Do I Recommend Castle of Illusion? ***
I do recommend playing this game if you have a copy of it, know someone who has or you can pick up one cheapish. The game is good fun to play, however with only 7 levels at the most and fairly simple gameplay once you've got the hang of it you could quite easily complete the game in an evening. I have done this and have replayed the game a number of times and each time I have enjoyed it, but as it has not been as much of a challenge due to knowing what is coming I have found it more to be a good way off killing time, so it would depend on whether you enjoy re-playing a game as to whether you would want to play again and again and thus effects the ongoing playability. I found the idea of the game to be very original, making this game an enjoyment to play and making it slightly harder to predict what was coming next. An overall pleasant and enjoyable gaming experience.
*** Availability ***
As with all Megadrive games, it will be extremely rare for you to find this game in the shops unless you come across it in a specialist shop or maybe pre-owned in one of the games shops. I would say the easiest way to get your hand on this game will be on eBay and it will probably be priced from the usual 99p upwards.
Thanks for reading! Lou.x
Please Note: I am on Ciao as gingelou so if you see this review on there it is not a copy, it is me!