Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (PS3) Review

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse is the modern remake of an old Sega Genesis platforming game.  It was recently added to Playstation Plus, so I thought I'd check it out.  The 3D graphics ended up pretty good, and the environments are pretty cool.  My favorites were the one where a small Mickey Mouse was running in a toy-inspired world and the world that was an ancient ruin (even though it involved swimming).  The only real problem I have with the visual package was that sometimes it was hard to tell what was a platform and what was just decoration.  It wasn't a big deal, but it was something I felt worth mentioning.

After the opening scene where Minnie gets kidnapped, you start in a castle hub-world, which allows access to the other levels when they are unlocked.  To open up the final part to the last boss, you need to collect seven rainbow gems.  While at first you would think that each world will contain one gem, this is not the case.  The first three do contain one each, but the next two worlds have two gems each.  Moving through most levels is pretty straightforward.  You usually run to the right, and jump to platforms (or over pits) and make your way to the exit.  There are lots of things to add interest, like floating platforms, swimming sections and even some parts that require you to run through quickly.  Enemies are usually dispatched by jumping on them, but Mickey can also pick up items that can be thrown.  Ammo is limited, but usually easy to come by and there was only one or two levels where I actually ran out.  After two levels, you will fight the boss of the area, which rewards you with a gem.

Overall, the game isn't that hard.  I only died twice during the first five worlds (getting all the gems).  The final boss was the hardest part of the game, since there are no checkpoints and the fight takes a few minutes to complete.  Other levels have numerous checkpoints, so you aren't set back far if you do fall into a pit or die.  Bosses are the most difficult part of the game, but a little old-school pattern recognition will help greatly.  Playing would have gone smoother, but the jump didn't always seem responsive.  It was also annoying to make midair adjustments when jumping.  Also, since it's effectively a 2D game, you are probably better off using the d-pad instead of the analog stick.

Probably the biggest weakness of the game is the length.  It took me about 2-3 hours to make it through the main game and beat the final boss.  The real game extender is the collectibles.  You can unlock extra costumes for Mickey, and some cool concept artwork for the castle hub.  This requires getting all the gems in a level, as well as hidden collectibles.  Getting some of them is annoying, since they are really well hidden, or at the end of a secret part of the level.  Finding a guide to them is advised, unless you are exceptionally good at finding stuff.  I'm really good and thorough at getting collectibles and other hidden things, and I couldn't find several cards and carrots in Castle of Illusion.  The trophies are also very straightforward.  Beating the game and getting all the collectibles are all that's required to get every one.  There is no platinum, if that matters to you.

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse was pretty enjoyable.  It wasn't very hard, but the game is short, as I completed the main game in an afternoon.  Searching out all the collectibles will extend the time, and is really the only reason to replay the game.  If you are a fan of platformers, or Mickey Mouse, you should get enjoyment out of the game, even if it is short lived.  I'd recommend picking it up while it's on Playstation Plus, or if on sale for very cheap.

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