E3 2013: Hands-on: Mickey Mouse Castle of Illusion

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

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Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a title coming from Sega that features the iconic Disney character Mickey. It’s a reboot of the classic title that came out in 1990. It’s been ages since I’ve played the original, and I admit to not remembering much about it. I was left with a positive impression after playing a selection of two different levels from the game.

Castle of Illusion Toy Level

Castle of Illusion is a platforming game that takes a bit to get used to because of the jumping mechanics and the weight of Mickey. But after I settled in I found the demo to be a positive experience. The first level I played harkened back to nostalgia as the setting featured toy blocks and classic cars in the backgound. A soft and warm lighting palette adorned the entire level, casting a subtle shadow on the background almost reminiscent of twilight or late afternoon. I really enjoyed the backgound aesthetic (especially in HD), and I would say it was my favorite element from the demo.

I jumped from sailboat to sailboat in mid-air, timed my jumps to make sure I could reach a target, and used springs to propel myself higher. It soon became clear that I could jump to a platform that would branch from the main path, providing a form of replayability in case you miss something the first time around. The ending of the level featured Mickey running all the way back down to the bottom of the level, showcasing a sense of keeping me on my toes.

Castle of Illusion Dungeon Level

The other level that I demoed for Castle of Illusion was nothing like the first. This time Mickey was in a darker, dungeon-like area that featured enemies to be aware of. The level also introduced a new fireball throwing mechanic that allowed me to destroy enemies. I liked this level too, and clearly I sucked at it because I died multiple times. In one section of the level you can grab an extra life by taking a risky leap, and so the game features familiar mechanics found in any other platformer.

Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion stands out for its grasp on nostalgia and overall level design, but the platforming itself is of standard fare. It’s definitely a fun title and I wasn’t disappointed with either of the levels that I tried at E3. As I mentioned before, the jumping mechanic takes some getting used to but the graphics are beautiful. Castle of Illusion will be arriving as a digital download on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Windows PC sometime during Summer 2013.

About Jared Cyhowski

[Former Staff] Jared is a recent graduate from Fitchburg State University where he studied communications, video production, and English. He enjoys playing video games, watching anime, writing, and of course pizza. His favorite games are Shadow of the Colossus and Final Fantasy IX, but he can’t possibly choose a favorite anime. Jared enjoys following the games industry and observing what will happen next, and he puts out an invitation for discussion on these topics. He loves a great story in these mediums and prefers a stronger narrative design over most features. Jared is personally responsible for creating and managing the Anime section of the website, and hopes to inspired and entertain with everything he writes.