Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Out of nostalgia - and a bit because it was on sale - I got Castle of Illusion on Steam. Back in the days I played it on my Megadrive and have some good memories of it, so why not?

For context, we´re talking of a 3D reboot of a 2D platform game. While most reboots are questionable, this one came out better than expected, since the game offers several substantial advantages over the original. The most notorious being checkpoints: If memory serves in the original if you ran out of lives you had to start over. In this new version completed levels are saved, so you can continue playing from the last completed checkpoint. This makes a world of a difference from the original, which was a good platforming games with some fresh ideas, but it was fucking hard to finish. I don´t think I managed to do it

But this new version not only upgrades the game to 2.5D graphics but also adds some interesting camera variety, while keeping the excellent level design ideas. It´s still fairly simple in its proposal: Mickey can walk, jump and throw apples. That´s pretty much it. Each scenario is somehow unique, with lots of exotic gameplay elements. This is a rare luxury in these days where budget constraints favor reusable systems. Another advantage is that, since the mechanics are that simple, you can´t blame the game for your failures. It´s all on you

On the minus side I´d say the ending cinematic was underwhelming, much like if they ran out of money at the last minute, and the game was a bit short. Presuming the game has the same number of levels than the original it´s understandable: Since the player is not forced to start from scratch it´s easier to run through the game. That also makes the “Lives” system a bit superfluous, I see the game being clearer without them

Anyway, good fun and some impressive levels. A great platformer, highly recommendable for those interested in the genre or Disney characters

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