Posted: May 25, 2014
Let me start by saying that the old school Castle of Illusion on Genesis / Mega Drive remains one of my favorite platformers today.
Let me also say that I was hugely, hugely, hugely disappoint by DuckTales Remastered, which I found boring and lazily done.
So I went into this with low expectations ... I mean, how do you live up to a classic? Not sure it's possible, but I was extremely please with the updated Castle of Illusion on Steam. Great game. It does an excellent job taking the source material as inspiration and trying to update it without ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ all over it.Storyline
Some witch kidnaps Minnie while she and Mickey are having a picnic. Typical hero save damsel in distress. It works. My only minor complaint is that the intro kind of dragged. The story is so generic that it really seemed a waste of time to draw it out.Graphics
Wow. The developers did a great job with this. Whereas with DuckTales Remastered, where the characters looked great but everything else looked like crap ... I was dazzled by Castle of Illusion at ever step. In particular, the second level with the toys ... everything was beautiful.Gameplay
Here's where I had one of those ooh ahh moments. The old Castle of Illusion is purely a side scrolling platformer, and for the most part, so is the update. However, the developers cleverly integrated some 3D parts into the level design. Not too much. I'd compare it with a great movie director using just enough 3D elements without going overboard.Level design
Good variety. There's swimming, jumping, swinging, running-to-avoid. And again, all levels are beautiful. That said, the best levels in my opinion are the first two. After that, it's okay, but not as great as the first two levels.Collectibles
In each level you can pick up a card, model and / or chili. And these get you concept art, statutes and costumes (which you can switch into by jumping into the mirror on the third floor). I didn't bother much with completion. I'm not a collectibles or achievements ♥♥♥♥♥. But playing through once normally, I got one outfit and one statute.Playtime
I got through this in four hours, without chasing collectibles and achievements. It was short and sweet, which is how platformers should be. The unskippable credits were annoying, especially as it's just names scrolling on a black screen, but I don't care too much about these things.
Overall rating: 8/10. Probably loses a point or two for level design not being consistently great throughout.