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E3 2013: Castle of Illusion

Posted on June 14, 2013 AT 06:30am

Publisher Sega
Developer Sega Studios Australia
Platform 360, PS3, PC
Release Date Q3.2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Once upon a time—way back in the 1990, in fact—Sega made a Genesis game called Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse. It was a magical game requiring keen platforming skills, and it introduced players to an all new Disney villain: the evil Mizrabel. Twenty-three years later, some of Sega’s young developers were looking through the Vault of Old and Dusty games, came across said magical cartridge, and embraced it much like one would embrace a lost puppy or kitten. They decided the Castle of Illusion should be rebuilt using today’s modern technology, making the artwork prettier and the hoppy parts hoppier. But, instead of just taking the old game and slapping a fresh coat of paint on it, they decided to steal a bit of Mizrabel’s magic and change some things around. They added, they subtracted, they made swirly staircases to link things together—and when they finished, they decided to share the game with everyone. So, in the summer of 2013, Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse will once again launch to the world.

The Verdict

Full disclosure: I am a Disney fanatic. No, I do not love all things Disney, and have been disappointed by quite a few Disney games, but I do have a tendency to look at these games through a pair of Technicolor glasses. That said, I was thoroughly enchanted with this new vision for the classic Castle of Illusion. Now, it’s not an entirely new game; the developers took some parts, lost some parts, and added things where they felt it was necessary. It will feel both familiar and new at the same time.

The high-level of difficulty is mostly intact, assuring the game will provide a challenge to even experienced players. Also, for better or worse, the somewhat floaty jumping mechanics have also been left alone. I have heard complaints that this doesn’t feel right with the game’s new 3D rendered graphics, but I think it works fine.

I’m excited to play through the whole game to see what made the cut and what’s new, particularly since the designers implied some other Disney characters might make guest appearances. And while I couldn’t get confirmation that the original Genesis classic is obtainable in some way, the twinkle in the developer’s eye told me that this isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Marc Camron, Senior Editor
Marc Camron is pleased to finally get a little bit of time to enjoy new games this holiday season, even if Batman: Arkham Knight isn't one of them. The rest of the time will be spent getting ready for CES in Vegas, starting on January 5th. At least it should be warmer there than in Colorado.

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