Review by Myzery_Clown
"Yes, I'm old enough to be legally on the Gamefaqs message boards, but I still like a Mickey Mouse game, and I'm not ashamed of it either."
I got a Master System when I was very little, and one of the games that came with it soon thereafter was Castle of Illusion. I only a little kid at the time, and Mickey Mouse was my idol. *Starts to redden.* I just appreciated the game because it was fun then, but now I realize that this game was, well, a masterpiece for its time.
The story in Castle of Illusion is very generic. Minnie Mouse has been captured by an evil witch, and it is your job to rescue her. The game doesn't much of a storyline besides this. The only other thing in the storyline is that you must build the rainbow over again. A very pointless thing to add in the game, seeing how you build it to get to the last stage of the game, but it could've been easily reached without them, but they made me go find all of the colors of the rainbow. Oooo
There are two different modes you can play in the game. Practice mode consists of only three levels that are shortened up with no end bosses. This mode is much easier, and you beat it by trading the rainbow to the witch for Minnie Mouse. Normal is mode is the full game. There are seven levels in all including a forest, a toy store, a chocolate shop, a library, a clock shop, and two levels of the Castle of Illusion. Each of these levels has a boss at the end which include a tree, a clown, a candy bar, a book, a clock, a dragon, and finally the witch herself. The three levels you play in practice are the forest, toy store, and chocolate shop, but only about 1/3 of the level is played, and like I said, no bosses.
There are many things to find and do in the game. Although there's no minigames, you can rush through the game and play through it to the fullest. You start out with three stars, and each time you're hit you lose a star. You also start out with a set number of lives. As you progress through the game, you can get up to five stars which make you harder to kill. Other little treasures also help you. You kill enemies by jumping on them, but the dragon and some other bosses require other strategies. Overall, the game is very basic, and there isn't much more to it.
GAMEPLAY SCORE: 8.8/10
The graphics are a very high point for Castle of Illusion. The character designs are drawn very well, and they all look good. The enemy designs are just as good, with only the tree looking bad. At first I thought it was a log. The backgrounds are one of the best points in the game. The backgrounds are very bright and colorful, and they make the experience that much more enjoyable. These graphics still amaze me today, and could have easily passed for 16 bit graphics. These graphics are one of the many reasons why the Master System should've beaten the NES in my opinion.
GRAPHICS SCORE: 9.4/10
The music in Castle of Illusion is what can be expected. It's a Mickey Mouse game, so you can expect the music to be very childish and dum dee dum like. The boss music is very good, and the dragon boss has his own music. I really love the dragon music. It's very creepy and dangerous sounding. I think the witch should have had special music as well, she is the final boss after all. The music usually fits the setting very well. Overall, I was pretty happy with the music.
Theound to ects are great. All of the noises are great. The beaps and stuff of you jumping are great. The SMS used what sound capabilities it had to its advantage here. There is a special sound for everything from dying to getting a new star. They're hard to explain. They're usually a form of a beap or blip or something. I was very pleased with the attempt at making the dragon's fireballs. Mind you it was an attempt, and it didn't really resemble crackling flame too well, but it's better than what most games would have done. Overall, the sound in Castle of Illusion was done best possible, but sometimes best for this game is far behind best for another Master System game.
MUSIC/sound EFFECTS SCORE: 8.6/10
Castle of Illusion seemed very easy at first, but it progresses in difficulty as the game goes on. There isn't much in the way of puzzles, but the bosses can be difficult, and that dragon can be a real pain in the butt.
REPLAY VALUE: HIGH
This game is simply very fun to play. You can start out on Practice, but surely that won't hold you for too long, so you'll advance to Normal. You should have a little trhble with the game. There's no save or password feature erough, so it really sucksif you are at the dragon and have to turn it off. Take it from someone speaking from experience.
OTHER GAME INFORMATION
OENT/buy?: DEFINITE BUY
NUMBER Of PLAYERS: 1
OVERALL SCORE 8.9/10
Castke Illusion is a great game. It is very good for when it was made, and I think the SMS was the appropreate system for it. The Master System had many great adventure titles, and this stands out in my mind as one of those. Pick this up definitely if you could find it. It's probably chump change anyway these days, but it'll be worth all of the $1 bills you put down for it!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/13/00, Updated 06/13/00
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