Now this game is my childhood, I remember playing this game more than I did Castle of Illusion. It really brings back really good childhood memories of me playing games with my Dad or cousins etc and having gaming nights at the weekend. So I couldn’t resist purchasing this as the Manchester Comi Con.
The successor to the hugely popular Castle Of Illusion, World of Illusion sees Disney icon that is Mickey Mouse back for another platform adventure, only this time he’s accompanied by his best friend Donald Duck. As the two ready themselves for a theatre performance, they happen across a mysterious portal back stage. The bad news for them, as it leads to a wonderfully and terrifying world of magic and mystery, in which the pair must traverse a sequence of Disney-themed levels before taking on the evil Magician responsible for them being there in the first place.
Thematically, visually, and musically, World of Illusion has a more lighter, whimsical touch than Castle did it doesn’t feel as dark. The magic box concept allowing for an Alice in Wonderland theme of being trapped in a strange world. Its levels, which include journeys through the sky on a magic carpet and through the galaxy on a champagne cork, along with candy-themed worlds and underwater castles, are filled with surprises, and it’s sometimes tough to tell when one ends and another begins, the levels just bring me pure Disney joy.
This game however, allows you to select from Mickey or Donald at the start; both if play with someone else (Co-op). Their gameplay is more or less the same across either story, though there are small areas where one character is required to take a slightly different path. World of Illusion could have used a little more variety to set the two characters’ stories apart. As Mickey’s adventure has the more memorable moments, with Donald’s seeing some of them replaced by less inspired bits like a maze section. But both Mickey and Donald are very fun to play as, and then there’s co-op, which is different still, and probably the ideal way to play the game, with the addition of new areas, cooperative sections, and the characters’ ability to reach new heights by jumping on each other’s shoulders. It feels like they wanted to make the most of using two players and make it more fun working together.
A notable key difference; instead of jumping on the enemies’ heads (which I found difficult have to get the timing right), as Castle did.The characters this time around get to use magical capes which I feel adds more of a magical quality and not keeping with the fairly common theme in platformers and the power of the cape turns the enemies into harmless versions of themselves . The capes does definitely adds more excitement.
The only thing that gets to me is the ease of the game and the use unlimited continues, and they provide you with a Password should you need to end your session and pick it back up later. Its kind of strange that the developers didn’t feel the need to up the challenge slightly, as it definitely falls behind Castle of Illusion in this regard as that game was hard and you had think, and if you died you start straight back at the very beginning . The final boss, especially, is a major let down, and the fight against him isn’t even as challenging as some of the earlier bosses that World of Illusion threw at you, which is a shame really.
My verdict is that World of Illusion was a great and a very well done sequel, in that it took the basic idea of the original Mickey sidescroller. It has built upon it while bringing it into a fresh new world and themes . The two playable characters and co-op play were great additions to the game and brought more fun, and the graphics received a beautiful facelift and provided more detail of structures and textures, from what Castle of Illusion brought to the table . The game may be too easy, and Mickey and Donald’s respective adventures could have stood to be a slightly different. But World of Illusion comes highly recommended to those who like these characters or who liked Castle of Illusion. Here’s hoping this one too receives the remake treatment one of these days. It brings back a childhood full of joy, and brings back all of the love I have for Disney and the world of it as well.