Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES, Konami, 1988)

A lot of sequels in the NES library are quite different from the originals. Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and of course, perhaps the most infamous of all, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. It used the same gameplay formula and expanded on it a bit. No longer was this a linear quest; Transylvania was now a explorable, open-ended world, and now there are more than 6 mansions to go through instead of one central one. Added to that is a monetary and experience system. Hearts now are used as currency (gross) and Simon Belmont can expand his health bar by gaining XP (read:level and cash grinding)

Simon's Quest takes place a few years after the original. A woman's spirit appears before Simon, telling of the curse laid upon him by Count Dracula after his demise. To fight the curse, Simon must find 6 parts of Dracula's remains (?!?!) to resurrect and destroy him once again, and to find these parts, Simon must gather powerful weaponry and grow stronger, and raid all of Dracula's mansions across Transylvania. Anyway the story makes little to no sense and is actually somewhat disturbing, but of course this is a NES game, so story is not a focus.

The focus is on the game itself. And the game feels like a mix of Castlevania, Zelda II, and Dragon Quest. The action is pure Castlevania, with the purposefully stiff controls and horror-styled enemies, but as said before, it's not a linear game. Instead, you start in a town with some NPCs, and go searching for tools and weapons. It was a little strange playing this game for the first time, seeing how my first instinct was to whip the first "enemy" I seen. Anyway seeing that I am a Zelda II veteran, I quickly got into the swing of things. The Dragon Quest element comes from the amount of grinding that is required. 

You need to buy quite a few tools to progress, such as Holy Water (more on that later), and you need to use hearts to purchase them. You get hearts by killing enemies, but you need a lot of hearts to buy things. So naturally, you need to farm/grind quite a bit. I love all of the Dragon Quest games, so I don't mind grinding, but I can see why a lot of people would not, even RPG fans. This stems from the difficulty of the combat. While I can't say that it's as hard as the original, it's still pretty tough. The first few enemies you face are not difficult to fight, but they get more ruthless as you go along, and if you manage to run out of lives, which is not hard to do, you lose all of your hearts that you earned. That would discourage (and infuriate) a lot of gamers. The potential pain of the combat can be lessened, however, by upgrading your whip, and as you go along, it's basically required to do so.

One notorious issue with Simon's Quest is the very poor translation. Progressing is near impossible without a guide or FAQ, because the hints that the NPCs give you either make no sense, or is a bold-faced lie. Most gamers back in 1988 used a Nintendo Power guide, now we have this site. There are a lot of puzzles in this game, and some of them are very improbable to solve without help, such as the infamous "Deborah Cliff" puzzle. That and the day and night mechanic. It's a cool and fresh concept, at least back in the day, but the transition is pretty horrible. When it switches from day to night, enemies are more numerous and much harder to kill, making combat even more difficult, But when it turns nighttime, there's a little box that pops up in the corner saying "What a horrible night to have a curse." This scene lasts for about 10 seconds. Doesn't sound too bad, however this day/night transition happens every 5 minutes. So every five minutes, you lose control of the game for 10 seconds. It's as irritating as it sounds.

The mansions are usually quite fun to plunder (so to speak), but there are is one big problem with them; invisible pitfalls. When walking across a straight path in a mansion, be sure to start tossing out Holy Water to see where the holes in the floor are, because in quite a few instances, you will fall straight through, which most of the time, leads to massive backtracking. Another minor issue is with the two boss fights in the game. You have to battle The Grim Reaper and a bleeding mask-thing named Carmilla. Both barely attack you and are insanely easy to defeat. Actually, you can literally walk right past them (Don't walk past Carmilla. Beat her, she drops something important). Dracula is no different, spam your Golden dagger and he's toast.

As far as the graphics go, I think it looks detailed enough, I mean, I could tell what everything was, but everything's too dark. That's the point, I imagine, but it looks kind of......ugly. Even for NES standards. Kind of a personal thing there, but that's that. The music, however, is awesome. Bloody Tears is one of my favorite songs from Castlevania, and the song in Dracula's mansion is pretty good at building up tension, even though Dracula is a easy boss.

In Castlevania II's current form, I would normally give it a 6 or 7, but there is a nice ROM hack by The Almighty Guru, called Castlevania II Redaction. It edits the game to make it enjoyable without walkthroughs. NPCs give you useful hints, the day/night transition is much smoother, and Dracula's appearance is different (he's still a wimp). This version of the game gets a 8.5 out of me. All of the little issues are resolved, but there's the grinding, annoying traps in the mansions, and lame boss fights. At it's core however, I recommend Castlevania II for hardcore Action-RPG players. It was quite refreshing to play a action game like Castlevania with a lot of RPG mixed in, but the issues that Castlevania II has makes it enjoyable, yet noticeably flawed. Good play for RPG and Castlevania fans, but you should know what your getting into before you play it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (2011, Nintendo, 3DS)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time holds a special place in many a gamers hearts. It's innovative and fine-tuned gameplay was supplemented by gorgeous visuals (for the time), a breathtaking soundtrack, and a surprisingly interesting story. Now, after 12 years of it's release, Nintendo and Grezzo released Ocarina of Time 3D for the Nintendo 3DS. Being a devoted fan of the Zelda franchise, I rushed out and purchased the game day one, even ordering the Soundtrack off of Club Nintendo's website. Has it held up well over the ages? Let's find out.

Ocarina of Time is best described as an Action game with a large focus on exploration and puzzle solving, along with some mild RPG elements. You control the hero Link as he rushes to save the land of Hyrule from the lord of all evil, Ganondorf. His quest involves him going all over the land, exploring dungeons and fighting numerous foes. I could explain more, but I would prefer to focus on the quality of the remake. If you want to know more about Ocarina of Time, I would suggest looking at a review of the original game.

Now, the 3DS remake's main draw is of course the graphical updates. Nintendo and Grezzo gave Hyrule and all of it's inhabitants a huge facelift, and it's a definite improvement over the N64 original. Characters now closely resemble their interpretations from the official artwork, and the environments are noticeably more detailed. Unfortunately, while the environments do look better than the 64 version, they still look a little underwhelming. The mountains still look a little on the blocky side and Hyrule field feels a little too sparse. Nintendo and Grezzo could have used a little more of the 3DS's processing power to clean up the environments a bit, but the game overall still looks quite nice.

The 3D effect is among the most effective yet. The depth really shows when travelling across Hyrule field, and the in-game cutscenes are given a nice new enhancement to their cinematic flair. In actuality, I really hate to turn the 3D effect off (to better utilize the gyroscope aiming and conserve battery life) because Ocarina of Time 3D just looks that much better with it.

One disappointment with Ocarina of Time 3D is the sound. Not that the soundtrack is bad or anything, far from it actually. I would go as far to say that Ocarina of Time has one of the best soundtracks in the franchise, but it's disappointing to find that Nintendo and Grezzo didn't remix it. It's forgivable, seeing how the music is still incredible in it's current form, but if they went through the trouble to enhance the visuals, why not the awesome music? Oh well, at least they included a incredible orchestrated melody at the end credits. A nice reward for completing the game.

Speaking of rewards, you also get a mirrored version of the Master Quest version if you complete the original. Basically it's Ocarina of Time Plus. The dungeons have been changed significantly, with items completely switched around and new enemies added in. The game has been completely flipped as well, and it's suitably disorienting. The nicest part of Master Quest (in my humble opinion) is the difficulty boost. I have found Ocarina of Time to be a somewhat easy game, one that I can breeze through in about 10 hours, but this version adds a nice challenge, namely an increased enemy count in dungeons, that and all enemies and obstacles do double the damage. It's a really nice addition, and definitely a worthy quest to any Zelda veteran. 

And seeing how Nintendo has to appeal to the casual market as well, they added in something called Sheikah Stones. They act as a guide, giving the player hints on how to find and solve dungeons. However, these are just general hints. If you want to find everything about the game, such as heart pieces and Golden Skulltulas, you'll have to use your own intuition (or a walkthrough, either way). I see it helping out younger and newer Zelda fans, but I found it to be useless (then again, I know Ocarina of Time forwards and backwards).

Also added was a bit of motion control. By physically moving your 3DS system when aiming a bow, hookshot, etc., you can aim them using the gyroscope. It seems gimmicky at first, but it's usefulness knows no limits. It feels more natural and allows you to react faster than the analog nub, making some tricky situations much easier to resolve. 

Other that Master Quest, updated visuals, and the motion aiming, this is virtually the exact same game you played back in 1998. Nintendo and Grezzo even added in glitches and bugs from the original game. It seems that the developers were trying to respectfully recreate a classic game and introduce it to a new audience, but you are essentially paying 40 dollars for a game that you can get for around 10 dollars on the Wii's Virtual Console service. It was worth it for me, because I love this game dearly and wanted to play it on the road, but for some, it may not be enough. That being said, there are people who never played Ocarina of Time before, and if that's true for you, then buy this game ASAP. Ocarina of Time 3D is the ultimate version of a game that's truly of the best ever created, but the 40 dollar price tag may seem a little too high for some. But as it stands with the 3DS library, this is probably the best you are going to get.

+ Game still holds up very well since it's release
+ Graphics given a good facelift, 3D is effective.
+ Soundtrack as epic as ever.
+ Sheikah Stones are a nice touch for beginners.
+ Master Quest is a worthy challenge.
+ Gyroscope aiming is precise and useful.

- Not a lot of new content, seems pricey.
- Soundtrack could have used an update.
- Some parts of the visuals don't look so hot.

OVERALL: ***8.5 out of 10***

Friday, February 4, 2011

DOOM (1994, Sega / ID, 32x)

Ah, the classic joy of a fully loaded shotgun and bloodthirsty demon spawn. That's right, the good old fashioned DOOM, the virtual slaughterhouse which relieved many stress-filled days. As sick as it may be, I adore pumping evil demons full of buckshot with my 12-gauge. This is one of those games where the gore is needed for the game to be enjoyable, like Mortal Kombat. And in 1994, for the launch of Sega's ill-fated 32x add-on, DOOM was released. Was it the end of all home ports like SEGA said it would be?

DOOM really has no plot. You play as a marine who has to fight through Hell to save the world. That's it. But you don't need a plot to go running around kicking copious amounts of ASS do you? DOOM does a really good job at making you feel powerful, except if you have that wimpy pistol. Shotguns cause your enemies to go down in a gory fury, Plasma guns tear through your enemies like a hot knife through butter, and don't get me started on the BFG 9000. Gameplay is pretty simple too, all you have to do is get to the end of the level in one piece. There are times they make you get color-coded keys, but they aren't too hard to get.

The 32x port is well-known for being only 75% complete. A decent chunk of the in-game levels have been removed, mostly because the game was rushed out for the holiday season. This is a tolerable omission, I suppose because the game is still pretty long. Another strange fact is that there's a large border around the screen. This was done presumably to enhance the game visually, but this ends up not being the case. the 32x's scaling capability is weak, so monsters and items look indescribable from a distance, (and from up close they don't look much better), added to that is a unstable framerate and missing segments from some levels. Monsters only face you directly and aren't really animated very well, but they behave just like they do in the PC version.

The control, at least, is solid. It works like it's supposed to, but it's suggested that you have a six-button pad when you play, because it's easier to switch between weapons this way. The best gun in the game, the BFG 9000 is basically not in there. It is included, but you can only access it with a code, and if you have it, you can't complete the game because the last two levels become inaccessible. This is probably the biggest flaw with the 32x version, but it's not game-breaking. What is close to game-breaking, however, is the godawful music. I haven't really played any other games on the 32x other than Cosmic Carnage, but I guarantee this is the worst-sounding out of them all. The sound effects, grunts, and moans are all there, so it helps the situation a bit.

DOOM on 32x is disappointing. Hell, the game isn't even finished. This game was obviously rushed to market, and it shows all too well. The 32's sprite scaling was always notorious for pixelation, and that's no different here. The music is horrible, along with that awful border around the screen which is absolutely useless, and perhaps the worst part, the BFG 9000 has essentially been removed. Sega really messed this great action-fest up bad, and since the PC version is so easy to get nowadays, there's no good reason to add DOOM to your 32X collection.

PROS: Solid control, classic sound quips are still in.
CONS: Excessive pixelation, pointless border, BFG is barely included, terrible music, big chunk of the levels have been omitted.


Cosmic Carnage (1995, Sega, 32X)

I believe most people know of the add-ons that Sega introduced for the Genesis. They were infamous for being of low-quality and for basically rehashing old Genesis games, while adding minor enhancements or graphical effects. The 32x was the one that took the most flak, mostly due to the general wretchedness of the titles available for it. Most games for the 32x were just rereleases of other games, much like the Sega CD. But there were a few original games for the mushroom, and this game, Cosmic Carnage, happened to be one of them. Back during the game's release, most critics ripped Cosmic Carnage to shreds, and was one of the lowest rated games of '95. Is really as bad as most people say? I say let's find out.

Surprisingly, Cosmic Carnage has an interesting plot. Not a good plot, mind you, but interesting. The game takes place somewhere in space. A prison ship was overrun by its inmates, and the inmates hatch a plan to escape. They put a distress call for help, luring a nearby military cruiser. The inmates gun the engines and smash into the ship, destroying all but one of the escape pods. And basically, the remaining soldiers and the inmates fight over said pod. That's really it. Like I said. Not a good plot.

The gameplay is like a very slow version of Mortal Kombat. There are four military characters and four inmate characters. A pretty cool aspect of Cosmic Carnage is the ability to augment your character's abilities with different kinds of armor, although only certain characters can do this. This armor enhances your speed and strength, but if it takes enough abuse, it'll break. If your armor breaks, you can't perform special moves.
On that note, good luck trying to pull special moves off! The control in Cosmic Carnage is sloppy. The movement seems a bit delayed and the positioning for the attack buttons is abysmal. Oh, and if you do not have a 6-button controller, you're already basically f**ked. If you really want to invest into this game, and it's questionable if you do, get a six button. Even then the moves are a nightmare to pull off. There is a bit of a payoff though, because if you K.O an opponent on the 2nd round with a special attack, you get awesome GRAPHIC DISMEMBERMENT!!!, Either the opponent's head, arms, or legs go flying off in a fountain of blood, and they even twitch after they slump over! Mortal Kombat ain't got nothin' on this s**t!

Visually speaking, Cosmic Carnage is pretty bad. While I suppose the characters themselves look good artistically and animate well (for the most part), Sega decided to use the 32x's scaling capability. If you know anything about that, you'll know that when they zoom in on the characters, they look incredibly pixilated. Another thing, when any character performs an attack that goes "out" towards the screen does this very odd zooming effect. It's technically impressive sure, but seeing it in action proves to be cringe-worthy. Most of the characters just look bizarre (and awesome), such as Cyclic with his beetle-head, or Naja, who is basically a big snake. The background graphics look pretty nice, however, but that's not always the case.

Cosmic Carnage also has another problem Mortal Kombat has; The A.I plays too precisely. Almost all of the characters on the normal difficulty (3) will block almost everything you can dish out, and they'll turn around and slaughter you in two seconds. The only way I managed to beat Cosmic Carnage was by throwing my opponents over and over again, and it takes forever to wear their health down this way. On the audio side, Cosmic Carnage does have a nice soundtrack, nothing I would listen to a MP3 of though. The sound effects are standard "biff" sounds that get the job done, I suppose.

The ending is excruciatingly bad. See, when you defeat all the other fighters in the game, you are shown running into the escape pod. This scene takes a surprising amount of time. I then saw a small blue timer in the corner. The timer ran out and the screen went white while the escape sequence was still happening. The game then tells me "Congratulations! You've survived the Carnage! Unfortunately, the ship exploded before you escaped." "If only you could have defeated them faster…" This situation induced an anger-induced heart attack that I quickly recovered from (somehow).

Cosmic Carnage is the perfect example of the "OK game". The major problems such as the bad controls and pixelated graphics, are "balanced out" so to speak by the unique mutant-like appearance of the fighters and the good music. There are much better fighting games out there, even for the 32x, but as it stands it's not unplayable. It's pretty cheap, so if you have the curiosity (or the patience), you should check it out sometime.


PROS: Decent background graphics, somewhat catchy music, cool artistic design for the fighters, neat armor mechanic, GRAPHIC DISMEMBERMENT!!!!!

CONS: Bad controls, Really sloppy sprite scaling, Stupid "Zoom" effect for some attacks, silly plot, stupidest ending in any fighting game, bulls**t A.I.


(Note: If the spacing between the paragraphs looks a bit wide, I typed this in Word, and it makes it look like this. I'll be sure not to do that anymore.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Secret of Mana (1993, Squaresoft, SNES)

I've never been a huge fan of Role Playing games. I don't know, I really have a hard time investing so much time into them and I just lose interest after a while. But I have a soft spot for Square's SNES efforts (Breath of Fire doesn't count). But I recently finished one of their more popular ones: Secret of Mana. I have played Children of Mana previously beforehand, and needless to say I do not care for it. As such, my expectations were rather low, but I was a fool. Secret of Mana is one of my favorite SNES games, and probably my favorite RPG in general.

You control a young man named Randi. He and two other boys were exploring a waterfall outside their village to hunt for a treasure. Randi is separated from the other two after he falls while crossing the falls, and lands in a pond. Which happens to hold the legendary Sword of Mana, the weapon used to save the world eons ago. A voice beckons him to pull it from it's resting place, and Randi listens, removing the blade. When he does, all hell breaks loose. And so, he sets out on a quest to restore the Sword and restore order.

The gameplay is alot like the Zelda games, only with more RPG. Meaning, you explore a overworld consisting of many places and towns, and you have to clear out "dungeons" in order to progress in the game, solving the occasional puzzle, searching every nook and cranny, etc. but unlike Zelda, SoM adds a leveling system, a in-depth Magic system, upgradable weapons, and of course, statistics for Randi and his companions (more on that later).

The game functions like any other top-down game. You fight monsters in the overworld and dungeons with numerous kinds of weapons such as a whip, a bow, etc. All of these weapons can sometimes solve puzzles and uncover secrets in your environments, much like Zelda. Travelling quickly around the overworld involves shooting yourself around with cannons (awesome). As you progress in the adventure, Randi gains allies: A young girl named Primm, and a "Sprite Child" named Popoi. These two heroes lead to one of SoM's shining features: Cooperative play. Up to three people can control all three heroes, and the game is tailored well to Co-op. Slaying beasts and taking on bosses becomes alot easier and you don't have to worry about Primm and Popoi getting caught up on rocks whilst running through the fields.

SoM is mostly an action-adventure game, but a significant chunk is RPG styled. Randi and friends have a stamina limit on attacks, meaning after you swing your weapon, a percentage starts to quickly rise from 0% to 100%. Attacking while the gauge is below results in a weak attack, so you have to play defensively, thankfully the enemy behavior is tweaked to work well with this mechanic. Magic is a big part of SoM, and is used with a ring-based menu. You open the menu for either Primm or Popoi, select the type of Magic you want, select the spell, and let it fly. The way it's managed can get a little frustrating and sometimes tedious, but it really isn't a big problem.

SoM is a dynamo visually. Everything is well-drawn and colorful, and animates smoothly. The Mode 7 effects are clever, and the last boss encounter can be pretty intimidating (and confusing). The music is surprisingly atmospheric and moving, the score grabs you as soon as you start the game. And the only other game that does that for me is A Link to the Past. And that's saying something.

As you can tell, Secret of Mana is an amazing game. There is very little to complain about. The visuals still hold up very well today, the music is incredibly atmospheric, there's co-op action abound, and most gamers, casual or hardcore, will eat this game right up. I think Square Enix is a husk of it's former self in this age, but back then Square really knew what gamers wanted. Secret of Mana proves that pretty well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (1990, Sega, Genesis)

Most of Mickey Mouse's 16-Bit endeavors have been held in high regard by fans, and it's relatively easy to see why. The challenges are tough but never overwhelming, the control is almost always tight, and the visuals have that distinct Disney charm to them, making them as fun to watch as they are to play. The first 16-Bit game on the iconic rodent's belt is Castle of Illusion, which came around during the "Genesis Does" campaign Sega was pushing so hard. Sega emphasized the animation of Mickey himself, while not being animated by Disney itself, looked incredibly slick for the time. Most Genesis fans agree that Castle of Illusion was the best game of the Genesis's second year.

The plot is this: Mickey and Minnie were spending time swinging each other around (for some odd reason), when all of a sudden, a rather hideous witch named Mizrabel kidnaps Minnie and takes her to the game's namesake setting; The Castle of Illusion. So now, Mickey has to find seven "rainbow gems" and destroy Mizrabel if he wants to get his girlfriend back. 

Castle of Illusion plays like most side-scrolling platformers. Mickey can move left and right, jump, and throw "items" which are basically ammo. If you press the jump button when you are in the air Mickey will come down with a "butt slam" maneuver that can be used on your foes to launch you up higher. This move is quite novel and bouncing off multiple enemies is pretty satisfying. 

The highlight of the game is definitely the visuals. While not exactly vibrant, they do have that Disney quality to them, and they are quite robust. The forest stage looks relatively dark and even the Dessert Palace looked kind of....gray. The enemies you face, as you probably expect, look like they have been pulled out of a Disney cartoon. Mickey himself is very well animated, and moves and jumps very fluidly. His facial expressions when he falls into a bottomless pit, or is about to fall over a edge, will more than likely bring a smile to your face.

The sound design gets the job done. The music sounds pretty good, some good tracks here and there. The boss theme sounds intense and menacing, and the Toy Palace theme is pretty catchy. The sound effects, however, are not very good. Mickey makes this high pitched shriek when he takes damage, and the 'shing' sound every time you destroy an enemy gets on your nerves.

I couldn't find any real major flaws with Castle of Illusion. It's a truly enjoyable little platform romp for the Genesis and is one of the games that helped Sega take the lead on the 16-Bit era. Almost everyone loves Mickey Mouse in some way, and this game certainly shows the rodent's charm. The Genesis didn't really take off until Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, but Castle of Illusion definitely helped put Sega on top in the 16-Bit market.

+ Great graphics for 1990.
+ Has that Disney charm.
+ Slick animation and fluid control.
+ Surprisingly intense and somber music.

- Annoying sound effects.

OVERALL: 9 out of 10

Sunday, December 19, 2010

World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (1992, Sega, Genesis)

Mickey Mouse has always been one of those characters that has been "around the block" in video games. The iconic rodent has been on almost every console in some shape or form, and unlike most games based on licensed characters, his track record is surprisingly clean. Most retro gamers appreciate Mickey's efforts on the 16-Bit consoles, and World of Illusion is of course no exception, despite a few minor setbacks.

The plot is this: Mickey and Donald are practicing a magic show when all of a sudden Donald discovers a box of some sort backstage. Donald's curiosity got the best of him and he looks inside, being pulled inside in the process. Mickey of course jumps in after him. When they enter, another magician challenges them to fight and defeat him in order to escape this new world they just arrived in.

Gameplay is simple yet enjoyable. It's a ordinary platformer with a cool twist: two player co-op. Both Mickey and Donald can be controlled at once, and it's substantially more fun to play with a friend. You'll notice that both heroes move rather slowly, but there is a "dash" button that can be used for quicker movement. But the kicker with this concept is the level design; there is simply too much stuff to run into that you would be better off just to ignore this feature all together, but at the same time it makes the game seem rather tedious in the process. It's a bit of a strange flaw, but can easily be overlooked.

Believe it or not, the game actually changes depending how you play it. If you play as Mickey, the game is basically at normal mode; the way the game is meant to be played. If you play as Donald, the game becomes significantly more difficult, focusing on pinpoint jumps and evading enemies rather than attacking like Mickey. If you play co-op, the game becomes much more focused on teamwork, adding some new stages designed for two players. This diversity within the game gives it alot of replay value; always a good thing in video games.

Ive always enjoyed the graphics in 16-Bit Disney games, and World of Illusion is no exception. Both Mickey and Donald animate well and the stages are bright and colorful. Bosses are visually impressive, yet easy and uninteresting to fight. The audio is decent as well, however some music stands out more than others (the ocean level sounds pretty) and the effects are a little weak on certain ends.

There are of course some issues. Both characters attacks consist of a enchanted cape that they fling at enemies; turning them into harmless objects, but the cape kind of has a awkward angle of attack which can lead to some cheap hits here and there, but for the most part the attack works just fine. The level design is a times less than perfect, there are traps placed is some very precarious areas that are next to impossible to avoid, again, leading to some mandatory damage.

Despite some pretty glaring flaws like cheap hits and occasionally weak controls, World of Illusion is a excellent sidescroller with a neat 2-Player option. The visuals are stylish and diverse, the gameplay is solid and relatively challenging, the ocean stage's music is really good, and to top it all off, it has the most iconic cartoon character around as the main character. World of Illusion is part of a consistently good "Illusion" series that is the favorite of many Disney fans, and going by this game it's not too hard to see why.

+ Colorful graphics.
+ Awesome 2-Player option.
+ Diverse gameplay options.
+ Relaxing ocean tune.

- Questionable "dash" option.
- A cheap hit here and there.
- Inconsistent sound design.

OVERALL: 8.2 out of 10