Castle of Illusion – The Beginning and the End of My Video Game World

Due to undisclosed medical reasons, I was stuck in the apartment for about two weeks early in March. Luckily, this was an expected situation, so I had time to stock up on low-impact,  boredom-killing activities like puzzles, painting, and… video games. More accurately, video game.

One game to rule them all was available for download on the PS3. And it’s been a blast.

Castle Of Illusion

Castle of Illusions Starring Mickey Mouse for Sega Genesis was my very first video game. The funny thing was, it wasn’t even mine. Aunt Lisa, always up on the latest trends, got one for her kid, who was maybe 2. Realizing the insanity, and seeing how much fun James and I were having, she let us borrow the system, along with the few games she had, one of the being Castle of Illusion. (I think the others were Sonic 1 and Cool Spot – the game starring the red dot from the 7Up logo.)

I’m not sure what it was about that game, but it was wildly addictive. Aunt Lisa would cheer me on as I desperately tried to get Mickey to swing from rope to rope. James developed a habit early on of physically doing what the main character was doing, so he’d jump every time Mickey would jump. And when that giant apple would come rolling down…. wow.

And as the years went by, and we discovered and fell in love with more games (Aladdin. The Lion King. Sonic 3. Tiny Toons. — violence was clearly not our thing), Castle of Illusion never fell out of favor.

As gaming systems developed and advanced over the years, my taste and tolerance for them waned. Except for maybe Guitar Hero and Rockband, I haven’t played a game made in the last two decades. Until now.

At last year’s Comic-Con, James and I wandered into an arcade where they were demoing new games. We where drawn in by the ginormous Sonic installed in front, but when we entered? To our amazement, they were demoing an updated version of Castle of Illusion for the PS3. James and I may or may not have pushed a small child out of the way to be next in line to try this game.

When we got there, it was the level in the dungeon, never one of our favorites, but still. Shockingly, it was nearly identical. Oh, sure the graphics were improved by a billion and the game play added a little bit of complexity. But the music? Identical. The overall structure? Identical. The feeling we got when playing? I-freakin-dentical.

Since I’ve been playing the full version, it’s been amazing. Though I do miss some of the standard 8-bit graphics I grew up with, I appreciate the revamping that stayed true to the original.

Nostalgia for the win.



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