Take control of Mickey Mouse and set off on an adventure across 14 levels to reclaim the magical crystal and restore happiness to the land by defeating the evil Phantom
Land of Illusion – Mickey Mouse
There can be occasional frustrations with some hard jumps and cheap deaths, but these flaws are more than outweighed by the good points. This is a game every Game Gear owner should have in their collection if they don’t already!
Mickey Mouse Land of Illusion review
Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse is a great game. Let’s get that out of the way first. I owned this game as a child on the Master System and loved it. Playing through it again on the Sega Game Gear has been a joy. I was worried that my childhood fondness for this game may have in some way clouded my judgment of whether this was actually a good game. Quite often I revisit a game I enjoyed as a child only to find it isn’t quite as good as I remember, but that’s not the case here.
From the very beginning
it’s clear that this game is a polished, well made game. The graphics are colourful and look incredibly impressive running on Sega’s 8-bit handheld. It’s almost as if you are playing a Disney animated cartoon. Sega has a great history of excellent Disney games and this is no exception.
Upon starting the game
We are treated to a brief moment of storytelling. The basic premise is simple. The evil Phantom has stolen the magical crystal and sadness has overcome the village. Mickey must set off on an adventure across 14 levels to defeat the Phantom, regain the crystal and restore happiness to the village. Story wise, we’re not dealing with a masterwork in fiction, but it’s perfectly adequate at setting the scene for the adventure to come and there isn’t really a need for a deeper story.
Land of Illusion is pretty simple. Initially in the early levels, the objective is to simply make your way to the end of the level with little exploration or any real challenge. Enemies are easily dispatched and the exit is easily found. To exit a level, a small magic potion must be found which will reveal the door. After a couple of levels however, things start to get a little more interesting. In order to progress in later levels, certain items must be found. For example, Tiny Caverns requires the ability to shrink, Craggy Cliff requires a rope. These items are acquired through boss battles and back-tracking through some of the earlier levels. The back-tracking is minimal, but it makes for a more interesting and slightly longer game as the levels are not necessarily the same when you return, sometimes actions in later levels affect the earlier ones.
Land of Illusion is not a difficult game, however
I still found I was suffering a few cheap deaths here and there. Mickey can take 3 hits before dying which is fine, but sometimes it can be easy to miss-time a jump and take a hit from an enemy. In the later stages, there are some frustrating jumps that are certainly made more difficult by the size of the Game Gears screen but these jumps can be mastered with practice. They are certainly not up there with Donkey Kong Country for ridiculously difficult jumps! Boss fights are pretty simple once you have the pattern down.
So, final conclusion:
Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a fantastic game. The gameplay is varied, the level design is excellent if a little on the short side. The graphics are lovely and look fantastic on the Sega handheld and even better on a modded system. There can be occasional frustrations with some hard jumps and cheap deaths, but these flaws are more than outweighed by the good points. This is a game every Game Gear owner should have in their collection if they don’t already!
Bright and colourful. Everything really pops and looks very good for an 8-bit handheld game, really capturing the feel of a Disney animated cartoon. A definite improvement over its predecessor, Castle of Illusion. However, there is occasional slow down when there is a lot going on.
Basic. Don’t expect War and Peace. As with most 8-bit platformers, the premise is simple: Evil Phantom steals magical crystal, Mickey Mouse is tasked with defeating the Phantom and returning the crystal. There’s nothing much beyond that but there doesn’t need to be. The Disney charm is enough to keep you invested.
Responsive but can feel a little delayed sometimes when trying to make a tough jump which can lead to some cheap deaths. Mickey’s main attack, performed by jumping and pressing the 2 button while in the air, can deal with basically every enemy.
The main story can be beaten in 2 hours. There is some replay value if you want to find all the secrets, items etc.
Easy. Not difficult at all but there can be some frustrating moments later on when trying to time jumps or attacks.
When was Land of Illusion Released?
Developed and published by Sega and released March 26th 1993 for Game Gear and Master System. This was the middle entry of the 8-bit trilogy comprising Castle of Illusion, Land of illusion and Legend of Illusion.
What Does Land of Illusion Cost?
complete in box for around £20-£25. A loose copy can be found between £5-£10.
How do I play Mickey Mouse Land of Illusion?
Start to Pause. 1 to pick up and throw items. 2 to Jump double press for jump attack