New Castle of Illusion HD Details

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Years ago, Disney’s Castle of Illusion was ranked with a near mythical status for old-school gamers that gamed in the 16-bit era. It seems Sega is dead set on trying to create a perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation. A Sega spokesperson has stated this when questioned on the passion for creating this HD remake.

“It is one of the most requested games for us to make for us on the Sega side, and on the Disney side as well. About two years ago we decided to re-imagine it. We didn’t just want to make an HD version. We wanted to freshen it up, not just in graphics, but in gameplay as well. As a result you see something that is very true to the original game and is very modern as well.”

“The team took the opportunity to tweak some elements that hadn’t aged as well, most notably that cornerstone of any platforming challenge: jumping. The jumping mechanics are pretty modernized. The old game, it was good, it was challenging, but for a modern game you have a little more fluidity of animations. That’s one part that we’ve had the opportunity to add a lot more animations.”

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It seems Mickey’s animations add more depth to the character than ever before. Sega insisted that they have been working hand-in-hand with Disney. Disney animators have kept a close watch over the visuals and art style of the game as it has progressed. A new feature will be the inclusion of 3D visuals for Boss battles only. The rest of the game will be in 2D just as the original. The team at Sega seems to be putting a lot of love into a project that is clearly so nostalgic from some of our childhoods, and clearly still a passion of Disney’s.

Castle of Illusions HD Confirmed; Coming to PSN/XBLA/Steam

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Sega is working with Disney Interactive on an HD remake of Castle of Illusion featuring you guessed it, Mickey Mouse. It has been confirmed that the game will release sometime this summer on PC, PSN, and XBLA.

Developed by Sega Studios, the title is detailed as “a complete re-imagining” of the Sega Genesis side scrolling game that first released back in 1990. It will feature the original storyline that had gamers poised to help Mickey save Minnie from the evil Witch. Sega has stated that the game has been “completely rebuilt from the ground up with new visuals and fresh gameplay mechanics.”

“The original Castle of Illusion was tremendously entertaining and has a well-deserved reputation as a Sega classic. Castle of Illusion Featuring Mickey Mouse brings this great game to a new generation. Mickey is back and he looks fantastic.”

Gamers are rejoicing as it has been 22 years since they have seen this game boot up again, and now, it will look the most up-to-date. For more news on this, stay tuned to GamersXtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

New Trailer For Disney’s Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion

Disney’s Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion has a brand new full length trailer that is sure to excite fans of the series. This title will be fully utilizing the specs of the Nintendo 3DS. The game will feature a combination of painting, dual-screen integration and 3D transformation capabilities designed to give players the ability to create objects and characters they can place in the world of Wasteland. It must be noted that this game is a follow up to the 1990 Sega Genesis classic “Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse”. Each level in the game will be based on various Disney franchises such as “Sleeping Beauty” and “Beauty and The Beast”. Impressively, the entire game will be presented with hand-drawn graphics and page scrolling backgrounds, giving a very unique look and feel for the game. Disney’s Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion is set for release on November 18, 2012. For more news on this or any other topic be sure to keep it locked onto Gamers Xtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

Possible Kingdom Hearts HD Collection in 2012?

Tetsuya Nomura has been hard at work with his team making Kingdom Hearts 3D for the 3DS, but apparently, they’re discussing a 10 year anniversary plan.  2012 marks the tenth year since the original Kingdoms Hearts became a massive hit amongst PS2 owners.  While Square Enix has been pushing out more installments of the franchise, they’ve all been (except for Kingdom Hearts II) for handheld devices.

Could this be a release next year? Let's hope so!

Nomura stated to Japanese magazine Dengeki that there’s a lot of talk about a Kingdom Hearts HD Collection to celebrate the 10 year anniversary.  He wants to bring newcomers into the franchise but realizes that those being introduced to the series need to understand the story starting with the original.  Hearing talk about it coming from the studio is a great sign leading to something fans and newcomers may be interested in.

Could you imagine playing this in HD Glory?

What do you guys think?  Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!

TRON: Evolution Review (PS3/360/PC)

TRON: Evolution is a third-person action adventure title for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.  It serves as a prequel to the recent film, TRON: Legacy, bridging the gap between the original TRON film and the sequel.

 

Story: 3/5

TRON: Evolution starts off with a video recording of Kevin Flynn, the creator of the TRON universe, discussing how he got “in” to “The Grid”.  He mentions how he discovered these ISOs which would lead to creating a perfect world due to their free-will nature.  CLU,a system administrator created by Kevin Flynn to ensure that the game world runs in order, has become jealous of the ISOs existence feeling they pose a threat.  Recently, the leader of the ISOs, Jalen, was murdered and Flynn suspects CLU might have been involved.  You play as Anon, a system monitor created by Kevin Flynn, who is sent to investigate the situation at hand.  You begin by meeting up with TRON to attend a conference that would unify both the programs and the ISOs.  However, things don’t go quite as planned as the conference gets interrupted by a corrupt ISO, Abraxas.  As the system monitor, you are tasked with bringing down Abraxas before he can corrupt the entire game world and prevent CLU’s rise to power.  The story is done well enough to enjoy throughout the experience, but it’s strictly for TRON fans.

Gameplay: 3/5

Imagine Mirror’s Edge and Prince of Persia combined and you’ll essentially get an idea of how TRON: Evolution plays.  Anon is a very acrobatic character to control whether he’s running on walls or vaulting over objects.  His combat relies strictly on his “Light Disc” which consists of four different types: Heavy, Bomb, Stasis and Corruption.  While they all have the same attacks, they each have unique special attacks.  The Heavy Disc is mainly good with dealing with enemies when there’s too many surrounding you.  The Bomb Disc will scatter cluster bombs to take care of enemies in the vicinity.  The Stasis Disc will cause the enemies to slow down to a crawl, giving up to upper hand in finishing them off.  And lastly the Corruption Disc will infect the enemy, draining their health until they explode.  However, certain enemies will require you to equip specific discs so that you can damage them.  The combat has it’s own complexity system but pulling off the moves is not a difficult task to do. The game spans through seven chapters.  The experience is short though, lasting the average gamer between 4-5 hours on the first playthrough.  Here’s the catch though, the game has replay value.  As you progress through the game, you will get XP which will then net you MB (megabytes are your skill points to use to upgrade Anon).  There are 50 versions for Anon to level up to, making him much more powerful evidently as you level up.  You can upgrade your health, energy (used for special attacks), siphon (how much health or energy you can restore when accessing siphon objects), damage your discs do as well as multiplayer perks.  A nice feature is that TRON: Evolution transfers your character version to the multiplayer and whatever XP you earn there will transfer back to your campaign mode.  There are some problems with TRON though.  The platforming is functional but wall running can feel a bit off at times.  Occasionally the game isn’t sure if you want to run up a wall and run along it, leading to some really cheap deaths since you can’t control him once the animation starts.  Checkpoints are abundant though, so it shouldn’t really frustrate the gamer too much.  There are a few times where you have to drive the “Light Tank” but driving it is a real chore.  Even when the control stick was being pushed forward, the tank would kind of sway left and right a little bit, which is just odd.  However, try driving and turning at the same time while trying to shoot down the other tanks…that’s a whole another story that lead to numerous unnecessary deaths (on hard and insane difficulty).  There are also a few sequences where you’ll drive the “Light Cycle”.  These fared much better than the tank sequences.  They’re fast-paced and control pretty well.  If you have the PS3 version, you can use the Playstation Move controller to drive the “Light Cycle”…and it stinks.  It’s a very under-developed and gimmicky idea of just holding the remote sideways as if you’re holding the handlebar of the bike and turning it to steer.   It’s a shame they only made the controller compatible with this sequence.  Imagine they made an exclusive mode for it where you can versus other people (offline or online) in Disc Wars?  Now that would have been a PERFECT implementation of the Move controller.  Also, the final action sequence of the game is absolutely absurd.  While it’s intense, it is for the wrong reason.  It’s a cheap “let’s throw infinite enemies at the player” scenario, but you need to defeat specific enemies to advance.  Problem is, there enemies are a bit hard to distinguish in the middle of the action causing a frustrating finale.  The multiplayer is a fun distraction/bonus, nothing groundbreaking but fun nonetheless.  You have your typical deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the node variants.  Another nice touch with the multiplayer though is that for most of the maps, the game will spawn bots to take the place of anyone who is not playing in the match with you.  In some maps, you will be able to take control of the Light Tanks and Light Cycles (which are activated with a single button press) adding a little more life into the multiplayer.  However, these are the type of maps where bots cannot be played against so you’re going to need a few people to really get the most out of these maps.

Graphics: 4/5

Visually, TRON: Evolution looks great!  The characters and environments all have a very sleek and clean look to them.  Frame-rate was at a steady 30 FPS and never slowed down.  The animations are really well done as well, except for Anon’s “sprinting” animation…that just looks a little funny.  However, the rest of his animations are top-notch and sweet to watch.

Sound: 5/5

This was what stood out the most from this game.  The soundtrack is loaded with awesome techno tracks (plus two tracks from the TRON: Legacy from Daft Punk).  From the second you hear the main theme until the credits, this is one soundtrack to crank up the volume to.  The sound effects even sound great, giving it that cool tech vibe.  Voice acting wasn’t bad at all either.  Olivia Wilde (Quorra) and Bruce Boxleitner (TRON) reprise their roles as the characters they portrayed on the big screen.  Even though Jeff Bridges didn’t return to voice Kevin Flynn, Fred Tatasciore does a great job filling in for the role.

Overall: 15/20 = 7.5/10

TRON: Evolution is overall, a very good game.  Especially considering that a large selection of movie-based games are poorly made, this was really enjoyable despite the flaws mentioned.  TRON fans will really get the most out of the game, but newcomers shouldn’t avoid it either.  While the campaign is short, it’s very replayable and if going for Trophies/Achievements is your thing, this has a fun set to go for.

 

PROS:

+Outstanding soundtrack

+Game bridges the story gap between the original movie and sequel

+Great visuals

+Fun combat

+Replay value

 

CONS:

-Tank sections are a chore

-Cheap deaths due to “trial-and-error” gameplay

-Final action sequence is hard for the wrong reason

Epic Mickey Review (Wii)

Epic Mickey is an adventure based game by Junction Point Studios for the Wii console. It is an attempt to re-brand Mickey from the lovable cheerful mouse we all know and love to a more mischievous and adventurous character.

Story: 5/5

Epic Mickey begins with Mickey searching through Yen Sid’s workshop after slipping through a mirror in his house. After seeing a model displayed on a table, Mickey picks up Yen Sid’s magic paintbrush, and inadvertently creates the Shadow Blot while using it. Panicking, Mickey uses paint thinner to try and erase it, but manages to damage the entire model during the process. Unsuccessful, Mickey returns to his house through the magic mirror, leaving the Shadow Blot to enter the model world. Many years pass and Mickey forgets the whole scenario, until the Shadow Blot breaks through the mirror and drags Mickey into the model world known as Wasteland. Mickey learns that Wasteland is the home of many forgotten characters from cartoon past, including Oswald the Lucky rabbit. Oswald is jealous of Mickey for his popularity and fame, and initially refuses to help him. Meanwhile, the Mad Doctor and the Shadow Blot enact a plan to steal Mickey’s heart, for all forgotten characters no longer have hearts of their own, and need it to escape Wasteland. Throughout the game, Mickey visits numerous characters from the old Disney cartoons that aid him in his quest to return home. If you’re a fan of Disney, you’ll notice the reappearance of forgotten characters, as well as robotic re-imaginings of more current ones. The story is darker than normal Disney stories, but still retains its humor and good-natured storytelling. It was a great way to revisit old locations and characters from Disney’s timeless classics.

Gameplay: 3/5

Epic Mickey uses an interesting game play technique involving paint and thinner. The worlds in wasteland have been destroyed by the paint and thinner that Mickey accidently spilled into the model, leaving the levels partly unfinished. Mickey needs to use paint and thinner to add parts of the world that are gone to traverse to new areas and solve puzzles. The two are easily found throughout the game, and even if you are completely empty, they refill over time. This game play technique brought a new dimension to Epic Mickey that I really enjoyed. However, there were many issues as well. For one, combat was annoying at times. In order to defeat enemies, you would need to whack them with a flick of the Wii remote, then either 1) paint them to make the enemies good (leaving them to help fight other enemies with you) or 2) use thinner to eliminate them completely. The game tries to add a moral element letting the player decide whether to choose a good or bad role. There are many collectibles throughout the game, and depending as to which side you choose, you’ll receive different collectibles, as well as different story paths. While this didn’t affect the overall storyline, it presented a challenging combat mechanic that found me losing life after life because of the awkward controls during combat, especially when trying to point the cursor at the enemies while moving and using both the paint and thinner. The second issue was the bad camera. There were too many moments when I didn’t know where to go or what to jump over, leading to many confusing moments and instant deaths. What I did enjoy were the 2D side-scrolling segments between each “level.” These were recreations of early Mickey cartoons that were fun to play, however, there were moments of backtracking in Epic Mickey that made these 2D segments tedious to play through over and over again. The game also felt a lot longer than it needed to be. I completed it in about 11 hours, and that was with me not doing every side “mission.” There was a moment in the game where you felt like it was over, but then it kind of dragged the last few hours, making you wonder when it was going to end.

Graphics: 3/5

For a Wii game, the graphics were mediocre. It does a good job of showing what you need to see, but there was nothing that really stood out. What I mostly had trouble with in the game was how dark it was. I understand that Wasteland was supposed to look unfinished, but there were moments when I couldn’t quite see what was surrounding Mickey, leading to unavoidable hits and more instant deaths. The game doesn’t even provide an option to adjust the brightness of the screen, which is almost unheard of in today’s games. The cut scenes were an interesting opacity that didn’t really feel like Mickey colorful tone, but worked for the style of game the designers were going for.

Sound: 3/5

Sound quality was decent in Epic Mickey, giving us some memorable tunes to hum along and providing us with the necessary effects. I wish they had provided more though, as the tunes were limited. I would have also liked to see more voice acting /dialogue in the game, as most of the cut scenes had you reading text while listening to mumbled sounds from the characters.

Overall: 14/20 = 7/10

Epic Mickey is a clever game using creative techniques in its game play, but is hampered by bad camera angles and mediocre quality.

PROS:

-Fun story

-Clever game play

-2D segments

CONS:

-Bad camera

-Poor controls

-Dark visuals