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World of Illusion: Were Critics Blown Away by this 1992 Sequel?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 16, 2014   |   Episode 69 (Show Archive)  


World of Illusion (Sega Mega Drive)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

After the success of Castle of Illusion and Land of Illusion, it was only a matter of time before Sega returned with more 16-bit Mickey Mouse. Released late 1992, World of Illusion saw Disney's popular mouse team up with Donald Duck for an even bigger adventure. Did critics love this sequel even more than the original, or was it a crushing disappointment? We dig through old issues of Mean Machines, GamePro, Sega Force and Mega for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck
[ Company: Sega | Console: Genesis ]

GAMEPRO (March 1993)
5 out of 5

"The name 'Disney' usually invokes movie magic. With a little help from video game friends, the Mickey Mouse makers have conjured up some magical Genesis carts, too. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck by Sega is the latest. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are in a World of trouble this time, and that's good news for you. If you dig Disney, go for it. Have no illusions, this is a good game." -Brother Buzz

95% out of 100%

"Not only do Mickey and Donald run around the enchanted levels, they also use some really weird transport! Mine carts, flying carpets, swan boats and even bubbles are used to get the cartoon pair past danger. So there you have it. Stunning graphics, sampled sounds, t'riffic [sic] gameplay and great two-player action mean this is one game you have to get." -Mat

MEAN MACHINES (The Essential Sega Guide)
92% out of 100%

"Following the success of Castle of Illusion and Quackshot, it seemed sensible for Sega to place Mickey and Donald together in a game. The result is a highly memorable platform outing set in the World of Illusion. Gameplay-wise, everyone will love Mickey and Donald, but it is a bit too easy for older players. This is squarely aimed at the kids' market, but it's a game that no younger player should be allowed to miss." -Rich

91% out of 100%

"World of Illusion is stuffed with puzzles and tricky skill-testing platform trials and packs something of a challenge, although the infinite continues and password reduce this challenge somewhat. Where World of Illusion really comes into its own is in two-player mode, as each player relies on the cooperation of the other to get past the obstacles and puzzles. World of Illusion is one of the best platform games on the Megadrive, but whack up the difficulty or it won't last you long."

82% out of 100%

"I'm going to give this game a much higher mark than I'd originally imagined. When you look at it, though, bear in mind that if you're playing the game by yourself, you should knowck about 30% straight off, and if you're a battle-hardened action freak, you'll probably drop even that by about another 10%. If you're quite young, not very good at games and a fan of Mickey and Donald, however, this might well be the best game you ever buy." -Neil West
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 91% - When reviewing Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, critics were quick to point out how great it looked. Magazines raved about it looking just like a cartoon and how Walt Disney himself would "jump for joy" at what Sega accomplished. There's less of that kind hyperbole in reviews for the sequel, World of Illusion, but it's clear that everybody was still in love with this series.

Well, not everybody. Despite giving it an 82%, Mega spent much of its review explaining how to knock points off the score. At one point Neil West notes that only young, inexperienced kids should play this game. Reminds me of what critics thought of DuckTales back in 1989.

Aside from Mega, the other magazines couldn't stop raving about World of Illusion. They loved the good looks, clever level designs and two-player support. It scored a very impressive 91%, the exact same score as Castle of Illusion in 1991.

ON FRIDAY'S EPISODE: Now that Mickey Mouse has won over the hearts and minds of critics around the world with two different Genesis games, Sega returns with a final act. Does Fantasia live up to the pedigree of this franchise, or did this movie game come a little too late? Find out what Electronic Gaming Monthly, CVG, GamePro and other magazines thought of Fantasia on Friday's episode of Review Crew. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!




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