And with that, the 8bit Mickey Mouse trilogy is complete! Well, I say it’s a trilogy, but apart from having Mickey and the name Illusion in it, Legend of Illusion isn’t really part of the series.
At first it seems like it is, but as well as how the story isn’t remotely linked, there are also a few things which set it apart. The main one of these is that Mickey can no longer bum-bump on baddies’ heads to defeat them. Instead, he throws soap (no, really) a feeble distance, a massive step back for the series and similar to one of the reasons I dislike the Mega Drive Castle of Illusion, where you throw apples. Further steps back include no more finding new routes through previous levels (like in Land of Illusion), no more power stars to find (you’re just handed the equivalent item instead), some rubbish bosses which require you to repeat the same attack some 10 times or so (in previous games it varied or was about 5-6 maximum, final boss Pete here was terrible), and the whole game is a complete walkover.
There’s also an additional issue where it isn’t a proper Master System game. It’s a back-port of the Game Gear version, and suffers from a much smaller viewport than the earlier titles (it’s bigger then the Game Gear one, but is badly implimented), and some odd glitching in the top “block” of the screen which I’m pretty sure isn’t related to the emulator I’m using.
It’s not quite all bad though. There are some nice new platforming gimmicks (like north and south magnets that repel or attract other as you’d expect), but they’re underused as the levels are pretty short. The rainbow level is very, very pretty and appears to squeeze more colours than is possible out of the Sega system, but again, is short and actually very dull to play.
What a shame a pair of excellent games had such a mediocre followup.