I told you all about my Epic trip to Disneyland, but I have expounded on the reason for that trip. Epic Mickey 2 The Power of Two is one of the latest (and most anticipated) video games by Disney Interactive. Ever since the F**ckers broke in my house last year, I no longer have a game system, but the wonderful people over at Disney Interactive sent me a copy of the new game to play and review. I asked my friend Alan to check it out for us and this is what he had to say.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2 is the sequel to the successful Epic Mickey released in 2010. After saving the world of forgotten characters, lead by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and discarded theme park attractions known as Wasteland, Mickey has returned to confront a new danger to the realm. Oswald, Walt Disney’s cartoon creation before Mickey Mouse, returns as a fully fledged hero and playable character. Together, Mickey and Oswald team up to confront the mysterious new forces threatening to destroy Wasteland.
Epic Mickey 2 has a lot going for it in terms theme, style, and fun. The game can be played solo, or a second player can drop in or out at any time, making the transition from solo to co-op play seamless. The art direction of the locations and characters is also strong. The game shows a distinct Disney sensibility and inspiration from known properties with just a sense of something being a little “off,” as though created from description rather than personal knowledge. For Disney-fan parents watching or joining in, there are many older characters and scenarios that reflect the old fashioned cartoons seen as children. Introducing some of these lost images to a new generation is a bonus. The game play itself is solid, with the ability to use paint to create or thinner to destroy in order to solve the player’s problem creating interesting play style choices.
All is not well with Epic Mickey 2, however. While the art of the game is great, the technical execution is not. I played the Wii version, and there is no way around the fact that at times this game is ugly. The hand drawn-esque cut scenes are much more interesting looking. Controls are also frustrating at times, as it often feels that the characters are just slipping around. The camera can has issues, but the ability to center it behind your character at any time helps. Further, at least once I encountered a complete game breaking bug. A quest item needed to progress fell through the game world and was unreachable. Because the checkpoint system works so quickly (generally a good thing), there was no way to back track to a prior save point or reset the items. I had to start from the very beginning. Thankfully I was not too far in, but the chance of something similar happing later is a bit disconcerting.
As a final note, the game’s style is a double edged sword. Adults and more mature children might find it to be unique and interesting, as I did. Very young children might not be so enthralled. The half broken, mechanical versions of known characters, turning characters into puddles with paint thinner, and the look of the ravaged, “almost” Disneyland might be slightly disturbing to particularly sensitive children. It isn’t outright scary, but it’s enough to consider how sensitive a young child might be. As a whole, the game is fun to play, funny, and has enough visual interest to entertain both a player and an observer. However, the technical side of things, from controls to camera to game breaking bugs, could have used some work. Epic Mickey 2 wouldn’t be the first game on my wishlist, but if you have a Disney nut in the house it’s definitely worth a look. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2 is available on Wii, Wii U, XBOX 360, Playstation 3, and PC.