Disney Interactive’s new title “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two“, is a sequel to the Wii hit from 2010 in which you had the opportunity to guide Mickey Mouse through a fantastic adventure world known as Cartoon Wasteland. The new version’s title gives you a hint as to a major change in this game, because, in this new title, there is a second playable character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The Oswald character is interesting on a number of levels: he is Mickey’s resentful half-brother ,Walt Disney’s first cartoon star and also the villain from the first game.
We can begin our review of Epic Mickey 2 by looking at the graphics which was something I was concerned about. I played the original game on the Wii, and although I thought the graphics were very good, the Wii system itself is not high-definition. I had high hopes for the new graphics on the XBOX 360 version, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were a major improvement. I’m a big fan of cartoons and the levels and animation were the highlight of the game in my opinion.
If you didn’t already know, Wasteland is a realm of forgotten Disney toons, and you will find some areas that are immediately recognizable such as the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs rock carving in Rainbow Caverns as seen above. I really like the 2D side-scrolling levels of the game as they were inspired by some of Disney’s classic animated films and shorts. These themes change depending on where you are traveling. My only complaint is that I wish that I could have spent more time in the 2D portions as they were very enjoyable.
Nice looking locations can only carry a game so far, so the next thing I looked at was how the game actually played. Again, like the predecessor, Mickey uses a “paint and thinner” system for affecting the world around him. You can shape the world by removing or filling in objects and it’s something that is unique and very entertaining. Oswald adds a new dimension with his ability to create electricity, and although it isn’t as much fun as painting up an area, using it to flip switches and other similar tasks are still interesting. This was a good idea, as I think it would have been a bit boring if you would have multiple characters that do exactly the same thing.
You get the option to play alone with the computer as your assistant or with a friend. The computer’s Artificial Intelligence is not very intelligent. It’s probably my least favorite aspect of the game as the AI player would often be way behind even on very easy areas and tasks. Playing with another player via a split-screen was a much better experience than the computer, and you really need to work together to accomplish your required tasks. Teamwork is very important as each of the characters have abilities that help along the way. There is no online two player gameplay available which would have been a nice addition. The drop-in /drop-out two player mode reminded me of the Lego series of games, and I greatly enjoyed the ability to leave or join a game when I wanted.
MUSIC and SOUND EFFECTS
The sound effects and music are something I always look forward to in a game because, like a movie, they can really pull you into another world. For starters, the characters now have voices, something that was definitely missing from the first game. The voices really add to the feel of the game. The musical numbers were interestingly lead by the Mad Doctor, but they didn’t last nearly long enough for my taste. I really enjoyed them and was left wanting a little more. The music actually seems to respond to your style of play. As an example, if you like to use paint, it seems like you get a more upbeat soundtrack. Likewise, the use of thinner, results in a less enthusiastic sound experience. All I can say about this, is that it adds a very cool touch to the game. I hope more designers will take note of something like this, that seems like a minor detail, but can add so much.
Epic Mickey 2 is a big improvement over the original and after playing it over the last few days, I realized that it couldn’t have been named better than “The Power of Two”. The title hints at the importance of the second character in this game and the use of the pair as a team. If you have played the first game, you already have an idea of how this game plays, and if this will be your first go-around with Epic Mickey, you’ll love the paint and thinner approach to gameplay. We’re already hoping to see an Epic Mickey 3 in a couple of years.
ESRB Rating: E with Cartoon Violence
Players: 1-2 Player(s)
Developer: Junction Point, Blitz Game Studios, Heavy Iron
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Wii U, PC/Mac
Release Date: 11/18/2012
Here is the official launch trailer for Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two:
Here are some images for Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two: Image 1
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Image 2
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Image 3
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Image 4
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Image 5 (Final Image)