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Epic Mickey: Power of Two Review

The first Epic Mickey had had an awful lot of hype surrounding it, with producers promising a very different and much darker adventure involving characters from the House of Mouse but sadly, though it had its charms, overall it didn't really excel on what it promised. So second time around what can we expect?

The world of Wasteland, a place where Toons go once forgotten in the real world has had a rough time of late, only just starting to rebuild itself following the previous game a series of earthquakes start to spew up thinner, erasing and destroying this strange world. Things start to get stranger as out of the blue the formerly evil Mad Doctor appears, renouncing his wicked ways in a song and dance number, promising to help rebuild the damaged Wasteland and also announces that worse is coming from a new threat from a race called Blotworx. With the Mad Doctor calling on the Wastelands heroes, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit leads the way and ventures off to see this new threat for himself. Unsure of his sudden change of allegiances, Oswald's girlfriend Ortensia and a Gremlin (the classic Disney sort, not the scratchy sort) called Gus summons Mickey back to Wasteland. With Mickey and Oswald teaming up they start to make their way across Wasteland, rebuilding and running errands for Wastelands townsfolk along the way and occasionally making choices on how to proceed through the game, though these tend to be along the lines of using paint to rebuild something that may offer a slight challenge or go the quicker and easier way and destroy something by using thinner or a bunch of fireworks.

Right from the off you know you are in for a treat, or at least an audio and visual one as the graphics are second to none, showing a meticulous care and attention to detail, creating a wonderful world in Wasteland, looking like hand painted set taken straight from old Disney films with the game switching from in game graphics and cut scenes to the more classic animated style, mixing them both up really well. This is supported by some beautiful character designs, from Mickey himself taking a more modern look to Oswald and the more dated Disney characters of old like the weird Pete characters and cow like inhabitants or the strange and a bit scary animatronic versions of Disney classics, with parts of their robotic skeletons showing, it's a bit unnerving seeing Goofy with a robot let and a missing eye. With the world littered with such characters there are plenty of chances to talk to them all, with many offering insights into the story and asking for your help along the way, gaining you powerups, pins and items to spend in shops that unlock extras like cartoons, art work and even in game clothes to wear like Mickey in his Sorcerer's Apprentice get up or Oswald in a rather cool Tron outfit.

The gameplay is a mixture of 3D platform and basic adventure, with Mickey and Oswald visiting hub areas, assisting the locals and carrying out missions by jumping around on platforms and taking out baddies. The action is a little less violent than other Mickey Mouse games, even Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion with no real killing or bottom bashing, it's all about making everything in Wasteland OK again with the use of Mickeys magical paintbrush that has rebuilding powers of paint and the destructive properties of thinner, spraying buildings and pathways with both, creating hidden areas and even can be used for dealing with baddies, giving you a chance to spray them with paint to befriend them so that little love hearts appear over their head, working for you an turning on their comrades.

Where most of the action is 3D based at certain points the game switches to a 2D platform game allowing Mickey and Oswald to negotiate graveyards of old forgotten Disney cartoon sets whilst dodging paint thinner traps. Again Mickey can use his magical brush to use the paint and thinner to create pathways to progress and even find hidden items.

As the name implies Epic Micky 2: The Power of Two offers two player gameplay and there are quite a few ways to play, (PS3 version tested) allowing for single player or local split screen co-op, both with or without a Move controller. Firstly I will mention the controls, using the Move should be the best way being similar to the previous Wii version, however it is just not adequate enough, especially considering this is a 3D platform game and camera control is essential. It is good but not great, so onto the SixAxis controller then, which even then is little cumbersome without playing around with the options, where the left stick controls Mickey, the right moves the aiming reticule of the magical brush, so if you need to move the camera around you need to move the cursor to the far edges of the screen.

Single player has you controlling only Mickey, with the AI taking over as Oswald which offers no way to switch characters. The computer does a decent enough job of playing as Oswald, joining in fights or interacting with machinery when required but when it goes wrong, its major, with more than one occasion having to jump in as the second player with another control pad to get Oswald to interact with a specific item. To avoid this it is best to play with two players, with the second taking control of Oswald and his remote control. With this he is able to electrocute and stun enemies and also use certain terminals. Oswald also has a few other tricks available including elastic arms to grab items an also the ability to jump high and use his ears as rotors, with Mickey then grabbing his legs to act as a helicopter to bridge large gaps.

For all of the lovely presentation the game does fall in a few major areas that detract from the general loveliness of the game. The 3D platform sections can be over complicated, with pathways being extremely unclear, the game does try and help by having Gus the Gremlin appear roughly where you are supposed to get to but no clear way how, with awkward double jump mechanics fudging your way over a shop roof or across a ledge. Using the paint as a the main weapon would not be a problem if not for the awful lock-on system, that has to be held down for quite a while before it activates and even then you still need to strafe and move the paint aiming reticule onto the enemy, as the lock is only for the camera.

Considering the Disney licence this is not really a game for the younger audience with some scary images plus controls being far too difficult and unforgiving at times, without the cumbersome paint mechanics this could have been a straight forward and gorgeous looking 3D platform game, as it is, Epic Mickey 2: Power of Two is an average 3D platform adventure game that will entertain, but will leave you a little unsatisfied.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)


- Great looking game full of Disney magic.
- Two player co-op.
- Loads to collect and unlock.


- At times awful AI.
- Cumbersome controls and camera.

Edited On 11 Dec, 2012

( 1 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
I thought the controls, and AI, were fine on the 360 demo, maybe not as good as the Wii games controls, but perfectly serviceable. I'm looking forward to playing the Wii U version at Christmas, as I loved the first on the Wii.

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