Epic Mickey turned out to be a flawed gem on the Nintendo Wii a few years ago. The moral choices you could make in the game had little effect on the gameplay, the difficulty level jumped and the camera was terrible. A platformer that can’t show where you’re jumping to doesn’t have them all lined up. Still, I finished the game and enjoyed almost every minute of it. Messing around with paint and thinner resulted in fun gameplay, but it was mainly the presentation that did it for him. I’ve been a huge Disney fan for years you know and for me Epic Mickey was just a must to play. Skipping through an alternate dark version of Disneyland with the world’s most beloved mouse yielded a constant feast of recognition. Who cares as a fan about beauty mistakes when you can jump through the decor of a classic like Thru the Mirror?
Everything is more fun with the two of you
In any case, Epic Mickey managed to charm many gamers with this approach. The game sold extremely well and was one of the best-received games on the Wii in terms of sales, not being made by the big N himself. Enough reason to justify a sequel, of course. Of course, everyone of us knows that a sequel has to achieve some objectives. The game has to keep what made the predecessor great while also adding novelties to the mix. Of course, the annoying sides of the previous game also have to be removed. They are all important elements that are intended to achieve the ultimate goal of a sequel, reaching a larger audience. In that last respect, Disney seems to be succeeding, especially because they are helping fate by bringing Mickey to other platforms as well. In addition to a version for the Wii, the game will also come to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and later also the Wii U. The chance that Epic Mickey 2 will become an even greater success in terms of sales than its predecessor seems so good. as sure, but is it also a better game?
The biggest innovation of Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is, as the title suggests, the addition of co-op. Mickey has to join forces in the game with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. While they were somewhat of rivals in the previous game, they have now become best buddies. It is necessary, because in order to defy the dangers of the Wasteland and stop Doctor Mad, good cooperation between the former ruffs is essential. Co-op is the most important new feature in the game, and that brings me to the biggest downside. Why can’t you play this online? Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two focuses on two-person play, but on the couch in split screen. Can we all just shout out loud ‘missed opportunity’? The game is also effectively a lot of fun to play with just the two of you, which makes it even worse. Who’s going to take the time to just walk through the full fifteen hours of this game together in the same room, with a screen cut in half? In any case, I refuse, because I don’t want to spoil the beautiful world of Epic Mickey with a split screen. You can see that the Wii game was once again taken as the basis, but on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the artistically beautiful world of Epic Mickey 2 looks clearly more beautiful than ever. Everything is just that little bit sharper, more detailed and warmer in terms of color use.
In any case, Oswald as a playable character literally and figuratively creates sparks. It is a funny owner with a way of walking that makes you melt in front of the rascal instantly. Of course he is the perfect complement to Mickey in terms of possibilities. Our beloved mouse continues to swear by paint and thinner and of course also gains some new powers such as invisible paint, but Oswald steals the show. The silly rabbit can handle electricity quite well and that provides a new impulse in the gameplay, which is mainly expressed in puzzles. Collaboration is also important for the platforms itself. For example, Mickey can paint platforms that Oswald can stand on. Moments later, both are soaring through the air as the rabbit uses its ears like a helicopter. The duo is very complementary in terms of moves and that often results in fun gameplay. The AI generally pulls it off pretty well and another player can play along for a while thanks to the drop in/drop out principle of the co-op. In any case, playing as Oswald is not a punishment. Of course Mickey is cool, but a rabbit who can use his arm as a boomerang is far from unkind. Another innovation in this game is that voice work is finally used. That dull gibberish in combination with speech bubbles was already obsolete two years ago, now at least the characters sound as they should.
Old problems are hard to unlearn
I am less pleased with the camera again. Junction Point swears they’ve put in a lot of effort to improve the camera work in this sequel, but it still doesn’t feel ideal. Estimating jumps is sometimes difficult because of the low camera angle and even during chaotic battles it can sometimes be difficult to get a good picture of everything. It felt a lot less problematic in my opinion than in the previous game, but it’s important to mention. Another point of criticism of the previous game Junction Point has addressed. The choices you make do have an effect on the game. In practice, this means that while playing, you have to keep in mind the consequences of your actions. For example, if you make that bridge disappear with thinner, it will also be gone. A warned mouse is worth two, because even a rabbit with helicopter ears can’t save everything. You can never completely ***** up the adventure, but you can keep areas of the game out of reach if you’re careless.
Fortunately, what has been completely preserved is The Wasteland. I mentioned earlier that the world of Epic Mickey 2 was beautiful, but that’s actually quite an understatement. You really get the feeling of being sucked into an alternative Disney world even more than in the previous game. The environments often resemble concept art brought to life, all dripping with infectious old Disney charm. In any case, the game is once again a real voyage of discovery for fans who will get to see numerous characters and details from the rich history of the cartoon giant. Music is also part of the experience again, but bigger than ever. In Epic Mickey, the tone of the music was always adapted to the amount of color in the environment, here you get a real musical. The sung parts act as a delightful nod to the old Disney style and form infectious highlights. Something that many people will also appreciate about this game is that there is a lot to collect. Things to use in the game such as other outfits, as well as artwork and even old cartoons. It provides an example of fan service that actually makes the game mandatory for fans of Mickey.
The lack of online co-op is inexcusable, and it’s a shame the camera issues aren’t completely gone. It’s some of the undeniable flaws that deny the game top status. At the same time, I have to point out that I am a big Disney fan and quickly tend to cover problems in the game with the cloak of love. From a purely rational point of view, the game should perhaps score lower, but I’m just melting too much for the framing to be too strict.