Epic Mickey was originally released on the Nintendo Wii to relative praise from critics but not exactly a blockbuster success. With that knowledge in their cap, Disney Interactive went back to the canvas and painted a second picture of epic proportions, that being Epic Mickey 2.
I managed to get my hands on the new title in the Epic Mickey franchise today at the EB Games Expo over at Disney’s humble little booth and I must say in the short period I was able to play the game, I was quite impressed by it.
Epic Mickey 2 begins by getting right into the thick of things, the main focus of this game is painting and thinning out the world around you. It’s a fanciful idea and it honestly works gloriously. The mechanics have not changed a whole lot since the first Epic Mickey game, but with this sequel branching out onto multiple platforms, there is of course different control schemes and the obligatory motion controls being tacked on.
I had a brief go with the Move controller and found it to be very similar to the Wii experience of the first game, so I switched the the standard PS3 controller which felt largely different to the motion control gameplay. One analogue stick controls Mickey and the other aims your paint brush. The paintbrush itself is somewhat reminiscent of the F.L.U.D.D from Super Mario Sunshine in that it sprays out instead of conventionally painting. It makes sense so that you can paint and thin objects from afar.
So essentially here is how things work in Epic Mickey 2, you have what is your standard platformer but with an incredibly inventive mechanic in the painting/thinning brush. The brush gives life and takes it away in the Epic Mickey world, it is an all powerful magical device that is used to solve puzzles, assist in platforming etc.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this game though is one I only got to touch the tip of the iceberg with – the good or bad system. Now it appears that Epic Mickey 2 will allow players to decide whether they want to paint the world into glorious life or to thin it out to nothingness. It’s interesting and a rather deep concept for what is ultimately a game aimed towards a younger audience. I only wish that I could have seen this aspect in greater detail in my preview play.
From top to bottom, Epic Mickey 2 appears to be a significant improvement over the first game, with a lot of new things to excite players. Will it be a hit? That’s hard to say, it really is, but it is definitely a great game.