GAME NAME: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
DEVELOPER(S): Junction Point Studios
PUBLISHER(S): Disney Interactive Studios
PLATFORM(S): Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita
RELEASE DATE(S): November, 18, 2012
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is quite a few things. It’s a musical, a co-op game, and a platformer. It’s an amazing homage to Disney and its theme parks with a captivating story, beautiful art and animation.
As you dive in and start playing you’ll notice the classic Disney charm as you return to the familiar city of Wasteland, as seen in the past Epic Mickey games. Once here you’ll repair and rebuild the cities as you start an adventure with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
The Wii U version is almost identical to the PS3 and Xbox 360 version except with the use of the Wii U gamepad. Unfortunately, Junction Point Studios didn’t do much with the Wii U gamepad. It acts only as a glorified map that shows you points of interest, objectives and side missions, which is very disappointing. Besides the gamepad the other difference in the Wii U version is you’ll occasionally notice frame rate stuttering, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions do not experience that same flaw. Mickey is controlled with the Wii U gamepad and Oswald is controlled with the Wii Remote. In prior iterations of Epic Mickey you could control both characters with Wii Remote and Nunchuck, this option is simply unavailable in the Wii U version which is kind of disappointing as the game itself relies on painting mechanisms which pair well with the Wii Remote.
One of the most pleasant surprises in Epic Mickey 2 is that the characters have voices which build out their personality. You also get absorbed within the world because you can connect with characters this time. The music and score is absolutely phenomenal. Jim Dooley did an excellent job. It brings about childhood memories of classic Disney and helps immerse you into the world.
Epic Mickey 2 is a great Co-op game but not so great as a single player game. Oswald is extremely buggy in single player mode. He will often hear your commands and stay put in one spot which can get extremely frustrating. Eventually you can coerce Oswald into following you and executing commands. Overall, surfaces are slippery making it hard to jump onto objects even furthering frustrations during gameplay.
While we vented about single player gameplay, co-op is definitely a different experience. Yes, you still have some frustrating mechanics that pop up but overall you can overlook them. Co-op is extremely fun as you can go on adventures with a friend and easily solve puzzles. The gameplay is quite intuitive with two new types of ink that were introduced, invisible and indelible ink. These two new inks definitely mix up the gameplay but they only show up in a few spots throughout the game. One thing to keep in mind is as you explore the different lands you really get the most out of the game. There are tons of nooks to explore, outfits to unlock and the Disney charm is with you every step of the way.
One really cool facet of gameplay is that the game reacts to certain choices you make throughout the story. So, keep that in mind as you progress. It won’t affect you in a huge way but certain characters will treat you differently. By the time you reach the ending though those choices will not really effect the outcome of the whole story line. If you really want to get the most out of the game you need to explore everywhere and do the plethora of side missions. There is a lot to do in this world and each side mission further unlocks stories and items, and honestly they hold quite a bit of nostalgic appeal. The side scrolling platform levels are quite fantastic, as they take you back to a classical art direction. This by far was my favorite part of the game and I would travel all over just to play these side levels.
This is a really tough one. For Disney fans this is totally worth checking out. While many of the old bugs from prior Epic Mickey games plague this game, I can’t help but say Junction Point studios tried really hard to redefine this game but failed. You are kept wishing you had more and that things were more fleshed out. With that said, this game retains a lot of Disney charm and there are a ton of things to do and places to explore, so it is a fun game. However, if you are someone seeking depth and tight gameplay you will sadly need to look somewhere else.
**Review Based on Wii U Version