FutureFive NZ - Review: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

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Review: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

The first Epic Mickey game was released last year as a Wii exclusive video game and was met with a mixed response.

The ideas and overall premise of the game looked promising, although the game’s camera and fiddly controls prevented it from being a modern classic platforming experience.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is the sequel, but does it suffer from the same flaws as the original game?

The main different thing that Epic Mickey 2 introduces is a co-op mode. Any player can plug in a second controller that can help out Mickey Mouse in his journey.

Second players will take control of a rabbit by the name of Oswald. Oswald has a pretty humorous sounding voice and wears some pretty baggy blue pants to fit with his bubbly personality. Oswald looks a lot like Mickey Mouse anyway, although he has longer ears.

Epic Mickey 2 is a fairly unique game because Mickey isn’t armed with guns or a sword like with most other games released these days. Mickey is just equipped with a paint brush that can either inject or strip paint from the game world.

If you see a gap, you can simply aim and squirt paint and you will create a bridge. Alternatively, you can strip paint too. This becomes helpful when you are against enemies because you can strip off their armour and expose their weak points.

Oswald is armed with what appears to be a TV remote control. He can use this to hack into controls to open locked doors or other contraptions. He can also electrocute enemies that can stun them for a temporary amount of time.

One of the best things about the game is that this is not simple minded game where you “kill” enemies. Thanks to Mickey’s paint brush tool he can use it to paint on any enemy and turn them “good”.

This is made easier when you have Oswald stunning enemies as this will give Mickey enough time to paint them.

One of the most annoying aspects of the entire game is its total reliance on co-op gameplay. This usually not a bad thing in other games, but it becomes a total nightmare here in Epic Mickey 2 thanks to the imbecile A.I. partner.

Player One will always have to control Mickey no matter what which means it’s up to Oswald to help you out in sticky situations. You cannot swap between characters in this game which is annoying because the A.I. is absolutely useless.

Oswald will usually just stand there not helping you at all when you need him. If you want to play this game, make sure you have a second controller/gamer with you as you will struggle to get by all on your own.

For a game that’s supposed to be aimed for younger children to play, the mission structure is poorly explained to you and you are often stuck in situations trying to figure out what to do.

Most of the time you will have to explore every inch of a level and paint wherever you please in hopes that it will reveal a door or any other points of interest.

The difficulty doesn’t stop there either. One of the hardest tasks I ever had to do in this game was to try and sneak past a door unseen.

Mickey had to dip himself into a pool of invisible ink and jump and walk slowly past the camera lights. This is easier said than done because the paint wears off very quickly.

I tried to do this moment in the game about 30 times (literally) and finally did it after several minutes trying.

Another frustrating aspect of this game is the long and drawn-out boss battles. Bosses all have a weak spot that you have to exploit and both Mickey and Oswald will have to use their respective abilities to defeat them.

The agonizing part about boss battles is that their weak spot is only exposed for literally one second and then they will start attacking you again. I remember countless times trying to paint a specific boss but I was constantly in an awkward position to do so.

By the time I would walk a few metres to try and spray the weak spot of his boss, the boss would awaken and my opportunity was lost once again. Most (if not all) of the boss battles are like this which equates to a very frustrating gameplay experience.

The graphics in Epic Mickey 2 are nothing to brag about either. If you’ve played Kingdom Hearts II before on the PS2, this is exactly how this game looks like on the PS3.

The first Epic Mickey may have looked impressive being on the original Wii console, but the graphics should look much better if you want to port a game over to the PS3 and/or Xbox 360 console.

Although the in-game graphics are mediocre, the cutscenes are entertaining yet beautiful to watch. The 2D animation that Disney is famous for truly shines during the lengthy cutscenes that this game offers.

It’s a nice change of pace looking at this type of animation since Hollywood usually just produces 3D animated movies nowadays...

The story is also pretty intriguing since the first villain’s game (The Mad Doctor) convinces to Oswald that he is now a good guy and is not responsible for a series of earthquakes that are plaguing the world.

Oswald teams up with Mickey to try and solve who is the real culprit, although can the Mad Doctor be trusted? Is his good guy persona part of an act to get rid of Oswald and Mickey permanently? There are a few plot twists here and there that I will not spoil for you right now.

Had these specific gameplay issues been fixed, this game could have been as great as Disney’s The Lion King. Sadly, it is more like an average flop like John Carter...

Graphics: 6.5
Gameplay: 6.5
Sound: 7.5
Lasting appeal: 7.0

Overall: 6.5

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