Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Preview
We get some final hands on time before the game hits stores next week
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2 is the sequel to the Wii exclusive Epic Mickey and is set for release on November 18, on a cavalcade of platforms such as Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and the Wii U. So a person technically has no excuse not to play this game. I recently had hands on time with game, as well as getting the chance to watch both developers and creators discuss changes and innovations to the Epic Mickey landscape.
The game is set some time after the shenanigans of the first Epic Mickey and some old enemies have now supposedly become allies. The Mad Doctor, who Mickey had projected into the stratosphere, has now returned as an ally to save Mickey and Oswald from the new threat of shadow-like enemies, exuding a Kingdom Hearts vibe.
Major changes to the game include, first and foremost, the addition of full voice acting to all of the characters that breathes new life into the game. Warren Spector had said that at first, they thought it best to keep the characters silent as they it would be a challenge to find the right voice and in an effort not to “ruin anyone’s childhood,” which was a driving ethos in development. Now, Mickey, Oswald, Oswald’s bit of strange, Ortensia and all the rest, are fully voice acted. A new and interesting audio addition is the Mad Doctor, who now sings all of his lines in true Disney fashion. Gus, Mickey’s gremlin helper, is fully voiced as well and provides helpful (if at a little redundant at times) help: “Invisible ink will make you... well, invisible!”
Another element that has been fixed since the last game was the camera angle. Devs and gamers alike protested at the sometimes awkward and intrusive camera angle hindered and frustrated gamers. Now while observing the game and playing, your camera levels stayed focused and did not get stuck behind objects or tear into scenery.
As for levels, they’re still as colourful and quirky as before. We’ll revisit old locations such as Wasteland’s town, but there are also new levels such as the vibrant Fantasia Workshop that a person will of course recognize from Disney’s Epic, Fantasia, which I’ll touch on shortly.
Weapons to Mickey’s arsenal include, once again, painter and thinner but their uses and impact have been expanded. The painter allows a player to construct pieces of the broken environment, say, a set of stairs or part of a broken house. Thinner, on the other hand, removes parts of the environments. A player can disintegrate the landscape to forge new paths and this dynamic became particular relevant in the Fantasia stage.
With the introduction of inkwells we have a change in gameplay. My first thought at the inkwells was how reminiscent it was of Mario 64. Inkwells can make you invincible for a period of time and bestow invisibility. The use of the invincibility inkwell allowed us to traverse a hazardous thinner/lava pit to continue on with the game. And the invisibility inkwell made it easy to pass through a camera sentry unscathed. These inkwells are also affected by the way in which the player plays the game. The latter door one could sneak past was the result of a less aggressive form of gameplay. If the player was more destructive, then the opportunity would arise to completely destroy the door. However, while the destructive paths may expedite your journey, they will reap fewer rewards. So, if you’re a keen collector of dollars then you may favour a friendlier route.