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Game Guys review - Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

2:42 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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  • 'Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two' for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and PC.
  • Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 'Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two'.
  • 'Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two' for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and PC.

The Walt Disney Company's Mickey character is amongst the most famous in the world.  Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whom Walt Disney himself created before Mickey was even a thought in his head, isn't quite so widely known.  Regardless, both characters are featured in Disney Interactive's Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two video game by developer Junction Point.  The end result?  Two might not be power enough to get this game to the top.

In this sequel to the 2010 title Disney Epic Mickey, Epic Mickey 2 sends the Mouse back to Wasteland -- a place where forgotten Disney cartoon characters reside.  Wasteland is yet again in peril and Mickey, armed with Yen Sid's magic paintbrush, and Oswald, wielding the power of electricity, venture off together to make things right.

Front and center in what are the game's strong points is its presentation.  Wasteland looks whimsical when it needs to and foreboding when it suits the story best.  The areas themselves could have been made larger, but they have an enjoyable appeal akin to that of Disneyland's "Toon Town" district.  Furthermore, there's a certain charm to seeing the various one-shot Disney characters that have been forgotten by everyone but Father Time himself.  Of course, it's always fun having Mickey around -- even when Oswald's annoying self takes the forefront.  Like its visuals, the game's soundtrack works well with the game as a whole, though it would have been cool to have more "forgotten" Disney tracks playing in the background of certain areas.

The game's HUD (or, lack thereof) is also something that's found rather pleasant.  While some games put so much auxiliary information on the screen, Junction Point did well to follow the K.I.S.S. principal by providing the player with just enough on-screen information to get by.

Gameplay, however, isn't as pleasant a package as the presentation is.

Disney Epic Mickey 2 features drop-in, drop-out co-op gamplay -- meaning that it can be played as both a single- and two-player game with little difficulty switching between the two methods.  Playing local co-op with a friend makes the game slightly more enjoyable, though things do feel a bit constricted due to small areas within levels and a general lack of things to do.  That stated, single player play really is the way to go.  Even then, however, it's not perfect -- especially when both Mickey and Oswald are needed to perform an action together.

The paint/thinner concept is still as novel now as it was two years ago, and applying one or the other will set up very different-looking and playing worlds.  There is nothing new, per se, with this game mechanic compared to the original Epic Mickey game, but it feels like it's been slightly tweaked for the better.  It even meshes (slightly) well with Oswald's electricity, though sometimes it's a combination that's a bit more cumbersome that it maybe should be.

Something else within the game that eventually comes off as cumbersome is the selection of extra/optional things to do and collect.  While at first collecting various pins and costume pieces seems like fun, it soon becomes more of a distraction than a complement.  In fact, it sometimes feels like this "optional" part of the game is being shoved in your face.

A final downer with this title is its frustrating camera, which was a problem had with the original Epic Mickey title two years ago.  The camera is easy enough to control when simply exploring the grounds, but things get disheveled when it's time to actually take aim at something.  Furthermore, it tends to want to do its own thing when the player gets up close and personal with an object.  Things are slightly better when playing with the PS Move controller rather than the standard DualShock gamepad, but it's not great regardless how you play it.  Simply put, it's not a fun thing to deal with -- especially when it's being dealt with throughout the course of the game's three acts.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a game that is neither better nor worse overall than the original.  It has its charm and desirability for Disneyphiles, but the imperfections which became the bane of Disney Epic Mickey carried over into the sequel, thus causing it to fall short of what it could have been.

Final Game Guys grade: C

(Disney Interactive provided a PS3 copy of this game for review.)


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