2010’s breakout game threw us into a land of twisted fantasy, where everything got curiouser and curiouser, and with a little paint could’ve been fixed up into something fun… or thinned into oblivion. And it all started with a mouse.
Epic Mickey brought the world-famous mouse into a whole new realm, repairing the damage he had done to the parallel universe Wasteland, and setting the standard as the best game set in the Disney universe since Capcom’s Chip’n’Dale Rescue Rangers. Now Mickey Mouse returns in an all-new adventure with a new partner, one that players have never heard from before.
Ramon and I were able to try out the upcoming Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two at this year’s E3. Controls are mostly the same on the Wii, although the camera is much more intuitive, as anyone who’s played the first game knows that the camera was one of the more difficult parts of the game. This time around, Mickey is called back into Wasteland by Gremlin Gus through his TV. The playable demo involved us heading back to Yen Sid’s magical laboratory to grab our trusty paint brush, up a vertical 2D platform stage, and onward to fight a boss who curiously looked like Pete’s Dragon from the movie (wait for it…) Pete’s Dragon (although animators at E3 tell us the design of the first boss was modeled not after the actual Pete’s Dragon, but the 1980’s Pete’s Dragon float from Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade. I can see it.)
Ramon tested out the drop-in/drop-out co-op play and jumped in at the 2D stage, playing as Mickey’s animated ancestor, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald wields the Remote Control, which can be fired off to shock enemies. Later he can be seen using an ear as a boomerang-like weapon. And, Disney fans rejoice, because for the first time in history, Oswald speaks! This is actually a big deal, though most may not recognize it, as Oswald has never spoken in any media ever. He reminds me of a mix of Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny, although certainly more intelligible than Donald.
Epic Mickey was a difficult game, on the whole, and was not just a walk in the (theme) park. Epic Mickey 2 certainly aims to recapture that challenge factor. The first boss required skillful timing and teamwork, requiring a lot of cooperation between Ramon and I.
Unlike the first game, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will be released on PS3 and XBOX 360 as well as the Wii. There will be a collector’s version of it, which will feature two stylized nunchucks for the Wii: a paint brush that lights up blue or green, depending if Mickey is using it for paint or thinner, and a remote control that lights up red when Oswald presses the button.
Mickey’s going to need a lot more than just a kiss from Minnie to get through this Epic challenge.