Disney Epic Mickey
Developer: Junction Point Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: November 25, 2010
Mickey Mouse returns to the gaming world for some more mischievous mayhem as he attempts to right his wrong, after curiously playing with Yen Sid's magical paintbrush on his creation. He tries to use paint thinner to erase a blot he created, but was unsuccessful. As Mickey enters this magical world, that was created by this magical paint brush, he sees many of his friends and makes some new friends along the way. As Shadow Blot is determined to wash out the Wasteland, Mickey is racing to keep this from happening.
As Mickey is sucked into this land, filled with forgotten cartoons, he runs into his half-brother, Oswald. Mickey also encounters various Botlings, Beetleworx, and Bunny Children, which are all enemies, along the way. Of course each of them will try to do some damage to Mickey and attempt to slow him down on his mission, by tossing him into a pool of thinner or taking his health.
The top left corner of the screen shows a health status bar for Mickey. If he is happy, he is in good health. There are red dots, known as health pips, that are displayed with the health status bar. As Mickey loses pips, Mickey will become sad and if all are lost, Mickey must play that area again. The player can run around the stage to look for more health pips, to regain his energy to make Mickey happy and healthy again. Mickey can fight back by using his paint or thinner capabilities. The player points to the screen with the Wii Remote and fire using the B button. To use the thinner, the player presses the Z button on the Wii Nunchuk. On each side of the bottom of the screen, it will display both the paint and thinner meters, to show the player how much of each they have to use. Although power-ups will aid in refilling these meters, there will always be some in reserve to use. As the player uses more paint and thinner, the guardian bars fill up and the player gains a guardian for each bar filled up. The player can gain up to three guardians for Mickey to assist him on his quest.
Sketches are displayed on the top right corner of the screen. There are three sketches available, to help Mickey, including Anvil, TV, and Watch. Mickey can use these sketches to aid him in various situations against enemies. He can use the anvil sketch to deploy an anvil to drop on the head of an enemy. The Watch sketch slows everything down to give Mickey some extra time to solve puzzles or take out a large group of enemies. The TV sketch will distract enemies close by, by providing them with a limited time of entertainment.
The music of Disney Epic Mickey was composed by Emmy Award winning composer, Jim Dooley. Dooley is known for many film scores, from The Da Vinci Code to The Simpson's Movie. He has also worked on music for television shows such as Pushing Daisies. Dooley has also worked on music for other video games, which includes Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, inFAMOUS, and Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier.
“Jim Dooley’s music perfectly captures the environment and feel of Disney Epic Mickey, raising players to great heights of emotion. His music perfectly completes the world of Wasteland,” said Warren Spector, the Creative Director and General Manager of Junction Point Studios, and I have to agree. When the players hear the orchestrated music of Disney Epic Mickey, they will recognize some of the songs, however they have an eerie tone to them. "It's a Small World", for example, is composed to be identifiable to the original, yet it still captures the mysterious mood of the surroundings of this land.
Junction Point Studios kept the original cartoon Mickey, rather than updating him with a modern look. During the cut scenes, they mixed things up a bit by using an artistic feel, where the characters have a sketched look.
When Mickey enters Wasteland, it has a gloomy feel, with dark colors. When Mickey goes around and paints it, the world takes on that happy look. It brought in that authentic Disney feel.
It is the best looking third-party Wii title that has been released.
As Mickey makes his way through Wasteland, his decisions will affect the way he is viewed by the residents. Mickey can resort to attacking his foes, or attempting to reason with them, or even attempt to pass them altogether. The same goes for Wasteland. Mickey can also restore Wasteland, run right through it, or use thinner to further destroy it. Wasteland is home for many. How the player decides to handle what is before him, will alter the residents reactions toward him.
The basic controls for Mickey would be walk, run, both a jump and a double-jump, and a spin move. To jump higher or further, the player holds down the A button longer. To perform a double-jump, the player taps the A button again after jumping, but before landing.
As mentioned above, the paint and thinner is used with both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. The paint is used to restore Wasteland and to befriend foes. The thinner can be used to defeat enemies, by erasing them with it. The thinner can also be used to erase parts of Wasteland to discover hidden areas.
The controls of Disney Epic Mickey seem like they should have been a little bit more fine-tuned. They seemed a little clunky at times. Sometimes when you are in a crucial point of the game, in which you need to position the screen to benefit you for the angle you are going for, the camera does not always cooperate. To face the camera in the direction that Mickey is facing, the player must press the C button, however, this did not seem to work all the time. Another distraction occurred with the painting. The painting did not feel as fluid as one would like it to be.
Warps in Disney Epic Mickey brought back that nostalgic Disney feeling, by allowing the player to play through classic Mickey cartoons that most of us grew up watching, such as Steamboat Willy. The warps brought excitement, however once the player passes through the warp, it could have been skipped when passing back through, to break the monotony.
Along Mickey's journey will be pins and film reels that can be collected and later traded in for cartoons, power sparks, and e-tickets. E-tickets can be used to purchase power-ups. Gremlin Gus will guide Mickey through wasteland, giving the player helpful tips and teach them the basics.
The game's length depends on the individual. A stage can be passed, by doing the bare minimum. to get from point A to point B, and completing the main objective. Although, on the other hand, for the player that wants to immerse themselves into the game and experience it to its fullest, they can take about 40 minutes longer, in doing side objectives and completing the stage and all that is in it. There are secrets in each level that can be achieved by painting everything or thinning out and then repainting areas of the level.
One can see the game completed when they have reached the end. Others may even go in and play it once or twice more, to obtain 100% completion.
Disney Epic Mickey is a must for Disney fans. They will love the characters and will enjoy all the game has to offer, and will want to keep playing it. For the non-Disney fan, it is still very much an enjoyable platformer that should not be overlooked. Some objectives of Disney Epic Mickey will be challenging, but it is not impossible to beat.
The ending was left open for the anticipation of the sequels to come.