At NYCC, Nerd-Base was invited by Disney to see Epic Mickey 2 The Power of Two. Disney provided Warren Spector, the lead game designer, to give us a tour through the game. Disney has been showing this game off for a while now, but they have leaked out a few new levels (Rainbow Caverns, and Rainbow Falls) to show off, and I got to say I was impressed.
The game takes place after the original Epic Mickey. The Mad Doctor that Mickey defeated in the first game has returned, but this time he has had a change of heart and wants to save Wasteland. He goes before the residents of the Wasteland and asks for there help in stopping the earthquakes that is tearing the land apart. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit decides to trust him, and calls on Mickey Mouse to help save the day.
I didn’t pick up the first Epic Mickey game for a few reasons. First and foremost it was a Wii exclusive, and I just couldn’t bring myself to dust my Wii off to play anything. I knew it was supposed to be good, but I didn’t want to bother. Secondly I’m not really into platform games. I’m just not that good at games where jumping from platform to platform means I win or lose. Some people love them, but it’s not my thing.
That all being said I really enjoyed what I’ve seen (and heard) from The Power of Two. This looked and felt like a next generation game that I wanted to play. The Power of Two will be released on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, Mac, and the Wii U. The Power of Two has a release date of November 18th on all platforms except the Wii U, which will follow soon after (no official date has been given yet).
Aside from just being a 3D platformer, the game has sections you go through as a 2D platformer as well. In the first game there was a lot of necessary back tracking. The backtracking has returned in this game; however you don’t need to do it unless you are a completionist trying to do every single little thing.
The game not only has great graphics, but The Power of Two also sounds great. The game is fully voiced by the Disney voice actors. A few characters in the game have never been voiced, so Mr. Spector was given the opportunity to decide what they will sound like. Mr. Spector chose Cary Elwes to perform Gremlin Gus, a lost 1940’s Disney character. One of the main characters, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, is being voiced by
Megatron Frank Welker. As you can imagine, the voice acting is really good.
This being a Disney game, the story can’t simply be told to you. Instead they chose to have the story sung to you at certain points of the game. They managed to make it feel like it belonged all along without being forced or cheesy. James Dooley composed the music, while Mike Himelstein wrote most of the songs, neither of which are strangers to working on Hollywood, or on videogames. The soundtrack for Epic Mickey 2 is also being released on November 18th.
Epic Mickey 2 adds a lot of depth to the game so it isn’t just a platformer anymore. Now there are costumes, you can buy armor, to give your character different abilities. There are also inkwells that give you the ability to either become invincible or invisible depending on your play style. It’s possible to play through the Power of Two like a stealth action game if you want to avoid enemies instead of taking them out.
As you play through the game you meet, and rescue other Disney characters that will later appear in your fortress. If you don’t rescue those characters they won’t be in your fortress later. As you acquire new characters in your fortress, it will change and give you new features and abilities.
While we weren’t able to get our hands on a Wii U version of the game, Mr. Spector gave us the low down on how that would operate. The Wii tablet will have a real-time map with waypoints, which will help guide you through the game. It will also have some extra side quests which won’t be available in any other version. The Wii U will also have a sketching system, but I’m unclear as to what that is at this time.
Perhaps the sketching system will be similar to the 3DS game that is also coming out, The Power of Illusion. We were able to get hands on with this game as well. It’s a 2D side scrolling platformer that looks pretty good. In the game there is a sketch system where you draw within the lines to create a symbol that creates a solid object to be used in the game.
The 3DS game looked interesting, but it definitely had more a child-like feel, where Epic Mickey 2 felt like anyone could enjoy it. My only real complaint so far that I’ve seen with Epic Mickey 2 is that it might be a little too hard for young kids. Currently I’ve been playing through Ratchet & Clank’s All 4 One with my girlfriend’s daughter who happens to be 9. In the Ratchet & Clank game she has a hard time making jumps, but there is a lasso system so if I make the jump she can just lasso onto me and come across.
I think she would love Epic Mickey 2 because it’s Disney, but I fear that she might have some problem with jumping from place to place, and solving some of the puzzles. Thankfully the game features 2 player split screen co-op, but I’m not sure how easy it will be to help her. I guess I’ll find out soon because I’m definitely going to pick this game up sometime this holiday season to play with her.