Reviews// Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Posted 27 Jun 2013 12:30 by
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two takes us on a journey through an alternate dimension known as Wasteland. Trouble’s afoot and you (Mickey) and your companion Oswald the Lucky Rabbit must band together to save the forgotten Disney characters.

Now you may be thinking ‘Wait, Epic Mickey 2 was released last year, why am I reading this review now?’ Well, you’re partially correct. Epic Mickey 2 was released for the main home consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 etc) last year. The Vita version was released on the 21st June 2013.

The first thing that came to my attention as I loaded up Epic Mickey and began to watch the opening cutscene was that the characters were singing. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. Just no. But... well, obviously, I’m not a child and don’t appreciate musicals, but I can see how it will appeal to the intended audience. And, to be fair, as I continued to progress through the game I started to realise that the usual dialogue and singing sections were balanced well enough for children to enjoy, but not to turn off an older audience too much.

Anyway, back to the review. As Mickey, you’re armed with a magic paintbrush. This allows you to use ‘Paint’ and ‘Thinner’ throughout the world. Certain sections are shown as transparent – by firing paint at these sections, you’re able to effectively rebuild whatever is missing, whether it’s a section of a building, or a telephone box. The thinner allows you to delete parts of the environment, be it a wall that’s blocking your path, or even an enemy.

Oswald, on the other hand, is armed with a magic remote that gives him the power to command electricity, which is particularly useful when there’s an almighty iron door with an electric lock blocking your path. That’s if he actually decides to do as you tell him, though. He’s often wandering around at the other side of the map section while you’re stood around waiting for him. He can also glide across large gaps using his rabbit ears as propellers. Unfortunately though, you’re unable to play as Oswald unless you’re playing co-op with a friend.

Now, the copy I’m reviewing is on the PS Vita, so as you can probably guess, the touch elements of the console are indeed used – not very well, though. The main integration of touch comes when shooting paint (or thinner) from your magic brush. You simply click on the screen wherever you want to shoot. Sounds useful, right? Well, it’s not. I find it much, much easier to use the standard controls (right analogue stick to aim, and L+R to shoot paint+thinner). Using one of your hands to touch the middle of the screen means moving it away from the buttons on either side of the console – this can render you unable to move, or unable to jump/spin.

As well as being able to shoot your paint and thinner, you can also interact with characters, burst bubbles and other projectiles and navigate the menus using the touch screen.

Enemies come in different forms of what are called Spatters – these are generally purple inky blobs that are just out to ruin your day. You’re able to defeat Spatters either by shooting them with thinner which eventually destroys them, or shooting them with paint which turns them friendly and stops them attacking you. You often come across spatters in mechanical costumes – you tend to have to jump on a red button on top of their heads to expose them so that you’re then able to deal with them whichever way you see fit.

As well as spatters, you also come across robots called Beetleworx. In order to kill these enemies, you need to weaken their shell using your thinner, and then use your spin attack (think Crash Bandicoot, but less effective) to finish them off.

So, as some of you will know, the main antagonist in the first Epic Mickey game is ‘The Mad Doctor’. Now, in Epic Mickey 2, he claims to have changed his ways and wants to help restore Wasteland to its former glory. That’s all well and good, right? Well, I don’t believe him. See, the Beetleworx are The Mad Doctors creation – he claims they’ve been hacked, but I smell something fishy.

This is the part of the review where I’d usually write a section about the multiplayer, but Epic Mickey 2 only supports Ad Hoc connections (Vita-Vita rather than Vita-PSN), and I only have one copy of the game. What I do know, though, is that the multiplayer only has a co-op mode – no competitive multiplayer. What did you really expect from a Mickey Mouse game?

Overall, I think that Epic Mickey 2 is an interesting take on the Disney world, it brings together the skills of Mickey and Oswald and pits them against tough challenges. It’s not without its flaws though. I can’t see why there isn’t an option to choose which character you want to play as – they’re both equally as useful. Also, the fact that Oswald is particularly unresponsive and you find yourself waiting around for him can get very tedious and frustrating.

+ Generally fun platform game
+ Interesting skillset for each character

- Unable to choose character on single player
- Oswald is often not around when you need his ability

SPOnG Score: 6/10

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