Hands-On Preview: Epic Mickey 2 Paints Within the Lines
Disney’s Epic Mickey hit a ton of the right cords with me when I played it originally on the Wii. The camera ended up being the only sore point for me and many others who have played the game. There was also a worry that playing Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will require adjusting dramatically to the controls and feel of the game on another platform.
The second game now features voice acting for all the characters featuring the actual voice of Mickey and crew. Also, for the first time ever, casting was done for the voice of Oswald. Sounds and music in the game are also affected by the choice to paint or thin things in a level.
Fortunately, one of the first things I noticed when playing Epic Mickey 2 with the PlayStation Move was how much better the camera worked. The build that I played started me off in Yen Sid’s lab, and I had to work my way to the top by painting and thinning. In Yen Sid’s lab, Mickey had to thin platforms to clear obstacles off of them then paint them back in and jump on them to reach the top and a picture that could be painted or thinned. The player is told that how they decided to play the game can have an effect on the world, so the player must choose if they shall thin everything away or paint the world anew.
After this section was complete, Mickey was led to the next section that took place in a 2D stage based on the cartoon short, “The Old Mill”. Once in this 2D stage, I was able to gain access to Oswald.
In Epic Mickey 2, players will be able to have a friend jump in and out for coop gameplay while still playing the main game. The other great part is the second player can play using either a PlayStation Move or DualShock 3 controller. Players can get help from Oswald in these 2D sections to reach higher areas that is not normally possible through regular double jumps. This section played like many 2D platformers, but the little touches – such as being based on the cartoon “The Old Mill” and seeing the film strip edges when moving as far right or left in the stage – were nice subtle touches.
The final section of this build that I got a chance to try out was a boss fight against the Pete’s Dragon float from Main Street Electrical Parade – just a tad bit specific, I thought, when told this by a rep from Disney. The boss was placed in the middle of the stage, and players navigate around a ring while having the ability to thin or paint in parts of the boss. Oswald helps out during the fight and can stun the boss, which allowed for time to paint or thin without being attacked. The boss fight was broken into three tiers, with more parts being revealed at each point of the battle.
Aiming with the PlayStation Move felt very comfortable to me while moving the pointer towards the edges of the screen; it was very responsive. I found that jumping from platform to platform while painting in new ones and thinning away obstacles was just as much fun as in the original game. The game truly shows off how capable the Move is as an alternate control scheme. It sometimes makes me wonder why it catches so much flack for alternate controls.
The game is really fun and I was informed that the camera is still being tweaked to work even better. I was impressed by the changes brought, including better physics, drop in/out co-op, voice acting, and better camera that isn’t even finalized yet. The original was a fun game but it looks like a ton of effort is going into this game to not only improve over the original, but bring it to more gamers with it releasing on PS3 and Xbox 360, as well. November 18th cannot come soon enough, because this game captures the fun and charm of Disney while making improvements made on the feedback of the original.