Rating: Rent It!
Over the past 80 years, Mickey Mouse has become
one of the most recognizable characters in the world.
He has made appearances in countless cartoons
and movies but has yet to be given a video game
incarnation worthy of his iconic status. Disney
sought to remedy this with “Epic Mickey,” a new,
Mickey-centric game for the Wii. In Mickey’s latest
virtual outing, you are given control of the mouse
himself as he explores the Wasteland, a magical
painted world steadily being corrupted by a creature
known as the Shadow Blot. Don’t let the fact that
this is a Disney game fool you; it was designed
to appeal to any age demographic. The story is a
deep, touching and occasionally, humorous tale of
redemption and healing.
The world is hauntingly beautiful, with designs
based on classic cartoon shorts and a graphical style
similar to a Disney movie. The Wasteland is a world
for the forgotten, with the majority of the characters
and levels based on early or obscure Disney works.
A feeling of sadness and decay plagues the game’s
soundtrack, reinforcing the player’s motivation to
heal the broken world.
Gameplay is based around the concept of using
paint and thinner to alter the world by either
creating new areas or erasing obstacles. Combat can
be approached in two ways: using thinner to destroy
the opponent or paint to purify them. A morality
system is included; Mickey’s reputation with the
denizens of Wasteland and the overall difficulty
of the game changes based on his use of paint or
thinner to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. These
aspects, while creative, get old after a while and
tend to be extremely simplistic and straightforward.
The platforming aspects of the game can also
become frustrating due to Mickey’s awkward and
occasionally unresponsive jump mechanic. Overall,
the game’s story merits a rental, but beyond that, the
repetitive game play and frustrating controls make
“Epic Mickey” a bit of a disappointment.