Sunday, March 25, 2012

Back to the Wasteland: Mickey and Oswald Reunite for 'Epic Mickey 2'

Mickey Mouse and Oswald, together again.
This fall, Mickey Mouse returns to Wasteland and makes nice with his cartoon rival Oswald when the video game adventure Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two makes its debut. It promises to be an improvement on its predecessor.

Epic Mickey was a popular title for Disney Interactive Studios and game developer Junction Point when it was released in 2010, but it was criticized for issues with its POV camera that made it difficult to navigate Mickey through the twisted alternate reality of forgotten Disney characters and theme park attractions. Gamers were also disappointed that Mickey (along with all the other characters) didn't speak except for uttering squeaky gibberish.

Both these issues are expected to be remedied in Epic Mickey 2. Game play will be more fluid and not only will the characters talk, they'll also break into song. The Power of Two isn't just going to be an epic adventure. It's going to be a musical.

OK, I'm in.

I'm a fan of the original Epic Mickey and found the criticisms leveled at it to be mostly nitpicking. The game play to me was almost secondary to the detailed Disney-on-crack levels that designer Warren Spector and his team put together: a forbidding "Mean Street" in place of Main Street, U.S.A., a violent and psychotic "It's a Small World" clock, a jealous and vindictive Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. And, despite the perverse look the game took at its subject matter, it still managed to pay loving homage to over 80 years of Disney movie and theme park magic.

In Epic Mickey 2, Wasteland will once again be fraught with troubles that the intrepid mouse will have to resolve with the use of paint to repair and thinner to dissolve. There will be tandem play that will bring Oswald to Mickey's side with a handy remote control that channels electricity. There will be original songs inspired by classic Disney music and plenty of new and different levels to explore in Wasteland.

Yes, we have screen shots to share:

Unlike the original Epic Mickey, Epic Mickey 2 will be available not only on Nintendo Wii, but also on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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