Review: Epic Mickey
Now before I start the review I would like to clarify that I was ridiculously excited about this release, almost on the scale of a new Zelda or Mario game being launched. One of my favourite games for the Megadrive was “Castle of illusion” and in addition to that “World of illusion” which also had Donald Duck. Undoubtedly they were classics, so lets go.
Epic Mickey was a title that had me hooked as soon as I read about it and saw the concept art side of things, the whole Steampunk look of it seemed it would jig up Mickey a bit which was honestly much needed. However due to certain limitations (i.e. Disney saying that it was going too far) Warren Spector made some changes to the game and alas we got Epic Mickey.
The story is somewhat basic, but it works. Mickey has somehow caused a paint spillage on a world of forgotten Disney characters (such as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit) he is then kidnapped by the Shadow blot and due to a series of events must save the day, destroy the blot and save the wasteland.
The presentation of this game are actually pretty damn good, IGN summed it up best when they said you could tell the love the team had for this game in the attention for detail. The music works so well, and to be honest with the huge backlog of Disney music there is it would be hard to muck up. All in all I would say visually it is one of the better offerings the Wii has, and this could have done wonders being on a different platform.
Now the game play side of things is where it begins to feel a bit iffy. You can tell they had the idea of a game that had 2D platforming elements, adventure elements and 3D platforming among others. The 2D side of things works perfectly and I couldn’t fault that at all, the adventure side of things is brilliant with the Zelda-esque side quests. It is when it comes to the 3D side of things that really mucks it up, it’s like they didn’t realise that game camera’s had moved on since Super Mario 64 and there are a number of times in the game where frustration at the camera just really lets it down. Which is a shame. I did however like the fact that you used the paint to either make characters “good” or to kill them, the choice being yours.
The emotion in this game is something that works well, for example there are a few times where a random Disney character rocks up and you’re like who’s that. Then Mickey himself is wondering who it is, and you can feel that he shows remorse for this something which works quite well and you do feel his love for the wasteland as the game goes on.
Now the game itself isn’t too long at all, however the replay value is quite high. There are different paths you can take, whether it’s mischievous Mickey, Mickey the hero or just a mix of the two. Aside from the camera the frustrating thing is the auto save function, for example a character will say “will you do this” you say no and then he’ll say fine you won’t get this “insert awesome item” then the game automatically saves so to get the item you have to play the game again.
All in all it’s a great concept that works sometimes but doesn’t others. The camera really doesn’t do any favours and if that was sorted it would easily be a 9/10 game due to quite a few “mark out” moments. But alas the camera really spoils it that much and so being generous I would give Epic Mickey an 8/10 but as I think the bad stands out more than the good I’d give it a final rating of 7.5/10.
This review will also appear over at http://gameftw.co.uk/ go check them out!