E3 2012 – Hands On With Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Will you paint a bright new future for Wasteland or thin it away to nothing? That’s the question you’ll face in Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two as the franchise returns to the Nintendo Wii and arrives for the first time on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles in glorious HD! Wanderson75.net got a chance to sit down with a demonstration of the upcoming title at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California and jot down some thoughts as we played the game on the PlayStation 3.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the game is rendered in beautiful HD (our system was running at 720p) as opposed to the 480p that the original Wii-only version was stuck with, and the game looks simply gorgeous!  Epic Mickey 2 is full of vivid colors and every environment and character is based on classic tales from Disney’s past.

We began our introduction to Epic Mickey 2 in a tutorial level; Mickey has returned to the world of Wasteland, but his paint brush has long since been lost and must be recovered. After you find it, you’ll learn to use the paintbrush to paint your way through a floating stone staircase. Other objects such as stars and comets can be painted as well to unlock a Mickey Mouse-shaped constellation in the night sky.   In the background, the music will shift to a rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star” from the 1940’s animated classic, Pinocchio.

Once you ascend the staircase, you’ll make your way into a setting based on another 1940’s fantasy film from Disney, Fantasia. It’s here that you’ll acquire the power of using thinner alongside paint, which allows you the choice to either strip away the paint and disintegrate the world around you, or return it to its true color. In some instances, the choice of using paint or thinner may be unavoidable, but in most cases, the use of either will have repercussions on the world around you that will resonate and shape the ending of the game.

Mickey is also joined by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who returns to the Epic Mickey franchise as a supporting character, helping Mickey clear obstacles and solve puzzles throughout the game. Oswald takes less of a backseat than in the original game, offering advice and assistance to Mickey over the course of their adventure through the Wasteland – he even gets some voice time as well!

I played the game on the PlayStation 3 with a controller, as well as the PlayStation Move controls, and while the controller serves the game well, I was really surprised at how much Move adds to the Epic Mickey experience. The contrast is in the control for aiming your paint brush. While the right analog stick on the PS3 controller does the trick, using the Move controller is a far more natural experience, and in many ways, makes the gameplay better. This was especially true in the final area of the demo where you have to defeat a towering robotic boss that looks like a mechanical version of Pete’s Dragon, Elliot.

There are tons of hidden items in the world of Epic Mickey 2 to collect or discover along the way. As a matter of fact, Warren Spector himself challenged E3-goers to find all of the collectibles in the demo; to my knowledge, no one was successful.

My time with Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two was well spent. The game is entertaining and will be appealing to players young and old alike. Stay tuned for our review of the game when it launches this November!

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