Mickey Mouse has been called back to Wasteland by his friends Gus and Ortensia. After saving Wasteland in Epic Mickey on the Wii, he must now join forces with his friend Oswald to save it once again, and this time Mickey gets a multiplatform release.
Disney’s Wasteland is suffering from a rash of unexplainable earthquakes that are slowly destroying the Disney world. The Mad Doctor from Epic Mickey returns to help and sings about turning over a new leaf. Mickey’s friends are skeptical of him but Oswald buys into his song and takes off with him. Gus and Ortensia fear for Oswald, so they summon the great Mickey Mouse, with his unique ability to use paint or thinner selectively to alter the slowly deteriorating landscape and buildings. Oswald promptly returns once Mickey arrives, and they join forces to work together on solving the many puzzles put before them and repairing the damage being done. It is up to this pair to figure out what is causing the earthquakes, and ultimately save this Wonderful World.
The gameplay for Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is reminiscent of great games like Mario 64 and the Ratchet & Clank series. Add in collectibles and upgradeable abilities with an open world, and the game takes on the feel of an RPG. The story surrounds Mickey who has to choose to either use his thinner brush or use his paint brush. The thinner can reveal hidden items that are otherwise out of sight, while the paint brush can be used to give objects substance and weight that will come in handy while puzzle solving.
Both brushes can also be used as weapons against the many enemies and bosses you’ll encounter, and each one has a unique effect against them. The thinner can be used to remove armor and to take bad guys down while the paint can be used to turn some of these bad guys into friends. That choice us up to you. Each brush has a limited supply that will slowly auto-refill and taking down bosses with a brush will increase its overall capacity.
How you play this game is defined by the many junction points you’ll come across. These are quests or events that influence your game’s future and can be decisions such as defeating a boss with thinner or paint, or helping a non-playable character or not. Remembering your choices, and playing through the game again making different choices, gives the game a great amount of replayability.
As you progress through the story, special abilities called sketches are given to you to use. These are abilities that give Mickey and Oswald huge advantages over their opponents. The Fairy Sketch gives you the ability to levitate objects and move them around. The TV Sketch will place a TV that will draw enemies to it, and keep them occupied until it disappears. The Anvil Sketch creates an anvil above an object, then drops that anvil for a destructive effect. This is more like something Wile E. Coyote would use, but it’s very effective. The last sketch is the Watch Sketch. Using this sketch will slow time down to a crawl for everyone except Mickey and Oswald. This can give you ample time to take down a group of bad guys, or escape a normally fast moving trap. Mastering the use of all of these is key to saving this unique world and defeating the forces of evil.
The game can be played solo, with the CPU guiding and controlling Oswald, or with two controllers and a friend. The CPU doesn’t always make great decisions as Oswald, but at the same time, the CPU does know where you’re supposed to be going and/or doing next. This comes in handy since the game doesn’t give much for directions early on in the game. Mickey has the standard jump and double jump moves, but Oswald’s ability to jump and hover, using his ears as helicopter like props, gives Mickey the ability to grab onto Oswald’s feet and coast across expanses that are otherwise too far to cross.
When playing solo, Mickey can summon Oswald and have him perform tasks. Oswald has several unique abilities that are necessary for puzzle solving and force these two to work together. Oswald has the above mentioned hover ability, but he also has a boomerang and a remote control. The boomerang is a great weapon and can also be used to hit switches that are otherwise out of reach. His remote is a powerful little device that emits electricity in either a stream form, or as a large bubble encompassing him. Both forms can be used as weapons, but they are also used to activate switches and devices. Just another tool for solving the many puzzles that abound in this wonderful world.
Collectibles and resources can be found everywhere in the game. Using thinner and paint in the proper places will net you items that aren’t readily available. Keep an eye out for translucent looking areas that need to be painted or maybe some extra colorful area that need to be thinned. Glimmering objects like treasure chests or suits of armor can be opened or smashed to net you health (pink Mickey ears), paint pails if your low or E-tickets if you aren’t in need of anything. E-tickets can be used to purchase items in the many little shops scattered around Wasteland and can also be used to purchase services from non-playable characters.
The overall design of the world is well thought out, and once you figure out how to fire up the projectors, is easy to navigate.The projectors become your gateway between worlds, and traveling using them is another game in itself. Each projector has switches that determines which path Mickey and Oswald will travel. There are 4 options for each projector. You can travel with Oswald via one path or the other, or you can opt to each go your own way. The two paths each have their own rewards, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find the film reel for that projector. These 2D worlds are nice little side scrolling adventures that are both fun and challenging.
The game definitely has the look and feel of a Walt Disney inspired world. The graphics for the game are nicely done and for those of you with a 3D TV, you’ll be pleased by the depth of the screen and how well some objects fly out at you. While the game doesn’t enjoy the 3D awesomeness of some AAA titles (think Uncharted 3 or Crysis 2), it does look nice in 3D. The 3D effect felt like more than just a gimmick the developer threw in there.
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a fun game that looks great, has a classic Disney soundtrack with recognizable characters that the youngsters will enjoy. Letting them play without adult supervision might be a mistake, though, as most levels and puzzles aren’t too kid friendly. While the game is rated E for Everyone, you’ll want to stay close by if your little one wants to play. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.