A review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Version – Wii
ESRB Rating: ‘E ’ – Everyone
Release Date: 11/18/2012
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Disney
Epic Mickey 2: Power of Two is a follow up to the original for Wii, only this time it was released on the 360, PS3 and Wii U in addition to the Wii. The original was controversial due to the camera, and it is safe to say that this issue has been corrected. Will this game live up to the first one? Is it still as epic as the title suggests? Find out and continue on for the review!
Mickey is sleeping peacefully when he is awakened by Gus through a TV transmitter. Mickey finds that there is trouble in Wasteland once again and returns to help out the characters of Wasteland. The scientist is back, but he’s helping rebuild Mean Street after some devastating earthquakes? Or is he just trying to win over the toons? Ortensia doesn’t trust the scientist, but Oswald and Mickey have hope that he is on their side, since after all, how could he be bad if he’s helping them rebuild? What is going on within Wasteland? The plot thickens as Mickey and Oswald explore Mean Street, Ostown and a few other familiar places.
The gameplay has not radically changed since the first one. The main addition is Oswald’s AI and/or second player co-op. There will be objects, backgrounds, floors, platforms, basically many objects or structures can be painted, thinned, or activated (via electricity). Player one is always Mickey and if playing on your own you may be in for a real treat. The Oswald AI is mostly pretty terrible. Most of the time he will stand around or follow you and doesn’t necessarily help you right away. His combat skills are probably his strong suit, but for help using him to glide across a gap or tossing him up to a high platform are some of the more difficult parts of the game. You will need his assistance in solving more complex puzzles this time around.
Also noticed is the decreased help received from Gus. In one of the early parts of the game, I was stuck in a room for at least five to six hours attempting to figure out what to do. Oswald was busy waiting for me to interact with something, and as far as I could tell I could not figure it out. There was an object that had to be pulled, but there was no special icon or notion that this object was to be pulled. I appreciate hard and difficult puzzles, but to not understand something like this or have the slightest clue that this object was supposed to be used a particular way made it frustrating.
I do find the gameplay enjoyable, but with Oswald not being a huge help going solo, and not receiving proper clues to very basic puzzles gave me a sour impression. I will still give the game the time it deserves, since I gave high praise for the first one despite its camera issue. Rest assured that the camera is not perfectly controllable using the D-pad and I have not encountered a section where it won’t let you rotate it. Also to note I did have a chance to do a proper co-op with a friend, and it seemed to play much better. With me acting as the leader it was easy to tell my friend where to be and how to help with some of the difficult glides and tosses.
The controls for this game are matched up to those of the original. For a quick refresher, the game is played with the remote and nunchuk and player 1 controls Mickey, and player 2 (or the AI) controls Oswald. The controls are basically the same, except for a few differences with Oswald. The B button uses Mickey’s paint attack (Oswald’s electric attack), A makes the character jump, the control pad moves the camera around, the control stick (nunchuk) moves the character around, and Z makes Mickey use thinner (Oswald’s boomerrang). Minus (-) brings up the start menu and plus (+), 1 and 2 do not do anything (for player one). To activate player 2, use a second remote and hit the 2 button which can toggle on or off control of Oswald. Finally, you use the pointer of the remote to aim your paint/thinner or electricity/direction of boomerrang. As with the original, the controls are solid and it’s entirely the same. The controls feel right at home and Mickey or Oswald are easy to control.
Since I was playing this on Wii U, I believe it’s been upscaled since the Wii U outputs through HDMI. Just take a peak at the video I took with my HD video capture card I got for my Wii U:
The game to me seemed to look amazing considering it’s a Wii game. Mickey and Oswald look sharp, along with other characters and the enemies. Mean street carried on it’s same look, but with the earthquake it separated the two halves of it. I didn’t find any instances where the graphics looked poorly.
This area has significantly improved from the prior version of the game as it is now has voice acting. It has also added in the quirky Disney charm with musical segments to expand the story which I found to be a pleasant touch to the game. While the songs that I encountered are not as memorable as classic Disney films, the songs fit right in with what was going on and had the clever animations to go with it. There were also subtitles to follow along. I was very impressed with the quality of the voice actors, and Mickey retained his sound effects as well. Oswald’s voice seemed to fit well, but I found it to be a little whiny at times. All of his sound effects for his abilities seemed to be a solid fit.
Final Score: 7.0 out of 10
Overall this game can be pretty solid, but it does have some major concerns. Namely Oswald’s AI, some parts limited instructions and for some people I can see the musical aspect of the game being a concern. This game is geared towards the younger crowds and the Disney nerds like myself, and if I was having trouble doing some of the game’s supposedly simple puzzles, then I can only imagine how difficult this game may be for it’s intended audience. With suburb (Wii) graphics and in my ears the musical/voice acting of the game, it makes the gamer become more immersed in the game. I would still recommend it to Disney fans, but if you are seeking it for a child or inexperienced gamer, I would try to play the game with them as it may help get past some of the trickier parts.