Sequels can be a tricky things. It’s been almost two years since we last saw Mr. Mouse artistically save Wasteland in Disney Epic Mickey. In Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Mickey is joined by Oswald the Lucky rabbit, one of Walt Disney’s first original characters. That’s right — two of Disney’s most iconic figures must join forces to save Wasteland once again!
Right off the bat, players will be thrown in a mini tutorial reminding them how to use the paint and thinner. We were able to get our hands on the Nintendo Wii version (Wii is the game’s lead platform), though PS Move will be compatible with Epic Mickey 2, as well. The game feels immediately different from its predecessor, as there are forced camera angles that allow better transitions than were seen in the first Epic Mickey. Fans will definitely be overjoyed to hear that the camera has been considerably improved, as Junction Point Studios has made 1,000 changes to the camera system from the original game.
Although the game revisits Wasteland once again, players will be able to explore much more than ever before. In order to re-obtain the Magic Paintbrush, we visited Yen Sid’s tower. The environments and visuals are virtually the same as last time — the game only took 18 months to develop, and most of the assets were already in-place. The biggest change is the two-player co-op integration with Oswald. He will not just help Mickey get past difficult obstacles, but armed with his Remote Control, Oswald harnesses the power of electricity (a special Wii Nunchuk will be available in the shape of the Remote Control, along with Mickey’s Paintbrush). Learn more about Oswald in Disney’s second behind the scenes featurette showcasing the history of the character.
Epic Mickey 2’s two-player splitscreen co-op is great because the second player can drop in-and-out at will. If players are having a hard time with the AI, anyone at any moment can hop in and take control of Oswald. Many objectives and tasks don’t necessarily require this feature, but in order to reach certain points, hidden areas, or special items, a second player is recommended. The game’s framerate didn’t take a hit from co-op, but gamers who dislike vertical splitscreens may find this feature bothersome.
Two-player co-op came in handy when we encountered our first boss battle. We actually got to play with Paul Weaver, studio director at Junction Point Studios. Having Oswald tag along is a nice feature and gamers will love the tag-team combo. Just like Banjo and Kazooie or Ratchet and Clank, this will be a fantastic duo to fall in love with — though this pairing has a much greater nostalgic feeling to it.
During both the 2D and 3D segments of the game, Oswald comes in quite handy by helping Mickey to reach certain areas. He is not pushy or annoying like Gus, and is actually fun to utilize — and a vital aspect of the game. Some areas can only be reached via co-op play. Of course, just like in the first Epic Mickey, choosing to use paint or thinner on enemies will have consequences for certain aspects of the game. Now, with two characters to choose from, the possibilities are even greater.
Fans of the original will have a great time with Epic Mickey 2. All of the reasons that players fell in love with Epic Mickey are evident in the new game, but the inclusion of Oswald makes the sequel a lot more fun. Epic Mickey 2 is shaping up to be a wonderful sequel to the original, and even players who missed the first game should have a easy time finding the magic in Mickey and Oswald’s new adventure.
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two releases November 18, 2012, for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.
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