If one thing is clear about Disney Interactive, it's that they're optimists. Since the announcement of their return to the company's roots with their upcoming Epic Mickey, they've been running the hype machine at its highest setting.
First we were hit with the E3 gameplay and interviews given by project lead Warren Spector, citing the amazing and unique experience of the cartoon game world, and what a treasure the entire Disney vault is to explore. Next, Spector expresses that not only has the project been a blessing for him and his team, but is one that he plans on staying with for the foreseeable future. Follow that up with the game's opening cinematic, giving us a just a taste at the drama and darkness that the title seems to contain. All of this, and yet the gaming world at large seems to still be unsure of just how to feel about the game itself. Hype is fleeting, after all. Just ask the folks over at Ruffian.
The inner child of gamers everywhere was stirred when the first concept art was released for the game, only to be crushed when the first glimpses of the game fell drastically short. In a way, the amount that Disney talked up Epic Mickey has had the opposite effect as desired: they made this game sound like the second coming of Mickey Mouse, and pulled back the curtain to show us what looks to be a somewhat inventive platformer.
But as is always the case, it's the game itself that decides its fate, not the men in suits. And after seeing more than a bit of advertising flash, we have another look at the gameplay in this sample of Epic Mickey's "Dark Beauty Castle":
There is no way to deny that Mickey Mouse holds a special place in almost everyone's heart, and just seeing him on screen adds a desire to take the controls that other developers would kill to have. I really hope that the guys over at Disney Interactive start to realize that a cinematic showcasing the magical flowing of paint does a worse job of selling the gameplay than actually showing the tool in use. The last video they released was, at least to me, an incredible letdown. The painting/thinning was used in clunky traversal, and seemingly meaningless transformation of enemies.
But now, we get to see the tool actually being used in linear platforming, removing obstacles, spanning gaps, and for some reason giving off a palapable Ocarina of Time vibe while doing it!
The bottom line is, I don't know if this game is going to be an addiction to me, or a complete write-off. Disney had almost convinced me to pick up the game for the console skins, but maybe now I'll also get an enjoyable platformer too. I mean, you have to give this game a shot; it's Mickey!
I''ll be looking forward to the next chapter in Mickey's Epic, when the game finally drops for the Wii this holiday season.