Mickey and Oswald, sitting in a tree…
I made no secret of my disappointment with Epic Mickey. The game’s potential was nearly limitless, but it got bogged down with technical flaws that killed much of the fun. The concept, however, is still great, and I’m approaching Epic Mickey 2 with (much more cautious) optimism.
The main difference between this game and the first is that Oswald the Rabbit, Mickey’s misunderstood rival, is now good buddies with everyone’s favorite mouse and helps out in cooperative play. A second player can now control Oswald in split-screen, or the AI can take over when you go it alone.
Mickey’s abilities are by and large the same as they were in the first game, painting in objects or thinning them to solve puzzles and fight bad guys. Not content to just be a Mickey clone, Oswald is a distinctly different character. Instead of a double jump, he can glide around with his ears (being the Tails to Mickey’s Sonic, if you will), and his weapon of choice is a remote control that has nothing to do with the paint and thinner mechanics. Oswald uses his remote to fire electric beams that can power machinery, turn hostile robots friendly, and release electrical blasts in combat. Both Mickey’s and Oswald’s abilities need to be used in tandem to properly explore the world and take down bosses.
The best news to me, though, is that most of my gripes with the first game are gone. The environments are brighter and have lost their overly murky and muddled appearance, and the collision detection is far more accurate. While the quality of the camera can’t be thoroughly determined just from a demo, it didn’t seem to get snagged on anything this time around.
I’m keeping several fingers crossed and hoping that this time, Epic Mickey gets the fundamentals right so that the game can truly shine. Epic Mickey 2 has been slated for a November 18, 2012 release date.