Tag Archives: Disney Epic Mickey

2012 Game Review Haiku, #31 – Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

2012 games completed Epic Mickey power of illusion

Mizrabel the witch
Kidnapping cartoons, only
Mickey says, “Oh boy!”

For all the games I complete in 2012, instead of wasting time writing a review made up of points and thoughts I’ve probably already expressed here in various posts at Grinding Down, I’m instead just going to write a haiku about it. So there.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, a fantastic distortion of the senses

The demo for Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the Nintendo 3DS has its ups and downs, but it has nonetheless confirmed for me that I’ll be purchasing the cutesy side-scroller on Day One. As well as reading all of Scrooge McDuck’s lines out loud in my amazing Scottish accent.

It opens with gorgeous, hand-drawn art and text-based story blocks, and stays that way for some time. Maybe too long to be reading text, but whatever. There has to be setup somewhere. Power of Illusion takes place some time after the events of Epic Mickeywhich I never even came close to beating. A part of me wants to go back and try again, but then another part remembers how there were houses you went into that had absolutely nothing inside of them, and they made me furious because what’s the point of going in it then, why not just leave the door locked, ugggggh. Anyways, the evil witch Mizrabel and her Castle of Illusion have been accidentally transported to the Wasteland by the wizard Yen Sid. That’s Disney backwards for those not in the know. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit contacts Mickey Mouse to tell him about the castle and that Minnie Mouse has been spotted inside of it, which is not true at all. Ever the hero, Mickey then sets off to save Minnie and the “Illusions” of other Disney characters trapped in the castle.

Right. It’s a side-scroller of yesteryears, and it’s coming from Dreamrift. Y’know, the folks responsible for the charming Monster Tale. Some company alum also worked on the highly praised Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. So, we’re definitely in good hands here. Plus, several interviews with Peter Ong, co-founder and creative director, have remarked on his love for Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse for the Sega Genesis. And that love shows. Oh does it show. But thankfully there’s more to Power of Illusion than just nostalgia and one fan’s dream to bring it back.

After all the story intro stuff, the demo drops you into control of the one and only Mickey Mouse, with little to no abilities to his name. Hmm. Basically, you can jump, and his jumps are unfortunately very floaty, something I’m not digging. Later on, after acquiring the Pixie Dust sketch which allows you to float down when falling, it was nearly impossible to tell the difference. You go through a tutorial level, which shows you how to bounce off enemies, throw paint/thinner at them, draw in items or erase them completely, and rescue familiar Disney characters, like Beast and Rapunzel. The artwork is gorgeous and looks great in 3D, presenting depth of field over launching things at your face.

As for the paint/thinner aspect which carries over from Epic Mickey, it’s fairly perfunctory. When you need to create an item, you trace its outline, and depending how steady your work is, you’ll create a stronger item. Alas, this is no Theatrhythm, and it’s not exactly clear where you are being judged in terms of lineart. For thinner, you basically just smudge away the item with all you got. That’s all this demo showed, so I’m not sure if there’s more to this gimmick or not. When running around, you can throw paint or thinner at enemies, and depending on which type you use, they’ll drop health or money. Yeah, Disney Dollars.

Once you are done learning the ropes, you head back to your Fortress. And this is where Power of Illusion really won me over. Because the Fortress is the castle from Suikoden. Well…sort of. The Disney characters you rescue in levels will take up refuge in your Fortress, getting their own room and serving their own purpose. You can upgrade the room too, though I’m not clear on how that is accomplished. Some characters become shops–like Scrooge McDuck–who sell upgrades to Mickey’s health meter, how much paint/thinner he uses, and upping his ability to find hidden treasures, and other characters will dish out side quests. This, I like. Very, very much. And I spent most of the demo playing around here before going back into one more level, which was set on Captain Hook’s pirate ship. That then ends with a boss fight teaser, definitely leaving me wanting more.

My Nintendo 3DS is in for some hurting over the next few weeks. I’m still trying to finish up a single playthrough of Pokemon White 2–seven badges collected so far!–but this Sunday I’ll be picking up Paper Mario: Sticker Star. And then comes Power of Illusion, followed by the downloadable Crashmo. I also still mean to pick up the new Layton game too. Gah. And maybe Scribblenauts Unlimited. Triple gah. At least now that the weather is getting horribly frigid, I have something to do underneath the heated blanket: collect pocket monsters, collect stickers, collect Disney characters. My system might not be ready for it, but I definitely am.

Disney Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion for the 3DS is a videogame I now want

Okay, I’m all in.

To start, I found Disney Epic Mickey on the Nintendo Wii to be severely flawed, with horrible camera jank, empty houses that made me angry, and a really slow pace. Charm and atmosphere was there, but that’s it. Which is a shame, as I love Mickey Mouse and animation of golden times and all things Disney–I mean, for our honeymoon, Tara and I geeked out in Disney World for a week, and it was sublime. There’s just something so charming about Disney’s universe, and we’ve had a couple of good games based off Ser Walt’s creations in the past, namely Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Kingdom Hearts.

And so, while wearing trepidation-laden armor, I am excited to see how Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two turns out, what with its focus on co-op and music, but the real reason to be overjoyed that Junction Point Studios is giving it another go is that there will be a retail release for the 3DS…and it’s totally different.

Made by DreamRift, the fine beings behind 2011’s underrated Monster Tale, Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is a 2D platformer that harkens back to the previously mentioned Castle of Illusion. In fact, some are straight up calling it a sequel. Nothing’s been formally announced, but the Internet has provided a number of game details and a single screenshot scan, and from all that…I’m in. It sounds amazing, and might very well be the third 3DS game I buy in 2012 (the first was Super Mario 3D Land, and the second will be Animal Crossing 3DS). Here’s a couple of bullet points supposedly from the newest issue of Nintendo Power:

  • Use stylus to tap item icons
  • “Paint” (trace) those items into existence to create cliffs, cannons, and floating platforms
  • Use thinner to erase objects
  • Scrolling parallax backgrounds
  • Every level in the game is based on an animated Disney adventure, which includes Sleeping Beauty to Tangled
  • Every character that Mickey saves will take up residence in the fortress that Mickey uses as his home base
  • The witch from Snow White is the main villain
  • Scrooge McDuck, Minnie, and Oswald also make appearances

Did you see the bullet point I highlighted in red font? Check again. I did so because that basically confirms that Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is part Suikoden. Oh em gee. Give me a base, let me recruit people, and I will play that game, no matter what it ultimately is. I can’t wait to see how the fortress evolves with each cartoony pal that Mickey brings back. People are guessing Fall 2012 for a release date, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more delicious-looking screenshots.