Gaming Under $20: Epic Mickey

Ready, set, paint! (Or something like that.) Disney’s Epic Mickey is all about painting or erasing a mock Disneyland and old forgotten characters. This was a major title for Disney, even earning a cover and full article for Game Informer magazine. Does it live up to the expectation and is it worth the twenty dollars? Let’s dive right in.

The game starts with Mickey Mouse going through a mirror to the room of the wizard from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia. Mickey finds a mini-sized, mock Disneyland and a paint brush; he splashes some magic paint and makes a shapeless blob. Then, he hears the wizard coming and panics, spilling paint and thinner all over the model. He escapes back through the mirror, only to be dragged back into it a year later by a giant black “blobby” hand. He is dragged all the way down, into the model set of Disneyland. Mickey soon finds out that this place is named Wasteland and was created for the lost and forgotten Disney characters. It is run by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who is Mickey’s predecessor. However, things are in disarray in Wasteland. The blot Mickey created a year ago is using thinner to destroy the entire world! Mickey and Oswald must team up, despite their differences and Oswald’s dislike of Mickey Mouse, if they hope to stop the Shadow Blot and save Wasteland.

Upon entering Wasteland, Mickey is confronted by the Mad Doctor (who really has nothing to do with the storyline other than creating more enemies to get in your way). After defeating him, you realize you have the Magic Paintbrush that can paint or thin (erase) certain things in Wasteland. You have three moves: jump, spin, and paint/thin, so it is a pretty straight forward game. After defeating Doc’s machine, a door is revealed and a projector screen sits behind it; this is how cartoons travel in Wasteland. Once inside, you jump through a short side scrolling level. These become very monotonous, especially if you have to go back and forth between one. If I’ve already been through it once, give me the option to fast travel through it.

While traversing through Wasteland you fight two main groups of enemies and then different types within each group. The first group you face are Blotlings. These are blobs of paint that come in many different shapes: from brooms with buckets (from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice) to an eyeball with legs that serves as a beacon to all nearby enemies. These Blotlings can be destroyed with thinner or redeemed with paint. If they are thinned they drop health, paint, or thinner; if they are painted they work for Mickey, unless the paint is thinned off. The second group you face are Bots. They are robots covered in paint and programmed to hate you, so there is no redeeming them. You must remove their protective paint coating and then do a spin attack on their weak spots to destroy them. As you progress through Wasteland, the enemies will get tougher and require more paint, thinner, or spin attacks. You start with three blocks of paint and thinner each. While one block always refills, so you are never completely out, it can be irksome to run out of “ammo” mid fight with an enemy. So, stock up by spinning crates and chests to find paint, thinner, health or E-Tickets. E-tickets are used to buy extra stuff like a health upgrade, paint or thinner, or even concept art.

Most of the game is very linear. You do the main quest to progress the story and you complete a few sub-quests to help you along the way, by receiving items and such as rewards. If you fail a quest or neglect it completely, don’t expect a second chance. There are no do-overs in this game and the saves are automatically set in at specific moments or achievements. If you missed something or messed up, you have to live with it or start the game all over again. The game offers many side quests that you can venture off on, but only a few bosses (and I use the term, “boss” very loosely). The bosses can be defeated using paint or thinner and whichever you decide to use will increase in capacity upon beating him.

Overall the gameplay is fairly fun. My two complaints were the horrible, horrible camera angles and the controls, like jumping or grabbing ledges. Sometimes, Mickey would grab it and other times you fall to your death; this becomes increasingly annoying if you get half way through a sequence, but didn’t get a checkpoint. Also, missing a jump because of the awful camera angle was infuriating. You see some long lost Disney characters, such as: Goofy, Donald and Daisy, and Pete (and various forms of Pete). If this Disney experience seems like a must for you I would strongly suggest renting it, due to the fact that this game has very little replay value, no multiplayer, and no achievements.  Even at $14.99, this game just doesn’t seem worth the money.

Sadly, Epic Mickey is “Not Worth It”

By Alex Kirn

 

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