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“Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” is the sequel to the Wii exclusive title “Epic Mickey.” However, this game is far more inclusive than its predecessor being available to play on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and PC.
The game is set after the events of the first game. Wasteland is experiencing strange earthquakes which threaten to tear their world apart when the Mad Doctor (an antagonist in “Epic Mickey”) who says that he has turned over a new leaf and wants to help. Oswald decides to trust the Mad Doctor and gives him a second chance. However, his girlfriend Ortensia does not and calls upon Mickey to come and help them. Now, Mickey and Oswald must work together to save Wasteland.
As one might infer from the plot, the entire game can be played with two players with one person playing as Mickey and the other playing as Oswald. Of course, if the player doesn’t have a second friend to play along the game can be played as a single player. However, the player will have to work with the Oswald AI in order to get through the game. Fortunately, the partner AI is fairly responsive and will either automatically do the action or the player can order the AI to initiate the action. That being said, the AI is not perfect and will occasionally either not do what you want or wander around uselessly.
Two new features added to the game are voice acting and musical numbers. The voice acting is good with Bret Iwan, the current voice of Mickey Mouse, returning to the role. The ever popular Frank Welker is voicing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Cary Elwes is voicing Gremlin Gus who offers advice to the player, and lastly Disney voice veteran Jim Cummings.
While the full voice acting, opposed to the grunts and unintelligible sounds, is certainly a welcome change, it can at times get annoying. For instance there will be times when you might be briefly stuck at various sections in the game. However, if you don’t figure out the puzzle or don’t move through the place fast enough Gus will keep giving you the same hint over and over again. The same can be said of the Oswald AI who will often be talking throughout the entire playthrough.
The musical numbers which were mentioned quite a bit before the game came out are not really musical numbers. There is only one character who sings in this game and that is the Mad Doctor voiced by Dave Wittenberg. In fact, the character doesn’t really talk at all, he just sings.
Another problem in the game is the controls, but this can mainly be applied to the other consoles and is much better on the Wii and PC. While walking, jumping, and attacking work fine on all the consoles, using the paint and thinner attacks on the other consoles that becomes much more difficult.
However, a few problems in a game might be inconvenient throughout a playthrough, but would be worth it if the game’s storyline and characters are good. For example, “Epic Mickey” had a lot of camera issues that could ruin a game for some people, however, since the characters and storyline were good the game was definitely worth playing. Does “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” do the same? The answer is no. The storyline is rather dull and while it attempts to be a mystery the player solves who the culprit is in no time.
The same can be said of the characters: in the previous game they were colorful and fun, now much less interesting. Throughout the game you are given different quests for various characters and if you complete them that character will get a happy ending at the end of the game. This is again taken from the first game, but whereas in the first game the player felt motivated to help the characters he or she’s grown to love, in this game the player will feel mostly indifferent.
However, there is a ton of old Disney material sprinkled throughout the game that is certain to make every Disney fan feel nostalgic. One example of this is a boss battle against an animatronic Elliot from “Pete’s Dragon” which is also a reference to the light parades done at Disneyland and Disneyworld.
Rating 2.5/5- “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” is a flawed game that doesn’t live up to the magic of the original, but if you are a big Disney fan and you’re playing with a friend the game might be worth checking out.