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Epic Mickey: The Power Of Illusion preview

Epic Mickey's handheld showing is more than a nod and a wink to a timeless Sega classic

As Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two hits home consoles, the surprise news is that the 3DS will receive its own bespoke version. Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion will be a dual sequel to Epic Mickey on Wii and spiritual grandchild to the 1990 Sega Mega Drive classic, Castle Of Illusion.

Until Sonic arrived a year later, the latter was the dominant platformer on the console, a 2D side-scroller in which Mickey battled through evil witch Mizrabel's titular castle, bouncing on heads and exploring varied levels.

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Power Of Illusion returns to the illusory castle, which has now fallen into Epic Mickey's Wasteland along with its owner, the permanently narked villainess, Mizrabel. Wasteland, if you've not played Epic Mickey, is a scorched wilderness created for and populated by forgotten Disney characters, so it's only fitting that outdated videogame antagonist Mizrabel has finally taken up residence. Of course, she's not happy with her freshly relegated status and seeks to return to the overworld by capturing popular Disney characters within her castle and stealing their essence. This is cartoon science, just roll with it.

Paint It Cool

It's up to Mickey Mouse to rescue his toon buddies by platforming through Disney-themed levels within the castle. Power Of Illusion retains the classic 2D style of the original game with oodles of fancy parallax scrolling effects. The bottom screen, meanwhile, enables Mickey to use paint to overcome obstacles. Much like in The Power Of Two, the hero can paint objects into the world and use them to his advantage.

Outlines of potential objects appear on the bottom screen - a cannon, for example - and by tapping on these outlines you're given the chance to trace them and make them real. Trace the cannon well and the gun will harm only enemies, but doodle wonkily and you'll generate one that fires randomly, posing a threat to Mickey and friends.

Levels are loaded with paintable objects such as floating platforms and even whole characters, while Mickey's ability to delete parts of the world using thinner carries over from the console version. Every level is based on an animated Disney film from every era of the studio's acclaimed history, with the likes of Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and Tangled all confirmed to appear.

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Grand Illusion

Cast your eyes over the sprites and artwork and you'll spot nods to Beauty And The Beast, Alice In Wonderland, The Little Mermaid and (deep breath) DuckTales. We're also expecting appearances from Mickey's new mate, Oswald, as well as Minnie.

Mickey will have access to a hub area, in which every character he's rescued will appear. Presumably, you'll be able to have a natter with them, too, though we wonder if Warren Spector's devotion to voice acting in The Power of Two will filter down to this handheld version.

After all, while development is being overseen by Junction Point (currently busy working on the Wii version of Epic Mickey 2) it is DreamRift - best known for Henry Hatsworth - that is putting in most of the legwork. The home console version of the game is set to arrive in September of this year, but there's no word of a release date for the 3DS version yet. Hopefully, it won't be far behind.


14 comments so far...
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  1. ledreppe Monday 28th May 2012 at 14:38

    Looking good so far. Just don't overhype it like you did with Epic Mickey 1 Mr Specter, 'cause that didn't help encourage a lot of people to buy it (according to forum posts at the time).

  2. mirage 5x5 Monday 28th May 2012 at 14:49

    note sure if i like this i like mickey but this game looks just like a mega drive game which make me think is this a download
    or is it going to be an over the top price.
    lets face it the game looks like it cost 10 pound to make
    at one point i thought it was a mega drive game :lol: :oops: :lol:

  3. Riverlution Monday 28th May 2012 at 15:36

    Definitely getting the 3DS version, not bothered about the Home console counterparts. Loved Castle of Illusion, and hope this plays exactly the same, but with a less freaky atmosphere and obviously a bit longer.

    Would love it to be a downloadable title...

  4. NintyHippo Monday 28th May 2012 at 15:42

    I might get this. But I'd rather have the Wii version on 3DS.

  5. Diddy ZX Monday 28th May 2012 at 16:22

    Looking forward to this - DreamRift's previous platformer in this vein, Monster Tale, was nothing short of excellent (never released in the UK, but it's not DSi-enhanced, so I was able to import it).

    I suspect that it will deservedly sell a ton at retail, in spite of a small number of people who think that the tastes of those who like games like this should be relegated to the ghetto of cheaply-made download-only titles (it's readily obvious that this game is anything but cheaply-made - if it were a download, it would command a realistic price that such folks would refuse to pay for it), away from what they regard as "proper" games.

    I would like to know what other movies will provide the basis for the game's stages, though - I don't like a great number of Disney's movies (my favourites are the off-beat or lesser-known ones that are unlikely to appear in this game, such as Lilo & Stitch, A Goofy Movie, Robin Hood, The Emperor's New Groove), and having to play through stages based on films I hate would be an unfortunate dealbreaker.

  6. xzeldax Monday 28th May 2012 at 20:23

    really looking forward to this! Especially seeing the DuckTales gang again!! But please Nintendo, keep it in the shops not download!

  7. CraigEmberson Tuesday 29th May 2012 at 21:47

    I'm not looking forward to the games... a 2D game, really? I thought the eshop was for those. It looks like an old game and not a new one.

  8. Diddy ZX Tuesday 29th May 2012 at 22:37

    I'm not looking forward to the games... a 2D game, really? I thought the eshop was for those. It looks like an old game and not a new one.

    Personally, I think it's great that they're listening to what customers want, instead of the niche bunch who would prevent people from having choices at retail, where the vast majority of sales occur. ;)

  9. craig134 Wednesday 30th May 2012 at 01:21


  10. Kirby8 Friday 1st Jun 2012 at 12:25

    Looks great! Can't wait to see the final product.

  11. Elwood212 Saturday 6th Oct 2012 at 15:27

    I can vaguely remember playing castle of illusion as a kid. So to hear that, that is the basis of this game excites me very much. Can't wait to get it. And I love the whole thin and paint idea. Pure genius. Very exciting stuff :D

  12. HaydnRhys Sunday 21st Oct 2012 at 08:22

    I am a massive disney fan so I'm really looking forward to both Power of 2 and Power of Illusion. Hopefully I'm going to be able to get both games for Christmas. What kind of a party would it be without Mickey Mouse. (little in-joke there) :D

  13. imbusydoctorwho Monday 22nd Oct 2012 at 13:38

    The game is looking really good,but I just hope it isn't short.

  14. jawafour Wednesday 24th Oct 2012 at 12:25

    I'm hoping that this game matches up to the previous Illusion titles on the Sega Megadrive and the Sega Master System.

    I played Castle of Illusion (MD), World of Illusion (MD) and Land of Illusion (MS) back in the early 90s, and the new 3DS game appears to have captured the same style whilst adding in some new approaches. I think newer players will enjoy the gameplay and be surprised at the graphical detail.

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