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Epic Mickey: The Power Of 2 review

When you wish upon a sequel, do your dreams come true?

Or should that be Epic Mickey To The Power Of Two? Junction Point's return visit to the Wasteland is largely more of the same and so much more of it. Just one hour of play saw us juggling a dozen side-quests, photographing landmarks, sniffing out secret costumes, awakening spirits of the Wasteland... it's packed.

When the game retells the entirety of Epic Mickey 1 in diorama form, you sense Junction Point showing off. And we've not gathered this many collectibles - tickets, film reels, pin badges, gremlins, metal scraps, fabric - since Donkey Kong 64. Once again: packed.

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If you've visited a Disney theme park, we'd liken it to the moment the gates open and you're hit with the mad panic of which ride to sprint for first. Seconds into Mean Street - the game's returning central hub - and Mickey is being asked to put the fate of the Wasteland on the back burner in favour of fixing up decrepit train stations and hunting for lost teddies.

Such generosity of spirit isn't to be sniffed at, but it proves overwhelming - you find yourself solving quests accidentally, or without meeting the quest-giver to begin with. Forget the song: it's a cluttered world, after all.

Power Of 2 settles over time. Much of the initial din sets up quests that run the length of the game and make each area better. Searching for imprisoned Gremlins takes you behind the scenery (using Mickey's paint thinner) in fun ways, while a mission to photograph objects resembling Mickey and Oswald forces you to engage with Junction Point's art design in a way the previous game never did. The camera is put to good use throughout, turning us into virtual tourists as we try to snap famous attractions.

The Mouse That Drawed

If the game's fuller, it's not massively changed. Action still champions freedom of approach, largely revolving around Mickey's ability to create or destroy his world using paint or thinner. Often it's a navigational dilemma: paint in a staircase to exit one or burn a hole through to exit two.

The game's at its best, however, when it throws light moralising into the mix. Deciding between meticulously rebuilding a machine or following a character's shortcut is hardly Mass Effect 3's 'to genocide or not to genocide', but it's far beyond most thoughtless family fare.

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Power Of 2 improves on its predecessor in subtle ways. Mickey's paint/thinner actions are now consistent, lending a bit more weight to your actions when you opt for a toon-melting rampage. You can't just hop out of the level and see everyone reset to grinning oblivion. There's also a move away from a few large levels towards smaller, self-contained areas. While you'd think this would lead to a bittier Wasteland, it actually gives the designers greater focus: the puzzles feel smarter and it enables Junction Point to cram in more themed worlds than before.

Fresh mechanics take the pressure off the sometimes repetitive brushwork. Special fountains fill with invisible or indelible ink based on Mickey's creative/destructive streak. The former adds stealthy creeping to the mix - move too fast and the ink falls off - while the latter encases Mickey in a combat-ready shield.

Then you have Oswald's powers: brainwashing robots with an electric wand, airlifting Mickey with his helicopter ears, energising defunct chunks of Disneyland rides... he's more fleshed out than some standalone heroes.

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Comments

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  1. 5OUNDWAVE Thursday 22nd Nov 2012 at 15:43

    played the demo (ps3) for this the other night and every thing said in this reveiw is spot on , i was constantly having to fix the camera and when oswald was doing his thing i felt left out , if only they had it like the lego game's where u could swap between the 2

  2. Jack Smith Thursday 22nd Nov 2012 at 17:22

    Have to call slight bias ere by ONM (possibly because of all the coverage they gave it?) because the metacritic average is 58% ( with some places like destructoid giving it 20%) and 80% does seem a bit too high

  3. MatthewONM Thursday 22nd Nov 2012 at 17:29

    Have to call slight bias ere by ONM (possibly because of all the coverage they gave it?) because the metacritic average is 58% ( with some places like destructoid giving it 20%) and 80% does seem a bit too high


    Now you're just being silly. We're biased towards Nintendo, not Disney. Get your facts straight.
    (On a more serious note: I liked it, they didn't. It's that simple.)

  4. Argenthor Thursday 22nd Nov 2012 at 17:37

    Have to call slight bias ere by ONM (possibly because of all the coverage they gave it?) because the metacritic average is 58% ( with some places like destructoid giving it 20%) and 80% does seem a bit too high


    Advertising Epic Mickey sports drinks and t-shirts would be bias... from what I have read 20% seems low, especially if the metacritic is 58% (huge difference). It just shows that the game has some problems and that it is up to the reviewer to decide how much they affect the overall game.

  5. imbusydoctorwho Friday 23rd Nov 2012 at 12:00

    Will be asking for this for Christmas.

  6. Andybear Friday 23rd Nov 2012 at 20:14

    I really like the sound of this. However I haven't played the first one. Is it better to have played the first one before playing this one or doesn't it matter? Thanks.

  7. 5OUNDWAVE Saturday 24th Nov 2012 at 16:13

    I really like the sound of this. However I haven't played the first one. Is it better to have played the first one before playing this one or doesn't it matter? Thanks.

    it doesn't matter , get the second one

  8. Andybear Saturday 24th Nov 2012 at 16:30

    Thank you Soundwave, I will :)

  9. pinkgamer634 Saturday 1st Dec 2012 at 21:42

    I have played this game and I totally justify this review score. This game has improved on everything from the first one and added more of what was good before and more features that make the game a whole better experience. There are lots of new areas and enemies and the voice acting makes the Disney vibe. I would recommend this to anyone who loved the first one and Disney fans.

  10. GullibleGoat44 Thursday 6th Dec 2012 at 09:09

    Not a fan, it looks rubbish

  11. sharna1212 Thursday 20th Dec 2012 at 11:42

    wii u


    ruleshttp://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f258/the_gamer_n64/Mariokart.gif

    :?: :D :D

    nintendo yah

  12. KH81314 Friday 11th Jan 2013 at 14:51

    The first game is one of the best games on the Wii. This game is not quite as good but still very enjoyable (besides Oswald :evil: ).

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