Epic Mickey, Epic Win

So, I am not a super-gamer, but when I got Epic Mickey for my Wii over Christmas break, I knew instantly that it would be a fun review.

Mickey Mouse is the most iconic Disney character since 1928, when Walt Disney released his first Mickey cartoons, “Plane Crazy” and the classic “Steamboat Willie.” The game has 36 different mini-levels inspired by classic Mickey films in which he must go through the film and collect the film strips. In Epic Mickey, the Mouse himself is dragged into the magical world of Wasteland, a cartoon-based world inhabited by forgotten cartoons and mystical workers called gremlins.

After being saved by Gus the Gremlin from certain doom at the hands of a mad scientist’s evil machine, Mickey finds out that the paintbrush he grabbed before entering Wasteland is incredibly powerful there. The two main controls that use the paintbrush are Paint (obviously) and Thinner. When Mickey comes to an object with a certain glow to it he can either make it disappear (with Thinner) or repair it in some way (with Paint). Paint and Thinner can also be used to battle enemies Mickey will come upon throughout the game.

When using these powers Mickey attracts the attention of supernatural guides called Guardians. Every time Mickey uses the Paint, for example, a little block will fill up with a blue color under the health bar. Once the block is fully blue, a blue Guardian will appear, or if Mickey uses Thinner, the block will be green and will attract a green Guardian. Both types are very useful and can show Mickey things he would not see otherwise, and also help during fights with aforementioned enemies.

Like I said before, I am not a super-gamer, so if there are problems, I am not exactly the best person to criticize them. But, something I have noticed and read about during my pre-purchase research, is that the camera angles can be really annoying. Epic Mickey uses both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and while he moves with the analogue stick on the Nunchuk, the camera is controlled by the d-pad on the remote. “A” is used for pretty much everything, and switching all the time is tedious.

For all it’s problems, Epic Mickey has a really cool storyline and some traditional characters. The “benevolent and just ruler of Wasteland,” as Gus calls him, is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was Walt Disney’s predecessor to Mickey Mouse. The entire reason Mickey ends up in Wasteland is that he wandered into the sorcerer Yen Sid’s house by mistake. This name might not sound familiar, unless you are major fan of Fantasia, in which Yen Sid (Disney spelled backwards) was Mickey’s boss in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Likewise, several of the broomsticks from Fantasia make an appearance as minor enemies.

Like the Fable games for Xbox, Mickey’s actions will affect the storyline and the outcome of the game. For instance, if Mickey decides to go down one hallway, often times he will not be able to go back, and never see what is down the others.

The soundtrack and themes for Epic Mickey are pretty cool. As the game is a more dark portrayal of the innocent Mickey Mouse, the music illustrates that. From the broken down theme park’s off-key carnival song to the boiler room’s steaming clangs and bangs, the songs characterize the setting quite well.

Overall, I would recommend Epic Mickey to great fans of Disney, and people who won’t be too nit-picky to play a game without being too bugged by third person camera angles.