Like its predecessor, Epic Mickey 2 takes place in a world based on classic and retired Disney characters and attractions. The story begins sometime after the conclusion of the original Epic Mickey, with Oswald and the other Wasteland characters starting to rebuild their world. A series of earthquakes threaten to undo the work, but the Mad Doctor appears and convinces Oswald to join forces and combat the new menace. So Gus, the leader of the Gremlins, and Ortensia, Oswald’s girlfriend/wife, contact Mickey Mouse and bring him into the world. Mickey and Oswald team up to save the forgotten world.
Epic Mickey 2 will please Disney fans in one area. The presentation in Epic Mickey 2 is incredible. The use of hand drawn cut scenes that are wonderfully created really bring the story to life. Character design is true to their originals and really make playing through the story enjoyable. All the favourites from the Mickey universe are all here and are all represented faithfully to their original. The voice acting is superb and will instantly put a smile on your face. The Disney atmosphere is created wonderfully and I was taken back to my childhood instantly when booting up the game.
The game didn’t really have the most amazing graphics in the original and this Vita port is also in the same category. What makes the graphics pop is Vita’s OLED screen. Whilst there some jagged edges around the place, they can be forgiven by the beautifulness that the screen brings to the game. The framerate slows down in some areas but nothing to the point that made the game unplayable.
Epic Mickey 2 feels like an old school platform from the first second. I feel however that it tries to achieve too much that lets it down. Early in the game Mickey gains access to a paintbrush that can either draw or erase objects in the game world. An example of this is if there are rocks missing and you need to get to the other side, the drawing brush can make those rocks appear with blue paint. Green paint has the opposite effect, if you need something removed from the game world then the green thinning paint is how you go about it.
Mickey doesn’t have any form of attack to kill his enemies. Instead he uses his paint in order to turn the enemies good. He has a paralysing spin attack that gets them down but the only way to get rid of the enemy is to paint it. This works well to create an interesting mechanic as some enemies also have armour in which you have to use the green paint in order to weaken their defences.
Unfortunately this is where the fun ends. The Vita controls don’t add a whole lot. Whilst the touch controls were a nice addition, I still much preferred using the analog sticks to aim. There are also a few other times where you use the Vita’s gyroscope in order to steer Mickey around in vehicles. Whilst these don’t hurt the game at all, they don’t really add anything either.
One of the best features of Epic Mickey 2 on the home consoles was playing in Co-Op. this was one of the redeeming features on the original and unfortunately it isn’t available here outside of Ad-Hoc mode which means that you’ll need another Vita as well as another copy of the game. The reason that this hurts the game so much is that the co-op AI sucks. You will constantly find Oswald being out of position and it being more of a chore to get him to do stuff. I would’ve much rathered the ability to swap in and out like the Lego series allows you to.
Epic Mickey 2 is a great game in theory. Unfortunately the co-op nature and wonky gaming mechanics let it down. What helps it is the nostalgia from all the Disney lore and the interesting paint brush mechanics. It’s only $22 on the Vita which makes it hard to resist if you’re a Disney fan.
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