Monday, August 22, 2011

Epic Mickey

Jeff and I were in Target this past week and noticed as we walked in that they had a couple video games listed for relatively cheap (half price actually). I was shocked to see that one of the games was Epic Mickey, which I've been drooling over for months now. Ever since I saw the graphics on this game I've been lusting after it. Even at half price (Half!!!), we hesitated. Our budget doesn't have a ton of wiggle room. In the end though, we asked the clerk for assistance and dropped the coveted game into the cart. We were going to buy.

Jeff and I had played Kingdom Hearts when it first came out and had been instantly hooked on it. I'm a huge Disney fan (we both are) and the mix of Disney characters, puzzles, and fighting had hooked us. We played almost non-stop for the entire first weekend. We only left the couch for bathroom and sleep breaks. So we knew that another Disney game would suck us in just as much. And it did.

Epic Mickey is not just a fighting game and not just a character game. It has dimensions to it. Your character, Mickey, has to fight his way through the Wasteland (a deranged version of Disneyland) to set about making things right. He had originally tipped an entire container of thinner into the world, creating the great Thinner Incident. Now Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (Mickey's real-life predicessor) has taken over the world. Mickey must turn things back to the way they were before. He is equipped only with a paint brush which can wield either paint or thinner. Thinner makes things go away, Paint makes them appear. It's that simple...mostly. There are things you need to uncover to move forward, there are gears that need to be painted before they can turn. We just recently learned that you can remove sections of the floor and trap creatures beneath it by thinning and then repainting.

I love the fact that the game is set in Disneyland (albeit an odd looking one). We've already had to face the clocktower from the "It's a Small World Ride." We're currently wandering our way through Tomorrowland trying to get the People Mover to work. Many of the parks rides are there, in some form or another. Main Street is a twisted place called Mean Street with buildings so accurate I could recognize them from their real-life counterparts even without signs. "Hey look the ice cream shop." The graphics are downright stunning. The first time I saw Mean Street (with the tilted off kilter castle in the background) I gasped. It was amazing looking. Ostown (a take on Mickey's Toon Town) is just as colorful and interesting look as the land is in Disneyland.

The characters are fun. The puzzles are challenging. The only complaints I can think of about the game are the same ones that I had with Kingdom Hearts. Disney lays out the path a little too easily sometimes (it is a kids game after all) and that there are often too many hints, which hinder smooth play. There is a lot of dialogued hints which must be passed before you can get to game play. In Kingdom Hearts they were from Goofy and Donald. In Epic Mickey they come from The Gremlins (characters created by Roald Dahl incidentally) that are helping Mickey through the land.

Jeff and I have no idea how far we have progressed through the game at this point. We might be half, we might have just scraped the surface. All of the Disney games we've played are like that. I enjoy the complexity though. My feeling is that we have a long way to go. And I'm not upset about that. I'm excited to figure out the puzzles. I'm excited to see the way the rides have been corrupted. And more than anything I'm excited to see what the world looks like whole. I love Disney's story-based video games. This one is now at the top of my list.

No comments: