Epic Mickey



Genre: Platformer
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Price: $20 (Or less)




 Image Credit: Bleedingcool.com



Of all the cartoon characters that have made there way into the world of licensed video games, Mickey Mouse has one of the best track records. Not counting the absolutely infuriating play sessions the six-year-old version of myself had to endure trying to finish Mickey Mousecapades on the original Nintendo, I am hard-pressed to remember a bad Mickey Mouse game.

Over the last few years, Mickey has mostly vanished as a video game hero (except for his appearances in the Kingdom Hearts games) and his classic games are all but forgotten. Enter video game developer and Disney lover Warren Spector. His vision of Mickey Mouse has brought the iconic character back to the gaming world with style. It’s easily one of Mickey’s (and maybe the Wii’s) most epic adventures to date.

If Epic Mickey does one thing that holds its ears above the competition, its the story. The wizard from Fantasia has created a world called the Wasteland. A place for all of Disney’s forgotten characters to call home. This world is ruled by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a 1920′s version of Mickey that has more connection to the mouse then just his appearance. After the wizard retires for the night, Mickey’s curiosity gets the better of him and he accidentally spills both paint and thinner on the Wasteland while playing with a magic paint brush. Before the wizard can return to investigate the commotion, Mickey was able to escape through the magic mirror to his bedroom. After some time passes an evil called the Phantom Blot begins to emerge from Wasteland, and seeks out the one that created it. After being pulled into the Wasteland, Mickey sets out to fix the damage he’s done and stop the Blot before it completely destroys Oswald’s world. The story is filled with Disney magic and if it wasn’t a game, it could have been the next big Hollywood blockbuster.

Epic Mickey’s main selling point is its use of paint and thinner in the game world. Use thinner to erase walls or clear paths. Using paint allows you to fix bridges or add gears to broken machines. While it may not be the “do anything at any time” experience they had originally promised, the areas where the paint and thinner are used are both creative and fun to play around with. You can even use paint to make enemies friends or just spray them with thinner to erase them from existence. Be mindful of your actions, though. The way you play the game will affect the outcome, so it may not be prudent to throw thinner at enemies and areas willy nilly, just because it seems like the easiest way out of a sticky situation.



Like a lot of games in the genre, the camera can be a bit of a pain in certain areas. There will be times when you’re jumping blindly because the camera is cemented to a place, preventing you from seeing the next platform. You’ll sometimes take unfair hits from off-screen enemies that the camera just cant seem to find as well. It’s not a game breaking problem but it’s worth a note because it can cost you precious health and lives, especially in the later stages.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this game’s appeal to fans of both 2D and 3D platformers. Some of Mickey and Oswald’s classic black-and-white cartoons have been turned into side-scrolling levels. These change up the pace of the regular levels and are a great reminder of Disney’s remarkable history in animation.

The wonderful world of Epic Mickey looks amazing and its cartoon nature makes it a great fit on the Wii. Its status as an exclusive title allowed the developers to push the Wii hardware to its limits. Unlike some games — ports like Call of Duty, for example — it never feels like it was designed for the more powerful systems and scaled down after the fact.

Licensed games have a habit of feeling phoned in, coming across as cash cows that do nothing more than suck the life out of the license and steal the money away from deserving games. Epic Mickey isn’t your normal licensed title. From the amazing story to the high production values and excellent gameplay, Warren Specter’s Junction Point Studio has created not only the most epic game based on a cartoon character of the year, but maybe the best Wii game of 2010.






– Keith White Jr.

Follow Me @KeefWhiteJr