Review by beckonthemoon
"No, this is not Epic"
We got promised a lot. and that means something. Epic Mickey was just short of amazing (not perfect, but somewhere near that). Sure, the camera was jumpy. Sure the platforming wasn't perfect. But it was fantastic. This is not. This is nothing short of sad.
Graphics: Let's lead with our best foot forward. This game looks good. Most of the time. When the camera swings behind Mickey, we discover that he looks choppy and malformed. It's sad because the cut scenes in the early hours, and throughout, prove that they could be fantastic graphics. It doesn't help that every graphical style I can think of short of Manga and Pixel art is employed during various points. One moment we're looking at beautiful, HD style artwork, the next looks like Disney's take on Stalin style propaganda. While this was in the first game ( an attempt to snag from other games like Okami), the ridiculous amount of color pallete and graphic styles used in this are sad and refute any kind of special flare they bring. Overall: 7/10
Gameplay: Wow. Unfortunately, this is a hook in the fishes mouth. Let's break this down. Oswald, the AI controlled for single player fans bunny, is awful when left to his own devices. It's sad. He frequently interferes with puzzles, a lot of time waiting for you to be close to completing the mundane task ahead, and snuffing your hope. One puzzle early on has you trying to reconnect pumps to remove Thinner from an area. I spent along time trying to get this pump where it had to be (through an awful float/shoot system that makes me angry in awful ways) and when it was close, he ran over, yelled a proud "I got this", and knocked the pump out of the way, forcing me to repeat 20 minutes of work. This happens alot.
Even when he does listen, Oswald is inept at best. I haven't played the game with a second player though, so he may very well be good if your friend's brain replaces this useless AI. Oswald tends to run off, get lost, or disappear. Yes, disappear. In one room, Oswald was talking to me, but he didn't appear, anywhere, until about 5 minutes later. He is definately one of the biggest problems in the game.
Platforming fall short too, Often jumps are reduced to a hover game that rarely works. Oswalds powers jump into this, and leave you feeling a bit inept as you jump to grab his floating body. Mickey loves to slide after a good jump. Or any jump for that matter. Spinning results in a 5 second enemy stun. But the biggest game play flaw in terms of combat belongs to the sketches. These things work fine, but it's the delay after them. When these are incorporated into puzzles, you either get it right the first time, or you wait for at least 20 seconds to try again. When a puzzle takes upwards of 8 minutes to complete after solving, it's obvious this mechanic isn't working. Overall: 4/10
Presentation: This is the kicker. The flaw to end them all. First, we will address the music. I thought the idea of a musical was awesome, figuring it would play into the gameplay. No, it does not. The Mad Doctor phones in every song he sings, killing the mood he is himself making. It reminds me of Spongebob music around season 5, and in the bad way.
The camera is awful, again. This flaw really hurt the first game, but this is worse. The camera loves to grab your shoulder, and this means making important things out of sight and out of....wait no you think about them.
The voice overs are not okay. Mickey and Ortensia sound great, but Oswald sounds really bad and once again phoned in. The rest of the NPC's run similarly with no good tone or emotion. Gus is probably the worst of the main characters, because of them all, he does the thing that makes the presentation os bad. Repeat the speeching.
Instead of giving you more pronounced hints, characters , often repeat themselves, driving you mad with redundant statements. these are only somber reminders of how short they fell. Overall: 2/10
Final Verdict: 3/10 - Maybe I'm a little too hard. I mean, this isn't fun. Isn't a video game supposed to be fun? This is not. It is an excuse to chuck together moments of the first game. Everything we didn't like from the first one is back, some of them more pronounced then in the original. All they added were things no one asked for. Bad songs, sorry AI, and an excuse to chuck in co-op. This makes me sad, because this could have been much more.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 11/20/12
Game Release: Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (US, 11/18/12)
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