Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Disney's Epic Mickey

Disney's Epic Mickey Review

Kid Safe: Very High                     Game Quality: Moderate

Genre: Action/Adventure Platformer
-          This game is identified by its action-based tone of gameplay that focuses on one or more characters being faced with a challenge and going on an adventure to solve it. As a "platformer", this title is characterized by the character having to traverse a complex obstacle course consisting of deadly pits and high cliffs that they must reach.

Internet Requirements: Very Low
-          This game features no internet gameplay and is solely restricted to the single-player story.

Story Summary: In Disney's Epic Mickey, player's take the roll of Disney's iconic mouse as he goes on
    one of his biggest adventures yet. After a small accident with paint thinner, Mickey
    creates a monstrous creature of ink called "The Phantom Blot" that drags him into the
    "Wasteland". The Wasteland is a twisted, alternate reality version of Disney's classic
    theme park "Disneyland" that has been created and populated by the forgotten
    remnants of ancient cartoons and is led by Walt Disney's first iconic creation: Oswald
    the Lucky Rabbit. As you play as Mickey, you adventure through the Wasteland,
    meeting and playing through cartoons dating all the way back to the 1920's as you
    attempt to find escape from this twisted world. Your actions will also dictate what
    happens; will you become a hero and free those from the torment of the Wasteland or
    will you fight and brawl your way to the top?

Kid Safe: Very High
-          Foul Language: Very Low
o   Disney's Epic Mickey does not contain any foul or coarse language.

-          Violence and Gore: Low
o   Disney's Epic Mickey contains a low amount of violence. Players are able to jump on enemy's heads and use a "spin move" where they spin quickly and knock enemies back. Players are also able to use Paint and Thinner to either befriend enemies or destroy enemies. The only questionable depiction of violence in this game is when using Thinner against enemies, which results in Thinner acting like acid and causing enemies to slowly dissolve and melt into a bubbling puddle of green goo.
-          Sexually-Related Content: Very Low
o   Disney's Epic Mickey does not contain any sexually related content.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Very Low
o   Disney's Epic Mickey does not contain any usage of drugs or alcohol.

Game Quality: Moderate
-          Graphics / Visuals: Moderate
o   The quality of visuals and graphics in Disney's Epic Mickey are of a generally moderate quality. To begin with the good, this title has very imaginative level design and rather impressive visuals. One of the highlights of gameplay is the ability to teleport to other areas in the world by traveling entering a projector playing a certain cartoon, playing through said cartoon, and exiting a projector in another location. This is very interesting for the fact that these levels actually take you through the timeline of the cartoon from beginning to end; a perfect example being Mickey's classic cartoon "Through the Looking Glass" where he steps through his mirror only to adventure across his room that has grown enormous and enchanted with playing cards shuffling themselves and flying about the room. Likewise, the Wasteland is a pleasure for anyone who has ever been to Disneyland as they will recognize the highly animated and twisted versions of some of their favorite attractions including It's a Small World or Main St. (known as Mean St.). Lastly, the cutscenes are truly enchanting due to their hand-drawn nature and beautiful coloring that helps to push the story along.
o   On the other side of the coin, Epic Mickey suffers from some pretty severe graphical problems as well. To begin, while adventuring through cartoons can be extremely fun the first time around; it quickly becomes tedious after the second or third time that you have to play through them because a lot of the cartoon levels are simply rehashes and you will be forced to play the same level over and over and over again. Aside from that, while the visuals are imaginative, they are also very poorly defined. Disney's Epic Mickey suffers from low resolution textures in the game that detract from the enchantment due to a painful presentation that is simply embarrassing compared to the visually stunning titles being released today.
-          Audio: High
o   Disney's Epic Mickey features a rather high quality of audio and sound in game. To start, this game truly captures the classic sounds of Walt Disney's Magical Melodies but setting the mood by placing a very heavy emphasis music and ambient sounds. Characters let out happy "Aha's", thoughtful "Hmm's", shocked gasps, or scared squeaks portray characters thoughts and emotions without dialogue. Masterfully orchestrated tunes will gently coax along the story or add shock and splendor to a sudden event, much like the older cartoons.
o   While the audio quality is clear and enjoyable and the lack of dialogue is charming in a nostalgic sense, it is also a problem. Spoken dialogue developed into gameplay (and cartoons for that matter) as it helped carry the story along better. While Epic Mickey has written dialogue to do this, any younger players that do not have a strong reading ability will be left completely in the dust.

-          Gameplay / Playability: Low
o   Sadly, Disney's Epic suffers from a low level of gameplay and playability. This is due to monstrous camera and controller flaws along with very poor instructions on what players need to do. To begin, the camera angle and camera control is absolutely atrocious; what this means is that players are unable to easily redirect the camera so that they can see what they need in order to properly complete challenges and levels.
o   If the camera angles don't utterly frustrate the player, the controls will. Players are ONLY able to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers while a large majority of Wii games today are providing multiple controller options due to the extreme difficulty of controlling adventure games with these two controllers. Aside from that, the actual game controls are generally sluggish and can be a bit unresponsive, making it all the more difficult to complete some of the more difficult sections. One notable problem is how the paint and thinner will often not go where you tell it to and instead you must mess with the controls for a while before you get to go where you need it.
o   Lastly, the complete lack of proper instruction is absolutely infuriating. Most of the controls are explained quickly and then left alone without any further tutorial, with some of the controls not being explained at all; a perfect example being "how to pause the game". After getting playing the title for some time, players will also begin to find that a fair number of levels are provided minimal, if any, explanation on how to beat them. One example that comes to mind is when you must help a phone restore the telephone network by painting in all of the telephone boxes; and that is literally all the explanation you get. There are no hints as to where these boxes are or how to find them and some of them are ridiculously hidden; like one that is literally hidden underground, a place that previously you were unaware you could even go to.
-          Dollar-Value: Moderate
o   Disney's Epic Mickey has a moderate dollar value. So long as you can get around the atrocious gameplay problems, you will get a decent amount of playtime for your gaming dollar with roughly 10 to 15 hours of time taken to complete a full playthrough of the story.
o   While you will get a decent amount of play time from Epic Mickey's single player story, that is all you will have available as the game offers no online or multiplayer options. On top of that, while the gameplay is certainly kid friendly, it seems like it's more focused towards an older audience. The game's appeal seems to be bit largely upon nostalgic value and being able to play through what is essentially a massive Disney history lesson rather than anything current that a young audience might be able to identify with. Current characters that children know and love are almost completely devoid from this title and many of the older cartoons lack their original charm due to being seen outside of their humorous context and instead as a more realistic soul wanting pity for being long forgotten.

-          As Disney's Epic Mickey is very Kid Friendly, there is little need for alternate recommendations. However, if you feel uncomfortable due to the technical issues that this title has, Super Mario Galaxy or Legend of Zelda might be better made and more enjoyable alternatives.

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