Review: Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Developer: Junction Point Studios

Publisher: Disney Interactive

# of Players 1 – 2 (Co-op)

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site

Score: Single Player D+ 6.5/Co-op: B+ 8.5

Like the piles of scattered Disney memorabilia you traverse through between maps, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a beautiful mess. As in beautiful when it works and a mess when it doesn’t. Of course, that’s both a good and bad thing, but we’ll get to the constructive criticism below the jump. As a co-op experience, the game in a great deal of fun as Mickey Mouse and Oswald The Lucky Rabbit team up to battle enemies solve puzzles and track down a seemingly endless supply of collectibles as they tackle the task of repairing an earthquake-ravaged Wasteland. There’s less darkness here and a much richer color palette, making this one of the better-looking Wii titles this year. But both single player and co-op have a few technical and gameplay hurdles that can sap the fun down a bit. While the PS3 and Xbox 360 (and presumably Wii U) versions can probably be patched up to a more stellar experience, I’m gathering Wii owners will be stuck with a flawed game that could have been greater than it is as it currently stands.

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Update! Wii U Launch/Launch Window Release List

Amusingly enough, no sooner than I post that Wii U article below, I get an email with a complete launch/launch window listing. For those not swimming in gaming lingo, the term “launch window” is a rather broad one that includes games on the way within a few months of a console’s release. In this case, the Wii U launch window is defined as the period beginning Nov. 18, 2012, and ending March 31, 2013. Also note that this list doesn’t include a few titles shows as just in development (Bayonetta, for example).

Got it? Good! Now onto the GAMES!  Er, List! Games list that is. As in, it’s below the jump.

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Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two: On Characters (Having and Being, Of Course)…

It’s quite cool how the folks at Junction Point Studios and Blitz Games are making a mascot game relevant and engaging by taking a bunch of already established characters, adding a heft amount of storytelling and allowing players to cut loose and play in two different styles that change up the tale you end up with in the final product. Granted, the element of “choice” is the toughest thing to pull off in any game genre (as there’s always going to be players not satisfied with the amount of freedom they end up with), but the dev teams here are making their game quite a ride for those who are Disney fans with long memories and a willingness to experiment with nostalgia.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Update: A Little Bit About Storytelling…

Here’s a new look at more on Disney Epic Mickey 2’s production, this time a quick peek at what it takes to put together the game’s story elements. This one’s on course to be even better than the first game in every aspect, so I can’t wait to see how it’s turned out. Hopefully, all these videos will appear on the retail disc so people can see that it takes a great deal of work to get a game like this into out hot little hands. As i always say, it’s all about respect, people…

Video Game Appreciation 101: Nintendo DS (New Additions)

I need to do this on a more regular basis like some of my other fellow game bloggers (you know who you are, but I need to list you guys on my sidebar at some point today), so here you go, six new DS games added, all picked up quite cheap.

Aliens: Infestation is a pretty challenging side-scrolling shooter/adventure from WayForward Technologies (makers of some of the best “retro” style games out there) and Gearbox Software. Hop aboard an alien packed Sulaco as a squad of Marines as you search for survivors in this sort-of sequel/side-story to Aliens. With a limited number of squad members available (one they’re dead, they’re gone for good), some mean bosses that take a bit of work to put down and a decent amount of replay value, it’s not a bad game at all if you’re a fan of this sort of game.

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Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two Opening Cinema: The Mouse, The Rabbit And The Really Odd Place

OK, I’m no Carl Barks, but I figured I may as well try and make up a title that’s not quite as  necessarily unwieldy (or even more, depending on your tastes) as the one the game has that more or less explains as much as possible while not giving anything away. Yeah, I left out the musical aspects, the new game camera, drop in/drop-out co-op play, the lovely visual upgrades across the board and the still innovative Paint & Thinner gameplay choices players can make. In fact, my hands-on preview was better! Ah well..

Hey, YOU try and describe all of that in a title without burning up a few brain cells. Yeah, see? Told you so. Anyway, November 18th is the big day, so get yourself prepared…

Review: Brave The Video Game (NDS)

Platform: Nintendo DS/DSi

Developer: Behaviour Interactive, Inc.

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site

Score: B- (75%)

While not perfect, with Brave: The Video Game for the Nintendo DS, Behaviour Interactive has managed to bring the familiar fun of plenty of great action platform games from the past. While the portable version is skewed a bit more to younger gamers than the console ones are (don’t let that E 10+ rating fool you), there’s a decent amount of fun to be had with all the sword swinging, bow shooting, platforming and super to mildly simple puzzle solving.  If you’re able to get over the otherwise fine PSOne-era visuals, occasional AI silliness and some jumping issues a better camera angle would have helped fix, you’ll find this to be a nice (albeit brief) diversion if you’ve got a few hours to kill.

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Review: Brave: The Video Game (PS3)

Platform: PS3 (Also on Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii)

Developer: Behaviour Interactive, Inc.

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 +)

Official Site

Score: B (80%)

A fast-paced hack & slash for the younger set with a nice arcade feel, Disney/Pixar’s Brave: The Video Game manages to overcome a few of the issues that plague most movie games that try too hard (or don’t try hard enough) to be fun to play. While not the longest kid-friendly (or preteen friendly, if you go by the E 10+ rating) licensed game out there, the simple pick up and play controls, optional two-player co-op mode, PlayStation Move mini-games and constant action keeps things from dragging after the initial tutorial stage. A few technical issues and a bit of repetition in some brief cut scenes mar the experience, but overall, this is one of those games that anyone can hop into and play and have a blast while doing so.

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E3 2012: Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two Trailer: A Pair Of Aces.

 

It’s too bad the first game isn’t coming to the PS3 and 360, as I can see it doing well (with the same new game camera system the sequel has), but even without it, there will be an instant appeal to Disney fans looking for something they can hop into with the kids or a friend who wants a cool co-op experience and a non-violent one at that. Granted, the musical numbers will probably have too many people having to listen to their kids singing songs from the game on long car trips, but hey – it’s less annoying than having the kid keep quoting lines from a Gears of War or God of War game, right?

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Is Pleased To Introduce Itself (Say Hi!)

[youtube+http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMmwOhdLdfk]

It’s funny writing out the ENTIRE name of this upcoming sequel each time I post about it, but being lazy and abbreviating it to DEM2:TPoT is actually worse. Anyway, here’s a look at what’s in store for this next installment, from the co-op play to the big musical numbers and refined camera system. It would be awesome to see the first game get fixed up in HD for the PS3 and 360, but I don’t think that’s in the cards anytime soon, if at all. For those who still haven’t played it because you don’t own a Wii, ah, go buy one already! There are a bunch of very cool games on the system and you’d be surprised at how not EVERY motion control game is a dance or exercise game that will make you trow fits because not a shot is fired and there are no explosions (other than the top of your head popping off from touching a Wii Remote)…