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E3 - Epic Mickey - Impression
06.21.2010

EMANUEL MERINO
CURRENTS COLUMNIST
NANCY TSENG
NEWS REPORTER


Epic Mickey

Epic Mickey was the last game I played at E3, and while I had low expectations for it, it turned out to be surprisingly fun and easy to play. Epic Mickey is an action-adventure game on the Wii. It is set in a place called the Wasteland where retired or forgotten Disney characters are held. Mickey is transported there after accidentally introducing villains into the world by playing around with magic. He wants to escape the Wasteland, but while he is trying to figure a way out, he learns that he's responsible for the destruction happening in the Wasteland and needs to make things right again.

In this game, you can choose what Mickey will do to make things right again and how he will eventually escape the Wasteland. However, there are consequences to your actions. Disney calls this "Playstyle Matters" where there are many different possibilities and story lines to tackle. Mickey interacts with the environment and with other characters by using a paintbrush. With the paint brush, Mickey can "thin" or erase things using paint thinner or restore things using paint. For example, you can paint trees back in, erase walls, and even thin out characters. In one side quest, you can help out a shopkeeper by finding three masks located in town. However, if you are feeling particularly lazy about it, you can just erase the wall to get into the back of the store and keep giving the shopkeeper one mask three times.

Mickey also uses the paintbrush to fight in the game. I had a lot of fun fighting enemies in this game because not only can you just defeat them by moving the Wii-mote from side to side, you can also turn enemies made of paint into your friends or allies by using paint. The enemies that you turn into your friends will stay that way until they get damaged, and while they are your friends, they will attack other enemies. Enemies that are not made out of paint like robots can only be defeated by finding weak points. In the demo, there was a spider-like robot that had an umbrella over it's body made of paint. When you thin out the umbrella, it stops moving and you can easily attack the weak spot on the spiderís body with the paintbrush. In addition to the paintbrush, you can also use other items when fighting enemies. For example, in the demo, I was able to pick up a TV from a treasure chest and drop it into the world to distract enemies. Enemies will automatically start watching TV once you place it in the world. The TV will show different clips from Disney movies like Steamboat Willie.

Another fun feature in the game is a 2D side scrolling mini game that is used as a loading screen when Mickey fast travels from one place to another by using a projector. These film strips are also based off of different Disney movies and players can pick up items like tickets (currency) during this time. The one that I got to experience at E3 was of Steamboat Willie. The downside to this mini game is that you have to travel through the whole thing and find a projector to exit it. I would have preferred that once the next location was done loading, it would start automatically or give me the option to end the mini game and bring up the next location.

The 2D side scrolling mini game is only one example of the art style used in this game. There are also 2D animated cut scenes inspired by Disney storyboards that are very pretty and stylistic. A lot of the environments are based off of the respective movies they are inspired by. For example, the environment Mickey traverses through is inspired by Adventure Land from Disneyland, and like I mentioned above, the 2D side scrolling mini game I experienced was based off of Steamboat Willie.

Epic Mickey is set to come out Holiday 2010, and if you are a Disney fan or are just looking for a fun and easy-to-play game for your Wii, this is the game to get.



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