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Gamer Tuesday!

By Pedro "Pap" Hernandez

 

July 18, 2017 (Originally published January 15, 2013)

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Epic Mickey Double Feature 2 Year Anniversary Special!

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two available now for the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion available now for the Nintendo 3DS

Welcome everyone to the 2 year anniversary of Days of the Week! I would like to thank everyone who has supported not just Gamer Tuesday, but all of the Days of the Week authors for the last two years. In honor of this amazing moment in our From Screen to Theme history, I will be taking at look at two, count 'em, two games! These two games, though, share one common theme, and have one link in a major Disney video game: Epic Mickey 2 and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion! Enjoy! - Pedro 'Pap' Hernandez

Epic Mickey 2
Epic Mickey

In 2010, a major event in Disney history happened: years after Disney had recovered Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from Universal (in 2006 to be precise), he stars in a major Disney project for the first time in decades. That project was Epic Mickey, a video game starring Mickey Mouse that celebrates Disney's history, specifically the forgotten and deleted past. Right from the earliest stages of development, Epic Mickey was making waves not just in the video game industry but in the Disney fandom as well. Early concept sketches of Epic Mickey that were leaked onto the internet showed a Disney world that was familiar, yet twisted in a way that was fascinating yet terrifying. The iconic castles that welcome guests to the parks were now visions of filth and decay. Warm Disney characters were portrayed as robotic zombies, or were fused within horrific ink creatures. In addition to the potential the sketches presented, the game would also present a storyline in which players would shape with their actions. As Mickey Mouse, players could either save this Disney Wasteland, or further destroy it.

Epic Mickey - Oswald

The final game, while not as nightmare-inducing as the preliminary artwork suggested, still presented us with an unique Disney universe not since the likes of Square's Kingdom Hearts in 2002. The game was developed by Junction Point and directed by Warren Spector, a man known in the video game industry for his revolutionary story concepts, such as the dialogue branch trees in the Deus Ex series. However, very little people knew that even with all the dystopian sci-fi universes he helped create, at heart he is a big Disney fan that has the most respect for the company and the characters it has created. During the release of Epic Mickey, Spector stated that the main reason he wanted to create the game was because he wanted to bring Mickey Mouse back into the video game scene, and most importantly, develop his character outside his clean, corporate mascot persona. That's why in the game, he is presented as a classic, mischievous character rather than the mouse we know him as today. Going even further, he is portrayed as the one that caused the destruction of Wasteland, a world Master Sorcerer Yen Sid created to house all the forgotten ideas Disney has created over the years.

And what better character to remind us of forgotten Disney ideas than Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Both Mickey and Oswald, despite sharing the same creator in Walt Disney, saw each other as rivals, had to learn to work together in order to restore Wasteland and have its happy but forgotten characters be content once again. As one would expect, the idea of a world created out of the forgotten ideas Disney has left behind opens up a whole new world of opportunities (pun intended). Even the biggest Disney fan would marvel in awe at some of the treasures they dug up just tell this story.

Epic Mickey - Mickey and Oswald

To read more about the game and how it plays, visit the original article written about the game here. But to sum it all up, it was a success. The gameplay did receive a lot of mixed reviews from the gaming media, citing camera issues, basic gameplay choices, and somewhat lost potential in comparison to what was promised in interviews and previews, but even with all of that, Epic Mickey sold very well during the holiday season on the Wii, and fans gained a strong appreciation towards Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The success of the game was big enough that it inspired not one but two brand new games under the Epic Mickey label: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.

Epic Mickey 2

Both games owe their existence to the original Epic Mickey title, which created the foundation for them to further expand. From the outset, the developers knew that they couldn't just create a direct sequel without bringing in some concepts that make the sequels much more enticing. In the case of Epic Mickey 2, one innovation has completely changed the way we view Oswald forever: speech. Epic Mickey 2 marks the first time Oswald has had a voice in a Disney production, provided by the amazing Frank Welker. The original Epic Mickey had no voice acting save for grunts and other vocal sound effects in order to create the feeling that you were witnessing a Disney short from the golden age of animation unfold. Now, the story is told through full speech with Mickey Mouse being voiced by his official actor Brett Iwan. The story cutscenes are still presented in a hand drawn manner, which beautifully complements the 3D environments.

Epic Mickey 2 also introduced a new, quirky story concept: music. The Disney legacy is one filled with a lot of music and song, so it makes more than sense to have Epic Mickey 2 be filled with song. But perhaps the biggest addition to the Epic Mickey universe is the ability to play as both Mickey and Oswald, hence the subtitle 'The Power of Two!' We learn that Mickey and Oswald work much better as friends and partners than as rivals, and both feature unique abilities that help solve many of the obstacles that lie ahead.

Epic Mickey 2

Mickey still wields his magic paintbrush, with the power of paint and paint thinner. Much like in the original game, Mickey can create or destroy certain elements of the world around him with a wave of his brush. This is very important as the outcome of some story points depends on the decisions you make. In addition to Mickey's paintbrush, players will have Oswald's mechanical talents. Using a remote control, Oswald can activate mechanical elements throughout the world. But since this is called 'The Power of Two,' Oswald and Mickey can team up in order to go far. For example, Mickey can latch onto Oswald as he uses his ears to hover for a brief period of time. The best thing about this new mechanic is that players can join in and cooperate in the adventure in two-player mode.

Of course, it wouldn't be an Epic Mickey game without references to past Disney shows and attractions, and Epic Mickey 2 is not the exception. Of the worlds the players will travel, one of them will be based on Frontierland, and there are even caverns with the faces of the Seven Dwarfs carved in a rainbow waterfall!

With Epic Mickey 2 introducing all these new ideas, you would think that this was it for the franchise. Turns out that there is ANOTHER Epic Mickey game out! Since today is all about the power of two, the second game today is Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the Nintendo 3DS! If Epic Mickey 1 and 2 are about the forgotten Disney history, Power of Illusion is all about the past, the present, and the ever timeless Disney stories.

Epic Mickey

In Power of Illusion, a witch named Mizrabel has escaped onto the Wasteland, where she has built a castle out of the power of illusion. Oswald informs Mickey that in addition to the castle, the witch has kidnapped various Disney characters and trapped them in worlds within the halls of the castle. Using his magic paintbrush, Mickey must return to the Wasteland and save the Disney characters before the remain forever trapped in an illusion.

Even if Power of Illusion is about the Disney that exists today, it looks into the past for its concepts and inspiration. Power of Illusion is a tribute to the classic Mickey Mouse games of the 80s and 90s (many of them already covered here, in the two year history of Gamer Tuesday), most notably the Illusion games developed by Sega for the Master System and Genesis. The main nemesis of Power of Illusion happens to hail from those games, hence why she ends up on the Wasteland. Not only is the concept and story a callback to the classic days of video game yore, the gameplay also tries to pay tribute to the games we used enjoy as kids.

Epic Mickey 2

Even if the game has been released on a next generation of handheld systems, it has been created to look like a hand drawn animated game, much like the 16-bit classics of the 90s. The 3DS is a system that is capable of 3D visuals without glasses thanks to a special upper screen, so the combination of classic hand drawn sprites along with the glasses free 3D illusion (pun intended) creates a visual experience that's worthy of the Disney name. Of course, pretty visuals mean nothing without any sort of gameplay concept behind it. Despite being a spin-off of the console Epic Mickey games, Power of Illusion does still borrow many of the main elements that have since become signature of the series.

Epic Mickey 2

Mickey Mouse comes back with his magic paintbrush and the ability to create and erase. The difference is that now Mickey is working in a 2D plane, but elements can still be created or erased in order to solve the puzzles and rescue the characters. Speaking of which, many of the most popular characters can be met in Power of Illusion. From classic characters such as Jiminy Cricket and Peter Pan to more contemporary personalities such as Aladdin and Rapunzel, there is a good chance your favorite character will make an appearance in the game as a character Mickey Mouse can rescue and keep safe within the castle. Various Disney worlds, such as Wonderland, Agrabah, and Neverland can be visited in the game.

Epic Mickey 2

The last time I talked about Epic Mickey, I made a note to talk about how the gaming industry took to the game, which was unfortunately very mixed. Despite all its new additions and ambitious ideas, Epic Mickey 2 has also seen lukewarm reception. Most complaints lie within the camera system and other gameplay issues that hidden what is otherwise a captivating game filled with Disney history. Its 3DS cousin, though, has fared much better, despite many complaining about how cumbersome it is to use the touch screen for the paint and thinner mechanics. It all depends if your love for Disney history and characters can overcome the technical issues, and as I always say, a rent before a purchase is always recommended.

Epic Mickey 2

Regardless of how these games were perceived by the gaming audience, they still stand as one of the most fascinating moments in the history of the Disney company. They stand as a celebration of Disney as it is today, the Disney it was once, and the Disney it was never meant to be. The success of Epic Mickey and its titles has assured that Disney's first character, Oswald, doesn't fade onto obscurity. We have gone from barely knowing who Oswald was to seeing merchandise and references to him at the Disney parks around the world. They have also brought back Mickey Mouse into the gaming spectrum in his most raw and cartoony manner. The titles, while far from perfect, are a love letter from a devoted Disney fan to many other Disney fans around the world, and that is something worth treasuring.

 

Past Gamer Tuesday

Animated film based games
Aladdin
Aladdin (SEGA)
Alice in Wonderland
Alice's Paint Adventure
Beauty and the Beast Board Game

Beauty and the Beast - two games
Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure
Beauty and the Beast Computer Game 
A Bug's Life
Cars: The Video Game

Cars Game Reviews
Cinderella's Midnight Dash
Disney Friends
Disney Friends - The Friends of Disney Friends
Finding Nemo Games
Hercules

Jungle Book, The
Lion King, The
The Little Mermaid
Little Mermaid II: Pinball Frenzy
Pinocchio

Pocahontas
Tangled, the Video Game
Tarzan
Tigger's Honey Hunt
Toy Story

Live Action film based games
102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue
Disney's A Christmas Carol
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
Muppets
Muppets Cruise Party

My Muppets Show
Prince of Persia
Roger Rabbit

Mickey and Friends
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse HD Remake
Disney Golf
Disney Magicboard Online
Disney Sports Soccer

Disney Super Speedway
Donald Duck
Donald Duck: Goin' Quakers
Epic Mickey
Epic Mickey 2: Power of 2

Goofy's Hysterical History Tour
Lucky Dime Caper, The
Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse
Magical Tetris Challenge
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow

Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mousecapade
Mickey Mouse Magic Wands
Mickey's 123's: The Big Surprise Party
Mickey's Dangerous Chase
Mickey's Great Adventure in Tokyo Disneyland

Mickey's Speedway USA
Quackshot
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Where's My Mickey?

The Kingdom Hearts Retrospective
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Part 11
Part 12

Fun Finds
Diddy Kong Racing
Rayman 3
Sonic Colors

Miscellaneous
101  Dalmatians in Kingdom Hearts
2013 recap
Some of the Bravest Disney Characters
Carousel of Gaming Progress
Christmas list
The D Show
Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Grooves

Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix
Darkwing Duck: Remastered
Disney DVD games
Disney Fighting Game that was never made
Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity: Frozen
Disney Infinity: Holiday Guide
Disney Infinity: Play Set Wish List
Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life

Disney Princess
Disney Villains Revenge
Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure
Disney's Game and Watch
Disney's Sing It Family Hits

Disney's Th!nk Fast
Easter Egg in Kinect Disneyland Adventure
Epcot's Innoventions
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Future of Star Wars Gaming and LucasArts

Game Guide for 2012
Guilty Party
Hidden Levels of Mickey's Speedway USA
How the Pap saved Christmas
Just Dance Disney Party

Kingdom Hearts III announcement
Kingdom Hearts III Dream Summons Predictions
Kingdom Hearts III prediction
Kingdom Hearts III live action predictions
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Lady and the Tramp appearance
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Love Scenes in Video Games

Marvel Super Heroes (Arcade Game)
Mickey Mouse games released during Presidential terms
Monsters, Inc. Scream Arena Introduction
Nightmare Before Christmas Appearances
NintendoLand
Pico Games

Pop Century's History of Video Games
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Fighting Game from Runaway Brain
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Steamboat Willie through the years
Summer Games

Tiger Handheld Games
Video Game References found within the parks
Where's My Water?
Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Wreck-It-Ralph Trailer Analysis
Wreck-It Ralph Trailer Analysis Part 2

Wreck-It Ralph Meet and Greet queue
Wreck-It Ralph's appearance in All-Stars Racing Transformed

Park themed games
Adventures at the Magic Kingdom
Adventures at the Magic Kingdom clarification
Adventure of Tokyo DisneySea
Disneyland Explorer
DisneyQuest

Disney Fireworks
Disney TokyoSea snack appearance
Finding Fantasyland
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Magic Kingdom Board Game

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Tortuga Tavern
Toontown Online
Toy Story Mania!
Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour
Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour - Looking back after a year

Pap's Picks
E3 Highlights
The Marvel Connection
Top 5 Weird Games
Top Marvel and Disney super hero games

Television Based Games
Bonkers
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers
Darkwing Duck
DuckTales

DuckTales: Remastered
Goof Troop

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