games / Previews

E3 2010: Epic Mickey (Wii) Preview

June 17, 2010 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

The highly anticipated game Epic Mickey is coming. I got the chance to finally get my hands on it and play the game at E3 and I was not disappointed. For the game you control Mickey using the Wii Nunchuk and Motion Plus. The nunchuk controls Mickey’s movement which is easy enough. Mickey is armed with a paint brush which he can use as a melee attack with a wave of the Wii Motion Plus controller.

As I mentioned in the Nintendo Keynote recap, Mickey can use either paint or paint thinner against his enemies. In the demo you can use the paint to douse your enemies, and after a certain amount of paint, your enemies will become your allies. You can also use thinner to sort of erase your enemies or alter their look to defeat them. Your guide for the game is Gus the Gremlin (really obscure Disney reference). Gus will note if Mickey is being naughty or nice. If you remember, in the original Mickey Mouse cartoons, Mickey was a lot naughtier and mischevious than the heart of gold guy he became known for. Mickey’s behavior will ultimately determine the outcome of the game.

In the level I tried out, I went to Neverland’s skull island. In the game, Disney characters are being turned into evil robot versions. For the mission I was on, I was trying to help Mr. Smee raise Captain Hook’s ship and also disable the machines turning people into evil robots. Captain Hook is now among the evil robot versions. Passing levels requires using both paint and paint thinner. There are objects in the environment you need to thin out in order to acquire secret items or areas. Same with the paint. There are clever little items and pick-ups like a TV which you can set on the ground and use to distract your enemies. The TV’s play classic Disney cartoons.

Disney Interactive would not tell me too much about the story since they don’t want to give too much away. But I noticed that Mickey is not quite himself. His body is constantly dripping black ink in an upward pattern. This could pertain to the Disney villain, the Blot. All the cut scenes are spoken in gibberish with English subtitles. There is no actual dialogue. That’s a bit disappointing when you see what can be done with these characters in games like the Kingdom Hearts series. That said, it’s a noted creative decision that does not really ruin the game at all. There are also parts of the cut scenes that morph into these illustration like images that are beautiful. I’m psyched they managed to get Oswald the Rabbit and Gus the Gremlin in this game. I can’t wait to play the final version.

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Jeffrey Harris
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