You can’t say that the creative people at Disney are void of grand ideas. And for Epic Mickey, the new video game exclusively for the Nintendo Wii featuring Mickey Mouse and a host of “forgotten” characters, the folks at the House of Mouse are taking their iconic character to a dark world that will appeal to kids of all ages. (Of course, this is Disney so nothing is ever that “dark.” It’s not like Pulp Fiction or something.) The story picks up from the 1940s animated Fantasia and Mickey gets sucked by a malevolent force into Wasteland, which is not exactly the happiest place on Earth. From there, Mickey gets to be the hero and meets his long-lost “brother” of sorts, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character first introduced in 1927 that gets a reintroduction of sorts in Epic Mickey and is none too pleased of Mickey’s ubiquity. Check out a glimpse of Oswald in this Epic Mickey video and read below about five aspects of the game that will appeal to the Disney fanatic in you.
Art courtesy of Disney Interactive
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Paint the town red (and blue and purple…): As Mickey Mouse, you get to paint things and erase stuff with thinner with your Wiimote as you traverse Wasteland. You seriously have power over all of what you see: Color gears to make them work, throw some paint on invisible surfaces to make bridges, or use your thinner to foil bad guys.
Old faces are new again. Who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse? But the neat thing about Epic Mickey is you get to see so many other neat characters. Oswald’s reappearance after some 83 years is a highlight, naturally. But you also get Gremlins that have never been seen before and originated from a scrapped World War II cartoon, including Gus, the little dude who helps you through the game. In addition, old-school types show up, such as Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow and the Mad Doctor from a 1933 short, as well as more famous faces of Disney lore.
An array of artwork. The cinematics are breathtaking, and the 3D gameplay is really neat. But that’s only the start. There are four different animated variations on what you see while playing the game, including a rough, storyboard animation during some sequences and side-scrolling levels reminiscent of classic games like Super Mario Bros.
Nods to Disney history. While there are of course homages to Steamboat Willie and other classic Disney cartoons, Epic Mickey features lots of Easter Eggs for long-term Mouse-philes. The secret Disneyland apartment kept by the late Walt Disney back in the day is seen in the game, and Mickey Junk Mountain is a playful ode to the lunchboxes, pins, toys and other Mickey merchandise that has littered kids’ toy boxes over the course of several decades.
Different ways to play the game. One of the neatest things about the game is it adapts to how you play the game. For instance, sometimes you have a choice of saving an imprisoned Gremlin or grabbing an in-game ticket. Collecting tickets allow you to unlock neat things later in the game if you choose to play that way, but if you instead save a Gremlin and you tend to help out more often than not, then you have guardian spirits that help you later on in sticky spots. So you can have as big a heart as that famous mouse.