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Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two - Wii Review

Game Info
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Wii | Disney Interactive Studios / Junction Point | 1-2 Players (co-operative play) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuk
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31st January 2013; By KnucklesSonic8

Big-budget games spread across multiple formats often take the approach of having identical gameplay, with maybe one or two exclusive features on specified platforms. Much of this is true of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two as well. However, the idea of playing through the adventure a second time for review purposes was more appealing than it has been in past titles I've critiqued, thanks to one key factor: multiple pathways. Hence, the Wii version of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two presented an opportune experiment for me: make new choices, build new character relationships, and see just how much this warps the heroic dynamic. In doing so, my appreciation for the core system grew, and I got to see its cases of depth in a mildly rewarding capacity. And for that, I am grateful. But I still must draw the line in suggesting the design hold is still greatly compelling.

    Allow me to reiterate that the Wii version was not my primary focus, and so for feedback on the base design, its connected principles, and the overall development, kindly refer to my review of the Wii U version. While some quirks differ in terms of control, generally the gameplay remains the same across both versions. That being said, there are points that need to be addressed, as they ultimately underscore that, of the two, the Wii version is, shockingly, the superior iteration.

First, let's begin by discussing Mickey's controls. Paint is fired with the B Button, Z is used for thinner, and you use the Wii Remote to direct your streams. Naturally, with aiming being pointer-based as opposed to analog-based, the responses you get and the command you have over the environment is much more pleasing. Interestingly enough, painting effects are more instantaneous here than they are in the Wii U version, and of course with aiming being more controlled, both of these attributes contribute to a less frustrating ordeal during tense encounters and when targeting what may be out of reach. Elements that can be turned solid by means of the painting mechanic are less distinguishable in their transparency, some having a tendency to blend in with the environment a little more, prompting players to be a tad more cognizant of things that seem out of place or scenes that appear incomplete in some fashion.

    As in the Wii U version, players can, using the Minus Button, interact with Oswald when playing in a solo setting by confirming thought bubbles or whistling him to come over. Comparatively, I found the AI doesn't respond as reliably (which isn't really a compliment for the Wii U version if you think about it, seeing as the AI there has its own behavioural problems). And I also found that, like in the opposite case, the camera can be a real bother in places. But truthfully, there are few things -- with the exception of maybe Spin Attacks being mapped to controller shakes -- that are done better in the Wii U version as far as controls are concerned.

On another note, presentation differences are pretty considerable, though they're not enough that you won't be able to appreciate the set pieces for what they are. As a few examples, facial features on characters animate less smoothly; the crocodiles at the entrance of a sub-area in Bog Easy look more like inflatable pool toys compared with their appearance in the HD version; and water geysers seen in Rainbow Falls that have a clear quality elsewhere, here appear with solid colours. Pretty much everything else is still the same, except that you don't have to deal with nearly as many technical issues. That's not to say there aren't glitches. There are. But they, along with other serious issues, are far more damaging in the Wii U version.

    I should note that in line with the overall physics of the level designs, the issue of dragging items into place is still a big annoyance, but in some places it's as if land has been designed with disjointed points rather than curves. While not overly frequent, there are times where the item being towed will get stuck, thus revealing the entire method to be rather impractical in how the movement is carried out. Also with respect to the physics, I can recall a passage where a thin stream of water flows down the middle, and for some strange reason, this slows Mickey down to a speed that would suggest he were trudging through mud instead. But in other areas, I didn't detect any severe problems.

As a consequence of the execution being a little more refined, it's a telling indication as to how jarring the problems prove in the Wii U version when I was able to get through the entire experience in a fraction of the time it took me the first time. Now, I admit I knew off-hand the proper routes to travel and some of the possibilities I could undertake to contrast the journey I took before. But I was able to see the ending in around three or four hours, give or take. And it was then that I realized how short of a game Epic Mickey 2 really is -- disappointingly so, in fact. In saying that, this is not to diminish the value of going back, either on your own or with a friend, to make new discoveries. But it's still worth bringing up for a game where, by all other indications, it would seem there's enough content to continue the experience for longer before the story is wrapped up.

    It may seem like a downgrade (and in some respects, it is), but there are a number of reasons why I would recommend the Wii version above its HD counterpart. The most critical of these is that ultimately a lot less time will be spent fiddling with controls, and while there are still camera issues, the focus on gameplay isn't interrupted as often as it is in its dressed-up twin. On the downside, this makes the game seem even shorter, with the realization that the inadequacies of the Wii U version and the stints they cause do add up. At the end of the day, I still have issues with Epic Mickey 2's design, but if after discerning the extent of these flaws you decide it would be worth venturing into, be sure to avoid the Wii U version. Sure, this comes at the cost of being able to post screenshots to the Miiverse community when you're in need of a jolt on how to advance, but since it'll also mean not putting yourself through some really upsetting disturbances, the scales don't even balance in that regard.

20/30 - Okay/Average

Gameplay 6/10 - Nicely harnesses its core principle, performs more reliably than the HD counterpart, still some inconsiderate design flaws to cite
Presentation 7/10 - Admirable set pieces, decent if not good visuals, glitches, camera issues still exist, lacks refinement in places, quality soundtrack
Enjoyment 3/5 - A few positive gameplay and directional elements present, some fun to be had but still surprisingly forgettable
Extra Content 4/5 - Freedom to explore upon completion of the game, can co-operate with friends on side-quests, length still disappointing

Equivalent to a score of 67% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by KnucklesSonic8

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two