I’ve been playing Epic Mickey, Disney Interactive’s newest video game, pretty much non-stop for the last two days. While I am definitely addicted to the game, I have to say that I find some aspects of it absolutely maddening – namely issues with the camera angles. Here are two very different reviews on the game – I give my overall impressions at the end.
There is no doubt that this is an ambitious game. Several ‘game styles’ are brought together in a very unique way and the entire concept – lost and forgotten Disney characters and attractions – is sure to appeal to the ardent Disney fan. However, this game is not without its flaws. The camera angles in the game are nothing short of maddening. You spend a great deal of time trying (and dying) to get the right angle on the screen especially when fighting off enemies. That’s another issue I have – you’re CONSTANTLY fighting off enemies here – especially as you delve deeper into the game, it becomes a non-stop onslaught of battle after battle sometimes with enemies coming seemingly out of nowhere. The desire to explore the game’s environments and discover its hidden gems gives way to battle after battle after battle to the point where you just want to walk away and give up. I’m all for games being challenging, but this borders on ridiculous, especially if you’re a casual gamer like me who doesn’t normally have the time or inclination to spend hours on end fighting off the same enemies time after time.
With all that said, I have to admit that in spite of the game’s glaring issues, as a Disney fan I’m really enjoying it, and because of its perpetual homage to Disney’s rich legacy and the creative way that the various game play styles are woven together in this, I’m willing to give it a great deal of lee-way. Some people on our forums have expressed concerns that the game tends towards the ‘darker’ side – with disembodied heads of popular Disney characters featured at points in the game, and discussions of the game’s ‘violence’ factor. These fears are, in my opinion, completely unfounded. The game is not especially ‘violent’, and its dark nature is central to the story line. Yes, you see decrepit versions of popular attractions, but when considered in the grand scheme of the storyline, this is where the most charming aspects of this game are found. And it’s not like Disney’s history isn’t replete with dark story telling – Snow White gets POISONED, Bambi’s mother gets SHOT, Simba’s father gets TRAMPLED – you get the idea. In all of these instances there is a greater message to the overall story, and that is certainly the case here with Epic Mickey. Much of the game play is based on making decisions to do good or not do good, to save a friend or not save him. There’s a moral to the story – assuming of course you can navigate the game’s challenges without throwing your TV out a window.
Should you buy this game? Yes, especially if you’re a Disney fan. Should you make sure you have a 7 year old on hand to tell you how to play it and to take over when the frustration reaches a point that you feel the need to self-medicate – ABSOLUTELY.