mikeinsc's Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (Xbox 360) review

Epic Disappointment

The first Epic Mickey was a flawed product with an original concept and likeable characters. I felt a sequel might well improve on the flaws of the original (similarly to de Blob) and realize the vision Warren Spector had for this title. After the sequel, I cannot wait...to never play another Epic Mickey title yet again. The paint and thinner mechanic is still intact...and still depressingly useless and not all that much fun to play. The original had the fallback of "Well, it's a Wii game. What do you expect?". The sequel has no such defense and it is even less enjoyable than the original.

The first problem is that you have an AI partner. Oswald, as played by the computer, is either an idiot or utterly hates and wants to kill you. Hard to tell the difference. Well, except for the times that he disappears completely, and your AI partner becomes an AI myth. If you are in a part where both of you are required to do something, good luck to you doing that solo. It is, theoretically, possible --- but theoretically only. You are trying to fix Wasteland after a series of quakes destroyed much of it. If you are playing with another person, it is not too bad...but if you are playing by yourself, the game is nearly unplayable as Oswald just isn't very competent at much of anything. He wanders off from you, "helps" with long jumps sporadically, and is overall a chatty waste of time.

Now, the game is not ALL bad. It does look nice. It looks a lot like an old-school Disney cartoon. The cutscenes are also top-notch.

However, the gameplay is lacking. Badly. The objectives are repetitive and not always clear. The camera, while improved, is not all that great. Your gremlin compatriot also talks far too often and reminds you, vaguely, of what you are trying to do. They provide consequences for your actions...but you won't care. The consequences are useless and meaningless. The characters are voices, but voiced poorly. It seems Junction Point tried to fix up a lot of problems, but created whole new problems in the place of original problems. You can thin enemies to defeat them or paint them to befriend them --- but neither seems to have any appreciable impact on your game. You get puzzles where the physics make little sense and collision detection is spotty.

Sadly, the best part of the game are the 2-D levels between the "Real" parts of the game. They are competent side-scrolling platformers, but I cannot claim that they are great. It is the best part of this title, but it is still weak.

I can't recommend the game. I recommend the game with another person more than solo --- but I don't really recommend that game either way.

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