My Belated Game of the Year 2011 Post and Epic Mickey Impressions

Hey guys,

So I never posted my Top 10 list to Giant Bomb. I apologize for that. Let's remedy that now. If you want to hear more Game of the Year Deliberations in the style of Giant Bomb, we recorded ours just as Giant Bomb uploaded their final day, and you can listen to that here.

Also, for those of you who wanted some long written thing, let's just drop in this thing I wrote about Disney Epic Mickey. TO THE WAY BACK MACHINE!

I'm sitting here next to Skyward Sword...again. So today I'm gonna drop some thoughts on Epic Mickey! This won't be a full review, as I'd only want to write a review having seen more than two hours of the game. That said, I don't think I'll ever see more than two hours of Epic Mickey, so that's okay by me!

So...Epic Mickey. 2010's major release disappointment; the gaming world lauded praise and press upon the game before its release, only to trash the game when it was all said and done. Its camera didn't work right; it was repetitive; it didn't go far enough. My question is, why did nobody see this coming?

Literally every preview of this game after the Game Informer cover (including the Game Informer cover story itself) looked supremely underwhelming. I feel that they were extremely open about the level of creation using the ink and thinner; namely, that it wouldn't be very high. The camera looked terribly uncontrollable in every preview of the game, and camera controls are almost inherently poor on the Wii. And I'd seen nothing in the art design that looked even remotely promising.

And yet, some people still lauded praise on the game after release. Adam Sessler notably loved the game, managing to argue it into the top 5 nominees for best game of 2010 on his show X-Play. So, when I saw the game at a friend's house, I asked how she liked it. She said it was pretty fun, but that she wasn't playing it. She offered to let me borrow it, and I (of course) accepted. An opportunity to play one of the most controversial titles of the year? Sign me up!

But, unfortunately, my decision was poor. Epic Mickey is a disappointing title. It's pretty amazing, really, how bad the game turned out to be! Epic Mickey somehow manages to be less than the sum of its parts; I would mostly blame this on incredibly boring level design. The 3D platforming sequences are simplistically easy, and the 2D platforming levels are literally without challenge. The way the thinner pits work in the 3D sequences is misguided; it's clear they're thinking it'll allow you to bounce back to dry land, but instead the dry land is so far away that it just forces you to die. There's simply nothing really to enjoy in Epic Mickey, and its technical problems hold it back even farther.

It's worth noting that the music has loads of technical issues, restarting its loop midway through combat encounters and midway through the loop! You'll hear the same ten seconds of a sixty-second song over and over again. It's supremely disappointing because the music itself is totally fine, but the game itself forces that music to be looked upon poorly.

Meanwhile, a poor decision that allowed the game to feel more repetitive than it probably ought to is naming each area of a level. For example, in the "It's A Small World" take-off area, the Asian and European areas are named as separate areas; however, they are aesthetically identical apart from one structural landmark and inklings dressed in the continent of choice's most racist wardrobe. By simply calling the whole area the "It's A Small World" level, room by room, the game would feel more like one cohesive area, perhaps similar to a Zelda dungeon.

Again, the small decisions like these would bother me less if the game had any pluses, but it really doesn't. The aesthetic mostly feels like an amateurish attempt at the style of Tim Burton or American McGee's "dark wonderlands", the creation mechanics are extremely limited, and there's almost zero story to speak of. Having now looked up the story online, the story itself is pretty much the premise of the game, which is seriously disappointing for those looking for a narrative.

Still, maybe it's worth talking about Epic Mickey. Not as a game itself, mind you; any conversation about the game Epic Mickey should really be had about American McGee's Alice (either the classic for innovation or the new one for the actual game.) Rather, Epic Mickey is worth talking about for its creation process. Warren Spector, creator of the classic Deus Ex, gave many years to this game. Instead, it turned out to be a farce. I was never fooled by Epic Mickey, but somehow, lots of people were. We should remember that our favorite creators can become misguided and create something that otherwise would have gone without notice.

Aaaaaaand...we're back.

So, I embark on a new year! I resolved this New Year's to write about a game, a movie, and an album per week. Of course, you know how to follow me here on Giant Bomb, but you can also follow my movie posts on Screened or my music posts on my blog. Meanwhile, Nerf'd is preparing for its next season which will begin sometime next week, and you can connect with us on Facebook here..

See you later, space cowboy...

11 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by Little_Socrates

Hey guys,

So I never posted my Top 10 list to Giant Bomb. I apologize for that. Let's remedy that now. If you want to hear more Game of the Year Deliberations in the style of Giant Bomb, we recorded ours just as Giant Bomb uploaded their final day, and you can listen to that here.

Also, for those of you who wanted some long written thing, let's just drop in this thing I wrote about Disney Epic Mickey. TO THE WAY BACK MACHINE!

I'm sitting here next to Skyward Sword...again. So today I'm gonna drop some thoughts on Epic Mickey! This won't be a full review, as I'd only want to write a review having seen more than two hours of the game. That said, I don't think I'll ever see more than two hours of Epic Mickey, so that's okay by me!

So...Epic Mickey. 2010's major release disappointment; the gaming world lauded praise and press upon the game before its release, only to trash the game when it was all said and done. Its camera didn't work right; it was repetitive; it didn't go far enough. My question is, why did nobody see this coming?

Literally every preview of this game after the Game Informer cover (including the Game Informer cover story itself) looked supremely underwhelming. I feel that they were extremely open about the level of creation using the ink and thinner; namely, that it wouldn't be very high. The camera looked terribly uncontrollable in every preview of the game, and camera controls are almost inherently poor on the Wii. And I'd seen nothing in the art design that looked even remotely promising.

And yet, some people still lauded praise on the game after release. Adam Sessler notably loved the game, managing to argue it into the top 5 nominees for best game of 2010 on his show X-Play. So, when I saw the game at a friend's house, I asked how she liked it. She said it was pretty fun, but that she wasn't playing it. She offered to let me borrow it, and I (of course) accepted. An opportunity to play one of the most controversial titles of the year? Sign me up!

But, unfortunately, my decision was poor. Epic Mickey is a disappointing title. It's pretty amazing, really, how bad the game turned out to be! Epic Mickey somehow manages to be less than the sum of its parts; I would mostly blame this on incredibly boring level design. The 3D platforming sequences are simplistically easy, and the 2D platforming levels are literally without challenge. The way the thinner pits work in the 3D sequences is misguided; it's clear they're thinking it'll allow you to bounce back to dry land, but instead the dry land is so far away that it just forces you to die. There's simply nothing really to enjoy in Epic Mickey, and its technical problems hold it back even farther.

It's worth noting that the music has loads of technical issues, restarting its loop midway through combat encounters and midway through the loop! You'll hear the same ten seconds of a sixty-second song over and over again. It's supremely disappointing because the music itself is totally fine, but the game itself forces that music to be looked upon poorly.

Meanwhile, a poor decision that allowed the game to feel more repetitive than it probably ought to is naming each area of a level. For example, in the "It's A Small World" take-off area, the Asian and European areas are named as separate areas; however, they are aesthetically identical apart from one structural landmark and inklings dressed in the continent of choice's most racist wardrobe. By simply calling the whole area the "It's A Small World" level, room by room, the game would feel more like one cohesive area, perhaps similar to a Zelda dungeon.

Again, the small decisions like these would bother me less if the game had any pluses, but it really doesn't. The aesthetic mostly feels like an amateurish attempt at the style of Tim Burton or American McGee's "dark wonderlands", the creation mechanics are extremely limited, and there's almost zero story to speak of. Having now looked up the story online, the story itself is pretty much the premise of the game, which is seriously disappointing for those looking for a narrative.

Still, maybe it's worth talking about Epic Mickey. Not as a game itself, mind you; any conversation about the game Epic Mickey should really be had about American McGee's Alice (either the classic for innovation or the new one for the actual game.) Rather, Epic Mickey is worth talking about for its creation process. Warren Spector, creator of the classic Deus Ex, gave many years to this game. Instead, it turned out to be a farce. I was never fooled by Epic Mickey, but somehow, lots of people were. We should remember that our favorite creators can become misguided and create something that otherwise would have gone without notice.

Aaaaaaand...we're back.

So, I embark on a new year! I resolved this New Year's to write about a game, a movie, and an album per week. Of course, you know how to follow me here on Giant Bomb, but you can also follow my movie posts on Screened or my music posts on my blog. Meanwhile, Nerf'd is preparing for its next season which will begin sometime next week, and you can connect with us on Facebook here..

See you later, space cowboy...

Posted by Dalai

You're more belated than me... by about 10 minutes.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@Dalai: I know! Though I totally came in with seven more games. That oughta count for something, right?

Posted by Dalai

@Little_Socrates: You got me there. That and the production values. You got me there, too.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Am I the only person who liked Epic Mickey? I thought it was a decent game, for what it was.

Online
Posted by Little_Socrates

@Dalai: It's okay, you'll best me next time.

@Video_Game_King: Absolutely not; reviews for the game on Giant Bomb range from two-stars to four-stars, with wonderful hyperboles such as "My childhood's working overtime" and "The best game on the Wii this year!" And, again, X-Play TOTALLY had it as one of their 6 nominees for Game of the Year 2010. Not that I love X-Play or anything, but I have a fondness for Adam Sessler specifically. Just evidence that people did totally like the game. The only game that I think was more divisive in 2010 was Deadly Premonition, followed by maybe Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Looking at most of its individual parts, it is a decent game. It's certainly not on fire, and it doesn't offend me like Duke Nukem Forever. I just found myself really, really surprised by how bored I was, despite having a lot of affection for classic Disney AND Alice: Madness Returns, which is a similar title. I think it's that wherever I found Epic Mickey was somewhat going in the right direction, they seriously fell short of what Alice managed to be about six months later. Also, the technical issues, emphasis on dull combat, and simplistic level design really kept me from enjoying my time with the game..

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Little_Socrates said:

@Dalai: It's okay, you'll best me next time.

@Video_Game_King: Absolutely not; reviews for the game on Giant Bomb range from two-stars to four-stars, with wonderful hyperboles such as "My childhood's working overtime" and "The best game on the Wii this year!" And, again, X-Play TOTALLY had it as one of their 6 nominees for Game of the Year 2010. Not that I love X-Play or anything, but I have a fondness for Adam Sessler specifically. Just evidence that people did totally like the game. The only game that I think was more divisive in 2010 was Deadly Premonition, followed by maybe Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Looking at most of its individual parts, it is a decent game. It's certainly not on fire, and it doesn't offend me like Duke Nukem Forever. I just found myself really, really surprised by how bored I was, despite having a lot of affection for classic Disney AND Alice: Madness Returns, which is a similar title. I think it's that wherever I found Epic Mickey was somewhat going in the right direction, they seriously fell short of what Alice managed to be about six months later. Also, the technical issues, emphasis on dull combat, and simplistic level design really kept me from enjoying my time with the game..

Uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...............

Online
Posted by Claude

Solid list. Of course I didn't even buy ten games released last year. I'm not sure if I want to try Saints Row: The Third or not. I do like open world games and people seemed to like it. Decisions, decisions.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@Video_Game_King: XD You're not the only person who hasn't hated it, but I didn't find it juvenile. I just found it offensive because I thought it didn't understand what I wanted as a gamer. It's kind of like the Spike VGAs or the Dr. Pepper 10 commercial in that it thinks it's appealing directly to me, when really it's just pushing me farther and farther away with Leroy Jenkins and Pork Chop Sandwiches jokes.

Posted by Video_Game_King

That's probably because the game is really trapped in the 90s. That's also probably why I like it as much as I do.

Online
Posted by Little_Socrates

@Claude: How much have you heard about it on the Bombcast? They're pretty much said everything that happens in the game over the last few months, so if you're still on the fence, skip it. But if you've managed to mostly avoid spoilers about Saints Row: The Third, you should play that and avoid talking with anyone who's played it already.

Posted by Claude
@Little_Socrates: I don't listen to the Bombcast and I've only watched a few videos, so nothing has been spoiled. I'm thinking hard about buying it. I'm almost done with Skyward Sword and Skyrim will be with me for a while, so maybe it's time for some Saints Row.