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EPIC FAIL

24 November 2010

I reviewed Epic Mickey for [N]Gamer and oy vey, oy vey, it’s pretty bad. Such a shame. I had high hopes for this one, since its designers have such a passion for the character and respect for the lore. Unfortunately, the whole game seems to have been doomed from the start. Epic Mickey’s gameplay, level design, camera, controls, they all harken back to the golden days of the 3D platformer, some two console generations ago. Unfortunately, that more specifically means it has exactly the same problems those games had. When you play, you’ll suddenly remember that in-game cameras used to be pretty bad.

In a world that has Super Mario Galaxy and Psychonauts, there’s neither room nor lenience for a 3D platformer like that.

More troubling is that the game feels like a missed opportunity, which in part might not be caused by the designers, but by Disney’s policy. I’m pretty sure at the start of the project designer Warren Spector had a grand idea of making a catalogue of all the classic Mickey cartoons that you could unlock in the game. The player collects film reels of all the classics throughout the game, but these unfortunately prove to be meaningless. It turns out you are given exactly two old cartoons. Good ones too: The Mad Doctor and Oh What A Knight. But that’s it! Did Spector’s presumed vision falter? I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney didn’t think it a great idea: why put all the classics in the game if they can also sell them separately on BluRay?

Well, so there goes any added value that the game might have had. As it is, it’s a grandly disappointing platformer that reminds you of all the genre’s atrocities of yesteryear. Damn shame!

Roderick