Disney Epic Mickey Updated Hands-On

We visit the pirate haven of Tortooga and battle an animatronic version of Captain Hook.

The world's most famous mouse has had a squeaky clean image for decades, and even though you have the option to play as a good mouse in Junction Point's upcoming Disney Epic Mickey, there's a mischievous side to the iconic mouse that you can explore as well. Designed by Deus Ex creator Warren Spector, Disney Epic Mickey is a platforming/role-playing adventure hybrid that lets you decide which path the little mouse will take. Phil Hong, a producer for the game, came by our office to guide us through the pirate world of Tortooga as well as show us what the sinister Captain Hook was up to.

We were taken midway through the game to where Mickey is trying to complete quests to get himself out of the wasteland. He has learned that there are rocket parts scattered throughout the different areas that will help get him home, and in order to get to them, he must venture through the unique areas and complete the quests within. Our first stop was Tortooga, where Beluga Billy sends us on a quest to find his bag of loot. Of course, the loot has already been taken, so we're now asked to find the pirate (who's currently in jail) and track down the goods. Each of these areas has a handful of quests to help you progress the main storyline, but there are plenty of optional side quests to complete as well. These will yield collectible items, like pins, which you can view from your menu. For the collector, there are more than 100 cool pins to collect. Another thing to look for is gremlins, which are hidden in each area and can be found if you listen closely. A faint knocking is a clue as to where they are, and if you free them, they'll give you a hand. What they do is different depending on the area you're in, but they are very helpful if you can find them.

Mickey wields a magical paintbrush and can throw paint on enemies to befriend them or thinner to erase them. The B button is for paint, and the Z button is for thinner, and by holding the buttons down, you can spray a stream of paint instead of tossing a big blot. Swinging the remote will let Mickey do a spin attack. The world is also yours to paint over or erase with thinner. A sketched outline will appear in places where you can apply paint, and if you come across areas with jagged lines, it's likely that you can fill those in as well. Objects in the world will be highlighted in such a way that it should be fairly clear where you can use the thinner or paint. We were told that there is plenty of paint and thinner to pick up, even though your meter charges automatically. The goal is to have you use your paintbrush liberally, so you never have to feel like you need to conserve anything. Depending on what kind of painter you are, guardians will gather around you, and you can send them after your foes by shaking the nunchuk. If you've been primarily using paint, you can throw tints to befriend otherwise vicious creatures. Turps are the thinner guardians, and they'll wipe out whatever you throw them at. While the paintbrush may be your primary tool, one item we saw that will benefit you in battle is the watch sketch, which you can use to slow down time (and your enemies), but you'll be moving at a normal pace.

The next area we explored was Jungle Rhythm, a lush zone filled with your usual swashbuckling pirates and the converted robotic pirates as well as an enemy type called a spladoosh. These large purple bulbous creatures sleep most of the time but will wake up and explode if you get too close. We won't spoil too much of the story by telling you why there are robot pirates, but let's just say that Hook is involved and that these pirates aren't easily defeated with just paint or thinner.

In between zones, Mickey actually jumps into a projector that will take him through a classic black-and-white Mickey cartoon that is also a 2D platformer. We've seen the Steamboat Willie level from the Electronic Entertainment Expo, but there are plenty of other black-and-white classics that most people have forgotten--like Mickey and the Beanstalk. It's not only fun to change up the gameplay a bit in these transition levels, but it's interesting to see it played out on a film reel.

An homage to classic 2D platforming and old Mickey cartoons.

The final part of our demo was the Battle of the Jolly Roger, where we faced the nefarious Captain Hook. He's an animatronic version of the Hook we're used to, and he moves along the ship on rails. There are two ways to defeat him, and the path you choose will determine the course of the story. You can find a way to get Hook to walk the plank by fighting him head-on, or you can platform and paint your way to the top of the ship and release the sprite (this world's version of Tinkerbell), who will then call Pete Pan (not Peter, but Pete, Mickey's nemesis) to save the day. If you're a fan of Disney, everything will look familiar but will have its own unique twist, so it's quite fun to see certain characters appear dressed as something else entirely.

Disney Epic Mickey is a colorful adventure that seems packed with hidden Disney secrets and long-lost treasures. Animated cutscenes and even tutorial sketches are fun to watch, because they're done in such a charming way. There's so much personality in the characters that we met, so we're looking forward to being able to explore the rest of the wasteland. Look for the game when it ships on November 30.

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62 comments
oneEnigma
oneEnigma

damn the first initial views i have heard about the game is that the camera is beyond horrible i really hope this isnt true or atleast they fix it before the release

mrjones79
mrjones79

Wow I think this will be the best Mickey game EVER BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

@GeigerdolylWodd: I did the blob and I did mario sunshine. I'm talking about game mechanics, the controls of epic mickey don't resemble to "de blob" at all. Yeah you paint in de blob and you paint in epic mickey I noticed. If you went a little bit farther than that, you would realize that mario's watergun and mickeys brush behave more or less the same.

Luizao2779
Luizao2779

Pre-ordered it already. I'm not a real Disney fan but I like what I have seen and read about this game so far.

cosita46
cosita46

I already reserved my copy and I am looking forward to playing this game. It looks really AMAZING :).

Masta_Rix
Masta_Rix

I own the Wii and it was either this or Black ops. I chose Black ops. When the price goes down I'll buy this. Still I am disappointed with the Wii lately. I feel I over paid for Metroid because it was a very short game. Even with the special ending. It was fun but costly. I'm looking forward to skyward sword. Dissapointed that Sony announced Move very late and I would have got a Sony with the Move. Or a 360 with kinect. Probably gonna get the kinect to try and use with my win 7 pc.

Lucas_BRAM
Lucas_BRAM

I think mother amaterasu reborn in the wrong body this time... Looks like a good game tough.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Looks great. If only Walt himself could see this...

xrtlop
xrtlop

This is looking a lot better than I expected. This is almost certainly a must-buy for me.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

@Lisandro_v22 You aren't repainting the world in Mario Sunshine though you're cleaning it. In De Blob you are repainting the world.

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

@GeigerdolylWodd: Gameplay wise is more similar to mario sunshine than other mentioned titles like de Blob or Okami. Mario sunshine super soaker didn't behave very differently the "magic" brush or whatever is called. And it's impossible not to draw comparisons with Kingdom Hearts because the premise is basically the same albeit that KH1 there was a lot behind it while in Mickey's game i'm sure it's just the shell. The similarities are no surprise since Disney Interactive's only real experience in game development was being babysitted by square.

rosqo
rosqo

This looks like it will be great fun. Less than 1 month til release as well!!!

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Thank goodness they're freeing poor Mickey from the thing he's become!I don't know how many of you have seen his show for toddlers,which is fine for them,but holy cow!How about keeping some Mickey for the big kids too?We have this game to thank for that.

soulless4now
soulless4now

This game sounds pretty good. If I ever won a wii, I would gladly pay money for this game.

ZoeyClarke
ZoeyClarke

looks like mario plus okami plus nostalgia

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

Kinda reminds me of that Mickey Mouse game on the SNES. Where you think it's going to be some crappy Disney game looking to make a quick buck, but it winds up being awesome as hell.

volcomstoner180
volcomstoner180

this game looks really fun actually...i was on the fence about it looks like DK and epic mickey are the holiday games for wii

conkerton
conkerton

Gay errr yea.......totally will buy on release date but will be the creepiest dude buying a mickey game at gamestop. *hangs head in shame*

1-Up_Gamer
1-Up_Gamer

Pete Pan will really be something to see. Animatronic Captain Hook looks freaky, but awesome too. I was already long sold on this game since I'm a Disney fan, but the more I see new info, screens, and videos, the more anticipated I get. Looking forward to the reviews!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I'm really looking forward to this. I will admit to enjoying Disney movies, despite being a 29 year old man, so this pick 'n mix from throughout the company's history looks bleddy good!

arturo2005xp
arturo2005xp

Looks amazing, i want this promising new Mickey game, Wii games ever get better =D

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

I cant wait for this, Nintendo's exclusive third parties are starting to get better! Monster hunter tri, Epic Mickey, Professor Layton VS Ace attorney. Nintendo isnt that good with third parties, but certain exclusives are really worth the while! I cant wait for This game! Its about time I see a real disney game thats NOT Kingdom hearts!(Not saying kingdom hearts is bad, I LOVE IT)

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Cant wait i'm a disney fan so this a sure pick for me

Gargaglio5tatus
Gargaglio5tatus

yea, it actually does look like Mario Sunshine, except with less platforming, more action, and you don't just wet stuff.

dzimm
dzimm

"I think I'll be getting Donkey Kong Country Returns instead!" You can get both, you know.

Joker_851
Joker_851

Looks pretty cool but I think I'll be getting Donkey Kong Country Returns instead!

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

@mthomas878 Actually, Mario Sunshine never came out for PS1 nor will it ever come out for any Playstation system cause its a Nintendo exclusive. Nintendo's days as a third party publisher (mostly the days of Atari) have long been over. Unless for whatever reason they license it out to Sony I don't see it happening. @Lisandro_v22 Concept-wise it reminds me more of the game called Da Blob which also involved both painting and platform hopping. But also somehow I'm reminded of Kingdom Hearts... Is anyone else worried it might go that direction? I mean Disney Characters + RPG? Mario Sunshine was more about squirting water to make the sun shine brighter. Aside from the spin attack I don't really see the comparison.

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

I could only imagine that Pete Pan looks hilarious.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

I want this game so much, it's gonna be great.

wiifan001
wiifan001

I anticipate to play this title, and reclaim myself as finally doing something involving Disney that doesn't already involve Pixar (not that Pixar falls short of amazing, but it's a nice change of direction :D )

godzilla757
godzilla757

Got a wii want the game but why do they have a paint brush not a pen thats odd maybe but they are copying kingdom keepers okay

mthomas878
mthomas878

Wow this looks like Mario Sunshine for PS1. Looks very outdated.

Onsfan
Onsfan

I can see this being a great game... but I cannot help but to question the title choice. Am I the only one that thinks "EPIC MICKEY" sounds rather corny?

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

does it remind you of mario sunshine? I wonder why...

LaytonsCat
LaytonsCat

sounds promising. another AAE wii game confirmed!

MonkeyFoots
MonkeyFoots

I cant wait for this game. I agree they should move it the ps3 or the 360 since they have (or going) have motion control.

iUseMac
iUseMac

This game reminds me of Mario Sunshine.

drasik
drasik

Hello Disney? Square? Kingdom Hearts 3????

Kratos_Kills
Kratos_Kills

i wish they would make PS3 version too, with move, it could be like wii but normal version would be enough too, it looks so good... lucky wii owners.

Cheddarchet
Cheddarchet

This seems like it will be really cool. Doesn't hurt that it has a pretty nice collector's edition available as well. :)

dzimm
dzimm

Epic Mickey is epic.