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Review

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Review

  • Game release: November 18, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

Nostalgia overload isn't enough to make the many flaws of Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two bearable.

by

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two centers on intertwined themes of creation and destruction. Wielding a magical paintbrush, Disney's mascot runs through the crumbling Wasteland, conjuring pieces to make whole the fragmented land or erasing the few structures that still stand tall. Relationships are forged while others are shattered, and it's your choice whether you breathe life into Wasteland or let it sink further into disrepair. Lovable characters and iconic imagery urge you to take the high road, to create rather than destroy the elements that make up this magical kingdom, but it's impossible to escape the all-encompassing reach of destruction. All of your joy, and the effusive happiness the game exudes, is crushed under the avalanche of debilitating problems that tear Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two apart.

Before The Power of Two can undermine your hopes, it introduces a story that embodies everything this disappointing game does right. The Mad Doctor swears that he has learned his lesson after years of fiendish scheming, and promises to repair Wasteland after earthquakes have torn the town asunder. Mickey, Oswald, and a cast of lovable characters express cautious optimism that the Mad Doctor has turned over a new leaf, and seeing their hesitant acceptance encourages a forgive-and-forget attitude that encourages even the rottenest people to better themselves. It's a story built on trust, and the intrinsic joy in every aspect of these cutscenes bubbles forth in toe-tapping musical numbers that give this adventure a cheery, happy-go-lucky vibe.

Once unleashed in this world, you have a choice in how you go about fixing up Wasteland. Objectives may nudge you in certain directions, but a wealth of side quests easily distract you for hours on end. Denizens line the Mean Streets, eager for a helping hand, and you must scurry in every mouse hole and hideaway to find the precious collectibles these poor characters desire. Slowly roaming this evocative land as Mickey is where The Power of Two is at its best. Happening upon a quiet burg populated by Captain Hook's most loyal pirates, or meeting Daisy Duck as she investigates mysteries for her television station, shows how lovingly Disney's world was incorporated. The game tugs at your nostalgic desires, which gives more weight to your choice in building up or tearing down this iconic land.

The Magic Kingdom is so close yet so very far away.

Jealousy tainted the uneasy pairing of Mickey and Oswald in the original Epic Mickey, but those green feelings have fallen by the wayside in this sequel. Now the two travel through Wasteland together, turning a solitary adventure into one that can be experienced cooperatively. Another player can jump in (or hop back out) at any point during the journey, and when you don't have a friend to travel with, Oswald follows right behind you like a distracted AI-controlled dog. But you'll want to take pains to bring a friend along whenever possible, because that discarded rabbit is an active hindrance to your progress when left under computer control.

Oswald has electricity at his fingertips instead of the magical paintbrush, and must use his kinetic powers to defeat enemies and trigger traps. Left to his own devices, he enters frays at his leisure, either conjuring an energy sphere to short-circuit a robotic foe or wandering helplessly nearby, shouting words of pain or confusion without bothering to help in your struggles. You may call him over to solve a puzzle only to have him obstinately disobey, or toss him inadvertently in the air when you just wanted him to zap a fuse box. Jump on a teeter-totter, and he's liable to follow you to the wrong side, thwarting your chance of reaching higher ground, and he has a nasty habit of standing between you and an enemy during combat, absorbing your paint attacks while complaining that you're hurting him. Oswald is a terrible companion, and his uneven implementation is symptomatic of the amateurish mechanics that infect this adventure.

Jumping, the most important element of a platformer, is a clumsy mess that clashes with the cartoony charm the game exudes. A troublesome camera is the most immediate culprit. Unlike in the original Epic Mickey, your view is rarely obstructed by parts of the environment, but that doesn't alleviate the problems. Distorted perspectives make lining up long-distance leaps troublesome, so you're left guessing how far away you actually are, and often plummet unceremoniously to your death. More problematic is that it's difficult to know what surfaces are safe for you to stand on and which will spit you right off. It's all too common to slide right off a seemingly level expanse, while other times you may stand in thin air, not making contact with anything other than clear oxygen. Jumping in The Power of Two is an unpredictable and often frustrating ordeal.

Problems extend to the combat. You can square off against foes in a couple of ways, so you may thin them into nothingness or paint them until they change their allegiance. It's a smart system that often makes you work hard to perform good deeds, but once again, the positive potential is undermined by shoddy mechanics. Collision detection is the biggest problem here. Mickey's damage box is incredibly large, which means that enemies only have to come close to hurt you. You can avoid a missile only to have a heart knocked off, making every encounter a frustrating one. On the flip side, enemies have smaller collision detection. When you jump on top of them or perform a spin attack, you have to be perfect, and that disparity makes fights drag on long after the fun has drained away.

Tedious objectives ensure that even if you can stomach the core flaws that populate this game, it's still difficult to derive any enjoyment from your activities. Boss fights stretch on for an inordinate length of time. In one battle, a powerful airstream pulls you toward a row of spikes, and you have to fight against this suction while shooting a robotic face that's staring you down. After many arduous minutes, you might succeed, only to have to repeat the whole ordeal two more times. There's no skill involved, no evolving strategies; it's just the same tired action repeated ad nauseam. In another section, you must leap to a hidden door while wearing invisible ink. Gus, the unhelpful gremlin, continually urges you to disappear from view, ignoring that you become visible again very easily. You could be stuck in this area for a lifetime, and the easiest way to pass it is to ignore Gus completely and try another method.

Relive Mickey's earliest cartoons in side-scrolling levels.

The Power of Two falters in all of the most important places, destroying its enormous potential. The musical story and reverential adaptation of classic Disney do an outstanding job of investing you in Mickey's struggles, but the act of playing continually destroys that sense of wonder. It's disappointing that so many of the same problems that haunted the original Epic Mickey are present in the sequel. It's simply not worth suffering through hours of punishing game design to discover the occasional moments of nostalgic joy. Sadly, The Power of Two is another failed attempt at revitalizing Mickey's career.

The Good
Delightful story told through song
Bountiful surprises from Disney's rich history
The Bad
Oswald is an utter moron who actively hinders your progress
Lousy jumping mechanics
Tedious combat
Poorly explained objectives
5
Mediocre
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Discussion

3 comments
Sahle123
Sahle123

Man... I really wished they would have go this one right. EM2 looks so great, but I couldn't bear to put myself through the agony of poor gameplay...

monowasp
monowasp

This game was terrible. Don't waste your time people.

herminio360
herminio360

this?

this crap?

better thar resident evil 6?

gamespot is kidding me?

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

is there framerate issues on ps3/360?

im playing on wiiU and the framerate is garbage...

about the game... i disagree with everyone...i feel this one is much better than the 1st one...but having played the 1st one makes the 2nd even better..

Dragongod29
Dragongod29

this game gameplay is horrble but it make it up with art design,voice acting and animation.

kishen95
kishen95

I do hope they try at least one more time, its a great concept, just not executed very well.

Killzonage
Killzonage

I remember the original dark look they showed a few years ago. They should of kept with that theme. This game had a lot of potential. 

Yams1980
Yams1980

i thought this game would be better.  at first glance it looked ok.

Mathesar
Mathesar

I've been playing through Wii version and would have to agree Oswald as a companion is ruining the experience, I can always make him do what I want eventually but it's tedious, a lot of times he wont come to you on command (normally you press a button to call him) or sometimes he's missing altogether from the area when you need him to activate a switch, There was obviously a lack of play testing for single player and the fact you can't switch characters to control Oswald yourself only makes matters worse.

 

Also I just completed an area where you have to find pieces of a statue (underground area in OsTown) and there was incredible framerate issues in one particular room that was so bad I could barely control Mickey and kept falling off platforms (It felt like literally 5 frames per second) Once I drained the thinner pool in this room the framerate went back to normal.

 

Anyhow I actually liked the first Epic Mickey despite some camera issues but so far the 2nd game is nowhere near as fun.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Dear Warren Specter, please stop wasting your talent and go make something on the same level as Deus Ex.

croserII
croserII

haters don't like doom bfg or resident evil 6 , true gamers simply will enjoy their life playing the game they bought without giving shit about the "resident evil" title,it's good game then I continue playing it,it's sucks, simply burn it in hell and buy another game

vault-boy
vault-boy

Game looks nice at least. Too bad that seems like the only thing worth mentioning though.

SolidTy
SolidTy

A shame Warren didn't take the first games reviews a little more serious. This game could have really been EPIC.

 

I own the first, I may get this in bargain bins to complete the collection. I'm getting an HD version of it this time though, as there is a choice.

dzimm
dzimm

Sounds like they didn't learn anything from the criticism they received the first time around.  Shame.  There's a good game lurking under there somewhere, but apparently Warren Spector isn't the one to make it.

hadlee73
hadlee73

A fairly mediocre attempt at making a Mickey game. Now watch it sell over a million copies :P

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I had a feeling that when it was initially announced that the PS3 and X360 versions were being handed off to another dev group to do the ports, that this would happen. I wonder how the Wii version will turn out.

rushiosan
rushiosan

I guess it's time to stop with Epic Mickey games. They can't become good.

Dreizel
Dreizel

I wasn't expecting much from this game, the first one sucked, this one didn't seem any diferent.

franzito
franzito

According to GS, this game is a little better than RE 6 XD

And anyone still had hopes this would be epic? Epic fail maybe. Really, the last time I played a good Mickey game I still had a SNES.

gamebuyer22
gamebuyer22

Fetch quests should not exist to pad game length.  cough cough... Zelda. I played the Epic Mickey 2 demo a few days ago. The game is just HD wii graphics and the game has really bad animations and weightless jumping. For a game based on an animated character thats a nono. Why dont they just make a new Mickey platformer like Mickey Mania? Warren Spector was lying once again.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

i thought Warren Spector was good, obviously not

00J
00J

Warren Spector haha what an ultra moron. He'll be the next to get shown the door... 

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

I played the demo for this game the other day - it really is trash. LOVED the cutscenes, but the gameplay is almost a complete and utter fail.

soulless4now
soulless4now

I hope the 3DS game is better. I might just get that one instead if the reviews are better. 

Nexozable
Nexozable

Not as epic as people thought it would be, eh?

Kaz32
Kaz32

This is probably the first time that an annoying character is listed as a negative. People, don't be a tool. Try and see the average score first to decide when the game is good or no. If the average is bellow 60 like Warfighter, it ain't a good game. If its mixed like Resident Evil 6 and Alpha Protocol and Assault Horizon it's a good game. If its overrated like Dishonored with people nitpicking its flaws appart, it's an ok game. Bottom line, if you just believe a score in face value, you might miss a diamond in the rough.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

I honestly feel bad the Epic Mickey games because I can tell that a lot of work went into the visual aspects, the style, the characters, the soundtrack, and even the musical numbers, but the people designing obviously don't know how to make good gameplay. Sad really because I was looking forward to this game.

ShadowNemisis21
ShadowNemisis21

Why did they ditch the dark theme of the first game?

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

why did he review this for ps3?  everyone knows mickey games are best played on nintendo consoles...psmove sucks compared to the wiimote.i wonder if he even used the psmove as his paintbrush... 

Nexozable
Nexozable

 @rushiosan They can, there's a lot of potential here. The developers just won't stop fucking around.

Henrique2324
Henrique2324

 @Kaz32 IIRC, one of FFXIII's negative points here in Gamespot was Vanille , listed as a "Character that will get on your nerves"

Henrique2324
Henrique2324

 @Rickystickyman After watching through the original Epic Mickey's review, I couldn't agree more. It looked brilliant up until the point where the reviewer started showing it's glaring gameplay flaws.

Meinhard1
Meinhard1

It's sad to see such a passionate work fail so badly.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

 @ShadowNemisis21 They made this one a 'musical'. I was actually slightly looking forward to this before that was confirmed.

ShadowNemisis21
ShadowNemisis21

 @KBFloYd Look at sports champions.Are you really sure the wii mote is better then the ps move?Mate your wrong.On the wii all you do is flick your wrist the ps move is an actual motion device.To bad sony fails somtimes.

 

Its good to see reviewers finally reviewing games on ps3.

dono14
dono14

 @NeoMortiny  BTW that comment was directed to Kaz32 and not you haha, my bad.

Kaz32
Kaz32

@NeoMortiny nope, it deserves less than that, a 7.5 to 8.5, 9.0 is being too nice. Don't believe me? Here's my problems with that game: One of the problem in this game is there's no other non-lethal direct attack besides choking and the sleeping darts from your crossbow. It's funny how there is no option to just sucker punch someone in front of you out cold. Instead, I have to either shoot a sleeping dart or choke someone from behind. It just ruins the pace of the game and it's a shame that for a game that encourages you to be merciful to your enemies to get the good ending, it's more fun killing people. There's no balance between killing and sparing. The plot is cliched and predictable. When the twist happens, you'll bound to go "I knew it" because you can already predict it at the start of the game. Oh yeah, the endings depends on whether you have low or high chaos. Low=Happy and High+Save Emily=Bittersweet or High+Let her die=Downer. You have to save very often too because you are bound to screw up and kill people if you are not careful, especially if you want the pacifist achievement. I gave up halfway and kill a few people, including this torturer that's actually an optional objective that I just want to kill for the pains he inflicts on those hanging corpses. There goes my achievement, but thankfully I still got the good ending. The whole game is basically a combination of Bioshock + Deus Ex Human Revolution, we’ve seen it all before so nothing special. It's 9 hours short and for a game that encourages explorations and sidequests, there's only 9 missions and those sidequests can be counted on 2 hands: it's just 1 or 2 in 7 missions, and you can get all the game's collectibles in that time. The powers could use more work too, especially blink. I think it’s awesome to use blink to teleport STRAIGHT in front of an enemy to scare the shit out of him and make him lose his mind like in Batman, but no, the enemies attacks you instantly. Pretty brave yet not believable. Summoning flies or bugs besides rats can also work, or even mind control to distract guards, which is different than possession. It’s a shame that in a game that encourages no kills to get the best ending, most of your powers are only useful to kill. Giving a reason like “it’s more challenging” doesn’t sound plausible because the game is easy enough as it is. It's pretty bad when I can come up with more interesting powers. At the start of the game, you are framed for the murder of the empress done by this teleporting masked assassin and a guy in a red dress. This wouldn?t bother me so much until you realize that THE MAIN CHARACTER CAN'T SPEAK. MY God, he could at least shout, explain to the guards about the situation or cry, but the only thing he does is listen like Gordon Freeman. Pretty stupid to just do nothing, especially when you know who did it a second before the guards came in. Like I know they are the ones framing you for her murder and the character is a typical first person voiceless character, but please, don't just stand there! You're given a dialogue option later in the game, so that does imply that he can at least communicate. Why not just give it in the beginning then? Also, considering how the game is actually 9 hours short and very predictable, might as well have no dialogue option at all, like Bioshock, THAT works like a charm doesn't it? And lastly, the end boss is so pathtethic, that I load up to 10 times to kill him in different ways, ALL of that without dying or using my health pack once. He is so freaking weak, that he kill his allies by poisoning them and then attack Corvo but defeated with 1 simple counter that stabs his arms and got his head blown off. Hitman absolution takes a shit on Dishonored. It definitely earns the 90 that it got, not Dishonored.

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

 @KokutenNagaki wiimotion + sucks too for aiming and shooting games like CoD...jujst like ps move sucks for resistance 3 and goldeneye reloaded... the ps eye camera sucks for the psmove aiming....the only game that uses it well is killzone 3..

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

 @ShadowNemisis21 only flick your wrist my a$$... sports champions is a horrible game...the wiimote has 100x the games psmove has... psmove does nothing better than the wiimote.

Kaz32
Kaz32

 @dono14  Tell me, if you have played the game already, does these things that I said happens in the game? The poor predictable plot, no balance between killing and sparing, lacking powers, short length and disappointing end boss? Doesn't it feel like a stripped version of Deus Ex Human Revolution and Bioshock that are far superior fps games? Then why is it wrong to say it's overrated where other similar games has none of these problems? What I mean by overrated is not that the game is bad. No, it's not, it's above 70. It's merely good, nothing special. The concept of this entire game has been done better in other games. Bioshock, Deus Ex Human Revolution and Hitman to name a few games does this better, and I played them more than once because of how fun they are. After I played this game, I quickly got bored with how limited everything actually is.

 

You don't know anything when you said I'm in a very small minority. All the people that I talk to except a few feels this game is shallow and lifeless. They all agree that this game is overrated with the same issues that I have. I did play the game and I tell the truth because I find it ridiculous that this game is "revolutionary" and it's "the best of this generation" when it's clearly not. Just telling you, you are all tools in all this if you just accept the score and don't say anything about it.

dono14
dono14

 @Kaz32  @NeoMortiny It all boils down to opinion and personal preference. The term overrated is mealiness when it is stated by one person, because you fall within a very small minority which dislikes a particular game. Since most people think Dishonored is a great game, it is therefore not overrated, your views on it simply differ than that of the majority.

Kaz32
Kaz32

 @vasili95 I don't care about the achievements that much, but sadly achievements are what makes most of this game's replayability. If you are not encouraged to get points for not killing anyone, or collecting everything, what the hell's the point of finishing the game more than once other than to see which endings out of 2 that you can get? Mass Effect and Alpha Protocol is more varied than this game. What's your reward for collecting runes, boneshards and whatever 584 coins in every stage? Nothing, so there is no reason to play again. There's no 100% completion reward to speak off, so collecting tiny pieces of coins isn't worth anything because you have like 10,000 gold for finishing a mission anyway.

 

Morality system? No, not really. It just boils down to "how many did you kill" that affects the chaos in the end of each level, but it's not even that hard to keep the chaos low. Even if you kill 20 people including the target in 1 stage, there's sidequests that will reduce the meter if you completed them. I killed a few people, like 39 of them once going all out and I STILL get the good ending.

 

Necessary tools huh? My ass. What about a straight punch to the face to knock a guy out cold? Why isn't something that easy to do not included? Why are you limited to just choking and sleeping darts to be non lethal? Why not make it like Deus Ex Human Revolution where you can go lethal and non lethal while still having balance of fun to it? In a game that encourages multiple ways to play the game, why is it more varied and fun to kill? That defeats the purpose of multiple choices.

 

For the voiceless protagonist part, I have no problems with that. It's OK to be voiceless. I mean it's ridiculous for the start of the game for Corvo to just stand there like a complete moron. What will you do when you saw a person very important in your life get murdered and then you got accused for it even though you didn't do it? You will either cry or scream or at least deny the accusation right? Why not do that at the beginning instead of just stand? If I was one of the guards I'll arrest him on the spot. You don't think that's stupid to just stand there?

vasili95
vasili95

 @Kaz32  @NeoMortiny I can agree with you at some points but disagree with most of them. To start off, the achievements, you can not judge a game base on the achievements because there are optional, not part of the game but part of the rewarding system of the 360. I also like getting achievements but first its better to concentrating on the game as a hole from start to finish and have a decent opinion on the the game and only then prolong the game with the achievements. Second of all, the game has a morality system that is there that you will feel at the end what you felt.  The game gave you the tools, to kill or knock unconscious your enemies, if you are a person that naturally will try complete an objective without casualties than you will get an ending that appreciate your determination and taking the extra step. If you run and gun your enemies and using you supernatural powers to cause harm to people you also will get the appropriate conclusion. The epilogues are there, again, as a morality system that tries to make the player really think about how they decided to treat the games world and its inhabitants. And just as a final note, the voiceless protagonist is part of the narrative to make the game more immerse, in some games they missing the point of voiceless protagonist and that can get on my nerves but in Dishonored I think it works. Oh, if you didn't notice the loyalist know that Corvo is not the killer and they know no one will believe them especially Corvo the Alleged assassin that someone els is the real assassin, thats a big part of the story throughout the game.

Kaz32
Kaz32

 @Henrique2324  @NeoMortiny Yes, I would say the same thing "what the hell", but they are all true. All of these issues diminishes the game to 7.5. Good, but nothing special.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two More Info

First Release on Nov 18, 2012
  • Macintosh
  • PC
  • + 5 more
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita
  • Wii
  • Wii U
  • Xbox 360
In Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, gamers will play as Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney's first cartoon star, in an all-new adventure of creativity and discovery.
5.7
Average User RatingOut of 99 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Developed by:
Blitz Games Studios, Disney Interactive Studios, Junction Point
Published by:
Disney Interactive Studios, Comgad, Spike Chunsoft, CyberFront
Genres:
Platformer, 3D, Action
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Everyone
All Platforms
Cartoon Violence