Epic Mickey - hands-on

 Yeah… I’m a giant Disneyphile already completely sold on Epic Mickey based on the concept alone. I’ve giddily written several thousand words on the game, easily, and I honestly apologize if my approach is wearing thin. Especially, now that I realize that I’ve been a little remiss in my GameZ Jarnalist duties, as I’m not sure I’ve gone into what exactly I like about the actual gameplay… Whoops.

Above: Wield Godlike paint power in this bizarro version Disneyland

Last old timey toon comparison, I swear! In my defense, I’ve just been so infatuated with the sheer fact that Epic Mickey exists and what it’s doing, and I'm not alone. Let’s be honest, when a game’s based on a legacy almost a century old, as well as recent events in animated meta-history, that’s obviously part of the appeal.

Above: Looky at the brand new gameplay trailer

As for the gameplay, Epic Mickey’s been shrouded in a bit of mystery. While screenshots give it the appearance of a Disney-infused 3D platforming renaissance, there’s something a bit stranger, and just a bit darker afoot beneath the cartoony façade. The premise feels to me a bit like if a young Tim Burton had conceived and directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit then swapped the noir detective story with a gothic tale of a Toontown under fire. If that “What if?” cream dream doesn’t appeal to your gaming sensibilities, think of Epic Mickey like Banjo-Kazooie if it were turned into an RPG similar to Fable. Or maybe Disney’s KOTOR!

Above: Mickey travels between worlds via sidescolling levels based off classic cartoons. This one from our latest demo was inspired by 1929’s “Jungle Rhythm

On the surface, Epic Mickey plays a helluva lot like Super Mario Galaxy 2 - and would you look at that? - Mickey's also got a flick-of-the-wrist spin move that’s not just got for pummeling enemies, it can extend jumps in mortal situations. Add to that, you’ve also got what looks like hundreds of isolated challenges off, as well as optional missions off the main path. Seriously, there are tons items hidden and otherwise (Here’s one for the Disney dorks: One of the hidden items is collectible pins!!*squee*!!) But unlike the isolated, unrelated challenges found in Galaxy or Sonic Colors, all of the Disneyana inspired worlds in Epic Mickey are connected in ways that still always immediately clear.

Above: Bring dormant machines back to life with a splash of paint

Two meters on each side of the screen mark the tools you’ll unleash by pointing the Wii Remote: Paint and Thinner. And since Epic Mickey takes place the animated Wasteland populated by forgotten characters made of ink and paint, that basically boils down to the power to restore life and/or erase it, as well as the dynamic consequences that stem from it. Did we mention the Epic Mickey comes from interactive visionary Warren Spector? Probably about a billion times, but Epic Mickey’s mysterious morality system is certainly where you can see Spector’s Deus Ex pedigree come into play.

Above: The nonlethal alternative




  • Maxstats69 - November 20, 2010 12:39 p.m.

    I started playing this a few days ago. I can honestly say that this game is bad, very bad. I am extremely disappointed in this game. The camera is broken, it's a chore just trying to play it. I hope when it comes to review time that they don't have Chris doing the review so you guys get an unbiased review and not one from a Disney fanboy.
  • elpurplemonkey - October 28, 2010 5:37 a.m.

    Looks fun, but even though I own a Wii, I wish it was multiplatform. I want to see Mickey in Hi-Def!
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 27, 2010 5:43 a.m.

    I still haven't completely grasped the entire choice-by-paint concept, but I'm hoping to get my hands on the game ASAP to try it out. And don't worry Chris, your Disney boner works in everyone's favor.
  • batmanboy11 - October 27, 2010 1:39 a.m.

    This is probably my most anticpated game for the remainder of the year. Less than a month to go!
  • Bonesqaw - October 27, 2010 12:25 a.m.

    They'll be douchebags if they don't give you the exclusive Chris, no one could possiblly love it more than you
  • RebornKusabi - October 27, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    I do plan on finding my Wii (I have it in a box... in the garage, somewhere...) so I can play this because I love me some Deus Ex and this looks as meaty as that game is. The fact that it is a Disney game starring a famous cartoon mouse that doesn't look and "play" (haven't played it yet) like it was made for JUST children is great to me as well. Can't wait to see what your lover, Warren Spector, did with this game Chris! Love what I see and want to play it soon.
  • frogfromchronotriggerisactuallyjesus - October 26, 2010 11:51 p.m.

    i am definitely looking forward to this game. to what extent you ask? well i did pre-order it from best buy, if that's any indication
  • IveGotTheGlow - October 26, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Never thought I would bring my Wii out of retirement for a Mickey Mouse game, but the more I see of this game makes, the harder it is to resist.
  • slimjim441 - October 26, 2010 11:18 p.m.

    I love Mickey Mouse! I can not wait for this game. Mickey Mouse is the biggest badass ever.
  • grappler51 - October 26, 2010 11:16 p.m.

    The recent Nintendo Power preview made me super excited for this game, probably won't get it till christmas though.
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - October 26, 2010 11:12 p.m.

    Yes, I'm stupid in love with Epic Mickey. Not sure if we'll mention it during this week's show since we reviewed a crapload of games this week. However, I will say that "someone" should be reviewing the game very soon...
  • Tymiegie - October 26, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    Good preview. My excitement for this game grows each time Chris talks about it. If he doesn't get to review it I can only imagine what would happen... And I thoroughly enjoyed Thru the Mirror. Best eight minutes of my day so far.
  • SCW - October 26, 2010 10:06 p.m.

    I can't wait for this game! Easily my most wanted game of November.
  • ThePigHostage - October 26, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    Can't wait for this game.
  • juicenpancakes - October 26, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    This appears to be the most beautiful 480p can possibly be. God I hope it can come over to PS360 someday.
  • Migglez - October 26, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    waiting to hear chris scream form the orgasm hes having on talkradar this week.
  • ChrisCultista - October 26, 2010 9:48 p.m.

    I see Chris's face then Micky hands on. Then I laugh and laugh and laugh.

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000