|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U*|
|Dev: Junction Point Studios|
|Pub: Disney Interactive Studios|
|Release: November 18, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Cartoon Violence|
Technically, the graphics are quite well-done on the Wii U, as well. Having seen the Xbox 360 version in action, I'd argue that the Wii U's graphics are a shade better, especially when it comes to lighting and character depth. I'll note that there are reports of people encountering major frame rate issues in the Wii U version of the game, but I didn't experience them during my playthrough, so I'm not sure what causes them to crop up.
The musical design in the game is as fabulous as the graphic design, and the player is often given the chance to affect the soundtrack or just generally play around with musical devices during the game. The composers have definitely nailed the Disney feeling in the game's music.
The voice acting, on the other hand, is a mixed bag that ranges from tolerable to execrable. Mickey and Oswald sound about how one would expect them to sound (yes, despite the fact that this is the first time Oswald has ever been voiced), but many of the side characters rely on funny accents for personality. This is particularly jarring when black and white 1930s cartoon characters start busting out with 1980's surfer-dude slang or sport “ethnic” accents that sound downright insulting. There's also a problem with tutorial phrases, especially from your guide-gremlin Gus, which repeat on an endless loop even if you're trying to explore or solve an unrelated puzzle during the main storyline.
Even after playing Epic Mickey 2 for many hours, I'm not entirely sure what I think about it. On one hand, I enjoyed exploring the game's world quite a bit, but on the other, I often found myself bored or frustrated with the actual gameplay. The worst moments are those involving inexcusable game design decisions, like multiple doors that take up to a full minute to open after being triggered, leaving the player confused as the door sits there and rumbles but refuses to open for a good long time. The best moments are those that involve simply experiencing the lovely world that Junction Point has put together, from playing around in the musically-themed 2D platforming sequences to discovering a delightful piece of Disney nostalgia in an out-of-the-way corner.
My final judgment on Epic Mickey 2 is going to have to call it a thoroughly average experience overall. If only the main story and gameplay could begin to keep up with the wondrous vision that the game's world-builders came up with, Epic Mickey 2 could have been a fantastic game. Sadly, instead it's a journey of discovery that is bogged down by mediocre gameplay, bad A.I., and occasional bugs. It's a game that requires quite a bit of patience to enjoy, and I honestly can't blame anybody who finds that patience to be in short supply.
Date: November 26, 2012