Epic Mickey: The Power of Two is a platforming game that was released last year for the consoles as a sequel to the first Epic Mickey. The game wasn’t particularly well received due to frustrating A.I bugs and some gameplay mechanics issues that hampered the game in the process. However, the idea was interesting, and the game had strong production values when it came to voice acting and the Disney charm.
Sony has decided to publish this game on the PlayStation Vita and add a couple of new features specific to the platform. Is this game better on the PlayStation Vita or is it the same mess that came out last year? Let’s find out.
Epic Mickey: The Power of Two is presented quite well. The game has a fantastic art direction that is true to Disney and charming to the audience at the same time. Voice acting is fabulous, and the Disney musicals throughout the game are perfect. The soundtrack fits the story and the Disney characters are personable and like-able all around.
However, the presentation does have a few issues. First there are a couple of freezes/slow-downs in the game at certain parts of the game. Second, the frame-rate is not solid and tends to be choppy throughout the majority of the game, which is a shame. Vita is a powerful handheld system and Epic Mickey: The Power of Two doesn’t actually boast amazing graphics, despite that, the optimization was disappointing and could have been much better. As a matter of fact, the graphics and frame-rate is far superior on the console version.
The game’s graphical performance and shoddy optimization bogs down the experience and gameplay. The potential for crisp graphics was here; instead the game felt rushed and just ported over for the sake of putting the title on a different platform.
Gameplay in Epic Mickey: The Power of Two is perhaps the best part of the game, even though it has some flaws and bugs. The game’s main mechanic is based on the magical brush that Mickey has to use in order to save the world. Mickey joins up with Oswald, the famous Disney rabbit in order to reach their goal.
Throughout the game the player can either paint or thin out pieces of the world and that includes enemies, objects and surrounding environments. Thinning out the world makes objects or enemies evaporate and disappear, this can be used to find hidden secrets throughout the game or to kill on coming evil enemies.
Meanwhile, painting the world makes things come to life. If the paint is sprayed on enemies, then they become your friends and fight for you against other enemies. Both mechanics are well done and serve the gameplay purpose well. Thinning and painting mechanics are also used during certain story choices and quests. Depending on what you decide to do, you may get different outcomes and receive different rewards.
What I love about the gameplay, is the collecting of hidden items and completion of side-quests throughout the story. The game rewards players for exploring worlds and levels. Players may come across treasure chests that include currencies for upgrades, pins that unlock character items and quests that reward with more stuff. Everything in the game is super well hidden, and it’s fun to try to thin or paint every nook and cranny to see what happens. Experimenting with the paint/thing mechanic rewards the player in many ways.
While the gameplay has a decent pace to it, however it still has many flaws that certainly hamper down the overall experience. Since the player always spends time with Oswald or Mickey, there are times in the game where both must cooperate to find hidden secrets or continue the main story line.
Epic Mickey: The Power of Two does have a co-op mode which can be a ton of fun when playing with a friend, and this is where the game truly stands out on its own.
Oswald’s A.I. is super buggy, there are times when he just sits there and doesn’t do anything when he’s supposed to activate something, then there are times when you actually ask him to do something, and he doesn’t do it. It’s not unplayable, but it’s extremely annoying and irritating and makes the gameplay boring and uninspiring. This was also a complaint in the original console version of the game, and it hasn’t been fixed here either after all these months.
Overall, Epic Mickey: The Power of Two has a solid gameplay design with fun interesting mechanics, hidden secretsand quests to explore. However, the buggy A.I that plays am major role in the gameplay’s core design really hampers the fun.
Epic Mickey: The Power of Two on the PlayStation Vita is inferior in most every way. The touch controls don’t really add much to the gameplay and rather gimmicky. The graphical optimization is downright poor, Oswald’s buggy A.I. still persists in the game and hampers the gameplay even after almost 8 months of development time.
The gameplay was marginally enjoyable on the consoles due to the inclusion of online co-op and better graphical quality. If you’re a die-hard fan of Disney you will love the story, and it’s presentation regardless of the game’s problems on any platform. However, if you’re looking for an enjoyable and innovative platformer on the PlayStation Vita, look elsewhere.
This game was reviewed on PS Vita.