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on December 8, 2010
After reading reviews for this game, I was a bit leary about purchasing it. This was mainly due to the complaints about the camera not functioning properly. The bottom line is, for moderately experienced gamers, this will be nothing more than a slight annoyance. For rookie gamers, there might be some higher levels of frustration, but the desire to progress through the game will provide balance. This game is way too beautiful and the soundtrack way too amazing to let this minor irritation cause a lesser star count.
I don't necessarily agree that this game is too dark for younger players. There is less "evil" in this game than even the Super Mario Galaxy games, and many of the Disney movies. My kids, (5 and 7) really enjoy watching this game. The cut scenes are spectacular with very creative animation.
This game will be very enjoyable for many different types of gamers. For someone that just likes to rush through games, the game could probably be beaten in 10hrs. or less. For those who like uncovering mysteries and performing tasks, the game offers plenty of side challenges that significantly lengthen the game, and also influence the story. For Disney Lovers, this is a must buy, as it is by far the best Disney game I've ever played.
In conlclusion, this is a very entertaining and imaginitive game with beautiful graphics and soundtrack. It has a few minor flaws, which are all easily outweighed by the greatness of the rest of the game. I am really hopeful that there will be a sequel in the not too distant future.
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on March 22, 2011
We bought this game because my 8 year old son wouldn't stop asking for it. It was less expensive to by the game online then in the stores. This is another one of those fight the big guys and find items to accomplish a task type of games. My 8 year old son loves it, but is slightly discouraged when he doesn't know what to do next. However this is typically because he is being lazy and won't read what the characters have told him to do, not the games fault. I started playing this game to see what it was like and normally I am not into this style of game. However it is just the right level of difficulty so that you aren't completely frustrated trying to find the items. The other thing that I LOVE is that some parts of this game are the way the game runs is based on how you treat characters in the game. It's kind of cool
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I’m not much of a gamer, and when I do play a video game, I prefer the simpler games like I grew up playing. As a result, the quest games that follow a long story through a created world aren’t normally my thing. But I quickly made an exception when Epic Mickey was released for Wii. You expected this Disnerd to do any differently?

The game is a dream for those of us who love all things Disney. Once upon a time, the wizard Yensid (from the movie Fantasia) created a world for all the forgotten Disney characters to retire to. However, during its construction, Mickey accidentally stumbles into the studio and spills paint and thinner on it. Now, years later, the place is in disrepair and Mickey is kidnapped and drawn into the world, now known as Wasteland. In order to get out, he must make his way through a bunch of quests. He is helped along the way by Gus, a Gremlin who helps guide you through the game. You also have a paint brush filled with paint and thinner you can use to create or erase things and even enemies in the world.

I’ve got to confess that I have had multiple geek out moments as I’ve played this game. You spend parts of it chasing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and you meet up with Clarabelle and Horace. Plus you are playing through levels that resemble various places in Disneyland (some say Disney World, but I think of Disneyland). While most people will recognize the places, few will probably get the characters. I’m enough of a Disnerd that I not only get them but I absolutely love seeing them.

The game looks impressive. As my brother was the first say what I was thinking when we started playing it together, it’s Disney with a Gotham City make over. You’ll recognize much of what you are playing through, but it looks darker, sadder, and run down. Okay, so it’s still cartoony rather than realistic looking, but since we are living in a cartoon world, that’s not that surprising.

Likewise, the music is good. It sounds like the soundtrack from some epic movie. Yes, at times they mix in classic Disney songs, but at other times it is all completely brand new.

The majority of the game is made up of various quests, and you have to explore your current level to find what you want, then bring it back to your starting point. It gets repetitive, and it would be nice if they mixed it up a bit more. I also don’t like the fact that once you move through an area, you can’t get back there easily. So make sure you have explored everything there is to see before you move on.

Much has been said of the “camera” for the game, and with good reason. That is the weakest flaw by far. It can be hard at times to get things to the angle you really need to see. Yes, you can use some buttons on your controller to tilt the camera and you can hit one button to recenter the camera from Mickey’s viewpoint, both things I do regularly. But still, it manages to mess me up and kill me more often than I would like.

Then again, that’s also part of my non-gamer nature coming to the forefront. I get frustrated after two or three tries at an area if I can’t move on, and there are a few points in the game that have really frustrated me. This game will probably be too complex for those under late elementary school age, and just at the time when Disney will no long be cool. Then again, with all the obscure Disney history in this game, maybe the real target is adults after all.

The games uses not only the Wiimote but all the Nunchuck as well. You use the little joystick to move and the buttons to jump and spray the paint and thinner. You shake the Wiimote to do an attack spin. I found these controls very easy to grasp, and they were second nature to me almost right away. I struggled a bit more with aiming the paintbrush when I shoot the paint and thinner. There is a target on the screen that reads off your Wiimote and where it is currently pointing. I kept firing and wondering why Mickey was shooting the paint in a different direction until I remembered to watching where I was aiming that thing.

There are lots of times where your actions determine the outcome of the game. If you aren’t careful, you can make characters mad at you who won’t help you later. Or, if you free them from a prison, they’ll save you a lot of work later. That’s definitely an interesting feature.

As you transition from one world to another, you do it through 2D levels based on classic Mickey shorts. Most everyone will have at least heard of the shorts we play through, things like “Steamboat Willie” or “Mickey and the Beanstalk.” All of that is very fun as well, although these levels don’t add too much to the overall game.

This is a game I enjoy in spurts. I’ll pay it several times for a week and get a little frustrated with a level. Then I’ll walk away for a while and come back and enjoy it again later. Okay, some of my breaks are also because I don't have the time to play it much. People who more regularly play these games will probably find it easier than I do, however. I know my sister-in-law breezed through it.

But I do enjoy Epic Mickey. It’s not an easy game, made harder by a the poor camera, but it is a blast for Disney fans of all stripes with the almost constant nods to the Disney we already know or might have forgotten.
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2012
Like a lot of gamers, I was very impressed by the early footage from Epic Mickey and Warren Specter's enthusiasm for the project. However, upon playing it, I'm decidedly mixed.

THE GOOD

The game is visually beautiful, really pushing the Wii's graphical capabilities above and beyond. The cutscenes look incredible, like a real cartoon. The levels are absolutely brimming with visual treats - no boring fields of grass or carbon copies of the same building repeated over and over. Look closely and you'll spot some cool Mickey paraphernalia in some levels.

Using old cartoon strips as settings for the 2-D levels is ingenious. It's too bad they don't go on longer and only serve as transitional levels.

There is some replay value. There are a lot of pins, which might interest players who like collecting Disney pins in real life. More interesting are the unlockable cartoon reels and concept art.

THE BAD

The gameplay. It just isn't that exciting. It seems the game was torn between appealing to kids and holding the interests of adult gamers. Epic Mickey was billed as a platformer, but the never reaches anything as exciting as the Mario games. There's some jumping, there are some decent moments, but it's mostly just fetch quests where you have to find an item for somebody. However, the fetch quests often seem forced as they come at random times from people who aren't well developed characters (there are exceptions - I liked Horace the Detective).

Other reviewers have criticized the camera system and I do agree. It's not a deal breaker, but there are times when it refuses to give you a clear view of what you need to see.

THE UGLY

The game is too hard for kids, too easy for adults. I think this game would have benefitted greatly from allowing the user to adjust the difficult setting.

THE FINAL WORD

At the end of the day, there's a lot of potential in Epic Mickey, but I can't really say it's a great game. It's probably one of the better third-party games for the Wii, but that's not saying a whole lot. I will probably try Epic Mickey 2 because Warren Specter seems aware of Epic Mickey's flaws, but I won't be rushing to get it on Day One.
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on November 6, 2015
This seems like it would be a fun game but for some reason it just didn't really catch on in our house. Too difficult for the younger kids, too boring I guess for everyone else. We all lost interest really quickly.
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on January 18, 2011
There are already quite a few detailed reviews of the game here, with all the obvious comments, pros and cons, of the references and camera angles and controls.

With those obvious, repeated comments aside, this is what I feel about the game, as a gamer myself.

If your interested in a game, you will adapt to its shortcomings. Disney fans will be more lenient and willing to work with the controller and camera angles, so really its up to each individual to see if that's what they are willing to deal with whilst playing.

I was beyond excited when I heard some of the details of this game. I'm a classic gamer, and I like bizarre games with strange concepts. That fact makes me more lenient to the camera problems. The painting mechanic might have been a mario sunshine water pump thing rehash/remake, but making that the sole purpose of the game was brilliant.

Originally this game was meant for PS3 & 360 release, and the wii was only an afterthought.

This is upsetting, as one of the more annoying short comings of the game is that every level "resets" the work you've done once you leave. I doubt it would take much effort of the wii's memory to keep that saved, but that's a tiny act that we would have definitely seen on a PS3/360 release.

On the other hand, this title does belong as a Wii exclusive. The mickey games have always been on some Nintendo console (and Sega also, but that's going to 16bit). While the game does follow the almost annoying trend of dark-vs-light that seem to find themselves on the Wii, this game's iconic character is what saves it. Mickey Mouse started as a mischievous character, and was only made "innocent" when his popularity boomed and he became more exclusive to children's entertainment. Most reviews bash the game for earlier claims of making things "edgy" or "darker" and then not following with a very dark game, when they might be forgetting that this is THE Disney flagship character, the face on their theme parks, and making him come off as an evil thing so abruptly would have made the game fail to a large % of the consumers.

Its like having an argument that Sony wanted to make a ballerina game with Kratos from God of War as the main character, but then bashing the game as not being realistic when they refuse to remove his attached weapons. If you don't understand the depth of what has to change character-wise, then you don't understand the importance of the character to its industry. I'm happy Disney took the first few steps in evolving Mickey, instead of rushing it and destroying his image to a large fraction of his fans. (I'm not even a Mickey fan, and I understand this)

And let me take that last sentence and go a bit further; First few steps! It was said that this is the first of a trilogy of games!

Obvious needs of revamping the camera control aside, when you consider that this is the first installment in a series, and this game had such perfect art design and music, and the basic theory and brilliant mechanics of the game were so perfect, I'm bloody thrilled!

While I'm still very pleased with this game, there is, in my opinion, only one serious short coming. The game has very little replayability. And yet, it had such an amazing opportunity. There are things that separate a game from a single experience, and something that makes you want to revisit the experience. Here are a few examples of what SHOULD have been in Epic Mickey;

- For those who have played the game already, and found all the pins... what is there to do with it next? The game locks you out of specific areas. A good idea for making a defined choice system... but when your done with the game, as in 100% completion, shouldn't everything be available?

- Collecting pins is fun, but they are pointless. You can barely see the artwork that was put in to the pins themselves. Also most are just stock gold/silver/ect, and feel like a lost cause, or something was just rushed and forgotten. In-game modifications would have been more amusing to have earned, maybe from earning the pins. Like the option to control the amount of "blot" coming off Mickey, or different Mickey outfits/looks from his past forms.

- In Fantasia, in the short The Sorcerer Apprentice, where we first see Mickey and Yen Sid, Mickey gets a hold of Yen's wand... wouldn't it have been just too obvious to make use of a wii-mote style game mechanic where you, the main character, use a wand? The game already has built-in mechanics about making things like anvils poof out of thin air... An easy and overlooked unlockable/playable idea that could have made the game worth another run.

- Why on EARTH was there not an unlockable playable Fantasia Broom? The damn game already had all the mechanics in for the character from the sweeper badguy; lob paint, move, jump, fall, squash, ect. How fun would the game have been had there been a slightly different playing mechanic such as throwing paint grenades? Or limiting your paint supply to what you can hold in a bucket, and can only "refill" in some of the many MANY thinner pools/lakes in the game? The fact that no one considered this makes me HATE the game, as this addition would have made the game deserve the title "EPIC." This is even a perfect idea for building a multiplayer experience, with many people playing as many brooms. Its so perplexing that this wasn't even considered.

When it boils down to a rating, it really depends on the individual looking at the game. If your interested in single player campaigns, choice systems, or strange/interesting game mechanics, then dive in! The game is very fun, and if you can play it for half an hour, then you've probably already adapted to the camera problems. The art is gorgeous, and the music is perfect (i'm still waiting on an official non-digital release!) Being that its the first of a supposed trilogy, hopefully the problems will be fixed in the future, and HOPEFULLY there will be more of a reason to call it Epic.
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on July 13, 2011
This game gets an extra star for resurrecting Mickey. In the mid-30s, Disney lost faith in the Mickey Mouse character and the type of happy-go-lucky cartoons he once starred in. Giving him actual eyes was when they truly robbed him of his soul. Most of the Mickey toons after that point were actually Plutos. Mickey was simply too valuable as a corporate and cultural icon to have him DO anything that might sniff of flavor. Later resurrections of the character (Christmas Carol/Prince + Pauper) were nice enough ensemble pieces. Someone got "Runaway Brain" made but Disney corp quickly crushed it and hid it away somewhere. So most people have never actually SEEN the real Mickey Mouse. This game may be most people's introduction to the character behind the symbol. It is a loving tribute to Mickey and the B&W days of Disney. It is also a means for bringing Oswald into the fold. I'm interested to see if Disney can take those accomplishments and build on them, or if it will all just go the way of Runaway Brain.

Unfortunately, the actual game is full of too many avoidable flaws to be considered great. I have to say, I love the environments, and the 2D inter-world corridors (though I don't think you should have to traverse them more than once unless you choose to). A lot of blame has been attached to the camera, but it's actually the level design that bears the blame. It's all too cramped, and your field of vision never takes in all it needs to. So you're often trying to manipulate the camera as you run around. Certainly that should have been noticed and addressed early in development. But that brings up something that I just couldn't stop thinking during the whole play through - especially towards the end - which is, Did these game designers ever play a game of this type before? Because if they had you would think that they would never put you in a small round room with an enemy that is constantly advancing and which you have to flee from whilst also shooting at. The PSP Ratchet & Clank game was rife with that type of botch-it-lism. But just playing it should make anyone say "No, we're not going to do that".

#1 on my it list is the hit detection. Apparently Mickey has a field of energy extending out from his body causing him to take damage from near (and not so near) misses. Poor Mickey. It also prevents him from being able to stand on a flat surface unless his entire invisible aura is also on that ledge. Whoops - slippy - there you go. Hope you don't mind jumping up on that moving platform 100 times until you get it right.

#2 is the old multi-hit kill thing. The makers of Epic Mickey don't care if you're trapped under or beside a thing that you could run away from if you had a period of immunity after taking a hit. But then, towards the end of the game, it's a ballet of cheap one shot kills. Oh - didn't notice that thing that drops down, or had no clue that ledge was going to crumble (because we didn't give you any way to know)? Ha ha, April Fools, return to Start. It all just makes you angry but doesn't really increase the difficulty of the game. The game is in no ways difficult, so it's not like you are failing a challenge that you then want to beat. No, you just have to redo your homework because you forgot to put your home room in the title.

A minor gripe are the transitions entering buildings and talking to characters. "Would you like to enter?" "Would you like to leave?" Should I fade to black and take 15 seconds out of your life so some dumb character can tell you "Good to see you Mickey"? Don't know; just lacks polish. This isn't 1991 anymore - I think I hear my 5 1/4" floppy start to crank anytime I try to go in a door.

A lot of the game involves painting and thinning stuff, which is neat, but they didn't really get that far past the neat idea and implementation. Run around, paint stuff, thin stuff...fairly pointless. Every now and then somebody asks you to do a thing with painting or thinning. You have to complete side quests in order to move on in the game, but it doesn't seem like there was anybody actually assigned to think them up. If you round up bunny children once, surely you'll want to do it 4 more times. I don't know - it's not that bad. You just get the feeling that the game is half-baked in that regard.

But where you'll REALLY get that feeling is towards the end of the game. <spoilers> I didn't really want to have to pop the pimple on a black tendril once but hey, guess what, you get to do it again and again and again. Lazy lazy game design there. Making you revisit EVERY world JUST TO DO THE SAME THING YOU'VE DONE AND DONE with no variation. Unforgiveable. Really felt like a job. And it was a disgusting job. Stupid job. And then the last bit, with the towers and then AGAIN with the zits. That was just aggravation for the sake of aggravation. The black tendrils that shot through the walls, knocking you who knows where. What a cheap and lame device. And the ledges that crumble with no warning. Hahahahaha. Then revisiting all the blob types you are already sick of killing. It all couldn't end soon enough for me. </spoilers>

I didn't really care for the animated sequences, mainly because they seemed to just drag and drag. If they had let you cruise through with "A" it might have been better. But you are in a cartoon reality already - why couldn't they just act out the interstitials in THAT alternate reality? Seemed confused.

I did like how there were multiple ways to get through levels, although sometimes you end up going a way that you might not have picked. But...too late. You never get to replay Mickeyjunk Mountain again, yet they beat Mean Street like a dead pony.

Certain things are spelled out PAINFULLY - you can't take two steps before the gremlin is telling you to take two steps. Then other things are left up to you to figure out. Generally those things are while thinner is being thrown at you and you have no time to stop and look around or try different approaches. I'm looking at YOU Captain Hook battle and Throne Room.

The enemies are more for annoyance than challenge. Usually, you can side step them altogether if you want. Killing them just takes too much time and thinner to be satisfying. Other times, you have to beat them to move on. And here, again, the designers just did not play their own game. Because those enemies are always enemies that have to be thinned in the mouth during the short time their mouths are inhaling. It's not tedious at all to run around waiting for that to happen, usually re-defeating the constantly spawning annoyances. When will it end? How much thinner can it swallow? Would a boss bar have been helpful? Heck I don't know - just keep doing that chore until the thing melts and you can move on. One of the early bosses was a cool clock, but I guess they fired the boss designer after that and just said, to heck with it - from now on just take things we've already seen and make them bigger and harder to kill. Yawn-o-luxe!

So, I've ragged on the game long enough. There are other things, mainly that, although the game is long-ish, it doesn't seem "full". But I did play through to the end, and most of the first 2/3rds was pleasant and sometimes really fun. Ultimately, if you are a Mickey or Disney fan, you simply HAVE to play the game just to SEE it, and I'm really glad I did - really glad it was made. Just wish they had baked it longer.
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on January 10, 2012
This game is amazing, I really do like it. The graphics are great, the music is fantastic, but it can be frustrating. Navigation can be tricky and the camera angles can sometimes go bonky, but if you can master the controls you will love this game!
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on November 30, 2010
For animation nerds, it's going to be nothing short of a godsend. Epic Mickey tells a sorta true story about real Disney characters and what happens to them once they're forgotten. The game takes place in Wasteland, a warped, scuffed re-envisioning of Disneyland that is essentially an afterlife refuge, where cultural castaways can live on in peace eternally. And it's overseen by the granddaddy of tragically squandered potential, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

The levels are some of the most elaborate levels seen in the Wii, and rival those of Super Mario Galaxy. No, they are not as far fetched and original as those, but they are very detailed and well thought out. They are also full of surprises and secrets.

Graphics: Gorgeous. Great environments and designs. Be prepared for some choppiness as some in some stages the graphics are so detailed that they tax the capabilities of the Wii.

Sound: Fantastic soundtrack. The characters don't really speak, they grunt and squeak.

Gameplay: There are some control issues, but overall the game proves to be a challenging and engaging experience. Certainly a game for the whole family, the little ones will find it difficult to play on their own, but the overall experience is so charming that playing it with them is a joy.
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on March 21, 2011
I bought this as a gift for my husband - he loved it! I had read reviews about issues with the camera angle/controller, and how some people didn't like it, but he said he had no issues. He didn't think it was incredibly hard and beat it after a few weeks, but he had a lot of fun with it. He said he would definitely recommend it.
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