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Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion 3DS Demo


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Initial post: Nov 8, 2012 12:27:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 12:38:44 PM PST
UziHorowitz says:
The demo went live today on the eShop and I was able to check it out. If you're a fan of Castle of Illusion on Genesis, this is a must try demo. The 2D graphics look amazing in 3D, almost like a popup storybook. The gameplay feels really solid throughout the demo.

I'm very impressed. Definitely check it out. It's made by people who worked on Henry Hatsworth & Monster Tale.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 12:28:17 PM PST
Punk! says:
Sweet! Thanks for the heads up!

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 12:32:33 PM PST
Gameresq says:
Sounds cool. I will check it out.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 12:58:05 PM PST
Xlea says:
Thanks Uzi. Sounds great.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 1:06:38 PM PST
I'll have to download this and give it a whirl. Been way too long since I've played the Genesis version.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 1:07:52 PM PST
Ice King says:
So it's not the same as the Xbox 360 version? I tried that the other day and I really didn't like the way it controlled.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 1:08:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 1:09:20 PM PST
Nope this version is a 2D side scrolling platformer that is more in line with the Genesis release of Castle of Illusion and works as a sequel to that title while also tying into Epic Mickey 2.

Edit: And no you can't kidnap the princess.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 1:14:25 PM PST
Ice King says:
That last line took me a second to figure out. Good one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 1:17:55 PM PST
It's what I'm here for lol.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 1:21:41 PM PST
Krypto Koopa says:
I'll be getting the game on launch or shortly after. I'll play to demo to hold me over till then.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 1:23:45 PM PST
JWK says:
I'll play any modern game with sprites. This one looks fantastic.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 1:30:10 PM PST
got mayo?™ says:
I'm def checking this out. Castle of Illusion was great game and bring back lots of memories. My 1990's fanboy was strong then, man i loved my Genesis.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 1:32:28 PM PST
That Emu Kid says:
http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/epic-mickey-power-of-illusion-is-a-faithful-modern-day-spiritual-successor

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is a faithful spiritual successor to the Genesis game

SOPHIE PRELL / THU, OCT 11, 2012

Disclaimer: Disney paid for air and ground transportation, as well as a two-night hotel stay.

The early `90s were dominated by platformers. This is the age that brought us Mario, Sonic, Rayman, and a plethora of Disney games such as Aladdin and The Lion King for the SEGA Genesis. Some of these titles have aged better than others, but it's hard to argue with the quality of Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.

That game, and the series it spawned, is getting a spiritual successor in the form of Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the 3DS. For those who don't recall or never played the first game, Castle of Illusion sent Mickey through a multitude of worlds and levels, many of which were inspired by Disney's own films or cartoon shorts. It was known for being surprisingly challenging for a game starring Mickey Mouse, as well as the vivid, varied worlds Mickey visited.

Power of Illusion is purposefully designed to evoke those sentiments. Creative director Peter Ong told a small crowd of press at an event in Anaheim that the 16-bit Castle of Illusion was a great influence and inspiration in his early years as a gamer, and that in creating Power of Illusion, he wanted to recreate the feel of playing that game for the first time. I myself was a Castle of Illusion fan, and Power of Illusion feels like a return to the good ol' days.

You don't look a day over 20

One of the first things you'll notice about Power of Illusion is that it looks... Well, kind of crappy by today's standards. Backgrounds are beautifully painted and crisp, but Mickey and the enemies he encounters have pixelated edges to them, and movements aren't as smooth as you might like. This goes back to Ong's attempt to reproduce the feel of a 16-bit video game. It's not going to appeal to everyone, but `90s gamers will no doubt appreciate some of the subtleties.

Here's a good example: as Ong was discussing the enemies Mickey would encounter in Power of Illusion, he displayed an image of Mickey battling Maleficent, the witch from Sleeping Beauty, in her dragon form. Remember how back in the day, lots of enemies with long dimensions such as a snake or streams of fire would appear as a series of overlapping circles? That's how Maleficent's neck appeared. The 3DS is more than capable of rendering these things smoothly, so this wasn't a hardware limitation. It's a design choice to evoke a retro vibe, and it works.

Level design is likewise kept simple and accessible. There are no special tricks here, or at least none that I saw. There were no shooter levels, no power-ups, no 3D camera shifts. Mickey has two ranged attacks, one of which will cause defeated enemies to drop money, while the other will cause them to drop hearts, as well as an old-fashioned butt drop onto the heads of enemies. It controls well, with accurate responses and a good sense of weight to movement.

The difficulty was high in the level I played. Enemies were plentiful and varied, corridors were narrow, spikes lined the walls, and obstacles constantly challenged me to maneuver carefully as I was being attacked. This isn't a "kiddie" game. While I wish there were more checkpoints littered throughout, I never became truly frustrated when I died. I went back and used my knowledge to do better the next time around. It's heartening to see a major studio develop an old-school platformer like this, proving that indie developers aren't the only ones who know how anymore.

Building a new extension to the house of mouse

That's not to say Power of Illusion is relying solely on nostalgia to generate buzz and goodwill. There's a new major component to the game Ong described as being aimed at the "lifestyle RPG community." As Mickey progresses through the game, select paths might lead him to another Disney character who has been trapped by the game's villain, Mizrabel. Rescuing these characters will send them to a fortress, where they can give Mickey side quests. They'll also speak with Mickey and give some fun nods to fans, as well as special plot details.

The more you interact with the characters you rescue in the world of Wasteland, the better their particular section of the fortress will become. Ong showed us Scrooge McDuck from Duck Tales, who first appeared in a dark, barren room. Ong explained that as players interacted with him, more objects from the characters' respective worlds would appear. Soon there was a desk, then curtains, an adding machine, and so on until it matched the depiction of McDuck's room in the show. It reminded me of speaking to my crew aboard the Normandy in the Mass Effect games, but with nice visual representations of progress. Ong didn't say how many characters would for sure be in Power of Illusion, but he showed Simba, Peter Pan, Goofy, and McDuck.

I didn't get any hands-on time with the fortress, but it seemed like an interesting addition. Let's hope the characters will be involved in an active way; pictures are nice and you can't mistake Disney's visual style, but "it looks pretty" won't be enough to interest that many players. Still, the concept is a fun layer to add onto the game that doesn't get in the way of core game play, and I'm looking forward to seeing who makes up the roster. Personally, I'm holding out for Darkwing Duck or Goliath.

The team is betting hard on nostalgia here, with both the graphics and the cameos. It's an interesting move, and we'll have to wait to play the whole thing to see if it paid off.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 1:36:03 PM PST
This is sounding really promising and I'm really liking some of their design choices to bring back that retro feel.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 2:51:43 PM PST
Aku says:
Played it, found it pretty enjoyable except for one thing. Unfortunately, that one thing appears to be the big shtick of the whole game, which is drawing/erasing crap from the world with the brush. I'd have preferred a straight-up platformer with the interesting build-a-fortress thing as the main attraction, personally.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 3:00:48 PM PST
UziHorowitz says:
I agree with that. I'd prefer none of the paint/thinner stuff from the console versions, as I'd rather it be seamless play and not have to keep picking up the stylus. However, it's pretty easy and simple. It definitely reminds me of things they did with their previous games on the touch screen (Henry Hatsworth, Monster Tale).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 4:10:52 PM PST
Baloo6909 says:
Any news on Adventure Time 3DS' demo?

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 4:28:35 PM PST
I'm waiting for Epic Mickey Rourke.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 4:51:29 PM PST
Rogue Warrior

It's already been done...

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 6:11:33 PM PST
My thoughts...

The physics are very floaty. If you don't like LBP's floatiness this game may bug you. Mickey's most basic is to bounce on enemies. The thing is you have to press the B button twice. Once to jump and once you make contact with the bad guy or else you'll take damage. If you've played a lot of Mario lately this may confuse you at first.

The music sounds very appropriate but I just put my 3DS down and I can't remember how it goes. It works for the game but no iconic melodies here.

You can use either the analog pad or the d-pad to control Mickey.

If you plan to play this outside of the house then use a second stylus because you'll be needing it A LOT. This is the kind of game that leads to losing your stylus. I used the stylus more for this demo than I have in the last month. I suggest a pen sized stylus.

On that note, the paint and remover are mostly used to alter the environment. If a cannon is shooting at you then erase it. If something is out of reach then draw a platform to jump on. This is tone by tracing over an outline or rubbing one away. This is can only be done in specific spots but there are lots of them.

You have sketches you can use. You start with something like a Thwomp block you can place above hard to reach enemies.

Cut scenes have a nice art style including a shot of the magical paintbrush on a shelf and then Mickey's gloved hand taking it.

Lots of Disney characters make appearances. They make their own rooms in a nearby fortress and help in the game. **spoilers**

For example, helping Beast gave me a life extension whereas finding Scrooge McDuck's number one dime got me a sketch and opened an item store.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 6:55:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 6:56:23 PM PST
UziHorowitz says:
The physics are much different than LBP. Unlike Sackboy, you jump a lot higher, and Mickey doesn't have individual limbs that spaz out. In addition, there's no weird switching planes stuff going on.

I don't care for LBP and loved the demo for this.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 12:43:23 AM PST
" The physics are much different than LBP. Unlike Sackboy, you jump a lot higher, and Mickey doesn't have individual limbs that spaz out"

You do jump higher but the "spazzing " of limbs in LBP is animation, not physics. Switching between planes does not impact the floatiness. I happen to love both LBP and this demo. I only mentioned that because I know a fair number of VGFers don't like floaty physics in platformers.

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 2:36:57 AM PST
Krypto Koopa says:
Just finished the demo and I really enjoyed it. Old school platforming, reminds me of Mickey's Magical Quest on SNES. Sprites, backgrounds and the whole art style of the game are very good.

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 7:10:35 AM PST
I enjoyed the demo immensely. I thought the mechanics were right on and I never felt lost for what I needed to do. This may have just become a day one purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 7:11:12 AM PST
Punk! says:
This doesn't feel floaty in the way that LBP does, this game is fun.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  39
Initial post:  Nov 8, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 9, 2012

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