My son and I rushed home from GameStop on Tuesday night to spend a little quality time with our new purchase, a game we hadn’t played before. By sometime Thursday night, we’d beaten the game, and had an absolutely fabulous time doing so.
Am I talking about Epic Mickey? No . . . actually it was Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, which is a far better game than it has a right to be. But we did pick up Epic Mickey as well, and share our opinions with you in this week’s Jentasmic column at StudiosCentral. Here’s some of the good stuff:
Epic Mickey is like a scavenger hunt for fans of Disney animation, especially of the vintage variety. Even in the early levels we’ve worked through, there are worlds themed on Steamboat Wilie, Clock Cleaners, and other vintage Mickey hits. We can only hope that our Oswald favorites such as Trolley Troubles will be included in later worlds, or perhaps an Alice comedy. In our wildest dreams, perhaps we’d see a little of a controversial reference, and let Mickey fight Adolf Hitler in a variation on Der Fuhrer’s Face.
The controls are relatively simple, which will appeal to people like Mom: Old-school video gamers who misspent their youths beating the early Mario games, which required the use of only a few controller buttons. Modern video games frequently have far too many controls for this group’s liking, as they have a hard time remembering such a wide variety of combinations (“what does it do again when I hit A and Z and + all at the same time?).
Many of the aspects of game design seem to suggest that Disney is trying to appeal to novice, middle-aged, and very young videogamers. Unfortunately, as we’ll see below, this may interfere with their appeal to teenaged boys, which the marketing would suggest Disney’s trying to reach as well (and is notably unsuccessful with, generally speaking).
Unfortunately, it’s not all good . . . head over to StudiosCentral to read the full column, with plenty of the bad and the ugly.