Yes, that is me with Warren Spector. If you are not familiar with Warren, you should know that he is the man who designed some very cool video games like the Wing Commander series, Deus Ex, System Shock, and yes, Epic Mickey.
We reported on Epic Mickey 2 when it was first announced, and I got a chance to see it and play it over the weekend. I also learned, from the mouth of Warren himself, what else Epic Mickey 2 will have.
1. Every character will speak, including Oswald. I have noticed a trend in video games to give dialogue to the characters when there was none before. For example, I recently played Lego Batman 2, and the Lego series never had dialogue before, as the characters used funny grunts and gesturing. Any dialogue in the first Epic Mickey game was done through subtitles, and I am guessing that subtitles and grunts are a way of not hiring international voiceovers. Disney worked with the Epic Mickey 2 to give a voice for Oswald, who never had any voice before. It must be difficult to do the voices, but I would say that it is worth it, because…
2. There is musical comedy. When we first reported on Epic Mickey 2, my Source that it would be a “musical comedy” game. Warren admitted that he really wanted an interactive musical comedy game, but he had to limit it because there was so much in the game that this element would be way to much to cram in. There are many times within the game where characters express themselves in song, and I got to see an opening number with the Mad Scientist. I can’t get the lyrics of “Help Me, Help You” out of my head. I have no idea if that is the title of that song, but it feels very Disney song-ish.
3. The player can do X or Y. You know how video games often have a point where you can choose to go one way or the other? Often times, one side is the “wrong” one and ends in gruesome death. In Epic Mickey 2, a player can choose to do one thing or another, and none of these choices are “wrong”, they are just a different way of playing the game. This removal of the “morality system” insures many terrific replays. Warren has stated that a player can get through the game without ever using the paintbrush that was so crucial in the first Epic Mickey game. Warren wanted the players to have fun, and if they want to focus on the collectables (and they are many), they can.
4. The Power of Two works. When I heard that Oswald was going to be helping Mickey in this game, I thought the player could switch controls between Oswald or Mickey. There is no way a single player can play Oswald, but in a two-player scenario, the second player can do Oswald. Oswald has the power of electricity, which can come in handy. He can also detach part of him as a boomerang. His ears can also become a helicopter. In short, there are a lot of fun moves that can happen here.
5. The Epic Mickey 2 game feels brighter. I found the first Epic Mickey game seemed rather murky, and dark. This created and interesting world for Mickey to fight evil in. I found Epic Mickey 2 felt rather bright and colorful compared to its predecessor. Either way, the Epic Mickey series is not necessarily a game for kids, but for everyone. As Warren says, “it’s okay to be a mouse for a while”.