Disney Interactive Officially Unveils and Details ‘Epic Mickey’ for Nintendo Wii

BURBANK, Calif. — Disney Interactive Studios today announced the development of Disney Epic Mickey, an adventure-platforming game with light role-playing elements for the Wii™ home video game console. The game stars Mickey Mouse who has been re-imagined for videogames by luminary game designer Warren Spector and his Junction Point game development studio. In Disney Epic Mickey, Spector, a life-long Disney fan, taps into Mickey Mouse’s rich history along with the characters and worlds brought to life by Walt Disney to create an edgy and unexpected cartoon adventure.

'Scrapper Mickey' from Epic Mickey“Mickey is an adventurous and rambunctious mouse,” said Warren Spector, creative director and vice president, Junction Point. “I want to bring his personality to the forefront, place him in a daunting world and connect his spirited character with video game players worldwide. Ultimately, each player decides for him- or herself what makes Mickey cool.”

In the game’s fiction, a sorcerer named Yen Sid creates a beautiful, whimsically-twisted world where Disney’s forgotten and retired creations thrive. Originally, the powerful sorcerer from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in Walt Disney’s 1940 film “Fantasia” was nicknamed “Yen Sid” by Disney animators, although never named as such on screen. In Spector’s game, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit – Walt Disney’s first cartoon star created in 1927 – becomes the earliest inhabitant of Yen Sid’s Cartoon Wasteland after Mickey Mouse is created. Oswald makes the Cartoon Wasteland comfortable for other retired characters as they join him in this magical land. Years pass, and as Oswald dwells in the Cartoon Wasteland, he becomes resentful watching Mickey’s popularity swell. When Mickey curiously stumbles upon Yen Sid’s map, he makes an innocent yet terrible mistake and inadvertently devastates Oswald’s comfortable world. Eventually, Mickey’s mistake pulls him deep into the mysterious Cartoon Wasteland to face the destruction he unknowingly created.

Concept art of Epic Mickey's Gremlin Village

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Disney Interactive Releases Free Disney.com App for the iPhone

Disney.com app for the iPhoneDisney.com today announced it has launched an app for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. The Disney App features an array of high quality Disney content including areas dedicated to Characters, Music, Video and Games.   Content in the app will be updated regularly, providing kids and families with instant access to the latest Disney news and entertainment.

The new Disney App will also offer innovative features including “Click2Life” which allows iPhone users to take pictures of images from the online version of Disney.com with their device that will then come to life within the app and turn into a 3D image.  Additionally, the Disney App will automatically discover other Disney apps and games available through the App Store, organizing all Disney-branded content within one destination on each device so users can easily access their favorite games and entertainment content.

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Steven Barrett’s ‘Hidden Mickeys’ Finds Its Way to the iPhone

Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickeys guide for the iPhoneEarlier this week, Campbell/Gambill Designs released the iPhone/iPod Touch edition of Steven Barrett’s popular Hidden Mickeys guide. Providing the same scavenger hunt-type lists of Hidden Mickeys throughout the Walt Disney World as the book does, the app also takes advantage of the iPhone by incorporating the use of GPS. Currently the app boasts over 800 Hidden Mickeys across the four main theme parks.

For more information or to purchase the app ($5.99), click here.

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ABC Debuts Free ‘Dancing with the Stars’ App for iPhone and iPod Touch

ABC today announced the availability of its free “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) App from the App Store. The app is a one-stop-shop for fans who can now use their iPhone or iPod touch for deeper access to the hit show, complete with the latest elimination updates, video clips and other fun, interactive features.

In addition to offering users another way to vote for favorites each week, the app features:

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THQ Goes Full Throttle with the Launch of Disney/Pixar’s Cars Race-O-Rama

Cars Race-O-Rama for Nintendo Wii by THQAGOURA HILLS, Calif. — THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) today announced that Disney•Pixar’s Cars Race-O-Rama, the company’s third installment in the highly successful Cars video game franchise, has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America across six game systems, including the Wii™ video game system, Nintendo DS™, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system. Cars Race-O-Rama is now available for the suggested retail prices of $39.99 (Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 system), $29.99 (PSP and DS) and $19.99 (PlayStation 2). The game is rated E for Everyone.

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Disney Interactive Studios Releases ‘Disneyland Kart Racer’ for Verizon Wireless Customers

SAN DIEGO, BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 7  — From CTIA WIRELESS I.T. & Entertainment 2009® in San Diego, Verizon Wireless, builder and operator of the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, and Disney Interactive Studios today announced that “Disneyland Kart Racer” is available on Verizon Wireless phones.

“Disneyland Kart Racer” puts Verizon Wireless subscribers in the driver’s seat as they race through some of the most popular Disneyland Park attractions. Disney fans will recognize popular race environments inspired by Disney attractions such as the water boats of Pirates of the Caribbean, the rocket ships of Space Mountain, the crazy cars of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the mining carts of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. “Disneyland Kart Racer” features eight different tracks modeled in dazzling 3D and wacky power-ups and weapons along the way.

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Players Can Now Release Their Inner Pop Star with Disney Sing It: Pop Hits for Wii and PlayStation

Disney Sing It: Pop HitsBURBANK, Calif. — Disney Interactive Studios today announced the availability of Disney Sing It: Pop Hits, its hit-heavy multi-platform karaoke-style video game. A perfect convergence of pop culture, Disney Sing It: Pop Hits features some of the biggest names and chart-topping songs in pop music to create the ultimate video game singing experience, complete with singing tips and vocal lessons with singer and actress Tiffany Thornton, from the Disney Channel Original Series “Sonny With A Chance.”

Disney Sing It: Pop Hits offers a great collection of hit songs that today’s teens will instantly recognize and players of all ages will come to love,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Players can also improve their skills with vocal lessons and breathing exercises in the game, helping them to become superstar performers in their own living room.”

In Disney Sing It: Pop Hits for Wii™, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, players can match their talent with some of today’s best known performers, including master recordings and popular music videos from global fan favorites. Among the notable acts in this third iteration of the franchise are Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, Demi Lovato, Hannah Montana, Jesse McCartney, Coldplay and One Republic.

Featuring a variety of ways to play, Disney Sing It: Pop Hits lets players grab the microphone and take center stage in a single player mode, harmonize with friends and family in duet mode to earn higher scores, or compete with them head-to-head in multi-player modes. Players can also get tips in a newly expanded “Sing It Pro” mode led by Tiffany Thornton. Tiffany shows players how professional singers improve their vocals, from breathing and pitch exercises to the techniques involved with harmonizing in a duet and riffing. In addition to the vocal rewards that come with practice, the game also provides players with special pins, background themes and other prizes.

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iPhone App Review: Disney’s Magic Mirror

Disney's Magic Mirror for the iPhoneTitle: Disney’s Magic Mirror (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
October 5, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes, limited functionality
Pros: Sort-of cute app for the Snow White-diehard to share with friends
Cons:
More ad than content, not much of either for the price
Review:
This is a Snow White-ized  version of the classic Magic 8-Ball App. Ask it a yes/no question and it does its best to reply. So I simply asked it whether or not people should buy it and this was its actual response:

alone in the dark
the world is still
despite my best efforts
I do not know its will

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Junction Point’s ‘Epic Mickey’ Makes for Epic Cover Story

Game Informer November 2009 Issue featuring Epic MickeyGame Informer has announced that its November 2009 issue which is currently being mailed to subscribers features a story on the all-but-confirmed Epic Mickey title from Junction Point studios, a Nintendo-Wii exclusive steampunk drawing-based gaming adventure in which lesser known Disney  characters are rumored to be seeking vengeance from Mickey himself in what can only be described as post-apocalyptic Walt Disney World (although the attractions in the artwork featured on the issue’s [back] cover appear to be more home at Disneyland).

Check out the original Game Informer announcement here and additional artwork from the magazine on Destructoid.

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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS Released with All-New Multi-Player Mode

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29 — Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix® interactive entertainment products in North America, and Disney Interactive Studios announced today that KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days is now available at retail stores across North America.

Uncover the mysteries surrounding the story of Roxas, the “other hero,” with the latest entry in a series that has shipped over 12 million copies worldwide. The first KINGDOM HEARTS title developed for Nintendo DS(TM), KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days is also the first in the series to feature multiplayer capabilities. Fans can now explore the enchanted Disney worlds alongside friends, choosing to play as any member of Organization XIII, each with their own unique personality and abilities.

Portable and interactive, KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days offers a brand-new KINGDOM HEARTS experience that retains the same enduring charm, storytelling depth and action-packed battle system embraced by gamers across the globe. Experience KINGDOM HEARTS like never before as the action-RPG series is re-imagined for an exciting new adventure!

THE STORY
In KINGDOM HEARTS, Sora turned the Keyblade on himself in order to release Kairi’s heart, but his own heart was also released in the process. This brought about the creation of Roxas, Sora’s Nobody. Unlike most Nobodies, however, Roxas has no memories of his past. He joins Organization XIII and slowly begins to discover the truth behind his existence and the Organization itself. He meets and befriends the fourteenth member of the Organization, who also has no recollection of her past. What will Roxas see during his time in the Organization? What is the connection between him, Sora and the fourteenth member? And what becomes of them? Dive into the heart of the KINGDOM HEARTS storyline’s biggest secrets.

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