While we expect to see and hear a lot more as E3 rolls around next month, Amazon.com and other etailers have begun listing some of the accessories by PDP that will be available for Disney Infinity at launch on August 18, 2013.
The big ticket item appears to be the Disney Infinity Play Zone (seen here), which according to etailers will be able to store up to 17 character figures and 3 playset tokens along with 20 power discs and the Disney Infinity base and software disc. Amazon is also listing a Disney Infinity Play ‘N Store which is currently lacking a product image, but it appears to be a more convenient form of the Play Zone, allowing easy storage to play conversion, featuring stackable capability for multiple Play ‘N Stores and the ability to easily slide in the Disney Infinity base for game play.
For the figures themselves — and hopefully an indication that we may see variants and/or exclusives on the Disney Infinity figures — PDP will offer a 3-pack of Disney Infinity Figure Display Cases which are also stackable. The cases also include clips for web codes.
Power discs, of which we expect multiple waves of twenty discs each, have their own storage options courtesy of PDP. The Disney Infinity Power Disc Capsule features a slide-out tray that provides easy access to your favorite power discs and even comes complete with a set of dual power disc bands (one round, one hexagon) that allows you to keep your favorite combination of power discs at the ready for gameplay. To aid you in collecting the complete set of power discs, a special wave one edition of the Disney Infinity Power Disc Album will house all 20 (though Amazon currently incorrectly lists it at 30) of the first wave, each disc in their own specially marked slot.
Also listed is a 6-Feet Extension Cable which will presumably allow the Disney Infinity base to be used further away from the console if needed.
Walmart also lists a Disney Infinity Base Protector which encases the Disney Infinity base in clear plastic which still allows play-through as well as the ability to insert art cards, offering an element of customization. The manufacturer is not listed for this item.
With the August 18, 2013 release date for Disney Infinity looming, retailers are beginning to step up their offers to entice consumers to choose them as the shop of choice when it comes to the starter pack, expansion packs, additional figures and accessories from PDP to show off and tote collections.
Tied for the leaders in the fairly tight race currently appears to be Amazon.com and GameStop.com who are bundling the starter sets with a figure of choice plus a blind pack of Disney Infinity power discs at the retail list of $74.95. For details and options, visit Amazon.com or GameStop.com.
In second position is DisneyStore.com which is offering a $15 store credit, technically more than the price of a Disney Infinity figure, along with free shipping. The only downside is that the credit must be redeemed by September 2, 2013. For more details, visit DisneyStore.com.
Right behind them is Best Buy who at this time is offering just an additional figure (no Power Disc pack).
Walmart is offering $4.99 in VUDU credit for customers who purchase the starter pack from them. They are also offering 10 free movies for those who sign up for the service for a limited time.
No known offers exist for Toys R Us, Target and other major retailers who are currently taking pre-orders for Disney Infinity, but it’s important to note that retailers are adjusting these offers all the time to stay competitive, so they should be checked on periodically to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Also more figures are expected to be revealed as we build up to the game’s final release so unless you’re planning to collect them all, that’s something else to watch out for.
As a reminder, you will need a starter pack for each platform/console you wish to play the game for software reasons — figures themselves are platform independent and store individual memory on the figures themselves.
Disney D23, the official club for fans of The Walt Disney Company, has announced that it has secured a few coveted spots for the exclusive invite-only official reveal of Disney Interactive’s ‘Disney Infinity,’ to take place next month.
The event, which will take place at Disney’s historic El Capitan Theatre, will allow D23 members to be amongst the very first audience to actually experience ‘Disney Infinity,’ a game we have speculated will use popular characters from the world of Disney and Pixar in an Skylanders-type experience across multiple platforms in a way never before experienced.
In addition to the event, which features a presentation by John Lasseter, a lunch buffet will be offered, along with a special commemorative gift for those fortunate enough to attend.
The ‘Disney Infinity’ event takes place the day of January 15 in Hollywood. Tickets are free (plus a $5 service charge) and will be available beginning January 3, 2013 at 10 am PST. For more information and to reserve tickets as they become available, visit the official event page.
GIVEAWAY: ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ + Oswald Ears (Ten Copies, Winner’s Choice of Platform)
Whether you haven’t bought your copy of the widely anticipated ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ yet, have it but want it for another console or are looking for the perfect give for a loved one this holiday season, Stitch Kingdom is proud to join forces with Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point Studio and award ten of our readers their very own copy of ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ on their choice of platform: Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U, PlayStation PS3 or Xbox 360. As an added bonus, each copy comes with its own pair of the coveted ‘Epic Mickey 2′ exclusive branded Oswald ears.
We’ve dubbed this amazing opportunity ‘Ten to the Power of Two,’ and will be counting down the days to the holiday season by awarding one copy/ear hat per day for the next ten days beginning 12 am ET on December 4, 2012. Although your chances to win won’t be exponential, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your chances by participating each day by tweeting an entry via the form below. The more days you participate, the better your chances!
Note that the fulfillment will be processed by Disney Interactive Studios so while you will know whether you’re a winner, we cannot guarantee delivery by Christmas. Daily winners will be notified and must respond within 24 hours to receive their copy. Unclaimed prizes will be given away the following day in a method of our choosing (e.g. exclusively on Twitter). One winner per family for the duration of the giveaway. Winners who fail to acknowledge the prize within 24 hours will be eligible to win again during the giveaway period.
Disney Interactive today announced that a demo of the highly-anticipated “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” video game is now available for download on the PlayStation®Network and Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft in North America. In the video game demo, players will adventure as Mickey Mouse and explore the extensive tutorial and early levels of the game including the magical laboratory of the sorcerer, Yen Sid. In addition, players will meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first cartoon star, and experience a few of the fun co-op abilities that will be available in the full game at launch. The adventure will culminate with an exciting sizzle reel that showcases some of the exciting and action-packed elements of the game. “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” will be available for all major console systems in North American retail stores on November 18th.
The “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” video game returns Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Wasteland, an alternate world filled with more than 80 years of forgotten Disney characters and theme park attractions. But for the first time, Mickey and Oswald will join forces as true partners – Mickey with the magical paint brush that allows him to wield paint and thinner, and Oswald with a powerful remote control that allows him to command electricity. This new co-op play further enhances the idea that “PlayStyle Matters” – a unique approach to gameplay pioneered by Warren Spector where players tackle challenges the way they want to in order to explore a variety of possibilities and storylines, but always with consequences for their chosen actions.
“Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” for the Wii™ system from Nintendo is being developed by Junction Point, while the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system versions of the game are being developed by Blitz Games Studios, and Nintendo’s Wii U version is being developed by Heavy Iron. Supporting the latest technology, the game will also feature full support for the PlayStation®Move motion controller. “Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion” for the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system is under development by critically-acclaimed developer DreamRift, in collaboration with Junction Point. The games are rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB.
It seems like less than a week before, I was in Disneyland checking out new areas of ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two,’ but here I found myself once more in the presence of Junction Point director and driving force Warren Spector at a press-only event at New York Comic-Con. This time, however, we were also joined by Peter David, who penned the graphic novels for both games, as well as a lustrous career writing comics, particularly for Marvel.
While most of the materials presented were a rehash of what I had learned and seen the week before, there was plenty of new information strewn throughout, so here’s my addendum to the original report.
It wouldn’t really be Disney unless there were pins to collect and this time there are over 120 different pins in all. Not only can be they be collected and displayed in the pin shop located on Mean Street, but pins can also carry a buff with them as well, affecting gameplay.
Junction Point developers also found out that it is possible to collect all of the pins in one play-through, to Spector’s surprise and delight, but he was quick to note that these are also serious game testers and that the game wasn’t really designed to allow you to get everything in one run-through, so he cautioned that while the game mechanics do allow for it, the chances of any player doing so is pretty slim at best.
The good news: there is one. The bad news: it won’t be published in North America, not even digitally, unless someone at Disney Publishing Worldwide changes their minds. There was a copy present at the roundtable and I was able to skim through it and it really is a shame it won’t be available as comic writer Peter David has done a great job at adapting the story by Marv Wolfman, alongside the beautiful illustrations by Fabrizio Petrossi.
Despite not being able to read the graphic novel beyond that room, we had the opportunity to quiz David on the project, who spoke on the challenges of squeezing 20 hours of gameplay into a 48 page comic. Having adapted both ‘Epic Mickey’ titles as well as movies, David said it’s the ‘same exact principle… boiling it down to the essence of what the game is going to be.’ He went on to explain: ‘what you do is you try to tell the essence of the story while ideally hitting all the major things that people are going to remember… so I have to try and pick and choose and guess which of the things that it’s not going to feel like a graphic novel adaptation if this isn’t in it.’
While the game allows the player to choose how Mickey behaves, a graphic novel doesn’t have that luxury, so David has to make that decision for the reader. ‘I tend to have Mickey going around constructing things rather than destroying them,’ he explained, ‘because number one, I tend to feel that’s more consistent to Mickey and number two, that the Disney approvals process probably feels more comfortable with Mickey being a positive force rather than going around being destructive. If the player wants to go around and erase everything, well that’s the player’s play style, but I have to work to stay very much in character with Mickey.’
That’s not to say that Mickey doesn’t ever opt to use the thinner, quite the opposite. David feels it’s a necessary plot device not only to show Mickey’s range of tools, but to use it as a character development moment as well. ‘In both graphic novels, I had him initially use the thinner and find that he did not like the destructive properties that resulted from his using the thinner so he subsequently — for the rest of the book — moves in a positive direction but at least it’s a character moment,’ he told us.
Oswald, however, is far more aggressive when it comes to how David portrays him. He explained that whereas Mickey is in the Wasteland to ‘play the hero,’ it’s Oswald’s backyard, so he’s naturally more defensive about it.
Around this time, Spector jumped in to talk about how he’s amazed that despite having to omit game references to fit the space, David is able to actually add to the story by conveying the character’s internal thoughts in a way the game can’t do.
Another interesting thing to note about the graphic novel is that while the Mad Doctor sings throughout as he does in the game, the lyrics rarely correlate between the two mediums. David told us that this was due primarily to two things: the game’s songs not yet being approved for him to reference and the changes that had to be made to the story to adapt it for the graphic novel. Therefore most of the lyrics in the graphic novel are the handiwork of David himself.
VOICING THE CHARACTERS
Since ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ is fully voiced, it’s fair and easy enough to say that the characters are voiced by their officially designated actors (i.e., Mickey Mouse is voiced by Bret Iwan). However, there are many characters who will be speaking for the first time in the Disney Universe. While we know Frank Welker has assumed the identity of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and that Cary Elwes will be taking on the role of Gus Gremlin, but there are still plenty of other surprises waiting to be revealed such the voices of the other Gremlins like Prescott and Jamface and — until now — Ortensia.
Spector spoke at length regarding finding voices for the Gremlins, Gus in particular. Although he relayed being told by multiple sources that Walt Disney had gone as far as to produce a fabled scratch track for the short that never came to fruition, no such recording has been uncovered to date. Instead, Spector and his team relied on the Roald Dahl book as well as comics by Walt Kelly to get a feel for how the Gremlins were. Junction Point then went on to create backstories and develop personalities for each of them based on their research and provided their own scratch vocals to Disney Character Voices to find the talent. Gus, Spector explained, was determined to be a ‘gruff, old Colonel Blimp’ type. Elwes handily won the role and other actors were obviously awarded their parts as well, but we won’t know exactly whom until the game is released. Teasing the talent, however, Spector noted that some ‘pretty big named actors’ auditioned for roles, but stopped short of dropping their names.
As for Ortensia, she is voiced in the game (and everywhere else from this point on) by Audrey Wasilewski. Wasilewski did provide other ‘voices’ in the first game and also counts the voice of Terk in other video games amongst her numerous credits.
OTHER TIDBITS WORTH NOTING
During the roundtable, we picked up a few other interesting items of note regarding ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2′ so we offer this speed-round of things you might want to know:
- After a lot of back and forth with PDP and Disney Interactive, the final answer regarding PDP’s Epic Mickey 2 controllers is that while they are technically compatible with Wii U, they can only be used for co-op play (Oswald). So basically you can use the paintbrush, but only for Oswald. The primary player (Mickey) requires use of the GamePad.
- Spector talked about costumes but once again remained vague on their attributes, stating only that it ‘should be fairly obvious’ what a suit of armor will do for Oswald. He noted the suit of armor costume was inspired by the 1928 short, Oh What A Knight, in which Oswald does not get to don armor, so this is his reward.
- Spector mentioned the observatory which will allow players to explore the origins of the Wasteland universe, but hinted that its location is actually hidden somewhere on Mean Street
- There will be a collectors edition, but only overseas in Europe and Australia and the like, not in North America. Spector is obviously very fond of what Disney Interactive pulled together for it, as you can see from its listing on Amazon Germany.
- Spector was asked if there were plans to re-release ‘Castle of Illusion,’ perhaps on virtual console, which resulted in an instant ‘no comment.’ We do know however that Disney recently applied for a trademark for a video game with that title.
- Spector also offered a ‘no comment’ on the potential of a Duck Tales game. Later on I spoke with Spector on the side and he was quite clear that his heart is in developing games using classic Disney IP and that he hopes to continue doing so for what that may be worth.
- Indelible ink may keep Mickey and Oswald safe from shallow thinner, but deep thinner will make the player puddle, so swim at your own risk.
EPIC MICKEY: THE MOVIE?
Being familiar with ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ and a lot of the plot devices I will spare you, I was inspired to ask Spector if he ever considered producing shorts or more based on the ‘Epic Mickey’ video games. Not only has Spector considered the possibilities, but he told me he’s actually produced animation as a proof of concept. He was quick to note, however, that he is doing this all independently on his own as a pet project and it is in no way on Disney’s radar at this time.
It was the most coveted promotional item at 2012′s E3 and San Diego Comic-Con; it’s one of the most highly anticipated video games of the year — and now they can both be yours to treasure and best of all, you’ll save money doing it!
GameStop is now accepting pre-orders for ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ for Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and is not only offering a discount of $5 when the game is purchased in advance, but is exclusively offering the ‘Epic Mickey 2′ Oswald Ears. A new take on the classic Mickey Mouse Ears found at Disney theme parks, the ‘Epic Mickey 2′ Oswald ears bear a different badge than the ears sold in the parks (if you can even manage to find them), so this is the perfect opportunity to start (or grow) your collection.
For more information and to pre-order ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2′ to stake your claim for you very own set of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ears, visit GameStop.
‘We’re here to talk about “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two,” clearly the best kept secret in video gaming,’ jokes Warren Spector, Creative Director and Vice President of Disney Interactive’s Junction Point Studio in Austin, TX at an after-hours media event held earlier this week at the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History.
Before he takes the stage, however, he is introduced by Brenda Gunn, Associate Director at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas. Gunn speaks on Austin’s role in shaping the video game industry beginning in the 1970s and commends Spector who — along with Richard Garriott, George Sanger, and Bill Bottorff — inspired the University to create and maintain its massive collection of thousands of video games, consoles and development materials including concept art, design documents, game proposals and internal correspondence.
When it’s his turn to address the small crowd, Spector offers a refresher course on the first ‘Disney Epic Mickey’ via a trailer and stats. ‘Disney Epic Mickey was — and remains — the best selling single platform game in Disney Interactive’s history,’ he notes,’ So obviously we appealed to players.’
He continues on to explain that their objective with the first game was to create a game ‘that had the same broad appeal as a Pixar film or a classic film from Disney.’ Not intended to reach any specific demographic, he says, but to reach every one. Recapping the results of survey Disney administered to ‘Epic Mickey’ players, Spector says, ‘We really did make a game that appealed to everyone. Over half of our audience around the world was made up of adults. So I think on that score I’d have to say the game was pretty successful.’ So successful in fact, that according to the survey, Spector reports that over 90% of participants in every territory worldwide were interested in a sequel.
But tooting the company’s horn only goes so far as Spector owns up to what he felt could have potentially been handled better in the first game. He explains, ‘The first time out, creating a studio, creating a team, creating a tech base, creating a world, figuring out who these characters are, creating new game play patterns and new game systems, you never get everything right.’ He announces three things he seeked out to change in the sequel: camera, voice and persistence.
It’s of little surprise that the issue of the camera comes up as it is easily the feature from the first title that receives the most complaints. Seemingly defiant to the cause, Spector has famously defended the camera’s team and continues to do so, although he admits changes were needed. ‘The reality is we made a game that allowed players to determine whether the game felt like a platform game or an action-adventure game and those two genres require very different game camera systems… I think the team did an amazing job on the first game but we knew we could do better,’ he says. He then goes on to explain that in anticipation of the sequel, he dedicated the team from the beginning to work on improving the system. As a result, more than 1,000 specific changes were made to the automatic game camera system with the objective of the player never needing to touch the manual camera controls if sticking to the main story path.
When it comes characters speaking, Spector explains the reasoning behind choosing what they call ‘bark text’ in the original ‘Disney Epic Mickey.’ ‘We did that for two reasons,’ he says, ‘both of them really dumb and both of them my decisions.’ He explains that although the team was inspired by Disney for the original game, they also found inspiration in old Nintendo games and Japanese RPGs. His idea is then solidified when he decides that since Oswald was a silent film star and couldn’t talk, then nobody could: ‘I thought that was funny, that’s how dumb this is.’
To make up for it, Junction Point brought in comics writer Marv Wolfman (who already has a storied history with both Disney and Marvel in particular). Wolfman helped craft the game’s story and wrote the dialogue for all of the characters who are voiced by their respective Disney voice talent. Returning as the (actual) voice of Oswald is Frank Welker. We later have the opportunity to hear Oswald’s voice very briefly, which to me sounds a bit like a slightly higher pitched version of another of Welker’s famous characters, Fred Jones of ‘Scooby Doo’ (though I reserve the right to regret that description later on). Oswald’s significant other, Ortensia, ‘is a character from start to finish that you interact with a lot,’ though who providers her voice is currently a secret. Gremlins also take a more prominent role in the sequel and are fully voiced, but Spector tells us only that they are voiced by some ‘interesting names.’ It would later be confided in me that one of the mysterious voices is that of actor Cary Elwes (famously of The Princess Bride and recently featured in The Adventures of Tintin).
If speaking weren’t enough, Spector also pronounces ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ as being the first musical comedy video game. He says, ‘much of the story is told through song, so I want all the Gleeks to turn out in force for it.’ While Jim Dooley returned to compose the music for the game (whose tone changes based on the mood of the game), the songs’ lyrics are penned by Mike Himselstein (who we’re told performs double duty as the voice of Yen Sid). How many songs are in the game is a secret (we will later hear one as part of the opening cinematic), but I was told ‘at least five,’ that you will have to play the game through different ways to hear them all and we can expect 1 or two additional songs to debut at E3.
The third obstacle Spector looked to tackle was persistence: ‘If your choices actually aren’t permanent — if they don’t matter — if when you leave a map, the changes you made revert when you come back, play style doesn’t matter as much as it should… every thing you do in “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” is forever until you decide to undo it… if you erase something, it stays erased. If someone doesn’t like you, they stay not liking you until you change your mind.’
While the game will include familiar places and settings such as Mean Streets, it offers ‘many all new places’ to visit as well as new takes on familiar ones. Whereas in the first game, Yen Sid’s workshop was only seen in the cinematic, it now serves as the training ground for Mickey to explore. OsTown becomes significantly more involved although Spector notes it has since been changed by ‘seemingly natural events’ since Mickey has seen it last. Spector also shows us a still from ‘let’s just say a version of Frontierland,’ noting it was ‘something we wanted to do in the first game… Frontierland has changed more than any other part of the Disney Parks, so there’s plenty of forgotten, rejected stuff to have fun with there.’
A new army has risen in the Wastelands too, a curious hybrid of Blotlings and Beetleworx known as Blotworx. How exactly this new species came about is all part of the mystery surrounding the sequel’s story.
Spector then treats us to the opening cinematic for the game which clocks in at around 4 1/2 minutes and helps to explain what’s been occurring between the two titles as well as introduces us to our first song and sets the initial mood for the game.
‘If “Disney Epic Mickey” was the story of Mickey as a hero, reminding people that he is a video game star,’ Spector says, ‘”Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” is as much about Oswald and — now that we’ve reminded the world who he is — making him a big star.’
He then introduces Becky Cline, Director of the Walt Disney Archives, to dole out some history on Oswald, how he came to be, how Walt Disney lost control and how Robert Iger bartered for Oswald by offering up sportscaster Al Michaels. She talks about some of the Oswald items she has brought from the archives to share, some of which just recently discovered and never displayed publicly, but her biggest treat by far is being convinced by Spector to screen a copy of ‘Hungry Hoboes’ for the audience of media and Junction Point developers. The 1928 short was thought to be lost for good but was just recently discovered at the Huntley Film Archive of Herefordshire, UK. The only known print of the short went up for auction last December and sold to an anonymous buyer for $31,250 and is now in the hands of The Walt Disney Company.
It’s an incredible thrill to see the short by Walt Disney that only a handful outside of Disney have seen in more than eight decades. It’s an absolutely funny (and sadistic) film loaded with one sight gag after another — let’s just say I learned a whole new way to collect eggs from a chicken.
I will later have the opportunity to speak with Cline after the event and ask about plans to release it, but the film has yet to be fully soundtracked and restored, so it may be some time before that will happen. Cline will also explain how most of the films that are recovered tend to be from overseas because they generally didn’t require the films to be returned to the distributor. Also of interest is that while the title card of the film does actually read ‘Hungry Hobos,’ the official title and copyright is for ‘Hungry Hoboes,’ with the Disney Archives at a loss for why the discrepancy.
Spector then re-addresses the group to discuss the ‘couch co-op’ play aspect of the game. ‘The two characters have distinct and unique, complementary abilities,’ he says. Mickey has the ability to use his sketches, paint and thinner, while Oswald has a remote control that allows him to zap enemies and repair and even reprogram electronics and animatronics throughout the Wasteland. Oswald also has ‘helicopter ears,’ which while don’t really afford him the ability to fly, they allow him to glide slowly back to earth, allowing Mickey to hop on for a ride as needed (or for fun). Speaking of sketches, Spector doesn’t mention it, but Mickey has a new one in ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2,’ the fairy sketch, which allows Mickey to make objects light enough to levitate and move through space. Oswald himself has another unspoken talent, the ability to detach his leg and use it as a boomerang to battle enemies.
The split-screen, ‘couch co-op’ play is drop-in, drop-out and is supplemented by AI. Oswald is with Mickey every step of the way, whether there is a second player or not. If co-op play isn’t taking place, Oswald will assist brother Mickey the best he can.
Note no mention of rumored ‘Power of Illusion’ Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Android or Apple iOS devices is made during the presentation.
I now have the opportunity to actually play a demo of the game on all three consoles. Areas to explore include the training level in Yen Sid’s workshop and Mickey’s ‘house,’ OsTown and the 2D transition levels known as the Dahl Engineering Corridors (DECs), so named for noted children’s author Roald Dahl who created the Gremlins and worked with Walt Disney on related projects.
The first thing I notice is how remarkably similar the game play is between the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii. There are some differences of course, the most notable one being the lower resolution on the Wii, which is almost sad after experiencing it on the NextGen consoles. While PlayStation Move support is expected (but not available for the demo), the Wii does have another major advantage in the controls, those being the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers. In fact there is at least one sequence in which Oswald re-programs a device by slowly turning the Wii Remote. On that note, the Junction Point team also brought along working prototypes of an Oswald Remote Control Nunchuck which complements the ‘Epic Mickey’ paintbrush one. Surprisingly, I find the controls on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to be really simple to use and get accustomed to, although I do not like how the crosshairs automatically snap back to the center of the screen when you let go of the analog control, making aiming particularly challenging at times.
The DEC transition level proves to be fun and entertaining enough and is full of Disneyana and tributes to Disney films and characters, featuring everything from a giant Chip head to the judge from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride to a Dumbo comic book to Goofy pogs that were part of a one-time publicity event, but reside in the Disney Archives as a result. Here is also a not-so-hidden basketball hoop which is one of the elements that exists in every game by Warren Spector (in ‘Epic Mickey,’ it was in a hidden room).
The co-op play is pretty fun and direct although it appears that Oswald sometimes has an artificial mind of his own within the mode. It may simply be a matter of the game still being developed, but it can usually be easily remedied by dropping out and back in after he sets himself straight. When not in co-op mode, Oswald is on his own and usually does a pretty good job at supporting Mickey, although he sometimes seems a bit bored through the process and will either entertain himself by removing his foot and studying it. On occasion, he will do something that doesn’t quite make sense, although it turns out that he seems to be aware of elements of the game that haven’t quite made it into the demo too.
The automatic camera control seems way more refined for me when I play on the Xbox 360, so much so that it’s almost obvious to me how much better it is, but as time goes on, I start falling out of love with it, often finding myself having to switch to manual operations, either because the automatic system didn’t keep up with me, or I’ve managed to require some odd perspective to complete a task. Often times I also end up with the screen being obfuscated by large polygons I can only presume to be my head. That aside, I find the d-pad manual controls easy to use on the NextGen devices and have little problem managing the camera as I need to do to unlock a Hidden Mickey constellation in the training level.
One other discouraging element, ironically enough, is the voice. The demo environment is so noisy that it was impossible to hear most of the gameplay so I find myself wishing subtitles were at least an option. It is still in development, however, so hopefully they will be added in the future, not just for noisy environments, but for playing with the sound muted in quiet environments and, of course, out of courtesy for the deaf.
Below are some photos from the event as well the box art and some screenshots from the NextGen and Wii consoles provided to us by Disney Interactive as well as some raw gameplay footage and the game’s announcement trailer.
Lastly, in celebration of the announcement, I would like to offer the opportunity for one Stitch Kingdom reader to receive this limited edition ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ t-shirt. Featuring Mickey and Oswald against the Texas star, this shirt was produced for the Junction Point development team as well as event invitees. It is sold orange aside from the design and features the ‘Epic Mickey 2′ logo in white on the back. Please note you must be 18+ and a US resident to win.
The video goes into the world of Wall-E, one of six that will ship with the game, with more to become available via downloadable content on the Xbox and PlayStation 3 platforms. We also get to see one of the players dressed in the Wall-E costume along with a sighting of Buy-N-Large in gameplay.
Although we could expect more screenshots and character designs in honor of San Diego Comic-Con, the next official video release date is August 18, presumably in honor of Disney D23 Expo.
We also have new screen shots from the game which feature Donald Duck, Wall-E and MO costumes in the Wall-E world.
And new costumes from Wall-E including WALL-E, EVE, MO, BURN-E and Cockroach
At E3, Performance Designed Products (PDP) unveiled some of its offerings for late this year which includes custom licensed controllers for Disney’s ‘TRON Evolution’ for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii as well as what is reported to be a TRON-themed iPad case complete with light-up elements.
PDP also revealed its peripherals planned for ‘Epic Mickey’ from Disney Interactive and Junction Point Studios: a paint-brush themed housing for the Wii Remote and a Wii Remote recharger-slash-sculpture featuring Mickey facing the Phantom Blot.