Just as they did for the original ‘Epic Mickey’ title, PDP will be releasing a new paintbrush controller in honor of ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.’ Exclusive to the Nintendo Wii and Wii U, the PDP paintbrush is an upgrade from the original model, introducing an interactive element which causes the tip to glow blue or green depending on Mickey’s actions inside the game.
The paintbrush wont be the only offering, however. As ‘Epic Mickey 2′ incorporates couch co-op play featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, PDP is also introducing a clicker controller patterned after Oswald’s remote control from the game.
Both controllers plug into the Wiimote via the nunchuk port and will be available to own on November 18, 2012. Both controllers are currently available for pre-order.
Disney Interactive today announced that the highly-anticipated ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ video game will be available for Nintendo’s Wii U™ system this holiday season. Wii U players will experience their adventure through Wasteland, an alternate world filled with more than 80 years of forgotten Disney characters and theme park attractions, in HD graphics and enjoy enhanced game features.
‘It’s exciting to bring Nintendo fans “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” on Nintendo’s revolutionary new game system,’ said Bill Roper, vice president and general manager of production, Disney Interactive. ‘The technological advances of the Wii U system have allowed us to enhance player direction and provide our fans with an immersive as well as unique gaming experience.’
Using the Wii U™ GamePad, players will see a fully detailed, real-time map of Wasteland with waypoints and markers to help guide them through the game and complete the different quests and side-quests. Players will also be able to use the GamePad to access sketches and activate the sketches to use in-game for a more immersive experience.
Below is a gallery of stills from the Wii U platform provided to us by Disney Interactive:
‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ for the Wii™ system from Nintendo is being developed by Junction Point, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system is 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. “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” for the Wii U system is currently unrated by the ESRB.
‘Disney Epic Mickey 2′ Fort Wasteland Screens, Gameplay, Concept Art and Vintage Frontierland Photos
At the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) this weekend in Seattle, Warren Spector and Junction Point Studio will be unveiling a brand new level from ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2,’ which attendees will be among the first to experience. Fort Wasteland, as the area will be known (formerly the Disney Gulch), is based on Frontierland as it appeared at the Disneyland theme park in 1955, featuring attractions such as the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland and Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island.
To celebrate the new area, Disney Interactive has shared with us newly released concept art and screen shots for the area along with gameplay video (available within the hour). The Disney Archives has also graciously released two photos from Disneyland’s Frontierland in 1955 which we also share in the gallery below:
Screenshots Gallery (newest at beginning):
Worth noting is that one of the screenshots features a screen that reads Music Land, indicating that the 1935 short will be one of the side-scrolling homage levels in the game, joining The Old Mill.
In addition to experiencing the new area of the game, visitors to the booth (North Hall #642) will also have the opportunity to receive a sketch from a Disney Character Sketch Artist, giveaways and more.
Available to own November 18, 2012 on all consoles, 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.
Disney Interactive has released a new featurette for its upcoming ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two,’ titled ‘The Power of Character.’ In the video, the creative team at Junction Point talk about the importance of choosing elements and the attributes of the characters that appear within the game. In addition to talking about Mickey and Oswald’s special abilities, Warren Spector discusses the influence that Oswald’s galpal, Ortensia, will yield in the game (including some great looks of her in action — no samples of her speaking yet, unfortunately) and the internal struggles of the Mad Doctor who marks his return in the game’s sequel.
Disney also provided us with new screen shots and even some concept art which take a look at Disney Gulch, a new land that debuts in ‘Epic Mickey 2′ and is reminiscent of Frontierland. The concept art also demonstrate the wealth of Disney references that inhabit the game, such as Jiminy Cricket’s disturbing appearance at the Disney Gulch train station.
Disney Gulch concept art:
‘Disney Epic Mickey 2′ Screenshots (newest at beginning of gallery)
‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ is scheduled for release on Mickey’s birthday, November 18, 2012 and is currently available for pre-order for Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. Windows and Mac platforms will also be available
Get ready for classic arcade video game action with a whole new modern look and feel as Activision Publishing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc., (Nasdaq: ATVI) and Disney Interactive (NYSE:DIS) today announced a collaboration to produce and distribute a Wreck-It Ralph video game. As a story extension to the highly anticipated upcoming blockbuster film of the same name from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the Wreck-It Ralph video game is set to inspire a whole new generation of young gamers as a classic, arcade-style side scroller featuring Ralph – the misunderstood villain of his own arcade game who sets out to prove he can be a hero too. Debuting this fall tied to the movie release, Wreck-It Ralph will bring all the fun from the big screen right into the living room for the Wii system from Nintendo, and the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS hand-held systems.
“Wreck-It Ralph, as a brand entity, is perfectly suited for video game stardom,” said David Oxford, Executive Vice President, Activision Publishing. “With the fantastic characters and creative atmosphere envisioned by Walt Disney Animation Studios, we know fans are going to love seeing their newfound favorite characters embark on an all-new side scrolling adventure.”
The game picks up where the movie leaves off as Ralph partners with Fix-It Felix and sets out to save their friends and home from a huge Cy-Bug invasion. Pounding through all-new levels in the Wreck-It Ralph universe, like Sugar Rush, Hero’s Duty, and Fix-It Felix, Jr., players will have to use Ralph’s destructive strength to beat by the Cy-Bugs, while switching back to Felix to repair the damage. With story campaign and two-player co-op on the Wii platform, players can switch between Ralph and Felix to solve action-packed puzzles and collect “Hero Medals.”
‘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.
Disney Interactive Studios today announced Club Penguin Game Day! is being developed exclusively for Wii. Scheduled for release this September, Club Penguin Game Day! will mark the franchise’s video game console debut.
Based on the snow-covered virtual world that’s captivated millions around the globe, Club Penguin Game Day! will delve into the environment, characters and storylines of the online playground of Club Penguin like never before. The game will include innovative ways to connect with ClubPenguin.com and new, interactive mini-games to challenge and engage the whole family.
“Club Penguin has always maintained a really strong emphasis on social, family fun and the value of working together,” said Lane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “Moving onto the Wii platform lets us offer parents a great opportunity to connect with their kids in the comfort of their own living room around an active game that’s participatory, cooperative and a lot of fun for everyone, and that’s something we’re really excited about.”
In Club Penguin Game Day!, players create and customize a penguin and compete in a variety of single or multiplayer sports-themed racing and performance events such as Java Sack, Fast Freeze, Sled & Slide and Sumo Smash. Each time players beat a challenge, they conquer a zone on the island. The ultimate goal is for players to work with their team and conquer as much territory as possible.
Club Penguin Game Day! will be the third video game in the franchise, following the recent release of Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert’s Revenge for Nintendo DS™. The highly anticipated sequel to the original DS game, Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force, which was released in 2008 and sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide, introduced intriguing new missions and mysteries for Elite Penguin Force agents.
“As the Club Penguin phenomenon continues to grow, it makes sense to bring the brand to Wii,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios.“ Club Penguin Game Day! combines the distinct look and feel of the Club Penguin virtual world with competitive games that are easy to pick up and play using the Wii Remote.”
Club Penguin Game Day! will allow players to transfer their customized penguins via their Wii Remote™ to a friend’s Wii for use in gameplay. Once back on the original console, high scores, coins and customization items earned will merge with the player’s profile.
As with the two DS games, players can also upload coins earned in game to ClubPenguin.com, but the new game will take the elements of online-offline connectivity even further by also allowing players to synchronize their in-game penguins and achievements with their online penguin accounts.
Published by Disney Interactive Studios, Club Penguin Game Day! is Rated E for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). For more information, visit: http://www.disney.com/clubpenguingameday.
Available to own exclusively for the Nintendo Wii on August 31, Guilty Party from Disney Interactive Studios and Wideload Games allows families and friends to combine detective forces (or to compete) to solve fun, family-friendly mysteries using their Wii Remote in all sorts of innovative ways.
Disney Interactive has also just released this video in which the game’s designers give some insight into the backstory of the game as well as features some actual gameplay.
Guilty Party is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
The game features 30 songs from Disney and Pixar animated classics, allowing up to eight players to compete in karaoke in family mode. The game also features performance tips from Anika Noni Rose from The Princess and the Frog.
For more information, see the original announcement here. There are also additional screenshots from the game, such as the one featured here, on Amazon.com.
Nothing brings together families like the magic and music of Disney’s films, and today Disney Interactive Studios announced a new interactive way for families to come together and enjoy their favorite songs from their favorites films. Disney Sing It: Family Hits is a karaoke game featuring the most beloved songs and videos from 20 all-time favorite Disney films, alongside vocal tips from the Princess and the Frog’s Anika Noni Rose. Disney Sing It: Family Hits will be available for the PlayStation®3 system and the Wii™ console in summer 2010.
Tapping into both the past and the present, Disney Sing It: Family Hits features favorite songs from all-time classic Disney films, including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book, as well as contemporary favorites from films like Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Cars, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and The Frog, and more. Further immersing players in the moment, the easy to follow karaoke gameplay is accompanied by full screen HD videos featuring montages, as well as original footage from each of the Disney movies.
“The Disney Sing It franchise has produced a passionate fan base, and they’ve expressed a big demand for songs from Disney’s timeless movies,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Now, music fans of all ages will be able to enjoy Disney Sing It: Family Hits, both as an engaging karaoke performance game as well as perfect entertainment for family fun.”
In Disney Sing It: Family Hits, players will use the pitch bar to assist in hitting the right notes and can sing solo, partner up for a duet, compete head-to-head, or pass the microphone around to up to 8 players in the Family Mode. To relive key moments, the Sing It Encore Mode enables players to play back their performances and add fun effects to customize their tunes.
To assist players in improving their performances and unlocking awards and Disney themes, the Tony award winning singer/actress Anika Noni Rose, who also voiced Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, provides vocal exercises and techniques. Anika takes players through a series of basic voice instructions, game tutorials and singing games that are designed to help all players become better singers and performers. Lessons include proper microphone technique, how to hit high and low, long and short, and fast and slow notes, among other tips, providing a valuable learning tool for players of all ages.
Disney Sing It: Family Hits from Disney Interactive Studios is Rated E for everyone by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).