About 10 days ago, I won a copy of Disney’s Epic Mickey for the Wii from Daddy Digest’s blog giveaway. To say I was excited is an understatement. I’ve wanted this game since I first saw the preview on the big screen before the new Harry Potter movie. I’ve always been a huge fan of all things Disney, and this game just looked awesome. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get the game to me, but when I opened my mailbox today it was sitting right on top. Yay!! I couldn’t wait to get home to play it.
The boy-child and I started playing around 6pm, and didn’t stop until 8pm. We’d still be playing if he didn’t have a specific night time routine to which we adhere.
I have to admit, I almost threw in the towel during the first ten minutes because I could not figure out where to go, what to do and how to properly double-jump. I have been playing video games for about 25 years, give or take. I’m not a casual gamer, I’m one of the few girls I know that spent 12 hours a day leveling up so I could beat each and every Final Fantasy game that came out since way back when I had a Super Nintendo. I spent countless hours obtaining ingredients for the original Star Ocean because I wanted to master every recipe. When I had my son and sleep became a true necessity, I stopped playing as frequently, until he picked up the controller about two years ago. Then I became all about the Lego games and other stuff he likes. Epic Mickey bridges the gap between what he wants to play and what I really want to play (although I have to admit, I am super excited about the Lego games, especially the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean one). I have, give or take, about 23 years experience over Jake when it comes to games. However, when I was ready to throw the Wii controller across the room in frustration (not an easy task, since it was properly attached to my wrist), Jake put his hand on my shoulder and said “Mommy, let me give it a try/” Then, in one swift “A-A” double-jump, he was across the gap that plagued me for approximately 25 times. Oh the humiliation!
We finally defeated the first part and got our cartoon butt out of the evil castle. Once you get through that, the game becomes a little easier. The controls are clunky, but become easier with time, although the targeting system could be a little more intuitive. It’s not easy to get the bulls-eye right on the little enemies. The plot itself isn’t exactly unique — it’s your basic “get the good guy through a series of pitfalls and obstacles so he can complete his mission and return home” story. But the beloved Mickey character, as well as characters lost in “the vault” over the last several decades make it worth the while.
After pouring over reviews when the game first came out, I found that many people had issues with the camera randomly switching around. However, hitting the “C” button, or the directional buttons on the Wii Remote help significantly. The directional buttons allow you to look all around while standing still, and the “C” button centers the camera on Mickey. Some people also seem to find parts of the game a little scary. Jake is afraid of a great many things, we had to turn off The Black Cauldron less than half an hour into the movie because it scared him (he literally screamed “Turn it off! Turn it off now!, but he didn’t even so much as flinch during the potentially scary parts. I think it all depends on the individual child, each parent is going to have to make that judgment call.
So far, we’re loving Epic Mickey. Tomorrow is Saturday, so we’ll clock some more time on the game and get a better feel. But for my first impression, I’d give it a 7/10, docking points for the clunky controls.