Published on November 26th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Wii U Breakdown
Release Date: November 18, 2012
Developer: Junction Point
Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
The Nintendo Wii U is one console that didn’t lack quality third party titles come launch. It was no surprise to see Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two chalked up on that roster.
Most were wishing upon a star that “HD” and “Epic Mickey” would one day be synonymous with a Nintendo console, and now those well-wishers are no longer left wanting.
For this review we thought it would be best to highlight some of the things that make the Nintendo Wii U version of the game different. Our official Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two review can be found here.
I’m sure the first thing on everyone’s mind is: what do the graphics look like? This is important now that the game is primarily in HD as its steps outside the norm of the original Wii debut.The game performs well on the new console. Colors are vivid and most textures look spectacular.
The cut scene animations of the game were smooth. When it came to watching them unfold on the TV screen and the GamePad close up, it was a sweet feature to have. There were a few noticeable moments however, that weren’t as pleasing to the eye.
Again, it seems as though it is not necessarily the hardware that is at fault. In areas like Disney Gulch, there are various Blotworx floating in the center portion of the map. There is also a giant rock hovering on a steam cloud, followed with another Blotworx circling the top of that rock on an energy sphere.The simplistic platforming and small animations found in the first introductory scenes of the damaged Mean Street were sluggishly slow.
Up close, certain textures had hints of muddy pixels and smaller visual blemishes. Taking a look at the train as you first enter to help Oswald, you can see these blemishes. The game is set to resemble a painted palette, but unpolished areas can be seen aside from these textures.
Other areas of the game, such as the close up shots of Mickey and Oswald, are just as pristine as the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 versions. Other characters look great in both motion and voice over acting, which is a plus for many who were wanting that from the original Epic Mickey. Animated cut scenes share in that magic aside from other CG type shorts. These can also be viewed later on in the Extras menu as you collect them throughout your exploration.
The control scheme of the game is one of the most important factors. The Wii U GamePad opens any game to many possibilities. Players will find a comfort knowing that the GamePad, Wii Remote, and Classic Controller are all supported in the game. But, there is a catch.
This is one of the biggest differences that you will find in the Wii U version of the game. The obvious support of the GamePad gives more options when it comes to navigation and gameplay. Players will note that the touching the “?” will show points of interest and a map of the current area. The exclamation mark brings up the primary objective, while multiple of these point out secondary objectives. Points of interest are accompanied by a map and compass for added sense of direction. Quests can also be selected here and your current mission is shown in a small description at the bottom. The map interchanges between different zooms when tapped specifically on that portion.
Scenes are displayed on the right hand side of the GamePad screen. Touching them to select, as opposed to cycling through these like the Xbox 360/PS3 versions of the game, show little benefit but are aesthetically pleasing. While this is a step into the streamlined direction, other options such as collectibles and costumes can only be selected during the pause menu. This was a bit confusing as animated cut scenes are shown and not in game options. The costumes that are acquired deliver other skills for both Mickey and Oswald, but must be changed on the TV.
There was one thing that did bother me about the use, or lack thereof, in having the GamePad supported. Capturing different Mickeys and notable monuments were introduced in Epic Mickey 2. These are found throughout each map and can have different goals in mind when capturing them. The camera is activated with the ‘X’ button and shown on the TV screen (done on the Wii Remote with the ‘1’ button). This feature, given its context, would have been perfect for the GamePad. Even if it does sound gimmicky, what would have been an awesome feature simply feels like a ported idea in its current state.
The lack of visuals on the secondary screen was also felt in the Wii Remote co-op. Other consoles don’t have the benefit of a full secondary screen at their disposal. The Wii U does, however, it is not used purposefully.
The Wii Remote allows a second player to drop in as Oswald with the ‘2’ button. They can come and goes as they please without disrupting the flow of the game. It simply doesn’t make any sense why the second GamePad screen would not be used for such a feature. This is done particularly well in games like Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and could have highly benefited the Wii U release.
Instead, the screen is sliced like your typical couch only co-op and you must share constricting space. The Wii Remote controls work well, but they are solely dedicated to the second player only options.
As you explore in your return to Wasteland, there are plenty of achievements to take note of. Without having Trophies or Achievements, the game still functions by bringing in-game achievements to your attention. This is one comforting feature for those hunters out there, and is a bit reassuring after completing strenuous quests.
The Nintendo Wii U has an overall sufficient version of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. The game performs well on the HD console and the visuals are mostly what you would expect from the Disney oriented studio. There are a few grainy textures and slow-downs in performance, but mostly in heavy trafficked areas of animations due to the game, not necessarily the hardware itself.
The features of the GamePad offer up a map and other touch based options. Animations for cutscenes are shown and look great. There is no bottom screen play, like other games on the console, which could have benefited co-op modes. The game features a camera to shoot structures and monuments, which would have been a great feature for the GamePad to implement. Instead, there is nothing special about its use other than the touch screen.
The game is just as fun as other consoles, and performs well in the graphics department. My sentiments about the game are similar to our official review, and it’s in no way a bad game. The Wii Remote plays well with the camera features, but are a bit wonky with the GamePad. The only downside to the game is the lack of GamePad features and odd support of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. If you played the first game in the series, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t pick this up for the Wii U as it stands its ground.
+ Second Screen in game options
– No Second screen co-op functions