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Epic Mickey Review

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Not so epic

★★★★★

With fantastic cover art, a nostalgic story that focuses on neglected characters from Disney’s glittering past, and ingenious in-game movies that breathe new life into forgotten heroes from the House Of Mouse, this colourful adventure not only promised to be a great game, but also a vehicle to make Mickey Mouse relevant again for modern audiences. Sadly, Epic Mickey fails on every front.

Although the quest is based on a clever premise – Mickey is sucked into an alternate world into which forgotten cartoon stars are banished when they fall from grace – at its heart Epic Mickey is a bog-standard platform game, made worse by sloppy controls that become utterly infuriating in the tricky later levels. This leads to countless untimely deaths, unfortunate slips, and the distinct possibility of smashed Wii controllers throughout the festive season.

But while the platforming is sluggish and uninspiring, what offends most is Mickey’s magical paintbrush. Although players can use this amazing device to create or destroy parts of the landscape, your opportunities for inky mayhem are largely limited to predetermined points, in practice only allowing you to interact with a small handful of objects. And, to make things worse, the Wii gesture-based control of your paintbrush is wildly inaccurate, and when you return to an area you’ve prevously explored you’ll find all your brushstrokes have reset, adding a depressing sense of futility to your frantic painting action.

A rotten in-game camera with a mind of its own, awkward combat and tedious ‘fetch this, collect that’ challenges also undermine what could have been a game as strong as Mickey’s adventures on the Sega Mega Drive, making Epic Mickey a game for the most forgiving of Disney obsessive only.