Epic Mickey

I really wanted to like this game.  I was excited when I heard about this game a few years ago and I saw the concept art.  I had this game up at the top of my Christmas list and after the holiday I started playing it immediately.
When I put the game into the system I only had about 30 minutes before bedtime.  I figured I’d get to the first save point and then head off to bed.  Two hours later I found that there are no save points and that the game auto saves.  Unfortunately it doesn’t ever tell you this, and while there is a visual indication that the game is saving it took my most of the game to realize what the quickly blinking icon was actually for.  This was the first in a long line of irritations I experienced while playing this game.
Camera control is the SECOND WORST I have ever seen in a game.  Anyone playing this game will agree, the majority of your deaths will not be caused by enemies, but by crappy camera control.  Often when jumping into a room full of enemies the camera would rotate 180 degrees around Mickey and face in the direction I had just come from instead of towards the enemies who were now intent on killing me.  When I started to move to try and force the camera to correct itself it would reposition itself behind Mickey so closely that nothing was visible on the screen at all.  Luckily around this time you will fall into one of many holes in the game and will be dissolved in a sea of paint thinner, after which you may come into the room from a slightly different angle that the camera won’t freak out over.
The camera makes the game difficult to play.  The central mechanic of the game involves Mickey spreading either paint or thinner on objects in the world which is almost impossible if you CAN’T LOOK AT THEM.  When things are going well the game is actually pretty fun.  The most memorable moments for me were running around the various Disneyland based locales spreading paint and thinner all over the place just to see what would happen.  Overall though, I realized that any fun I was having was cancelled out by the many irritations present during gameplay.
Other irritations : Your Gremlin pal who interrupts gameplay to tell you he sees something every ten steps.  It is hard to explore when you are constantly being interrupted.  Every time you talk to a character in the game the camera changes to another location entirely.  When walking in and out of buildings it always asks ‘Do you want to walk in/out of this building?’.  If a character has several things to say to you you have to talk to them several times.  In one memorable exchange I talked to a NPC 7 times in a row and each time he gave me a new item and/or quest.
Many of the irritations would have been easy to overlook if the game hadn’t felt so unfinished.  With a little more care and attention this game could have been one of the best games of the generation.  Unfortunately it seems that the game was rushed out for Christmas.
The game does have one redeeming feature.  Disney fans will love it.  The locales are all based on the areas in Disneyland.  The characters are all from old Disney animations. The game may be a bit of a flop, but as a marketing tool it is genius.  My wife and I are currently planning our next vacation to Disneyland right now.
* Disney Nostalgia
* Fun painting/thinning gameplay mechanic
* Poor Camera Control
* Various other irritations with gameplay
Is it fun: Yes
Score: 5/10
Length:  20 hours
System: Wii
Genre: Platform

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