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Review: ‘Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion’ for the Nintendo 3DS

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

epicmickeypowerofillusion.jpgThis handheld spinoff of the Epic Mickey games features Mickey Mouse as Mario in an old-school side-scroller with cel-animation style visuals. What he’s doing in a 2D game with 2D visuals on a console with “3D” in its name is a mystery.

I’m sorry. That came out a bit grumpy. You see, I really liked this game. Up to a point. Then that point came and I was very disappointed in it. This made me re-examine the game a bit more harshly than I expected, but it all really is sour grapes.

Story and characters

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit calls Mickey back to Wasteland, the land of forgotten toons, because a mysterious castle has suddenly appeared. This castle is ruled by the evil witch Mizrabel, and her evil plot has her kidnapping unforgotten toons in order to steal their heart power. Because forgotten toons lose their hearts; toons we remember are full of heart power, and it can be stolen.

No, it doesn’t make sense. This is a video game about a talking mouse.

Anyway, Mickey, must rescue the lost toons from the castle, which is under a spell that causes different areas to be illusions of different Disney movies. Hence the “Power of Illusion” subtitle.

Jiminy Cricket tags along, mostly because that’s what Jiminy Cricket does. He doesn't provide helpful hints, dialogue for a mute protagonist (Mickey is not voiced, just like the rest of the characters, but he does have his own dialogue text), or even act annoying. The makers of the game figured they needed an annoying sidekick type character, forgot the Epic Mickey games already had one, then forgot the whole thing completely.

Over the course of the game, Mickey rescues toons from levels themed around Peter Pan, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. Rescuable characters are not just from those films, though the furries get the shaft. Sorry, Mickey, your castle has yet another princess. Robin Hood is completely absent, as are 101 Dalmations , The Jungle Book, The AristoCats, both Rescuers movies … you know what, I’m just listing furry movies now. Let’s move on.

There are rescuable Lion King characters, but not Nala. Completely off topic, but why is Nala not considered a Disney Princess? Seriously, she’s a princess who is in a Disney movie; blatant speciesism, that is.

Gameplay

Wii Epic Mickey jumping
Jumping in the Wii's Epic Mickey looks considerably more epic

The game is basically a classic 2D side-scrolling platformer, and it works well enough. The game falls to the simple fault of not being Mario, and I’m not just being facetious. Mario’s jump height, air time and run speed are, by design or accident, just about perfect for 2D side-scrolling platformers. Games that rip off this timing are generally remembered more fondly; Mickey does not rip off Mario jump for jump, and suffers just a bit for it.

Just like in the big boy console versions of Epic Mickey, Mickey has a magical brush that sprays paint and thinner. This manifests in game play as a simple shooting attack (attack an enemy with thinner, you get more money to buy various upgrades; paint, you get health) and the ability to paint out or paint in various objects on the bottom touch screen. This is a gimmick straight out of an early DS game.

Oh, and by the way, The Little Mermaid equals underwater levels, which equals frustration.

The gameplay is much better than I made it sound; it is by no means perfect, but it gets the job done. The real fun is seeing which lost Disney toon is hiding around the next bend. You don’t realize how much you really love a lot of these characters until you get severely overexcited to find Timon and Pumbaa.

Graphics and visuals

The visual look here is very simple, with sprites rather than actual models. This fits the animated look very well. It is not a graphical wonder, but it does not need to be. The characters are iconic. Just show us a picture of them, and we’re happy.

The 3D is completely missing the point. Turn it off.

Ending

The problem with this game, and why it got me so grumpy, is the ending. It just ends. You beat the third boss, and that’s the end of the game. I was having fun, and then, oh, we’re done. It feels like the first third of a decent game.

Don’t you just hate abrupt ends?

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

If I beat the Wii version of the console Epic Mickey 2 game and get the darn review written before the end of January, I will. I just kind of put that on hold during the month of November when I was computerless and haven't gotten back around to it.

If I don't get it out by the end of January, just assume the game was, like, totally lame, or something.

Your rating: None

Are the Disney princesses actually princesses or is that just what they call them? I was going to say Nala wouldn't make it because she's not actually a princess. Technically she should be a princess because she'd be Mufasa's daughter but I doubt Disney is interested in the incest that a true lion pack would've lead to so we'll assume her father just dumped her there. Then I noticed Cinderella, Belle and Mulan are all considered Disney princesses when they just aren't. So... yeah, either they shouldn't be or Nala should be. Also, Kiara should be in regardless.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

I wish Disney had just dropped a subtle hint or two that Nala was *Scar's* daughter -- made her eyes green, say -- as it would've made the character more interesting. Plus Mufasa and Scar were probably born of different mothers anyway, so the whole marrying-your-cousin thing would've been minimised. But I digress...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Okay, first of all, NERDS!!!!

Second of all, the Disney Princess merchandising line is basically whatever they think can sell pretty pink dresses to little girls, and Nala would look idiotic in a dress, so duh.

Third of all, it was established in The Princess and the Frog that marrying a prince technically makes you a princess, because Prince Naveen had to kiss a princess, and in marrying a waitress then kissing her he broke the curse. So, by marrying princes, Cinderella, Belle and Mulan all became princesses. Nala would be an example of this, as well as the fact that she was betrothed to Simba suggests she was some sort of lion princess to start with, though I doubt Scar's daughter because that's gross, never mind the incest. Who'd fuck Scar outside of shitty sequel characters?

Fourth of all, and speaking of shitty sequel characters, Kiara was not from a Disney home studio movie, but a direct to video cash grab farmed out to the Disney television studio, and if there is one thing John Lasseter has done right, it's putting the kibosh on that crap (though, admittedly, it turns out he stopped everyone else from making shitty sequels so he could do it personally with Cars 2). Merida from Brave is the first non-Disney home studio princess to be counted; perhaps the Pixar movies will be folded into the Disney Classics line in a few years?

Fifth of all, Nala is not the only princess getting the shaft; Pocahontas was apparently a princess who got kicked out because that shit is kind of embarassing now, but being the daughter of an Indian chief would technically make Tiger Lily from Peter Pan a princess, and there is also the princess from The Black Cauldron, but fuck that movie, you're never going to sell any pink dresses with that shit. Also, and spoiler alert, it turns out Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-it Ralph is actually a video game princess in the vein of Princess Peach or Zelda; I can see her never joining the merchandise line because she pretty blatantly thinks that shit is stupid.

Sixth of all, The Lion King was never meant to be zoologically accurate. After all, real lions don't talk. I doubt she was meant to be Mufasa's daughter or Scar's daughter, and we never met her real father because it really doesn't matter to the story who fucked Nala's mom, and bringing in an unimportant character even for five seconds just to make sure noone thinks Simba's fucking his sister or at least cousin when noone who isn't a furry on the Internet thinks Simba's fucking his sister or at least cousin because this is a fucking kid's movie would be stupid.

Seventh of all, Kiara, however, is totally fucking her first cousin.

Your rating: None

Lol! You call me a nerd and then post all that?

I checked though and Mulan didn't marry a prince. He was just an army captain, apparently promoted to general in the second film. According to the Wikipedia article Pocahontas is still a Disney Princess.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Okay, so Mulan got in on affirmative action. Whatever.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

In 2004, when asked about who is Nala's father, according to Brian Tiemann, Minkoff and Allers "began laughing, ribbing each other, making little sidelong jibes". Eventually, Minkoff pointed towards Allers, jokily mentioning he was the father. They concluded their answer with Minkoff muttering into his sleeve, that the general assumption was that Nala's father was "either Scar or...Mufasa."

http://lionking.wikia.com/wiki/Nala's_Father

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Man, animation is tedious ... The Lion King is also the one with SEX hidden in a frame.

Okay, so I guess furries on the Internet and really bored animators who have literally nothing else to do but draw the same thing over and over and OVER.

I wouldn't put much stock in a ribald joke shared between bored animators as canon; deleted scenes don't count, never mind bad ribs at the writers.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

*You're* bloody tedious, crossie.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Oh, are we fighting? I thought we were talking about Lion King incest.

I mean, if you can't enjoy The Lion King without implied incest, then by all means, Simba and Nala can be heavily related ... but you may be watching that movie wrong.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

It looks like I came late to this party? Back in the day when I was active in The Lion King fandom, one of the most oft-discussed topics was who was Nala's father, and while there were plenty of arguments re Mufasa vs. Scar vs. an outsider, there was never anything approaching a general consensus.

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About the author

crossaffliction (Brendan Kachel)read storiescontact (login required)

a reporter and Red Fox from Hooker, Oklahoma, interested in movies, horror, stand up comedy

Formerly Wichita's only furry comic.