Back in November last year, you may remember I reviewed Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for the Xbox 360 where there were many flaws that stopped me enjoying the latest Mickey Mouse title hence me awarding it a 5/10. Forward on 7 months, Mickey has made its way onto the PlayStation Vita in a port of the original console version. Can Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two paint a colorful picture on the PlayStation Vita? Read the full review to find out!.
Game: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Developer: Junction Point
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Reviewed on: PS Vita
Those hoping for any changes in the story, hoping to freshen it up a bit will be left disappointed as it is exactly the same story that occurred in the original version released last year. For those who haven’t read my original review, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two focuses on iconic Disney character Mickey Mouse and his friend Oswald in order to discover the mystery behind earthquakes that are causing fresh havoc upon Wasteland. The Mad Doctor again makes his appearance to suggest that he has changed and now wants to help Wasteland recover and restore pride and color to the town. Mickey and Oswald are not fooled however and are soon on their way with trusty sidekick Gus and a whole lot of iconic disney characters to determine once and for all if the Mad Doctor is telling the truth. I said in my original review that the younger audience will enjoy this story somewhat more than the hardcore gamer and given that Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is aimed at kids, I suppose its job done from Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point.
With the fantastic OLED screen the PlayStation Vita has to offer, I must admit I was expecting Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two to really shine visually on the PlayStation Vita but after playing it, I can’t stress how disappointed I was with the graphics. Disney is known for its colorful characters and places and whilst I felt that it was represented decently on the console versions, I couldn’t help but feel that the game looked completely washed out and not even using the paint brush to restore color to the towns was enough to make me appreciate the visuals.
Its a shame because most PlayStation Vita titles I own look absolutely fantastic and just as good as the PlayStation 3 console but I felt like even though its been 7 months between original and Vita release, the visuals have just simply been rushed and have that standard port label to them rather than putting its own stamp to it.
Its been a few months since I have touched on the original version and powering up Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, I should of known what to expect in the sound department but it really doesn’t get any better which is a shame. Again, there has been no additions to the sound in the game and listening to the Mad Doctor bring out his oh so terrible singing voice yet again is an experience I wouldn’t want to have too often. Saying this, It could be because I am an older, more hardcore gamer and I certainly can see kids appreciate the music coming from their handheld device, but for me… It was just too much.
One of my main gripes with the original version I reviewed back in November was the horrible computer AI for Oswald, your main companion throughout the game. Needing him to help complete a puzzle, or give out some electric shocks to open up paths was very much hit and miss throughout the game so unless you were playing multiplayer with a friend, it was a very frustrating experience. Loading up Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on my PlayStation Vita, one of my main ‘hopes’ is that the development team would of sorted out Oswald’s AI allowing for a more complete, enjoyable experience. You may have noticed I put hopes in quotation marks and why is that? Its because it really was just a hope that just disappeared in the first half hour. Playing through the game once with the AI as it was in the Xbox 360 version was bad enough, but when you expect there to be improvements for the handheld version and find out there is none and your playing through the exact same experience yet again is very very frustrating indeed!.
I’ve mentioned so far about the Story, Graphics, Sound and AI being completely the same but there are some differences in the PlayStation Vita version Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. The touch screen is utilized so that you have your thinner and paint brush ready literally at their fingertips. With a touch of the screen, players can spray paint or thinner wherever they desire which is a nice touch and again, something I feel the younger audience will enjoy when playing through the game. Another way the PlayStation Vita is used is within the in-game camera. Players can use the PlayStation Vita as it was actually the camera itself, rotating it left and right in order to get the perfect shot for some of the mini quests that are on offer throughout the game.
Unfortunately, that’s about it for ‘unique’ PlayStation Vita features and everything else just feels cheaply reused. I really stress that this review could of been so much different if they improved the AI and introduced more specific features but sadly, the reality is that they haven’t. Like the original versions, the 2D platforming moments throughout the game are a welcome distraction from the many flaws that the game has and throughout those times, the game feels more at home on Sony’s handheld device.
If the PlayStation Vita version is your first playthrough of Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, this will last you around 8 – 10 hours like the original. I must stress though that this time would be considerably shorter if the AI was up to scratch. One of the features I was looking forward to getting my hands on (If only to combat the AI) was that the PlayStation Vita version offers online co-op where players can start as Mickey or jump in asswald. Unfortunately, although tried many times… I could not find a single game to join up to and therefore my time on Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two was cut to a premature end.
Whilst Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two does at times feel more at home on the PlayStation Vita, the amount of flaws and the lack of attention paid to the handheld version really shines through, especially as I had originally hoped that many of the flaws would be fixed. At a cut-price, this is more of a decent purchase for a young child rather than an older gamer looking to purchase a title using some left over PSN credit. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on the PlayStation Vita is one to to forget quickly, time to thin it out!