Second Time's A Charmer

I am a massive Disney fan, but I have to admit Epic Mickey was a bit of a letdown. The underlying concepts behind much of the gameplay were admirable. The “paint and thinner” mechanics opened up the opportunity for neat puzzle elements. It even managed to grab hold and delight ever bit of Disney nostalgia I could muster. It was a clear labor of love that, for whatever reason, hit a couple nasty roadblocks – chief among them an unwieldy, death-dealing camera system – that kept it from being a classic.

Based on a quick look or two at Epic Mickey: The Power of Two, it looks like those problems may be a thing of the past. At the same time, developer Junction Point has managed to cram in even more Disney nostalgia, and a few new mechanics to boot.

Epic Mickey 2, which is set for release across multiple platforms this Fall, returns Mickey to the Wasteland, the “Island of Misfit and Lost Disney Creations” that served as the world in the first game. This time, however, Mickey will have some help as he travels through the fractured Disney-inspired worlds. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey’s “brother,” is a playable character and, for the very first time, will speak thanks to the voice talents of Frank Welker. Mickey will still have his trusty brush, allowing him to paint and remove objects into the environment, while Oswald can use his remote control to help solve puzzles. Even better, two players will be able to team-up as the Mickey/ Oswald duo in drop-in/ drop-out co-op.

Just to add to the game’s already overwhelming “Disney-ness,” Epic Mickey 2 ties into the company’s musical heritage. The game is a musical, offering up plot details and other information through song. It’s a very Disney approach to storytelling and will even tie into gameplay. Tunes and instrumentation will change depending on choices players make during the game, allowing them to "conduct" their own soundtrack. While I’m sure a few of the programmers/ artists at Junction Point could whip up a song or two for the game, Disney is turning to composer James Dooley and lyricist Mike Himelstein to handle the music.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two brings its song and dance routine to stores on November 18, 2012. In the meantime, you can check out the official E3 2012 announce trailer below.