November 8, 2012

Demo Report – Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

Demo Report Disney Epic Mickey Power of Illusion
With Disney now offering up a demo for Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, we all have an equal opportunity to finally sample the 3DS title, which has held my curiosity since the company revealed that the game serves as a sequel to the fondly remembered Castle of Illusion that hit the Sega Genesis way, way back in 1990.

And while on one hand it’s surprising that Disney would commission a 2D sidescroller in the here and now, the 2D elements of their Epic Mickey series make it a tad less so. It’s certainly far less surprising that the game ties into Epic Mickey at least, and this short taste offers players a chance to see how the relationship bleeds into the 3DS outing.

The setup for the story behind Power of Illusion is a rather clever crossover, with the original Castle of Illusion having been forgotten, and subsequently appearing in the Wasteland that serves as a home for forgotten creations. Several panels of dialogue assist the unfolding narrative, and while it’s possible my attention span has severely eroded over the years, it’s also possible to remember when 2D games were capable of setting an entire story into motion with the few moments allotted to them via the attract mode or some brief introductory animation.

Once players sit through said dialogue, Mickey returns to the castle and is soon able to jump and pounce on enemies. Mickey is also able to shoot paint and thinner at foes, though the tie-in has a greater purpose for those bits of Epic Mickey here.

There are numerous points where players will need to erase and/or create objects in the environment, and this is accomplished by continually keeping a stock of both paint and thinner. Objects that can be created or deleted will appear as shapes on the touchscreen, and players will use the stylus to blot objects out of existence by dragging thinner over the entire shape, or create objects by dragging the paintbrush across the outer lines – keeping a mindful eye on the gauges for both.

Perfect line work is rewarded and the task is repeated several times within the demo, either to create or remove platforms, and in one instance to bring another character into existence to assist Mickey’s quest. Creating objects that are selected before a stage also allows Mickey to drop surprises on enemies along the way as well.

The emphasis on the paint brush discourages a smooth and traditional platforming experience, which otherwise has Mickey searching for Disney characters that have been trapped in the castle so that the power of their hearts might bring it back into existence. The mechanic itself isn’t poorly executed, but the simplicity of the task as seen here certainly suggests that the game is aiming at a younger demographic versus nostalgia minded gamers potentially looking for a platformer worthy of following up the original release.

The secondary focus of the game is in meeting with rescued characters back at a fortress, where Mickey can upgrade the signature rooms each character stands within. Scrooge McDuck mentioned opening a shop, but the demo ends before I could get a sense of what he intended to sell me.

I suppose, in my heart, I knew that Power of Illusion wasn’t going to be the sequel of my dreams, but this early slice of the game isn’t nearly enough to conclude that the game won’t succeed at its evolved agenda either. Despite an awkward amount of dialogue and explanations to set it in motion, it does eventually cut players loose to get to the business of stomping enemies.

We won’t be waiting long for a final verdict on the effort, with the game releasing alongside Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on November 18th. In the meantime the 3DS demo is waiting on the eShop for you to form your own opinion.


  1. The demo was dog sh1t.

    Comment by Mister Raroo — November 13, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  2. haha, quote of the week! Also myea, I’m not used to demos quelling my interest in a game quite as quickly as this one did. I guess I should be given the demos I’ve played this year :/

    Comment by Jamie Love — November 13, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

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