Mickey and Oswald will be making their return to video gaming in the upcoming Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2. No longer a Wii exclusive as the first game was, Epic Mickey 2 will be available on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and the WiiU. At this past New York Comic Con, Warren Spector, head of the game’s developer Junction Point, spoke a little about the new features the game boasts.
Spector talked a lot about the different features in the game, the most exciting is that the characters will all be fully voiced. Spector lamented that the first game only allowed players to read the dialogue. But the new game will have fully spoken dialogue with some high-profile actors. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit will be voiced by Frank Welker, whose body of work extends through a lot of 80s nostalgia, and seemed to have voiced almost the entire team of Decepticons from the original Transformers series. Also appearing in the game will be Cary Elwes (Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men In Tights) as Gus the Gremlin. The game will also be a musical, as can be seen in the opening cinematic below.
Epic Mickey 2 will feature a brand new land for Oswald and Mickey to explore. Rainbow Caverns and Rainbow Falls are based on the Mine Train Through wonderland, which was a part of the FrontierLand section of Disneyland. The world showcases a beautifully rendered rainbow waterfall flowing over the carved stone faces of Disney’s Dwarves. The concept art of the game evoked the question about whether the original ride had a Snow-White theme to it. He thing about Wasteland is, Oswald’s trying to recreate a place he’s never been,” Spector replied, which would definitely make for an interesting game experience.
Also included in the game will be a few aspects that will help make the game unique for each player. The first is Costumes. Players can collect pieces of a costume, such as a suit of armor, either through rewards, item pick-ups or by purchasing them through a hat shop. The costumes will give the characters different attributes, allowing them to progress through different areas. There are also Ink Wells littered around Wasteland which, depending on the players’ style of play, will have different effects on the character. Players will an aggressive style will find Oswald or Mickey will become indelible and able to take much more damage from enemies. Those who skulk around often, avoiding confrontations, will be turned invisible for a time.
Then there’s the pins. According to Spector, there are over 150 types of pins that can be found throughout the game. We were told that the pins do all have specific purposes and can help change character attributes, but Spector and Junction Point associate Adam Chaffin remained mum on the subject. However, the Epic Mickey Facebook page has been revealing the pins little by little so if you’re curious for more information, feel free to check it the page.
If everything goes right for Junction Point, Epic Mickey 2 will be available on the WiiU for the launch of the new system. WiiU players will be able to play the game in true HD and have a distinct advantage over the other systems. The WiiU game pad will feature a dynamically changing map, showing the player’s positions, important areas, and other aspects of game play. One of the biggest complaints of the original Epic Mickey was that the mapping screen was far too confusing, so Junction Point have made stellar updates to the maps.
But Epic Mickey wasn’t the only game on hand to show off. Spector also spoke about the upcoming 3DS game, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion. Developed by DreamRift, Power of Illusion is a tribute to the 1990 game Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse for the Sega Genesis. DreamRift’s Creative Director, Peter Ong, wanted to capture the nostalgia of a 16-bit side-scroller and create a game that encapsulated the forgotten video game history in Wasteland, and that’s where Miz Rabel comes in. Miz Rabel is capturing the famous Disney characters, such as Simba, Ariel, and Scrooge McDuck, and trying to steal their essences. The player’s goal is to save the captured characters and, in return, they provide their assistance in the mission. There are 30 characters that need help and, when rescued, they show up in your fortress, a place that you can interact with them, accept quests, and purchase items. The more help you give to each character, the more their section of the fortress will change.
Veteran comic writer Peter David was also on-hand to discuss his role in the project. David wrote the graphic novel adaptation of the video game, titled Tales of Wasteland. The graphic novel is illustrated by Fabrizio Petrossi, a French artist who has done extensive work with Disney licenses. Sadly, the graphic novel will not be seeing a North American release and will only be available in Europe, Australia and other territories, though Spector did urge attendants to write to Disney Chairman Bob Iger to express interest in the project.
Though we’re not likely to see the graphic novel, David spoke a little about the hurdles of adapting a project like a video game, which sports 20 plus hours of gameplay, into a 48 page graphic novel.
David also talked about the different personalities of Mickey and Oswald, and the fun he was able to have playing them off each other.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2 and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion are both slated for a November 18, 2012 release.