Backlog Quest II: Day 21 – Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion – 90’s kid at heart

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Dear Journal,

Today I rescued most of Disney’s famous characters from an evil witch.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is sort of a sequel to the classic Castle of Illusion game, as well as a sequel to Epic Mickey: Power of Two. Mickey has been called to a castle in order to save Minnie, a castle that is vaguely familiar to Mickey. Inside he finds several worlds from some iconic Disney films as well as a huge assortment of classic Disney characters.

Power of Illusion is a pretty straightforward platformer. Jump around, defeat enemies, find collectibles (or in this case Disney characters) and so on. The only “tweak” on the classic platforming style would be the paint/thinner aspect; obviously added to bring the game more in line with the Epic Mickey games. Some of the platforming elements require temporarily “pausing” the game to quickly paint or erase an object in the level. The better job you do tracing the outline the longer it last. This is really only used sparingly throughout the levels and is most incorporated in the later boss levels.

Photos really don't do the game justice.

Photos really don’t do the game justice.

The real draw to Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is the visuals. The game looks fantastic, in fact it may honestly be the best looking 2D game I’ve seen on the 3DS so far, and the 3D visuals really make it pop. The game is best described as looking like what you remember the Disney themed Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis games looking like. This is most apparent in the Aladdin themed level, which brings back obvious memories of the Aladdin Super Nintendo game. Power of Illusion may be Disney themed and aimed at kids, but the level design and visuals will most likely strike a cord with people who were kids in the 90’s instead.

SNES anyone?

SNES anyone?

As you progress through the levels you find and rescue various Disney characters that take refuge in a safe spot in the castle. As you rescue more characters you fill a meter that will open new areas of the castle (as bosses). Completely small side quest for these characters will also assist in this. These vary from everything to running around the various character rooms to talk to multiple characters to looking for items in levels.  If you don’t spend some time running around in the various characters rooms you will be forced to do a lot of backtracking in the levels, but if you simply speak with each character as they arrive it becomes far more streamlined.

The game’s difficulty is probably the biggest gripe to be made. It starts and stays very easy for a while. Almost suddenly the difficulty spikes up a bit towards the end, and the sharp curve will certainly deter some but nothing is unbeatable without simply making a few attempts. Upgrades from performing the side quest also make this much easier to do. Beyond that the only real complaint I’ve heard others make relates to the painting aspect. While it is a little forced into the game, it is far from the problem many have made it out to be. It is just part of the platforming element of the game.

Sadly this is one classic Disney villain you do not fight.

Sadly this is one classic Disney villain you do not fight.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is most likely to appeal to people who grew up with Disney’s collection of platformers in the 90’s. Obviously the characters are all pretty timeless and will appeal to kids as well, but the game’s style and charm is clearly aimed more at the parents rather than the kids. Not since Super Mario 3D Land have I found myself unable to put down a 3DS game, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion managed to do just that.

Tomorrow I blow stuff up in Apache: Air Assault

Final Rating: 8.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: 3DS
Time to completion: 6 hours and 40 minutes
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: $19.99 (and came with a $10 gift card, so practically $9.99)
Current Price: $29.99 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: $19.99 was descent, less I’d say absolutely.
Why you should buy it: Fantastic visuals and solid gameplay
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You never had a childhood.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

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About Tristan Rendo

I’ve made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.