"Epic" Mickey Mouse Goes Retro in More Ways Than One

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"Epic" Mickey Mouse Goes Retro in More Ways Than One

With this month's issue of Game Informer comes the long-awaited preview of Warren Spector's "Epic Mickey" project, and we finally get a look at Disney's iconic Mouse going back to his roots.

Earlier this month, when the first concrete details about Junction Point's "Epic Mickey" project first hit the Intertubes, we reported that there would be much more to come in the November issue of Game Informer. Well, guess what's out on shelves now?

We'd heard about a retro-inspired redesign for Mickey Mouse, and it looks like this is it. It's rather interesting, when you think about it - so many of us have grown up with a different-looking, modern Mickey that this return to his roots does look a bit odd. But then again, "Epic Mickey" is all about returning to roots. The art for this game is still as awesome as it ever was, though I have to admit I was hoping for something more... well, paint-like - think Okami.

The plot of the game sounds like a cross between the actual history of Disney and the famous "Sorcerer's Apprentice" portion of Fantasia. Mickey - who in this reimagination is being brought back to his more "mischievous" ways from the late '20s and early '30s - stumbles upon the study of the sorcerer Yensid (who must hang out with Alucard) and ends up fiddling with a magical animated world that the magician wove for his creations, the first of which was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. He spills paint and paint thinner onto the animated world, then escapes from the room upon hearing Yensid returning, thinking nothing of his escapade.

While Mickey returns to live a life of fame and fortune, his actions have turned Oswald's peaceful and beautiful home into a twisted reflection of its former self, and have birthed a villain known as the Phantom Blot. Oswald and friends are eventually overwhelmed by the Blot and twisted as well, and this leads to bitterness and hatred. Mickey must eventually set right what he once set wrong, and - interestingly enough - "Epic Mickey" will have something of a moral choice system. Naturally, Disney probably won't end up allowing players to make their iconic mascot a psychopath, but it seems that he'll be able to get through the levels as a Scrapper who uses paint thinner to erase things, or as a Hero who uses paint to create things.

Beyond all the details about the game itself, some of the most interesting stuff in the article ended up being the bits about the development of the game itself. As it turns out, Warren Spector initially refused the project, telling the Disney suits who came calling that Mickey Mouse had been made "lame and irrelevant to anybody over the age of eight for the past 30 years. I don't do games for kids." Surprisingly, said Disney representatives agreed with the obsolescence of the company's mascot, which is why they were determined to find someone to "reinvigorate" the character - ideally, through a video game. Responded Spector: "You know, this is probably impossible, we're probably going to fail. I'm in."

Furthermore, it turns out that long-forgotten Disney-mascot-turned-villain Oswald the Rabbit was almost unavailable for the project. Though he had been a Disney creation, the rights to the character were held by NBC Universal - and without those rights, the story would lack the central antagonist that it needed. According to Warren Spector, Disney CEO Bob Iger felt that the character of Oswald was so central to the "Epic Mickey" project that the big boss negotiated a deal with Universal and "traded Al Michaels, a human sportscaster, for the rights to a cartoon rabbit."

Well, it's nice to see that Disney's 100% on board with this thing.

There's a ton of info about the game in the issue, and it's getting me more pumped than ever. The art style might not have been what I was expecting, but it still looks cool, and apparently the game will feature a dismembered Donald Duck. Boy, I wish I had context for that. Anyway, if this retake on Disney's classic characters has been piquing your interest, you might want to pick up the issue when you're buying your copy of Brutal Legend or Uncharted 2 this weekend (or you could wait and see if it shows up on the hub page).

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Wow, the concpet art for that project is truly beautiful! I'm going to have to take note on it for future projects of my own.

Actually there is context for the dismembered Donald. Oswald's obsessed with reproducing Mickey's career so he's had the mad docotr make animatronic versions of Mickey's various co-stars, and that Donald's one of them, but just like the other stuff in the wasteland he's been broken by the Blot of his minions.

Its still on the Wii.....I see they've failed to fix that problem. No matter how awesome a game it is I refuse to buy it simply because its a Wii title.

I'm more impressed with this game everytime I see it, I can't wait for some gameplay footage.

It's refreshing to see Disney do something great since they've pretty much sold out in the few years with *shudder* Hannah Montana and her lot.

I see the clock tower from Castle of Illusion is getting some upgrades. I wonder if Yensid is going to make an appearance in this game.

I'm definitely going to play this game. Dark reinterpretations of kids' stuff is my favourite genre in every medium.

KeyMaster45:
Its still on the Wii.....I see they've failed to fix that problem. No matter how awesome a game it is I refuse to buy it simply because its a Wii title.

Ah well, I'll play it loads and keep telling you how great it is. I guess it's the least I can do :)

I'm actually surprised how much Disney wants to remake Mickey Mouse as a character for an older generation. I thought they'd have just sidelined him for more "real" people and hoped everyone forgot about him, but I'm very glad that I'm wrong.

This game looks really awesome, I'm looking forward to it.

KeyMaster45:
Its still on the Wii.....I see they've failed to fix that problem. No matter how awesome a game it is I refuse to buy it simply because its a Wii title.

Hey, your loss, mate.

KeyMaster45:
Its still on the Wii.....I see they've failed to fix that problem. No matter how awesome a game it is I refuse to buy it simply because its a Wii title.

More like, I don't have a Wii so I need to bawww about it. Grow up.

I may actually dust off my Wii and play this.

IT SOUNDS FUCKING AWESOME!

Unusual for a video to be leaked with concept art rather than simply gameplay footage.

As long as I get to kick Chernabog ass...
Honestly, this looks great.

<3 Phantom Blot

This'd better be as epic as it sounds.

Terramax:
Unusual for a video to be leaked with concept art rather than simply gameplay footage.

But that's not a leak, that's officially revealed footage by gameinformer

Man, I am so intrigued by this game.
I think I may have to save up and get a Wii.

That just looks amazing. I really want this game now, it really needs to come out.
And old school Mickey looks amazing.

KeyMaster45:
Its still on the Wii.....I see they've failed to fix that problem. No matter how awesome a game it is I refuse to buy it simply because its a Wii title.

Hey, look, a troll! I didn't think you guys existed!

darrinwright:

KeyMaster45:
Its still on the Wii.....I see they've failed to fix that problem. No matter how awesome a game it is I refuse to buy it simply because its a Wii title.

Hey, look, a troll! I didn't think you guys existed!

You didn't think trolls existed? Eh?

Towowo2:
More like, I don't have a Wii so I need to bawww about it. Grow up.

Actually I've been boycotting the Wii since before it came out. Its the name of the system really; it was once called the Revolution and came in colors other than white.(my favorite was the red and black ones) Then Nintendo decided it needed to rename it and only release it in one color.(that's the petty "wtf" reason I won't buy it)

There's also the lack-luster list of games that have no personal appeal to me, why should I buy a system for one game?

There's also the fact I have yet to play a game on the Wii that I can't play sitting down with minimal wrist movement. Oh sure they've released some games that have things like balance boards and what-not, but where are the REAL games that make full use of that wonderful motion control system they so highly spoke about in my Nintendo Power magazines all those years ago. All around I've been very disappointed with it as a system and as such have never had a desire to buy it. I was pumped up for the Wii even after they gave its god awful name, I was pumped for it when it came out and I had neglected to save up the funds for it, I was pumped for it when I went to play Twilight Princess at my friend's house, I no longer wanted it when I discovered I could easily beat TP without ever getting out of the chair.

If I ever want a Wii I'll go buy one. I mean cripes its dirt cheap for a console so its not like I don't have the funds for it.

I'm not "bawww"ing about it because I don't have one. I make my displeasure with the system known at every opportunity because even though my voice doesn't matter in a sea of millions I have the right to make my displeasure known in the hopes that future consoles by Nintendo will be more in line with the quality of product I used to enjoy.

CantFaketheFunk:
Hey, your loss, mate.

You're entirely right john it is my loss, and its a loss that I'm sorry to say will occur. It looks like a great game, sounds like a great game, and probably will be a great game. Is it a game though that will finally convince me to invest in a Wii? No, sadly its not.

darrinwright:
Hey, look, a troll! I didn't think you guys existed!

I'm not a troll, the fact my opinon differs from that of the majority doesn't make me a troll. To prove it I direct your attention to my above arguments. Judging by your comment, you've never really experienced a troll.

Honest and truly I invite anyone to give me solid reasons to why the Wii is worth my time and money, because since its release I have yet to find any.

KeyMaster45:

Towowo2:
More like, I don't have a Wii so I need to bawww about it. Grow up.

Actually I've been boycotting the Wii since before it came out. Its the name of the system really; it was once called the Revolution and came in colors other than white.(my favorite was the red and black ones) Then Nintendo decided it needed to rename it and only release it in one color.(that's the petty "wtf" reason I won't buy it)

There's also the lack-luster list of games that have no personal appeal to me, why should I buy a system for one game?

There's also the fact I have yet to play a game on the Wii that I can't play sitting down with minimal wrist movement. Oh sure they've released some games that have things like balance boards and what-not, but where are the REAL games that make full use of that wonderful motion control system they so highly spoke about in my Nintendo Power magazines all those years ago. All around I've been very disappointed with it as a system and as such have never had a desire to buy it. I was pumped up for the Wii even after they gave its god awful name, I was pumped for it when it came out and I had neglected to save up the fund for it, I was pumped for it when I went to play Twilight Princess at my friend's house, I no longer wanted it when I discovered I could easily beat TP without ever getting out of the chair.

If I ever want a Wii I'll go buy one. I mean cripes its dirt cheap for a console so its not like I don't have the funds for it.

I'm not "bawww"ing about it because I don't have one. I make my displeasure with the system known at every opportunity because even though my voice doesn't matter in a sea of millions I have the right to make my displeasure known in the hopes that future consoles by Nintendo will be more in line with the quality of product I used to enjoy.

CantFaketheFunk:
Hey, your loss, mate.

You're entirely right john it is my loss, and its a loss that I'm sorry to say will occur. It looks like a great game, sounds like a great game, and probably will be a great game. Is it a game though that will finally convince me to invest in a Wii? No, sadly its not.

Honest and truly I invite anyone to give me solid reason to why the Wii is worth my time and money, because since its release I have yet to find any.

The same reason you would buy any console... you know, the games?

Despite whatever misconception you might be under, the Wii has a great many spectacular titles. Games like Zack and Wiki, No More Heroes, Dead Space: Extraction, Mario Galaxy, Muramasa the Demon Blade, Brawl, Zelda Twilight Princess, The Conduit (for me, at least. I can understand why many don't like it, but I do), Mad World... I could go on.

Plus, there's the fact that it's only $199 now. That's a pretty sweet deal. This is the most opportune time to buy a Wii, what with all the great titles that'll be coming out for the next few months, and the boatload in 2010. Plus, if current-gen games there's the Virtual Console and WiiWare. There are tons of great games on both of those services.

Overall, you really should get a Wii.

DrDeath3191:
The same reason you would buy any console... you know, the games?

Despite whatever misconception you might be under, the Wii has a great many spectacular titles. Games like Zack and Wiki, No More Heroes, Dead Space: Extraction, Mario Galaxy, Muramasa the Demon Blade, Brawl, Zelda Twilight Princess, The Conduit (for me, at least. I can understand why many don't like it, but I do), Mad World... I could go on.

Plus, there's the fact that it's only $199 now. That's a pretty sweet deal. This is the most opportune time to buy a Wii, what with all the great titles that'll be coming out for the next few months, and the boatload in 2010. Plus, if current-gen games there's the Virtual Console and WiiWare. There are tons of great games on both of those services.

Overall, you really should get a Wii.

You're right, the numbers say I'm bat-shit-bonkers for not buying a Wii yet, the fact remains that only 3 of the games you listed hold any appeal to me. Zelda:TP fell out of my graces when I played it from the sitting position. TP was, however, a game meant for the gamecube that was hastily redone to be released on the Wii so it does receive some leeway.Brawl I kicked ass in by using a gamecube controller(and I kicked ass with Kirby at that) so the fact I performed better using an older generation controller in a game designed to be best played with a current gen controller makes me wonder what went wrong in the development process. As for Mario Galaxy its the only one of the three I must say I've never truly tried, and so you've got me there.

The virtual console holds no appeal for me either, being old enough to already own any games I would want from it. Wii ware holds even less because its basically steam or XBLA re-done Wii style and as it is I make very few purchases from steam or XBLA already

You're reasons are very good, but as it stands I'm still not convinced. I'm glad though to see someone making an attempt at fighting for the Wii, was getting rather boring smacking it around with no competition.

I love the looks and idea of this game. I really wish that I had a Wii...

Al Michaels got traded for a cartoon

That's the funniest thing I have heard all week

It's still only on the Wii?

Must... Find.... The.... Box.... with the Wii....

KeyMaster45:

DrDeath3191:
The same reason you would buy any console... you know, the games?

Despite whatever misconception you might be under, the Wii has a great many spectacular titles. Games like Zack and Wiki, No More Heroes, Dead Space: Extraction, Mario Galaxy, Muramasa the Demon Blade, Brawl, Zelda Twilight Princess, The Conduit (for me, at least. I can understand why many don't like it, but I do), Mad World... I could go on.

Plus, there's the fact that it's only $199 now. That's a pretty sweet deal. This is the most opportune time to buy a Wii, what with all the great titles that'll be coming out for the next few months, and the boatload in 2010. Plus, if current-gen games there's the Virtual Console and WiiWare. There are tons of great games on both of those services.

Overall, you really should get a Wii.

You're right, the numbers say I'm bat-shit-bonkers for not buying a Wii yet, the fact remains that only 3 of the games you listed hold any appeal to me. Zelda:TP fell out of my graces when I played it from the sitting position. TP was, however, a game meant for the gamecube that was hastily redone to be released on the Wii so it does receive some leeway.Brawl I kicked ass in by using a gamecube controller(and I kicked ass with Kirby at that) so the fact I performed better using an older generation controller in a game designed to be best played with a current gen controller makes me wonder what went wrong in the development process. As for Mario Galaxy its the only one of the three I must say I've never truly tried, and so you've got me there.

The virtual console holds no appeal for me either, being old enough to already own any games I would want from it. Wii ware holds even less because its basically steam or XBLA re-done Wii style and as it is I make very few purchases from steam or XBLA already

You're reasons are very good, but as it stands I'm still not convinced. I'm glad though to see someone making an attempt at fighting for the Wii, was getting rather boring smacking it around with no competition.

I haven't mentioned many titles on Wii, because that might make my post obscenely long. There are great titles there if you wish to find them.

I actually like the Wii version over the GC version. The Wiimote usage felt just right. The fact that you prefer one control option over another isn't a problem at all: you prefer the Gamecube controller, while my friend prefers Wiimote/Nunchuk. I don't see how your preference is an issue. And Galaxy is tons of fun: just jumping around and seeing how gravity works is great.

Just becuase you are old enough to own them doesn't necessarily mean that you do. Plus, there are games like Sin and Punishment, which was originally a Japanese-only game. I'll admit that I don't download many games on WiiWare or XBLA either, but there are great games for download on both of those services. World of Goo, Dr. Mario RX, Lost Winds... there's some really cool stuff on there.

I'm pretty certain that no one's going to convince you that the Wii is worth purchasing, as you seem to have it set in your mind that it is not. But I tried.

I have high hopes for this game but I'll wait till we see the finished prodcut before buying it.

Sexy, looks like it's being modeled in Maya (Favorite modeling program here).

I am.....amazed. Just amazed at how awesome this game sounds and I HOPE TO WINSOR MCKAY THAT THIS GAME IS COMPLETED.

CantFaketheFunk:
The art for this game is still as awesome as it ever was, though I have to admit I was hoping for something more... well, paint-like - think Okami.

I was sort of hoping for something like that as well, but it looks like Disney is harkening to the style they used in the halcyon days of their youth ('20s and '30s), and I don't at all find that to be a bad decision.

Side note: I just realized that, in ten short years, we'll have to specify WHICH "'20s" we're talking about. I'm entirely unsure how I feel about that.

CantFaketheFunk:
the sorcerer Yensid (who must hang out with Alucard)

I'm going to put myself in the line of a big 'Duh' here, but we do all realise that Yensid is disneY backwards, right?

This game looks very, very interesting. Days of yor Micky with ghostly Donald Ducks and a fantasia feel? I'm in.

kahlzun:

CantFaketheFunk:
the sorcerer Yensid (who must hang out with Alucard)

I'm going to put myself in the line of a big 'Duh' here, but we do all realise that Yensid is disneY backwards, right?

Read Alucard backwards.

Well, Mickey Mouse has a fairly good track record with games, but then again the best ones were platformers in the 16-bit era. If anybody can bring Mickey back, then it's Spector. He's made nothing but awesomeness, and he's one of the few game creators out there willing to take risks. Good luck to Warren Spector, he's gonna need it.

This is the first time in a long time anything Disney has stirred anything more than mild contempt and apathy. I really must have it.

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