News Article

More Epic Mickey Details: Inspired by Mario and Zelda

Posted by Rebecca Gunn

Also includes a dash of Okami and a pinch of Deus Ex

Epic Mickey was announced back in November but information has been a bit scarce until now. Game Informer had an in-depth preview in the US but details were for their readers' eyes only, but the UK's Official Nintendo Magazine recently got a chance to look at this game and kindly shared their thoughts.

Warren Spector is a big Disney fan, but as we reported back in October when Disney approached him initially he scoffed at the idea of a Mickey game in the mouse's current incarnation. See, the mouse wasn't just a pre-schooler's best friend back in the day; in his early days the mouse was a mischievous, adventuresome fellow who didn't think twice about swinging a cat by its tail nor stealing a cheeky kiss off Minnie. Mickey was born part Douglas Fairbanks and part Charlie Chaplin, and Warren Spector has been tasked with taking the mouse back to his roots

The game centres around a world created by the sorcerer Yen-Sid (the same one Mickey disobeys in the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence in Fantasia, movie trivia fans!) which is a home for the forgotten Disney characters and ruled by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney's first major star before Mickey hit the scene. Early in his career Mickey accidentally spilt ink on the tiny world but decided to cover it up. As a result, over time the ink has devastated Oswald's world and Mickey's been transported there to fix things up.

ONM interviewed Spector about the nature of the game and his influences.

My very favourite games to play have always been Nintendo games, so I started thinking 'what would happen if I took the exploration and tool use of a Zelda game, and the platforming of a Mario game and brought in some of the character customisation and story and role playing elements of, say, a Deus Ex, and mashed them all together?

He also added that part of his drive for this project was to go beyond tried and tested ideas, adding "as much as I'm enjoying the Zelda and Mario games, from a design standpoint they really haven't moved very far in the last 20 years. They're much prettier now, and that's kind of it."

In the game Mickey uses a paintbrush to alter his surroundings, which may bring up thoughts of Okami but Spector was keen to stress differences. Mickey's paintbrush uses paint and thinner on the world and objects that surround it; paint creates and thinner destroys. Choices you make as Mickey also affect him and other characters in the game: while Mickey can't be completely amoral, players can choose to be the nicest mouse with best intentions at heart or a mischevious scamp. Spector describes how that works in a discussion of the first hour of gameplay:

In the first hour, your goal is going to be to find a particular character somewhere in this world. You can seek out other characters that can help you find the character you're looking for, or you can rescue characters in need who will then help you, or you can bully your way through and try and do it all on your own.

Spector himself sounds incredibly keen on this title and apparently Disney are too, as there's a lot of money backing the project. As Spector admits, "this is by far the biggest budgeted game that I've ever worked on." There's a lot riding on this one, but with Spector's passion and talent behind it we should be in for a treat when Epic Mickey launches later this year.


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (20)



Golgo said:

After all the hoop-la and genuinely stunning artists' impressions, the screens look pretty pants and sub-generic, don't they?



Sean_Aaron said:

This sounds like it could be quite nice. Not a big fan of Disney, but I'm always up for a good game. The screens look quite pretty to my eyes. Some de Blob design inspiration in the shouty rabbit, methinks.



Stevie said:

@Golgo - I have to say I agree, I obviously wasn't expecting anything as visually stunning as the concept art but this looks like a PS1 game. It is still in production however so I will reserve judgement until release.



therick112 said:

Can't decide which I am most excited for, this, Galaxy 2, or new Zelda. 2010 is the Year of the Wii!!



Shmavey said:

Yeah I wasn't impressed when I first saw the screens but I'm sure this will pull through with more dev time. And I still think this will be excellent.



Adam said:

Holy moly, looks and sounds great. I'm with Warren: Not a huge fan of Mickey's current incarnation. I had no idea this game was going to be based more on the classic Mickey. Man, I was expecting this to be terrible and over the top (the latter of which may still be true, but screenshots look promising), but I'm quite interested now. Mario + Zelda + basic RPG elements sounds like a pretty solid formula.



Objection said:

Looks like this could be the second time (first being the KH series) in the last few years that a Disney game will worth my attention.




I read the preview of this in the actual ONM. Like Rebecca reports the dev has pretty much stated he draws direct inspiration from Mario and Zelda.

I'm not a Disney fan either, but if this isn't a disaster, I'm going for this.

Its getting a huge amount of hype already.



she_gamer said:

I hope the game doesn't rely too much on people just wanting to interact with their favourite Disney characters, since I never was much of a fan of Mickey or the others (except Mickey's Christmas Carol... watch it every year ). As long as it has solid gameplay to back it up, this could be really, really fun.



Smileoscar said:

From what I've heard,the ingame screenshots we have seen are all from the early part of the game. It seems like the farther you progress,the more dark and evil the environment gets.



madgear said:

I don't think the problem with the graphics is it's too cartoony - I think it's just missing certain technical aspects we're used to seeing these days.

I mean the floors and walls could use some bump mapping, for example, and some higher resolution textures. I suppose they could be going for a "drawn on paper" look, but those flat flowers and tiles on the floors really do make it look like a PlayStation 1 game.



Rhansley64 said:

This guy is rank as 6th best Game Developer on (Miyamoto is obvious the first) plus Epic Mickey is in a good direction.



Wamtu said:

I don't know about the gameplay but the plot looks really REALLY stupid. I think I might pass on this one. I've always been more of a Bugs Bunny fan, anyway.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Looking forward to this. The screens in Game Informer looked a lot better than the ones posted here, actually. Plus the descriptions of the gameplay from the two sources make it sound AWESOME!

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