News Article

Warren Spector Proud That Epic Mickey 'Polarised People'

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Key improvements made to Epic Mickey 2

The upcoming release of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two may be coming at the end of the Wii's lifespan, but is probably worth more focus than it's currently attracting. It's worth consideration simply because the original Disney Epic Mickey on Wii was praised for its many positive features, but suffered from some technical and design elements that polarised critics and gamers, prompting mixed responses.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Warren Spector promised that camera issues were being resolved, as well as an improved variety to puzzles and game progression, even going so far as to say that after the intro you can even 'get through the entire game without using paint or thinner'. Spector also shared that, in terms of gamer feedback, Epic Mickey had been a rewarding experience.

I got more emails saying 'your game changed my life' than anything I've ever worked on. The emotional level was so much greater than Deus Ex or System Shock. I'm so proud that we touched people the way Disney touched me years ago. I know that 30 years from now, people will look back and say 'That's what inspired me' or 'That's when I became a Disney fan'.

Spector also addressed the mixed critical reaction, acknowledging the faults in the game but explaining that creating an entirely new franchise and development team had posed plenty of challenges.

The reality is I've made a lot of games. And if you pay attention to Metacritic, the 'worst' game I ever worked on was 82 — and that, I thought, was low. [Epic Mickey] was in the 70s and that got to me. ... I learned to take reviews and ratings with a little more of a grain of salt. I'm a little proud of making a game that polarised people.

With the first game, we built a team, a studio, a world, a code base, created characters and figured out how to work with Disney. If we can do it wrong, we did that. The fact that we made a game that touched people that way, with all of those obstacles is amazing to me. ... Now, we know who Mickey is. We know who Oswald is. We knew we wanted to do co-op multiplayer. And I know what the next [game] is — if we get to do it.

If the sequel and its 3DS off-shoot Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion match the success of the original — the best selling single-platform video game in Disney's history — then we may see more of Mickey in the future.

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (30)

irken004

#2

irken004 said:

I'll buy this on Wii unless the PS3's Move support is done well, and unless there's a Move bundle.

edcomics

#3

edcomics said:

I finally picked up Epic Mickey for Wii, but I just couldn't get into it. The controls and camera controls were actually really frustrating, and those cinematic scenes kept getting in the way of me playing the game. Maybe I just don't have the patience I used to have, or maybe everything else just seems sub-par after playing Zelda. I don't know. Might try the 3DS Epic Mickey, though.

Koos

#4

Koos said:

Probably will flop like deblob 2 did. Should have been a Wii U launch exclusive. I won't buy unless reviews are amazing or something.

Liked the first. Camera was good because you could control with the dpad actually but the pseudo childish Adventure parts where you fetched items to characters was terrible easy and tedious.

NintyMan

#5

NintyMan said:

I find it funny that even though Disney Epic Mickey: The Power of Two will easily be better than the original, which was still a great game, that people aren't paying much attention. The first game was over-hyped, of course, but if The Power of Two is going to have a better camera, co-op, better levels, and full voice-acting, then that should be more cause for excitement.

My hunch is that people are going to get the game with average expectations and get blown away by the much-improved performance of this game.

SpaceKappa

#6

SpaceKappa said:

I love Warren Spector so much. He just has so much heart it's impossible not to. The industry needs more people as passionate as he is.

I loved Epic Mickey (although the last 1/4 of the game was super frustrating) and I can't wait for the sequel, although I'm holding out hope for a Wii U version. Epic Mickey will always be a "Nintendo" series for me.

Koos

#7

Koos said:

Because games have timing and Epic Mickey fitted the Wii controls and was at a good place. It was original and charming. Now it feels like a bastarized cash in. Like deblob 2.

I wish 3ds version will hit the eshop too... that looks like the better more interesting game I agree.

LadyStarstorm

#8

LadyStarstorm said:

Warren Spector is a helluva guy.

I loved Epic Mickey, though a few times toward the end-game the camera made me want to die... despite all that the game was beautifully-crafted and had so many wonderful elements of Disney incorporated, that I couldn't help but get emotionally attached. If that game didn't stir something in your heart, I assert that you are in fact heartless.

First game aside, I'm so excited to see where the sequel takes us in Oswald & Mickey's story, can't wait to see how the musical aspects are involved. I'm expecting top-notch voice work since Disney is involved. The 3DS game based on the "...starring Mickey Mouse" games looks phenomenal as well.

FonistofCruxis

#9

FonistofCruxis said:

I wonder how well it will sell. The time of its release seems pretty risky as the Wii U is likely to be out by the 23rd November.

PixelatedPixie

#11

PixelatedPixie said:

After Epic Mickey he sure has a lot to prove. I never even finished the first game because it became too frustrating and after a few hours the world just felt a little lifeless to me. Maybe it's because the best thing to me about Disney are these animated and lively characters, while in Epic Mickey the characters that made up the world just kind of stand about dispensing challenges and asking you to collect things. It was kind of dissappointing that the they weren't voiced and that they didn't really feel interactive. I hope the sequel makes the world and characters more interesting to explore. The first game definitely got the aesthetic of disney down, but the characters just weren't where they needed to be for me.

NImH

#12

NImH said:

@Koos
DeBlob 2 flopped solely because it lost the charm, funk and rebellious innocence of the first game, and added some TRULY polarizing themes. Even with the so-called improvements, DeBlob 2 was doo-doo.
Epic Mickey 2 could really do something awesome if it delivers a character-rich, intuitively-controlled Disney game. Anything that enters the Disney mythos with real authority has the possibility of gaining a serious cult-following.
I relate to those frustrated with the controls and cameras, but my hopes are high... definitely down for a second round.

spikain

#13

spikain said:

"I'm so proud that we touched people the way Disney touched me years ago."

hydeks

#14

hydeks said:

I have Epic Mickey and I have a realy hard time playing it, for the fact of the camera's, there frickin terrible!!!!

MakeMyBiscuit

#15

MakeMyBiscuit said:

I love the first game! I bought the collector's edition of the game when it came out and I don;t regret it all all! Again if you have a problem with the camera using the D-pad to adjust it really helps.

I will be getting the Wii version over the Xbox 360 version. The game plays so great with the Wii remote I don't see how the game pad could improve on that and although Kinect is cool, I would not want to use it to control a game like Epic Mickey.

Does anyone know if there will be a collector's edition of this game?

Again, BRAVO Mr. Spector for not forgetting the Wii and giving us this great game when so many companies have already left the Wii behind. That earns major props in my book!

SaSoBe

#16

SaSoBe said:

I really need to play Epic Mickey some day... Right now, it's just collecting dust on my shelf. :(

irken004

#17

irken004 said:

Any of you having trouble with the camera must not have grown up during the N64 age... I feel right at home with EM's camera :D

Kirk

#18

Kirk said:

Wouldn't it be better if most people just loved it, Warren, they way they loved classics like SMB3, SMW, Yoshi's Island, Super Mario 64 etc.

It's a rhetorical question.

Samholy

#19

Samholy said:

someone still cares about mickey mouse ?
:-p

no seriously. with a tight budget, i must chose carefully which title i will invest in. mickey mouse or disne franchised game are far far away, even absent form my list.
sorry mick, youre too old. i must choose a old mouse or kratos. i go for kratos.

Dauntless

#20

Dauntless said:

Epic mickey got my attention because it was something different compared to all the sequels on the market at the time. But it was ultimately disappointing. Before the release all I kept hearing about was Spector's cool ideas for the game which never made it into the final release or was scaled down. It was an average platformer at best and I couldn't force myself to finish it. I've probably played too many games in my day because I'm not easily impressed by anything any more. Epic Mickey 2 is just another sequel to me for a franchise that was never really that amazing. Good luck Warren.

Koos

#21

Koos said:

@ PixelatedPixie . Thank you for emphasising the major problem of the game. Its not the platforming nor the camera. Its the running errands part. It feels like a game that was made for very small children before developers thought of how to make proper adventure games when there is real challenge. I feel the same way about Zack and wiki but that game is good more as a puzzle game that can be challenging. In here these parts are just completely for passing the time. I don't see what was the point to begin with and why he went there.

Koos

#22

Koos said:

And to clarify Zack & wiki is a great PUZZLE game. But epic Mickey's puzzles are running errands and I think the second won't abandon that.

Vincent294

#24

Vincent294 said:

Never beat the 1st, because I got stuck and lost interest. Perhaps I'll go back and finish it.

Banker-Style

#26

Banker-Style said:

Epic Mickey was one of my games of the year of 2010,it was a brilliant game with a great story,yeah the camera was a pain in the backside,but you could forgive it's fault.

Epic Mickey was a flawed Classic which I hope this sequel fixes.

I just hope this is a good game,and does sell well,because many sequels on Wii haven't been that great.(I'm looking at you Conduit 2)

foxtwin

#27

foxtwin said:

I can deal with bad camera problems--I made it through Mario 64. What I had the most trouble with in Epic Mickey (1) was combat. Paint and Thinner were fine for environmental puzzles, but were not suited for battling hoards of brooms. If they fix that in the sequel, I'll get it.

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