Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion 3DS Review

December 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, 3DS, Nintendo

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios  Developer: DreamRift  Genre: Platformer  Players: 1 

Age Rating: 7+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is a very different game to Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. It’s less ambitious than its big brother and is a side scrolling platformer that is inspired by the ancient and well loved Mega Drive game Castle of Illusion, which also starred the iconic Mickey Mouse.

The story sees witch Mizrabel create an illusion of a castle and then proceed to trap other famous Disney faces within its walls, leaving it up to Mickey to journey through three Disney inspired worlds to save them. Platforming is straightforward and as responsive as any game in the genre should be, and offers few surprises, having you doing all the usual: leaping chasms, swinging on ropes and jumping on enemies heads to access out of reach areas. Mickey moves at a relatively slow pace, which could be jarring for those that are more accustomed to speedier platformers.

Like the mainline series, Mickey possesses a magical paintbrush which can be used to attack enemies from long range. It can also be used to draw in or erase objects or people from the world. All of this is carried out on the touchscreen, and drawing has you tracing the outline of an item. Successful paintings will grant you bonuses, the efficiency of which is determined by how well you managed to stick to the outlines.

Painting and thinning is much more restrictive in Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion than it is in the main games, with a limited amount of objects that you’re able to bring into or erase from existence. It can be somewhat of a tedious process on occasion when you’re forced to use it multiple times consecutively, however, to the point that it can have a negative effect on the flow of the game.

Hidden around all three worlds are Disney characters awaiting rescue. Successfully saving them will send them to your fortress; the only safe place within the castle. Each character will inhabit their own room within the fortress, and you’re able to chat with them and receive side missions, and completing these will grant you money and enhancements for Mickey’s abilities.

It’s a shame that a lot of these side tasks simply have you moving from room to room within the fortress, whilst others require you to replay entire levels. It all adds little of value to the game and is simply padding to expand a game that is otherwise pitifully short, to the extent that it can be completed within an hour and a half if you’re skilled enough. The lack of worlds is all the more disappointing when you consider that, with its extensive history, Disney has numerous universes to draw inspiration from.

Whilst a longer game wouldn’t make for an outstanding one in the case of Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, the extreme brevity of the game is without doubt its most glaring flaw. It’s otherwise a largely serviceable platformer that quite simply doesn’t have enough to offer to make it a worthwhile purchase at full price.