When this title was first announced I got pretty excited; I'm a fan of the original SEGA 'Illusion' games, and this 'Power of Illusion' looked to be an amazing and satisfying spiritual sequel. After playing it at PAX Prime this summer I was certain that it'd be a game worth owning.
Fast forward to November, and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is available for in-store purchase as well as an eShop download for the Nintendo 3DS system. I happened to fall into possession of some eShop giftcards, so a digital download made the most sense!
Right out of the gate, I love the graphics! Any fans of the 16-bit era of gaming will feel right at home in the pixelated beauty of Power of Illusion. The game feels smooth and colorful, with responsive controls and varied environments.
The player is given the role of Mickey Mouse, who is tasked with rescuing an impressive Disney character back catalogue from the Castle of Illusion. You see, Mizrabel is back and is jealous of the attention that other characters get. She hopes that by trapping enough of them in her castle, she'll gain the power to enter the real world.
Mickey explores new areas of the castle that appear and collects lost Disney characters along the way. Each character ends up with their own room to wait in, and between castle adventures Mickey can perform side quests. Rapunzel wants a frying pan, for instance, and Snow White wants some pickaxes for her dwarf friends. Some of the side quest items can be found from other characters, while other items are found in the actual level environments. This means that some levels must be played through multiple times if you hope to help all of the Disney folk!
Power of Illusion features large "worlds" based off of well known Disney films. The first area is London and Neverland from Peter Pan, and it spans about five sub levels. At the end of each world there's a boss battle featuring your favorite villains! The first world ends with Captain Hook, naturally!
This 3DS offering brings back the paint/thinner methods of Epic Mickey for the Wii, and it melds beautifully with the touch controls of the handheld system. Players can activate the paint/thinner on the lower screen by either touching the lower screen or hitting the 'x' button. Sometimes Mickey will need to paint in a useful block while in midair, so prepare for some finger dexterity!
One of the first characters rescued is Scrooge McDuck, and he sets to work making a store where upgrades are purchasable! Mickey will have all the help he needs in the way of additional hearts, more powerful attacks, and less paint/thinner used when fighting enemies. Some enemies are defeated more effectively with melee bounce attacks, while others are spiky and therefore need the paint and thinner attacks.
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is more challenging than I expected, and many levels and villain fights take multiple attempts. I appreciate the fact that this game won't be a quick and easy jaunt!
If you're looking for yet another fun game to squeeze into your busy gaming schedule, then Power of Illusion is worth your time and money! Fans of old school side-scrolling platformers will find a lot of fun, and Disney fans will enjoy seeing all of their favorite characters on-screen (not unlike in Kingdom Hearts).
Are there any other 'Illusion' franchise fans out there? Has anyone else picked up Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for their 3DS?