The lights are on
We sat down with industry legend, Warren Spector, and learned about the continued progress of Junction Point's new game. Mickey has come a long way in recent months, and the game looks like one of the most compelling and surprising entries for the Wii this year. The core gameplay and story elements of Epic Mickey have remained intact over the several months that have passed since our cover story on the game last year. Mickey is flung down into a place called Wasteland, where he finds that Walt Disney's first cartoon character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, lives and rules over a twisted version of the Magic Kingdom. Mickey carries a magic paintbrush with which he can paint in elements of the world, or use paint thinner to erase things away. He journeys through the bizarre islands of Wasteland, and his choices shape the world over time.In the months since we last saw the game, things have only been improving. Improved lighting models, better texture and animation work, and general polish have the world of Epic Mickey looking quite fine. A few signifcant design changes have been made, most notably in the appearance of Mickey. Previously, Mickey's positive and negative actions would alter his appearance, turning him bright and happy for good actions, and turning him ratlike and crouching if he was more mischievous. While the choices that fueled that change remain the same, Mickey's appearance no longer changes in response. Instead, there's a single established look for Mickey -- a classic appearance evocative of his earliest cartoon appearances in the 1920s and 1930s, but with a dripping dark paint around him that gives the character a cool edge. Instead of Mickey changing appearance, it is now Mickey's guardians that shift in response to his actions. These newly revealed fairy-like lights float around Mickey as he travels, and their color will alter to match his actions - bright blue for heroic, a sickly green for more scrappy interactions. The guardians are characters in their own right, with names and personalities to match. Spector states unequivocally that this change was a personal choice he made on his own, not one forced on him by Disney as previously rumored in some locations last month. For Spector, the shift is necessary to keep a clear identity for Mickey, as well as simply to make him look as good as possible. The mantra of "playstyle matters" remains the primary driving force of the game's development.
Spector showed off a gorgeous new area of the game called Venture Land, an area of Wasteland inspired by a mix of Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean. Areas are now divided into three major types. Quest maps are hub worlds where Mickey interacts with other characters, learns about the world, and shops for new items. Travel maps are 2D sidescrolling areas based on old Disney cartoons, like Steamboat Willie. Finally, action maps include the bulk of the combat and exploration.The action map we saw was Skull Island. The forbidding landmass holds the secret to why pirates in the nearby area are being turned into machine-like Beetleworx, and Mickey is the only mouse to get to the bottom of the situation. Moving around the island, Mickey constantly sends out blasts of paint and thinner, finishing off enemies, painting in platforms, and erasing walls that hide secret passages. Along the way, Mickey is presented with a choice that will determine if he'll help the pirates or leave them to their fate as mechanical automatons. The choice you make in the situation will affect the outcome of the rest of the game.Epic Mickey has the potential to be one of the most exciting third-party Wii games yet released for the system. Innovative mechanics combined with a talented and practiced development team led by the likes of Warren Spector help to assure a unique final product. We'll know how it all turned out pretty soon; Spector is open about his belief that Epic Mickey should be ready to ship before the end of the year.
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I've never been a bi Mickey fan. But I see this a an enjoyable excuse to have the girlfriend sit down and play a game with me that isn't Mario.
Even though I've been excited about this since GI first cover-storied it, this game is blowing my mind. First off, Warren Specter's Disney knowledge and passion is infectious - the BEST thing Disney Interactive could do is have him talk about it at every turn, which is exactly what they're e3 stuff is about. Heck, even the trailers feature Specter*, which is great. Secondly, that demo of theirs at e3 is really frickin' cool. I knew that Mickey's paintbrush could erase and bring elements into the world, but I didn't know you could do stuff like summon tvs or convert enemies into friends. This game is really deep, and that's great.
Its also lovingly crafted. How I wish I could go back in time and stop Disney from releasing those horrid unfinished screens in November. What type of announcement is made with art that's clearly not lit, or has final textures? What a faux pas, Disney. However, NOW, the game is gorgeous. Great texture work, great lighting, and great level designs. This is just a game I want to play. Its my must play Wii game of the holiday season so far, and I don't expect that to change. So nice of Nintendo to get Mario Galaxy 2 out of the way early this year, 'cuz November is ALL ABOUT Mickey for me:D
God, now that there's a good Wii exclusive title coming out people are like "OH BUT ITS ON WII I DONT WANT IT"
It shouldn't matter what system it's on. Just get the *** game. It'll be fantastic. Don't bash it just because it's on Wii.
hell yes another game to prove that the wii officaly rules
This game looks to be shaping up quite nicely. I'll be keeping an eye on this one, and looking forward to more previews and (eventually) a solid review from you guys.
I might get this for my little girl..
I think it's really cool how your choices affect how the game ultimately plays out. Infamous had aspects like that, and it turned out to be one of the best games that I've ever played (although, there was a little more to it than that).
Metroid and Mickey are finally going to bring my Wii some love!
Quite interested in this game. Will see how it is finished over the next couple of months.
this sounds really promising so far. I do hope the combat get's a little deeper before the end product ships. Otherwise everything sounds perfect :).
game looks nice shame its only 4 wii
i believe this game is going to be the very few that will kick ass on wii. i will definitely get this game for its plot and game play!
Game looks awesome i wish it was for 360
If this will be out for the holidays, it will be near the top of my list. Can't wait to try it!
This game looks truly awesome. It's a good year to own a wii.
epic mickey looks epic.
I predict this will be the best third-party Wii game for 2010. Well, if it does indeed come out this year, which I think it will.
I think this game is going to be fantastic. I've heard some people call it dull or simplistic, but I think it looks fresh and exciting. Plus, it's Mickey! He's freaking awesome!
This game looks amazing. Plus, it's Disney-centric. And I freaking love Disney.