Some things just don’t mix well. And usually, it doesn’t take very long to realize this. If you pour mustard into your pepsi, and take a sip, you’re going to cringe. Furthermore, you’ll definitely know never to drink pepsi-mustard again. That being said, why does Disney still insist on pouring its characters into our tasteful gaming beverages?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than the wonderful world of Disney. Mickey Mouse is my bro. But when Disney recently came out and ‘tested the waters’ by mentioning a few possibilities for an Epic Mickey 2… I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little. One Epic Mickey wasn’t enough? Now, I might not have cringed as much while playing Epic Mickey as I would have if I actually drank pepsi-mustard, but I’d be lying if I said I liked it even a little bit, and I’m one of the biggest Disney supporters you’ll find out there.
It was a juvenile game. Granted, it was probably targeted for a younger audience, but even taking that into consideration, it was horribly juvenile. The concept artwork that flowed through the internet prior to its release made everybody do a double-take. Goofy had eerie mechanical legs, his flesh was practically crawling off of his face. There were giant creatures with Disney character masks being absorbed into ghoulishly bubbling ooze-like skin, everything moved on gears and steampunk lusciousness. But when the game released, it was nothing like that. Which is fair enough, that’s to be expected (I don’t think Robert Iger wanted to rebrand Mickey Mouse that much). If audiences were still expecting at least a decent game once all the creepy ruckus quieted down, they were again disappointed. Epic Mickey is a title that I can only compare to old Playstation platformers like A Bug’s Life or The Lion King (also Disney games, ironically enough).
It was extremely basic and where it wasn’t – it was just plain stupid. Lathering paint on a pre-determined outlined section of the map in order to see a new wall or jump to a new platform got old the first time I had to do it. The entire game followed such an overplayed ‘follow this character, find this, then go through the door’ formula, that it was nearly impossible for me to play it for more than half an hour at a time, and no amount of “paint” could distract me from what the game actually was.
Could this change with a sequel? I suppose. Will it change? Probably not. The little news that Disney threw out at us was the fact that it might be two-player; one player would play as Mickey, still using the paint mechanic, and the other would play as Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, twirling his ears like a helicopter to hover, along with the ability to use “electricity.” The potential titles for the game include Epic Mickey 2: Revenge of the Mad Doctor. Did that win you over? Yep, didn’t think so.
Disney, alongside many movie-making companies, needs to understand something. Movie characters don’t belong in video games just as much as video game characters don’t belong in movies. Fans of both entertainment genres would agree. No more “Cars: The Game” or Lilo and Stitch on the DS. It doesn’t work and it’s becoming more and more clear to everybody that it’s all just a smoke-and-mirrors marketing ploy to capitalize on the recent movie’s success. Of course, as in any case, there are always a select few exceptions. Mickey Mouse with a keyblade was pushing it. Mickey Mouse with a paintbrush was suicide.
All in all, gamers like their soda strictly condiment-free.