'Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two'
Sony PlayStation 3 (Xbox 360, PC)
ESRB rating: Everyone
Review rating: 3.0 stars
After enduring hundreds disappointing games on the Nintendo Wii, gamers were thrilled to dust their console off and play the wondrous title called "Epic Mickey." It offered fun game play that consisted of much more than simplistic mini-games and 'waggling' their controller. Sadly, the frustrations found in "Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two" outweigh the joy of a new playable character, unless the game is played cooperatively.
When a series of earthquakes threaten to destroy the dark and twisted cartoon Wasteland, it's up to Mickey and his new companion, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, to uncover the mystery of their origin. The unlikely duo settled their differences and, ironically, they are assisted by the Mad Doctor antagonist from the original game.
Players assume the role of Mickey Mouse and once again use his magic brush to paint objects into existence as well as paint thinner to remove them. Some combat is involved, but the majority of game play consists of solving puzzles, completing quests and traversing the unusual environments. It's too bad that a map system wasn't implemented because it's very easy to get lost.
Instead of going through the game alone, players are assisted by Oswald and his handy remote control. With this useful device, Oswald can take control of machines and use electricity to his advantage. Perhaps the biggest new feature is the ability for a second player to take control of Oswald so the two critters can work together in split-screen co-op mode.
Teaming up for co-op is the ideal way to play this game because the A.I. that controls Oswald in single player mode is so irritating that even youngsters may swear at the screen. An awkward camera system that requires constant adjustment and unusually slippery surfaces only add to the frustration.
"Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two" will certainly ... err ... draw youngsters, but most older gamers will only tolerate playing it in co-op mode.