Performancing Metrics

Monday, January 17, 2011

Product Pick: Epic Mickey Collector's Edition

     So, today's product pick is Disney's new game Epic Mickey.  And, as my wife bought me the collector's edition, we will be including that in our discussion as well.
     To begin, this game is dark.  As much as people may clamor a Disney game can only be for toddlers, this isn't your classic Toy Story or Disney princess title.  Each and every battle is a moral decision.  Should I be good, or should I be bad?  Should I befriend my enemy, or should destroy him?  Its questions like these that the player faces all the time.  And there are some situations where the right answer isn't always readily apparent.  So, in my book this game wins points for not sticking to the traditional.
     Which is ironic, because as untraditional as the game-play is, the game design is all from yesteryear.  There are even spots in the game that make homage to Mickey Mouse games from the NES and SNES.  The whole section of Mean Street is based off of Main Street Disneyland.  It definitely creates an air of nostalgia, and as you play through the game you'll get sucked into the way it looks and feels.
     One thing that did bother me with the game, though, is that the story has some slow and confusing parts.  Depending on how you play the game, there are certain skits and explanations that never happen, so you get left with quests you're trying to accomplish when you have no idea why.  Its not a major problem most of the time, but it can get aggravating.  Like the beetlebots, a particular type of enemy in the game.  If you've been trying to be a good Mickey through most of the game, you can skip the section of the game where you first meet them,  but when you meet them later, no explanation is given as to what they are or who made them.  You're just left to figure it out for yourself.
     So, game-play gets a solid 3 fruit.
     But theres more:  The collector's edition contains bonus stuff, a making-of DVD, and special packaging.  The packaging is what originally caught my eye.  Emblazoned with a new logo designed from the classic Mickey mouse ears.  It fits in with the edgy look Disney was trying to portrait with this game.  For Disney, its evocative imagery.
     The extra stuff included consists of an action figure of classic Mickey around 4½" tall, and Wii skins for the Wii console and one for a Wii remote.  As far as collector's editions go, these are okay.
     But the real gem in this set is the bonus DVD.  On it are videos chronicling the making of the game, which have some really cool incites into the production of a major game like this.  It also has a section full of concept art, and four re-mastered classic Mickey Mouse cartoons.  If you are big fan of Disney, especially the classic stuff, this is probably the best part of the bonus content.  This disc really made the collector's edition a collectible to me.
     So, after extensive game time and a lots of fun, I'm going to have to give Epic Mickey four out of five digital fruit.  The loss of the fifth fruit only because game mechanics were clunky at times.  Also, a lack of driving story line in the beginning of the game helped to influence that decision.  But over all, a game worth buying.