I may or may not have mentioned that one of my favorite video game series, ever, is Kingdom Hearts. I couldn’t wait to play the first game, partly because Final Fantasy was the first RPG series I had ever played, but equally important was the Disney component.
See, I grew up in Orlando. I’ve been going to Disney World since I was three years old. It was a rite of passage for many teens to work there, and most rewards or field trips involved trips to Disney. Most people in Orlando have a love/hate relationship with WDW, but for me, it’s mostly love. Add that to the typical immersion of a young girl into all things Disney, and my penchants for trivia and history, and well, I’m hooked. I have a strong opinion about just about everything Disney, from merchandising to Imagineering decisions to, um, corporate leaders.
Thus, you can imagine how excited I really am when I say I absolutely cannot wait for Epic Mickey.
What is Epic Mickey, you ask? It was first hinted at, months and months ago, as a game featuring a sort of post-apocalyptic Disney World. Images of a crumbling Spaceship Earth (the EPCOT ball to most) had minds reeling.
Now we know a little bit more: It’s a single-player game, designed only for the Wii. It’s apparently mostly platform, part RPG. The post-apocalyptic world is actually the Cartoon Wasteland, a sort of world for ideas that were rejected or simply forgotten… and, thanks to an evil force, it’s… not quite right.
Gameplay promises to be relatively novel and free-form for a platform; since you use paint and paint thinner to navigate the levels, there’s several ways to paint your way out of corners, as it were. There’s also a morality system: you can be a Scrapper, aggressive and frightening to other characters, or a Hero, who creates more than she destroys.
Most exciting is the artistic direction the game seems to be taking. Disney is normally pretty stingy about using Mickey, and as a result, Mickey has kind of faded into a symbol with very little personality. Epic Mickey is intended to be the start of a relaunch of Mickey; he promises to be a little more feral, a little less polished, and hopefully more relevant.
I’ve also read that the storyline for the game will make the minds of Disney and animation buffs explode with joy. Hardly any of the characters are modern; most will harken back to cartoons that hardly any of us have seen. Oh, and did I mention a major character is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? Many might know of him as the precursor to Mickey. I might know that bit of trivia, but I guarantee that there will be other characters that I haven’t even heard of.
I haven’t heard as much about how many WDW elements will actually make it into the game and how many were just concept art, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Many of the original Disney rides weren’t based on a film at all, or have very distinct personalities from their source material. Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, Haunted Mansion, the Carousel of Progress, Skyway… these all have potential in the right hands.
Epic Mickey isn’t supposed to come out until September of this year. That’s a long time to wait (I’m hoping Cataclysm for WoW will be released and distract me in the meantime). Still, you can bet that as more info is released in the meantime, I’ll be gobbling it up, eagerly waiting.