(Disney Interactive for Wii)
By Mike Delano
There was good reason to have high hopes for Disney Epic Mickey. The combination of one of the biggest licenses in the world and one of the most respected game developers (Warren Spector, of Deus Ex and Thief fame) could only coalesce into a gold standard platformer, one that could stand alongside other Wii juggernauts like Super Mario Galaxy and Kirby’s Epic Yarn, right? The reality is something less than that fantasy, however: The game has more in common with current second-tier platform adventures like Mushroom Men and Deadly Creatures or good (but outdated) oldies like Rayman 2 than it does with Nintendo’s modern classics. That’s not a bad thing, since guiding Mickey through the large colorful worlds (Mickeyjunk Mountain is a definite highlight) and solving occasionally inventive puzzles with a magical paintbrush is fun. And the amount of Disney love on display, from the huge cast of characters to the numerous unlockables to the Steamboat Willie-style 2D interludes, give the game an energy and personality that elevates it above most of its competition, if not quite up into the pantheon where it once seemed destined to reside.