They’ve survived the worst of times.
They’ve made sacrifices.
Mickey and Oswald are back, not as enemies, but as brothers.
Their brotherly bond is vital to Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’s cooperative campaign.
Mickey, once again, wields the power to create and erase the environment with his magical paint brush. He finds a way, whether or not he chooses to paint in what doesn’t exist, or to rub it all away with a blast of paint thinner. Beside him, Oswald electrifies incoming threats with his remote control, keeping them at bay as Mickey judges their fate as friend or foe. Both brothers know the art of jumping from platform to platform, but only Oswald can whip his lanky ears into a set of propellers for increased air-time. With a leap of faith, Mickey can latch onto Oswald as he makes his way across the lengthier chasms.
Separated, the duo won’t get far. Mickey needs Oswald, as much as Oswald needs Mickey. Mickey leads Oswald through Fort Wasteland — a locale based on one of the five themed lands that opened with Disneyland in 1955 — traversing across the remains of a few tree trunks that lost their top halves to a blast of thinner. Oswald opens doors with a steady shock to a switch on the underside of a panel held open by Mickey. Mickey finds precious time to drop anvils atop a giant, gelatinous blot as Oswald stuns his gooey soldiers and whips him into submission from behind. And when the animatronic beasts of the Wasteland awaken, Oswald can bring them back to a cold sleep with a buzz or two from his deadly clicker.
Morality continues to affect the Wasteland’s inhabitants. Anger someone, and they will remember it. Please someone, and they will reward their trust, and important items to upgrade Oswald and Mickey’s abilities.
The camera obstacle in 2010’s Epic Mickey fades away when playing Epic Mickey 2 on the PlayStation 3 with the second analog stick — and it’s probably safe to assume the same applies to the Xbox 360 version. Fort Wasteland’s verticality would have been impossible to navigate prior to Epic Mickey 2’s improvements.
The rhythm of roaming around side-by-side resembles the essence of a well-crafted co-op experience. Mickey and Oswald’s weaknesses are filled when working in tandem, a necessary element to dissuade antagonistic behavior. After all, they need each other.
No brother left behind.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two drips onto store shelves November 18 for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360.
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