A couple of years ago, Disney's quintessential mascot had all but disappeared from games, considered "not relevant enough" by the marketing types for today's young audiences. Until, that is, Junction Point Studios came along and brought him back from the brink with Epic Mickey. Armed with a magical paintbrush and a whole lot of paint thinner, it was up to the little mouse to save the Wasteland, a land populated by Walt Disney's less famous creations, both theme park, and cartoon related, from the evil blot. What followed was an awesome platform game chock full of collectables, with multiple ways of solving problems thanks to the dichotomy of paint and thinner at the heart of the game, along with the concept of good and evil. For example, when you came across an enemy, you could choose to either befriend it by spraying them with paint, or erase them from existence with a bit of paint thinner and there's plenty of instances where you can either save someone's life or leave them, and go for the treasure instead. By trying to introduce morals into the game, Epic Mickey was an interesting, and fun trip into the Disneyverse, the likes of which we'd never seen before.
While the sequel, Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two for the Xbox 360, Wii and Playstation 3 adds co-op, with a second player taking on Mickey's predecessor and partner in crime, Oswald the rabbit, the 3DS is instead getting it's own, exclusive sequel, called Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion. As opposed to the 3D platforming action of the home console version, Power of Illusion is a 2D platformer, kind of like the New Super Mario Bros. series, where you're jumping around, taking out various enemies as you go, in a 2D, retro themed world. According to the game's creator Warren Spector, the game blends Wasteland mythology with characters and gameplay elements from the beloved classic Castle Of Illusion game of the 1990s, which was released back in 1990 on the old SEGA console, the Mega Drive.
In Power Of Illusion for the 3DS, the same witch from 1990's Castle of Illusion, Mizrabel, has been forgotten, and trapped in the land of Wasteland, although both her castle and powers are still intact. Desperate to escape, she concocts a scheme to collect the essences of as many famous Disney characters as she can, which she'll then use to propel herself back into the land of the popular characters from which she originally came. So it's up to Mickey, Oswald and a bunch of other Wasteland-ers to run, jump, draw and erase their way through a plan to rescue all the trapped Disney characters and thwart Mizrabel's dastardly plan - even if that is an amazing name for a witch.
Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion is out sometime this autumn for the 3DS we'd imagine it'll likely be at around the same time as the 'home' console games, which are due out on the 26th of September. Make sure you keep checking back, as we're sure to get more information on both Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of 2 and Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion in the coming months.