• Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion casts you in the role of the iconic mouse as you have to save all of your friends from Mizrabel and the Castle of Illusion.  Depending on your outlook Power of Illusion is either a sequel or a tribute to the classic Castle of Illusion game that came out a long time ago on the Sega Genesis.  Everyone (including Mickey) has been trapped in the Castle of Illusion and it is Mickey’s job to not only break the illusions within the castle walls but to also make sure he can get everyone home.  Along your journey you will come across familiar faces such as Donald Duck, Peter Pan, Aladdin and many more.  The boss fights in the game have you taking on iconic Disney villains such as Captain Hook although not everything is as it seems.  Throughout the game you’ll visit famous Disney lands such as Never Never Land, Agrabah, the sea (from Little Mermaid) and more.  If you are a big Disney fan you should definitely enjoy this game, however, the title is not without some issues.

    The gameplay for Power of Illusion takes place on the top screen with the bottom screen being used to help you solve puzzles.  Mickey’s paint brush returns from the original Epic Mickey and you will be painting (and erasing) up a storm as you try to negotiate your way through levels and boss fights.  As you go through the game you will unlock sketches which allow you to draw on the touch screen.  You can draw items like a platform that will allow Mickey to get somewhere that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise or draw Goofy himself so he can break some blocks that are above your head.  Each time you paint (or erase) something it uses up ink so you will want to keep your eye on the paint meter to make sure you have enough.  Your ink will slowly recharge as you go along and you will also be able to find paint brushes throughout the environment that will refill your ink as well.  Something I learned about halfway through the game is that you don’t necessarily want to draw in a straight line but instead you want to tap in a straight line when you are drawing.  This minimizes the ink that you use which could be crucial if you are running low.  Your drawing is constantly graded and by getting “good” or “perfect” your ink will continue to be refilled as you draw.  If you don’t do a good enough job and you run out of ink then you need to start the drawing over again.

    This mechanic is pretty fun but there will people who find it a bit repetitive.  You will need to have your stylus out at all times as you never know when you will need to quickly tap the screen and quickly draw an object (or a person).  The frequency with which you have to do this will put some people off and I’m sure some might find it a tad boring after a while.  For me personally I was having a lot of fun with the game so the few moments I had to spend drawing here and there didn’t really bother me.  I mentioned the sketches up above and before you start a level you are able to choose which sketches you want in your arsenal as you make your way through the level.  You will want to think carefully here because if you happen to pick the wrong sketch then you might not be able to get all the way through a level (or at least you would make it a lot harder on yourself).  One thing that did annoy me with this game is the almost complete absence of a checkpoint system.  There is usually a midway point or whatever that you will be sent to if you die in the second half of the level but a more frequent checkpoint system would have been nice, especially in the later stages of the game.  Additionally, Power of Illusion is a pretty short game.  You could probably beat it in one or two sittings if you really wanted to and that is a shame.  It seems like greater variety could have made this good game a great one.  The 3D effect in the game works really well in my opinion as it is subtly used and really makes the environment jump out of you.  It adds a nice bit of depth to the game and I really enjoyed utilizing it.

    While going through the game the action is on the top screen as I said, however, you need to pay just as much attention to the bottom screen as well.  When you aren’t using it to draw items you will want to keep an eye on what it is showing you.  It essentially shows you a silhouette of the level you are going through and it will show you things you can’t normally see on the top screen.  You might be running along on the top screen and think there is nothing around you at that moment only to look at the bottom screen and see that a silhouette of a person is actually in that area.  You simply tap him on the bottom screen, draw him and then he will appear on the screen and usually thank you from rescuing him.  A large part of the story is about rescuing your friends as I mentioned above and you will want to pay attention to anyone who is trapped as you go through the levels.  Donald might be trapped on a high ledge that you need to figure out how to get to or Goofy might be trapped by an enemy and you have to rescue him.  Once you do rescue people they will go to a fortress that is safe from Mizrabel and they will have you finding certain items for them.  This means that you will more than likely be returning to stages you have already cleared to try and search for this new item.  The development team had a great idea here though as they highlight which stage(s) have an item (or something else) to find so you don’t have to go through every single stage in the game looking for something.

    Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is a game that I had fun with, however, it is not without issue as I outlined above.  The lack of a checkpoint system for the most part is a pain and I can definitely see some people getting bored with some of the fetch quests or the amount of drawing you need to do with the stylus on the bottom screen.  I think there are instances where it is pretty cleverly used (such as the boss battles) but at other times it will seem like a bit much.  With all of that said Power of Illusion did surprise me as I didn’t really know what to expect going in and I ended up enjoying my time with the game.  If you are a fan of 2D platformers or the Epic Mickey franchise (or both!) then you should definitely give this game a shot.  It might surprise you as well.

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    The TotallyGN Verdict
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    • A fun 2D platformer with Mickey and the rest of his friends.
    • The game is beautiful and controls wonderfully.
    • Painting mechanic can get repetitive. Could use more variety.

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    Summary:

    Power of Illusion is a really fun title for the 3DS. With a little bit more variety in the sequel (if there is one) it could turn a good game into a great game.

    [note class=”alignright”]7[/note]
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    • Format: 3DS
    • Developer: DreamRift
    • Publisher: Disney
    • Release Date: November 18, 2012

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