Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two has arrived on the PlayStation Vita, seven months after its console debut last year . The portable version adds a clutch of Vita-specific features to the formula, but otherwise this remains the game we’re familiar with; a well-intentioned yet utterly bewildering mess rooted in Disney nostalgia.
The use of the Vita’s touchscreen control in Epic Mickey 2 is a hit-and-miss affair, so fortunately it’s rarely insisted upon. It’s most immediately woven into Epic Mickey 2’s central hook – the ‘painting’ or ‘thinning’ of the world – options which can now be selected and directed with a finger tap.
While motion control in Epic Mickey 2 might have worked well with a Nintendo Wiimote or the PlayStation Move, it doesn’t always work on a smaller screen. During moments where particularly precise aiming of paint or thinner is required – when an enemy is running at you, for example – I found my big fat finger obscuring the action entirely as I tried to focus on its trajectory. In these instances, using the Vita’s shoulder buttons is a more reliable option.
Elsewhere, using the touchscreen feels perfectly adequate. Popping bubbles, for example, or filling in big chunks of the Wasteland, is the sort of minute-to-minute stuff that works fine, while not being entirely necessary. Epic Mickey 2 occasionally utilizes the Vita’s gyroscope, too, but not until much later in the campaign, and not in a substantial way. A novel way to control a vehicle, for example, rather than a focused and innovative integration.
Perhaps it is Epic Mickey 2’s world that has benefitted most from the transition. Still groaning with Disney nostalgia (albeit a sort of unfashionably obscure kind), creator Warren Spector’s mad vision is compacted on the Vita, so its colours and detail sing a little louder than on console. A pleasant surprise.
Otherwise, this is fairly average business as usual, and the criticisms of my original review stand. Objectives are repetitive and dull, the camera sits too low and makes platforming awkward, and characters chatter in a never-ending loop as you try to solve painfully inconsistent puzzles.
An ad-hoc multiplayer option offers a similar jump-in, jump-out co-op mode to the console versions, and if you have a friend with a copy of Epic Mickey 2 it’s a mode I would recommend. Having a counterpart who can think with practicality and rationality makes for a far less frustrating ordeal.