Mickey’s Epic Yarn

I’ve mentioned before that one of my symptoms is a foggy cloudy head that can’t handle thinking or action of any kind…but in early December I started having days where I could once again handle video games.  Since then I’ve spent some of my emergency savings on a few new games, and my awesome parents have gifted me some.

It’s tough though because I have to choose something that won’t make me anxious.  As a general rule in this scenario I shouldn’t play or watch anything I haven’t seen before, it’s easier on my brain and on my nerves.  I also didn’t want to get too bored or into a slump, so I’ve been trying to choose things that are both safe and new.  I’ve made some excellent choices other the past couple of months.

I’ve played Super Scribblenauts, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Sonic Colo(u)rs, Oblivion, Brutal Legend and my latest: Epic Mickey.  Or, Mickey’s Epic Yarn as I insist on calling it for some reason.  Although I plan on discussing all of those, I’m going to start with Epic Mickey.  It’s the most recent one I started and therefore it’s freshest in my mind.

Epic.

I’m going to start with the music, since that can’t really spoil the plot, and I don’t want to mix it in with the spoilers ahead. 

The music in this game is absolutely perfect.  It’s, to my ear, an actual recording, not digitally created.  I don’t yet have a source to back that up, so I welcome any information you have on it.  Like I say, it doesn’t SOUND like it’s all digital, but if it is they did a good job.  This soundtrack so far conveys just the right amount of Disney and creepy all into one.  There’s something haunting about it, like it reflects both a long-lost past and a dismal present.  I know, I think about music WAY too much.  Sue me.

The title theme itself represents to me a shady adventure on the way.  Grand in scale but gritty in practice, with some hope on the horizon.  It also sets up the flow of the game for me.  Very Disney, but with a little darkness to it.  Like something lurking in the background.

From the more Disney-esque title theme I moved to a place apparently called “Dark Beauty Castle” which had an almost ghostly waltz.

And then on to a Gremlin village, this music supposedly represents my allies?



From there the first battle featured the song “It’s a Small World”, just to creep me out that little bit extra.

That’s as far as I am with the soundtrack, and I can’t wait to hear more.  And now that I’m through gushing over the music, on to my views of the actual game and gameplay.

***MINOR SPOILERS AHOY***

We start with a delightful cinematic which sets up the intriguing plot and then jump right into gameplay with a mission that seems daunting, but is actually fairly easy.  The general setting is really interesting to look at and lives up to its name, Wasteland, in a haunting sort of way.  Right off the bat you’re approached by a gremlin whose job it is to walk you through the tutorial as you chase after Mickey’s older and significantly less famous brother, Oswald, who tries to stop you at every chance.  The gremlin explains that Oswald rules the Wasteland and seems confused at his actions. 

Here’s the thing…the game gives you choices:  Kill enemies or befriend enemies?  Proceed by creating or proceed by destroying?  Save a gremlin or get extra tickets?  I find it all very suspicious, and I keep waiting for the reveal that this is all a setup, or that the gremlins I’m saving are the bad guys and the enemies I could friend or kill are the good guys, or that I’m the villain.  I’m very early in the game and I’ve discovered only that Pete lives with the gremlins, but that the gremlins think he’s a bit of a dick.  Also Pete is wearing a dress and wig for some reason. 

There are also “guardians”, little wisps that follow you around.  The type of guardian that is drawn to you is directly related to your actions.  One type befriends enemies while the other destroys. 

I’ve chosen to befriend my enemies, mostly because it seems pointless to kill them when there’s another option, but also because they literally haven’t done anything to me.  I’ve happened across them and the danger music plays, but that’s about it.  I know they’re bad only because the game is currently telling me so.

***SLIGHTLY MAJOR GAMEPLAY (not plot) SPOILER AHOY***

Also, I fought the first boss, who so far seems to have no reason for being there or for fighting me, and after ten minutes straight of hitting him with paint nothing was happening, so I hit him with thinner.  He was down a few minutes later.  Apparently my choice to use thinner had some real weight in the game.  I know because they told me, and also because they gave me an extra can of thinner….which sucks for me because I actually use paint more.

***SPOILERS PROBABLY END HERE***

Don’t get me wrong, despite these complaints and my lingering suspicions, I’m really enjoying this game.  It’s filled with awesome references and some really fun, if not slightly frustrating, platforming.  Third person 3D jumping puzzles are not my forte, alright?  There are some really, really, awesome side-scroller parts that I could play all day long too.

In fact, I’d like to take a second and talk about the side-scrollers.

Mickey Mania indeed.

There are levels in this game in which you enter a portal to another map, you work your way through the portal to get to the other side.  The levels are designed after classic Mickey Mouse cartoons and they’re actually so much fun.  They could have made the entire game like this and I still would be having just as much fun, though in a completely different way, I admit.  Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I love old cartoons, so I spend the whole time pretty much just geeking out over it.  It’s like in Mickey Mania where you start off playing through Steamboat Willie, and I could play that first level of Mickey Mania over and over.  The rest of the game is just as fun, but there’s something about playing through a black and white cartoon that appeals to me.  It must the nerd/amateur historian in me or something.

Anyway, that’s my initial take on this game.  I’m really having fun so far, even if I do suspect it’s going to jump out of the shadows and stab me in the back at any moment.

Cheers!  –Cassie

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2 Responses to “Mickey’s Epic Yarn”

  1. When I read this, I just had to go back and see if you’d commented on one of my previous posts. It includes a truly creepy video of the song “It’s a Small World.” http://mackthewriter.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/the-giant-party-i-always-wanted/

    • Well I’ve read it now.

      I strongly recommend you look up Epic Mickey’s version, it’s creepiness comes from it just being |-| that much off.

      I didn’t include a video here because the only one I could find contains a minor spoiler.

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