I know beautyâ€™s in the eye of the beholder, butâ€¦wow. This game is freaking gorgeous. Screen shots donâ€™t do it justice; You have to see it in motion on your own tv. Itâ€™s like a finely detailed chalk pastel painting come to life. I kept stopping to simply stare at the living artwork on my television screen.
And the visuals are really solidâ€”not a glitch or tear to be seen yet. The frame rateâ€™s great 99% of the time.
I love Mickeyâ€™s animation; The guy looks alive. The controls feel great. Not Mario great, but far better than the loosey-goosey butter-shoes some reviewers have complained about. Iâ€™m not the worldâ€™s most skilled platformer, and I havenâ€™t missed a jump yet. Well, okay, oneâ€”but landing on a wet hippoâ€™s head isnâ€™t easy. Mickeyâ€™s actions, weight and momentum feel toon-perfect. Just watch the cool way he stretches, squashes and snaps as he jumps. Watch the way he flattens like a pancake if he jumps from too high up and loses a pip (life point).
The paint & thinner mechanic is a joy to use. Itâ€™s nothing miraculous: When you first try it youâ€™ll instantly recognize its limits, but youâ€™ll probably also think: Why didnâ€™t anyone think of this before? Like the dimension switches in Super Paper Mario, it opens up new possibilities in puzzles and platforming.
Before I forget to mention it: Best tutorial cinema ever! Gus Gremlin rocks.
Iâ€™ve only played a few hours so far, but Iâ€™ve already experienced some consequences for decisions Iâ€™ve madeâ€¦I paid dearly for a hasty choice, and now a particular character hates me, but I did get a cool item out of the bargain. And I really like that aspect of this game: You canâ€™t succeed at every quest in one play-through. You canâ€™t make every character happy, and there are tough choices to be made–in a Mickey Mouse game!
Now the million dollar question: Is it fun? So far, heck yeah! I just spent two hours running around inside a nightmare version of Itâ€™s a Small Worldâ€”a version where the boats get sucked down into whirlpools and the smiling clock tries to kill you while blaring the rideâ€™s infamous theme song!
Not Mario Galaxy 2 fun. More like Super Mario Sunshine fun. Fun enough!
Will it remain fun in the long run? Stay tuned. Honestlyâ€¦I have no idea what this gameâ€™s going to do next. The first hours were mostly tutorials, exploration and platforming. Now that Iâ€™ve reached Mean Street and Ostown (which is where the gameâ€™s visuals really hit their stride) the gameâ€™s suddenly become a fetch quest. So far Iâ€™m enjoying it, because the characters are likable, well-written, and amazing to watch.
Iâ€™m not sure what kind of gameplay awaits at my next destination, Mickeyjunk Mountain. Okay, right thereâ€”This game has a location called Mickeyjunk Mountain. Thatâ€™s worth the price of admission.
Any disappointments so far? Minor things. The camera isnâ€™t always your friend, but itâ€™s not a disaster. The pacing is a bit leisurely, but thatâ€™s actually a plus for me. The invisible autosave is a bit unnerving: You just have to trust that you can simply quit playing without losing much progress. The game, while very polished and slick, doesnâ€™t feel as seamless as a first-party Nintendo release: Itâ€™s loaded with fade-out transitions and cut-away camera shots that briefly interrupt the gameplay flow.
One thing is certain: If youâ€™re a Disney fan, youâ€™ll be in a continual state of joy while exploring this game. Youâ€™ll be shouting things like: Scar! Dippy Dawg! The random huge green elephant Disneyland temporarily installed in the Penny Arcade for no apparent reason! The gameâ€™s designers have stuffed this thing to the gills with amazing details that add an extra level of spot-the-reference fun for fans.
Iâ€™ll post a full review soon, but I want to end with one last observation about the area where this game has really delivered: Five hours in, I already love Wasteland. I actually care about its inhabitants and Iâ€™m ticked off at Mickey for not remembering Horace and Clarabelle. Jerk! I want to see this story through to the end and set things right for these characters.
More to come!