Highlights include Tron: Evolution, Toy Story 3, and quite possibly my favorite game of 2010, EPIC MICKEY!
For those who don’t already know, writing crap about games is what pays my bills. With that in mind, as a slobbering fan of all things Disney, it was unbelievably amazing to watch the company take a serious stab at the interactive medium. Disney games have long been somewhat of a joke, often (rightfully) written off as kiddie fare or shameless license cash-ins. However, I can attest that the company made a valiant effort last year towards making the Disney name mean as much to gaming as it does to film, TV and animation.
Yes: This IS a Disney game. And a damned good one
That said, 2010 was a tough year for Disney’s gaming division, and it rang in 2011 with a wave of firings and layoffs. The company behind Tron: Evolution, Propaganda Studios, was closed almost immediately after the game released. Probably because it wasn’t very good, even though there were a lot of great ideas in the game, as well as some gorgeous set pieces in this playable prequel to Tron: Legacy. Unfortunately it skews towards the boring side and definitely could’ve benefited from more development time in order to appeal to anyone other than diehard Tron fans. Whatever, I love Light Cycles!
In the game, you get to see how Clu came to power
Toy Story 3 was also way better than it should’ve been. Gamers don’t expect much from titles based on new movies, largely because they suck, they’re short, and sacrifice fine tuning to coincide with the release of the film they’re piggy-backing on in a timely manner. More importantly, most movie-based games take crescendo moments from the film and turn them into prolonged and uninspired levels. Toy Story 3 does it as well, and it too blows ass.
No shit, this in ridiculously fun
However, the majority of the gameplay in Toy Story 3 reside in the free form “Toy Box Mode” where players essentially create their own world, at their own pace, using Pixar’s lovable characters as building blocks. It’s awesome, works amazingly with multiple players, and features characters and pieces from ALL the Pixar movies as unlockable rewards! Not that there’s a lot of quality to compare it to, but Toy Story 3 is unquestionably the greatest Pixar game ever made.
A level inspired by Disneyland’s Matterhorn is made out of several decades worth of actual Mickey Mouse merchandise
And then there’s Epic Mickey… a game I can’t say enough nice things about. It’s the game to own for Disney fans (I wrote an article on 50 Amazing Disney References that appear within the just the first couple of levels) and undeniable proof that the company was tackling the medium of games with balls and gusto. It’s a classic 3D platformer with an RPG mentality, restore life or take it away via Mickey’s paintbrush and the world of misfit Disneyana will in turn react differently to player-specific behavior. I believe they said you have to play the game three times to experience absolutely everything.
Two of my favorite cameos in Epic Mickey among many, many others
Of course all that made Epic Mickey a bit of a tough sell. It’s a looked a tad underpowered to the modern hardcore audience, yet was arguably more demanding than the average kiddie game a lot of people (incorrectly!) assumed it was. In spite of all that, the game’s perfect for Disney fanatics like myself. So if you want to pick up the amazing Collector’s Edition, featuring a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes features, more classic Mickey Mouse cartoons, and a kickass Mickey figure, as well as several other reduced price Disney titles YOU HAVE UNTIL 12AM PACIFIC TIME!
Thanks to PanzerDSS for the link