Epic Mickey is a game that tries to be more than it is, but then doesn't do well at what it should be. Created by Warren Spector himself with a great big helping of Disney licenses, it's the adventure of our favourite corporate mascot as he finds himself in world filled with old remnants of animation, forgotten characters and a evil force that is pretty much up to wrecking all the stuff all the time.
The game begins when Mickey is pulled into the Wasteland, a world filled with characters forgotten through the ages, by the sinister Blot. You're soon given the power of Paint and Thinner, which allow you to create and erase portions of the world, respectively.
This sounds like a pretty neat power, but it comes with serious limitations. For example, you can only erase portions of the world that have been designated as erasable, so you'll often find yourself just spraying randomly to see if something is affected. Secondly, the paint only works on objects that have already been erased, or those that have been designated as creatable. These combinations of limitations do create problems, but despite them there are a decent number of interesting puzzles that crop up from using the two liquids, such as removing walls to find secrets behind, painting in gears to get machinery moving (and using the thinner to stop the machinery just at the right time), or using thinner to collapse a floor and remove rubble from your path before drawing in the ground again to get by.
However, problems arise immediately upon starting the game. The camera system, for example, is annoying and frustrating at best, getting caught on scenery and never looking where you want it to. You are able to use the directional pad to move it slowly, but often it's locked in place and even when it's not, it just refuses to look where you want it to. This, combined with some dodgy platform collision detection can make for some frustrating gameplay. This also creates problems with the paint/thinner mechanics, as you'll often find yourself trying to shoot at something, but with the dodgy camera there's always something in the way, forcing you to find the right angle to spray the object that should be sprayed anyway.
Enemies also show their faces as inky little creatures that run around in service of the Blot, trying to mess up the mouse's day. You can take these critters out using either thinner, which dissolves them, or paint, which turns them into your friend, but the entire experience isn't very fun. It generally takes a good amount of liquid to affect them, and trying to continuously shoot them while moving and fighting with a bad camera often amounts to a tedious experience. It also feels really pointless, since there isn't really much point to doing anything but ignoring enemies entirely, unless they're in your way.
Bosses are a bit of a different manner, since using either paint or thinner can often mean different strategies for them entirely, and as such these battles tend to be quite a bit more enjoyable. Since the choice you make can also change the ending, it's not one to be making quite so likely, if you care about what happens to the inhabitants of this world.
The biggest problem with the game is the repetitive nature of the gameplay. You'll find yourself performing a lot of the same movements over and over again, and even the most interesting levels can become dull after you run through it multiple times. And if you perform any of the quests that the townspeople give, you will be seeing everything a lot. The quests, which are largely just of the fetch variety, don't add much to spice up the gameplay either. There are side-scrolling sections between areas, but they can only do so much.
A charmingly dark graphical style presents itself as you make your way through twisted charicatures of Disney Land attractions, cartoonish but at the same time not-quite-right. The cutscenes are rendered in a really attractive 2D cutout animation style, but the most jarring aspect the complete lack of vocals. You'd think with a voice as noticeable and memorable as Mickey's, that they'd actually spring to put his voice in the game, or at least anybody else's. Instead, what we get is a gibberish sound effect whenever someone talks, which is surprisingly jarring.
Epic Mickey comes together as a decent, if not heavily flawed platformer. It's a little repetitive in nature, but with some redeeming qualities like the paint and thinner abilities, interesting and suprisingly charming plotline, and some good graphical style. There are just too many problems (or lack of interesting elements) to recommend it to too many people, though. Fans of Mickey or just the platforming genre in general might be interested in seeing what the game does differently with each of those elements, but there isn't much here to interest others.