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Found 8 results

  1. Following his recent unemployment and the closure of his Disney-owned studio, Junction Point, Epic Mickey's Warren Spector gave a speech at DICE 2013. In his speech, he assured gamers that he wasn't ready to retire, as he has games he still wants to make. This speech began with Spector saying that he wasn't there to discuss "the elephant in the room," Disney Interactive, the recent closure of his studio, or the past eight years of his career. The only thing he'd say on that matter was that he worked with some great people on some amazing projects. After a simple "it's all good," Spector went on to give his actual speech about "The Graying of Gaming," which he refers to the aging gaming population that he is a part of, and discussed his disinterest in retirement. "I had a little wake-up moment last week in the wake of events," he said. "One of my programmers said, 'Why don't you just retire?' The answer was easy: I still have things I want to make. I'm not ready to go live on a farm." Spector continued to say how unsure he was as to how many more games he'd be able to make, but that his tastes in game designing have "changed dramatically" since he began his career as a game designer. Making games about armored men with big swords or alien-bashing space marines are not the kind of things that interest him. "I want content that is relevant to my life, set in the real world," Spector said. "If we're going to reach a new audience, we have to stop making games for teenage boys, or even teenage girls." Spector went on to mock Grasshopper Manufacture's recent title, Lollipop Chainsaw by displaying an image of the game on the screen behind him as he stated, "There are some games that should just not be made." He then continued by displaying images of Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead, saying how developers should celebrate diversity and "the ordinary" in terms of design. Finally, Spector closed with, "Put aside geekish things, and be guided by passion," followed by a display of his LinkedIn profile on the back screen. How do you feel about Warren Spector? Do you think he should retire, or are you excited by the games he might bring to the table?
  2. In another sad case of a developer shutting down, today we've learned that Disney Interactive has shuttered Junction Point Studios, the developer behind last Fall's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. The move was made in the wake of the critical and financial failure of the game. It was discovered recently that Epic Mickey 2 sold through 529,000 units of the game through last November and December, but those sales were far behind the original game's. A spokesperson for Disney Interactive released a statement on the situation to Polygon, saying: "These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We're extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2." Disney Interactive now turns its attention and resources toward the upcoming Disney Infinity, which is being developed by Avalanche Software. Additionally, game designer Warren Spector has confirmed that he is leaving Disney Interactive with the closure of Junction Point. He took to Facebook to post his farewell letter, saying that he's sad to leave Junction Point Studios behind but excited for the future. "JPS had a good eight year run." Spector noted in his farewell letter. "I got to work with some amazing people on some amazing projects. I've had some of the most magical times of my life, fulfilling several life-long dreams. I've gotten to know Disney fans and Disney cast members, gotten hands on with Disney's history, walked where Walt walked... 'Magical' really is the only word. Anyway, whatever you think of me, or Junction Point, or Disney or the Disney Epic Mickey games — yes, I know we polarized people! — I'll always look back on the last eight years with nothing but pride. Rarely have I worked with a team more dedicated or harder working. Never have I been part of a game — of anything, really — that touched people at as deep or personal a level as the Epic Mickey games. That's priceless." The full post can be read on Warren Spector's Facebook. Game Podunk wishes the best to those affected by the closure of Junction Point Studios. Source: Polygon
  3. Jordan Haygood

    Review: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

    Developer: Junction Point Studios (Wii), Heavy Iron (Wii U), Blitz Games Studios (PS3, 360, PC, Mac) Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios Platform: Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, MAC Release Date: November 18, 2012 ESRB: E for Everyone This review is based on the Wii version of the game. A retail copy was provided by Disney Interactive Studios for review. Mickey Mouse has been the face of Disney for over 80 years now, appearing in everything from television shows and feature films to comic books, video games, and one of the most famous theme parks in the world. But for the longest time, not many people knew that Mickey was actually the replacement for his older brother Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This unlucky rabbit had been abandoned years ago and forgotten to most of the world… That is, until the Wii game Epic Mickey came along in 2010, which breathed new life into Walt Disney“s forgotten hero. And while the original Epic Mickey featured Oswald as simply a deuteragonist, the multi-platform follow-up Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two has given him a new role - sharing the spotlight with Mickey as they both save Wasteland together from a new threat in a very colorful, very musical, and very co-op adventure. But with Oswald onboard, can this game truly follow up the magic of its predecessor, or does it spill paint thinner all over its name? Well…a little of both. Epic Mickey 2 takes us right back to the land of rejected and forgotten Disney creations known as Wasteland. After the events of the first game, earthquakes are now blowing Wasteland asunder, acting as a sort of natural thinner as the world begins to break apart like it did back when clumsy ”ol Mickey Mouse poured paint thinner all over the land in his first epic adventure (probably murdering countless Wastelanders in the process). This time, the antagonistic Mad Doctor has seemingly turned over a new leaf, calling out for someone to help him fix Wasteland as he tries to make up for what he did in the past. Oswald decides to be a hero while his wife and Gremlin Gus, both suspicious of the Mad Doctor“s sudden change of heart, build a magic TV to call Mickey back into action. The story isn“t quite as deep or “epic†as the first one, but the events that tell the story are still quite a treat. The Power of Two has several things going for it that the original never had, such as full-on voice acting. And by that, I mean that every single character in Wasteland has a voice. Yes, even Male Dog. Unfortunately though, with everyone speaking loud and clear, there are times when it gets a bit annoying, like when Gus repeatedly tells you the same objective over and over and over again until you get the job done. He“ll make you want to paint thinner him, I“ll tell you that right now. The cutscenes are wonderfully whimsical when the Mad Doctor is involved, as he has taken the liberty of turning this story into a musical of sorts, singing every time he speaks and getting others to do the same on occasion. And these are pretty catchy songs, too, for the most part. There“s also a bit of wit involved in this game, such as when Mickey and Oswald exchange puzzled looks when the Mad Doctor sings. Other than the visual quirks, the dialogue itself can be pretty funny too, both with simple spoken lines and with toe-tapping sung lines. This game takes itself about as seriously as a classic Disney cartoon, which adds plenty of room to be ridiculous and funny. It won“t come as much of a shock to veterans of the original, but Epic Mickey 2 has a truly fantastic score behind it. Aside from its delightful musical numbers, this game“s booming orchestral tracks and songs with a hint of familiarity will leave you awestruck and really helps in identifying this game as an epic adventure. And believe it or not, the music also changes depending on your decisions. These audial shifts won“t exactly be glaring you in the face ears, subtle as they are, but they are there, and they do help to make your experience more than meets the eye ear. On that note, one interesting mechanic strewn about in this game is a decision-making system of rewards and consequences. It“s a unique and promising mechanic that causes different things to happen depending on how you play. It“s just a shame that this mechanic wasn“t used to its fullest potential. Not only are the bad choices not always clear, but your choices don“t even really matter in the end. You may notice characters refusing to help you throughout the game, but the overall outcome is basically the same. Epic Mickey was known for being highly stylized with cartoony flair and its successor is no different. The 2D cutscenes are very well-made, bringing in a nice artsy, old-fashioned look distinctive from the rest of the game. The 3D cutscenes featuring the very vocal Mad Doctor are also very beautiful, as is the 3D environment of the game itself. Every area of the game feels like a work of art, from the black-and-white side-scrolling segments to the very vivid overworld. And when you throw in Mickey“s paintbrush and its paint/thinner abilities, The Power of Two just looks all-around gorgeous. With all the good Epic Mickey 2 has going for it, it“s really disappointing to see so many flaws come to the forefront while actually playing the game. The gameplay can feel a bit sloppy at certain points, which you may notice when you find yourself falling to a precocious death because of something you could have sworn you did right. This could be caused by a manner of things, from slippery surfaces to your character“s sluggish movements. The controls themselves can also become troublesome at times, but with the Wii“s motion controls, there“s a nice balance there that makes it tolerable. Junction Point has made it a point (pun intended) to fix some of the issues the original Epic Mickey suffered from, such as the poor camera. And while they indeed fixed some of the environmental obstruction problems, the camera still acts a bit wonky sometimes. It“s also disheartening to realize that the newer things thrown into this game weren“t exactly implemented properly. This is especially true about the AI in this game. As far as enemy AI goes, it feels very unbalanced, which can often make certain normal enemies seem impossible to kill. Not to mention this game, unlike countless others, doesn“t have an invincibility shield to protect you from being bombarded with attacks until you die. Rather than making it fair on you, the cruddy combat pretty much kills you instantly if you“re going up against a boss that won“t stop smacking you around, and Oswald“s AI either can“t or won“t help you. Speaking of Oswald“s AI, it“s fairly obvious that The Power of Two was made for playing cooperatively with another human player. So if you have someone to play with, it“s actually a lot more fun. When playing single-player, however, you will no doubt have trouble getting Oswald to do what you want, especially considering you can only play as Mickey. It also gets quite annoying when he constantly tells you that “I“ve got this†when he clearly hasn“t. If you can stomach the game“s flaws as I have, you may find yourself easily distracted by the game“s many sidequests. And I wouldn“t blame you, because I couldn“t help myself from doing just that. Some quests are more fun than others, and if you feel the need to collect the multiple forms of currency within the game, quests are probably the best opportunity to do so. At the end of the day, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the wonderful voice acting, fantastic soundtrack, and gorgeous visuals will make the experience as magical as it was meant to be. But on the other hand, sloppy gameplay mechanics, cruddy combat, and often moronic AI tend to get in the way a lot. But if you can tolerate this game“s flaws, it can truly be a fun ride. It“s not as good as its predecessor, but if you enjoyed the original, or you're just a big Disney fan, I suggest giving Epic Mickey 2 a shot. Pros: + Voice acting is impressive + Fantastic soundtrack + Gorgeous visuals + 2-player co-op heightens the fun factor Cons: - Sloppy gameplay mechanics - Moronic AI - Cruddy combat Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Mickey's second epic venture into Wasteland is a wonderfully quirky musical chock-full of fantastic aesthetics. Unfortunately, it also has some big flaws that weigh it down enough to turn some people away. It's not for everyone, but it'll delight plenty.
  4. We're only slightly over a week away from Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two's release, and Disney is already releasing a slew of video content in anticipation of Mickey and Oswald's (ahem) "epic" return to consoles. The latest trailer/vignette showcases Playstyle Matters, which is an approach to the gameplay that allows players to tackle challenges however they want to, instead of having just one set way of solving something. This opens up a variety of possibilities and storylines, but also comes with different consequences as well. Hit up the trailer below to watch it in action and see for yourself. Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is slated to release on Nov. 18th on the Wii, PS3, 360, and Wii U. Additionally, its 3DS companion game, Disney Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion, is releasing on the same day, and a demo is currently available to download on the Nintendo eShop right now.