Sony announced today that it would be publishing Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on the PlayStation Vita. Now I love my Vita and I love my Disney stuff, so at first I thought this was an awesome idea, anything to help expand the Vita’s library. But the more I think about it, the more I think this is actually a terrible idea.
Long story short, for anybody who isn’t aware, Epic Mickey 2 is the sequel to the 2010 Wii hit Epic Mickey. It was released on multiple consoles last November to a mixed critical reaction (currently anywhere from 56-64 on Metacritic) and managed to sell a solid third of the units the original Epic Mickey did. This all eventually led to Disney Interactive shutting the developers down.
Apparently all of this massive success caught Sony’s attention and it just knew it had to publish the game on the Vita. My first complaint with this is one out of pure frustration: There are so many other games that would be better additions to the Vita library. Hell, I’m sure even Angry Birds Trilogy would sell a lot better on the system, and that game is already optimized for touch controls!
My second big issue is the fact that I really have no idea who this game is supposed to be for. There are two main groups of people who jumped on this game when it was released last year. The first of these groups were kids – because all kids love Disney – and the second group were nostalgic adults who still love their Disney.
I don’t see a scenario where this game is a hit with kids for a couple of reasons, the first being that any kids who really, really wanted this game had plenty of time to talk their parents into it by now. There was even a Christmas in there for the youngsters to work with. The second reason is that the Vita isn’t a kid-friendly device. One of the reasons the 3DS is the kid’s (or parent’s) handheld of choice is the clamshell design. It is hard to break screens when they are hidden on the inside of a closed system. But the Vita literally has two surfaces on the outside for kids to break! That is just a disaster waiting to happen and no parent is excited for that. All of this leads to the Vita having a small install base with children.
Lastly, I really don’t think this game will be a hit with nostalgic, Disney-loving adults, either. Now, I’m in this group so I’m speaking from experience at this point. Most of us adults have a few dollars lying around and us folks who collect Disney stuff have no problem at all wasting it on stuff with our beloved Mickey Mouse on it. All of us who really wanted to play this game are already long done with it. I seriously doubt anyone who played a console version will be coming back for more on the Vita.
I might be acting overly negatively here. The designers are adding touch controls and this version will be given Wi-Fi co-op. As for a release date, 2013 was the only time frame given, and a North American version hasn’t even been announced at this point. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. I’d love to see it be a hit for the Vita; I love when anything is a hit for the Vita. But I just don’t see this one panning out.