For people not familiar, E3 (or the Electronic Entertainment Expo,) is an annual video game conference that takes place at the Los Angeles Convention center that showcases games, gaming platforms, and gaming accessories that will be coming out to market in the next year.
This time around, Disney had a fairly large presence, largely showcasing their big game for the year, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.
Whereas the last game had the player taking the role of Mickey, sometimes opposed to the bitter and vaguely antagonistic Oswald, this game has the two working together with synergistic abilities, giving the player the ability to swap between them during gameplay.
Game designer Warren Spector gave a few talks during the course of the show about some of the changes players can expect from the first game: No longer a Wii exclusive, it will be coming out (on November 18, no less,) on the XBox 360 and the PS3 as well. Changes made to the environment will no longer be reset on revisiting the same area later in the game–decisions made are permanent, and irrevocably affect the course of the game. The camera movement, a large source of complaints in the first game, has been retooled. Most interesting for those of us not big-time gamers–everyone talks this time!
David Garabaldi and George Anzaldo also gave performances, painting and dancing simultaneously together to illustrate “The Power of Two.”
There was also a large display of Disney memorabilia (much of it provided by the Disney Archives) as it pertained to the properties featured in the games: Oswald, gremlins, and Mickey.
In case you doubted Spector’s devotion to the property, a good portion was also from his private collection.
Oh…and there were the ears.
As a promotional giveaway, the booth gave out free personalized Oswald ear hats. This rapidly became the hit of the show, and the line to order them grew to almost completely encircle the booth. They gave you a time to come back and pick them up and finally…
They showcased a number of other games as well, of course, including their companion to the upcoming movie of the same name, “Wreck-it Ralph.”
In a Tron-esque move, the movie was based on an old video game “Fix-it Felix Jr.,” and now the movie has inspired a completely new game that has been designed to be the old game from the movie.
They also had a bar giving out Vitamin water to promote their terribly successful mobile game “Where’s My Water,” which will be coming out with new levels, and a spin-off “Where’s My Perry,” from the series Phineas and Ferb.
In the back, hidden, oddly enough by an abundance of foliage that attracted the attention of a swarm of gnats by the end of the show, was a display of their other upcoming movie tie-in game, “Brave: The Video Game.”
A platformer that will be available on most gaming systems, it does have spoilers in the cutscenes, so it may be advisable to see the movie first.
So it looks like a good year ahead for Disney gaming…now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have to finally go finish Epic Mickey 1…