Also On: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Junction Point/Blitz Games/SCE
Online: Ad Hoc Multiplayer
The simple fact of Epic Mickey 2's existence on the Vita is, to be frank, bizarre. The original version for PS3/Xbox 360/Wii/Wii U came out eight months ago to a critical reaction best described as "meh", and even though it appeared on four times as many consoles as the original Epic Mickey, it sold only about one-third as many copies. I speak from personal experience when I say that the game, at least the PS3 version, was pretty much the definition of bland and uninspired. Basically, if this isn't the least-demanded port of all time, it's certainly in the running.
All that said, Epic Mickey 2 on the Vita isn't a complete disaster. In fact, in many ways it's a step up from the console versions. The porting was done, in part, by Sony themselves, which means that the people in charge of it were intimately familiar with the handheld. Consequently, any motion controls that existed on the console versions have been turned — pretty seamlessly, for the most part — into touch controls. Moreover, the game looks fantastic on the PS Vita's OLED screen, to the point that it looks less like a tired, pointless sequel (which was part of the problem with the original), and more like an actual labour of love.
Unfortunately, a few enhancements here and there can't get around the fact that a port of a thoroughly mediocre game is still, ultimately, mediocre. The game is still full of pointless side quests. Touch integration notwithstanding, the controls are still a bit of a challenge, particularly when it comes to platforming. And, worst of all, the partner A.I. is abysmally bad, to the point that, unless you happen to have a friend with both a Vita and a copy of the game, you should expect to play the whole way through with only minimal assistance from your supposed ally. Considering the game is subtitled "The Power of 2", that's a pretty big failure on the part of the game.
Yet, in spite of all these flaws, I can't bring myself to come right out and say "Don't buy Epic Mickey 2". For one thing, it's a 3D platformer/action game on a system that is sorely lacking in such things. For another, it still looks and sounds wonderful; even though I'm hardly a Disney fanboy, the way the whole world pops off the screen still fills me with feelings of fondness for the game, however misguided those feelings may be. That's not enough to make me go in the exact opposite direction and recommend the game unequivocally, but it is enough for me to say that if you go into the game with no expectations whatsoever, you should, at the very least, find it to be passably decent.