One of this year's Nintendo 3DS games of note that isn't made by Nintendo is the upcoming Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, a side-scrolling throwback to an old Genesis game, and a game that's got some unusual things going for it.
- It's a callback to the1990 Sega Genesis Mickey Mouse game, Castle of Illusion, which development team leader Peter Ong recently told a room full of game journalists he used to play through to completion every day, back when he was a kid. The new game is set in the Castle of Illusion.
- The 3DS game is a sidescroller that gives Mickey the power to paint parts of his world into existence or remove parts he doesn't want there, similar, roughly to the console Epic Mickey games, but played from this more classic perspective.
- It is filled with classic Disney characters, primarily pulled from various hand-animated Disney films. You can find these characters and get them to help you in the game's levels. More intriguingly, your collected characters will assemble in a home base of sorts, standing around, waiting to chat with you and to send you on simple quests. This is a direct callback to another favourite of Ong and his team at Dreamrift, the role-playing game series Suikoden. As you do missions for these characters, they will have more to tell you. The rooms they are standing in will gain a few upgrades. But, no, you won't be collecting 108 characters, Suikoden-style. You'll gather a bunch, just not that many, Ong said.
- The Dreamrift folks who are making the game are many of the former developers of EA's Henry Hatsworth game, which bodes well.
That's what jumped out to me when I played a little bit of Power of Illusion earlier this month. The game is set for a November 18 release and is at least worth putting on your list of 3DS games to follow. The developers have tons of time to get this game right as they build it on the framework of some beloved classics.