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BulletMagnet avatar 3:58 PM on 03.24.2012  (server time)
Shortblog: The Real News of the Epic Mickey 2 Announcement

As you’ve probably seen by now, a sequel to 2010’s Disney tribute/platformer Epic Mickey has been announced – not too surprisingly, a good amount of gamer chatter has bubbled forth in response, including quite a bit of early coverage right here on DToid. Most of the focus has been on the “homebound” console edition, subtitled The Power of Two, but there also exist rumblings of a portable iteration: right on cue, a handful of sites have gotten wind of an upcoming Nintendo Power issue which confirms that a 3DS version, Power of Illusion, will be hitting shelves around the same time as its big brother.

Feel free to check the link and have a look for yourself.

…you missed it, didn’t you?

Look again.

…THERE! See it? Right there:

Dreamrift, the studio formed by Henry Hatsworth alumni that brought us Monster Tale, is listed as Power of Illusion's developer in an online preview of the cover story.

…oh man. There IS some good left in this world.

In case you didn’t already know, I’m a big fan of these guys: Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, in particular, stands as not only a personal favorite DS game and all-time platformer pick right alongside the likes of Super Mario World, but one of the few absolute goods that EA has ever seen fit to bestow upon gamers (I’m still convinced that the spillover good will from Hatsworth is what made Mirror’s Edge happen). Charming, creative and supremely fine-tuned, Hatsworth is both a mash note to the hard-boiled olden days of pixel-perfect character-based action gaming and a look ahead at ways to shake things up and keep the hallowed genre fresh for less-adapted audiences (one fellow c-blogger recently revisited the game here; also feel free to check out older writeups like this one). The studio’s first post-EA effort, the sorta-Metroidvania Monster Tale, didn’t rock my world in quite the same fashion but is still very much worth playing.

The thing is, ever since Monster Tale hit shelves, there has been virtual radio silence: though reviews for the former were positive, the developer had openly acknowledged the risk they were taking by putting out a brand-new IP on an aging system, and I feared that this admirable devotion to doing their own thing might have caught up to them in the worst way. While the afore-linked interview had quoted Dreamrift’s co-founder as saying the group had a 3DS project in the pipeline, I was still worried, especially considering what’s been happening to some of my other favorite developers lately.

Thankfully, it seems that Dreamrift is still alive and well: while I definitely would have preferred another original game for their 3DS announcement, I can’t complain too much about a licensed project keeping things afloat (WayForward could definitely use the competition, if nothing else). Will Power of Illusion be good? Like you I have no idea, but certainly hope so – heck, I don’t have a 3DS myself, but I’m half-tempted to pick up a copy just to show a little support (much as I’m doing with Gravity Rush for the Vita, another system I lack, at least so far). In any event, for the moment I’m just glad to see that at least one of my favored companies, and a standard-bearer for gaming as I most fondly know and remember it, hasn’t faded away along with the rest – if any guys from Dreamrift ever end up reading this by some odd twist of fate, best of luck and I’m pulling for you!


P.S. – Yes, the title does say “shortblog” and the author is listed as “BulletMagnet”. Do not attempt to adjust your monitor.

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