Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two accessibility review

Josh Straub3 minute read

The most fun I had with Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two was with the set of felt Oswald the Rabbit ears that came with the preorder. This game deserves recognition for gorgeous visuals, but from the standpoint of accessibility this game couldn’t get much worse.

The only gamers that will be able to play this game are those with hearing disabilities. This is because the game features a complete set of subtitles that even give players the characters inflections and indicate whether they are singing. Unfortunately, the Wii U version does not allow players to pipe sound through the GamePad, which means that players with hearing disabilities will have to crank up the volume on their TVs if they want to hear.

The game fares even worse when looked at from the standpoint of visual disabilities. There are two main problems. First, there is no way for colorblind gamers to distinguish between paint and thinner, the two types of liquids which are the main staples of gameplay. And while it is fairly obvious which one is which by their effects, if a player can’t distinguish between blue and green, good luck trying to refill your store of either, since it will never be clear which indicator is which. Even worse, when looking at a pool of liquid, players who can’t see color will never know if it’s paint (which does no harm) or a pool of thinner (which will melt any toon that touches it). But this is the least serious of the problems that visually impaired players will have with Epic Mickey 2. The more serious problem would, by itself, make the game virtually inaccessible to players with sight disabilities. This is because the game relies on Mickey’s ability to paint-in his surroundings. Unfortunately, not everything can be painted, so the player is forced to look for the faint outline of missing objects in order to paint them in. Players need to have exceedingly sharp vision, and even players without sight disabilities will have a hard time distinguishing these important details. And because the GamePad only functions as a map and inventory screen, players on the Wii U don’t have the option to play the game up close unless they want to sit on top of their TVs.

The situation is about as dire for gamers with fine motor disabilities. Only, instead of one or two glaring barriers, Epic Mickey 2 seems to delight in piling up small barrier after small barrier until gamers have no desire left to play. The worst of these is the fact that the game features incredibly imprecise movement controls. These controls make performing advanced maneuvers like jumping on the heads of blotworx a fiasco even after Oswald has stunned them, since it’s impossible to properly execute a jump, and players will end up simply winging it and eventually getting lucky. To make matters worse, there is no control customization in Epic Mickey 2, which means that if the layout is inaccessible, it’s just tough luck. Players will have to limp through the best they can. Combine that with more conventional barriers, such as timed puzzles and quick time events, and players with fine motor disabilities will spend more time correcting mistakes then they will moving forward in the game.

On the whole, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is an incredibly inaccessible game, and should be avoided by all disabled players, except peehaps those with hearing impariments.

Overall Rating: Inaccessible
Visual Rating: Inaccessible
Fine-Motor Rating: Inaccessible
Auditory Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
GameInformer Score: 5.75

The Bottom Line for Disabled Gamers: Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Visual– everything is presented clearly– players must be able to distinguish between blue and green in order to progress through the game
– the game relies on players being able to see extremely fine detail
Fine Motor– none– must be able to use multiple fingers on both hands simultaneously
– imprecise controls mean that moving the character is difficult
– no controller customization of any kind
– the game features timed puzzles
Auditory– relatively comprehensive set of subtitles– no ability to change audio output for the Wii U

This article has been transferred from DAGERSystem (now AbilityPoints). Scores, formatting, and writing style may differ from original CIPT content.

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