Title: Disney Epic Mickey Rating: E for Everyone
Plot: The mouse has to stop the evil Blot.
Console: Wii, $50
In Disney Epic Mickey, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has become ruler of the Wasteland, home to all the neglected characters from Walt Disney Studio's early days. When Mickey Mouse gets sucked into the Wasteland, he discovers he has inadvertently unleashed an inky monster called the Shadow Blot. So it's up to the mouse to stop the Blot, restore the Wasteland and find his way back to his own magic kingdom.
His main weapon is a brush filled with two liquids: paint, which can be used to rebuild decrepit areas on the Wasteland, and thinner, which dissolves obstacles. Mickey can use either fluid to defeat the Blot's minions: Thinner melts them, while paint makes them turn friendly.
The highlight of Epic Mickey is the exploration. In the Wasteland, it's an alternate-world Disneyland that adds an undercurrent of menace to the Happiest Place on Earth. Main Street is now Mean Street. Tomorrowland is now the decaying Tomorrow City. The Matterhorn is now Mickeyjunk Mountain, a dumping ground for 80 years' worth of discarded Mickey merchandise.
But Epic Mickey suffers from technical issues that prevent it from being one of the year's top games. Camera placement - that is, the perspective from which you view Mickey - is awful; more than a few times, we sent Mickey to his demise because the camera wouldn't let us see where he was heading.