By Marigold K.
There are a lot of things worth feeling guilty about. For instance, if you stole a cookie? That's not cool, you deserve to feel guilty. Lied? Nothing cool with that, you should feel guilty for that. Played a game and didn't have a bad time with it?... That's good! Having fun with a game is good, nobody should feel bad for having fun with something as inconsequential (most of the time) as a video game. Not any of you reading, not anyone anywhere.
I played Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. In fact, I own it on two different systems (the Wii U and original Wii), beat it once and am now working on beating it again, didn't frown and groan through the whole thing, so that's good! I shouldn't feel guilty for liking it, neither should anyone else who may like it, and neither should anyone who didn't like it for that matter, and I'm gonna tell you all why in this article.
When I first got it (around 2013, I believe, having skipped on getting it the year before), I recall being surprised by my enjoyment of it. Co-op games have an incredible knack for being fun as long as you've got someone fun to play with, I realize, but this was a little more than that. I'm a huge Disney fan, I love the characters, I love how Oswald has rejoined the Disney animated canon, and I love musicals... so, as you can imagine, this game couldn't be more perfect for me than it is already! Its story is cute, its voice acting is adorable, and its soundtrack throughout the game never fails to enchant. I'll likely be returning to it every once and awhile long after the day this article is published.
I'm not here to deride any reviewers out there offering their opinions and conclusions on the game (in that it was a buggy, non-improvement of its predecessor that goes further away from its origins of being a 'gritty' game starring Disney's Mickey Mouse to the point where it's unrecognizable from the original concept art), that's simply not what this site is about and isn't even the issue. The issue is what we do with reviews. In the video games community, we're so used to competition and so hungry for victory that, whenever we're faced with an "opposing" view-point on a game, it becomes a war - a war like the one other video game players waged on each other as they bought into the (upon looking back on it) unfortunate marketing campaign set off by Sega, pitting their console against Nintendo's, and while that ultimately lead to Nintendo creating one of its best video game systems ever (the Super Nintendo Entertainment System), it also lead to generations of video game players being taught that it's perfectly fine to take what could be a generation's greatest achievement in art and turn it into baby's first arms race.
Now, I want you all to know where I'm coming from with this, and why I want us to do some thinking for ourselves on what games we like. I'll admit right now I've said things to the effect of "oh, this is my guilty pleasure" and such, I didn't start out thinking like I do now. It was seeing other people trying. Trying so hard to like (or dislike, in some cases) some games. Because whatever 'wins' acclaim from the masses has to be good and there has to be something wrong with you if you're not with the rest of the world having as much of a good time as everyone else. I don't think anyone should have to feel like they need to fit in like that, nobody should have to feel like they need to feel a certain way about a certain game or else they're not allowed in the conversation. It just doesn't feel right to me. Why? Because games can be so much more than that. We can do so much better than turning against each other over some disagreements. I think so, at least, and I'm gonna show you what we can do instead to prove it.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a game with an average-to-almost-above-average metacritic score, and I still like it. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a game rushed to meet the launch of a new console, and I love it. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a game that was panned for having loose controls, bugs and glitches everywhere, and a malfunctioning camera system that even after "over 1,000 specific changes" still did not work entirely correctly, and it's one of my favorite games of all-time.
Maybe it's because I'm a Disney fangirl. Maybe it's because I had an awesome co-op partner. Maybe it's because my expectations were set very low when I went into it and it not being the worst thing ever was enough to make it good for me. They did include Oswald as a playable character like everyone had wanted before, they found a neat way to make use of the pins you collect throughout the game, they included several unlockable costumes that you can either find parts of throughout the game's many locations or buy with the materials you collect throughout the game and the costumes themselves are wonderful little treats for Disney fans like me that love the characters and the stories they've helped create, and we got to return to the Wasteland again and see the characters we know and love again for what may be the last time. Whatever the case, there's nothing wrong with me or anyone else liking it. There's nothing wrong with anyone liking or disliking it or any other game. Sure, there can be some greater issues involved (say, the game could have bigoted themes throughout, for example), but we, as complex beings, can like something in spite of all that. We can enjoy things without erasing what may be wrong with it. It's okay.
Thank you very much for reading! I'd like to hear about what games you, the reader, may have played that you had fun with despite what others may have thought of it. Maybe after reading this you wanna go back and play it again. Most importantly, whatever you decide to do, I hope you have fun!