There are a number of reasons the release of the Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey figure for Disney Infinity is such a big deal. For starters, this is the first time it's available for those who weren't one of the 5,000 to get it at the 2013 D23 convention. Secondly, this is the first classic character released for the game. While there are some older characters in the game, like Cinderella and Snow White, they've been relegated to townsfolk figures instead of getting the premium treatment like Elsa, Jack Skellington and Mater. Now the figure is out in the wild, the question is whether the first figure of 2014 is worth it.
Like all of the figures released thus far, this one is sculpted rather nicely. Mickey stands with his arms folded and with a determined smirk on his face, giving him a more serious look if it weren't for the sorcerer's hat tilted forward in a slightly goofy way. He stands at an average height thanks to the hat, and the details are nice, from the black marks on his gloves to the shorts under his robes. There's one difference from his D23 version: the star and moon colors on the hat are now light blue instead of silver. It isn't really a huge deal, but for those who collect the clear figures at Toys "R" Us, it means this'll be one more variant to get, even if the differences aren't recognized in-game.
At first, there's nothing spectacular about the figure when you go into the game. The idle animations are nice but not amazing, and the same goes for the lines, though hearing Mickey's authentic voice is very nice for fans. When you start using his attacks, it becomes a different story. His basic melee attack is a magically infused burst of water with a nice attack cone and a pretty generous distance. It looks a little like broken polygons when viewed from behind, but all other views make it look better. His slam attack calls forth the magical broomsticks from "Fantasia" that surround him before exploding in a splash of water. While the effect is no different from other slam attacks, it looks pretty cool.
His most baffling attack comes from his projectiles. Unlike all of the other characters in the game, his magic burst envelops a wider radius but travels forward slowly as it swirls during its trajectory. It makes for a decent spread attack, but the slow forward movement means it takes longer to hit enemies. The attack works fine when faced with crowds, but when going against a single enemy, it's not as reliable as projectile attacks from other characters.
The challenge level that's unlocked with the figure takes some cues from Wreck-It Ralph's level, as it opts for a 2-D presentation over a 3-D one. You're tasked with reaching a point outside the castle in the fastest time possible. In typical platforming fashion, you start at the bottom as you make your way to higher ground, jumping from platform to platform along the way. You'll try to avoid lots of traps like swinging hammers, land mines, and turrets and take care of the Queen of Heart's townsfolk along the way.
It is a fine time trial level that's built rather well, and the low times posted for gold medals means you'll replay it multiple times to try to shave off seconds. About the only part it doesn't do well is show off the unique traits of the Mickey figure. The only enemies that can be destroyed are the guards, and even then, they don't pose much of a threat. There's no other opportunity to use your attacks, and while the stage is nice, it feels like it could've been applied to anyone and still feel the same, especially since it doesn't do anything to make it feel related to "Fantasia" at all.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey figure is a good addition to the Disney Infinity lineup. The varied attacks make him feel much different from the other characters, but the nature of his magic blasts makes him unreliable in combat if you prefer to fight from a distance. His challenge level is different enough and shows there was some real effort used in constructing it, even if it doesn't tie in to the "Fantasia" movie. If you're still playing the game at this point, this is a fine figure to add to your collection.
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