||Developer: High Voltage Software||Publisher: Midway Games|
|Release Date: November 19, 2006||Also On: GCN & Wii|
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is a popular Cartoon Network show that has been around for a few years now. Midway picked up the rights to it, as well as Ed, Edd n Eddy. This is the first video game released for the cartoon, and to my surprise, it isn't half bad. Though the Wii version is based entirely off of the GameCube version released two months earlier in September 2006, it does attempt to fill a huge void missing in the Wii's launch lineup: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This is the only beat-em-up fighter on the Wii right now and it's not too shabby.
As a cartoon based off of a kids show, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is expected to be a kids game. It is, as it is a fairly simple brawler, but the gameplay is fast paced and can entertaining an older crowd as well. There really aren't any tricks to learn or combos to pull off. You just have a couple simple attacks, one basic and one stronger, as well as a dash attack and an air attack. You can also pick players up and throw them into objects or off the screen entirely. Each player has three lives, so the matches last fairly long and the levels are alive as well. Some will have pumpkins running at you, others planes will fall from the sky. The levels will progress to different stages as to force new challenges and offer new assistance.
The graphics are not spectacular, but definitely give off the impression that you are playing the cartoon. The engine is all cell-shaded and the characters look like their proper selves, though Mandy's face is drawn a bit funny. There are not a whole lot of levels to fight in, but they each have a distinct feeling to them, as well as both advantages and disadvantages to the player (i.e. hazards, destructible objects and machine gun posts). The sound takes full advantage of the voice actors from the television show, but they get redundant fast.
One of the last remaining questions I had about the Wii, if it could use GameCube controllers to play Wii games, was answered with The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Midway made the wise decision to implement both the Wiimote/nunchuk combination and the more traditional control style of Nintendo's last-generation system. The result is the ability to choose a control style that is most comfortable for the gamer. It also opens the possibility of four player multi-player. Since most people do not have four Wiimotes and nunchuks, it is great that they can use the Wiimotes that they do have and supplement with any GameCube controllers they have from around the house. The Wiimotes are expensive and hard to find, and I already had four GameCube controllers, so it really was perfect.
There are several multi-player modes for up to four players to choose from. Last One Standing is a battle royal between every player on the screen where the last character standing wins. Coin Battle has you collecting the most coins to win. Capture and Hold is nothing but Capture the Flag, where your team's flag earns you points and you switch other flags by attacking them. Break Stuff has you breaking the most target dummies to win. Crush the Horde has you face an endless horde of opponents where the person that destroys the most wins. Finally, King Reaper is a game mode where if you knock an opponent out, you get a point, but lose one if you are knocked out yourself.
With a short single-player lasting only 30 or so minutes with one character, unless you plan on a lot of multi-player, Bill & Mandy is going to be a short-lived experience. You can replay the single-player with different characters, earning new costumes for your current characters and unlocking new characters, but nothing changes in the story. This is an excellent title to get for a 7-12 year old, especially if they are a fan of the show. It may be too short and shallow of an experience for anyone else, but The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy put up a good fight.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||7|
|Written by Kyle||Review Guide|