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The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Score: 92%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Midway
Developer: High Voltage Software
Media: GCD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Adventure/ Fighting

Graphics & Sound:

Iím going to start this by saying I love The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy cartoon. Yes, I realize itís not the worldís greatest animation, but itís well done and very entertaining! The video game The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is just the same. While the graphics arenít quite as good as Super Smash Bros. Melee or TMNT Mutant Melee even, they mimic the cartoon series quite well. Each character has their own appropriate weapon, such as Eris's Golden Apple of Chaos, and as an added bonus, each of the characters has at least one alternate outfit that you can unlock, such as clown Mandy or Princess Grim.

The voices in The Grim Adventures are done by the same talents that voice the cartoon characters, so while playing it, you almost feel like youíre watching the television show. The characters' dialogue fit the personalities that youíre used to. Mandy states at the beginning of each battle, ďI feel the need, the need for bleedĒ. What else would you expect from Mandy? During the battles, youíll hear each of the different characters complain differently when they get hit, some of which are very humorous. You'll also be entertained by the announcer, voiced by Weird Al. The background music always fits the area without distracting you from the battle.


Gameplay:

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy provides three different modes of play, as well as a tutorial and extras. The tutorial is relatively short, but it does show you how to use all of the controls. The one thing it doesnít do is wait until you master a skill before going on to the next one. You had better pay attention or youíll miss how to do something and either have to figure it out in battle or go through the tutorial again.

The first mode you can choose after the tutorial is Story Mode. When you first start the game, youíre given the choice to play as Billy, Mandy, Grim, or Irwin. Youíll unlock more characters in the Mission Mode. Story Mode is pretty short. Your goal is to recover Grimís mojo from a mysterious enemy. Youíll play through the different areas as whichever character you chose, sometimes working with a computer-controlled partner, fighting the various enemies that youíre familiar with from the cartoon including Eris, Nergal, Hoss Delgado, and many more, searching each of them to find out who stole the mojo.

The next mode you can choose is VS Mode, and itís exactly as it sounds. VS Mode allows you to play up to four players in a melee battle. To quote Nergal, ďThe best things in life must be taken by force.Ē If you havenít played through Mission Mode to unlock the extra arenas and weapon sets though, youíll have limited choices, so go to Mission Mode and take things by force!

Mission Mode consists of five tiers with nine challenges in each tier. You start out with access to tier 1 only. To gain access to each of the consecutive tiers, you have to complete five of the eight available missions. To get the ninth mission and complete each tier, you have to beat all eight available missions. After pretty much each mission, youíll unlock something new, including concept art and alternate clothing. At the end of each tier, youíll unlock a new character to play as. To view all the unlockables that you just got, such as character bios, weapon sets, and concept art, you go to the Extras area.


Difficulty:

The difficulty in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is as easy or as hard as you want it to be. Playing the game on Medium, you can complete almost all of the challenges in less than a day, but that doesnít mean you wonít keep playing over and over and over. Even if youíre just not that good at melee battle games, you can put it on the easiest level and be able to complete all the challenges. If you like it a little tougher, you can put the difficulty on the hardest setting. The first few missions arenít too impossible, but tier 5 missions are a nightmare. Since you donít start a new game to change difficulty, if youíre completely stuck on a certain challenge, you can set the difficulty easier to try and get past it so that you unlock the rest of the unlockables.

Game Mechanics:

Iíve always found the Game Cube controller to be the easiest to handle. In this case though, I would have liked the ability to change the functionality of the buttons around. A button jumps & B button throws your basic attack, which is a good setup. The Y button throws your heavy attack, X button picks things up, left shoulder is a speed burst and right shoulder engages your ďenergyĒ attack. Personally, I didnít think that it was the easiest setup to use. I found myself avoiding the heavy attack and wishing I could have swapped it with the energy attack, which is used much less. Still though, the controls werenít hard to use.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. I found myself continually replaying levels and stages with different characters just to see their movements and hear their lines. Itís definitely a game that Iíll be replaying over and over again.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Sony PlayStation 3 NBA 07 Microsoft Xbox 360 Tony Hawk\'s Project 8

 
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