The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 11/16/06 | Genre: Action
What do you get when you take a popular animated series from the Cartoon Network, implement gameplay similar to games like Capcom's Power Stone, and port it over to the Nintendo Wii? You get Midway's The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Though this short game may appeal to a younger audience, even they may find some difficulty in enjoying the exact game that came out on the GameCube and PlayStation 2 earlier this year.
Okay, so I admit that when it comes to games for kids, I can be fairly harsh. But lets try to find some positive elements here. Visually the game is bright and colorful but it looks identical to the GameCube version. When porting games to a multitude of platforms, Developers usually do not take the time to enhance the game for each platform. This is seen in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. That said, the levels are all very interactive and players can see that each of the characters on screen are animated well with a touch of slowdown.
All of the characters in the game have all of their lines spoken with a real voice actor. But they only have a few lines and will tend to repeat them over and over as you play. So the question still remains what is worse: no voice acting, or only a few lines that repeat constantly.
As we spoke about earlier, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy plays an aweful lot like Capcom's Power Stone. For those of you not familiar with the cult following this title received during its run on the Sega Dreamcast (the series was also re-packaged as a PSP title), Power Stone is a 3D Fighting game that puts the player in an interactive level. Players can run around and attempt to drain the other player of their health. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has four players beat the living daylights out of each other until one person is left standing. When you run out of health, you are out. But the only elements added to the Wii is that there is some Wiimote shaking to perform strong attacks and a brief aiming sequence when trying to finish off an opponent.
I was pretty harsh on Rampage: Total Destruction for its use of the Wii's controller. However, it was a lot more fun swinging the controller around to attack enemies than the weak controls Midway chose to add for this title.
When a game looks, feels, and plays almost identical to a GameCube game you can get for much cheaper, there isn't really a reason to pick up the Wii version. Plus, when a title is this easy, you probably won't get much enjoyment passed a rental.