The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Review
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy box art
System: PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: High Voltage 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Midway 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 - 4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Review by Cass 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is anything but grim. Unless of course your idea of grim is a whacked-out good time.
by Cass Andrusiak

You either know about the cartoon series, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy or you don’t have a clue. Don’t be surprised if after finding out about this animated series that you still don’t have a clue. This Cartoon Network show is absolutely nuts. It’s got elements of Sponge Bob, Ren & Stimpy and Monty Python just to name a few. Sometimes it’s just plain crazy for the sake of being crazy, but any reason to be crazy is good enough for me. It’s also filled with a healthy does of cartoon violence which is why this game is a fighter and not some cheesy kart racer. There are some platform elements mixed in but overall the gameplay is an open-ended brawler. There are plenty of modes and unlockables to divert your attention from all of the button mashing. The multi-player modes ensure plenty of replay value.

Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy screenshot

Billy is what you would call a bit of a dolt. Mandy is a creepy, manipulative “bad girl. In an effort to save their hamster from death, they challenged the Grim Reaper to a fight and won. Now “Grim” as he called, is forced to hang with these two characters whether he likes it or not. And for the record, he doesn’t like it. This game works well on two levels. It’s fun and entertaining as a stand-alone videogame, and it also manages to capture the manic madness of the series perfectly. It’s not important that you know anything about the show to enjoy the game, in fact the less you know the less confused you’ll be. Just go with the flow and enjoy.

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There are three main modes, with various sub-modes to unlock. The Story mode puts you front and center into one of the cartoon episodes. You’ll note that the 3D graphics surpass those of the actual show. This mode is filled with cutscenes which are interspersed among fights, exploration and collecting. The Mission mode features more than 40 different tiered fights which get progressively more difficult. You’ll unlock more playable characters as you go. You can even play the Mission mode with another player co-op style. Even though there are numerous playable characters there is no advantage to playing any specific one since they all share the same move sets and abilities.

Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy screenshot

The multi-player mode accommodates four players. You can have up to four teams with bots filling in for the other players. There are 15 characters to choose from in addition to nine modes which are variations of the standard Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and Last Man Standing. These sub-modes will be responsible for a lot of replay value if you’re at all interested in the multi-player aspect of this game. If you’re not going to take advantage of these modes you might consider renting this game.

Control of your character couldn’t be more straightforward. You have a light and heavy attack along with double jumps, a dash, combos and the ability to pick up items and characters and throw them. The combos are released by mashing the buttons. They are context sensitive and are activated in such a way that they feel almost natural, as though the CPU is actually making sense out of all that neurotic tapping. The environments are well detailed and are almost entirely destructible. Let’s not forget the great assortment of weapons that you can use on your foes. There are clubs, swords, hammers, bones, maces, scythes and even a vacuum cleaner.

The original cast from the cartoon show supplies the dialog, in addition to some narration from Weird Al. While the dialog in the story mode is great, since it’s weaving a tale, it does get repetitive in the other modes. But what is delivered is delivered with panache. The writing is also very good although some may argue that it’s just the ramblings of a sick mind. The music and sound effects are equally bizarre and manage to capture, sonically, the manifestation of this sick and twisted creation.

Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy screenshot

It’s nice to see that The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is so comfortable being a videogame when so many games based on cartoon shows turn out to be horrible examples of projects that can’t survive crossing mediums. The gameplay is simple but filled with a variety of elements guaranteed to lengthen those short attention spans.

Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy screenshot

Features:

  • Experience the Cartoon: Become a part of the uniquely bizarre and animated world of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy for the first time on consoles. Whether players use Billy’s berserk attack or Mandy’s deadly smile, all characters feature unique abilities based on their personality. The game recreates the emotions of the show by pitting the characters against each other in an all-out on screen brawl.
  • Mission Mode: Mission mode can be played as either a single-player or a two person cooperative game. Mission mode takes players through 45 missions with unlockable rewards, including new characters.
  • Multi-Player Mayhem: In battle mode, up to four players can choose characters, arenas, weapons and battle parameters to unleash a fierce competition to be the Last One Standing.
  • Interactive Arenas: The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy videogame features the unpredictable environments that Billy, Mandy, Grim and Irwin visit in the show. From Billy’s house to the Afterlife to Toadblatt’s Coliseum, players can smash objects, destroy environments and battle in eight fully interactive arenas.
  • 15 Playable Characters: Gamers can choose to play as one of fifteen characters from the show including Billy, Mandy, Grim, Irwin, Hoss Delgado and many more, each equipped with their own unique attacks and weapons.

    By Cass Andrusiak
    CCC Freelance Writer

    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    4.4

    Graphics
    Looks even better than the cartoon. Plenty of detail in the fully destructive environments.

    3.0

    Control
    The controls are simple. The constant button mashing can get tiresome.

    4.8

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Voices supplied by the original actors. Great cartoon music and sound effects.

    4.0

    Play Value
    Quite a lot of play value jammed in.

    3.9

    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images

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