Life's ultimate mission -- the acquisition of delicious, long-lasting jawbreakers -- continues in this platform-exploration styled "Mis-Edventure" from Midway. Like a middle school-aged manifestation of Freudian theory, the id-driven Ed, the egomaniacal Eddy, and self-repressed "Double D" quest together for the ultimate candy commodity, through a series of harebrained schemes and devious scams. As in the animated television series on which it's based, the game is set in the boys' cul-de-sac. Many of the jawbreaker-winning missions involve attempts to deceive the other neighborhood kids, and fan-familiar characters such as Sarah, Jimmy, Jonny (and Plank), Kevin, Rolf, and even the dreaded Kanker Sisters make appearances. Each Ed has different strengths and weakness, and players can switch between the three as they move through the game. In a pinch, the boys can even team up to execute special "All Ed" formations, including the "Batter-Ed," the "Tower-of-Eddy," and the "Trampol-Edd."
The Mis-Edventures is aimed at kids. It's got a mix of everything but really excels at nothing. Although the game does look and sound like the TV show, the gameplay is reminiscent of a budget game. I had to look closely to make sure the box it came in didn't have a hole drilled through it.
The three boys from the Cul-de-Sac are out looking for jawbreakers and pulling their usual scams. The levels in this game are called scams. They include different objectives which are definitely odd which is to be expected but from a strict gaming standpoint they are obtuse and confusing.
Elements as solving puzzles, timed events, stealth, platforming and combat are included in just about every scam. There is a decent amount of variety but it doesn't all gel together. The story is haphazard and although that's not really a big deal considering the zany nature of the show, the objectives feel as though they were just thrown together for the sake of creating a videogame. It's like a kart racer without the kart.
Beginning with a tutorial you will learn the various ways in which you can employ the three characters. They not only have different abilities but they are able to combine their talents to accomplish more grandiose objectives. You can switch among them with a push of the button. It's certainly not a new concept and the developers didn't go out of their way to make any aspect of it unique.
Then we come to the characters themselves. Each one of them is just basically foolish. I don't really get the appeal of these guys. They're like a cross between Beavis and Butthead and Dennis the Menace - only more annoying. Their voices are grating and what they say is not really funny at all. It's like something you dreamed that was funny but wasn't even close once you regained consciousness. The good news is that the game characters are virtually identical to their cartoon counterparts. Even the voices are supplied by the same actors, if indeed actors is the correct term for them. To further drive you crazy the dialog is limited to a handful of lines per characters. They keep repeating the same annoying things over and over.
Ed is the tall guy. He can throw things, dig in the sandbox and use his other two pals to form a battering ram. Edd is the smart one. He is perfect for flipping switches and has a slingshot that he uses to hit targets. Eddy is the leader. He's got stink bombs, a yo-yo and can form a tower with Edd on the top to reach high places. The game forces you to scroll through all of their abilities several times per mission. It's up to you to figure out who to use in what combination.
Oftentimes you will get stuck because the puzzles are so arbitrary that even after you solve them, or check out a walkthrough, you will still shake your head and wonder how the hell you would have ever figured that one out. There is a lot of trial and error and if you've got a lot of time on your hands you might just be able to stumble on to some of these solutions. Keep in mind that all three characters share the same health gauge and there are little critters such as spiders, rats and squirrels that are constantly annoying you and chipping away at your health while you're trying to get things done. Fans of the show might be able to stick this out but the average gamer will soon realize there's something going on here that just doesn't jibe with other games of this genre.
Collecting is the ultimate goal of the gameplay. Dig through all the sandboxes, look for hiding spots and try to locate chicken eggs, clothing articles and jawbreakers. If you find all of the jawbreakers you will unlock some cheat codes. The chicken eggs will help you unlock some different modes and finding all of the clothes will unlock new levels - or scams. You don't have to find everything at one time. You can revisit some scams that you've already completed and search for those hard-to-find items. That's about all you can look forward to for replay value.
You will also have some trouble finding out exactly what's expected of you next. The missions aren't spelled out for you and that can create some anxiety since some of us non-fans are not content just to be hanging in the Cul-de-Sal. Some of us want to do something constructive - or in this case destructive.
There is no multi-player mode despite the fact that this game is begging for a three-player co-op. I will even accept a two-player mode. The missed potential of this game is shocking. They really missed the adventure in this Mis-Edventure.
The same ugly graphics of the TV show are replicated here almost perfectly. When I say ugly, I realize that they are intentionally drawn that way and it's certainly a welcome change from anime. The music is whimsical and led by an understated saxophone, it's the coolest aspect of the production values. The controls are a little sluggish to respond and the characters take a while to get up to speed when walking. And while I'm at it I might as well mention the camera angles that tend to get stuck in places. There are just too many flaws in the game to recommend it.
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