Release Date: November 1, 2005
Ah, the lazy days of youth! Hanging around the neighborhood cul-de-sac, dreaming up ways to become rich, then implementing them at the expense of the other kids. What a motley crew those other kids were, eh? Remember that kid whose best friend was a two-by-four, or that one foreign kids whose accent was nigh impossible to place? No? Well, let me tell you, you missed out on one heck of a time. Luckily, you can live vicariously through Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures.
For those unfamiliar with this intrepid trio, they're three maladjusted boys who really only have each other. Their life revolves around attaining Jawbreakers, their favorite candy. Of course, Jawbreakers aren't cheap, so for better or for worse, the rely on often hare-brained schemes, courtesy of Eddy which, more often then not, don't go according to plan.
The game consists of six separate "scams" with two more available to unlock. Players control all three Eds, with the one in the lead governing what sorts of abilities are at your disposal. For example, with Ed in the lead, the "Battering Ed" is at your disposal, which utilizes Ed's exceptionally hard head to smash through things. Edd (also known as Double Dee) can utilize the other two as a trampoline, helping him to reach out of the way areas. Finally, with Eddy in the lead, the group can create the Tower of Ed, in which they all pile on top of each other's shoulders, making it possible for them to hide behind telephone poles or navigate very narrow platforms.
Objectives vary from scam to scam: you could be jumping from yard to yard, searching for ice to make snow cones one scam, and rescuing a kid's stuffed animal from a haunted house (which you yourself put in there) the next. The Mis-Edventures is truly a case of man (or boys) versus nature. Squirrels, rats, guard dogs, spiders, and more are out, just roaming around, waiting to drain some "cool" from the boys' cool/fool meter (translation: their health meter takes a hit when the denizens of the wild bring the pain). Luckily, defeated foes yield "coolectibles" which refill your meter.
The Mis-Edventures has a few other tchotchkes that need collecting as well. Jawbreakers are hidden throughout the levels, and should the Eds find all of them, the cheat menu will become unlocked. Coins can be found in the various breakable boxes, which can be redeemed later for, you guessed it, more Jawbreakers. There are also chickens that Ed can chase and grab (he being the only character capable of lifting things) in order to snag an easter egg which can either be viewed in the options menu or in one of the video booths scattered about the neighborhood cul-de-sac which you can explore when not doing a scam. Finally, there are the costume pieces that unlock the bonus scams that are buried in sandboxes that only Ed can dig around in.
Graphically, the game does a great job of pulling off the look of the show. The character models are a bit off from the look of the show, but that's likely part of the transition from 2D to 3D. The environments themselves look extremely similar to the cartoon. Before and after each scam, cartoons play explaining the Eds' motivation and the like. These cut scenes are lacking in quality when compared to the one's in the show, looking more like a stilted flipbook than anything that's on television these days. However, all of the characters animate very well, just like their cartoon counterparts. The way that Ed alone runs is a slap in the face of physics and human anatomy, with his head and torso practically parallel to the ground as if he completely lacks a spine.
The sound design in The Mis-Edventures throughout the entire game is spot on and, of course, shares the style of the show. The soundtrack consists of up-tempo trumpets and trombones that seem to be played with mutes attached for that "wah-wah" sound that is heard in the song in the opening credits and is a recurring theme in the rest of both the game and show's musical score for "Ed, Edd, n Eddy" (which itself plays whenever the game is paused). All of the voice actors reprise their roles for The Mis-Edventures which means that all of Rolf's mutterings of "crazy Ed boys" sound just as they should in the show, Johnny 2x4 (who, for those not in the know, has a piece of wood that he calls Plank for a best friend) carries out conversations with his imaginary friend practically every time he opens his mouth, and Sara and Jimmy are just as creepy, annoying, and weird as they've ever been.
Controlling the Eds is fairly intuitive, with the buttons for jumping, attacking, and using special abilities all mapped to the four face buttons, right about where such actions are usually put. Selecting a particular Ed is a simple matter of pulling the right trigger, although (and this is probably a little too nit-picky) it would've been nice if each Ed was assigned a direction on the otherwise-unused D-pad like in the X-Men: Legends series.
And now for the bad news: The Mis-Edventures is criminally short. In fact, it's Stubbs The Zombie short, which is to say that it can be beat in one sitting easily. The final boss came and gone, and the credits rolled before I even knew what I had done. Granted, there are two bonus scams that can be unlocked once all of the missing pieces of a specific costume is found, but that takes the game in more of an item-fetching direction that isn't as appreciated in some circles as it is in others, so bear that in mind. The behind-the-scenes material is a nice plus for fans of the show, but others will be left wanting more.
The Mis-Edventures honestly surprised me. I went in expecting the same kind of quick cash-in, licensed schlock that publishers throw at consumers to add to their bottom line, but the game really is fun to play and remains extremely faithful to the show. Needless to say, if you don't care too much for the show, The Mis-Edventures isn't going to sway you and it is way too short, but if you have a younger sibling, kids, or are yourself a younger gamer, The Mis-Edventures may be right up your cul-de-sac.
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