Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land Review
OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH! As a fan, I was excited to get a chance to play the first game based on the totally rad TV series, Regular Show. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it follows the lives of Mordecai and Rigby, a blue jay and best friend raccoon, who work at the park where hi-jinks ensue wherever they go. The show alone sets up the perfect scenario for a game adaption, so let’s see if the minds from WayForward Games were able to bring the success from the TV screen onto the handheld.
Like the show, Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land is quite ridiculous, with pop culture and video game references everywhere. The game even plays out as an episode of Regular Show, except no voice acting unfortunately. Even the usual “Oooooohhhh!” between the two characters is swapped with a weird tone that just doesn’t sound right. As you boot the game, the intro music plays and you see the Regular Show title just as you would an episode, then you hit the menu screen. The developers really didn’t waste any time setting up the scene. As usual in the show, you find Benson, the park manager, telling the rebellious pair to do a job and that if they don’t, they’re fired. As Mordecai and Rigby were on their way to do so, they find a package that has a mysterious video game in it. They pop the game in and get sucked into the game, thus the adventure begins. Now unless you have seen the show before, you may be confused by the story and villains who appear to be out of place. Other than that, the assumption of being in a video game does allow for most of the randomness.
Based on the title, you can expect the game to have old-school gaming mechanics at the core of this game. Much of this game includes action platforming, as well as side-scrolling space shooting and top down shooters like the classic games: Gradius, Bloody Wolf, and Contra just to name a few. You can even switch between Mordecai and Rigby with a touch of the button. Mordecai has the always-useful double jump ability, and Rigby can run across small gaps and fit in small places (of course). The developers even included little awesome touches like Mordecai beaming down at the beginning of a level like Megaman does in his games, or the checkered floor at the end of a level that’s reminiscent of Super Mario Bros 3. There are also weapon upgrades like the machine gun and spread shot which are always welcome in any side-scrolling shooter game. The weird thing about the transition between the different modes (platforming/space shooter/top down), is how it happens within a level instead of a level dedicated to one or the other. For instance, you’ll be platforming through the level until you run into a space-like background. From here, you have to be within the area of the space theme background to activate a ship mode in which Mordecai turns into a blue starfighter. If you leave the space background in anyway, you turn back into Mordecai or Rigby which could mean death in some cases. The same thing goes for a dark grey background, except it transitions into a top down view where Rigby now has a gun to shoot at enemies.
The graphics are very clean for this game. My play-through went swimmingly and I didn’t encounter any game-breaking problems. The only problem I encountered though was a glitch that got me stuck in the wall. It happened during a transition from starfighter mode to regular mode. After restarting the game, all was fine. Since this is a 3DS game, you would wonder about the 3D effects of a game that parodies 8-bit games. Now I used a 2DS when I played this game, so I didn’t make use of the 3D unfortunately. Although, I can see the game making use of the 3D in the top down section since it alters depth a bit. To be honest, I don’t like playing with the 3D effect anyway when I had a 3DS, and this game will be just fine without it.
The sound and music in this game are quite awesome. If you had a good amount of experience from classic consoles like the SNES or Sega Genesis, you’re going to love this game’s soundtrack. From the title screen to the tense boss battles, you’re going to hear tunes and sounds that are reminiscent of games like Castlevania, Turtles in Time, and Megaman (one of the best soundtracks ever). What’s great about the titles I mentioned is that they are all side-scrolling platformers, so it takes what’s great about the soundtracks of those games and makes their own which fits perfectly with the various tones of the game.
Now the game does include collectibles of sorts for gamers to go after. First off, you can gather cash which can then be used to purchase up to three gold coins at the end of a level. The gold coins are used to win a chance at more lives, cash, and a red item which I didn’t really have a use for. On top of that, there are three gold video game cartridges in each level which may take a few runs to collect that do unlock extra content like the catchy music and concept art. On a side note, if you do want to back track within a level to find collectibles, the enemies will respawn in retro fashion so beware.
What I loved about this game was the difficulty level. In this game, one touch equals death so you have to be really careful about hopping on enemies and the like. I would be frustrated at times when I thought I jumped on an enemy’s head only to find out that I was maybe a pixel off and died. Definitely makes the game look grim when dealing with enemies at first. As I progressed through the worlds, it became increasingly difficult when you had to use mode switching to platform as well as the introduction to newer enemies. For instance, there will be moments where you need to switch from starfighter mode to platformer mode to then get onto a certain ledge or small opening just to get an item. There was also a disco man enemy in the top down mode who shot his gun sporadically and moved quickly in addition to that. I had to carefully snipe him from afar if I wanted to pass by. Moments like these made me feel a sense of accomplishment because it does take a few moments to get use to the mechanics and enemies as you learn the patterns. The same goes for the bosses at the end of each world. These boss battles were probably the best I’ve played on the handheld in a long time. Like most classic games, you have to figure out the hit-boxes and attack patterns which would probably take a few lives to fully understand. The last boss in particular was a doozy but it was very fitting for the end game.
Being a fan of the show, I appreciated the use of past villains like the Destroyer of Worlds seen above and the random monsters like the geese from an episode. The game was surprisingly short (a few hours at most), but the simple-addictive gameplay and great art made up for its short comings. Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land is a load of fun and challenges which kept me playing till I overcame an obstacle rather then giving up and forgetting about it. Now being that Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land is a throwback to earlier games, hardcore gamers from the 80′s and 90′s can appreciate this game as well as this generation who may be a fan of the show. It’s not a game that you’ll be coming back to every now and then, but it’s a good time for those that have a 3DS or 2DS.
Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land
Genre: Action Platformer
Release Date: October 24, 2013
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older