Review by nickyd123
Platformer Held Back By Many Flaws
Regular Show is one of Cartoon Network's more popular shows, and as a result to coincide with it's popularity, a video game of the show was created. Published by D3 Publisher and created by WarForward, this was the same pair that ended up creating the solid Adventure Time 3DS game. As so, I was expecting to have a good time playing this game, not only because I enjoy platformers, but because I also enjoy the show.
The main premise of the game is that this is a platformer game that includes hybrid features such as side scrolling shoot-em-up and top-down shooter. Will the game be able to mix these features in and create an enjoyable game? Let's break it down shall we?
Mordecai and Rigby, the two main stars from the show, receive a mysterious video game that when played, ends up sucking them into the game. It is their objective to reach the end of every level in order to escape their virtual prisons. I'll be honest; I wasn't expecting much for a story, and you shouldn't either. The story consists of two slide-show cut-scenes (one in the beginning, and one at the end) that basically show the two slackers' boss Benson yelling at them to clean the park they work at, and instead they play the mysterious game instead. I honestly wish they could have created a short animation with voices to go alongside the game, but I guess that would blow the budget out the roof. Don't come in here expecting much for a story and you'll do just fine.
I'd be lying if I said the graphics were bad. They work for what they are presenting. Mordecai and Rigby are well drawn and animated. Enemies are represented well and for the most part are pulled from the show well enough. Bosses are admittedly well animated and definitely give that sense of quality. My gripe is that almost nothing strikes me as '8-bit'. The title of the game states that both characters enter an '8-bit' world, yet nearly everything resembles 16-bit animations. The stages, the enemies, the bosses, the collectibles; nearly everything is not what I would consider 8-bit, except for a snail enemy who honestly doesn't fit in with any of the other enemies because of the graphics style. While the graphics are not bad by any means, they were not what I expected.
Forgettable and boring sound tracks along with dull sound effects leave players with nothing lost for leaving the game on mute. The music itself captures an older game style decently, but no music track found within the game left an imprint to me. The game features a Jukebox option you can unlock, but there is seriously no reason to ever check it out. The sound effects capture the gaming style well, and I'll admit that they sound pretty good. I personally wish a little voice acting could have been placed, but to fit into the older video game theme, I understand why they weren't implemented (although I feel the cut-scenes could have benefited from them). Regardless, the sounds and music give me no reason to play with any sounds, resulting in a lower score.
The focus of the game is to simply be a 2D platformer with some mixed in sections of side scrolling shooting and top-down shooting. You play as either Mordecai and Rigby, both of whom can be switched between by pressing the X button. Mordecai has the ability to perform double jumps, while Rigby can fit into smaller sections while running. Between the two characters, Mordecai will undoubtedly be the go-to character in any platforming section that doesn't have small spaces. Littered throughout the stages are power-ups that give the player an extra hit from enemies and will give the player a projectile attack. Honestly, the only good use of the power-up is the extra hit you can take.
Later on, the game will introduce the side scrolling shooter sections in which you can transform into a Mordecai space ship by pressing L/R in an area where there is an outer space backdrop. While a ship, you can move in all directions (so long as you stay in the space background) and shoot little blast shots in the direction you are facing. You can hold the A button to charge up your shot and deal more damage. The power-up lets you shoot 3 shots at once, with the other two shots being shot diagonally from Mordecai.
The last hybrid is the top-down shooter sections in with you transform into a little mini Rigby with a gun by pressing L/R in a dark grey floor looking backdrop. By holding A, Rigby will shoot his gun in any of 8 directions to take down enemies who will shoot in his direction on sight. Power-ups increase the rate of fire from Rigby when holding A, but prove worthless as enemies have a window of invulnerability when shot. The faster shooting just makes it easier to spam shoots throughout the screen. These sections prove to slow down the game immensely when compared to the platforming and space shooting.
The game features four worlds of four levels each (plus the boss). The first three worlds introduce the game's features (platforming, space shooter, top-down shooting), with the final world meshing all features together. The platforming is solid and feels/handles well. Mixing the play styles works alright and can create interest paths to reach the end, but honestly the game should have just stuck with the platforming and further refined it. The space shooting is alright at best but clunky controls and small spaces to fly limit it quite a bit. The top-down shooting is boring and slows the level down to a crawl, giving Rigby the short-end of the stick in nearly every way (though I guess that's how he's presented in the show). Levels contain Video Tapes to collect (three in each level) that unlock additional features, including a New Game+ mode that increases enemy health, removes most level checkpoints, and introduces a time limit to make you rush through the stages. Bosses are for the most part well designed. They are challenging and try to incorporate the other play styles, but most of the battles are done through the platforming style.
With all this said however, the biggest hindrance in the gameplay is the shoddy hit-detection and the glitches that can ruin the game. Oftentimes my character would get hit when it clearly looked like I was jumping on the enemy's head. Boss battles include bosses that move quickly, making it quite scary to jump on them when the game can't seem to register the attacks properly. It's like this through the whole game and presents an unintentional challenge that can be quite aggravating. With the top-down game style, when switching back to platforming, I've glitched through walls that resulted in me having to start the level over from the beginning. In the final boss battle after a bad hit-detection glitch, the whole game crashed and resulted in my system needing to restart. How did these glitches make it into the final release? These really, really ruin the game and make this game feel like a quick cash-in that flew way under the radar.
Final Score: 4/10 (Not An Average)
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land presents itself as a quick and glitch filled cash in that introduces nothing new and exciting to gamers and fans of the show alike. Even without taking account the glitches, this game is incredibly short, taking probably five hours to complete the first play though. The New Game+ was where I realized just how short the game was. I was able to complete the second play through in no more than two hours. The platforming is solid but not well utilized to make it shine. The other game styles offer nothing notable to praise, and in actuality just hinder the game. While I appreciated the mini nods to classic video games (most notably how Mordecai enters a level as a beamed teleport similar to Mega Man), the game doesn't play as good as the classics. This game feels rushed and is something that I would not recommend unless you can get it in a bargain bin.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land (US, 10/29/13)
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