Thursday, November 5, 2015

VGR Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land

Play this game, OR YOU'RE FIRED!!!

What a Cartoon! Check the reviews for these following Cartoon Network series:

VGR: Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land also known as Regular Show the Game or simply Regular Show (3DS game)  
From WayForward Technologies/D3 Publisher/Namco Bandai Games/Cartoon Network Interactive
Played on Nintendo 3DS
Also available on /

Type Sidescroller platformer/
Sidescroller shoot 'em up/Top-down shooter game
Year 2013

If there's one show that perfectly captured what it's like to be a 20-something slacker who grew up on obscure movies and retro games, it's Regular Show! Which is kinda surprising for a cartoon series aimed at children on Cartoon Network.

Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land is the first and only console Regular Show game to date. It was developed by WayForward Technologies, a great studio behind a lot of great gorgeous well-animated sidescroller 2D games. They also developed the Adventure Time titles Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! and Adventure Time: Explore The Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!

J. G. Quintel, creator of the show, also worked on the game providing the original cover art work and the overall design ideas.

If you expected a game titled "Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land" to be a modern "next gen" cinematic action/adventure game, you're in for a surprise! The game is very much an old school arcade mostly inspired by proclaimed Sega Master System fan J. G. Quintel (who put a Master System cameo on a modern cartoon on a regular basis) all-time favorite video game, the one and only Psycho Fox!

The game has a very minimalist approach, in pure retro gaming fashion. Compared to other similar cartoon games, this Regular Show has no real story whatsoever, no voice acting, nothing. It's just a pretty straightforward platformer with a lot of nods to retro games.

There's no real story in the Regular Show game. But it all start with a simple cutscene (which isn't animated).

It all begins when Benson gave the assignment for Mordecai and Rigby to take care of the lawn. They decide to slack off instead and try this new game console that was sent to the park. They get absorbed inside the game!

From there on the adventure will take them all around this video game counterpart of the park to a space zone, caves and Death's mansion only to end at "Exit 9B" which fans will probably recognize.

There's been so many video game-themed episodes on the show... enough to fill an entire game! The game will have Mordecai and Rigby face several familiar faces from the past such as the Destroyer of Worlds from that game Rigby neglected once! The Geese! This hammer video game boss from the show! And in the end it turns out this was all really a plan from the Season 2 and 4 antagonists, Garett Bobby Ferguson and his son Garett Bobby Ferguson Jr.!!

Will they get to the house back on time... OR GET FIRED?!?

Like in its source inspiration Psycho Fox, gameplay in this game is all about switching forms/characters!

Most of the game is played as a fairly standard sidescrolling platformer. The core mechanic introduced as soon as the beginning is this ability to switch between Mordecai and Rigby. Basically, Mordecai can double job while Rigby is smaller and can get inside tiny places. It's really simple but it works great (and sort of reminded me of the gimmicks in a few Treasure games). You can switch back and forth between Rigby and Mordecai to run faster and then double-jump and back.

New mechanics are introduced as you play along.

You soon get to play as Mordecai in Gradius-style shoot 'em up segments. Which are fairly easy space shooter segments inside the larger stages.

And later on Rigby gets the ability to unlock Smash TV-style top down shooter segments as well.

Both these areas are designed by different background coloring. You can continue switching between Mordecai, Rigby, the spaceshift and the shooter through the later stages. The whole game's about switching controls! 

At the end of each world you get a boss fight. Like the rest of the game, nobody's handing you things and you don't get spamed by tutorials, you learn by trial and error as you go. Everything's pretty easy to figure out and you get this funny feeling of accomplishment for getting unstuck after challenging bits. 

There's also 3 Golden Tapes hidden inside every stage. Power-ups. And you get simply cash for "money" in this game. You can bet your hard-earned cash in bonus stage also very much inspired by Psycho Fox to get more cash and score.

Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land is a pretty short game but it's a fun and decent experience.

The game is not particularly long or challenging, although there is a NewGame+ mode where you get tougher foes. 

The game looks and sounds nice, if nothing more. It has a simple charming retro feel.

I can't really speak for the 3D since I never really bothered much with it personally.

There are a lot of references to the show. While some are pretty easily identifiable such as the Summertime Song enemy, there's also some far more obscure ones such as a lot of hard for the game having Mordecai wearing his fanny pack from J. G. Quintel's original  animated college short "2 in the AM PM."

There's also lots of allusions to retro gaming. You even get a Master System cartridge on the title screen! Most notably design elements and sound inspired by the Mega Man series, an armor-mechanic kind of similar to Ghosts 'n Goblins' and even most of the level design being fairly reminiscent of DuckTales' in my eyes.

All this will surely please 80s/90s fans.

While the game received mixed reviews, I found it to be a really fun if simple game.

It's maybe a bit too simplistic but it's also part of its charm. It was a real nice heartwarming throwback to retro gaming.

The only real issue I had with this game was that there wasn't more of it, the game doesn't offer much past the main story. There's nothing to really unlock, I would have loved to see some of the rest of the characters as well (maybe as unlockables?).

But otherwise, this will no doubt please old school fans.

Finally, in comparison to WayForward Technologies' previous Cartoon Network game Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!, they gave this game a completely different retro vibe. The music was also composed in-house by Jake Kaufman, but instead of matching the music from the show he gave Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land an appropriate 8-bit-style soundtrack which is really fun and catchy. Nothing as diverse and complex as Adventure Time's music was.

Overall, Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land is a fun little game.

Something that can both appeal to fans of the show and retro gamers. Recommended if you fall in either group, you don't even need to be that familiar with the cartoon! I mean, the entire game is sort of like a tribute to Psycho Fox when you think about it!

This first Regular Show game has kind of an old school mentality which I totally loved. It never really explains you anything, neither story nor controls. You get to learn through the gameplay. It's pretty easy.

All the training you get from the entire game gets to play in the last few levels that get very punishing.
I give it:
2 / 3 Bruces!