The Regular Show on Cartoon Network has brought many laughs my way, at least the few episodes I’ve seen have, which made me want to try the video game but let me tell you, The Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land is no laughing mater, never has a game thoroughly enraged me as much as this game has, I’m glad to actually be done with it.
In The Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land, fans of Cartoon Network’s The Regular Show will be pleased to know that the game tips it’s hat to many ‘in’ jokes that the show has to offer, for those unfamiliar with the TV show, it doesn’t really matter if you’re familiar with the show or not, the game plays just the same.
The game takes on a fairly simple approach, there’s no voice acting just written dialogue between Mordecai and Rigby and the single frame debut from Benson. The duo stumble across a strange package that’s been delivered which happens to house a brand new video game console which once plugged in and turned on sucks the two into the TV and thus begins the game.
Video game references are a plenty in 8-Bit Land with Mega-man style beam downs at the start of the level, Super Mario Inspired jumping sounds, Sonic The Hedgehog skidding sounds as well as classic platforming, side scrolling and top down gameplay. With that said, it doesn’t mean that The Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land is a pleasurable experience, in fact, it’s ridiculously hard and frustrating.
Whether The Regular Show is meant to be this difficult to pay tribute to the aforementioned games or whether it’s just poor design 8-Bit Land is probably the most frustrating game I’ve ever played, it took me around 6 attempts to complete the first level and around 50 to defeat the first boss, that’s right, the first boss is close to impossible to beat.
In the game you take control of either Mordecai or Rigby, either of which you can switch out just by pressing ‘Y’. The reason for this is because each character has his own special abilities, Mordecai can double jump and Ridby can squeeze through smaller gaps. The further you progress the more you’ll need to switch between characters to manoeuvre through the entirety of the level. Through out each level you’re also required to find hidden video tapes which are dotted around each level, they’re pretty obvious to spot but can induce rage due to how difficult some are to obtain.
In 8-Bit Land it takes on the classic one hit death with one hits coming in the bucket load, the only real way you can survive multiple hits is by grabbing the mullet power-up which gives the duo the ability to fire fists and lasers from a distance, if you’re not too careful you can easily loose the power-up which can be a pain in the ass as you won’t be able to find another for a while. If you’ve lost it you’re left with the classic jump on the characters head to kill which is a bit iffy at the best of times.
Powering through each level as fast as you can may seem like the best option but it’s really not. Slow and steady really does win the race which unfortunately causes you to lose the time bonus which is awarded at the end of each level. Speaking of which, once you’ve completed a level you’ll be given the option to use the cash you’ve collected or Play Coins you’ve earned on your 3DS console to buy tokens which can be used in a kind of plink-o style game. These tokens roll down a track and turn either left or right depending on if there’s a junction or not, at the end of each track is a handful of bonuses or holes for the tokens to fall down. This is the only real use of the cash that you collect in-game which is a bit of a shame but it’s nice to see the use of Play Coins being implemented.
If you manage to progress past the first boss which took both me and my wife a good 50 tries, you’ll be treated to a more in-depth and different style of gameplay in the form of a Gradius-style space ship which lets you blast the enemies out of the way providing you’re in a space level. Obviously this doesn’t make the game any easier as the targets come in the form of very small balls which seem to have a homing device, one wrong move and you’ll be surrounded and boom, you’re dead.
Overall I’ve never wanted to put a game down quick enough. Sadly I had to put myself through a few hours of torture so I could thoroughly review the game but I’m yet to fully complete the title. The Regular Show: Mordecai & Ribgy in 8-Bit Land has a really clever way of pulling you back in; you don’t want to be defeated by a game that’s so simple, yet so, so difficult. As much as I’m relieved to stop playing this game chances are I’ll get back around to it.
Sadly I can’t justify paying full retail price for this game, at £29.99 this game feels more like a well thought out eShop title than something I’d run out to the shops for. Even if you’re a dedicated fan of the show and own a 3DS, I wouldn’t overly recommend it.