Monday, October 28, 2013

NYCC 2013: Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land

For four days, people came to the Javits Center in New York City to experience one of the largest conventions on the east coast: New York Comic Con 2013!  Fans of comics, movies, television shows, and toys came together to revel in their hobbies, and with them came video game companies to show off their wares for the upcoming holiday season and beyond.  We here at 3RM attended a few of those days, and we have impressions and video to provide from our experience!


Located at D3 Publishers’s booth at New York Comic-Con 2013 was a number of Nintendo 3DS’s displaying the first game based on the Cartoon Network hit, Regular Show - Regular Show - Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land. This title was inspired by classic games of old, from the graphics down to Jake Kaufman's retro-styled soundtrack. Sadly, although it advertises some interesting gameplay-changing mechanics, I only had a short time with the game and was unable to reach any special events. I instead got a chance to play a few of the game’s general 2D side-scrolling stages.

As stated in the title, the game had me playing as both of the Regular Show’s main duo, Mordecai the blue jay and Rigby the raccoon.  Each of the two had their own benefits and drawbacks.  For example, while Mordecai had the ability to double jump, Rigby was a smaller target.  Having multiple characters is not unusual for platformers, but what made this game special was the ability to switch between characters at the press of a button. In one area, a ledge would be too high for Rigby to reach, so I had to switch to Mordecai. In another place, Mordecai was too big to fit into a tunnel so I had to become Rigby. As the stages progressed, I found myself having of switch more and more; it was important to learn each character’s strengths and weaknesses even that early in the game.

In the early stages, I navigated across grassy terrain with the occasional shrub here and there. These stages were filled with the usual fare of platforming segments along with enemies such as large snails and thick-skulled bullies. Luckily, Mordecai and Rigby are able to overcome these obstacles with well-timed jumps. Besides jumping on enemies, there is also a power up that gives our heroes mullets, allowing them to shoot punches and lasers, similar to fireballs in another platforming series. However, also like that other game, after taking one hit, the power up went away.  Dollar bills also riddled the stages for the two to collect. This money would be useful at the end of each stage where there would be a mini-game; in this game, players can use the money to place a gold coin on one of four paths. The marker would then move up the path, crossing any intersections it came to, until it reached the end of the paths, containing extra lives, more money, a fany-pack, or bottomless pits.

Even though Regular Show - Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land claims to be an 8-bit adventure, the game’s sprite work was more complex than would be possible in 8-bit, but it still had a unique pixel-art style. The characters’ animations were smooth and managed to keep the characters’ personalities from the show while still being "retro." While the graphics are more advanced than what one would find in an 8-bit title, the game’s music could have been ripped straight from games of old. The music was a perfect match to fit with the retro style they were aiming for. As for the 3DS's 3D display, they were fairly basic and added minimal effects to the game, but the effects did not harm the game's performance when activated, which is always a good thing.

Regular Show - Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land is the Regular Show’s first video game offering and it fit well into the retro platforming style. Sadly, I was unable to try out any of the gameplay-changing levels, which I feel may make this game stand out more. Without those elements, the title felt like an average platformer, which we know is not what people expect from a Regular Show video game. Hopefully, the game will surprise people when it comes out tomorrow!

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