Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land is a retro game with new age sensibilities. Written by Regular Show creator JG Quintel, the storyline has the adventurous pair getting sucked into the television set while playing a video game. Fans of the Cartoon Network program looking for an innocuous handheld experience with a few jokes thrown in may either be pleasantly surprised or disappointed due to one important, and possibly divisive concept.
Developers WayForward could have made this 8-bit infused adventure a straight and simple throwback, giving gamers an experience that is amusing yet, due to the glut of platform titles, ultimately forgettable. The good news is that Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land is not another throwaway title, as it should be embedded in your memory for different reasons.
The ability to switch from Mordecai, a six foot tall blue jay, and Rigby the raccoon from the get go is one of the title's most alluring aspects. Mordecai is best employed for leaping as high as possible and taking out enemies with a well timed jump. To get into tight crevices or avert danger, Rigby's the animal for the job. This variety is definitely refreshing for a side scroller, and the game gets even more interesting when both of them have the ability to shoot lasers for no apparent reason.
In all fairness, there is a method to all this madness, as we are treated to a side scrolling space adventure and top down shooting along with all that platform action. Once you get to the space section, you can fly your own craft and shoot down down UFOs, and old school players may be reminded of that beloved classic Defender. So what could possibly go wrong with an 8-bit universe with a diverse array of action?
Unfortunately, this title is way too difficult for its own good. It took over an hour to defeat the first boss, a challenge which I thought was absolutely improbable until I accidentally found the right combination to beat my adversary. To truly succeed in Regular Show, you must be extremely precise in your movements and have a stellar sense of timing. Any errant jump or even the slightest touch of your enemies leads to a loss of life.
It's fine to put a high learning curve on a platformer, but when Wayforward put too much of a fine point on that aesthetic. Too many players will simply give up during the boss battle, before they can even get to Regular Show's highly entertaining space section. If we were given some kind of difficulty options, or if Mordecai and Rigby didn't perish with the greatest of ease with each slight mistake, this would have been a first rate journey. Instead, expect a bit of soreness from your thumbs as you die countless times within the span of minutes. Although Rigby leaps his way into victory in the following photo, Mordecai is the more effective fighter.
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land's major flaw is that it is far from regular. It's a pleasant surprise to have so many genres to explore in this world, but when some levels set the difficulty meter way too high, what's the point? If you're a patient soul in search of a gargantuan and infuriating challenge, Mordecai and Rigby are more than eager to show you around. I'm a pixel animation lover, so I've been able to handle this title's drawbacks with a grain of salt. I'll keep dying until I get tired of playing 8-bit games, but I'll understand if you don't follow my lead.
This review was based on a retail version of Regular Show: Mordecai And Rigby In 8-bit Land for the 3DS.