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Regular Show game is an amalgam of old-school genres

Not a regular game

3:30 PM on 07.17.2013     by Steven Hansen

Not to be outdone by its contemporary, Adventure Time, and the upcoming Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!, Cartoon Network toon Regular Show is getting a long-titled game of its own, Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land.

In Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land, Mordecai and Rigby get transported into some of their favorite video games. The duo will have to use their best skills and unique abilities to traverse the various challenges to escape and return home in this ‘eggscellent’ journey.

I'm less familiar with Regular Show than I am Adventure Time, having only caught a few episodes of the former, but Destructoid's own Tony Ponce raves about the show ad nauseam. In the linked piece, in fact, Tony notes the show's predilection towards retro games, which is quite appropriate for 8-Bit Land. I may not be all that familiar with the show, but I'm more than familiar with the genres it's employing.

Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land (3DS)
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Release: Fall 2013

Once again, WayForward is working closely with the creator of the show they're making a game off on. In this case, WayForward has worked closely with J. G. Quintel, with whom the team "bounced ideas back and forth constantly." 

When an alluring game system arrives at the duo's door, they can't resist shirking their chores and getting some play time in -- as relatable a scenario as any, wouldn't you say? Things go awry, however, and they're sucked into a virtual world.

I was shown an early level that played like a standard, old-school, Mario-styled platformer, with the one difference being the ability to swap between Mordecai and Rigby at will. The taller Mordecai has a double jump, while Rigby can be used to travel through prohibitively small spaces. As you go through the level you collect money, used in a game of chance at the end of each level, and golden tapes that can be used to unlock unique concept art, cheat codes, and more.

There is also a mullet power-up. I'll leave show fans to find the reference, but I think it's hilarious without context.

The second type of level I was shown was a classic scrolling space shooter akin to Gradius, in which Mordecai turns into a space ship. Things got a bit more dicey here -- the old-school challenging nature of the genre does seem to be in full effect -- until a shield and three-way laser blaster power-up helped the player skirt by. There was also an excellent puzzle to get a golden tape which necessitated flying the Mordecai ship towards an obstacle, then switching out of ship mode so Mordecai would faze past it, before getting the tape. I wonder if there will be secret doors.

The third gametype on display was a Smash TV, or Retro City Rampage, styled kill-'em-up in which Rigby runs about shooting people from a top-down point of view.

My interest was especially piqued when all three of these disparate, standalone genres were stitched together in levels that necessitated jumping between all three styles of play. Knowing full well that many of 8-Bit Land's players are well versed in the genres it offers, the next logical step is to "focus on switching between different modes on the fly," along with collecting all the golden tapes in typical fashion.

I'm not sure how Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land plays, but I'm interested in its weird genre melding and appropriately stitched together aesthetic. At the same time, it does remind me a bit of Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! in that it's the first game in the Cartoon Network and WayForward collaboration for the series and things look a bit bare and minimal. It could be saddled with similar faults: a bit of emptiness and lack of length or content. Still, it's certainly an interesting approach that fans of the series and retro games could enjoy.  

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