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Game Info:

Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-bit Land
Developed By: WayForward Technologies
Published By: D3 Publisher
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Available On: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Action adventure
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E10+, Cartoon Violence
MSRP: $29.99
(Amazon affiliate link)

Thank you D3 Publisher for sending us this game to review!

I was recently introduced to Regular Show, and I can totally understand why people like it - I sure did get a good laugh.  (I would suggest this show is not for younger chidren.)  The main characters of the show, Mordecai and Rigby are seen playing games often on screen.  They seem to be from an older eras, so the premise of this game makes perfect sense. 

Mordecai and Rigby's boss, Bensen, asked them to mow the lawn while he is out.  They agree.  As soon as he leaves, they proceed to play a new video game - and are sucked inside.  In order to get out, they need to beat it, and so begins their adventure.

This game is very similar to many older 8-bit titles, though to be fair, the graphics are probably solidly 16-bit+, though they represent the show perfectly.  The main overworld, like say Super Mario Bros. 3, has multiple levels on a map, and when you beat that world, you move on to the next, with levels in that world also.  It's really short, with only four worlds, with four levels and a boss on each one.

Highlights:

Strong Points:  Storyline written by series creator J. G. Quintel; Old-school difficulty and gameplay
Weak Points:  Sometimes deaths felt cheap from unreliable hit detection; relatively short
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence, kills others with jumping on heads, guns, and spaceships

The first world starts you out in a simple side scrolling platformer.  You jump on enemies' heads, unless you find the power up that grants Mordecai a long range punching fist, and Rigby a laser blaster.  Mordecai's special skill is double jumping, while Rigby is small and can go in smaller paths, as well as run over small gaps.  Like many 8-bit titles, you are pretty much expected to run all the time.  One of a few twists to the formula is that you can switch between each character at any time by pressing X.  This can lead to some creative problem solving (and level design as well) where mid-air switching is required to grab those hard to reach VHS tapes.

Each level has three VHS tapes contained within, and if you collect all of them in the game, you gain access to all of the unlockables.  These include a whole bunch of concept art, a musical jukebox, and a cheats menu, (***spoilers!***) containing the cleverly named Game Djinn (can anyone say Game Genie?).  Hint: utilize the Konami Code to gain infinite lives!  (***end spoilers***)

Other abilities contained in the game include a Gradius-style spaceship, and Contra-style top down combat.  World two and three contains levels utilizing those techniques, with world four really making you switch between all modes (and characters) to make it through, not to mention finding all of the VHS tapes or other items.  These include the previously mentioned power up and VHS tapes, walkmans, 1-ups, and dollars littered about the levels.  The cash is used not only to give you extra lives, but also for a bonus minigame at the end of each level.  Walkmans represent additional continues.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 72%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

While I tend to be pretty good at platformers, I found this game to be much more challenging than I anticipated.  It's not Contra 4 hard (another WayForward game), but not for those easily frustrated by one hit kills.  While this was mostly expected from any 8-bit style title, what I didn't like was that the hit detection was often more miss than hit.  While a perfect landing on the top of their head always registered properly, being too far off center, despite looking like it should count, would instead kill you.  This got old, fast.  Also, if you are too close to the edge of a pit, you actually die before you reach the pit, sometimes making you think the game cheated you.  I also found a few other strange bugs, though the hit detection issue was the most consistently annoying.

Graphically, this game looks like it belongs on the show - a little rough, but works well enough.  The sounds are 8-bit screechy noises, as expected, and the music is some rather catchy chiptunes.  They got stuck in my head more than a few times...

Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-bit Land is a fun retro platformer, with some rather unfortunate flaws.  For the most part I enjoyed it, despite having to grit my teeth dealing with the poor hit detection.  The level design and switching mechanics is rather well done, and enjoyable.  And there were no major appropriateness issues, except for some expected cartoon violence, and of course the premise of the show - the main characters are messing around playing video games rather than working as they were told.  I also finished the game in around six hours, which is a little short.  Nevertheless, if you are a hardcore Regular Show fan, or you really like retro platformers, there is some fun to be had here.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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