Preview: Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land is a party – and you're invited
Everyone say it with me now…"Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!"
Rigby and Mordecai, the party animals who tear things up daily as only they know how in the Cartoon Network series Regular Show, will soon be making their video game debut in Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land for the Nintendo 3DS. We recently had a chance to check the game out at San Diego Comic-Con amidst the madness at the ShiftyLook Arcade, directly across the street from the convention center.
We were introduced to three levels from the game, which place the duo in their familiar world as they battle everything from evil robots to giant snails. You know, because giant snails, they like to rule the world and such. Can't have that.
The first stage introduced us to a familiar side-scrolling setup for the pair. You can switch between the two at any time with a press of the Y button, but they perform about the same here. In traditional Super Mario fashion, you can run fast and jump over gaps, or even perform a double jump if you need to get to a higher ledge and collect stuff. You can also collect some firepower to help you out, including a laser gun that allows Rigby to go gun crazy. (Relax, he isn't on a rampage – he's just saving you from giant snails. You're welcome.)
Regular Show's second stage has Mordecai able to transform, inexplicably, into a spaceship. You'll need to do this, as enemies are hovering around, shooting bullets that could easily kill you in one hit. Fortunately, he maneuvers around well enough that he can move left to right, or back, and zap them out of existence.
As for the final stage we were shown, it features Rigby carrying a Contra-esque machine gun with unlimited ammunition. However, it introduces a cool trick. You start the game in the usual side-scrolling manner, but press the Y button at the right time, and you suddenly shift into a top-down shooting mode, taking out pesky robots while collecting cash. You can switch back and forth at any time, which you'll need to do in order to obtain certain 1-ups and cash bags.
As far as the graphics are concerned, Regular Show nails the exact tempo of the show. But that's no surprise, considering WayForward, the same team behind DuckTales Remastered, is handling the transition. It's fun watching the characters hop around throughout the world, only to celebrate with an epic dance at the end – in usual Rigby and Mordecai fashion.
The gameplay needs a bit of work in spots, though. The side-scrolling action played very well, as we could get around with ease and bop on enemies' heads with no problem. However, when Mordecai transformed into a ship, it moved a little too fast for its own good, resulting in us running right into enemies or not being able to dodge certain shots. Thankfully, the Rigby shooting stage brought it back home, with good mechanics involving the shooting gameplay. In fact, since your gun has unlimited bullets, you can hold it down and strafe around corners, if you prefer to.
ShiftyLook's party was too loud for us to hear the in-game audio, so we're not certain if it'll have Rigby and Mordecai's voices. However, the rep demoing the game explained it will have "vintage" 8-bit style music and sound, so at least there's that.
WayForward is doing a pretty cool job with Rigby and Mordecai's game debut in 8-Bit Land thus far, though some things could use smoothing over. Don't worry, though – there should be more than enough awesome to go around when it makes its debut this fall.