by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
Protecting the Heartcore
Say what you want about the intellectual substance behind it all, fighting robots are cool and create sales. Just look at the success of the Transformers franchise and films like Pacific Rim recently. Hoping to capitalise on the booming metallic warfare market is Reptile Games with its latest product, Megabyte Punch. Itís a side scrolling beat-em-up game which allows you to customise your characterís parts and colour scheme while protecting your village from evil invaders.
The most important artefact in any robot village is the Heartcore. Without this, the village doesnít have any source of energy and is in danger of collapsing. Therefore it is important to defend it at all costs from the likes of the evil Valk Empire and the horrible Khoteps. Defeating high ranking members of these factions not only puts a dent in their nefarious plans, but will also grant you access to exciting new parts you can kit out your robot with. To reach these bosses you will have to traverse through the levels in the game. Megabyte Punch contains six worlds, each with three separate levels, plus the final boss battle at the end of each one.
Underwhelming Graphics and Audio
These worlds are blocky takes on standard video game locales. For example, you have a desert level and an ice level where your forward momentum is liable to cause you to slip off edges. It is fairly nicely stylised, although the textures are nothing special. It is nice to see the range of colours featured in the game though. You are also able to unlock thirty distinct colour schemes for your character, so the visuals on screen never become dull. The action is backed up by a driving electro soundtrack, which does a good job of keeping a fast pace with the combat. Much like the graphics, the audio, although decent, isnít something to write home about.
Customising your Hero
Although the game boasts one hundred and fifty different parts to attach to your character, I found this number to be somewhat misleading. Many of these parts perform the same function, they just look slightly different. The designs of the parts are based upon the type of robot that dropped them, but the differences arenít particularly recognisable. Many of the additions grant you an extra ability beyond your normal jump and punch.
For the majority of the game I went with an arm which granted me a powerful uppercut which launched enemies into the air, a booster which blasted me upwards, and a shoulder piece which allowed me to perform a spinning attack. You can have four abilities equipped at once, each one assigned to a direction. However, you have eight equipment slots, so I sometimes found myself with redundant pieces of hardware. In these situations it is best to equip an item which just gives you a base stat boost like increasing your damage or armour.
Your village acts as a hub world, and contains entrances to each of the six areas. You are also able to explore a few houses, talk to the other inhabitants, and shop for new items. Your house contains three computers - one allows you to download any part you have picked up previously, another allows you to change your colour scheme, and the last one allows you to save and load pre-set robot load-outs.
Super Smash Bros style combat. Destructible environments.
As the difficulty ramps up, so does the frustration.