Megabyte Punch – Review
Follow Genre: Beat 'em Up/Platformer
Developer: Team Reptile
Publisher: Team Reptile
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Megabyte Punch – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Graphics hold up really well for an eight year old game
Bad: Counterintuitive control scheme
User Score
5.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s been eight years since the original release of Dutch indie game Megabyte Punch on PC, a game that flew under many gamers’ radars. The game now gets a second lease on life with its arrival on Switch. Is Megabyte Punch a game worthy of Nintendo’s hybrid or was it better left in obscurity? 

Story

Megabyte Punch is set in a futuristic digital world inhabited by robots known as Megacs. Our main character is a nameless Megac, who will become the savior of Ventu Village. The opening cutscene shows our protagonist being summoned from a void by its creator, who gives us a little backstory on how the villagers are getting worried about the Heartcore, a relic that is literally the heart of the town. The evil Valk Empire threatens Ventu Village and it is up to our Megac to defeat the threat.

To its credit, Megabyte Punch tries to establish a lore, but we couldn’t help but feel the premise was a little flimsy. The opening scene feels like there is much more to the story presented here, so everything could have been fleshed out. For one, although the story tells us the evil empire is, well, evil, we never learn about their motivation. On the plus side, the village itself feels very much alive, with every character you encounter having something to say, be it gameplay tips or quirky stories. We did encounter the odd spelling or grammar error here and there. Hopefully these will be patched in the future. 

Graphics

We’re not sure if Team Reptile has done any polishing of Megabyte Punch’s graphics for the Switch release, but if they haven’t, the game holds up surprisingly well for its age. The game utilizes a relatively simplistic, blocky style. Clever use of shading and primary colors, combined with lightning-fast gameplay creates the illusion that there is more to the visuals than what is actually present. Add a silky smooth framerate and the result is a fantastic looking game, even eight years after the original release. 

Sound

The stages are accompanied by a high tempo techno soundtrack, which feels very appropriate. It can get a bit repetitive at times, as can other sounds, but overall, there isn’t really anything bad about the audio. 

Gameplay

It’s hard to really put a label on Megabyte Punch. The game is part Metroidvania-style platformer, part beat ‘em up and part multiplayer fighting game. The core single-player experience sees you taking control of your Megac as your progress through 18 stages, finding your way across obstacles and bludgeoning enemy robots into oblivion. As you fight your way through, you’ll earn new robot parts that allow you to customize your Megac on the fly. Through customization, you’ll not only be able to improve your stats, but also unlock new moves and abilities. New abilities allow you to explore other parts of the stages, where more enemies and customizable parts await. It’s a bit reminiscent of the Smash Run mode found in Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS, with the notable exceptions that there is no time limit here, and there are boss fights to be found across the various stages. 

The stages themselves are relatively short if you’re just trying to get from point A to point B. Exploring the different paths, rather than rushing through the levels, really is key here. You are rewarded for multiple playthroughs as the parts that are dropped by enemies are randomized. Naturally, the bosses tend to drop parts that are on the rarer part of the spectrum. With over 100 parts (and 30 color schemes) to collect, there’s a lot of time you can spend in Megabyte Punch if you’re a completionist. So why would you bother with collecting all these parts once you completed story mode? Well, that’s where the multiplayer brawl comes into play. Team Reptile has made no secret of the fact that the game was partially inspired by the Smash Bros series, and the multiplayer mode really feels like a budget version of Sakurai’s masterpiece, up to the point where the game even makes use of tilts and specials similar to how they work in Smash. Taking Smash as an inspiration rather than coming up with an original concept is probably Megabyte Punch’s biggest weakness: the game doesn’t really do enough to differentiate itself from it’s bigger brother. Without the appeal of dozens of well-known video game characters -arguably Smash’s main draw- why would anyone bother picking up Megabyte Punch if Smash exists? 

One major annoyance we had with the game lies in its control scheme. The way the controls are configured feels very counterintuitive compared to most other platformers, and we kept missing jumps because we instinctively reached for the ‘B’-button on our controller, rather than the ‘X’-button. Having no in-game option to remap controls feels like a missed opportunity. There are workarounds to this, like remapping your controller through the Switch menu itself, but the majority of players will probably not bother with this. Your mileage may vary on the control scheme, but as this might annoy a significant part of the game’s audience, we felt like it needed to be pointed out. Things might fare a bit better on the PC version control-wise, but as the Switch version features more content, such as amiibo support and bonus stages, we do feel that the rerelease is the definitive version of Megabyte Punch. The Switch version does suffer from a few bugs, including random crashes, but Team Reptile has acknowledged these and a patch is supposedly coming soon.

Conclusion

We can imagine that the original release of Megabyte Punch didn’t really catch a lot of people’s attention, so it’s nice to see this eight-year-old game get a second chance. It wouldn’t be fair to the developers if we told you to just go and play Smash instead, as there certainly is fun to be had with Megabyte Punch, even if it does feel like a budget version of Nintendo’s AAA title. The single-player stages are probably the most appealing part of the package, and they’re well worth a go if you like Beat ’em Up platformers. As it stands, we feel that Megabyte Punch is a tad overpriced for what it is, but if it goes on sale, give the game a go. 

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Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Megabyte Punch - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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