Wily and Light's Rockboard: That's Paradise
  • Genre:
    • Board Game
  • Platform:
    • Famicom
  • Developer:
    • Capcom
  • Publisher:
    • Capcom
  • Released:
    • JP 01/15/1993
Score: 70%

This review was published on 09/15/2016.

Wily and Light's Rockboard: That's Paradise is a video game developed and published by Capcom for the Famicom. It was originally exclusively released in Japan on January 15, 1993. This is a spinoff from the original Mega Man series, which usually consists of side-scrolling platform games that revolve around a robot that steals the weapons of his enemies by beating them in battle. While the game was never released outside of Japan, there's some evidence to suggest that were plans to do so. The January 1993 issue of a Mexican magazine called Club Nintendo had a preview of the game with English text, and it was tentatively titled "Mega Board." There was also a Game Boy version being developed by a Japanese company named Duel, but it never came out. An unofficial translation patch was released online at some point, so if you're into emulation, then you can play the game in English. As for what type of game this is, it's basically like Monopoly, but with Mega Man characters. You may think this mega board game will make you mega bored, but it's actually not that bad.

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All the playable characters originate from the Mega Man games on the Nintendo Entertainment System. You've got Mega Man's sister, Roll, his creator, Dr. Light, and the main villain of the series, Dr. Wily. Dr. Cossack and his daughter, Kalinka, both of whom are from Mega Man 4, are also playable. The difference between playable characters is merely cosmetic. Strangely, Mega Man himself is absent from the playable roster, though he does show up on the menu screens when arranging a game. None of the iconic Robot Masters are selectable as participants, either, but some of them do appear in the game, and you can even transform into a few of them temporarily. Some new characters were also designed specifically for this game, like a robotic bird named Reggae. Yeah, the music reference is really on the nose with that one. Speaking of, some of the music is remixed from the other Mega Man games on the NES, so you may recognize the tunes if you're a fan. Considering how awesome the soundtracks of those games are, that's a good thing.

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Up to four players, either controlled by humans or the computer AI, can play the game. Players take turns "rolling" dice to determine how many spaces they move across the board, of which there are four selectable layouts. The main objectives are to earn a certain amount of money, referred to as "Zenny" in this game, and own a specific amount of land and properties. The amount differs depending on the board, though you can change these settings yourself. All players start off with some money and they can use it to purchase empty spaces on the board, which are called "lots." Once purchased, the lot will belong to whoever bought it, and any other player that lands on it will have to pay the owner a rental fee. This is the basic flow of the game, but there's obviously a lot more to it than that. If you've played Monopoly before, then this should all sound familiar.

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Like Monopoly, properties play a big role in this game. If a player lands on a purchased lot, they'll be able to pay money to build a lab on it, and if they land on it again, they'll be able to pay to upgrade it. A lab can be upgraded up to a maximum of three times. Building and upgrading labs will increase a lot's value, which means players will have to pay more rent if they land on it. If multiple lots owned by the same player are close together, their value will increase even further. Players also have the ability to auction, sell, and trade properties with each other. They'll also be forced to auction off one of their properties if they're unable to pay someone else's rent. Again, all of this is fairly similar to Monopoly, but it's more simplified here. That simplicity should be a boon for those who haven't played the real Monopoly before.

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In addition to the empty spaces, there are various other spaces that do various other things. The most important space on every board is the Energy Tank space, which functions like the "GO" space in Monopoly by giving players that pass or land on it some free money. Another way to get free money is a space where you buy lottery tickets for a chance to win big. Then there are transformation spaces that'll transform players into Robot Masters, which will give them special abilities, like being able to destroy other people's labs, but in exchange, they won't be allowed to do practically anything else. Other spaces include a tunnel space that makes random events occur, a space that warps you across the board, a work space that wastes your turn, a space where you can bet on a race, etc. Many of these spaces parallel ones in Monopoly, but there are some unique ones.

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Card spaces let you draw a random card. Each card has a different effect, and they're grouped into multiple classes. There are boss cards, Eddie cards, Rush cards, Reggae cards, and so on. Boss cards feature various Robot Masters from the Mega Man series, and they're usually used from the menu when it's your turn to inflict inconvenient effects upon your opponents, like destroying their labs. Eddie is the little flip top robot guy first introduced in Mega Man 4, and his cards typically give you passive effects, like temporarily giving you money each time you move. Rush cards are based on Mega Man's robotic dog, and they also do similarly positive stuff, like letting you roll twice. However, most Reggae cards will give you a negative effect as soon as you get them, such as taking away your money. You can also trash cards you don't need, but this doesn't work for the Reggae cards for obvious reasons. The cards definitely spice up the game, so they're cool.

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Playing with a rock will make you bored, but playing this game won't. It's actually not nearly as bad as you'd expect for such a random spinoff title. The only problem is that it's a little slow paced, plus there aren't many board layouts to choose from. However, if you like Monopoly, then you'll probably dig this. In fact, this is much better than the actual Monopoly game on the NES. The added simplicity also makes this a very easy game to learn, so if you wanted to play the real Monopoly, but found it too daunting, then this may be for you. Afterwards, you may be inspired to play some real board games. You could say that this game will make you want to rock a real board. Having said all that, this is obviously nothing like a regular Mega Man game, so if that's what you're after, then steer clear.

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