If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Shibapower’s Tayal offers only the highest praise to Capcom’s Mega Man series. Its spiky haired hero is a dead ringer to the Blue Bomber – does the classic platforming action carry over as well?
If a newcomer to the Mega Man series were to look at screenshots of Tayal, they would likely be mistaken to think it’s part of the same series. There might not be robots, but there is a short protagonist that shoots yellow bullets, steals enemies’ powers, slides around, and has an aversion to spikes.
The structure is the same – players take control of the caveman Cano Ladu as he takes on animals like deer, mice, frogs, and monkeys that can go Super Saiyan. Each of these eight baddies has their own themed platforming stage, filled to the brim with enemies that want you dead. Get to the end of each stage, and players are thrown into a one-on-one fight with the boss, with the hero able to grab a special ability to use elsewhere after winning. The eight-bit graphics and design elements are identical – there’s even a shiba that fills in for Mega Man’s trusty robot dog Rush that can help with platforming.
This would be (somewhat) forgivable if Tayal had competent gameplay, but the development team cut corners when creating its engine. For some reason, jumping in the game has been severely limited – it can be hard to reach certain platforms and easy to fall to your doom. In addition, the difficulty of the game is fairly high due to poor enemy placement, multiple one hit kill hazards, and other unfair elements. Having waves of enemies that turn invincible after you shoot them does not equate to good game design.
In true Mega Man fashion, each boss has their own weakness that can be taken advantage of. When this weakness is utilized, additional damage is dealt and bosses are stunned. These weaknesses can be seen a mile away though, and even with this advantage, it can be difficult to take on these foes due to their attack patterns. We’ve beaten a number of Mega Man titles before, so the challenge here isn’t fair – it’s just cheap.
Rounding things off is some poor level design and a shoddy translation. On more than one occasion, we got stuck in pits or in the scenery. In addition, the broken English that accompanies the story can make things difficult to follow – good luck knowing what a “Dagula” or “Ganvan” is supposed to represent.
Tayal is a blatant ripoff of the Mega Man series that completely misses what made Capcom’s series so great. The frustrating platforming, along with the brutal difficulty, make it an easy pass for even the most diehard fans of the Blue Bomber.