A lot has been said recently about Tecmo's upcoming PlayStation 2 game Rygar. With the recent revival of the Ghosts 'N Goblins series, Ninja Gaiden, In the Hunt, and even Metroid, it doesn't seem too unnatural for Tecmo to announce a game like Rygar.
But that made me wonder: does this game really deserve to be upgraded? So right after E3 I got home, pulled out my Lynx, and played a little Rygar. And you know what? This really doesn't bring back any good memories, and frankly, isn't a good game at all.
That's not to say that the game is all bad. If Rygar does anything right it's create a nice long adventure. I mean, this game is a hundred levels long, and with only three guys (and no continues), it can take you quite a while to actually make it through this behemoth. The controls are, for the most part, extremely simple, and feel good on the large Lynx handle.
But hold on, let's back up a little. The hundred levels and control isn't what made Rygar popular. Instead it's the really bizarre shield-weapon. It works a little bit like a sling shot, but it almost the same size of Rygar himself. By picking up items and power-ups, gamers will extend the reach and power of their shield-weapon. It's actually a fairly effective weapon ... but the problem lies in its fairly stringent horizontal ONLY rule. No flinging that weapon up, or even diagonal, making some situations almost impossible to do without being hit.
This isn't the only thing that is frustrating about this game. While the control is solid, and it's a long adventure, you only start with three characters and no continues. It's fairly easy to find/earn free guys, but in the 100 levels, you'd think they'd at least give you the possibility to save or continue.
Of course, these levels aren't exactly super-sized. Some of them take a few minutes, but most fall into the 90 second variety. Often times you can just run through a level, dodging enemies and jumping over gaps and beat the level. Of course, it's not that easy, as there are a lot of levels, but it makes that number a little less daunting.
Graphically Rygar doesn't look exactly like it's arcade counter part, but is close enough to pass as a portable version. There are certainly far worse looking Lynx games than this (for some strange reason Hard Drivin' and Pit Fighter spring to mind), but in the same breath it's not going to win any awards for its visuals. You'll find that a lot of the levels, bad guys, and graphics in general stay the same throughout the 100 levels in Rygar.
There is nothing really wrong with Rygar, it is a pretty good action title through and through. But it's long length, lack of saving/continuing, and frustration level, is enough to keep it from the recommendation list.
I'll be the first to admit that the upcoming Rygar PlayStation 2 game is looking mighty good, but this, my friends, is not the way to pass the time while waiting. This is a lousy game. It's proof that even if you do mostly everything right, it doesn't mean it's going to be a great game.