Rygar: The Legendary Adventure
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
Tecmo
Developer
Tecmo
Genre
Action
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood and Gore, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Lush Graphics
• Fun, and surprisingly deep gameplay
• Good soundtrack
• Perfect ambiance

The Bad

• Pretty short game
• Weird camera angles

 
Grade
A-

With the recent crop of remakes, it seems only fair the our old buddy Rygar return from his 16 year old arcade machine. Anybody old enough will remember the man with a yo-yo as you killed many monsters to get the coveted High Score. Well, nowadays gameplay like that is considered ancient, but with recent advancements in technology, Rygar is getting his due. Does Rygar stand the test of time? Yes he does, in more ways than one.

When you first boot this up you're treated with a beautiful CG cinema which introduces you to the game's hero - Rygar. You soon learn that he's a legendary warrior in the city of Argus, and after his town is over run by monsters called ''Titans'', and his princess Harmonia is captured, we see him inherit the legendary weapon known as the Diskarmor. Soon afterwards we lead him on a journey to save Harmonia and restore peace to Argus. Along the way you'll bump into a lot of creatures heavily inspired by Greek and Roman mythology. This is the perfect story to bring out the original Rygar's mythical roots.

In terms of graphics, Rygar shines. This is one of the prettiest games I've ever seen on any console. With the lush environments, which create a certain ambiance similar to Ico. The character models are sharp and detailed. If I had one problem in this department, it's probably with the variety of enemies - there aren't many of them. I wish developer Tecmo could have added a little bit more. Minor problem aside, this is nothing short of a technical achievement, and should be worshipped by graphics hounds everywhere. The extremely destructible environments are also breathtaking, and is one of the key elements in solving puzzles and finding hidden items sprinkled throughout the adventure.

The audio also sets the perfect tone for the game. The lovely opera pieces have been handled by the Moscow Philharmonic. Each song sets a different mood for each of the levels and the boss battles. You'll hear the music go into a fast-paced dramatic score when you're pursued by oncoming monsters, which will keep your heart pumping. The music adds to the title's Greco-Roman style, and is one of the best that I've heard aside from some of Hironobu Sakaguchi's work. The characters' voice-overs could use some work, but you hear them so infrequently that it's not really much of a problem.

The gameplay is astounding. Coming into this game having only played the demo beforehand, I was expecting something more along the lines of Devil May Cry. Where you kill an endless amount of enemies, but after a couple of hours in, you'll uncover some hidden depth. With 3 different diskarmors, each with their own set of combos and moves, and summon spells that were obviously inspired by the Final Fantasy series, this is deeper than your typical action game. Through this adventure, you'll find multiple jewels that attach to you diskarmor, these sometimes increase you vitality, the strength of your attacks, or the length of your weapon. Finding these jewels is unnecessary to complete the game, but are always fun to toy around with.

The only game I can compare Rygar to is the Castlevania series, and maybe Devil May Cry. If you could imagine Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in a 3D world, then you've got an idea of what Rygar has to offer in terms of gameplay. It's a perfect blend of action, puzzle-solving, and adventuring. While it's pretty short, it's still tons of fun for any fan of the two games previously mentioned.

One major problem I had throughout Rygar were the camera angles. Yeah sure, they added to the dramatic sense of Rygar. But they were a serious issue when it came to gameplay. Many times you'll find yourself trying to hit enemies you can't see. Or missing a jump because the camera angle just changed directions. This was very annoying, especially in some of the heated boss battles. The problem can also be found in such games like Devil May Cry of the Resident Evil series. I hope Tecmo can clear this up if they plan a sequel or another action game like Rygar.

While the game is relatively short (about 7-9 hours for the average player) it is backed up by some cool extras like art galleries, music, cut-scenes and 4 difficulty levels. Another kooky unlockable is the ''Pizzarmor'' - after you beat the game once, you're treated to a funny unlockable diskarmor that looks like a pizza, hence the title ''Pizzarmor''. Trying to unlock everything makes for about another 15 hours of play time.

With plenty of unlockables, action packed gameplay and awesome graphics. This is a must-buy for an action/adventure fan. But with the short play time, this is a tempting rental for everyone else.

- - Grandlethal

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