_hojo:[easilyimpressed] Rygar (PS2)February 26, 2009
_my family often goes out of town for Thanksgiving, up to Visalia, CA, and visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. they’re a vietnamese family, but they cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal. with rice. that’s the only asia-fication that goes on for the meal. on one of these trips, i helped my cousin clean out his room. we came across some games his dad had bought for him at a local pawn shop, and he didn’t really want them and asked if i wanted any. most i didn’t want at all, but one game i was semi-interested in. that game was “Rygar: The Legendary Adventure” for the Playstation 2 game console.
_Rygar is a 3d action/semi-platformer from 2002. i say “semi-platformer” because there’s no penalty for falling off any platforms. fall off a platform to what you’d assume would be your death? instantaneously back where you fell off. no “Game Over” screen. no “Would you like to load your last save?” not even health loss. you just appear right back on the platform. at least in the much ballyhooed new Prince of Persia game, they give a bad explanation as to why falling to your death has no negative repercussions whatsoever. here, you only get the implication that there’s some higher power going “oh, did you fuck up? let me fix that for ya.”
_back to the point, it’s a 3d action/semi-platformer from 2002. you play as Rygar, who’s some kind of Greek gladiator or something. he’s dumb and loyal to the princess. literally, he has no memories of his family or where he really comes from, and is steadfastly loyal to the Princess. she’s about to bestow some honor on him when some bad fuckers come up from a crack in the ground and fly off with her. Rygar then goes “shit. i’ll save you.” [beginning credits roll, cue title card-GAME START].
_graphically…the game is 6 years old. it’s not bad, and the environments have enough style to make it not really seem dated, which is always a good thing. unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of variation in the enemies you fight. there’s about 6 variations of these big worms that just get slightly bigger and spikier as the game goes on, 3 variations of these floating phantom guys that just kind of change the color of their cloaks, and some palette swap skeleton guys. pretty boring. the bosses are alright, nothing too special, a lot of standard “Greek mythology” fare. the most impressive looking boss is the first one, a giant moving statue-fusion of 2 warriors and a horse. the design is neat, the model is well done, and the animations look good. some of the other ones just have kind of boring designs, like Icarus, who’s just a guy with wings and two swords or even the final boss, who looks like a more evil, bigger, wingless Icarus, and others have really stiff animations, like Centaurs arrow shooting motions, which were pretty painful to behold. he’d just pull back on his bow, i assume, and giant white flashes would come out. it’s like they assumed that the arrow-flashes would block the character most of the time, so a fluid animation wasn’t really necessary. which it kinda wasn’t, but that’s just a lazy shortcut that i’m not gonna excuse.
_as far as actual gameplay is concerned, the game is alright. combat focuses around the weapon called the Diskarmor (pronounced like “dis” and then emphasis on “karmor;” i’m not gonna look up those dictionary pronunciation guides to put up). the Diskarmor is attached to Rygar’s wrist via a chain, and extends from his arm to attack his foes from a distance. you attack with the Square and Triangle buttons (or Triangle and Circle, circle and square do the same things) and can preform different combos using (guess what) different combinations of the two buttons. you can also attack while jumping, but it’s pretty fucking useless. it’s like Mario’s air tail-swipe in Super Mario Bros. 3. yeah, you might use it every once in a while for shits and giggles, and at one part of the game, you might accidentally use it and kill something, and you’ll say “i’m glad i have the ability to do that,” but overall, you could go the entire game, never use it, and it wouldn’t change anything. you get 3 Diskarmors in total during the course of the game, each with distinct move sets that are “effective at different ranges,” and they all have the same jump attack. one less different attack to get confused over between styles, i guess.
_so…quick recap…setting and bosses inspired by Greek mythology…main hero uses weapon attached to the wrist that extends out to attack his enemies…yeah, that’s a generic way to describe God of War. but using God of War as a term is a great way to describe this game…it’s a 4-hour long God of War-lite.
_and after playing Rygar, it’s obvious that if this game was never made, God of War probably wouldn’t exist. if it did, it’s safe to say it would nothing like what it is now. seriously, the gameplay similarities are just insane. don’t get me wrong…God of War is a VASTLY superior game. the boss fights are better, there’s more variety in the gameplay, the story isn’t completely retarded, it’s longer and more satisfying. basically, God of War is good enough to make blind Sony blow-hards cream themselves out their ears over how it’s the best action game ever made because it’s a 1st party Sony title with a marketable main character; Rygar isn’t that good. decent, sure, but not that good.
_Rygar basically is to God of War’s what Dance Aerobics is to Dance Dance Revolution: a mere footnote as a starting point. you point and it and say “look at that…that was the precursor to something good.” if you find this out, you might try to track down the originals out of curiosity. what came after was better enough to make them “inspired by” and not “rip-offs.” and in both cases, only one of the two games are really worth playing.
_note_i just found out that there was a Wii-make of Rygar’s romp released recently, in which Rygar gets a ridiculously out-of-place haircut.
_at the risk of pissing off any weaboos, japan is fucking retarded sometimes.