The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
The Wii seems to be the system of choice if you want to play older games. It has a wealth of downloadable classics on Virtual Console, you can play the entire library of GameCube titles, and now it's even getting ports of PS2 games, like this 2002 Greco-Roman action title. Unlike the Nintendo classics, however, this mythological adventure doesn't hold up under the destructive weight of time.
A lot has happened since Rygar appeared on PS2. The action/adventure genre has evolved to some epic cinematic heights, and all Rygar has done is grow out his spiky hair and gotten a few tattoos. Where it counts, he's still the same simplistic button jockey. Even when it first came out, Rygar was only on the high end of average. Rygar's slightly destructible environments were fun, but not original. Its combat was solid, but fairly basic. In this post-God of War world, Rygar's average qualities trudge ever closer to being outright failures in game design.
Even after jumping to the Wii, Rygar's combat feels sluggish, hindered by the terrible auto-targeting. By the time you're well into a combo string, your opponent has often moved out of the way and started stabbing you in the back. Even Rygar's signature weapon, the Diskarmor, no longer seems original. While Rygar has great attack range, the combat lacks any flash or style.
Rygar's mediocre storyline doesn't help, either. It hardly seems epic enough to have come from the same bloodline as the ancient myths it apes. The level layouts deserve a revamp, too, as it's not always clear where you should be going next. The fixed camera hinders the action, and doesn't help the already iffy platforming. While we're talking about dated features, we should mention the game doesn't even support widescreen, instead opting to stretch out its 4:3 image to fit 16:9 displays.
The character--like the game's subtitle--has changed, but neither are for the better. In fact, there is no reason to choose this game over the now cheaper PS2 version. Sure, the game features a few new enemies and a new gladiator mode that has you racking up a high score in area challenges using the Wii's motion controls, but both are easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. You might have some fond memories of this series, but I suggest you avoid eye contact with this game next time you're at the store.
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I'll give the original PS2 Rygar some credit for beating Kratos to market by several years with the whole ''chain blades meets Greek mythology'' idea. However, God of War and several other action titles have essentially rendered the old Rygar formula obsolete. Some companies might up the ante with an all-new game, but Tecmo is content leaving the game almost exactly as-is. They simply changed the name and the look of the character (for the worse) with the obvious intention of bamboozling the average consumer into thinking this is a new game. But the fixed camera blows, the useless story features poorly voiced characters, drawn-out attack animations leave you vulnerable to attack, and platforming is imprecise to say the least. Tecmo's only addition? A survival mode that just reminds you, ''Hey, we could have used motion controls and a free camera system. Look how terrible that would have been!'' If you have any desire to try this game, search a bargain bin for the PS2 version and save yourself the trouble and cash.