E3 2002: Rygar impressions

We get a chance to see the next Rygar game in action on the PlayStation 2.

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Rygar: The Legendary Adventure
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While visiting the Tecmo booth, we had the opportunity to take a look at Rygar, which was being demonstrated by Satoshi Kanematsu, executive officer and genral manager of Tecmo's creative division. In the first level, Rygar was shown walking through the interior of a coliseum-like structure with light from an orange sunset cascading in from behind the statues and through the porticoes lining the structure. After a few seconds of walking around, Kanematsu demonstrated Rygar's weapon, which functions somewhat similarly to the weapon used in the original game, as Rygar can hurl the disc forward and then retract it. This basic attack also helps him clear any debris out of his path and open entrances to secret areas.

In addition to the basic attack, Rygar can perform a number of special moves using his weapon. During some battles, he can swing his weapon over his head, which not only grabs multiple enemies at once, but also damages them. There is an additional special attack where the screen turns black and Rygar violently swings his weapon around the screen, dealing massive amounts of damage to all the enemies in his vicinity. A gauge located underneath Rygar's health meter will drain as you use the special moves. Of course, if you're looking for a little more challenge, Rygar can use his fists to attack enemies as well.

As Kanematsu progressed through the level, the game continued to showcase some impressive visual effects. The small puddles of water located on the sides of the structure looked great, and most of the textures in the game had a crisp and clear look. The frame rate appeared to be solid as well.

Kanematsu showed us another level where two massive statues were guarding the entrance to a staircase. Near the top of this staircase was one of the small, starlike icons that are scattered throughout the level. Rygar can fling his weapon up toward these icons and use them to pull himself up or swing across a chasm. Later on, we saw what appeared to be a boss battle--a cyclops with an enormous ax hammer busted through one of the walls and instantely started to pursue Rygar. After running for a few seconds, it looked as though Rygar had lost him, but then the same cyclops burst through yet another wall.

Even in its early state, Rygar looks quite impressive, and the controls appear to be simple enough that anyone can pick it up and get the basics down right away. However, fans of the original game may be disappointed to know that the game is focused more on action as opposed to the original game's mix of action and adventure.

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