Rygar for the NES is a game that could have been great, but instead, due to some flaws, turns out to be kind of average (but still fun). The game could have been longer, boss fights could have been better, and the characters could at least speak English. The game is still rather fun to play, though. Its controls are rather straightforward. You press A to jump and B to swing the Diskarmor. Later on, you get the grappling hook, which, when used properly, can be a boon to your combative abilities. The game plays mainly like Metroid, but just isn't as deep, which is a shame, because it does have its own unique feel to it, and it could have been a game deserving of comparison to Metroid if not for some serious flaws. You do, as in Metroid, run around killing monsters looking for stuff until you find what you need to get to areas previously unreachable. The monsters are kind of lacking, sadly, and mainly just attack by running straight into you. They are placed rather well, though, making the platforming aspects of the game a bit challenging at times. The bosses are pretty disappointing. I would max out my health just to be disappointed when I get hit once on my way to killing them within five seconds. The bosses were certainly not as imaginative as bosses in comparable NES games like Metroid and Castlevania II. That's not to say I never died in this game. You can die a lot if you're not careful. The stages can be pretty frustrating to traverse if you're not good at dodging a lot of stuff. The lack of character development also works against the game. You increase your maximum health as you kill enough enemies, and you can power up the Diskarmor (only once at that), and that's it. No new attacks are gained from the beginning, and the only item you'll find that has some real tactical usage other than just to get to new places is the grappling hook. You also get a healing potion late in the game, but most of the dying in this game, at least in my experience, is due to falling into pits rather than suffering fatal damage. Production values were okay. The story, if there was one, seems to have been lost in translation, and "Engrish" abounds. The game does control rather well in side-scrolling parts, but the overhead parts can be awkward at times. Graphics were good for 1987, I guess. The music is actually pretty good, too. I even enjoyed the cave song enough to bum around the cave and listen to the song. However, for a Tecmo game, I just didn't see the same effort in this game that they've put into every other game of theirs I've played. It seems like the game was rushed for no good reason. Rygar is a fun and challenging, but short and flawed, adventure game that could have rivaled Metroid if not for its very prominent flaws. It's a playable game, though, and I can see myself playing it again one day, just for kicks, as it is generally fun and has some nice environments, which are its redeeming qualities. Just don't expect this game to be great, because it really isn't, although it almost was.
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