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Released: 1990

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Atari Lynx

Publisher: Tecmo

Developer: Tecmo

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

It may be 22 years since the Lynx was released- but I just bought one for the first time, off ebay, with games, with RYGAR!!  Yep, Rygar is pretty much the reason I bought one, being such a fan of the original arcade game, I wanted to experience and play the handheld version.

What I found was a very enjoyable game that resembled the arcade version enough to be my favourite of the ten games I have for the system.

The graphics are detailed, colourful (in your face game boy!!) and very similar to those in the arcade.  It scrolls quite fast but that does make your eyes go a bit funny due to the screen size, and the action is equally as hectic.

You run horizontally along, throwing out your spikey shield weapon (that only goes forward in this version- no spinning it around yourself) and taking down the headless guardians, rhinos, dragons n such, jumping over holes and breaking open boulders with hidden points and power ups.  Its simple gameplay, but I like the fast reaction high score test.

Gripes are, that the enemies appear much less randomly than in the arcade, AND in much less numbers, although that is to be expected.  You only get 3 lives so you may find, as I do, that you get nowhere near to the last 23rd level… not yet anyway… but your endurance, high score and general endorphin rush are the important things… good old Rygar, you never fail me.


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Released: 1987

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: US Gold

Developer: Probe (Antony R. Lill)

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

My anticipation to get my hands on a conversion of my favourite arcade game on the humble Spectrum was so high that it could have all gone horribly wrong… I ignored the mediocre review in my chosen mag Sinclair User… I ordered the game… I got my hands on it… I loved the blood thirsty cover illustration and…

I firmly wore my rose tinted specs forever!!  The fact that my memory of the arcade game had grown a little hazy probably helped cause I didn't notice all the glaring differences and omissions, what I did notice was the gameplay was there.  It is a frantic slash em up with a host of beasties coming from all sides getting obliterated by a unique spiked shield on chain weapon with loads of bonuses, fast scrolling, platforming action and loadsa levels.

The graphics are a bit small, there's not a lot of variation n the sound is, well, rubbish BUT I loved it, and I still do.  Despite now being able to emulate the arcade game on my PC I still fire up the Speccy version too.  Its a different game, yet has enough of the same elements that I like.  The mythical theme, the score challenge, and more than anything, the speed of action.  For some reason I am drawn to the fast reflex games more than any others, and this is one of the best examples.

I wasn't dissapointed with this conversion at all, and I played it to death and to completion… a feat I seldom achieved on Spectrum games, but the difficulty on this is just right and you can get better with each play.

For a fast take on the slash em genre on the Speccy.. try it out.


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Released: 1986

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Tecmo

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

Kinda obvious with my retrobate name that I would review this one, it is, frankly, my favourite game of all time- a bold statement?  I have my reasons.  And this review, therefore, may be a little bias!

English sea side holidays offered many delights didn't they?  The sun, the blue seas, the culture… well no, to a kid of twelve there was only one thing they offered… arcades!!  You got the odd arcade machine in the local chippy but to see a whole open plan building full of different machines, people playing them, the noises the lights… wow!  I don't remember much from them holidays but I do remember the games I played.

Clacton pier 1986… a lone machine I had neither seen before nor heard of… A man in red pants running through a high speed scrolling world killing weird mythical and prehistoric monsters in colourful wastelands with some strange spiked shield on a chain… no one playing it.. 10ps in hand…  that game?  RYGAR…. the legendary warrior.

I played it… I died, and the grim reaper flew down and took my body.  Another 10p and another, and another… I played it A LOT… every day I was back and I shunned all other machines.  I was hooked.  But why?  Cause it ticks all my good gaming boxes that's why:

It's fast and frantic.  Loads of enemies that come relentlessly from all sides. You have to run and jump and fire, all at the same time… but the difficulty, although hard, is just right, cause every time you know you can do better, and every time you die you know it was your fault.  I even like that you have to crouch to hit the lower creatures… it takes real skill.  It's like a slash em up yet your 'diskarmor' is a unique weapon that you can even spin around you, and the usual plodding muscle guy is replaced with this nimble speedy fighter.  Yet it has the slash em elements I love of mystical beasties and fantasy back drops… all of which are quite, dare I say… beautiful.

It's a great score challenge game cause you get more points for the bigger enemies and get a kill 'repulse' bonus at the end of each level.  There's boulders that spring up to be shot with point bonuses inside too, and power ups.  PLUS the score returns to zero when you continue… that is SO important.  I HATE that some games allow you a high score by merely pumping coins into the machine… what does that prove???!!!  How good you are or how rich you are?!!  Sorry, thats a pet hate.  But every time I play this, now on MAME, I try and get better and better scores.  I'm not great at it actually, despite the practice!   There's 27 levels and different creatures pop up in each along with the favourites that run throughout.  From level 21 on you can't even continue… so that's a real challenge!

The music is atmospheric and quite minimal but the sound of Rygar's jumping 'UGH', weapon yielding 'YAH'' and more than often his death cry fill your ears…

Ok, so quite a long review, and yep, I said I was bias.. but if you've never played it… I bet you'll be emulating it after reading this…. HA!