Rygar: The Battle of Argus (Wii) Review

By Shane Jury 06.08.2009

Review for Rygar: The Battle of Argus on Wii

Rygar: The Battle of Argus is essentially the second go at the third game in Tecmo's series. Preceded by the arcade and NES versions, it is a port of Playstation 2's Rygar: The Legendary Adventure under a new guise. Amongst many others brought kicking and screaming to the system, how does the Greek warrior Rygar fare?

Centred on Roman mythology, The Battle Of Argus is set on the Mediterranean island from which it takes its name. Heroic fighter Rygar is about to receive an honour from love-interest Princess Harmonia, when Echidna (no, not that one, Sonic fans), an immortal who swore revenge for a loved one's death, crashes the scene with her army of mythological Titans and abducts the princess. So, instead of calling the local authorities like any sane person would do, Rygar hot-foots it after them. Not long after, he comes across the legendary Diskarmour weapon, and things really get going.

Not a bad story by any means, and certainly not a central part of the overall experience, but it is welcomed as breathing space between gameplay areas. One thing that would have been preferable audio-wise is if the voice acting had been improved from the original PS2 release; Rygar himself sounds fine most of the time, but the rest of the actors rival planks for stiffness, resulting in some cringe-worthy moments. A graphical boost is evident, as is Rygar's redesign from generic to slightly unique, but far more could have been squeezed from the Wii. The soundtrack has an ancient vibe to it, so it fits the action appropriately, as well as for the more intense sections of the game.

Screenshot for Rygar: The Battle of Argus on Wii

Upon startup, you're offered three main choices of game: Conquest, Gladiator, and Gallery. The latter is your rewards hub, filled up with accomplishing tasks elsewhere. Gladiator mode is a fun little diversion we'll touch on a little later, but Conquest is where the real substance of the game is found. After gaining control of Rygar for the first time in Conquest mode, players will almost certainly swing their Wii remote around in the hopes of some degree of on-screen replication. After all, a large offensive and defensive shield on a chain, used to fight enemies in a brawler-type game…it's a natural fit for the remote, right? Well, if MotionPlus has proven one thing, it has shown how limited the sole remote truly is, and luckily Tecmo has picked up on that, though sadly support for the peripheral itself is not included. Rygar's moves consist entirely of sequence button pressing, with a motion-swipe to end combos when needed; not far removed from that of a certain Suda51 Wii game in fact. After seeing how games like Red Steel and Dragon Blade fared, many would say that this game had a lucky escape, although sticking with button use for the main mode does defeat one of the key selling points in bringing the game to Wii in the first place. Still, what there is works well enough, and combos have enough variety by use of the A and B buttons. A proper lock-on, perhaps using the pointer, would have been useful; it's possible to end up flailing wildly at an empty corner of the room, though not too often thankfully.

Screenshot for Rygar: The Battle of Argus on Wii

Transferred over completely intact from The Legendary Adventure on Playstation 2 is one of the series' more individual traits; destructible environments. And that is quite literal - practically any piece of excess surrounding can be crushed with your Diskarmour. Whilst the rest of Rygar's core flow is highly reminiscent of games like God of War and Onimusha, fixed camera angles and all, this trait it has all to itself. Breaking these parts yields the path forward, though other times gallery rewards can be found and, with the right timing, can be used to attack enemies too. It's probably not a wise idea to run around swinging at everything in sight though, as the controller rumble isn't synched properly to the on-screen action, and will end up acting like a lady's toy whenever you strike something. Strangely not an issue with fighting actual foes, but there you go.

To progress through the game, you need to locate key moves and techniques like sliding and the Zelda-style hookshot to gain access to new areas, slashing everything that gets in your way. Based within the confines of Roman myth as this is, The Battle of Argus will take you through locales such as The Coliseum, where warriors fight for honour and glory, Arcadia, a city in the sky, and lastly the realm of the Titans, Tartarus. Each has a distinct flavour, though the premise is the same; as is, annoyingly, the main method for unlocking doors and blocked routes. You've got to turn a stone monument, which gets old very fast, but there is the saving grace that it isn't via an awkward minigame. The map in the corner of the screen, full-scale in the pause menu, is very handy, often highlighted with a destination marker. Save points themselves, in the form of lion heads poking out of the walls like a hunter's decoration, are very well spaced out, and the bosses placed in between areas have a decent amount of variation to learn and best. Conquest Mode as a whole will take players a while to finish, and after doing so, the main new Wii content is next for play.

Screenshot for Rygar: The Battle of Argus on Wii

Gladiator mode consists of 30 foe-littered stages to survive with the aid of motion-controlled techniques. There are three basic moves, each representing one of the Diskarmour weapons you gain in Conquest. Each move is fairly simple to use, from a slow, strong overhead slash, to a quick sideways swipe, and the power of each depends on the speed of your swing. Not only this, but also two collectibles that allow invincibility and a power boost allow a decent amount of variation, although having to do so much movement shows why it was a good idea to omit this scheme from the main mode. Good thing too, as clearing all 30 in one go (no stopgaps here) is quite the endeavour, but worth it as rewards await.

And that's about it really. There's no multiplayer to speak of, but the gallery will take a while to fill. Not only that, but a section of Conquest called One World mode is unlocked after completion, which lets you replay any stages that you want. For hack and slashers on the Wii, you can do a lot worse than Rygar.

Screenshot for Rygar: The Battle of Argus on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


Whilst it's good to see a decent forgotten game given a second chance in the modern day market, it is a shame that the original flaws weren't ironed out for this revision. No doubt one of the better roaming brawlers on Nintendo's console, but considering the dearth of said genre, that isn't saying much. One to consider for a mindless budget-buying gaming urge.




Rising Star





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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