The Wii, Nintendo’s “next gen” console. While their competitors chose to widely advance their hardware, Nintendo decided to introduce a new way to play games, and quite a few games have utilized this motion sensor technology rather well. Mario Kart is one of the better racing games on any console. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is one of the best fighting games this generation, and now Tecmo has released Rygar: The Battle of Argus which is another game that has been picked up, remade and found a home in the thwarting arms of the Wii. The question is will you find reason to don the diskarmor once again?
Rygar takes place in the mythological Roman Empire. The story really isn’t that unique: Rygar is assigned the task of the tired mission to save the princess. He does however; implement some pretty cool things along the way, mainly with his trusty diskarmor weapon. This is probably one of the coolest weapons I have used in an action/adventure game. Essentially it is a round (shaped like a shield) disc with blades all around it and is attached to a handle similar to a mace. There are items you can pick up to make your trusty weapon more powerful, and even three different types of diskarmor you earn on your quest, each with its own different abilities.
The combat works well with the diskarmor and is really simplistic. The A and B buttons are used as a normal and a heavy attack respectively. Of course they can also be used to chain together combos that can be pretty devastating. On top of that, the environment is destructible and let me tell you, knocking down pillars and destroying other things in the environment is extremely satisfying. I find myself destroying everything I can as I go through levels (this is not only fun, but also a way to find upgrades for your weapon).
Alright now that I have covered the offense it’s time for the defense the defense. It as simple as pushing the C button; that’s it. Now there will be attacks that simply can’t be blocked, but Rygar has other moves to avoid more powerful attacks, and as you can imagine you will find these abilities by searching the levels. The only real downside to the combat is the boss fights. They really aren’t amusing and can be frustrating at times. Usually there is no set strategy involved in defeating them. For example, I defeated the first boss by walking up to it and just mashing buttons while watching their health plummet. I love hacking and slashing, but I also like a little strategy in my boss battles.
Graphically, the game isn’t that impressive, but seeing as how Nintendo decided that graphics aren’t what make the game (and I agree), Tecmo did a good job working with what they had to make a decent looking game. I mean, it’s far from the best looking game on the Wii, but it is also far from being the worst looking. Don’t get your hopes up for first-class voice acting though as comes across pretty lame. However, the story and the facts about that time era that you find, really help keep this game interesting if you are into mythology.
So is there more to Rygar: The Battle of Argus, you ask? Yes, but not too much more. At its heart, it is a hack and slash game, but, as mentioned a couple paragraphs ago, it mixes in quite a bit of exploration. So, as you enter a level and there are multiple paths in which to traverse, I recommend going down each one. You have nothing to lose: chances are you will find a hidden artifact or you might find enemies that keep respawning (and either way, you come out with something as some enemies you defeat drop items). It’s also worth noting that if you abhor traveling down different paths that don’t follow the main quest, these side paths do usually lead you back to where you started, eliminating any sense of backtracking.
The game does take advantage of the Wii’s motion controls but it’s not widely used in the story mode. You pretty much just use it as a finishing blow by swinging the Wiimote, but the motion controls have a bigger role in the new mode that has been added to this interpretation: Gladiator Mode. The short of it is it’s a survival mode that has you battling waves of baddies for thirty levels. Definitely a nice touch, but still not worth taking a second dip if you have already experienced this game when it was released on the PS2.
Even though the game feels dated (and looks it too), Rygar: The Battle of Argus is extremely fun. Being a virgin to the series the ease of play and amount of enjoyment truly surprised me. This is the type of game that anyone can pick up and play and have a good time. There aren’t many action/adventure games on the Wii, but in the small class of options Rygar excels. If I had to sum it up, I would call Rygar: The Battle of Argus a more casual version of God of War, and believe me that is a compliment. There were a few times that I had more fun playing this game than Sony’s juggernaut series. Now I am anticipating a true sequel; and I am hoping it goes multi-platform.