Rygar: The Battle for Argus

First things first; Rygar: The Battle for Argus is not a new game, it’s a port of the 2002 PS2 release “Rygar: The Legendary Adventure” also known as “Argus no Senshi” in Japan.

Rygar is a warrior serving under the beautiful Princess Harmonia, the benevolent leader and descendant of a line of sea warriors,  in the ancient city of Argus. He also has spiky white hair with a delicate blue tint to it!  Just when our coiffured hero is about to receive a reward for a recent victory at sea, a bunch of angry Titans show up led by, the not wholly unattractive, Echidna (yes I thought that was a sort of ant-eater too) and spoil the party kidnapping the aforementioned beautiful Princess and plunging Rygar into a pit.

Our Hero survives the fall and is tasked by the Gods to stop the Titans and free Harmonia – quite why Gods are unable to do this themselves remains a mystery I’m afraid! To aid him in this quest Rygar is give a Diskarmour, a spinning, whipping weapon which can also be used as a shield against attacks. The Diskarmours – you end up with three – can also be powered up with elemental forces to help you defeat your enemies and also to open some of the energy barriers which prevent you fro accessing certain areas of the ruined City. Very handy.

Progress through the game is really about exploring every bit of every area you have access to and finding the big horsey-headed glowing thing which you move to unlock the door to the next area. On the way smash everything you can and collect power-ups to defence, attack and life force as well as ‘Build up’ points which allow you to upgrade your Diskarmour – these being glowing balls of different colours, the colours reflecting the number of points gleaned. On your way through the levels various enemies will appear who need to be dispatched using your Diskarmour, now there are some pretty detailed combinations you can do to achieve this using the buttons on the Wii-mote; A, AA, AAA, AAAA, B, BB, BBB, BBBB, AB, AAB….. well I think you get the picture here, this is really about mashing buttons with the only skill being the choice of Diskarmour to use. The only Wii specific element in the controls is the ‘Snap’ which, I read, involves holding down the ‘A’ button ([A] in the instructions) and sharply bringing the Wii-mote from vertical to horizontal then releasing the ‘A’ button. Forget it, I simply couldn’t make this work at all and ended up doing what I believe everyone else will, which is simply mash ‘A’ and ‘B’ until all enemies are dead.

The game follows it’s old-school stylee with Save points dotted throughout the levels. You’ll spot these as glowing lions heads on the walls which when activated with the ‘A’ Button “Resonate with your Diskarmour, recalling events and battles past” or something along those lines. My advice is, be sure to use these as occasionally you will die – this will be through no fault of your own and the conclusion I came to is that the game decides it’s time for a change and will put you in a situation where the camera prevents you from seeing wither your character, the enemy or in some cases both! Don’t take this personally though, in the original reviews back in ’02 the camera work was critised so there’s nothing to be surprised at here. The other thing I noticed was that the sound sometimes disappears when your on-screen character moves off-bias or when there are other things going on, although not a significant item, this would indicate that the porting has not been totally successful.

So, back to our progression. Enemies killed off, areas explored, scenery destroyed (I thought we were saving this city??); check, check and check so it must be time for a Boss battle then? Of course it is (you saved at the last Lions-head right?) so play the scene out until you find the right attack method, work out the routine that the Boos creature follows and kill it, simples! Now rinse and repeat until bored the game is completed and you’re done.

Back in ‘the day’ (as we seem to say now) the move to the flowing 3D modelling we can see in Rygar: The Battle for Argus was seen as a huge step forward, and it was. The camera work, although a little flawed in it’s execution was pretty special in it’s tracking and perspective changes for the time. Now though I felt like I was missing a control, my right thumb was searching around, almost on it’s own, for that second stick to change my viewpoint. We now expect this level of control and interaction with our gaming environments and when it’s not there I for one feel short-changed. There’s also the mild feeling in the back of my mind that this title has been banged through on the Wii because of the lower tech-point that console adopts and this is wrong. The Wii has some unique elements to it and shouldn’t be seen as the ‘simple cousin’ of the console world just because it doesn’t have the polygon count or HD-ability of it’s opposite numbers.

This game would have been delivered through Marketplace on the XBox as a Classic game and would be correctly positioned as such. By positioning Rygar as a fully boxed product on the Wii it sits alongside some pretty decent products and it does not rightly belong there. This is a direct port of a 7 year old game and shows it’s years. If you want some old-style button-mashing, level smashing, simple challenge, Boss bashing fun then give it a look, but don’t pay full ticket price.







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