Rygar The Battle of Argus review

Ideas are complicated business. It’s often quite difficult to work out who came up with what and in what order they did so. For example, most gamers would take one look at Rygar: The Battle of Argus on the Wii and disclaim “God of War rip-off!”. After all, the weapons are there, the mythology is there, the crazy ass mammoth bosses are there. But look again, most gamers! Rygar was originally released on the PlayStation 2, three years before God of War blew your eyes out. So give it some credit. Although, yes, that does mean that Rygar is seven years old. And yes, this new Wii version is the exact same game but let’s find out what it’s like in my review of Rygar for Wii.

Rygar: The Battle of Argus is based on Greek mythology (yes, like God of War). The story is about as old as the gods too with Rygar battling in Argus in order to rescue a princess, who has been captured by the dastardly Titans. On his way to Tartarus, the home of the Titans, he must explore the colloseums and tombs of the ancient Mediterranean, plus Hades and cities in the sky to boot. Sounds like a bit of a mission but luckily he has brought along his gift from Zeus, the Diskarmor. I don’t know what he does for food, maybe he packed some sandwiches.

The Diskarmor is a shield that can be used for long-range attacks (yes, God of War, I know!) and can be upgraded throughout the course of the adventure with magic stones. You can unlock various powers for it including some special effects laden Summons. All in all it’s a fun weapon that’s more than capable in the backside-whooping department.

In case you haven’t got it by now, the gameplay is a lot like God of War and for those who don’t know, this means you will be running about a third person environment, hurling your weapons at armies of hideous beasties and powering up with their remains. It’s a feast of explosive, satisfying brawling, with your shield busting skulls like crazy and the bodies of mythological creatures dropping dead around you like mythological flies. It packs in more “Ohmigod-did-you-see-that?” boss battles than God of War managed, and they’re pretty creepy so make sure you play with the lights on!

There’s nothing wrong with Rygar in the slightest. The action pours syrup thick and it’s as rewarding as a certain other game I could name, and in reality there is not as much similarity in overall gameplay as you would first think. They’re both different games, if similar in style and setting, and a fan of one should love the other. Besides, Rygar did come first. While we’re on the subject, let’s take a look at Rygar’s biggest weakness: its age.

This is a straight port of a game that is the better part of a decade old and it shows. The Wii is not fantastic when it comes to sexy-looking graphics, but even Nintendo’s flagship can do much better than this. The graphics are not terrible, in fact some are pretty stylish, but they could have done with a polish. It is old, but not quite old school, and it runs and looks like a game struggling to keep up. Its approaches to gameplay are tried and tested, and perhaps a little too long in the tooth for a thrill-seeking gamer. However, with a little work, a passionate action-adventure fan can hopefully get over the antique game engine and enjoy Rygar like one would enjoy an old film. You can say a lot about its varied, exciting levels that overflow with fun things to do and critters to slice to pieces, and there truly is never a dull moment. It’s just more than a little gutting that we’re expected to pay full price for such an old title which has made no effort to keep up.

I’m going to give this game a comfortable 6 out of 10, although I would like to invite Tecmo to give this another go. A properly polished remake of Rygar which keeps the original’s charm and intelligent level design but takes into account what’s available in the gaming world today – well, that would be a must-buy.

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Rygar The Battle of Argus review pics

Rygar The Battle of Argus review screenshots

Related: God of War, Rise of the Argonauts

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