It doesn't help that the visuals look so dated. In fact they don't just look dated, they shuffle off the Stannah stairlift, shamble creakily up to you and croak, "I was considered quite a beauty in my day, you know. Back then it didn't matter if everything looked like it was made of polygons and drawn in Paint; people just put up with it. Nowadays it's all realistic textures, fluid animations and more than two colours per environment. Mind you, back then, people thought Daniel Bedingfield was good."
In fact, if these screenshots are anything to go by, the visuals in Rygar for Wii are actually worse than those in the PS2 game. The environments are much blurrier and less detailed. Yes, they're still destructible, and it's fun to smash open pots and knock down pillars. But that sort of fun comes as standard in many of today's new-fangled action-adventure games, and the range of stuff you can destroy is often more expansive and consistent.
Being able to play with the Wii remote and nunchuk rather than a DualShock doesn't add much to the whole experience. In Conquest (i.e. story) mode, most of your time is spent pressing buttons and pushing an analog stick just like in the old days. Swinging the remote about is required for some special attacks, but for the most part you can ignore all that.
Battle of Argus does feature an additional mode, Gladiator, which puts a greater emphasis on waggling. There's no exploring or puzzle-solving, you just face off with waves of enemies in a single arena. Moves with names like Gration's Fang and Vulcan Hammer are performed by waving the Wii remote about, and the speed of your swing determines your "impact rank". The novelty wears off after two and a half goes.
There's a serious problem with the controls when you're playing in Conquest mode: Rygar overreacts to the slightest twitch of the analog stick. This is annoying enough when you're dodging enemies, but it's downright enraging when you're trying to perform a tricky jump or cross a narrow bridge. Rygar doesn't want to traverse that gap, oh no; he'd much rather drop into the gaping abyss, again and again and again. He even appears to have slathered the soles of his shoes in margarine to make this outcome all the more likely. Well done, Rygar.
It's not hard to see why the PS2 game appealed back in 2003. Put bluntly, there was less competition and standards were lower. Devil May Cry had only been around a couple of years and God of War was a twinkle in David Jaffe's eye. PS2 technology was still cutting-edge and being able to smash up things which weren't crates was still novel. But games have moved on since then.
Of course some games are worth playing years, even decades after they first appeared, despite the fact they look dated and they've been copied many times over. That's because they've got superb gameplay at their core, whether that means a clever premise or an addictive hook or just a unique style charm.
Rygar: The Battle of Argus has none of those things. It has a silly plot, stupid dialogue, repetitive enemies, simplistic puzzles, dull boss levels and a camera that's just as infuriating as it was six years ago. It looked dated even then, and now the effect is magnified. The original game's redeeming features - a combat system with depth and destructible environments - have since been done better, dozens of times over.
This game would be more fun if it was titled Rygar Goes to Argos and challenged you to memorise the item number of every thing in the catalogue. Even if you remember the PS2 game with fondness, don't buy this one; your rose-tinted glasses will smash and you'll be left picking the splinters from your eyeballs as tears of blood roll down your cheeks. Also it's not worth Ł29.99.
4 / 10