Roddy's Ramblings

Thoughts and tales; some of them may even be true.

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Location: Australia

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Friday, January 13, 2006

You're not the boss of me now...

This is (or at least was originally intended as) a tirade against Boss levels in games. Mainly the final (or penultimate) bosses in a game.

I've just finished Metroid Fusion on the GBA and spent a few hours trying to get past the last Boss in the game (the Metroid Omega on the left for those interested). In order to get past it you have to use a blast in a diagonal direction; the only way of getting a diagonal direction is while you're moving and aiming upwards which is a royal pain in the D pad; get too close and you hit the creature and fly backwards, get caught by the claw and you're stunned for a while, don't get close enough and the blaster misses and all this while the clock ticks down. Up until this point I had enjoyed this game a lot. Another crux was that you had to build up the energiser weapon so you had to be holding down the B button and letting go at the right time. Not to put to fine a point on it, it was a pain in the @rse.

If you've played the game then you are probably shaking your head and thinking unkind thoughts about the whole thing. As I have just found out you can hold the 'L' button down to aim diagonally. Bugger.

So much for the tirade. I had planned a whole passage on asking why game designers constantly have to screw up a game by making the final boss(es) so damn fiddly with frustrating controls; Metroid Fusion was to be my prime example. But nothing is entirely useless, it can always serve as a bad example...

So anyway, about Metroid Prime on the Gamecube. What the hell were they thinking? The bosses are insanely hard and inanely iterative. I think I got to my third or fourth boss before just throwing down the controller in digust.

Then we get to the penultimate boss on Resident Evil 4, Krauser. I'm not asking for reality here, but it was getting a bit silly. I fired just about every bit of ammo I had into him; you see, he was what can be called a staged Boss. You have to batter him around so much to progress to the point where doors open and he shows up again. And it was a few times indeed. The thing I can say for this game is that you do have the option for buying a rocket launcher; this can be used throughout the game (although only at the last stage of Krauser) for when something has just split apart into disgustingly raw and fleshy tentacles and massive teeth and you just can't be bothered working out the patterns and shooting all the individual weak spots. Bonus points there for the game designers. For a full review of Resident Evil 4, check out the game review below.

Another fine game - God of War. Everything about this game was rather excellent including, but not limited to, the learning progression, the voice acting, the amazing presentation. This game is the very definition of visceral. Then we come to the final battle, the final boss, the big, bad and rather fiery Aries, God of War. Great idea to face off with the energy balanced between the two opponents; but it was the most frustrating experience and the bust plastic on the PS2 controller can attest to the amount of times it flew across the room. Difficulty is one thing, but when the boss has attacks that you cannot defend against, then its just a case of hanging on in there until the particular sequence you've picked works; however many number of times it needs to be repeated.

Why do they do it? Shouldn't the game designers try to leave you with a smile? Why do I not just put it down and say they've blown it? I think it mostly comes down to having spent immeasurable number of hours getting to that point and, controller be damned, it will not beat me.


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