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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Awesome Boss Battles in Gaming Part V

Boss fights. Some say they aren't worth the trouble, but I always think they'll be a much needed part of gaming. Awesome Boss Battles in Gaming represents some of my personal favorite battles in the medium. If you've been reading the past few articles, you may note that some of these boss fights are quite easy. Each boss that's made the cut is here for some reason on another. Sometimes the challenge is a factor and sometimes it isn't. Besides, it's my list anyway so, neh!

Mr. Freeze - Batman: Arkham City (PS3, 360)

Much like Batman: The Animated Series did for Batman in animation, the Batman Arkham games has given the Dark Knight a new lease on video game life. The animated hit worked wonders both for Batman and his rogues gallery. It was this series that transformed Mr. Freeze, a largely forgettable gimmick villain into the tragic figure we know him as today.

"I learn from my mistakes, Batman. Do you?"

Of all the lines of dialogue Mr. Freeze spouts in this fight, this one has got to be my favorite, not only for it's chilling delivery, but for the truth behind it. Did you enjoy hiding in the vents in the lab, waiting on Freeze to get near, springing up and unleashing a combo on the emotionless man? I hope so, because you won't ever be able to use that tactic on him again. Mr. Freeze is what I like to call an adaptable boss. He never falls for the same tricks twice, which forces you to find new ways to strike him. Fortunately there are a plethora of ways to get he drop on Mr. Freeze. Explosive gel, use a window take-down, or hang from a ledge and wait for Freeze to come around and pounce. The variety of methods you can use to take down Freeze combined with not being able to use any of them more than once makes for one of the most memorable boss fights not just in Arkham City, but in gaming in general.

Kraid - Super Metroid (SNES)

The last time Samus crossed paths with Kraid was in the original Metroid and he wasn't much bigger than her. As far as size, he wasn't very intimidating. But as they say, size isn't everything and in spite of his diminutive stature, he was a colossal pain to defeat.

In Super Metroid, you come across a Mini Kraid that's easily disposed of with Missiles or even better, Super Missiles. Anyone that thought this smaller version of Kraid was the real deal was in for a huge surprise. Beyond him lies the genuine article and he's had a few growth spurts since you last saw him. Kraid is now so large that a single screen can't contain him. After taking enough punishment, he'll spring from ground, forcing Samus to use platforms just so she can land a hit on his weak point: his open mouth. While Kraid is large, he's not as in charge as he was in the original Metroid. A few Super Missiles can end this fight rather quickly. When I first tried to take on Kraid I didn't know this and lost to him many times. But even with the Super Missiles making the fight a cakewalk, I still think Kraid is a pretty cool boss.

Mecha Dragon - Mega Man 2 (NES)

Don't you just hate it when you're jumping across very small platforms, the screen goes on auto scroll and then all of a sudden this huge frickin' Mecha Dragon teleports up behind you? It's enough to scare you out of your wits to the point where you send poor Mega Man plummeting to his death. That's what happened to me years ago, at least.

The Mecha Dragon is the first Dr. Wily stage boss that you face and as I described above, it's possible to die before you even get a chance to fight him. You have to continue jumping across the tiny platforms as he flies behind you and make it to the battle location. It isn't really far but when you arrive, you'll see that all you've got to stand on are the tiny platforms that have kept you from dying thus far. The Mecha Dragon only has one vulnerable spot, it's face and you'd be wise to keep that mug as far away from Rock as possible because touching it kills him instantly. The mechanical beast is weak to the Quick Boomerangs but you can still mash down on the fire button with the Mega Buster and take him out quickly. His fire blasts can knock you off the platforms especially if you happen to be standing on the one in the back row. For this reason, you should stand on the top platform.

Drill Mobile - Sonic 3 & Knuckles (GEN)

Tails could fly in Sonic 2 (so long as the computer was controlling him) but it wasn't until Sonic 3 & Knuckles that the fox's ability to take flight really came in handy. Not only could the player take control of Tails flight but without Sonic's unkillable sidekick, the fight against Dr. Robotnik in Marble Garden Zone Act 2 would be unwinnable.

Eggman uses his drill to destroy the very ground Sonic and Tails are standing on and then takes to the air. Sonic and Tails give chase with Tails carrying his best friend. When they catch up to Robotnik, you have to hit the fat man but be careful to avoid landing on the drill or the flame from the jet engines. Don't worry about falling below because Tails swoops down and picks you right up so there's no need to fear death via bottomless pit. Robotnik does like to come at you in different directions after being hit. He'll go off screen and return to attack from either the top, bottom or the back of the screen and that drill can change to suit the direction he chooses to attack from. So if he assaults you from below, the drill will be pointed upward, making it unwise to try to land a hit. You really don't want to lose any rings due to an ill-time jumped here because once they scatter, you have very little hope of getting even one back and that makes this fight a whole lot tougher.

Speaking of tough, facing this boss when playing only as Tails can be an exercise in frustration. This is still an aerial battle but without Sonic and Tails can't perform the spin jump while flying. This means Tails must use his tails to hit the Drill Mobile from underneath and between the flame in the back and the drill in the front, the hit box under the Drill Mobile is ridiculously tiny.

Shredder - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)

A port of the arcade game, I find the SNES version to be the superior game for a number of reasons despite it being only a two player experience rather than four. The Turtles don't talk nearly as much, making them far less annoying. There are bosses exclusive to this game like Bebop and Rocksteady and of course, the Technodrome level, complete with a very unique confrontation with Shredder.

Being the third level of the game, most players probably caught on to the ability to grab a Foot Soldier and hurl him at the screen and see some cool Mode 7 effects. This move is your only means of taking out Shredder's battle tank. An endless wave of Foot Soldiers come at the Turtles as Shredder attempts to polish the mutants off with gunfire. By tossing Foot Soldiers at the screen, they'll hit Shredder and with enough hits, he'll be defeated, sending our heroes through a time warp in which he claims they'll never return. Spoiler alert, they make it home.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV 

1 comment:

Tom Badguy said...

Mecha Dragon is cool, but man, sometimes it takes way too many tries to beat him if you are being careless on those blocks.