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HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU MOTHER FU
Happy 9th Anniversary, Destructoid!
While I haven't even been around for half as much time, it certainly feels like an online home to me. Lots of good times have been had, both in the front page comments and in the blogs, and it's exciting to me that we're getting close to the big 10! One whole decade of also cocks!
To celebrate, I'm gonna be doing OpiumHertz's "challenge" of writing about the nine Dtoid members who have left the biggest impression on me. There are tons of competition here, and many worthy members have been left out. You absolutely should not be sad if you're not on the list, because there are very few members on here that I've ever had a problem with, and chances are I still think you're the absolute tits!
Note that a lot of these "awards" are earned due to people showing themselves as much more than abstract avatars wrapped in internet memes and culture (which is still a bit too rare these days), and as real life people with varying tastes and complex personalities. Be yourself, is what I'm trying to say. :)
Let's start off with the top dawg of anything community related on this site, Dr. Dixon himself! His enthusiasm is indestructible, and his efforts have made it so that the blogging space has become my favourite aspect of Destructoid overall. Even when I have nothing to write, I've become so attached to the Cblogs that I check them pretty much every day.
Andy's posts are ones that I always look forward to, regardless of whether it's a silly dick joke or the announcement of a cool new event or feature. I just straight up really dig the guy, and I'm glad he's in the position that he's in. Really, how could you not like a guy who gives you a thumbs up with every post?
Mr. Andy Dixon is the hero Destructoid deserves, and the one it needs, so it's all pretty neat.
Even though this guy pre-ripped off my title, I can't deny he's left an impression. For one, I adore his username. It's very fitting for a gaming site, but in an unusually clever way, one that certainly beats the cliché of [game character]+[age/random number] that people still use. Aside from that, his God Hand blog also inspired me to step up my image game when it comes to blogging, seeing as that one was made entirely with images, allowing for a lot of creative freedom. He also hosts the 'You can't say that' competitions, which, aside from being a lot of fun, also let me know that auto-playing Soundcloud songs is a thing you can put into your blog, as you have probably found out by now.
Aside from all that stuff, though, Luck is a swell guy. Very friendly, positive and funny, and his latest blog is all the evidence you need for this.
I was Luckrequired's Secret Santa last year, and that's one chimney I couldn't be happier to climb down!
Captain Kittenbeard belongs on everyone's list, honestly. While a lot of thing initially attracted me to this site back in late 2011, Occams is what made me stay. That's right, if any of you don't like me, you can blame this guy for making me not want to leave. Here's why:
What I first saw in Occams was a person with a weird username saying weird things. That's all well and good, and not the first time I've encountered this, but what I eventually started to notice was his popularity. His uniqueness didn't turn people off, but rather, it attracted them to him. That's unusual, and it made me happy to see, because that's a sign of a good community. Occams' comments are almost always original, unpredictable and hilarious, and even the more basic ones are very positively loaded. I have this image of him being like a wise man, with his calm and eccentric behavior being almost inspirational. He's certainly one of the nicest and wittiest people I've encountered online.
Also he has like a million bands, which is awesome!
I originally got into reading about video games through stuff like top 10s, comparison pieces and other kinds of fun little articles and videos. Sadly, it seems like gaming media has drifted a little bit away from that kind of thing, which I don't understand. It's fun, and it often makes for a surprisingly good read/watch, so I think it has plenty of reason to exist. Thankfully, Ben Davis (formerly known as bbain) has done plenty to bring it back, and I very much appreciate it. He has done a lot of top 10 lists already, and is currently doing a series called Experience Points, in which he simply talks about his favourite parts of certain games.
Experience Points is, in my honest opinion, one of the best things to come to the front page in a long time. It's the kind of content that every gaming site benefits from, and Dtoid certainly does. Ben has always had a very positive influence on this site, and ever since he became part of the staff, it's only gotten better.
I feel like I don't even have to mention how friendly he is, either. It's kind of been a recurring theme on this list.
The first big impression Luna left on me was her Crash Bandicoot 3 blog (which also makes my music choice somewhat relevant). It was a really entertaining read, and had a lot of images too, if not as many as Luck's blog on the same subject. That said, she is just as much of an inspiration when it comes to the visual aspect of my own blogs, as she puts a lot of care and effort into hers, to great results. I've come to really appreciate blogs and articles that have a distinct look to them, as they are usually the ones that I remember the most.
Since then, Luna went on to arrange the Secret Santa event last year, which was awesome, even if it wasn't so secret. We were also supposed to write about our experiences with each game, but that's taking a while. Regardless, it was a great initiative, and I'd love to do something similar this year. Events like these really tie the community together, and it has convinced me that Luna is a valuable addition to it.
Before Benny Disco tragically passed away from a severe case of explosive diarrhea, he was a very active and wildly entertaining member of our lovely community, who always seemed to have an equal amount of funny jokes and genuinely intelligent discussion.
Okay, so he didn't actually die from his own poop, but I rarely see him these days. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, and he's "secretly" been around all along, but I kinda miss him. See, the reason why he really deserves a mention like this is that his absence is extremely notable to me. He just has too much going for him, so he can't exactly go quietly into the night. Maybe he launched himself from a catapult, in an attempt to get a high score. Seems like we'll never know.
In any case, there's no doubt that Sir Disco is truly the most amazing frog who's ever graced our site.
This is a difficult one, because I can't really put my finger on exactly why this guy has left such a big impression on me. I think it has to do with him saying and doing a lot of small things rather than a handful of larger ones, yet it all adds up to the same amount. I'm not really in the mood to do the math right now. All I know is that my instincts say "pick this guy", and I'm choosing to trust them.
What I can talk about is his username, and how proud I am of myself for remembering the second L in 'scholarly'. That seems to be a common mistake, but I am done with it! No longer shall I make that particular typo! There are plenty of others to make, and I barely havr tiem for tehm alll as id.
No but seriously, this dude is swanky as fuck, and you should all follow him on Twitter!
He makes a lot of puns, and once had a show about food. That's two things guaranteed to get my blessing right away. I love puns and food!
I like Steven Hansen so much that I award his fancy name thingy with one of the best characters ever concieved: The Slugcat. Hansen is like our Slugcat.
Also, his last name is Scandinavian, which suggests that the blood of the North runs through him!
Also also, I think he made Rayman nachos once, which is super cool!
Again, if you're not on here, it doesn't mean I don't think you're awesome! It was a hard but honest list, and I hope that the people who made it on here really appreciate it. Otherwise, I'm gonna cry so hard that I'll vomit everywhere.
[Generic blog ending paragraph.]
If you use Twitter and have any interest in video games, I strongly recommend that you follow Shuhei Yoshida. That man is a prime example of the kind of executive that benefits any industry, with his down-to-earth attitude and clear respect for the people who've gotten him to where he is. Needless to say, that respect goes both ways, as the guy is seen in a very positive light by many in the gaming community.
What makes things even better is that my personal favourite game ever, Ape Escape, also appears to be one of his. He was the producer of the game, and it was clearly a very personal project to him, as he has often mentioned it in interviews as something that means a lot to him. It certainly is something to be proud of
As such, it was through his Twitter that I was recently made aware of the fact that the original Ape Escape team has been having a reunion, and a night of dinner by a really long table.
Aside from just being really nice in general, this is insane news to me, as I never imagined these people still being in touch after all those years. The industry has changed so much, but it looks like these people are bound by more their careers. I guess it makes sense, though, considering the passionate product they've created. Everything about this is hearwarming and wonderful, and it really brightened up my day.
That said, this kind of news inevitably comes with a lot of speculation. Looking at the tweet's responses, people are already seeing this as an indication that a new Ape Escape has a chance of being developed for the PS4. This is definitely going to spread over time, no doubt about it, and a lot of fans are understandably going to be excited.
Personally, however, I won't get my hopes up. The franchise largely skipped the PS3 generation, only appearing in a half-hearted spinoff game, as well as an equally half-hearted crossover. Sony hasn't been showing any signs of wanting to do anything with the franchise. They've even refused to release the older games on PSN outside of Japan, for reasons that have yet to be explained, and because of this, I find it very hard to believe that they would allow the production of an entirely new installment.
To be honest though, I'm just happy to see the team being back together, having a good time and remembering what they've created. I wasn't expecting this to happen at all, and it is a very pleasant surprise in itself. These people have brought me and others a lot of happiness, and it's fantastic to find out how much it means to the developers themselves. That revelation alone is enough for me to be very satisfied, regardless of whether or not it's an indication of something larger to come.
I hope the food was delicious!
A lot of people have been writing big, ballin blogs about the games they've enjoyed in the year 2014, which have mostly included games from that very same year. I like following trends, so I've been wanting to make one as well. Only thing that's keeping me is one itsy bitsy problem. One hair in my soup. One splinter in my left buttock. One rock in my croc. One croc in my otherwise presentable collection of footwear.
I only played Octodad and Korra.
I am totally fucking serious with this one. The only games I played during 2014, which also happened to be released this year, were Young Horses' Octodad: Dadliest Catch and Platinum's The Legend of Korra. No Wolfensteins, Far Crys, Bayonettas or Mordors. How do I even get around the house with no Mordors???
Guess I'm just too cheap to dish out the high price of a new high profile release, so when something competent looking and affordable comes out, I turn my attention (and wallet) towards it? That said, I certainly wish to play most (if not all) of the games mentioned at some point, but it probably wouldn't hurt economically to wait a bit longer. I did buy and play plenty of older games during the year, so that's nice. But for making a list of my favourite 2014 games, it obviously won't do, so I'm stuck with a list of two games. Bogus, sure, but I'm gonna try and compare the two in a desperate effort to make it a bit more interesting. Not that it will be that long either way.
"OKAY, SO WHAT'S OCTODAD!?"
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a game about a totally normal guy who hangs out and chills with his family a lot. Or so you think! You see, there's quite a bit of a twist near the end that I won't spoil, but it will blow your mind! Anyway, the game is basically about performing normal, simple tasks without fucking everything up. Then the developers realized that the game was way too easy, and decided to make the controls impossible. As a result, even taking a few steps is intensely difficult.
I really like this game's originality. While games like QWOP and... CLOP... have done similar things in the past, this is far more ambitious. There was technically another Octodad game before this, but that one felt more like a proof of concept than anything, while this one is definitely going to be the one that people remembers the most. It helps that it has a really catchy theme song.
Oh, and the collectible ties will take forever to find, so replay value!
"ALRIGHT THEN, HOW BOUT KORRA!?"
The Legend of Korra is a game about the world's most dangerous fantasy eskimo, who has the ability to control the four elements through different types of dancing: the swift wind of the breakdance, the cool waters of disco, the rocky stiffness of the robot and the fiery passion of salsa!
Korra is the name of our main character (we sure have come far since 1986). One day, a gang of generic bad guys take away her ability to be Super Jesus, making her more like me, who doesn't have super powers. As it turns out, being like me is simply unacceptable, and Korra is now going out of her way to regain her extraordinary super powers that no one else can have at the same time.
Bosses were kinda lame. I know that's kind of a sudden thing to jump to, but it is my biggest problem with the game by far. Had the bosses been more fun, varied and personalized, I may still have been playing this. Another lame thing is that the elements don't feel that different. Like, why does the air do direct damage, rather than blow enemies away? Why doesn't fire actually set things on fire? Other than this, however, I think it was a solid game. A half-swank, at least.
"OKAY, SO HOW DO YOU PLAN TO COMPARE THEM?"
Oh wow, way to put me on the spot, voice in my head!
I guess one way is to look at their budgets, as both of them were obviously low. What's interesting is that this comes through in different ways. While Octodad has very low-poly character and object models, Korra has better models but blander environments. Overall, I think I prefer the former approach a good deal more, as I find it far less noticable while actually playing.
But, honestly, that's just the tip of it. Looking at the amount of creative ambition for each project, Octodad curiously enough still seems to come out on top, despite being far more simple in both concept and execution.
See, you won't expect a game like Octodad to have a detailed backstory or a big climax against a threatening villain, but from Korra, with its epic fantasy world and mysterious lore, it's not extraordinary in the slightest. This means that, based on expectations alone, Octodad is the one that overdelivers, while Korra comes across as pretty tame. I honestly think this represents both games pretty well in general. I think Korra could have been so much more than it was, and I'm not sure I could say that for Octodad, should it not have turned into a completely different game in the process.
I guess, by default, it means that Octodad: Dadliest Catch is my favourite 2014 game, while The Legend of Korra is my least favourite. But hey, two games. Who cares? In the end, I had a good deal of fun with both, and I certainly don't regret buying either. Besides, the benefit of only playing two games is being able to do slightly more in-depth stuff that wouldn't usually make much sense. Had it been one game, I might have done a more complete review of it instead. That, or something way lazier.
Hey, guess what? I'm not having champagne this year, as I'm apparently not High $ociety enough for the stuff (or the store didn't have it, one of those reasons). Instead, I'm having crémant. Makes me wonder how many people actually drink champagne New Year's eve, compared to those who drink stuff that doesn't count. It's probably a minority, but the world is full of super ultra nubs who don't know the difference. The tiny, insignificant difference.
So with that in mind,
Happy New Year, Champagne, Crémant, or whatever else you plan to pour into your face!
A couple of Dtoid community members have chosen for me to write a big, fat blog about sand, but that one is still in... let's call it 'research and development'. Probably mostly research.
In the meantime, let me tell you why Tomb Raider: Anniversary is way better than every Assassin's Creed game ever made, in a way that's guaranteed to piss off everyone who even remotely disagrees with me. But guys, c'mon, it's totally better in every way. It's not my fault you have the wrong opinion!
Okay, alright, so maybe Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed isn't really the same thing, what with one being a series of puzzle focused games, while the other is a series on non-focused open world games with way too much stuff in them. Similarities are still plenty, however, and whenever the two have something in common, I've noticed that this one Raider game always seems to do it better than all the Creeds combined.
Y'see, in Tomb Raider: Anniversary...
Climbing is fun
Climbing in this game is practically perfect. You might be able to find some rough edges here and there, but generally, this is how climbing should be done. You control it. You control the direction, you decide when to jump, you decide whether you want to take it slow or increase the pace. There's even an option to make grabbing a manual thing, like in the first game. Aside from that, the path is never laid out for you, and you often get a lot of options. You get to figure out your route, and it requires you to be observant, and keep concentrating. This is really engaging, and it makes climbing a joy no matter how many times you take a lethal fall.
In a certain other series, the game does everything for you. Just keep running forward, and your acrobatic buddy does all the crazy stunts automatically. While this is happening, you only get a little bit of control over which direction you want to climb. Of course, this would have been understandable if this particular series didn't revolve around climbing to the same degree as Tomb Raider. But it does, and has done so from the start.
Having automatic climbing in a climbing based game is a bit like having an auto-drive function in a racing game. Really stupid, that is.
You can swan dive everywhere
In Assassin's Creed, jumping off of a tall structure and diving into something soft is a recurring element of the series, and it happens a lot in each game. Sadly, it's yet another automatic thing, and it's not really a part of the game as much as a glorified cutscene. You have no control over the actual jump, and it can only be done in special places, so it's impossible to do it wrong. At no point are you able to face plant into a hard surface and break your dumb face on impact, which I'm sure saddens a lot of people, since doing badly on purpose can be really funny at times (in a game, that is, not during a life-threatening operation).
Thankfully, Tomb Raider: Anniversary allows you to do just that, and much more! All you have to do is jump, then quickly press the duck button. It's a satisfying move to pull off due to its timing, and the game lets you do it anywhere you want. You don't even have to jump off a ledge or move in any directions; I can be pulled off from any height. Hitting the ground after a swan dive will be followed by a roll, unless you fall too far, in which case it will be followed by amusing ragdoll physics.
Combat is fast and simple, not glitchy
It's no secret that the combat in the Creed games isn't very good. It's really stiff, dissatisfying and glitchy. Especially glitchy, with an AI that's unpredictable for all the wrong reasons, and which tends to react strangely to the environment. Not the most fun you can have, and considering the whole 'stealth' pretense that these games have, there's surprisingly much of it. Maybe it'd be more tolerable if it had been toned down and simplified a bit.
Or you can just play Tomb Raider Anniversary, as combat in this game is fun, fast, simple and restricted. You won't encounter enemies in every room, and when you do, you only have to shoot them in order to do damage. Aside from that, the crazy jumps and dodges you can pull off make it much more enjoyable than waiting for an opportunity to counter an attack, only to be shot from the distance by some asshole that you couldn't see.
I am of course fully aware that the two ways of doing combat are very different, but it's not like the Assassin combat system ever had to be such a chore. At this point, it could've easily evolved into a sword based Arkham system. Everyone else have ripped off that game anyway, so why not?
You can always swim underwater
No need for a stupid, expensive diving bell here. Instead, the unlimited possibility of underwater exploration will now be available to you by the press of a button. It's like magic!
Sure, I know some people really hate underwater sections, because apparently Ocarina of Time is the only game they've ever played, but when a game does it well (which is very often), it adds a lot to the experience. One way to make it fun is to make it simple, and Anniversary gets that. Like with everything else in the game, swimming is fun, fluid and easy to get the hang of, so the underwater puzzles are just as enjoyable as all the others.
Meanwhile, in Creed town, underwater exploration is weirdly removed from everything else. There's no organic transition, and it's considered to be an unlockable, even when you can swim. The actual swimming isn't very fun either. Let me ensure you that my first diving mission in Black Flag was also my last. No time for that stuff when there's ships to rob and islands to explore. Of course, that does bring me to the one water-related thing that this franchise has over Tomb Raider, as those games never allow you to sail around on a pirate ship. But what if...?
The out-of-campaign stuff is actually cool
Both Anniversary and the Ass Creed games have some gameplay that exists outside of the main campaign: In the former, this is the Croft Manor level, and in the latter, it's the future narrative.
People aren't very fond of the future narrative. It's often criticized for being unnecessary, boring, uneventful and for having too much exposition about a story that most player don't really seem to care about. I agree with all that, and would like to add that the environments that these sections take place in kinda suck. The one in Black Flag especially, taking place in the kind of horrifically "modern" office that cynical people think look "welcoming" and "personal" because it has ugly, multicoloured beanbag chairs and bullshit "abstract art" all over the place. Because who doesn't love working in an office that looks like a fucking kindergarten?*
Croft Manor, however, is something else! This is an old mansion full of secret passages and tunnels, with a swimming pool and a hedge maze. There are no multicoloured beanbag chairs to be seen, and the art on the walls are primarily portraits of previous owners. Best of all, though, is that there's a puzzle to solve; One that stretches all over the mansion, involving every room and every hidden area. The biggest difference between this one and the campaign puzzles is that this is much more inventory-based, making it feel a bit like a classic point and click adventure. It's a really fun activity that perfectly compliments the main game, rather than take away from it.
* Sorry, got a bit off topic there.
There aren't any tailing missions
That's quite the bonus!
The tailing missions in AC are probably some of the most justifiably hated gameplay elements ever, yet they keep showing up in every game, even though it's obvious that nobody appreciates them. But hey, guess what? They're not in Tomb Raider! I don't know what else to say, honestly. No tailing missions. Not even optional ones. None of that stuff here. Bliss.
Hell, you could probably market any other game by listing the lack of tailing missions as a feature. "Tired of following some dick around a boring town while awkwardly jumping through hoops in order to remain hidden? Well, here is one way of spending your time doing something completely different!" Tell me you wouldn't be convinced to buy that on the spot!
So that's why this one game is totally better than an entire series of very different games. Made a lot of sense, right?
What I'm trying to say with all this is that, despite numerous differences, the Assassin's Creed series could learn a lot from Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Well, that and the Arkham games. And GTA. Probably a lot of games now that I think about it...
The other thing I'm trying to say is that Anniversary is great, and you should play it if you like jumpy climby shooty puzzly kinda deals, as it has a very good balance of each. I've heard it didn't sell very well, which is a huge shame, and it makes me sad that the series didn't continue in this direction for very long. Hopefully, it might look back at this in the future, possibly leading to remakes of other games in the franchise. Nothing like a tank control-free version of a classic adventure!
Now excuse me while I wait for someone to make a Tomb Raider pirate game. It better happen!
Check out the others!
The battlefield has not shown you mercy, and you find yourself getting increasingly exhausted, as fierce enemies overwhelm you and grand obstacles stand before you. At times, it may look like you're attempting the impossible, that you are so weak and insignificant that it takes nothing to bring you down. At times, the challenge is almost scary to you, and the solutions seem out of the realm of possibility. You're running out of options, and you're running out of health.
But you do not give up.
You don't work that way. 'Life's as worth living as ass is worth kicking', is the code you live by. So you press on. For every step back, you take two steps forward. With every failure comes a little bit of wisdom. As the difficulty rises, your fear lowers, and you accept it. You get comfortable with it. As you polish up your strategy, you eventually reach perfection. Before you know it, you see your goal. There is your destination, right in front of you. What once felt like a distant dream has come true, and you finally get to advance on your journey. But that's when you see it.
That's when you face the boss.
Thinking you were at the end of your struggles, it now turns out that they have only started. Every enemy you've faced, every obstacled you've passed, everything you've fought for so far, has led to this. You now face the ultimate test of skill. Your fear returns.
It's not easy. The strategies that were flawless against everything else are not enough here, and once again, you're forced to think out of the box. After a good while being a chew toy, you start to consider your surrender, as the difficulty seems to be too much for you to handle. But then, you discover a weakness. Something unexpectedly starts working, the pieces start coming together, and it's just enough to turn the battle around. With this weakness exploited, your strategy suddenly has an effect. Your confidence is renewed. The battle lasts a while, but in the end, the boss turns out to no longer be a match for you. You strike the final blow, and emerge victorious.
You stand as a lone champion in the middle of what was once a battlefield, look upon your defeated, and walk off to seek a new challenge.
Yes, it is once again time for gifs and gushing. As usual, commenters from previous rounds throw their own personal favourites into the mix, ensuring that even games that I haven't played myself (or haven't considered) get a chance to make it onto the list.
Spoilers are obviously going to be all over the place, so tread lightly.
(NOTE: Every gif is clickable, and links to each boss' soundtrack. Open it in another tab while reading for the ultimate BFAZ experience!)
"One of my favorite bosses ever is the Huge Hermit from Metal Slug 3. It's a giant hermit crab that chose a huge military tank as a shell, and it chases you down while shooting projectiles from the tank and attacking you with its claws, and also destroying the bridge you're running on. It's a cool idea for a boss to begin with, not to mention it looks freaking beautiful in motion, since the Metal Slug team's pixel work was just phenomenal!"
First one on the list and we're already tits-deep in crazy!
By itself, the tank is already strange, with an impractical number of cannons pointing in different, random directions. Makes me wonder what cross-eyed maniac developed this thing. The hermit crab thing only perfects the piece, and it is a really cool idea.
The Metal Slug games are where I think people really started to see the potential in pixel art and animation, and the games have had a very clear influence on modern pixel artists and game developers. It's the kind of influence that has led to stuff like Rain World, which I really appreciate, so I have a lot to thank these games for. I wanted to pick up MS3 on PSN, but it wasn't available, so I got the first one as well, and it's been plenty of fun so far. I should probably return to it soon, even if I may not beat it.
"As for a boss I love, the final confrontation with Radec from Killzone 2 is easily the best boss in any FPS I've played. A highly strategic, punishing but fair fight. Doing it on Elite was one of the most amazing things I've ever done."
Dude, this game looks Radecal! HAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!
No but seriously, I think GajKnight might have sold me on the Killzone series, or at least this one installment. This is considered the best one, right? In any case, this teleportation stuff, combined with Gaj's description, makes me really intrigued. It looks tactical, raw and tense, which is something that I really value in a shooter.
The franchise's name has always sounded cool to me too. It's so punchy, simple and straight to the point, while still being fairly original. That's the best kind of product name in my opinion, especially for entertainment.
Killzone may never be a Halo killer, but it's definitely welcome in my zone, hahahaHAHAHAHA!!!
"I'd like to nominate the "Liquid Ocelot" encounter from MGS4. Not so much because of the fighting itself but for everything that this battle encapsulates:
Two old men. Both have been pushed far beyond their limits and at this point in the game, it's all basically over. The GOP-Servers are destroyed and a virus is destroying what's left of the other Patriots.
Yet here we are and there is no turning back for the two. There are no flashy special moves this time. There aren't even weapons. They brawl it out on top of a secret submarine with their life-bars and the background music changing over time to resemble the respective ones from the previous games.
...Damn, I'm getting goosebumps while typing this."
I've talked so much about Metal Gear Rising on here that I've almost forgotten about the other MG's. The entire series has always been well known for its bosses, despite being based around stealth (although it has gotten more and more action focused).
Here we see two old men punching the arse out of each other, despite the main conflict seemingly being solved. They are just really tired of each other's shit, I guess.
Solid Snake really seems to be at a disadvantage here, though. It looks really warm, yet he's still wearing his entire suit. I know it protects him, but that hardly matters if both are going straight for the face, which certainly seems to be the case here. Ocelot gets all the fresh air, and Snake's old ass is cooking. No wonder he's losing in the gif.
"...For me, one would be ... in Final Fantasy VIII. The first time you face Ultimecia at the end of the first disc, because (Spoilers for a half a million years old game here) when you "beat" the boss, she doesn't actually die, because Ultimecia ends up being the final bossof the game. You "willow" down (Is that a real expression, or am I hearing it wrong?) her hitpoints enough to progress with the story, but it shows you kinda giving her an attack, and she just kinda waves it off, and then she summons this giant icicle that's like the size of this massive spear, and then she just sends it into Squall (the main protagonist of the game) and kinda pierces his heart, so it looks like you die, and you see your team has been defeated. You have a second splinter team that failed in their mission as well. They've all been captured. And then it kinda fades to black and says: "alright, go to disc 2", so you're left with that cliffhanger of a boss..."
- djnealb (PStoid)
That is a very rough quote, yes, but it's the best I could do. You can't copy-paste audio, after all.
With JRPGs being alien territory to me, I don't know much about Final Fantasy. I know there's a guy named Cloud, and he has spiky hair and a huge sword that he couldn't possibly lift. The games are also extremely long, so you always need like ten discs to play them. There's a wizard. There's a cactus thing. That's about it...
Predictably, I can't comment much on the boss fight either, but I do love a good cliffhanger, especially one that you know will be resolved. That's actually a pretty clever use of having more than one disc, since there will inevitably be a break in the story anyway, and being part of the same game means that the player won't be frustrated by it. Instead, frustration is replaced by anticipation and excitement, like when you finish a season of a show on Netflix, knowing the next one is on there too.
So yeah, good on you Final Fantasy VIII. That's a cool thing that you did.
"I ended up picking Majora's Mask and Majora's Mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask"
- Nanashi (PStoid)
The thing about Majora's Mask from Majora's Mask is that Majora's Mask always Majora's Masks when Majora's Mask, but not when Majora's Mask Majora's Masks in another Majora's Mask. It might be because Majora's Mask isn't really Majora's Mask without Majora's Mask and Majora's Mask from The Legend of Majora's Mask: Majora's Mask.
I want there to be a Minora's Mask, which is just a really shitty, poorly made version of Majora's Mask. Like, the eyes aren't fully circular, some of the paint is peeling off, stuff like that.
FUN FACT: Did you know? Majora's Mask was originally going to be named Major Ass Mask, explaining why the titular mask vaguely resembles a firm pair of buttocks.
(NOTE: Nanashi actually did go further into detail during the podcast, but I felt like making fun of the game's name instead, like an asshole. If you want to know the rest, and a couple of other cool boss opinions, go listen to the full podcast. It's only three hours, you have the time!)
This time around, I have a few choices on here that are probably a bit unexpected. There are also a couple that I have been dying to talk about ever since I begun making these. Let's have a look!
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is a strange game. It's kind of the black sheep in the series, but not to the same degree as something like Zelda II. In fact, if you might find that a lot of people actually consider it the best in the series, likely preferring the more simplistic, combat focused gameplay over the other, more collection based games in the series. But it's generally either the first one, the second one or Origins/Legends that gets the most praise. I personally consider it the "worst" one, as little as that means, but there is one thing that I find it did better than any of the other games: the bosses. The bosses of Rayman 3 are just the coolest! They are creative, varied, fun, challenging and memorable. While the game's combat can get a bit repetitive at times, the bosses alone makes the entire game worth playing, and I strongly recommend it to any boss lover out there for that reason alone. It's actually a bit difficult for me to choose between them (especially from the first half), but I think Reflux will always be my favourite.
Reflux is a Knaaren (with a hard 'k'), a powerful species of creatures that you, usually, can't do anything against, meaning you have to run from them. But this guy, the strongest of them all, you will have to face. That's a very effective way of immediately making him scary. He's no pushover either, and he fully deserves his reputation. With many different attack phases, and with no real safe spot anywhere, this is a fight that forces you to constantly move and adapt to your opponent, which in this case often requires some quick reflexes. Once he's been through a number of attacks, he rests his staff, allowing you to do damage. But he never stops attacking you, as you still have to dodge fireballs while moving close to him.
The fight is on a high note the whole way through, and never lets up for a second. With a foe that spends most of the fight being invincible, never gives you a break, has a ton of health and gets more dangerous the more you hurt him, this makes for one of the game's hardest battles by far, and the game treats it that way. It takes place in an underground arena surrounded by smoke and lava, watched by an audience of your enemies. The music is weird, yet fittingly intense, and the whole thing is like a little climax in itself, ending off the first half of the game with a bang.
Has there ever been a movie that had an evil training montage? Like, it's just a montage of the bad guy getting stronger, and instead of feeling motivated, you're supposed to be scared? Because, for some reason, that's what the music of the Wardens makes me think about.
As for the Wardens themselves, they don't get a mention here for their difficulty (they are kinda easy), but for the system that they represent. In most open world crime games, once you get the highest possible wanted rating, it stays like that until you either die or somehow manage to run and hide for long enough for it go down. In Saints Row IV, getting the highest rating triggers this boss, and beating it takes the rating down to zero. That is goddamn revolutionary, and the real reason I put this one on here. It is at once a punishment and a reward for the chaos you've caused, and it's kicked off by such a sweet intro, with the Warden falling from the sky and roaring at you, and the music kicking off.
I once fought one at the top of a skyscraper, and managed to have both of us fall off during the final blow. Killed the bastard before I landed among the clueless, virtual citizens. Instant mood change. Suddenly, the fight felt like a distant memory, despite having happened seconds ago. Looking back, I think that was the moment that I really started to appreciate the Wardens.
They may not present that much of a challenge, but they are memorable for many other reasons.
Oh yea, catching up on those Zelda bosses!
I believe the excited fellows at ScrewAttack described this one fairly well in that one video. Originally I wanted the first Darknut to take its place during this round, but that one will have to wait. Priorities!
Strangely, it seems like Zelda bosses tend to be either extremely cute or demonic abominations, and while the Dead Hand will probably always be the scariest thing in the entire series, Stallord is by far the most metal! A huge, skeletal torso with long arms and a demon-like head. Or dragon-like. Is... is this Spyro!? Is this what's happened to him!?
Spyro or not, the boss is amazing. You fight him using the most ridiculous item ever, a huge spinning top, which you use to surf around and hit him in the spine while he tries to grab you. He also raises a bunch of warriors from the dead to essentially act as goalies, as they try to prevent you from reaching his spine by standing in your way. There's even a second phase, in which you use the top to grind on the walls and basically chase his floating head around while avoiding his attacks. The entire thing is absolutely balls crazy.
What's even crazier is that Nintendo had Lamb of God do the music for this boss, as they felt it was the only appropriate way to do it. It's so weird that they would do that, but hey, I agree with them. It was a good decision overall, and I'm glad that it's a thing that they actually did, and not some bullshit that I made up because I thought the actual music was kinda dull compared to Stallord's design. Yup, glad that wasn't the very specific case.
In the first blog, I already had a gif of a Darksiders boss prepared for a proper mention, but I hadn't gotten very far in the game at that point, so I decided to hold off any mention of a boss from that game until I had completed it. It's a good thing that I did so, because this game has far better bosses later in the game. Many of them were a challenge, but Silitha gave me the most trouble by far, as she forced me to master a pattern rather than just learn it.
Silitha's attacks do tons of damage to you. Makes enough sense, as she pretty much uses her entire body weight against you, by teleporting over you and letting gravity do the work, when she isn't attacking you directly. Both attacks have to be avoided by dodging, which sounds simple enough. Dodging is a big part of the game's combat, so naturally, you should be pretty good at it by this point in the game.
But no. It is not nearly as easy as it may sound. See, simply pressing the dodge button isn't enough to escape an attack. You have to learn to use directions to your advantage, and in this case, do so by looking at Silitha's shape (and shadow), which lets you know where the closest safe spot is. Even then, you aren't given a long time to look, so you have to think quickly, and time your moves right, which is then made harder once she starts teleporting all over the place in an attempt to throw you off. When you actually get a chance to do damage while she rests, you will rarely make it over without using the grappling hook, which still doesn't reach all that far.
In short, there is a lot of things going on with this boss, and Silitha did kill me a lot of times. While most bosses in the game were mostly challenging because I didn't know how to hurt them, I knew how to hurt Silitha from the beginning of the fight, yet she still beat me multiple times. For that, she is definitely worth a mention here.
So far I've been avoiding fighting game bosses. Not because I dislike them, but because it's such a vague definition. They are almost always playable characters that you can unlock for yourself, and this is usually what most people remember them as. But I don't want to exclude them either, so I guess it's time to introduce them to the zone, and I'm starting with the one that's closest to my heart: Heihachi Mishima from Tekken.
I chose his Tekken 3 incarnation specifically, because that's the first one I played, and because of the remarkable achievement of being far harder than the actual final boss, Ogre. Ogre has a cool design and theme and everything, but he's child's play after dealing with Heihachi, who never fails to put up a fight. His style is a very heavy version of (classic) Jin's, and he's got some mean, hard hitting combos, as well as some brutal throws. He also has that one counter move that you never see coming, in which he pretty much kicks you across the room. This guy is no joke.
Jinpachi from Tekken 5 would also be worthy for a spot here, but he has a lot of weird, supernatural moves that are a bit too flashy for my taste (when it comes to fighting games). What I like about Heihachi his old fashioned toughness. He kicks your ass with nothing but his martial art skills, and has no need to breathe fire, shoot lasers, teleport or fly around in order to do so, which all the supernatural bosses rely on. He's just a buff old man who won't take anyone's shit, and that's a big reason why I like him so much.
I have become very familiar with his moveset ever since he became my main, so the fight against him has naturally gotten a bit easier over time, but the memories of him kicking the ass of my ass will stay with me forever.
Oh, and his music rocks!
"Oh, but those aren't real bosses you idiot, you never have to fight them."
Well, you know what you are? An anti-dragonite! Well, that and a non-existant strawman.
I know that these probably aren't technically considered to be bosses in a traditional sense, as they are avoidable obstacles, but the Blood Dragons have a lot in common with most bosses. They do a lot of damage, take a lot of hits to kill, and always require your full attention whenever they are close. Because of this, I still consider them bosses, and them being optional to fight doesn't change that.
Aside from being huge and fast, Blood Dragons have the ability to fire lasers out of their mouths. This makes a fight against these creatures much more intense, considering the increased range of their attacks. Add to that a very smart and organic AI, and you have an endless possibility of exciting combat scenarios, as a Blood Dragon can appear anywhere on the map (except in water).
Interestingly, you also have the option of using them to your advantage, and turn them against regular enemies. This is very helpful for taking over enemy territory, even though it might leave you and the Blood Dragon alone by the end, depending on how efficiently the enemy soldiers fought.
When you get a certain super weapon by the end of the game, these creatures unfortunately become way easier to fight, and it's a shame that they don't get to stay threatening. But during most of the game, they are still rulers of the jungle, and the've made for some very memorable fights.
So happy I chose the Blood Dragon in the round that uses red.
Are you a HUGE Member? If yes, you probably know about all the perks you have access to, such as increased site customization. Every HUGE Member gets to upload their own, very special background, and I have been so kind as to make one themed after Boss Fight Appreciation Zone, featuring bosses of all different shapes and sizes, for all of you out there who love to put up a good fight!
Unfortunately, it only really works on a widescreen monitor, and making a resized version is tricky, because the amount of space available on each side changes, meaning a complete redesign. I hope you widescreeners like it though.
Furthermore, for all the Steam users who are reading, feel free to follow my curator, Boss Lovers, to find some of the games with the best boss fight that the service has to offer. Most of them have already made an appearance here, so now you have a nice, comfortable list of the BFAZ games that are available on Steam. It's not all of them, sadly, but there are more than you might think.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
I'd like to do something special for the distant Round 5, by having a fun little exercise that happens to be relevant to the theme:
Are there any characters you would like to see as game bosses?
From any media, really. It doesn't have to be restricted to movies or TV, it can be anything from books to music to sports to cereal boxes. Anything you can think of.
O-Ren Ishii from Kill Bill
Skilled at swordfighting, and one of my favourite characters from the movie.
Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad
Has proven himself to be a very clever, tactical guy, who comes up with a lot of ways to mess with you on the spot.
René Dif from Aqua
His voice is a deadly weapon in itself.
As you can see, I'm not necessarily looking for detailed descriptions here. I'd just like to see some fun suggestions. Excited to see what you peeps can think of! :)
What a bunch of craziness! Well, we're about to wrap this round up, but before we do so, I'd like you folks to participate in a little community vote thingy. See, there's a bunch of game related subjects I'd like to blog about, all of which are somewhat related, but I need to find out where to put my focus. As such, I've come up with three blog titles, each covering a theme, and I'd like to know what people are the most interested in.
In which I talk about 3D platformers, and do my best to explain their appeal, while highlighting influential examples.
In which I talk about how tricky it is to turn a desert into an interesting level, and take a look at how different games pull it off.
In which I talk about game environments in general, and what makes some of them more interesting than others.
All of these subjects are fun to me, but some of you might like one more than the other. Just write which one you'd like to see in a comment, and it counts as a vote. :)
As always, all of you are encouraged to share your favourite boss fights in the comments below, (or anywhere else), and any of them might have a chance of making it to the next round.
This is it for now. I'm out!
(DISCLAIMER: I have no idea when most of these games are actually going to come out, but if they all hit 2015, that would be swell)
Hello, it's me! Jinx's blog had the very fortunate effect of putting a new game (Hellraid) on my radar, so I'm gonna make a similar one, in the hope that all you good little capitalists may get a few ideas for your own shopping lists.
Here we go, then:
Batman: Arkham Knight/Doom 4
These two are definitely my main ones, and the ones I keep mentioning, so I'll just group them together. Seriously, though, what's not to get excited about? Doom is awesome. Arkham games are awesome.
Rocksteady is surely gonna deliver on their part, having more than proven themselves in the past. Playing Arkham City, I kept thinking about how the Batmobile was the only major thing missing in order to have a "complete" Batman experience, but I couldn't imagine how it would work with the rest of the game. Then E3 came, and so did I it blew my mind!
As for Doom 4, all I know is that Wolfenstein: The New Order is supposedly really good, and that the private preview was very well recieved, with a lot of welcome features making a return. It's a lot of good signs at once, and coupled with the Cyberdemon's badass new design, I allow myself to be very excited for this one.
GRRR YOU KILLED MY MOTHER!! AAARGHGR YOU WERE TOO WEAK TO BE MY SON!!! GRARGHLR YOUR HAIR IS STUPID!!!! BRRUGHRUH I'M GONNA PUNCH YOU INTO A VOLCANO!!!
Tekken is back! Interestingly, while being Tekken is enough to make me interested, being Tekken is also what prevents it from being as anticipated by me as the duo above. Y'see, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 only came out two years ago, and it was huge and great and fun and satisfying, so I don't really need to have that particular itch scratched just yet. Furthermore, I would honestly rather see Tekken X Street Fighter be announced, simply because that game would add so many more new characters to the franchise. Still, for what it is, I have no doubt it will be great.
Mortal Kombat X
X is and always will be the coolest letter ever, and the fact that it happens to be the Roman numeral for 10 makes for the perfect opportunity for the tenth Mortal Kombat game to include it in its already cool title. You can't handle all this cool!
Fatalities looks more insane, creative and brutal than ever before, and the game itself looks gorgeous. I appreciate Mortal Kombat for being far more approachable than any other 2D fighter I've tried (I'm not very good at those in general), while still managing to be deep and satisfying to play. Can't wait for the brutality to start!
Boss fights are the best. So good, in fact, that I believe they deserve an entire blog series devoted to them. If only someone would do that.
Anyway, when it happens that a game consisting of nothing but boss fights comes along, I tend to get very happy. It doesn't happen very often, but that just makes it more exciting when it does. Titan Souls seems a lot like Super Meat Boy, in that it's simplistic yet difficult, and victory is gained by reading your opponent, and figuring out how to move and when to attack. It's action in its purest form, and I couldn't be happier with it.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Okay, so before we move on, let's get one thing straight: this game has an identity crisis. It has absolutely no idea what it wants to be, whether it wants to be stealth, action, sandbox or something entirely diffent. Metal Gear has always been a bit like this though, and I still play those games a ton, so they definitely do something right.
Messing around with guards is my main reason for playing these games in the first place, and Phantom Pain looks like it's going to give me a lot of opportunities to do this in more creative ways than ever before, which is why I look forward to it. That and hearing Keifer Sutherland delivering crazy Kojima lines, which is certainly going to be a very unique experience.
Unbelievable animation and pixel art is something that the developers of this game have no problem bragging about, as they happily share gifs of the game in action, fully confident that their work is worth boasting about. Personally, I think it is, and they have every right to brag. It looks fantastic!
Gameplay-wise, it reminds me of Oddworld, a series that I adore, so bonus points for that as well. It looks intereting, the way you jump, climb and try to survive against predators much bigger than yourself. Everything I see from it makes me more interested, and I'm very much looking forward to giving it a shot.
Roller Coaster Tycoon World
This is very optimistic of me, I know. Especially considering the last one. I really just want it to be good, so I can make some really cool parks. Roller Coaster Tycoon is the only simulation game series I really enjoy (probably for the wrong reasons), so having another solid one would be swell. Fingers crossed!
2015 better be as cool as everyone's expecting. It's all up to you, year! NO PRESSURE!