Tag Archives: boss battle

Someone needs to push the reset button on Reset 1-1

Reset 1-1 is just one of the handful of games I got back in early January 2017 when I plopped down some digital cash on the Steam Winter Sale. It was bundled with a group of similar-minded, indie action platformers, the kind that ask you both to make jumps as well as damage enemies in your way. Of them so far, I played Dungeon of Zolthan and found it pretty enjoyable, challenging, and quick despite its minimalist look and goals. Reset 1-1 was next on the to-do list, and I began liking it a lot, eating up its quirky sense of humor, bouncy soundtrack, and stamina-driven combat. Alas, I’m now actively against the thing. Don’t worry, dear readers–I plan on telling you why.

Developer xXarabongXx describes Reset 1-1 like so:

The world has ended, Demons have risen to conquer the uninhabited and flourishing nature outside. It’s your turn, with your unknown identity, to find your path for a new beginning.

For those not aware, my day job is editing. I read a lot and am thus quickly able to suss out when an author has no idea what they are talking about, but need to have something down on paper to show that they are clearly alive and involved in the project. That is what I’m getting here: a bunch of keywords loosely connected to each other that, hopefully, comprises something of a story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, but I guess many aren’t coming to Reset 1-1 for its wondrous plot twists. Still, a little more work could have been put towards this. A little more defining. Here, I’ll even do the developer a solid and provide a better description at no cost whatsoever:

Demonic forces have taken over the world. It’s up to you to discover who you are, defeat evil, and create a new start.

Sure, it still sounds like a generic mess, but I don’t have much to work with. There are hints of story and character development early on, with our pixelated tiny hero not knowing his true identity (is it John of Jhon?), but that doesn’t seem to last longer than the introductory levels. Each boss you come across has something quick to say before the battle ensues, but it is usually of the “I’m going to kill you” ilk. Other than that, this is more about action, with a focus on nailing tough jumps and effectively managing your stamina, especially during boss battles.

In terms of gameplay, Reset 1-1 is a platformer. Think Fez, but less puzzles, more fighting. I guess Cave Story is a better comparison, especially in the graphics department. You run, you jump, and you throw projectiles at enemies by swiping your sword in their direction. Our hero can also roll, and much of his actions are dictated by a stamina bar that quickly depletes. As you progress and defeat bosses, you gain experience points to level up, and you can pick either more damage, more health, or more stamina as an upgrade. There are also different swords to find, as well as single-use health potions to hold on to dearly or, if you are like me and playing with a controller, accidentally hit the X button to use it when most definitely not needed (I was trying to open a door). Speaking of controllers, plugging an Xbox 360 controller in works, but does not work well, as I found the game immediately laggy; however, the standard PC controls are even funkier to get a grasp on so it was this or nothing.

So, I got to the final boss fight in Reset 1-1 last night. It’s some kind of weird ghost-thing that throws fireballs and summons a wave of them up from the lava below that you need to carefully time two rolls to make it through alive. I can’t beat it, and each attempt is more difficult than the previous thanks to this game’s sinister system of upping the difficulty, slowing down the frame-rate, and dissolving color from the graphics with each subsequent death. It is extremely difficult to now see throw projectiles, and jumping with lag is as much fun as you can imagine. Unfortunately, it seems like I’m just digging myself into a deeper hole, and there’s no way to start this final fight on equal ground. More annoyingly, I got the Steam Achievement “Tales of creation and destruction” upon meeting this big baddie, but there doesn’t seem to be one for kicking its ethereal butt or even finishing the game.

On Reset 1-1′s title screen, there are four options–play (continue), reset, options, and quit. For some reason, my brain shrunk in size and strength, and I clicked “reset” thinking that this would reset the fact that I had died so many times that everything moved like quarters through molasses, but kept me there at the final boss fight, refreshed and ready. Naturally, this instead wiped my entire progress. Granted, it only took me about an hour to get to the end area, but still. Time lost. Grrr. Sure, I could go through Reset 1-1 again, but knowing that I’d get to the end boss and only have so many viable attempts early on before I found myself drowning in my own mess is a whole new level of stress that I’m not interested in handling. A shame, as I was nearly there.

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2017 Game Review Haiku, #13 – You Have to Burn the Rope

2017-gd-games-completed-you-have-to-burn-the-rope

The mission is clear
You have to burn the rope, duh
Do more with today

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

2017 Game Review Haiku, #7 – Dungeon of Zolthan

2017-gd-games-completed-dungeon-of-zolthan

Upgrade your powers
Jump twice, dash, fire away
I’m no speedrunner

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

2017 Game Review Haiku, #2 – Where is 2017?

2017-gd-games-completed-where-is-2017

Not a point and click
Battle mutated last year
Kill it, triumph, live

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

The fruit in Jasper’s Journeys is not for eating

jasper's journeys early imps gd

I guess I’m on an indie action platformer kick at the moment, having moved on from Jables’s Adventure right to Jasper’s Journeys. To further blur the line between those two names, I’m going to invent a title called Journey’s Adventures and play that next, right after another go at Journey. I kid, I kid. Though this also means I’m moving backwards in time, which happens when you begin to dig into my laptop’s videogames folder, where I dump a ton of downloads on a nearly daily basis with the hope of checking the games out much sooner than later. Still, Jables’s Adventure came out in 2010, and Jasper’s Journeys is from February 2008. Yowza. I wasn’t even blogging back then.

Anyways, Jasper’s Journeys stars Jasper, who is a Loffin, whatever that is. I think it is a race of people with long, purple hair that have floaty jumps and don’t take any fall damage. I could be wrong on all that. Also, still not sure if Jasper is a young man or woman; for the purposes of this post, I’ll go with female pronouns. Unfortunately, her cat Orlando got kidnapped by an evil witch on a broomstick while playing in the tall grass. Seems like she’s keen to use this cat as an ingredient in some spell she’s concocting, and so it is up to you to save the feline by traversing fifteen levels of danger, platforms, and lots of fruit to collect.

Completing a level is as simple as finding the blue dragon, which will pick Jasper up and take her to the next level. If you find a purple dragon, you’re in luck, as this one will take you to a special island full of fruit, which is your only source of ammunition for taking out the baddies. However, to find this dragon, you’ll have to noodle out some puzzles based around platforming and finding colored keys, as well as fighting off enemies and bosses with health meters. There’s no in-game map, so you’ll have to pay attention to your surroundings and remember where to return to once you have the proper keys in your inventory. Along the way, you can also visit an inn to save your progress, as well as purchase items with acquired gold, like shields and status-affecting potions.

I played on the easiest difficulty settings, and I’m fine with that decision. The most trouble I got myself into involved areas where there were moving spikes on the floor and platforms above and having to take Jasper and make her jump from platform to platform without dipping into the sharp bits below. Naturally, because I’m playing Jasper’s Journeys on a keyboard and not a gamepad, this was more tricky than it needed to be. Also to blame: her floaty jump, which made it challenging to land on platforms now and then, especially when guiding her via the arrow keys. Otherwise, it’s not too challenging of a game, certainly on easy, but I wasn’t looking for a challenge here. Instead, I liked seeing how the levels changed from one to another, with the former focusing on grassy hills and the next tossing you beneath a castle, and though the pixel art never hits any extremes it is still pleasing to the eyes, some eight years later.

The same could be said about Jasper’s Journeys‘ soundtrack, but to your ears, not your eyes. It’s gentle and laid-back when necessary, but can up the tension during boss fights. However, the songs don’t seem to loop after they finish, and because I’m a slow gamer and like to check every nook and cranny for secrets, the majority of a level ended up being played in silence, which is a bit weird. Sound effects for killing enemies and picking up fruit are goofy and call back to the days of mascot-driven platformers on the SNES.

For some reason, it feels more odd to play a game that is only eight years old versus something like Final Fantasy IX. I don’t know why. I guess I’m having a hard time comprehending what the world was like eight years ago, which, all at once, doesn’t seem like too far back, but is also an eternity ago. Both in my life and the industry. The AAA gaming landscape of 2008 consisted of work like Burnout Paradise, Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, Braid, Fallout 3, and Fable II. As well as Jasper’s Journeys. I wonder how big of a splash it made; I think I got my copy in late 2011 as part of the Humble Voxatron Debut bundle. Shame it took me nearly five more years to play it. I’ll have to get a jump on Chocolate Castle soon too, I guess.

Rogue Legacy’s castle of chance keeps on giving

rogue legacy khidr boss beat

I don’t completely understand how this happened, but this is the first post I’ve dedicated to writing about Rogue Legacy, despite playing it off and on for the last few months. I mean, generally, save for some exceptions, I write about every game I’m playing–at least once. And yet, Rogue Legacy never really got in the spotlight despite accidentally eating up a few hours of my Extra Life stream; hey, it’s rather addicting. It’s also completely different than Rogue Galaxy, an awesome Level-5 JRPG for the PlayStation 2, but with both names being oh-so-similar I think I mixed them up a bunch when speaking. My bad. This post will now only be about the indie platform game with rogue-like elements, not the one starring a young, rebellious Jaster Rogue.

Rogue Legacy from Cellar Door Games is an indie platform game heavy on giving you one chance to win. Its biggest hook is that you are constantly playing as the child of the character you last played as, often gaining some of the previous parent’s traits while showcasing new ones. These greatly affect how you explore the randomly generated castles, as some traits, like blurry vision, only let you see so far ahead, while others, like two left hands, change the direction you normally cast spells in. There are also many other traits that have little to no impact on gameplay, just there for decoration. My personal favorites are dwarfism and ADHD, meaning you are both small and fast. Couple that with a good spellcaster, and enemies drop like flies as you zip on through.

While the early deep-dives into Rogue Legacy feel a bit aimless, there is an overarching goal to achieve: defeat four bosses, which unlocks that large door at the start of the castle, wherein you’ll find the final boss. However, beating those four bosses is no easy task. At this point, I’ve taken down one, namely Khidr, the Gatekeeper, in the opening section of the randomly construed castle, and that was only after something like 50+ deaths and enough money to level up my heir to fighting status. Khidr is difficult because it has a projectile attack that spirals around its eyeball body, and there are spikes on the floor to avoid. I did encounter Ponce de Leon, the Sentinel, in the Maya zone, but got my assassin butt handed to me swiftly.

The truth of the matter is that every run is actually more about getting as much gold as possible rather than taking on bosses before you are ready for ’em. All upgrades cost gold, and usually it is a hefty amount–think 500 and higher, at least. Plus, as far as I can tell, the prices continue to increase as you grow in skill. Whatever gold you don’t spend on upgrading the castle can be spent before heading inside. There’s an armorer for weapons/gear and an enchantress for runes, as well as a dude that will lock the previous castle’s layout for you for a price, though it does repopulate with enemies. You have to give up the remainder of your gold before venturing into the castle, though there is an upgrade path to go down that lets you keep a small percentage of it. Regardless, get that gold and upgrade each and every time you die.

Not everything in Rogue Legacy is fascinating. The “story” is told through sporadic journal entries you randomly stumble across, and even then, they aren’t the most exciting or illuminating to read. You’ll occasionally come across a statue in the castle, which you can pray to for assistance, often giving you a bonus ability for that single run; however, unless you know what each power-up is already, there’s no way to know what you got. It’s kind of The Binding of Isaac in that respect. There are also Fairy Chest and special rooms that are purposely difficult or obtuse to solve. Still, even in light of that, it is an internal struggle to not keep playing, to not make one more attempt at that boss or get enough gold for that vampire-themed cape that restores HP with every enemy kill.

Strangely, Rogue Legacy is a game I can play for hours, but I actually load it up rather infrequently. Part of that might be my brain warning me not to lose an entire night to castle raiding, I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll get back to it soon enough, and each run is progress, whether it is getting a new weapon to buy or a permanent upgrade to your MP or actually killing a mini-boss. I’ll get through this in due time. Heck, that’s what genealogy is all about.

Samus Aran is not the boss of the bosses in Metroid Fusion

I know I previously made the bold claim that Metroid Fusion wasn’t really worthy enough for further musing over, but here I am, eating my typed-up words, writing more about Samus and her attempt to stop the X infection on SR-388. It’s what I’ve been playing since my time of running errands in Little London came to a close, as well as after I realized just how much freaking grinding I’d have to do to get my team of Pokemon up to decent snuff to even attempt the final fight(s) with confidence. If anything, with it being so linear it is nice to have confident direction. Yeaaaah.

Man, I sure do love linking things in my opening paragraphs.

Moving on, I hate the boss fights in Metroid Fusion. I think they are initially unfair and frustrating. I think they are unclearly communicated. After I lose each boss battle, I put the game aside for a few days, just not wanting to deal with it all. Granted, I probably thought–and still do to some extent–the same way about the boss fights in the fantastic Super Metroid. Phantoon and Botwoon proved to be tricky, and I absolutely remember tearing up in frustration when Draygon would constantly pick Samus up and drain her life, with me just watching it happen, helpless and mad. Oh, and Ridley–the second time in Norfair–was no walk through the lava-themed park. But those are that game‘s bosses, and when you defeated them, that was mostly it. You didn’t have to then fight a second enemy immediately after while still low on health and missile ammo and nowhere near a save spot.

See, in Metroid Fusion, the Core X has infested and mimicked different monstrous creatures kept on the station. As you battle Core Xs, they’ll use abilities stolen from Samus against you, and when you defeat them you’ll recover these lost abilities. Makes sense, really. But first you must defeat the monster the Core X is hosted in. Then you must destroy the Core X right after. The problem I keep running into is that I just barely make it through that first portion of the fight, and then have to deal with a zig-zagging Core X blob that is hard to hit, but loves hitting Samus. When she dies, it’s back to your last save spot, wherever that might be. Mine are never that far away, but far enough that it’s annoying.

So, last night, the stupid spider boss Gedo X just slapped Samus away in the above mentioned manner, and that was it for my gaming time. Which is a shame, as I had just stumbled upon not one, but two fantastic nods to Super Metroid that got me smiling and reminiscing all the same. Oh well. I’ll try again. You hear that, Gedo X? Samus will return, and this time, she’ll be planning for victory. Two of ’em.