Tag Archives: boss battle

Lawrence Barrett is no more, and that’s no bull

“Bulls do not win bull fights. People do.” – Norman Ralph Augustine

That’s right, Grinding Down readers. I did it. I did this:


The Bull (25G): You defeated Lawrence Barrett, elite member of a secret mercenary hit squad.

After failing time after time after time–his grenades kill you instantly on the middle difficulty and are quite hard to avoid, considering he throws them in groups of three and the room is small, cramped, with few choice hiding spots–I decided to look up some walkthroughs online to see how others tackled this annoying fellow with a machine gun for a hand. No, not that one. That Barret cusses more. And he would be on my side to begin with, making this boss battle a non-necessity. Anyways, I found a video of someone beat him by tossing a gas canister at him, then an exploding barrel, and then did that twice more, all under sixty seconds. Whaaaaa. Not a single shot was fired, which means that this would be the best way for me to go about it, considering running into the room and trying to equip a lethal weapon was clunky and a waste of time.

Well, it took me three more attempts to figure out the best way to move around the room and toss these deadly items, but I did it. I got him caught in a gas cloud, choking, growling, saying something repeatedly about “playing dirty.” Whatever. You have a gun for a hand. I was so pleased to have finally gotten past this roadblock–and yes, for stealthy players, that’s exactly what he is–that I exclaimed loudly that I had conquered he who seemed unconquerable. Tara was upstairs watching Cheers, but she responded and even gave me some kudos love via Twitter:

According to forum grumblers, there’s a few more of these sorts of boss fights to look forward to. Great. Freaking superb. I can’t wait. However, I do like that this boss battle had two vidoegame references tied to it: Final Fantasy VII and the Metal Gear franchise in calling these elite soldiers The Something. I just didn’t like how it fit into the grand scheme of playing the game. For now, I’m off to China, I think. Well, not me. Jensen is. Place your bets below in the comments on what part I’ll get stuck at next.

No sneaking past those boss fights in Deus Ex: Human Revolution

From the very beginning of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I neglected all lethal weapons. Sneered at them, in fact, as I crept on by. A tranquilizer rifle and close-quarters takedowns were my tools of destruction. And, if need be, a flash grenade to confuse and create chaos. Surely those guards that I knocked unconscious were a bit confused to find their shotguns and deadly assault rifles still by their sides when they came to, but that’s just how my Jensen rolls: secretively, silently, stealthy.

Unfortunately, you can’t sneak past everyone. Specifically, the game’s bosses, and the first one, Lawrence Barrett, that meathead with a machine gun for a hand, has proved extremely troublesome so far. Upon entering the door that starts the fight, I realized that my wholehearted dismissal of all lethal weapons was going to hurt me here. Hurt me hard. I tried hitting Barrett with a few tranq darts as he blew my cover to shreds. Nothing happened, and by that I mean he came up, grabbed Jensen, and punched half his health away. A few more shots later, and I was reloading my latest save. Which, sadly, is right before I go through the door that starts the boss fight. Sigh…

If I run over to the left, in a small side room is a pistol and some bullets. However, before I can pick it up, I need to rearrange my inventory to make room for such a murderous entity. And then comes the arduous task of trying to shoot somebody, with a gun made for shooting on repeat; see, with the tranq rifle, it was pop out, fire, pop back into hiding spot, wait for body to drop. That strategy doesn’t work here. Barrett has to reload his machine gun-hand thing, giving you precious seconds to either fire or move to safer cover. Staying in that room for too long isn’t wise as he eventually begins tossing grenades your way.

I’ve tried beating him now three times with no luck. Contemplating backtracking far enough to maybe pick up a better weapon. Or maybe giving up my dream of being a sneaky Jensen, restarting the game, and putting all my Praxis points into combat skills instead of hacking skills. That would be lame, but if I can’t get past Barrett soon, it’s my only option.

If the developers wanted this to be the next Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, maybe they should have played that game and saw how awesome boss battles should be crafted. Specifically, The End. One day I’ll talk about how I tackled that fight. One day.

Remember, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a game that lets you play any way you like, except when it’s time to take down some cheesy super soldiers.

Games Completed in 2011, #6 – Super Scribblenauts

I once mused if it’s even possible to complete a game like Super Scribblenauts, a game that is an unending as one’s imagination, but I must sadly say that, yes, it is finishable. I mean, it has an end boss and credits and a set number of levels. And I saw all of that jazz so I’m calling this one completed even though it’s going to stay in my travel case for a good while so I can continue to play in its sandbox.

Super Scribblenauts is the follow-up to Scribblenauts, a Nintendo DS game that stood on its premise of “write anything, solve everything.” Players had to collect a starite, a floating or hidden star, in each level by writing in the solution. Sometimes it would be wings to fly up to the treetop or maybe a chainsaw to cut it down. The game hosted a large dictionary and numerous levels, as well as a play-away start screen where players could waste hours away thinking of things to write. Scribblenauts was unfortunately hampered by a wonky physics and a terrible control scheme, causing our dear leader Maxwell to fall to his death often. Everyone was pretty bummed out as it could have truly obtained greatness.

Enter Super Scribblenauts, a sequel that worked extra hard to fix the problems in the initial game. Players can switch between a touchscreen-only control scheme or use the much welcomed d-pad. In addition to all the words from the original entry, new words are added as well as numerous adjectives. That pegasus can now be a happy pregnant pegasus; that sword can now be a large flaming sword; that house can now be an angelic polka-dotted house. And so on. Not every level requires adjectives used, but they do help to spice up the words you’ll continually spawn. And speaking of levels, Super Scribblenauts has about half of the amount in the original (120 instead of 240 or so), but this isn’t a bad thing. These new levels are much deeper and many can still be replayed three times in a row for a bonus challenge.

[AHWOOO SPOILERS AHEAD BLOOP BLOOP BLOOP]

But let’s talk about the last level of Super Scribblenauts: 10-5 (Follow the UFO!). I went into it expecting nothing more than a normal puzzle level that, when completed, would round out the last constellation. Nothing more, nothing less. The level opens up with Maxwell’s doppleganger hopping into a UFO, stealing the last starite, and zipping away to space. We’re told to follow him, so I wrote in a UFO of my own, and off we go! Once in space, the constellation shapes we unlocked earlier from completing levels form on the bottom screen with stars. By touching them, they fly up to the top screen to attack our enemy’s UFO. Do this a few times until the doppleganger crashes. Alas, the planetside crash ends up destroying the starite. What’s a boy to do? Well, I then wrote STARITE, collected it, and BEAT THE GAME. Credits began rolling instantly.

Hmm…yeah. A bit like a bucket of cold water to the face. I literally sat unmoving as the credits rolled by, but maybe that was because the credits are actually enjoyable to watch. Maybe. But yeah, it’s a little out of left field to have a boss fight in a game like this, especially when there was nothing foreshadowing such a thing all along. I mean, there’s no story. Are we supposed to care about this doppleganger? I happen to think he’s pretty cool and would get along with Maxwell just fine in the same fashion that Scott and Nega-Scott can bond like brothers. 

[END OF SPOILERS BWOOOOOOOOP]

Did Super Scribblenauts achieve the greatness the former game missed out on? No, not quite. It just feels like the game we should have gotten from the beginning. Still, a fun time, and one I’m definitely gonna revisit from time to time. I do love creating a friendly purple dragon and riding it into the sunset.