Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kirby Mass Attack (DS) - North American Commercial

Yesterday NintendoDS (Nintendo's DS YouTube channel) uploaded their commercial for the upcoming Kirby game, Kirby Mass Attack. It's pretty campy, and at the same time it gets the point across of what the game is about while showing off some well-desired gameplay. Kirby Mass Attack swarms onto the Nintendo DS on September 19th, and SPC will certainly have a review in the upcoming weeks. For now check out this commercial and download the demo via the Wii's Nintendo Channel.



Friday, September 9, 2011

SPC Quickies Volume Nine - 3DS Ambassador Edition Part One

It's been nearly a year since our last brush with the Quickies, so what better time to bring them back than with swiftly reviewing five of the ten NES 3DS Ambassador games from Nintendo? For those unfamiliar with how SPC Quickie reviews work, here's the score breakdown:

5 - Fantastic

4 - Great

3 - Fair

2 - Poor

1 - Awful


===

Super Mario Bros.


One of the most pivotal games in the history of gaming returns and leads the way. The premise is simple: collect coins and power-ups, bash bad guys over the head, and scroll from left-to-right, in Mario's attempt to save Princess Peach Toadstool. There's eight worlds of four levels each. Every fourth level takes place in a castle of King Koopa's where the player must take down the villainous foe either by lighting him up with fireballs or running under him and dropping the bridge he stands on. The problem with this version is that the run and jump buttons are relegated to the A and B buttons, and on the 3DS these are in precarious positions. This takes some getting used to, but if you can persevere, you have a classic in your pocket.

[SuperPhillip Says: 4/5]


The Legend of Zelda


The game that started a legend, The Legend of Zelda threw players into an open world where exploration was the call of the day. Through exploring the game's eight dungeons or levels, collecting items, weapons, upgrades, triforce pieces, and heart containers which bestow more health, our hero Link could make the charge to Death Mountain and face off against the sinister Ganon. Exploration is key, but oftentimes the player will be lost without a guide making for some frustration. Who in their right mind would have the patience to burn every bush, bomb every rock, and push every stone? Perhaps my five year-old self, but not now. If you can summon the patience, a grand and difficult adventure awaits the brave.

[SuperPhillip Says: 4/5]


Metroid


Bounty hunter Samus Aran's first romp took her to planet Zebes where her task was to take out the nefarious Mother Brain and get out of the planet alive. Seeing as a great deal of the halls and corridors pretty much look similar in the NES version and bombing every little nook and cranny for secrets was a necessity, the original Metroid hasn't aged too well. Another hindrance is that when you die, you start back at Brinstar with only thirty health. This means you must grind and destroy enemies for health if you want a fighting chance. Those looking to play this game will need a map of some kind. Others can simply play the much enhanced remake, Metroid: Zero Mission on the Game Boy Advance.

[SuperPhillip Says: 2/5]


NES Open Tournament Golf


Ambassadors get the opportunity to check out two golf games on the 3DS, Let's Golf 3D and this title, NES Open Tournament Golf. Like golf, one must possess patience, persistence, and the almighty putter in order to achieve victory. It can be quite challenging gauging how far your shots will actually travel. You need to literally use math and calculate the distance of each and every shot. The shot gauge is tremendously fast which makes whiffing shot incredibly easy if you don't the correct amount of precision and timing. If you can get over the steep learning curve, you have a competent golf title worth playing and enjoying.

[SuperPhillip Says: 3/5]


Zelda II: The Adventure of Link


Link's second adventure took him north of the original game's stomping grounds where a put to rest Zelda needed waking up. It's up to Link to wake her from her deep sleep and avoid having Ganon revived. That's easier said than done as Zelda II is one tough hombre. It's mostly a 2D side-scroller, unlike every other title in the series. You gain experience (to upgrade Link's stats) through slaying monsters like Octoroks and Moblins, earn items and spells, and challenge the game's multiple temples. Sometimes it can be a challenge just knowing what to do. What makes this game especially irritating is that if you lose all your lives, you have to start back at the game's beginning temple. A game not for the faint of heart, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link gets the title of hardest Zelda game period.

[SuperPhillip Says: 3/5]


Coming next week we'll look at the latter half of the games given as part of the Nintendo 3DS's Ambassador program. We'll also have five reasons to detest Nintendo, a review of Resistance 3 for the PS3, and much more. Please look forward to it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

August 2011 NPD Results

4-week tracking month; Reporting Period 7/31/11 through 8/27/11

Software (New physical retail only, across all platforms including PC)
01. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (360, PS3, PC)** Square Enix Inc
02. NCAA Football 12 (360, PS3) Electronic Arts
03. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)** Activision Blizzard
04. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd (NDS, Wii, PS3) Disney Interactive Studios
05. Cars 2 (NDS, Wii, 360, PS3, PC) Disney Interactive Studios
06. Just Dance Summer Party (Wii) Ubisoft
07. Just Dance 2 (Wii) Ubisoft
08. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC) Disney Interactive Studios
09. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) Nintendo
10. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3) Majesco

**(includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

Hardware
Xbox 360: 308K (-13.7%)
Nintendo 3DS: 235K
PlayStation 3: 218K (-3.5%)
Wii: 190K (-22.2%)
Nintendo DS: 165K (-51.9%)

Square Enix's latest acquisition, Eidos, is turning out to have been a shrewd and smart move with Deux Ex: Human Revolution scoring the top spot in sales across three platforms. Meanwhile eight games on this list are on Nintendo hardware which is really impressive. On the hardware side of the spectrum, the Xbox 360 remains king with its wealth of software and Kinect bundles. The Nintendo 3DS is slightly behind with 235,000 units sold after the price drop, the PS3 follows, then the Wii, and finally the Nintendo DS seems to be losing steam. It may have been a slow month for game sales, but the industry chugs on.

Source: NeoGAF

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3) First North American Advertisement

The first commercial which will premiere tonight during the NFL Kickoff game on NBC (Packers VS. Saints) for Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception has been revealed. It's an action-packed romp as per usual of the series. Uncharted 3 charts a course for adventure on November 1st, 2011.



Star Fox 64 3D (3DS) Corneria Gameplay

Every journey starts somewhere, and every Star Fox 64 playthrough starts with Corneria. This video shows off the first level as well as how to reach the hidden exit to Sector Y. If you don't want to spoil the fun (and if you haven't played the N64 original), then I advise that you simply skip out on this video. As for everyone else, watch the impressive water, listen to the remixed music and voice work, and the player's shoddy skills.



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Let's Golf 3D (3DS) Review

The first and only North American 3DS eShop release is Let's Golf 3D, a port of the iOS game but with in-your-face 3D. Is it worth the extra clams?

Golf with some added "depth"


Developer Gameloft has a history of... well... "borrowing" ideas from other games. Their design philosophy is more renovation than innovation, and as long as they're getting their money, it doesn't really matter. Their games are usually still fun even if they're overly familiar. They're first 3DS eShop entry is Let's Golf 3D, and you guessed it that it uses ideas from Mario Golf, Hot Shots Golf, and the most recent of the bunch, We Love Golf. The game is not only available on the eShop, but it's also able to be purchased on your iPhone or iPad and for a few dollars less. Is the 3DS version worth it for the novelty of 3D alone, or is failure par for Gameloft's course?

Let's Golf 3D has plenty of content for single-player gamers to partake in. Though if you do grow weary of taking on the computer in the campaign and challenge modes, you can opt to pass around the 3DS in multiplayer mode. Campaign mode has the player earning medals: gold, silver, and bronze. As they earn more medals, more tournaments, challenges, courses, characters, costumes, and accessories are unlocked. The aim of Let's Golf 3D is to place first in every event to earn a gold medal. This means you automatically get the silver and bronze medal without having to get second and third place respectively. There's hundreds of medals to earn (counting bronze and silver, of course), and three are hidden on each of the game's six unique courses. They're usually in out-of-the-way spots or hovering over dangerous bunkers. You must have your shot pass through the medal in order to nab it. This can get frustrating when you're off just by a little bit, and you have to waste shots trying to get it. And seeing as you can only get these in Campaign mode and not free play mode, you'll probably have to purposefully lose just to acquire these secret gems.

Starting off in Campaign mode, you have one course to select from: England, with its rolling hills, wide fairways, and minimal hazards. As you earn medals you unlock more challenges and more courses. From the African bush of Kenya to the final course full of frosty fjords, narrow fairways, and plenty of troublesome hazards to contend with. Challenges consist of such tasks like match play, stroke play on three holes, six holes, nine holes, or the entire course, there's a mode where the player with the highest score at the end of each hole is eliminated with the player that is left standing wins it all, and closest to the pin contests which usually span four holes.

Those with knowledge of past arcade golf games
should feel right at home with Let's Golf 3D.

Alongside Campaign mode is the... well... challenging Challenge mode. This mode has four different games to play. There's Catch the Star, Birdie or Bust, Longest Putt, and Bunker Ball. Catch the Star requires the player to uncover and hit through four stars before time expires, Birdie or Bust necessitates the player to score a birdie before time runs out, Longest Putt gives the player one shot to make it in the hole from an expanse away from the hole, and Bunker Ball is one chance to chip it into the hole from the bunker. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, given the mechanics of the game, it is easier said than done for sure!

The swing mechanics should be familiar to anyone who has played with a traditional three click golf swing system. After preparing your shot by zooming the camera in on the intended destination of your shot, you press the button once to start the meter, it runs up to the top, click it again to set the distance, and as the meter swings back down, you press the button one last time to set the accuracy of your shot. Seeing as the meter is so slow, it's almost impossible to duff a shot. You literally have to try to fail. Furthermore the game utilizes a recommended area on the swing meter to set your distance at. I find this more as a hindrance as too many times when I selected the recommended swing distance, the ball went into the rough as opposed to the fairway. As the ball is jettisoned into the air, you can hold the analog stick forwards, backwards, or left or right to give the ball spin, slice, fade, topspin or backspin.

With three clicks your shot is set.

Putting is pretty challenging in Let's Golf 3D. You have your putting grid which has dotted lines trailing upward and downward showing the slope, and you have the putt meter which shows a recommended distance to putt the ball. Again, ignore this recommendation. Too often the ball goes way too short or way too far from the hole. Three putts on holes is inexcusable, and I'm not even Tiger Woods in 2011. Low blow. Sorry. Another bothersome feature is that when you call up the meter to putt, the meter is already moving, and unless you have the reflexes of Superman, you're not going to get the desired power. Thankfully you can set the speed of your putt on the way back down the meter. Additionally, all your best scores and shots can be saved for your future viewing pleasure. Feel free to show off to your friends!

There's a wide cast of characters to play with in Let's Golf 3D. Each of which has the personality of cardboard. They do have their strengths and weaknesses as well as stats (for putting, accuracy, power, etc.). You can use unlocked costumes to tweak and customize your characters to your liking. Don't like that girl golfer's blonde hair? Make her a brunette then! Don't want to use the standard white golf ball? Upgrade to a ball that gets more accuracy in exchange for power. The choices are yours and yours alone. The characters will often comment on their shots with such dialogue as "Go, go, go" and "That's it!"

Let's Golf 3D certainly isn't pushing the Nintendo 3DS hardware to its limits (as no near-launch title should), but it does impress a little for a downloadable title. Yes, the 2D wildlife is a bit chintzy, and you could cut yourself on some of the jaggies in the game, but overall everything is pleasing to look at. However, there is some slowdown here and there which is inexcusable in my book. Even the 3D (it's in the title of the game, for heaven's sake!) is pretty weak. It's certainly not the game to show off to your buddies to make them go "ooh" and "aah". On the sound side of things, this game sports a very melodic and memorable soundtrack. It almost feels like something from Hot Shots Golf if you can imagine that. Ambient noises like birds and crickets are also a nice touch.

If golf is your game of choice, then you really can't
go wrong with either version of Let's Golf.

Let's Golf 3D is a proper golfing package worth looking into if you just can't wait for the next Hot Shots Golf game on Vita or if Nintendo ever gets off their sore behinds and come out with another Mario Golf game. If you have a choice between the iOS and 3DS versions, I'd go with iOS. Yes, there's no buttons, but do you really need them for the simple controls of this game? Plus you get a larger screen and no need to worry about poorly-implemented 3D technology. Even though this game possesses little innovation, Let's Golf 3D is as close to the links as 3DS owners can get currently.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.0/10]

Monster Hunter Tri G (3DS) Premiere Pics

It was announced today along with a second analog attachment peripheral (it looks weird to say the least) that Monster Hunter Tri G is coming to the Nintendo 3DS. The official website dictates that the second analog peripheral is indeed optional. For now check out the official website and scope these first screenshots.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pilotwings Resort (3DS) Review

We've reached the month of September, and it's time for the first review of the month. I was late in getting a Nintendo 3DS, so I, of course, was late to this launch title, Pilotwings Resort. It's without a doubt my favorite of the bunch, but is that saying much? Let's find out with this review.

On A Pilotwing and A Prayer


For every Mario, Zelda, Kirby, and Donkey Kong game that gets released, a Nintendo franchise is seemingly forgotten. Just this generation alone we've missed out on F-Zero, Wave Race, and for two gens now, Pilotwings. These aforementioned franchises aren't returned to as often as Mario or Zelda, but when they are, it's an event. In 1991 the original Pilotwings launched on the Super Nintendo utilizing the special Mode 7 tech which allowed for full three-dimensional gameplay. The following console, the Nintendo 64, would launch closely with Pilotwings 64, which some consider the best in the series. Nearly fifteen years later and no sight of Pilotwings to be found, Nintendo has opted to bring the franchise back from retirement with Pilotwings Resort for the Nintendo 3DS. Will you like flying the friendly skies?

As you boot up the game, a secretary will ask you to select a Mii to use as your player character. She will also ask you to sign your name on your membership card so you can opt to try out the controls on the numerous vehicles Pilotwings Resort possesses. After getting acquainted with the controls of each vehicle, you enter some tutorial missions which have you flying through rings for points-- to get your situated and comfortable before the real challenges begin. Once the tutorials are completed, you're a full-fledged member of Pilotwings. There's six groups of challenges in all, and each group gets more progressively difficult than the last as one would expect.

For those new to the locale, meet Wuhu Island
from Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort.

There's a wide variety of challenges to partake in. While the tutorial missions don't require you to carefully land your vehicle, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and the unlockable diamond (which is earned by gaining three stars on all missions in all challenge brackets) do. Each challenge has a perfect score time which means if for every second you pass the set time for completion, the more points gets deducted from your total score. Nicking walls will net you a penalty of two points deducted from your score while flat out crashing will not only cost you some valuable time, but it will additionally make you lose five points. This is unlike past games where crashing would automatically disqualify you from the event. This makes the game more accessible to casual players without isolating more hardcore types.

Missions are scored in various categories. There's time, rings, speed panels (where you must fly through them at or above the specified speed to be awarded points), accuracy (or how close to the center of the landing zone you rest at), impact (or how cleanly you land), and too many others to mention. In order to proceed in Pilotwings Resort to other classes, you must score as many stars as possible. Each mission comes with a plethora of tips and advice to assist the player in aiming for a high score. One can earn up to three gold stars, or if they're masochistic, they can opt to try to get a perfect score and earn up to three red-outlined gold stars. This allows for a higher score than originally possible. Seeing as the game can be breezed through in a few afternoons, if continually aiming for high scores isn't your cup of tea, then perhaps Pilotwings Resort isn't the game for you.

There's six main vehicles in Pilotwings Resort: the plane which can perform barrel rolls and other tricks, the rocket belt which can thrust its way through Wuhu Island, the locale of the game, and land on fuel platforms, the hang glider which must catch wind thermals in order to increase altitude and speed, the mach jet which is a much faster version of the plane, the super rocket belt which is a quicker, more unwieldy and harder to control beast, and the pedal glider which by tapping a button pedals the glider. Just watch your stamina gauge! Each vehicle approaches the landing zone in a different way. For instance the rocket belt must use its slower thrusters to halt its movement enough to lightly touch down on the target platform, usually raised above the land or sea.

Carefully situate yourself so you can
land lightly on the target platform.

As stated previously there's a myriad of missions and challenges to try out. Some have you flying through a series of rings and/or shooting at the center of targets for maximum points while with rocket belt you'll be either flying through rings, landing on multiple fuel platforms, pushing balloons into a marked zone, or gathering a group of U.F.O.s to their mothership. You can also put out campfires, zoom through a narrow patch of mines and trees, follow a stunt plane all the while mimicking the stunts said plane pulls off, and take photos of various landmarks (size and depth matter).

Fire by holding down and letting go of the Y button.

When you're not participating in Mission Flight mode, you can opt to check out Free Flight mode. This mode allows you to select a vehicle and fly around Wuhu Island, collecting balloons (collect twenty to increase the amount of time allowed to fly, and seeing as there's 120 balloons to collect, that means you can increase the amount of time to upwards of five minutes per flight), with the plane you can fly through stunt rings, with the rocket belt there's hidden Mii trophies to gather, and with the hang glider there's gold rings to pass through the center of. There's sixty of each of these, and some only appear during daytime, evening, or nighttime. You unlock different times of day by collecting location medals which appear above seventy-five unique destinations all around Wuhu Island. Getting twenty, forty, and sixty stunt rings, Mii trophies, and gold rings unlock 3D dioramas to view under the Diorama menu of the main screen. This mode is quite fun, and exploring Wuhu Island for hidden goodies is a great way to pass the time in short bursts. It's quite enthralling to say the least. You can take photos in the hang glider at different times of the day, save them to an SD card, and view them in the photo application on the Nintendo 3DS home menu.

Pilotwings Resort is a bright, crisp, and colorful game. The game is bestowed with some of the most impressive early 3D on the Nintendo 3DS. Having the 3D slider turned up all the way allows the player to determine how far away objects and obstacles are much more easily. The draw distance is pretty spectacular as well. Not all is perfect, however. There is some pop-up from distant background objects and islands. The score of the game is quite catchy. There's numerous themes to bop your head to, tap your toes to, or hum along with. They can get infectious even. These themes are augmented even more by the 3DS's impressive speaker system.

From rugged ruins to serene beaches, Wuhu Island has it all.

Overall, Pilotwings Resort is a game whose value depends upon how much of a high score buff you really are. Most gamers will probably not be enough of perfectionists to aim for perfect scores as one must run flawless runs on every mission in the game which is no simple task. Just earning three stars on all tasks is challenging enough and will give plenty of players multiple attempts just to get them right. That notwithstanding Pilotwings Resort is the best of the bunch for those looking for a proper launch title to pick up with their newly-purchased Nintendo 3DS. It might not be an eighty hour epic, but it's a majestic little game full of Easter eggs and surprises.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.5/10]

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dragon Quest X (Wii, Wii U) First Trailer

The first trailer for the upcoming online game for Nintendo Wii and Nintendo's upcoming Wii U system has been revealed at a Square-Enix event today. It was unveiled to the dismay of Dragon Quest traditionalists who cry foul at the idea of the franchise going online. We'll see how it works out whenever S-E decides to release this eagerly-awaited game. For now check out the premiere trailer.



Kirby Mass Attack (DS) Mini-Games Trailer

I'm a few days late on this, so please forgive me. However, Nintendo unveiled on their Nintendo DS YouTube channel an all-new trailer featuring the myriad of mini-games that are unlocked via collecting medals in Kirby Mass Attack. There's pinball, memory challenges, a dash course, a role-playing game, and much more to unlock. Kirby Mass Attack swarms onto the Nintendo DS in the middle of this month. Look forward to SuperPhillip Central's review. In the meantime check out this cool trailer.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Four

This article contains spoilers. Please tread carefully.

To kick off the start of a new week, we have Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Four to satiate your thirst for boss blood. We have bosses from a variety of games and platforms, so there's something for everyone from Super Metroid to Gears of War. If you missed out on a previous installment, you can always click one of the following links to instantly be transported to your intended destination, free of charge.


Turtle Boss - Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)


From riding a tank and running over enemies to climbing and scaling ledges to avoid a fiery fate, the first level of Contra III: The Alien Wars, Contra's first foray into the world of 16-bit gaming, is full of danger. The final challenge in the level is a giant turtle boss. This enemy has four main attacks: 1) It launches creepy-crawlies to trip up our hero (or heroes), 2) It unleashes a myriad of killer bats at the player, 3) It shoots off small laser orbs which can trip up unsuspecting players, and 4) It opens its mouth and blasts a damaging line of fire at the player. Shifting between platforms is the main point of contention in this battle. The pulsating red core is the boss's weak point. Where else? Unload with everything you've got, and this turtle will go back to the prehistoric period where it belongs. There's many great encounters to be had in the Contra series, but this first level boss starts it all off.

Mother Brain - Super Metroid (SNES)


This boss battle isn't just memorable because of the second showdown between bounty hunter Samus Aran and Mother Brain, but also for the touching finish to the fight. Firstly, Samus must navigate through a passage of laser beams and bombs blasting at her all the while using missiles to blow up the doors leading to the resting Mother Brain. This is easier said than done as this is one of, if not the, most annoying rooms in the game. Once the resilient bounty hunter reaches her prey, she must launch a barrage of missiles into the glass case where Mother Brain sleeps while avoiding said laser beams and the pool of acid below. Once the case has been obliterated, a moment of repose can be had before the real battle begins.

The head, laying of the floor, rises up to reveal an entire monstrous body attached to it. Mother Brain shoots off grenades which torch the ground when they explode and fire beams which do major damage to our favorite bounty huntress. The weak point is the head, so Samus must aim carefully with her missiles, super missiles, and regular shots. With enough damage Mother Brain gets serious. She conjures up a technicolor beam which does an incredible amount of destruction to Samus's energy reserves. After around two or three goes of this attack, it seems Samus is finished.

Then suddenly the Metroid that Samus rescued in Metroid II, fully-grown and full of spite for Mother Brain, comes in to save the day. It attaches itself to Mother Brain, drains her energy, and then recovers Samus's health. However, Mother Brain revives herself and sends a devastating and fatal blow to the helpful Metroid. Newly invigorated and bestowed with a rainbow beam, Samus can now put the finishing touches on Mother Brain. Defeated, the big brain drops to the ground and eventually shrivels up into nothingness. With a quick vertical escape from the soon-to-be-exploding planet, Samus's mission and objective are now complete. The galaxy can rest once more as the operation was completed successfully.

Seven Force - Gunstar Heroes (GEN)


This side-scrolling and fast-paced level puts you right in the action against a boss of seven forms (hence the name Seven Force). The boss can transform instantly into one of seven amalgamations at its leisure. The first is shown in the picture above. It's the marathon man of the Seven Force boss battle. It runs after our heroes, occasionally hurling big and bad boomerangs or thrusting its mechanical arm forward. Thankfully the player can switch between riding the ground to riding the ceiling at any time to avoid these attacks.

The second form turns Seven Force into a large wheel with blades on all fronts. The battle changes from a horizontal affair to a vertical one. The boss shifts from left to right before scaling the wall. It takes quick wits and reflexes to dodge this boss's body. Once enough damage has been dealt to the boss, it will change attack pattern. Seven Force will rise to the top of the screen, spin, and shoot off a circle of laser orbs. Again, quick wits and reflexes are just what the doctor order to fend off such an assault.

The third part of battle returns the fight to a horizontal setting. Seven Force sets itself up on the leftmost side of the screen and unleashes a multitude of lasers and walls to trip up the Gunstar Heroes.

The fourth form once again mixes up the direction of the fight. We're vertical once again. This form has a small body with a long, spiked tail. It runs across the wall, floats toward the player, and then spins in place, attacking with its terrifying tail. The form can also spew multiple multicolored laser orbs at the player, making Seven Force a "force" to be reckoned with.

The fifth form turns Seven Force into a magnum pistol-like machine. It has only one attack, but it's a doozy. It fires off a series of shots one right after the other. The trick to this confrontation is to hide directly above the boss, so its shots can't reach you. It may be cheap, but this is a war we're talking about!

The sixth form has the boss transforming into a blue phoenix-like mechanized menace. It slowly creeps up the vertical wall. When its wings turn inward, it's your chance to slip past it. This is all the while continuously firing at the boss to do damage. Of course, this is Gunstar Heroes, so your finger should always be on the firing button.

Alas, we've reached the final form... finally! The stage turns horizontal for the last time. Seven Force transforms into a four-legged creature which runs on the ground. It summons a targeting reticule that closely follows the player. The player must constantly be moving as the boss can launch an attack at a moment's notice. This form is must easier than previous ones, but it can still trip up tired players in this test of endurance. Once Seven Force's health has been depleted, the pilot gives our heroes one of the necessary jewels, and the stage has been cleared. Phew! What a workout!

General Raam - Gears of War (360)


After hopping onto a speeding train, Marcus Fenix and partner take out the numerous Locust inhabiting the locomotive. When they reach a certain car, General Raam, leader of the Locust horde, is waiting for them. The fight requires the player to stay in the light, or else the bat-like creatures surrounding Raam will rip them to shreds. Cover is key as the nasty general is armed with a powerful machine gun. Your own machine gun is great for battle, but a weapon like the Torque Bow makes this battle even easier. Raam creeps closer and closer to the player, requiring them to move to the other side of the car 'less they wish to be pummeled to pieces. Once enough bullets have penetrated General Raam, the hulking beast will fall to the ground. The world is safe for now, but the Locust aren't quite finished yet.

Fire Leo - Viewtiful Joe (PS2, GCN)


Viewtiful Joe featured side-scrolling 2 1/2D gameplay with cel-shaded visuals. In the sixth chapter of the game, The Magnificent Six, Joe went through a gauntlet of previously defeated bosses. After the five past haunts were exterminated, VJ was put face-to-face with Fire Leo. The battle takes place in a circular arena. Fire Leo prances around the arena, shooting off volcanic rocks that will burn Joe if he touches them. With the power of Mach Speed, our viewtiful hero can heat himself up, leap over the rocks, and catch up to the swift lion. After a few punches to the mane, Fire Leo will begin spinning in place. Joe must then dodge a series of high and low punches (Slow Motion works best here). If successful, Leo will become quite dizzy and Joe will have an opportunity to unleash a Red Hot One-Hundred assault to do some crazy damage to this hot-headed boss. All it takes is some patience and skill, and Fire Leo's flame will be extinguished.

===

From Fire Leo to General Raam, these bosses sure showed off and pulled no punches. Did your favorites get mentioned? If not, list some of your faves in the comments section. Until next time, this has been Best Boss Battles in Gaming History.

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