Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Five

This article contains spoilers. Please tread carefully.

We're smack-dab in the middle of the work week here at SuperPhillip Central, and it's time for another installment (the fifth to be exact) of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History. Here we celebrate the greatest, boldest, and most entertaining encounters in the realm of bosses. If you skimped out on a previous episode, feel free to check out the following links:

Meta Ridley - Metroid Prime (GCN, Wii)

Listed as one of my favorite rivalries in gaming, Samus Aran takes on a mechanized Ridley in the Gamecube classic, Metroid Prime. Before she can enter the crash site, she must take on and defeat the monstrosity known as Meta Ridley in battle. The fight begins with Meta Ridley flying around the arena, shooting a pulsating fire beam at Samus. This is all the while Samus shooting Super Missiles at the creature's exposed chest. The leader of the Space Pirates will then fly away and make a pass at the arena, dropping bombs atop of the bounty hunter in hopes of obliterating her.

After enough damage has been inflicted to the machine version of Ridley, the creature will drop to the ground, swiping its claws toward the femme fatale. This is the perfect opportunity for Samus to blast a few well-placed shots from her arm cannon. Ridley will then scurry away in fast fashion.

Once Meta Ridley's health dwindles down 3/4ths of the way, his wings will catch on fire and he'll be forced to the ground. Now the real fun begins! Meta Ridley will cock his head backward and lunge toward Samus who must swiftly sidestep out of the way or take major damage. This game of cat-and-mouse continues until Meta Ridley's health decreases to zero. Then the dragon-like monster will careen over the cliff and fall to its doom. Samus's mission is far from over, so take a deep breath and enter the crash site to take on Metroid Prime.

The Final Hazard - Sonic Adventure 2 (DC, GCN)

After Shadow takes down the Biolizard, a difficult clash to its own, both Sonic and Shadow put aside their differences and summon the power of the Chaos Emeralds to turn into their super forms to take on the prototype of the ultimate life, the Final Hazard! Who doesn't love a boss battle with some rock and roll being played all the while? The aim of this outer space battle is to zoom through the stars, avoid the attacks such as lasers and bombs the Final Hazard unleashes, and slam into the numerous swelling spots on the creature's body. Each second that passes a ring is lost. Rings are the lifeline of both Sonic and Shadow. If the ring counter hits zero, the heroes lose a life.

The first hit is simple enough. Just control Sonic and jet into the swollen spot on the Final Hazard. The next is a little trickier. The Final Hazard will perpetually launch a large laser into space which can knock back unsuspecting hedgehogs as they attempt to smash into the Hazard's swelling spot. After three hits come a pair of gigantic laser beams coming from the final boss. This is followed by a shield of red orbs that get shot from the body of the bellowing beast. Bob and weave as Shadow through these harmful and annoying obstacles and crash directly into the boss's weak point for maximum destruction. A few more hits and Dr. Gerald Robotnik's mischievous creation is surrounded by a symphony of explosions. Sonic and Shadow then congratulate one another on a job well done.

The End - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)

A battle of perseverance and patience, the fight against the well-experienced The End is one for the ages. It spans multiple jungle areas. Just finding the location of The End before he scampers off to a new location is challenging enough. Whether Snake opts to utilize a silenced gun or aims to match weapons and go sniper to sniper with The End, the possibilities in this encounter are seemingly endless (no pun intended).

This battle can go on for long durations of time with The End constantly changing spots, picking off Naked Snake, and hiding among the brush with his camouflage. Either match wits and fire from far away when you've locked onto his position or sneak up and attack The End with your fists of fury. Just be sure you keep your stamina gauge high enough to outlast this bashful boss. Of course, you can always kill The End by fast-forwarding the PS2's internal clock or sniping the aged villain from afar when he's sitting in his wheelchair before a certain cutscene. However, if you do either of these two things, you're missing out on an exhilarating and entertaining game of hide and seek.

Krauser - Resident Evil 4 (PS2, GCN, PS3, 360)

Government agent, Leon S. Kennedy, must collect three insignias to open the gate leading to Ashley, the president's long-lost daughter. One is to the north, one is to the east, and one is held by Leon's former partner, Krauser, turned by that darned Las Plagas virus. While Leon climbs ladders, crashes open doors, and runs through the ruins, Krauser closely stalks him, knife readied to take pretty boy Leon out. If Krauser gets close to Leon, a QTE segment occurs. If Leon fails, he gets cut down to size and takes major damage. If he succeeds, he knocks his old partner to the ground for a brief breather. When Krauser is down, Leon should fire some rounds into his fallen body. After enough abuse, the boss will drop a flash grenade and retreat for the time being.

When Leon reaches the eastern side, Krauser ambushes him with a barrage of machine gun bullets. He then drops to Leon's floor and charges at him with his bloody knife. Again, complete the appropriate QTE actions to allow Leon enough time to blow some bullets into Krauser who will then retreat. Now push the statue into its proper hole to open the gate covering the switch that raises the door leading out of this area.

Through the next part of the ruins, Leon must watch out as well as take out buried drones. The explosion will hurt him if he's close to it, so take them out from afar. This is also a terrific way to earn some extra ammo for the upcoming encounter. Climb out the north tower, grab the second piece of the insignia, and the final stage of the fight will start.

Krauser awaits Leon at the top of the tower. He tosses away his weapon to the surprise of the U.S. government agent. Then all Hell breaks loose when Krauser's arm transforms into a grotesque claw-like concoction. Krauser shields his body with said claw, deflecting any shots Leon pumps into him. Only when he gets ready to attack is there an opening for Leon to get in some well-placed rounds. More successful QTEs allow Leon all the time in the world to kill Krauser. Did I mention this battle is timed as the tower is going to explode in just under three minutes? Yeah, that's a pretty important detail. With Krauser finally succumbing to Leon's uber coolness, the last piece of the insignia is collected, and smooth-talking Kennedy can move on. Tense scenarios like the one aforementioned make Resident Evil 4 not only one of the best action shooters around but one of the best games of all time.

The Minotaur - God of War (PS2, PS3)

Deep in the corridors of Hades lies the mythical beast, the Minotaur. Kratos, fueled by revenge, desires nothing more than to slice and slash this baddie to the depths below. By immediately running towards the screen, players can get on even ground. It's suicide to take on the Minotaur from the ground level. The creature slams its claws onto the platform, swipes at Kratos, and if it grabs him, it will smash him against the wall and chuck him to the ground. Occasionally the Minotaur will charge from the back of the hallway and into the elevated balcony platform, causing the lava below to come crashing up. A simple leap into the air will avoid turning Kratos into Greek fried chicken.

After enough damage, the boss's armor will crack, shining light from within the beast. It will then scamper to the back of the hallway where a QTE will be engaged. With well-timed rotations of the analog stick, Kratos will ride the Minotaur rodeo-style before slamming its face sharply into the ground. As the weakened creature lay there in agony, Kratos needs to quickly run up to the balcony platform and pull a switch. This will send a large arrow piercing through the Minotaur's ironclad armor. Continue this pattern a few more times and the mythical Minotaur will be impaled, its foot slamming through the wall, creating a space for Kratos to continue through. Now if only the rest of Hades was so fun...


With that we wrap up the fifth episode of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History. There's been five installments, but have I left out your favorites at all? Send me a comment below, and I'll see if I can fit one or two in next time!

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