Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I hate end bosses

Yeah, I'm just going to come out and say it: I hate end bosses. Level bosses, I don't have such a problem with, but those super villains you have to fight at the very end of the game can be rather irritating at times.

Let me give you an example. I played the excellent, well-conceived and executed title, "Gears of War" for the XBOX 360. I cruised through the levels, sometimes having to take multiple tries to get through some of the rougher spots or to beat a particularly difficult level boss. That's great. It's all part of playing a good game. You get your money's worth if you have to put in some time to complete all the missions and win.

The only problem is that the end boss General Raam is just one heck of a hard guy to beat. I tried several dozen times, and even watched a tutorial video on XBOX Live in an attempt to beat him, but still couldn't land the hits to kill him. I'm not what you'd call an "elite" gamer, but I'd like to think I can hold my own. I just don't have the time to invest to beat some of these uber-hard end bosses.

I think that the last guy (or girl I suppose) that you have to beat in order to complete a game should be tough, but not so tough that you get bored of trying to finish him off. Don't get me wrong, I loved "Gears of War" and I'll probably buy the second edition coming out later this year. The gameplay is interesting, fun, and the story moves along well. I just got tired of trying to take down Raam and eventually moved on to another one of my new games.

Now some of you will call me a wimp or a quitter, and if I kept trying I'm sure I would have beat him. I just plain lost interest. It was no longer worth the achievement points or bragging rights.

Currently, I'm at the final boss for the game "Conan." "Conan" is the first "hack and slash" game I've ever played and I was a little concerned that I wouldn't like it. I do like it, though, and would recommend this game to anyone who likes a good swordplay adventure. I've tried to beat the final villain a few times now, and I haven't gotten discouraged yet. I looked him up on the walkthrough, though, and I'm told that there are seven stages required to beat him.

Seven stages!

And if you fail any one of them, you drop back and have to try again. That's fine, but your game doesn't save your progress, so you either have to beat all seven stages in one sitting or keep dropping back all the way to the start of the level each time. I've got three kids and a demanding job. I don't have that much time all in one block to spend playing a video game.

I wish I did, believe me.

I'm determined to complete "Conan," though, and get those coveted achievements that make the XBOX 360 so much fun. Maybe my wife will take the kids away for the weekend so I can go back and complete some of the titles gathering dust on my shelf, waiting for me to tackle those end-bosses I loathe so much.

If not, there's always the trade-in option at Gamestop.

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