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Top 10 Boss Fights in the ‘Metroid Prime Trilogy’

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Over the years the Metroid series has had some remarkable boss battles. The climatic fight with Mother Brain at the end of Super Metroid, the endless duels with Ridley, the downright disturbing face-peeling antics against Nightmare X in Metroid Fusion, boss battles have created some of the most memorable moments in the series. But in my opinion, no where else has the series nailed boss fights more than in the Metroid Prime Trilogy. The first-person perspective made shooting fun and intuitive whilst the array of visors and gadgets also allowed the developers to play around with how you fought each boss, and improving the puzzle element of the fights. So, with that in mind, here are the top 10 boss fights in the Metroid Prime Trilogy.

10. Flaahgra (Metroid Prime)

The first proper boss fight in Metroid Prime gets the game off to good start. The main point of interest in this battle is the mechanics of the fight. Making a decent fight based around the morph ball has been a constant struggle for the series, and certainly the fight with the Spider Guardian in Metroid Prime 2 is testament to that (*shudder*). Flaahgra is pretty easy to beat once you work out what to do, although there is always the moment of panic when it wakes up after being stunned and you are scrambling to get to the entry points for the morph ball in time.

Sunchamber_flaahgra_returns_first_time_dolphin_hd9. Chykka (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)

What I like about this fight is just how…weird it is. The laval stage is fairly simple, a matter of keeping track of it in the water whilst taking care of the small enemies it throws at you and managing your dark and light beam accordingly. However in its adult stage it becomes a lot more difficult, having to swing between different platforms and using your light and dark beams in tandem with your missiles. Given how easy it is to completely miss your target, ammo can become a serious issue. In most games the temptation would be to make the ‘adult’ form a great slumbering beast, and the ‘larval’ more nimble and smaller, Retro went with opposite approach here. This boss fight encapsulates the weird, gooey-ness of Dark Aether which makes it such a haunting place to explore.

Dark_Torvus_Temple_Chykka_Dolphin_HD8. Aurora Unit 313/ Dark Samus (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)

The climax of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and the trilogy as whole, is fittingly frenetic. Whilst it’s not quite as much of an endurance test as the finale to the second game (more on that later), it stills offers a serious challenge across it’s three stages. The stages get gradually worse as they go along, starting with the excellent fight with Dark Samus, the best fight with the antagonist in the trilogy, before moving on to the Aurora Unit 313. This first stage is standard dodging lasers and pumping as much into the boss as possible. But the power and variety of attacks at the Unit’s disposal make this a fight where you really have to keep your whits about you. Unfortunately the final stage of the fight, where the Unit’s head starts flying and spinning around the room, seems a tad silly to me. However this doesn’t ruin the battle, and it’s still a more than competent way to close the series.

36_067. Gandrayda (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)

The fight with Gandrayda is comfortably the best out of the fights with the possessed hunters in Prime 3. Despite the fact that her character model is awful, the actual combat makes up for it, changing between a variety of different enemies throughout the battle’s duration. Because of this you have to keep on adjusting your technique and stay on your  toes, while remembering how you beat the enemies earlier in the game. Her final phase where she goes all ninja in your face is also pretty good, using the standard Prime technique of forcing you to change between different visors to keep tabs on her. This fight gets props for ingenuity and trying to do something different, for which it succeeds.

Gandrayda_Reveals6) Omega Ridley (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)

Whilst this is not the best Ridley fight in the trilogy (foreshadowing…), the fight with Omega Ridley inside the third leviathan seed is certainly a good one. I’m not a fan of some of the more gimmicky motion controls in Corruption, but I’m glad the Wii exists purely for the satisfaction of ripping off Ridley’s chest plate with the nunchuck and unloading a load of phazon into the poor guy. This isn’t the most difficult fight, Ridley is pretty stupid by this point, then again falling into a nuclear reactor will do that to you. For some reason I just found this fight incredibly fun, and in the end isn’t that what games are all about?

OmegaRidleyAppears5) Omega Pirate (Metroid Prime)

The second ‘omega’ variant in a row, the Omega Pirate is hands down the most difficult fight of the original game in the trilogy. It’s standard attacks are fairly easy to avoid, but cause real damage if you do get hit. Where things get really sticky is when he summons up some pirate cohorts to distract you. This is especially a problem because he can only be damaged when he is ‘refuelling’, the pirates making quite the nuisance of the themselves at this particular point. Whenever I play through this fight I am always caught between two minds on whether to kill them, or just ignore them and concentrate on damaging the actual boss. However frustrating it is though, the fight gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction when you have finally bested him.

Samus_and_Omega_Pirate_cropped_Dolphin_HD4) Quadraxis (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)

The first thing that hits with this fight is just how massive this guy is. He is bloody huge! The scale of the fight really does overwhelm you to begin with, your instant reaction is just to curl up into your morph ball and hide in the corner. The first form isn’t actually that impressive combat wise, a small matter of going around bombing his feet. It’s when his head detaches and forces you to use the echo visor, and use his dormant legs as ramps to flip onto his head and bomb him, that things get really interesting. This is a really clever strategy for finding new methods of using the existing gadgets at your disposal, giving Quadraxis a really unique feel and making for a memorable boss battle.

2110716-quadraxis 3. Metroid Prime (Metroid Prime)

The final boss of the original game is split into two parts. The first part against it’s spider-like form is mainly an exercise in switching between your different guns and balancing between getting hits in while shooting any projectiles that come your way. This fight really rewards those who went out of their way to find the Flamethrower, Ice Spreader and Wavebuster, as well as collecting a lot of missile expansions on their adventure. The second, essence form, focuses on switching between visors and finding the right opportunity to to stand on the phazon puddles and fire away. This final form is improved vastly by its presentation, revealing this twisted vaguely humanoid facial appearance underneath the monster. This is backed up by the brilliant drum’n’bass remix of the title tune that frantically blazes in the background. This music could have been terrible idea, but it worked out amazingly and really makes you feel like a true hero, which is what you want from a final boss.

Metroid_Prime_face_closeup2. Emperor Ing/ Dark Samus (Metroid Prime 2: Corruption)

Echoes is a punishing game at times and this final battle is an endurance test. It is essentially made up of 5 different stages which I call tentacle phase, boost ball phase, lantern-mouth phase, escape sequence, and Dark Samus fight. All three of the Emperor’s forms are incredibly strange creations, like Lovecraftian nightmares. This whole section is one massive adrenaline rush that tests all of the skills and weapons you have acquired throughout the game. Gun-switching, visor-switching, boost balling, platforming, it’s all here. It’s an incredible way to finish what is often overlooked as the black sheep of the Metroid Prime Trilogy. After beating this boss you feel as though you have won against the odds, and it serves as a satisfying way of ending the game.

Emperor_ing1. Meta Ridley (Metroid Prime)

What makes this boss fight so satisfying is the way it is teased throughout the game. From the opening scenes of Meta Ridley taunting Samus before flying away from wrecked Frigate Orphan, to the shadow he casts whilst you move through the Phendrana Drifts, throughout the whole game you know this fight is coming, and it doesn’t disappoint. The first stage of the fight is simply a matter of being patient and avoiding attacks while he flies around the place, and unleashing hell on him when you get the chance. But after his wings burn off things drastically change. It’s a fight which forces you to hone your evasion skills, especially since he becomes faster and more erratic as his health depletes. It’s a tough old fight but what really elevates this above the rest is the personality Meta Ridley has as an enemy. This great, hulking mass is incredibly intimidating at first, and the look in his dead eyes that he fixes you with when gearing up a charge attack is something that never leaves you. Everything about this fight in terms of combat and presentation is truly remarkable and is one of the most memorable moments Metroid has ever offered.

Meta_ridley_artifact_temple

Based in Huddersfield in the United Kingdom. Lover of anything Nintendo flavoured as well as the Souls series and much more. Also a British comedy and Radiohead geek.

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Best Video Game Soundtracks 2019

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Best Video Game Soundtracks 2019

Awesome Mixtape Vol. 5

It’s that time once again in which I bring to you my awesome mixtape featuring the best tracks from the best video game soundtracks of the year. Last year, my mixtape featured tracks from Triple-A titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and indie darlings like Celeste. In 2017, my picks for best soundtracks included tracks from some of my favorite games including Cuphead, Breath of the Wild and Into the Woods, to name just a few. Well, 2019 has been another banner year for the industry and as always, the games were blessed with an astounding selection of musical scores— some would argue the soundtracks were even better than the actual games at times. As always, it wasn’t easy deciding which songs to include and what to leave out— and as always, I’ve also mixed in some audio clips from various cut scenes while trying to keep it spoiler-free. Feel free to share this link and let me know if you think I’ve missed any great soundtracks in the comments below.

Best Video Game Soundtracks 2019 Playlist

Death Stranding clip
Death Stranding
: Low Roar – “I’ll Keep Coming”
Life Is Strange 2 clip
Life is Strange 2: Seyr – “Colour To Colour”
Life is Strange 2: Jonathan Morali – “Into the Woods”
Life Is Strange 2 clip
Sayonara Wild Hearts: Daniel Olsen – “Sayonara Wild Heart”
Sayonara Wild Hearts: Daniel Olsen – “Wild Hearts Never Die”
Death Stranding: CHVRCHES – “Death Stranding”
Afterparty clip
Untitled Goose Game – Dan Golding – “Title and Credits”
Afterparty: scntfc – “Hades Gonna Hate”
Afterparty: scntfc – “Schoolyard Strangler”
Untitled Goose Game – Dan Golding – “The Garden”
Octopath Traveler: Yasunori Nishiki – Main Theme
Octopath Traveler: Yasunori Nishiki – Cyrus the Scholar
Kingdom Hearts 3 clip
Fire Emblem Three Houses clip
Fire Emblem Three Houses: Yuka Tsujiyoko, Hirokazu Tanaka – “Main Theme”
Fire Emblem Three Houses: Yuka Tsujiyoko, Hirokazu Tanaka – “Blue Skies and a Battle”
Devil May Cry 5 clip
Devil May Cry 5: Kota Suzuki – “Urizen Boss Battle Music”
Untitled Goose Game – Dan Golding – “The Garden”
FAR: Lone Sails: Joel Schoch – “Colored Engine”
Days Gone: Nathan Whitehead— “Soldier’s Eye”
Death Stranding: Low Roar – “Easy Way Out”
Death Stranding clip
Death Stranding: Low Roar – “Easy Way Out”
Metro Exodus: Alexey Omelchuk – “Main Theme”
Resident Evil 2 Remake clip
Resident Evil 2 Remake: Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama, Shun Nishigaki – “Mr.X Theme Music (T-103)”
Sayonara Wild Hearts: Daniel Olsen – “Begin Again”
Life is Strange 2: Lincoln Grounds, Pat Reyford – “Morning Good Morning”
Life is Strange 2: Sufjan Stevens – “Death With Dignity”
Luigi’s Mansion 3 clip
Luigi’s Mansion 3: Koji Kondo – “Main Theme”
Ape Out: Matt Boch – “Intro”
Deltarune: Toby Fox – “Field of Hopes and Dreams”
Return of the Obra Dinn: Lucas Pope – “Loose Cargo”
“Star Wars: Imperial March” Hip Hop Remix
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra
Death Stranding: Silent Poets – “Asylum for The Feeling”
Catherine: Full Body: Shoji Meguro – “Tomorrow”
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: Koji Kondo – “Marin’s Ballad of the Windfish”
Metro Exodus – Alexey Omelchuk: “Teardrops”
Sekiro: Yuka Kitamura – “Ashina Reservoir”
Return of the Obra Dinn: Lucas Pope – “The Doom”
Medley: Eye of Death / Wild Hearts Never Die / Dragon Heart / Clair De Lune

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‘New Super Lucky’s Tale’ is Polished, Pleasing Platforming

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Streamlined, focused, and tons of fun, New Super Lucky’s Tale is a fantastic reworking for the Switch that absolutely nails the lighter side of Nintendo-style 3D platforming. Tight controls and a nearly flawless camera support running and jumping challenges which more often than not emphasize creativity over complexity, and it’s all set against a colorful, pun-filled, charming world full of quirky characters and light satire. Though the experience is not as epic or razzle-dazzle as something like Super Mario Odyssey, developer Playful has wisely trimmed the collect-a-thon fat that so many others in the genre employ in order to pad play time. The result lasts long enough to satisfy, yet also instills a fervent desire to see more adventures from its fearless, furry hero.

New Super Lucky's Tale carnival

In the fine tradition of its gaming ancestors dating back to the N64 days, the basics of New Super Lucky’s Tale revolve around acquiring arbitrary objects sprinkled through various stages in order to unlock doors and move on to the next area. This time it’s pages from the mystical Book of Ages, which contains the power to travel between worlds, and is the endgame of an nefarious cat sorcerer named Jinx and his gang of cartoonish thugs, the Kitty Litter. As part of a secret organization sworn to defending this kiddie-friendly Necronomicon knockoff, it’s up to Lucky to track down as many of these clover-embossed pages as he possibly can, and hopefully complete the book before his nemesis can get his claws on it.

It’s doubtful that the story will be what compels most players to keep going, and to that end, New Super Lucky’s Tale‘s simple setup also fits right in with its genre brethren. Still, Lucky is an amiable and upbeat fox to follow around, and Playful does an excellent job of surrounding him with a cast of gibberish-spouting weirdo goofballs that includes hayseed grub worms, supremely zen Yetis, loyal rock golems, and slick carny ghosts. Though their dialogue does little to drive any sort of narrative, it is endlessly amusing and often witty in its cheesy wordplay. In other words, the writing has a very Nintendo-like feel in its eccentricities that adds to the overall fun.

New Super Lucky's Tale factory

Those jokes would be less endearing without fantastic gameplay, but New Super Lucky’s Tale delivers some of the best running and jumping this side of Mario. Though this fabulous fox can’t quite match the plumber’s precision, Lucky does feel extremely responsive, and has a nice sense of weight and momentum that never feels out of control. He also comes out of the den with a well-rounded moveset, including a nifty double jump, a swishy tail (a la Mario’s spin punch), and the ability to burrow under ground. These moves can be chained together to create a satisfying flow both when exploring 3D stages and side-scrolling ones alike, and will surely inspire players to use them in creative ways in order to access seemingly out-of-reach spots.

And they’ll have to if they want to find all four pages hidden in each stage. New Super Lucky’s Tale requires a bare minimum of these leaflets to be found (and simply beating the stage merits one as a reward), but it’s in rooting around those nooks and crannies where much of the fun lies, and it gives the developer a chance to squeeze every ounce out of the unique mixture of environments they’ve created. From the assorted carnival games of a haunted amusement park to a beach party dance-off, there are a surprising amount of different things for Lucky (and players) to do here, with hardly any two stages ever feeling alike. One 3D level might task Lucky with casually exploring a farm as he gathers up the members of country jug band, while a side-scrolling obstacle course sees him dodging canon fire from an airship piloted by a feline Napolean. Some stages have a platforming bent, while others emphasize searching out secrets tucked away in mini puzzles.

New Super Lucky's Tale farm

It’s an absolutely delightful mix, and that sheer variety keeps New Super Lucky’s Tale fresh all the way through to the epic battle with fat cat Jinx himself. And though platforming veterans might find the overall challenge a bit too much on the friendly side, a few of the later bosses and and bonus stages may make that 100% goal a little tougher than it at first seems. And yet, it’s hard not to want to go back to incomplete stages or that block-pushing puzzle that stumped the first time around; the brisk pace and clever design will likely compel many players to find every scrap of paper out there.

No, Lucky isn’t the second coming of Mario, but there are few 3D platformers that offer such a polished, concise, joyful experience as New Super Lucky’s Tale. It may have taken a couple of efforts to get there (and for those who have played the original Super Lucky’s Tale, levels and bosses have been reworked here), but Playful has nailed a balance between creativity and efficiency that begs for more. 

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How Do ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’s’ Max Raid Battles Measure Up?

Max Raid Battles are one of Pokemon Sword and Shield’s premier new features. Do they live up to their full potential? Let’s find out.

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max raid battles

One of the most heavily promoted new features of Pokémon Sword and Shield have been their Max Raid Battles. These gargantuan fights are both a key part of the online experience and likely the first taste most players will get of Dynamaxed Pokémon in-game. So, how’d this take on Pokémon Go’s raid system pan out in the series’ first mainline entry on console?

Well, on the plus side, getting into the thick of a raid is super straightforward. After the opening hour or two, players are introduced to the Wild Area and can access Max Raid Battles straight away by walking up to a pillar of red light on the field. From there you can invite others, challenge the raid with NPCs, and choose which Pokémon you want to use.

Real Friends Raid Together

Playing with friends online, though, is a bit more convoluted. There’s no “Invite Friends” option to be seen. Instead, all social features are handled through the Y-comm (literally accessed by pressing the Y button). It’s here that players can Link Trade, Link Battle, exchange player cards, and more.

After actively connecting to the internet–which has to be done each play session and each time the Switch is put into sleep mode–it’s up to the host of the match to find a portal and send an invitation to everyone. A notification will pop for friends on the side of the screen, and then it’s up to everyone to join the match directly through the Y-comm interface.

If players want real people to fill in any remaining slots (all raids are four-person affairs), they’ll need to join before the room fills up. Setting a Link Code avoids this hassle by creating a room but, unlike Salmon Run in Splatoon 2, only computer players can fill remaining spots after friends finish joining this way.

After some experimenting and fudding about, my buddy and I were able to hop into matches fairly quickly without much issue. Nonetheless, it’s hard to shake the feeling that creating friend lobbies is only such a headache because it had to be tied to the Y-comm. Pair this with the fact that battling while waiting for a friend to create a room can cause the notification not to pop, and getting a group together is a bit more painful than it should be.

Max Raid Battle Rundown

The raids themselves are a surprisingly engaging twist on the classic Pokémon battle formula. Groups of four challengers work together to take on a Dynamaxed raid boss. Each raid boss has a different star rating, and even the 1-star battles are no joke the first few times around. These boss Pokémon are merciless, and regularly one-shot lower leveled ‘mons with ease.

To combat these monstrous foes, one random trainer in every group is granted the ability to Dynamax their chosen Pokémon and lead the charge. The Dynamaxed Pokémon gets the benefit of having extra-powerful moves and increased HP, though it’s rather disappointing that there only seems to be one Max Move per move type (one Grass move, one Dark move, and so on). Each of these has a secondary effect on the battlefield; some trigger sandstorms, others trigger a health regeneration field that heals everyone a bit each turn. Regular moves with type advantages deal a significant chunk of damage, but it’s Max Moves that can truly turn the tide of battle.

If one of the group’s Pokémon faints, that trainer has to sit out for a turn before it automatically gets revived (a smart design choice to keep all trainers actively involved). However, the fainting of each Pokémon triggers the storm above to become more and more vicious. After four faints or ten turns, everyone is booted out of the raid sans rewards.

max raid battles

The Fruits of Victory

Two of the easiest ways to better your odds are 1) Choose a Pokémon with a type advantage going into battle, and 2) Manage who Dynamaxes when. Each trainer’s Dynamax meter grows periodically and, though only one trainer can use it at a time, multiple players can activate it over the course of a raid. It also seems like each raid’s star rating is tied directly to the raid boss’ level, so bringing a generally powerful Pokémon to a lower-level raid is another viable strategy for success.

Aside from the chance to capture the raid boss itself (and some Pokémon are Max Raid Battle-exclusive), winning a raid nets players some very worthwhile rewards. These include everything from EXP candies and berries to nuggets and TMs. It’s not so much of a haul that it hurts the overall balance of the game, but there’s enough to make getting a few friends together and grinding raids for a couple of hours worth it.

max raid battles

Though Max Raid Battles are just a small part of the overall Sword and Shield package, they’ve ended up being a rather fun take on Pokémon’s traditional multiplayer offerings. For as unnecessarily complicated as playing with friends is, there are also a few cool ideas here, like being able to join a raid from anywhere on the map as long as the host is at the raid pillar. There’s some good fun to be had here if you prefer to battle alongside your friends instead of against them.

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