Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, #2


As you’ve likely noticed, the past couple of entries on our list of The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights have both been final boss characters from fighting games.

While I personally feel that the fighting game genre is quite likely the most prominent contributor to the realm of tough-ass boss characters, there is another genre of game that has a similar penchant for ass-raping it’s players when it comes to boss fights.

That genre, is the shoot ’em up.

Yes, this is in fact playable. And yes, it is in fact EASIER than the game featured today.

While occasionally consisting of pure twitch reflex gameplay, the challenge in conquering most modern shoot ’em ups lies mainly in knowing one’s hit box and a healthy dose of pattern memorization/anticipation.

And no, I will not be using the term “shmup,” as it is silly, and the people who came up with it smell like poo.

*ANYWAY* Many scrolling shooters, especially shorter ones; present gameplay challenges of such difficulty so as to be considered downright unfair, if not for the fact that the expectation is that the player will fail numerous times in attempting to slowly “learn” the stages and be able to anticipate them accordingly.

Indeed, the art of the shoot ’em up is a relic of times past, a genre that holds little relevance amongst the 10-20 hour technical marvels that largely represent the current age of gaming.

I don’t remember where I read it, but the best description of shoot ’em ups and old-school action games I’ve ever heard went something like:

“It’s learning how to play a small game well, as opposed to merely experiencing a large game.”

Let’s just pretend I was responsible for the quote above, ‘k?

Like many nostalgic lifelong gamers that grew up in the 8 and 16-bit era, I enjoy playing modern narrative driven games; however I often catch myself longing to go back and play some of the simpler games of the past.

That being said, today’s entrant on our list of the Top 1o Hardest Boss Fights does indeed come courtesy of a shoot ’em up, however it by no means what I’d call a “simple” game.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that today’s boss comes from perhaps the most sophisticated (and difficult) shoot ’em up of all time.

#2 on our list of the Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights is:

#2. Tageri and Ubusunagami Okinokai – Ikaruga

Pictured: A brave pilot faces down the bullet spewing final bosses of Ikaruga.

Ikaruga is one of those games that I want so badly to love, but I suck so badly at it that I just can’t….  ‘Cause it’s stomped my ass into the ground more times than I’d care to admit.

I love shoot ’em ups.

If it scrolls and it involves planes/dragons/fairies with unlimited ammo, chances are I’ve played it, or failing that; want to play it at some point in my life.

Unfortunately, I’m quite far from skillful when it comes to, well, shooting things up.

I’m usually good enough to get 2-3 stages into a shoot ’em up before dying, but as we all know; that’s usually not nearly good enough to beat the game in the arcade without dumping $5 into the machine.

Money I likely would've preferred to have pumped into Aliens vs. Predator.

To date, I have yet to beat the console version of Ikaruga.

You see, unlike an arcade game, the console version of Ikaruga restricts the player to making use of 3 lives per stage; meaning there’s no continuing from the middle of a level.

Basically, if you can’t beat the last stage with 3 lives, then you’re sunk.

While it’s an almost obnoxiously beautiful game, both in terms of art and design; I can think of no other shoot ’em up that requires as much memorization and focus as Ikaruga.

There are in fact harder shoot ’em ups out there, mostly of the bullet hell sub-genre; but in my mind there are few that are better.

That however, does not change the fact that I’ve never beaten the final boss(es) of Ikaruga.

As you may have noticed up above, I actually named 2 bosses as entry #2 on our list of the Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights.

While some might call foul on that, in my mind both characters serve as the final boss of the game.

Tageri, a biomechanical monstrosity with a literal yin and yang core, serves as the penultimate challenge of the game, and boy is he a douche-rocket of an asshole:

Don’t let the INSANE skills the player in the clip above fool you, Tageri not one with whom to fuck.

You see, Ikaruga’s main gameplay innovation is the implementation of a black and white based polarity system for every attack and enemy in the game.

At the touch of a button, the player is able to change the color polarity of their ship back and forth from white to black, allowing them to harmlessly absorb enemy fire sharing their color profile and convert it to power a homing laser attack.

At the same time, enemies struck by fire of the opposite polarity take twice as much damage, making the bulk of the game an ongoing high-speed puzzle of matching polarities for survival, and opposing polarities for quick kills.

Like all of the bosses in the game, Tageri’s attack pattern involves both of the above tactics, however in a much more straightforward and confrontational fashion.

In essence, the fight with Tageri pushes your rhythm, memorization, and polarity matching skills to the limit; as his attacks never let up, and are almost impossible to avoid, forcing you to defend yourself almost exclusively absorb bullets as your only form of defense.

That’s the one element of Ikaruga that’s perhaps the most difficult to embrace, even as a veteran of shoot ’em ups:

In Ikaruga, you’re not only expected to run into enemy bullets; at many times it’s to your advantage.

In a genre where the one steadfast rule of the gameplay is to not touch the bad things, that’s not an easy pill to swallow.

That being said, the “dot eating” aspect of Tageri’s attack pattern is a nerve-wracking experience that as mentioned earlier, I’ve yet to conquer.

All of the bosses of Ikaruga are tough, but Tageri is one of the only ones that forces you to basically stand your ground and eat every bullet on the screen throughout the duration of the fight.

This involves keeping an eye on the half dozen or so sources of fire at all times, and accounting for which color bullets are going to hit when.

That's a direct quote by the way.

The fact that you only get 3 lives, many of which can easily be exhausted before you even enter his chamber, coupled with the information overload produced by Tageri’s maddeningly aggressive attack pattern, has resulted in me never quite getting to a point in which I’d say I were “comfortable” in fighting him.

Despite this, I have managed to beat him once or twice, though I did so with little tact, and at the cost of nearly all of my lives.

Which brings us to the “other” final boss of the game, the Ubusunagami Okinokai, or “The Power of God:”

Awr?...

Not actually an enemy to be fought, Ubusunagami is actually just a diamond shaped object that shows up after you’ve defeated Tageri, and then proceeds to fill the screen with bullets for 60 seconds.

Indeed, you read that right.

Immediately following one of the hardest bosses in gaming, with one of the most brutal and oppressive attack patterns imaginable, you then have to face down the diamond-shaped embodiment of “The Power of God” for an entire minute.

Before the dark times, before the Empire, THIS is what Ubusunagami looks like.

Remember when I said Ubusunagami wasn’t really something to be “fought?”

Well, what I meant by that wasn’t just the fact that you’ve gotta’ have Korean-level gaming skills and APM to win against him, but that you also can’t fight him period.

That’s right, after encouraging you throughout the entire game to eat like colored bullets to survive, the game basically forces you to put that newly developed gaming instinct to the test and survive, without the option to fight back; for one whole minute.

THIS. FOR AN ENTIRE MINUTE.

While that’s admittedly a very bold and, frankly, “cool” way to force players to truly excel at the game in order to be rewarded with an ending, it’s sadly a test I don’t know I’ll ever pass.

As mentioned earlier, much of Ikaruga is based around the concept of memorization.

It’s a well known fact that Ikaruga players are among the hardest of the hardcore.

The fact that the ultimate source of pride in playing the game is not simply beating it, as few mortals can ever hope to do; but to do so with a high-score should tip you off to how dedicated they can be.

Doing so that involves killing enemies of the same polarity sequentially to string combo multipliers, or in some cases, beating the game without firing a single shot.

Yes, it’s possible, though not for this poor shmuck:

I’ve beaten games like Demon’s Souls, which involved a great deal of trial and error and persistence, but the level of memorization and timing required to beat Ikaruga straight through, are such that I’d probably have to sacrifice my ability to recognize simple shapes to free up space in my brain.

Who am I kidding, if I sat down and forced myself to be an expert Ikaruga player, I’d probably end up an autistic and incontinent husk, capable of nothing but playing shoot ’em ups and counting cards.

Huh, if I could get Tom Cruise to take me to Vegas, that probably wouldn’t be too bad a deal…

*Sigh* If only...

Advertisements

Filed under: Games, Movies, The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Worst Music Video I’ve Ever Seen

Music videos are a strange form of media.

Despite being essentially an expensive promotional tool for a band or song, music videos often have a reputation for being some of the most visually creative and bombastic examples of short films.

I used to joke that whenever you see a visually over-the-top film come out I.E. The Cell, The City of Lost Children, or The Crow; in most cases it’s been directed by someone with a background in music videos.

Either that or the French… Lord knows the French love fucking peoples brains with pretty pictures.

... Or really, really, REALLY, fucked up pictures.

Anyway, as any young medium tends to do, music videos didn’t start out as flashy or outrageous as they are today.

The earliest music videos the pre-MTV era were shot in largely static fashion, with very little in the way of props or creative imagery.

In most cases, it was enough to simply film the band playing, (only applicable if they played their own instruments.  Sorry Monkees.) and then maybe have a dancer or 2 prance around and mug for the camera.

The evolution of the medium of course came with advances in technology, increased budgets, and the burgeoning popularity of MTV, though as you’re about to find, not all video producers would take advantage of said advancements.

Which brings me to subject of “the worst music video I’ve ever seen.”

I spent some time (Read: 5 minutes) poking around on the Google looking for the worst music videos I could find, and surprisingly; I didn’t find a single mention of the one video I always felt was my personal worst.

Mostly I just found “bad” shit like this, a Finnish disco-esque tune called “I Want To Love You Tender”:

Truth be told, I fail to see how this is all that shitty.

Yeah, the dancers are more than a little out of sync, and yeah, the spaceship set has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the song; but in all honesty, I don’t see anything about this video that makes it extraordinarily bad.

Hell, maybe it’s just because I’m a disco kind of guy, (not gay) but I actually kind of like the tune of the song, crappy phonetic English included.

Besides, I ask you, how could a movie that features disco He-Man be the worst of all time!?

Anyway, the worst video I ever saw was aired on late-night MTV in the early 90’s, and I remember laughing at it with my friends all the time.

It was stupid to the point of being ridiculous, and to this day I don’t know how a production company actually arrived at the decision to shoot it, let alone have it be aired on national television.

Seriously man, I could have shot a better video than this drunk, and I’m allergic to alcohol.

And by “allergic,” I don’t mean itchy rash allergic.

I mean wrath of God, opening of The Ark of the Covenant allergic:

Pictured: The Azn Badger + A Beer.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the worst music video that I personally have ever seen, “The Plant Man”:

The song was regularly featured on the music video interludes on Beavis & Butthead, though oddly enough the 2 characters had little to say about the actual video.

My best guess is, the thing was so crappy that Mike Judge decided it would be best not to harp on it any further and just let it’s innate crappiness do the talking for him.

Looking at the singer, (Gary Young) and listening to the lyrics of the song, I can’t help but suspect that the guy was probably a street performer some producer brought into the studio on a whim ala Trading Places.

The man clearly has very little talent, and he certainly has no charisma, but oh well, I guess he was good enough for my friends and I to laugh at when we were in grade school.

Anyway, hopefully you all enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane.

I wanna’ say I did, but to be perfectly honest, this brought back some shitty memories… of shitty music videos.

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Bad Dates…”

Just so we’re clear, no; this one isn’t a reference to the upcoming Valentine’s Day.

Fuckin’ Valentine’s Day…

*Ahem!* Anyway, this card is of course an homage to John Rhys-Davie’s rather brilliant line from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Sallah: Crypt Robber, Stealer of Camels, and Puncher of Nazis.

Anyway, I have to say, I feel I rushed things a little with this one; but I’m happy with the composition nonethless.

Apologies to those that take offense to images of dead monkeys.

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #9: The Lost World

*Sorry folks, no clip this time.  After all, it is a Spielberg…*

Let it be known, The Lost World is just about the most outright savage example of “Spielbergian Spite Killing” in practice.

For the uninitiated, “Spielbergian Spite Killing” refers to the indisputable fact that anyone who is an asshole, or is at all deserving of comeupance in any way shape or form, will; at some point in the movie, FUCKING DIE FOR IT.

You are guys are SO dead...

For instance, in The Lost World alone we have:

A man doesn’t hear his friend’s cries for help on account of him listening to a Walkman.

Carter: A man all about his music...

Guess what?

HE FUCKIN’ DIED FOR IT.

Adios Carter...

Then, we have a weasely Brit that’s guilty of… Well, being a weasely Brit.

Oh yeah, and talkin' shit to Jeff Goldblum...

Guess what?

HE FUCKIN’ DIED FOR IT.

The Lost World used Baby T-Rex! It's Super-Effective!

Which brings us to Dieter Stark, played by resident creepy-as-fuck Swede, Peter Stormare.

Pictured: The kinder, gentler Stormare...

Dieter Stark seemingly makes it a point to be a douche in every scene he’s in.

Let’s review:

The first time we see Dieter, he’s riding around in a jeep and mishears Peter Postlethwaite, thusly resulting in him asking Postlethwaite to repeat himself.

No self-respecting MAN asks Peter Postlethwaite to repeat himself.

I would NOT fuck with this man. No, sir...

That’s strike 1.

Shortly thereafter, Dieter is seen examining a Composognathus with the InGen group’s resident paleontologist.

This dude. Oh yeah, he dies too; but for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.

After the creature is declared, quote: “not dangerous,” Dieter promptly whips out his trusty cattleprod, (never leave home without it) and zaps the little fucker seemingly just for the sake of seeing it squirm.

Hot chili!

That’s strike 2.

Finally, in one of Dieter’s last scenes in the movie, he is seen pacing around in the background while giving Vince Vaughn the goddamn stinkiest of stink-eyes.

Although, one could argue that Peter Stormare was born with a case of permanent, unintentional stink eye...

This of course results in a brief shoving match between the 2, which for all intents and purposes, Dieter loses, ’cause c’mon:

It’s fuckin’ Vince Vaughn.

No self-respecting MAN starts shit with Vince Vaughn and lives to tell the tale.

And that makes a big-fuckin’ strike 3.

Which brings us to the #9 Best Overkill in our Top 10 list of Best Overills in Movies:

Not long after his littler scuffle with Vince Vaughn, Dieter separates himself from the mercenaries/Team Goldblum in order to go relieve himself in the woods.

Upon leaving, he tells his buddy Carter to wait up for him, only for the camera angle to zoom-in and reveal, *GASP!* Carter couldn’t hear him on account of his wicked awesome Walkman!

BUM, BUM, BUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!

In a film where there are crazy fuckin’ dinosaurs boppin’ around in the wilderness, and your character has; up to this point, been a total prick, you can pretty much guarantee that somethin’ bad’s gonna’ happen when you wander off on your own.

Sure enough, just before ‘ole Dieter can whip it out, he hears some chirping in the bushes, which upon further investigation; reveals the source to be:

A MOTHERFUCKIN' JUMP SCARE!!!! RAWWRRRRRR!!!!

Turns out, one of those Compsognathus’ found his ass out in the woods and decided to scare the piss out of him, seemingly just for kicks.

Dieter being the kind soul that he, exchanges a bit of silly banter with the Compy, and promptly whips out his retractable cattleprod and proceeds to do what he can to introduce the little guy to the wonders of electricity.

Despite his best effort, Dieter misses the little fucker.

Now, after all this excitement, Dieter discovers that not only has he forgotten that he needed to pee, but he also doesn’t know how to get back to Team Goldblum.

Just how fuckin’ shy can this guy’s kidneys be that he needs to run 3 fuckin’ miles into the wilderness to take a piss!?

I don’t know, maybe he was one of those fat kids that had body image security issues and swam with his shirt on or some shit…

Yup, one of these.

ANYWAY, Dieter starts meandering through the woods repeatedly calling out:

Cut back to Carter, listening to 99.3 FM, La Grande:

"I'm just gonna' get stepped on by the T-Rex later, so who gives a fuck?"

After quite literally getting turned around in there, Dieter unfortunately takes a bad step in the woods and falls ass over teakettle down into a creek bed ravine.

Ow.

Collapsed on the ground, and in a great deal of pain, Dieter once again hears that familiar chirping and finds himself  set upon by a bevy of fearsome first-person camera shots!

Thusly begins our overkill.

Composognathus’ start piling in from out of the woodwork, mounting Dieter like a little bitch and busting out some serious ground and pound.

"He's goin' for the Kimura!"

These tenacious little fuckers manage to cover every inch of poor Dieter, biting and clawing at him, and generally putting a cap on one very bad day out in the woods.

Seriously, they get on his neck:

On his arms:

And at one point they even take a chunk outta’ his lips:

As he struggles to pry free from the clutches of these little green fuckers, Dieter of course falls back on calling to his one savior, his one beacon of hope: Carter.

We all know how well that works out.

With that, the Compys randomly decide to detach themselves from Dieter, in concert; mind you, leading to a downright cruel sequence wherein the entire swarm of them line up and basically taunt poor Dieter.

Oh, you smug little fucks...

This angers the mighty Swede, thusly causing him to chase them off with a combination of manly primal screams and equally manly rock throwing.

While silly looking, these tactics prove effective enough to by Dieter enough time to do some Home Alone Joe Pesci swearing, (“Regit, frigit, midgit, son of a…”) and actually try something practical; I.E. calling for Peter Postlethwaite instead of that sack of fail Carter.

"You called ME out here to save you from some little green chickens? Fucking pussy..."

Unfortunately, Postlethwaite is off doing something badass, like killing a fuckin’ T-Rex with his bare hands or some shit, so he doesn’t exactly hear Mr. Dieter.
In his defense, whatever Peter Postlethwaite was doing, I’m pretty sure it was more important than saving the fuckin’ Swede from the Frogger episode of Seinfeld.

Anyway, we then cut back to Dieter, who is now growing desperate, and has regularly begun chucking rocks at the creepy first-person tracking shot that just won’t seem to leave him alone.

"Get that camera away from me, Spielberg! I didn't sign on for this shit!"

Of course, with all that hazardous backwards walking in the creek, Dieter eventually trips over a rock and falls flat on his face.

Then, something silly happens.

Despite his wounds, despite the horde of nasty little fuckers trying to EAT HIS FLESH, Dieter takes a moment, while laying the creek; to GET A DRINK OF FUCKIN’ WATER!


WHAT THE FUCK!!??

Seriously, man!?

Priorities, dude:  Get ’em in order…

Otherwise this happens:

"Well, hello there stranger!"

Anyway, this MASSIVE fuck up on Dieter’s part costs him dearly, in that the Compys finally catch up to him and put his ass in some sort of Steiner Recliner/Figure-4 hybrid:

Compy Recliner.

Figure-4 Compy-Lock.

Despite (literally) tearing this sad sack pile of Swedish fuck-sauce’s ass to ribbons, Dieter somehow manages to haul himself up out of the creek, and make a run for a downed tree.

That proves to be his final mistake.

As he reaches the tree, Dieter gives one final look back at his pursuers, as if to say:

"Well, I gave it a shot, but I think I'm pretty much fucked here..."

And then proceeds to weakly roll over the log, essentially sealing his fate as the Compys follow his ass all the way down:

Yup, given enough time, they'd probably kill yah'.

With that, being as this a PG-13 film, we are treated to a tasteful closing shot of our overkill involving no graphic violence, but rather a great deal of implied nastiness in the form of George Lucas backed sound editing, and a fair amount of blood streaming through the creek bed.

"What is it?" "Blood! I hope this is not Chris' blood!"

All that carnage and nastiness, resulting in the 9th best Overkill in Movies, from a tiny dinosaur that was considered, quote:

“Not dangerous…”

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donate