A look back at the 2006 release, Sonic Riders. A very polarizing things, we look at what the game excelled at, while noting how some of the flaws may have led the game to be overlooked.
Like a Boss! Part One
Seeing as how boss battles maybe on there way out (for some stupid reason) I wanted to compile ten of my all time favorites! These battles showcase the ultimate showdown between good and evil, hero and villain! First up, in honor of the release of Sonic Generations, we have:
The Metal Overlord.
Sonic Heroes may have been a deviation of the traditional format but the climactic battle between Metal Sonic and Sonic the Hedgehog is one the series most memorable moments! In a frustrated attempt to finally put an end to his rival, Metal Sonic uses new powers to become Neo Metal Sonic and copies the abilities of Sonic’s friends. He then uses parts of Robotnik’s fleet to transform himself into a monstrous form dubbed Metal Madness and confronts the three teams of Sonic’s allies.The giant robotic dragon fails to crush his competition and transforms yet again, soaring high into the sky. Sonic uses the power of the Chaos Emeralds once more to become Super Sonic and confronts the newly formed Metal Overlord!
The dialog, the music, the setting, all come together to form what could’ve been an excellent ending to the series. Not even Robotnik could contain his creation which seemed to take on a life of it’s own. Metal Sonic constantly laments that even though he was made to kill Sonic and had all of the same abilities, he always failed. Tired of living in his blue shadow, Metal Sonic gave it his all to become the one and only Sonic. Aside from the epic battle, the life given to the character really makes you feel for him. At the heart of it all, Metal Sonic really just wants to make his mark in life, fulfill his life’s ambition. Anyone can sympathize with him. We grow up, set our goals, and try to make them a reality. Some make it and some fall by the wayside. Some are even lost in the shadows of someone else. If you passed up the chance to play Sonic Heroes, I urge you to give it a shot. It’s not the worst Sonic game and it’s not the best game-play wise, but this showdown easily makes it one of my favorites!
The Shadow Devil
Megaman X5 is my favorite of the series, so many references, awesome music, great level design and a lot of replay value. Fans of Megaman know just how secretive Capcom was about the little plot holes left from the transitioning of the series. One major question was what happened to the original Megaman’s arch enemy Dr. Wily. It became pretty clear that Zero, X’s partner was a product of the late great Doctor. The fifth installment of the X series constantly hints but never out right says that Sigma may actually have met with Dr. Wily. One of the greatest hints comes in the form of the Shadow Devil.
Megaman constantly fought through Wily’s fortresses and no robot is more classic than the Yellow Devil. Seen in several of the original games, fans immediately recognized the theme music and form of this darker incarnation. Its powers remain largely unchanged aside from an additional transformation into one of the Doctor’s past weapons, only fueling the fire more.
X5 was always intended to be the final installment of the X series but Capcom, being the money hungry sharks they are, milked the franchise until it was almost unrecognizable.
Rex vs. Ray
I remember seeing the previews for Metal Gear Solid 4. There was one part that always caught my eye. Later it was revealed that what I had wished had actually come to pass. And even later, I was able to live one of the greatest moments in gaming history! Metal Gear Rex vs. Metal Gear Ray, one designed to take on the other, great metal brothers battling to the death much like their pilots!
Metal Gears while fully functional weapons always have some sort of monstrous characteristics. The battle appears to be a simple war of mechanics but ends up more a display of primal rage! Ray is shown to be king of the sea, Rex king of the land. At the start its hard to think of a giant walking tank over taking something as agile as Ray but Rex demonstrates his arsenal is more than efficient to get the job done.
Metal Gear Solid was one of the greatest PlayStation games. It told a complex story about very complex characters and one giant robot that threatened the peace of the entire world. It was great to see in the final chapter that complex story revisited. The moment Snake touches down on Shadow Moses, the haunting and beautiful ending theme of the first game plays while memories come flooding back to him and the player. The only thing more compelling than revisiting the grave of that slumbering giant Rex is reactivating him and using him to help save the world one more time!
I still remember when Megaman Legends came out. I had won Babbages’ little contest for a Megaman figure. I knew it was going to be different and that didn’t bother me at all. It was a new world with new characters to get to know. The game was also the Blue Bomber’s first foray into 3D if memory serves me correctly. I really had no idea what to expect from it. After a few very short moments I met the game’s antagonists. An eager band of sky pirates who used their mechanical knowledge to further their fortune seeking. I speak of course about The Bonnes!
I used to have a save file for each of their boss encounters or even just cut scenes with them, that’s how much I loved them! I’m lumping them together only because I don’t think I could pick one boss fight to focus on, they were all so much fun and memorable. The awesome sky battle between Megaman’s dinky little airship versus the The Bonne’s flying fortress, the Gesellschaft. The final showdown between them and Megaman with the towering behemoth Bruno. I just couldn’t do it.
The Bonne’s were made up of three main members and a horde of servant robots, incidentally called Servbots. Teisel was the oldest of the group of siblings and the leader. Though coming off as very strict and a bit of a brute, it becomes clear Teisel can be very forgiving and kind of soft… But only when it comes to the other members. Tron is the middle child and a genius at robotics. Her main function is to create, and care for all of the robots and machines they use. She is also the creator of all forty Servbots. Bon is the youngest and appears to still be only a baby. Of course that is to say a baby with it’s own mecha-armor! In appearance, Bon is a large yellow humanoid machine.
Once again, I was drawn to just how lively this bunch of misfits were. I played the game purely to see more of them. Of course I enjoyed the other parts of the game but there was something about the Bonnes and their view on the world that I admired. I looked forward to each and every encounter and was astounded when they received their own spin-off game. The Bonnes are definitely one of my favorite video game bosses ever!
Super Robot Wars and I go back, way back! My brother introduced me to it if I recall correctly. It was the third installment that opened my eyes to this wonderful series. Gundams, Super Robots, and epic battles are only a few of the things that suck you into a SRW game. The characters you meet are another part (I wont go into the flashy battle sequences or awesome music!). I recognized a lot of faces and learned the names to new ones that would also frequent later games. Of course I really couldn’t understand much of anything seeing as how the game was in Japanese. Luckily my brother and I could confer what was going on from context clues. Until we could learn someone’s name we’d make up our own (And even when we found out the name to someone we still called them by their nickname.)
One year for Christmas I asked for an import Ps2. This turned out to be one the greatest gifts I would receive! I also asked for one of the latest SRW games along with it. This particular one had several characters to choose from at the start. The character I chose was named Touma. To this day he is one of my favorite SRW characters. It helped that the robot he piloted was beyond awesome!
Every now and again a recurring boss would show up. Usually I’d be weary of bosses in these games because some can be utterly ridiculous! There was something different about this one. The enemy robot was awesome in power and it’s pilot seemingly respectable. In time I began to look forward to these matches with him and developed a sort of rivalry. Later I would learn that this was exactly what was happening. Touma and Baran Doban would clash as rivals for a majority of the game. It wouldn’t be until disagreements in leadership that Baran Doban would cease his rivalry and joined Touma and the Alpha Numbers against the ghastly Kaiser Ephes! Those awesome fights and the connection I felt to these characters are why Baran Doban is one of my favorite video game bosses!