End Boss Blues

In a glorious fit of completely non-productive weekend madness, I have gotten all the way through “Beyond Good and Evil” on the Xbox in two days. (This would be admittedly more impressive if it was a longer or more difficult game, but I’m a wuss, so I was pleased.)

But the final boss is killin’ me.

I am, by any measure, a cerebral gamer. Given the choice between an elaborate set of nested logic puzzles or timed jumping on crates, I’ll take the logic any time. I will do complex math for a game. (Actually, that’s the only time I’ll do complex math.) My favorite Xbox game of all time was, in fact, Oddworld 3 largely because A) it was easy enough for even me, and B) playing a fish in a wheelchair appealed to my sense of humor.

I have enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil. Anything where you’re partnered with a talking pig to save the world can’t be too bad. But they seem to have succumbed to one of the great Gaming Flaws–the belief that the gamer will feel cheated if the end boss is not capable of beating Cthulhu at arm-wrestling, so they skew the difficulty level halfway to hell and back on the last level, insuring that many of us will play to that point, shrug, and count it close enough to won to satisfy our inner demons.

When, annhilated repeatedly by said boss in seconds flat, I at last took refuge in the walkthrough, the description alone made me want to curl into fetal position–first you fight these guys, then these guys, then these guys, then it confuses your mind and reverses the controls and then you fight the same set of guys AGAIN with the reversed controls, and then God himself comes out and does a hula on the console for all I know. It’s a little crazy.

But I will prevail! Once I can feel my hands again, once more into the breach!

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