Boss 101 Reviews

AuthorReview
Hazar Khall
511,924 (321,670)
Hazar Khall
TA Score for this game: 1,600
Posted on 02 May 19 at 10:58, Edited on 02 May 19 at 12:17
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Bosses you create, a plethora of unlockable weapons and hats, coupled with a talking... jet pack?

Hello, and welcome to my review of Boss 101, a game published and developed by the Donley Time Foundation.
Boss 101 is a pixelated side scrolling shoot 'em up, with an interesting take on the genre. Where as most games have you fighting waves of enemies, ending with a boss at the end of each wave, this game puts you directly in front of the boss in question, with all the info you'd need to take it on directly at the start.

With so many collectibles, and even boss pieces to find and gather, replay value was obviously in mind, so lets dive right in and see how this translates to game play and experience.

STORY
While short, this could still technically be a spoiler, so,
*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***


CONTROLS / GAME PLAY
You control movement with the left stick or Dpad, fire with the right trigger, change weapons with the bumpers, and fire an ultimate missile attack with the left trigger. The controls were responsive enough, though at times if the screen were full of explosions or enemies, the game had a tendency to slow down just a bit.

As the game is single player in nature, there is sadly no option for multiplayer or couch coop.

A nice change of pace has mention going to its tutorial. It isn't that invasive or long, throws jokes at you for going along with it, and even gives you some starting cash for having gone along with it.

The game has another interesting mechanic, where not only are you defeating bosses for money (used to upgrade your character, unlock weapons and hats, some with special abilities) but you also CREATE most of the bosses.
You heard right.
The game gives you the chance to set up your own challenge. At the start of each mission, you are shown the boss you will be fighting. You can change the bosses parts however you like, changing not only its defenses, its strengths and/or weaknesses to certain weapon types, but also the type of attacks it will have at its disposal.
While not every boss can be created, this level of customization makes the bulk of the game easier, as you can always build your set up to directly oppose the bosses you create.

Along the way, you will have visitors occasionally show up at your home base after missions. You unlock pets by speaking with said visitors.

I could go into great detail about all the collectible pets, hats, weapons, boss pieces, though as it would make the review much, much longer, rest assured that for those who love unlockables, this game has them in spades, so replay value, up to a certain point at least, is assured.

There is an arcade game, offering a few old varieties of games for you to play. It isn't required for anything but completion of the game, but offers a nice distraction from the usual game play. Getting high scores can be a bit of a challenge, though, as I should note that while controls were just fine for the base game, the cabinet controls were a bit touchy at times.

I will end this part, with Kite Hill.
Kite Hill is just an area where you can sit idly, slowly flying a kite as Max and STEVE talk to each other, poking fun and saying quirky things back and forth, just enjoying the moment of piece between themselves. Special mention goes here because of the achievement "Now you know" for hearing all unique lines here. (Though yes, you can just let it play through if you'd like).

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game is pixelated in its graphics. If you have ever tried games, such as the aptly named Pixel Piracy, or Uncanny Valley (though less 8bitty than that) you have a basic idea of how the game will look.
The game has a quirky soundtrack for its base, an ambient background for Kite Hill, and a bit of a more actiony tune for combat, though the games length will have you rehearing the music quite a bit before you are done. It isn't bad per say, it just isn't a feature that stands out.

Other than that, the games dialogue is entirely through text, so no spoken lines here. That being said, Max and STEVE are both full of quirk and puns, and have a very laid back way of handling whats in front of them, defiantly lightening the atmosphere.

DIFFICULTY
4/10, 5-6/10 for the arcade depending on skills of the games ( I sat around a 6 )

The game lets you set up your enemies in all but boss rush mode, so you can typically give yourself an upper hand.
As you can replay levels for money, to do challenges for hats, get boss pieces, and to get visitors for pets, nothing you attempt to due will be much of a road block per say, as you can grind for a few levels for new unlockables and stat boosts. Boss rush, however, is largely luck based, so bring your best gear.

While luck is a factor in how/when you get certain things, it usually isn't too time consuming, for full disclosure I managed to 100% the game in roughly 7 hours, though about 1 of those hours was put into the arcade cabinet.

SCORE / COMPLETION
Going directly to the boss, as opposed to waves of enemies (Though yes, some bosses DO have lackies) speeds up the levels in this game. This along with the huge number of collectibles shows that replay value is meant to be large.
However, even the option to randomize enemy parts has the potential to lose its appeal once you've unlocked everything. The repetitive nature can get stale when you play for extended periods, making this a game best played in between other ventures.

While boss rush and the arcade can prove to be a challenge, special mention to the "general mayhem" achievement as tank rush wasn't the easiest for me, by the time you understand how the game works and the best set ups you have to work with, nothing should prove too challenging.

The game was still enjoyable, the atmosphere was great, and again, collectibles that can be fun to hunt for. Its easily accessible to players of all skill types, but will give some a bit more difficulty than others.
Overall, I'd have to give this game 3.5 stars. It isn't a game that I have replayed since completing it, but I did find it an enjoyable break from other games, as a level lasting roughly 5 minutes isn't something you have to force yourself to find time for.
Though frustrating at times,
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