Sunday, 3 June 2018

Asylum Reviews: Boss 101 [Xbox One].

We've recently completed Boss 101, a fantastic game from teeny-tiny studio Donley Time Foundation, which focuses on the story of a boy called Max taking on "MILLIONS of randomly generated bosses" alongside his robot buddy S.T.E.V.E.

It reminds me of old shoot-em-up arcade games, particularly G-Darius (which was one of the few I had as a kid), with you flying horizontally across the screen, taking on these humongous bosses as well as a slew of smaller minions.

Bosses utilise a wide variety of attacks, from bursts of energy blasts that you'll have to weave in and out of (Allan's expertise with The Binding of Isaac really helped him here), to laser beams that take over a large portion of the screen. The bosses vary in difficulty, increasing the Bounty received depending on how hard they are to take down. 

You're able to create your own bosses to fight under the Make A Boss option, which we ended up doing a lot to begin with to raise funds for weapon/health and armour upgrades. While the specific components of the boss can't be selected and changed individually, you are able to re-roll until the randomly generated boss suits what you're looking for in a battle. You can see what each of the parts are made up of, as well as having a notice of the Bounty that you will be awarded upon defeating the boss.

There are almost 50 weapons to choose from, and all have their pros and cons depending on which boss you'll be using them against. The weapons are all so widely varied that you'll be sure to pick out some that you'll naturally gravitate towards. When in Make A Boss mode weapons are dropped randomly throughout the battle, which can mean you end up with a dud weapon or two - although in this mode, the dropped weapons only last a short period of time anyway. Our least favourite weapon used enemy projectiles as its ammo, pulling them in to some sort of gravitational field before releasing them back towards the enemy. It's not the most accurate of weapons, nor is it very useful, as we found most enemies seemed to just hang fire until the weapon ran out. Even though we really dislike that weapon, there are still loads more weapons that we really enjoyed using: the Wrench is just a fantastic one (including a nod to Gordon Freeman in its description), although can only really be used for close combat battles.

There are also collectibles in the form of gophers - yes, gophers - scattered throughout the 9 worlds and 31 levels of Boss 101, waiting to be found, in order to unlock a secret. You can also have Pets, which don't do a whole lot, but they'll fly around your base (plus there's loads of those to collect too). 

As well as the above, there are a wide variety of costumes and hats to collect and dress up in, including plenty of inspired costumes referencing the likes of Dragon Ball Z, Avengers, etc. These hats and costumes come with various perks in the form of Abilities that will come in handy against the bosses, as can be seen below:

If you ever feel yourself wanting a break from the action, there's even an area for you to go and chill out, and fly a kite with your good friend S.T.E.V.E. The conversations between the two characters are hilariously deep, and we really liked the little bit of interaction between them, talking the same kind of complete and utter nonsense that we and our friends always seem to spout.

Back in the Command Center you have your own Arcade Cabinet, where you can play a few different mini-games which can reward you with unlockable costumes. There's so much to do and keep you coming back for more as the game is absolutely packed with stuff to collect and/or do, despite being quite a small game. 

We were highly impressed with Boss 101, especially given how small the development team is. We'd definitely recommend everyone to check it out, after all, it is only £12.49 on the Xbox Store. So in the end, we decided to give Boss 101 the Collecting Asylum rating of:

Get It Bought!

Boss 101 truly is a hidden gem, and we're glad we got the chance to review it.

Have you played it yet? What did you think about it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

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