It’s Alive (sort of)

The AI code works. The tables all dance correctly and It even tells me what is each cell. It’s good. I’m happy with it. It doesn’t work all the way correctly, because I haven’t put the new animations in yet. It doesn’t know when to update the attack strings, so it does it in a constant stream. But it does find the strings and seems like it should work, in that the pieces that are there do exactly what they are supposed to do. I should be able to get the enemies attacking again tonight.

In different news, I’m slowly getting over boss fights, mostly the ones that require completely different skills than the regular game requires. It drives me crazy. I’ll use an example with a game I’m playing now. In Ninja Gaiden II they felt you should have to fight a few giant boss type enemies. You can’t combo them easily, you can’t throw them and blocks well, let’s hope you weren’t planning to block, ever. The pain in the ass is that those are all skills you need for the rest of the game, and have at that point, become good at.
To wit, I fought a big assed ogre thing, and it killed me, lets say, a dozen times before I killed it because none of the tactics and concepts that I had mastered up to that point would work. I finally got through it using a blend of cheap tactics and intestinal fortitude. By “fortitude” I of course mean “loss” since my ninja guts were left splattered all over the map afterwards.
To contrast that, in the same level I fought a roughly human shaped and sized boss, who I could ply my craft against. My ninjitsu, it seems, is strong. I ripped through him like a chainsaw rips through Tony Montana’s friends. I do not understand it. Is the point to change it up? If so, I dislike it. A boss enemy should be a test of the skills you have learned in the game up to that point. Zelda games are great at this, the Boomerang will be used to solve the puzzles and beat the boss.
Yet, I’m finding the most difficult parts of Ninja Gaiden II to be my favourite – the challenges. Scattered about the levels are places for you to fight Giant (with a Big G) groups of enemies. So there were 100 ninjas, and then 100 demon thingies and now 50 or so werewolf looking jobbers with 50 or so mini-dragon punks. These fights take everything you have and are the biggest test of your ability to play the game that you will encounter. Some guides (hey these groups are hard. I read up to see if I’m on the right track, not for solutions) tell you to skip these fights since they will probably take your lunch money. Further they advise you to come back with your fully upgraded New Game+ ninja. Screw that. If they weren’t to be beaten at that point in the game then they wouldn’t be at that point in the game. So what, I killed a Demon Boss. Before hand I was responsible for The Ninja Massacre of 2009, now they tell their ninja children scary stories about me. That’s what I look for in a boss fight.

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