He's laughing at you. Laughing! That massive, evil black space rectangle with the triangular eyes and mouth actually has the audacity to mock your presence in this part of the galaxy. Perhaps you were on a peaceful mission of exploration. Maybe you were supposed to deliver badly needed medical supplies to a remote outpost dying of plague. Ah, forget all that. It's on now! That rectangle's going down even if it takes endless rounds, thousands of bullets and missiles, and mad avoidance skills. Can you accomplish this simple task in The Final Chapters' "bullet hell" shooter, Boss Battle?
Boss Battle is a simple nod to the typical end-level encounters players face in vertical-scrolling shooters. The whole game consists of fighting a single boss across 20 rounds, with your ship getting more powerful while the boss and his weapons gets nastier. You control your small triangular ship with the [WASD] or arrow keys while moving the crosshair with the mouse. Your weapons fire automatically, but you can press [spacebar] to trigger one of your limited bombs that destroys everything on the screen (except for the boss). Powerups such as increased firepower and extra lives appear on every level, giving your ship a fighting chance.
By the way, you'll need every chance you can get in this game since the boss pulls out every dirty trick in the book. Aside from filling the screen with endless bullets and obstacles that you need to snake a path through, the boss tries to ram your ship, shoots solid lines of lasers, pulls and pushes gravity, and even temporarily reverses your controls. Thankfully you get lots of lives, and there are three difficulty levels and an endless mode, giving you time to get the hang of the game before any frustration sets in.
Despite its simple graphics and concept, Boss Battle is an entertaining break game and a nice challenge for vertical shooter fans. It's satisfying to power up your ship and pump hundreds of bullets into the nefarious rectangle, watching it deform with the damage (too bad it heals itself). There's even a bit of replayability to the game thanks to its rating and medal achievement system. While gameplay is somewhat short and can be a bit repetitive, those looking for a quick shooter fix (especially those with a vendetta against evil rectangles) should find that this Boss Battle is worth fighting.