The B.O.S.S. (Booster of Over-armed Shell System, yes it is clear they were just looking for something that spelled BOSS) mode in Senko no Ronde 2 is one of the things that intrigues me personally about the game.
So what is B.O.S.S. mode? It works like this. When you enter B.O.S.S. mode, a giant shell appears and you turn into a huge shmup style boss enemy. It has its own lifebar and a timer, both based on the length of your charge bar when you activate (if you are in overheat, you can’t B.O.S.S.!). You stay in this form until one or the other runs out, and when you exit this form your charge bar will be completely empty. Whenever you lose a round, you gain an additional stock.
This mode is very powerful. You can do a ton of damage in it, and it can protect you for a bit if your health is low. But this comes to the reason I really like the system: it feels more like a strategic resource than a tactical one.
So what do I mean by Strategic versus Tactical. Tactical is your plan for right now. How are you going to hit him in the immediate? How are you going to avoid that shot? Strategic is what you are doing to win the match as a whole.
Every time you use B.O.S.S., you don’t just have to consider what is going on in the match right NOW, you have to consider how that puts you in the game as a whole.
Here are a few situations I’ve found where the instinct MIGHT be to jam down on that button, but is it really the right move? Maybe we should consider deeper.
First, you have this situation. You are in Vanish (meaning any hit will kill you), you can mash down the button to enter Final B.O.S.S. mode (an enhanced version that only happens if you are on Vanish) and maybe save the round.
But let’s take a look at the situation further. How much health does your opponent have left? If he destroys your Final B.O.S.S. mode that is it for the round. What is your stock and his stock like? If he hasn’t used many, and you have, you might want to just hope for the best and do without. If you win, this gives you not only the round, but you save a stock. If you lose, you gain a stock. Granted, if losing would lose the match, it is clear you should just mash the button anyway.
But there are other things to look at too. Does he have abilities up? What are the abilities? Is his charge bar high? Characters like Fabian can tear down your B.O.S.S. super fast with his barrage, and even without it, that charge bar can block a lot of bullets. It could just be a waste of stock, as your B.O.S.S. gets burned out without doing a lot of damage.
Or another situation, what if your opponent uses his first stock early in the first round. It does a good bit of damage to you, but you live through it. You could do the same back, but why not sit back and just stick it out. If you are lucky you might even goad him into using it again in the same round. Even with a round loss, going into round 2 with 3 stock (one from the lost, two from your base stock) to their 0 puts you in a strong position.
One time I really do feel it is the 100% always right move is if it is the 3rd round, your opponent hits vanish, and they have a stock left. Jam that button down as hard as you can before they can! So remember, always be mindful of the impact of pressing that button! Not just on the now, but its implications for the entire match.
You’ll get the chance to put these thoughts into action soon, the English demo is on the way! And be sure to wishlist the game on Steam to keep up with release and updates!