Discovering the method to take down a boss in Titan Souls is one of the most rewarding victories I’ve ever encountered in a video game. Learning the correct way to roll around their attacks, unveil their weak point, and line up the perfect shot is both a lesson in pixel perfect accuracy and flawless game design.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Titan Souls is a top-down shooter consisting only of boss fights. These bosses, known as Titans, are extremely powerful and can kill you with just one attack. However, as deadly as these Titans may be, they can be eliminated with just one well placed shot from your bow and arrow. This makes it so every encounter in the game is challenging, but fair too.
At the center of everything is your bow and arrow.
It may look daunting to notice your quiver only contains one arrow, but have no fear. This one arrow is all that you will need in order to survive the showdowns with the Titans. Your arrow is imbued with a powerful magic that allows you to pull it back to you after its been fired. If you happen to miss your shot, you can simply retrieve your arrow and try again. However, recalling your arrow makes you plant your feet and become immobile, putting you at high risk of death. You’re also stationary while firing your arrow, making your only source of survival a state of vulnerability as well.
Put simply, you are going to die in Titan Souls.
You’re going to be crushed, burned, shot, and electrocuted over and over again. Although they can be killed in one shot, the Titans are difficult to face and it’s hard to make them reveal their weak points. There were even some Titans that killed me 30+ times before I was finally able to fell them with my arrow, which only made their eventual demise that much sweeter.
What makes Titan Souls such a great experience is the way it nails that “one more try” philosophy. While death comes quickly in these fights, the time between your death and your next attempt at victory is (mostly) minimal. Dying in combat revives you at the last checkpoint you touched, which can be either a blessing or a curse. The game is broken up into multiple areas, each housing multiple doors and pathways leading to different Titans. The checkpoint is always located in the middle, putting you at a relatively even walking distance to any Titan in the area. This allows you to jump right back in for another shot if you failed to take out a Titan on your first, second, third or twentieth try. However, you DO have to stand on the checkpoint pad in a new area in order for it to register, or else you’ll respawn in the area you were in previously.
As challenging of a game as Titan Souls is, it’s also incredibly fun to play. Some Titans are a little more complex, requiring you to use the environment as well as your arrow to defeat them, but every single fight ultimately boils down to making that one perfect shot. This is what kept me playing through the course of 10 hours and 260 deaths. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, but I found myself loving the cycle of death and persistence more than I thought I would. Knowing that you can take down a Titan with one well placed shot is enough to make you want to keep trying over and over again, but the ability to easily spawn nearby and jump right back in makes it a no brainer.
It takes skill to make a game that keeps the player addicted even while they’re dying repeatedly. Titan Souls, as difficult as it is, is also a hell of a lot of fun to play. Going up against the Titans is a Herculean effort, for sure, but there’s just something about actually dodging your enemies attacks and trying to line up that one perfect shot that makes you want to keep playing.
Those who manage to clear their way through all 18 Titans can then try their hand at Hard Mode, where the Titans move faster and have their attack patterns switched up. This (obviously) makes everything harder, but it also fuels that “one more time” feeling and takes it even further. I’m about halfway through Hard Mode right now, but I have no plans of stopping anytime soon. I mean, I should probably go do something else, but first? Well, I’m just going to try one more time.
– Zack Burrows