Boss Fights

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Arisato-kun:
Depends upon your own definitions. I find conquering the soul crushing difficulties of Mass Effect 2, Demon's Souls and Persona on Hard to be quite enjoyable. Sure I die a lot but the feeling of conquering these near impossible challenges far outweighs any sense of anger or frustration I had before. Gamers are getting complacent with easier games and I find that kind of sad. There are few that would even attempt to conquer games as difficult as Super Ghouls and Ghosts in this day and age. I think developers should go in the direction of From Software. make difficulty a draw like they did with Demon's Souls. Victory is always sweeter when it's harder to achieve.

Oh, and I agree with this. I just don't agree that it should be applied to every single game ever released.

I enjoyed playing through Prinny. I love a good bullet-hell shmup. They're exhausting, however, and sometimes I want to play something sane.

Arisato-kun:

thepj:

Arisato-kun:

Snip.

But would it be fun?

Depends upon your own definitions. I find conquering the soul crushing difficulties of Mass Effect 2, Demon's Souls and Persona on Hard to be quite enjoyable. Sure I die a lot but the feeling of conquering these near impossible challenges far outweighs any sense of anger or frustration I had before. Gamers are getting complacent with easier games and I find that kind of sad. There are few that would even attempt to conquer games as difficult as Super Ghouls and Ghosts in this day and age. I think developers should go in the direction of From Software. make difficulty a draw like they did with Demon's Souls. Victory is always sweeter when it's harder to achieve.

I must agree with you there, however i don't beleive that deliberately setting out to make a difficult game is the way to go, that's why difficulty levels were invented. Having said that games that are too easy are no fun, sometimes easy modes or areas are just incredibly carthatic though, running through a building blowing everyone into tiny shreddy bits is possibly one of the best ways to blow off steam ever.

Helmutye:

I think this is a very strange attitude to take. If a skill has no legitimate use in a game, or if only certain skills allow you to succeed, then it should not be an option for you to take the useless skills or avoid having the indispensable skills. It just clutters the game and makes it frustrating, and frustrating is not the kind of realism that people seek in games, unless they are gluttons for punishment or very, very stupid. I think we all experience enough frustration and setbacks in real life--is it too much to expect games to provide an escape from that?

As I said, if the point of any RPG is simply to provide that sort of escape, and allow you to beat enemies slightly less powerful than you over and over again, that's fine. But then it's also very shallow. I'm not saying that we should be allowed to take "useless" skills (nor do I believe skills should be "bought" with points, I'm a fan of "the more you use it, the better you get" mechanics), but the reality is that if I spend hours a day playing WoW, I'll get good at WoW. What that skill won't do is help me defend myself from a mugger

It's games as pure escapism versus games as something deeper. If I want choice, I want the choices to mean something. Choices can't have meaning if they can't fuck you over.

Helmutye:

If you think of a game as its own little world, then there would have to be a reason for the possible skills to exist in that world, otherwise nobody would have invented them. It would have to be possible for people to succeed with those skills, or they wouldn't exist. If there was a world where your survival depended solely on your ability to swing a sword, then everybody would spend all their time learning to swing a sword. The skill 'Left-Handed Doily Making' would not exist. But if it were possible in this world to become a master Doily Maker, earn money by doing so, and hire security guards to do your swordfighting for you, then Doily Making might be a skill that would exist.

Exactly. And you could master your skill in horseback riding by faffing about. Or become a master horseshoe player. But neither of those skills helps you fight battles or defeat enemies. Choices in games must have consequence. If I want to spend my time stealthing about and stealing money, that's great. But it should also mean that I don't get to be a big, brutish, tough-guy. If my choices are "badassed action hero, who happens to be stealthy" or "badassed action hero who happens to be attractive", I'm still the same guy either way.

Helmutye:

The problem we face these days is that games always attempt to fool the player into thinking the world is bigger and more detailed than it really is. Despite all the fancy graphics and massive hardware requirements, it is pretty rare to find a game where you can even break windows or open certain doors to get to areas of the map that you can see but that don't really exist. Just because there's something that looks like a sky above you doesn't mean you can go into space--it's just an illusion. In reality, that is a sky-textured ceiling set just high enough so that you shouldn't be able to bump into it (though there are plenty of games where you can actually "bump into the sky" if you manage to get somewhere the designers didn't think of). The real world doesn't have these kind of limitations. It is true that, in the real world, there are situations where certain skills aren't helpful, but in the real world you also have the freedom to try approaches that may take you through certain doors or windows, or up into the sky. If you lose total freedom to wander the world, it is only fair to make the skills you can choose relevant to the areas you can go to. And yes, I know that life isn't always fair. But as I said earlier, games are supposed to be a fun and interesting departure from our normal lives.

Yes, the extent to which the game limits us should limit our skilsl. But that's not what's going on. Instead you have people (Yahtzee) insisting on complete creative control over a character, but who doesn't want to suffer the possible bad results of his choices. He figured stealth would be a good way to be a spy, so do lots of actual spies. But, if those spies don't also train in gunplay, they'll get shot up. It's more realistic if you can be punished for failing to properly plan for contingencies.

But, especially in games with a lot of faffing about, it seems only reasonable that you can spend your time learning useless skills, or spend so much time the evil empire wins, ect. The more freedom we have in games, the more opportunities should exist for us to screw ourselves over completely.

Helmutye:

And as far as consequences go, it is strange to hear someone say that people who want to pursue non-violent alternatives need to understand consequences! Violence is generally not a good option to take in the real world because there are lots of consequences for it--getting arrested, getting killed by the relatives of whoever you beat up or kill, not having any friends because you're a jerk, etc. But in most video games, the usual consequences for violence are removed--rarely is there any real reason why you can't just kill your way through the world. Most games are in fact little more than that. If there's no reason not to kill somebody, and you can quickly become better than anyone else at killing, then violence and combat become the best way to get through life. No matter what other skill options are available, violence is always a legitimate way to get through an entire game. Isn't that weird? Isn't it weird to respond to a complaint that there are forced violent episodes in a game that supposedly advertises free choice with the statement that someone trying to get through it non-violently doesn't understand consequences? I just think it would be interesting to have a game where violence actually carries meaningful negative consequences in a game, rather than saying that the other skills need to have negative consequences.

Like the real world, there are many more possibilities to explore once we agree that violence is not the ultimate power.

That's not the point, though, because nothing you do ever has really bad consequences in games. What I want is for everything to have real consequences. If I kill an innocent bystander, maybe I get arrested (for long enough that I miss some crucial part of the game, making it more difficult to proceed), maybe my friends abandon me for being such a bastard. The problem is that the games are giving us more and more choice, with less and less responsibility.

Helmutye:
I think this is a very strange attitude to take. If a skill has no legitimate use in a game, or if only certain skills allow you to succeed, then it should not be an option for you to take the useless skills or avoid having the indispensable skills. It just clutters the game and makes it frustrating, and frustrating is not the kind of realism that people seek in games, unless they are gluttons for punishment or very, very stupid. I think we all experience enough frustration and setbacks in real life--is it too much to expect games to provide an escape from that?

If you think of a game as its own little world, then there would have to be a reason for the possible skills to exist in that world, otherwise nobody would have invented them. It would have to be possible for people to succeed with those skills, or they wouldn't exist. If there was a world where your survival depended solely on your ability to swing a sword, then everybody would spend all their time learning to swing a sword. The skill 'Left-Handed Doily Making' would not exist. But if it were possible in this world to become a master Doily Maker, earn money by doing so, and hire security guards to do your swordfighting for you, then Doily Making might be a skill that would exist.

The problem we face these days is that games always attempt to fool the player into thinking the world is bigger and more detailed than it really is. Despite all the fancy graphics and massive hardware requirements, it is pretty rare to find a game where you can even break windows or open certain doors to get to areas of the map that you can see but that don't really exist. Just because there's something that looks like a sky above you doesn't mean you can go into space--it's just an illusion. In reality, that is a sky-textured ceiling set just high enough so that you shouldn't be able to bump into it (though there are plenty of games where you can actually "bump into the sky" if you manage to get somewhere the designers didn't think of). The real world doesn't have these kind of limitations. It is true that, in the real world, there are situations where certain skills aren't helpful, but in the real world you also have the freedom to try approaches that may take you through certain doors or windows, or up into the sky. If you lose total freedom to wander the world, it is only fair to make the skills you can choose relevant to the areas you can go to. And yes, I know that life isn't always fair. But as I said earlier, games are supposed to be a fun and interesting departure from our normal lives.

And as far as consequences go, it is strange to hear someone say that people who want to pursue non-violent alternatives need to understand consequences! Violence is generally not a good option to take in the real world because there are lots of consequences for it--getting arrested, getting killed by the relatives of whoever you beat up or kill, not having any friends because you're a jerk, etc. But in most video games, the usual consequences for violence are removed--rarely is there any real reason why you can't just kill your way through the world. Most games are in fact little more than that. If there's no reason not to kill somebody, and you can quickly become better than anyone else at killing, then violence and combat become the best way to get through life. No matter what other skill options are available, violence is always a legitimate way to get through an entire game. Isn't that weird? Isn't it weird to respond to a complaint that there are forced violent episodes in a game that supposedly advertises free choice with the statement that someone trying to get through it non-violently doesn't understand consequences? I just think it would be interesting to have a game where violence actually carries meaningful negative consequences in a game, rather than saying that the other skills need to have negative consequences.

Like the real world, there are many more possibilities to explore once we agree that violence is not the ultimate power.

This is an extreme take on what I'm getting at, but there are fantastic points here.

The only games that have done "evil" properly have really been Bioware RPGs. You can be a complete dick, but it makes the game very, very difficult to finish. Why do I accept that as valid, when I've already made the "one type of character shouldn't be demonstrably better" argument? Because proceeding as Evil assumes you're generally taking the substantially easier way out of every situation, and this is merely delayed challenge, as opposed to artificially-induced challenge.

Sure, you killed all the guardians of the temple and stole a +50 Sword of Asskickery, but if you hadn't, they'd be assisting you against the boss. Unlike the "illusion of choice" that makes certain skills useless without warning, there's rarely no indication that being an asshat is unwise.

Thank goodness I'm not wearing a shirt, so I know he's not talking to me.

Yes, you, in the stupid shirt. Sort yourself out, for god's sake. And buy nicer clothes.

... And my book. :P

Ok, good points but I was actually kinda more interested in your mini rant about how many RPG's don't really let you play how you want.

Seldon2639:
Yes, the extent to which the game limits us should limit our skilsl. But that's not what's going on. Instead you have people (Yahtzee) insisting on complete creative control over a character, but who doesn't want to suffer the possible bad results of his choices. He figured stealth would be a good way to be a spy, so do lots of actual spies. But, if those spies don't also train in gunplay, they'll get shot up. It's more realistic if you can be punished for failing to properly plan for contingencies.

Yahtzee's point is that the game makes you choose between Stealth and Gunplay, with no real balance. You can't be someone who is sneaky and a good shot, despite the fact that weapons training hardly takes up a particularly large amount of time. Several hours a week on the range is more than enough to develop excellent marksmanship.

There are penalties in Alpha Protocol if you choose to play as anything *EXCEPT* a full-on run-and-gun badass. That's the issue. You can simply pummel most of the people you meet, be an utter dick, and you're basically pressing the Win button. The only reason to employ anything other than combat skills is if you're a masochist. So why, then, do they bother allowing players a choice? Because they know that "choice" sells games.

If Alpha Protocol was advertised as being an action-based RPG a la Fallout 3, people would be less irritated at the false choices presented. As it is, however, they advertised Alpha Protocol as Elder Scrolls with spies.

I actually commented on Yahtzee's Alpha Protocol review and I remember that the one thing I mentioned that pissed me off most is the boss fights. I want an RPG to actually allow me to play my role, including during combat (but they did make role-playing and choices in dialogue work very well).

So, in general, a game is a thing you can do and have fun. Inside of that game there are things you can do and have fun, and generally a main story line to complete. Skills have to encompass both of those things, that is to be fun and help you complete the main story line. The Elder Scrolls (and most online RPGs) do this by letting you develop 1 or more killing skills and several helper skills (eg Potions). There is no false choice because you know you will have to develop a killing skill, and the others are there to only help.

Game designers need to make clear what skills will be REQUIRED to complete the game. Then somehow they need to stop marketing from false advertising.

Seldon2639:

As I said, if the point of any RPG is simply to provide that sort of escape, and allow you to beat enemies slightly less powerful than you over and over again, that's fine. But then it's also very shallow. I'm not saying that we should be allowed to take "useless" skills (nor do I believe skills should be "bought" with points, I'm a fan of "the more you use it, the better you get" mechanics), but the reality is that if I spend hours a day playing WoW, I'll get good at WoW. What that skill won't do is help me defend myself from a mugger

It's games as pure escapism versus games as something deeper. If I want choice, I want the choices to mean something. Choices can't have meaning if they can't fuck you over.

Choices can most certainly have meaning even if they can't fuck you over! Not everything is about either success or failure. The way something is achieved is very important, almost more important than whether you succeed or fail. The means tells you who you really are. If your goal is to make a million dollars, it matters a great deal how you go about doing that--a person who invents and markets a new medical tool is very different than a person who contract kills for a living. Even if the contract killer succeeds and is never caught, there is a meaningful difference between them. But in most games you either win or lose. Some games try to get tricky and give you a "good ending" or a "bad ending," but the game is still more about getting to the end rather than choosing how you get to the end. A game that is nothing but success or failure is the game that is shallow.

Escape from life doesn't mean I want a meaningless ego boost. It means I want to explore ways of thinking and acting that I don't get to in my normal life. In my normal life I am an adult struggling to live up to the responsibilities of adulthood in the world today. But in a game I can be a cold, ruthless killer, or a daring spy, or an incredible acrobat, or any number of people that I will never be but are nonetheless interesting to get into the mindset of. It is fun to try on other personas. But a game that claims to offer you choices of how you want to tackle a problem, and then makes certain choices useless for dealing with the challenges you are forced to confront, is not deep. That is not responsibility.

And yes, the WoW playing skill may not help you against a mugger. But getting mugged is also not necessarily the end of your life. You are not forced to defeat the mugger in order to continue with your life. If you cannot defend yourself, you may be forced to hand over your wallet. But you could then conceivably use your WoW playing skill to farm for gold, sell it online, and make back the money the mugger stole from you. Perhaps in playing WoW you have made contacts around the world who can assist you. If you play WoW, there is a much greater chance that you will be inside most of the time and therefore your chance of a mugger encounter will be lower. There are still ways to get through life without the skill required to defeat the mugger.

There are consequences for certain skill sets, yes. But making a game impossible to complete with certain skill sets is not a consequence--you just start over and pick the "right" skills. In my opinion, the real consequences are the choices that define your personal story through the game.

For your information, I do have nice clothes.

I just wear them sparingly.

Not always a fan of Bethesda, but I do like that you can beat the main game and broken steel entirely by steath and/or dialogue, with no real boss fights. Follow the big robot, then talk down Colonel Autumn. Sneak all the way to Adams AFB and sneak to the launch controls, then sneak out to catch a ride on the vertibird. Hell, sneak all the way through Operation Anchorage and talk down General Stereotype.

ha! joke's on you. i'm not wearing a shirt. ha!
better get back to work now...

Ah...damn. I Am NOT part of this problem, man. So what if I was reading this in a custom T-shirt that just has the phrase "I am not a Cyborg" written on it.

=[ LEAVE ME ALONE.

I'm not wearing any clothes, ha!

My T currently sports Homer S. riding a surfboard, it's quite comfy.

Slightly off topic, but i find it seriously depressing that so many of you morons commented that you either like your clothes or that you aren't wearing any...
1- You're a moron.
2- If you're not wearing clothes then you're a creepy moron.
3- Maybe you don't need to buy new clothes, but i sure as hell hope you go out and buy some originality. Seriously... it gets old after the firs group of morons have commented about their state of wearing clothes or believing themselves to have more fashion sense than they do. You're not funny! You're a moron.
In conclusion, the majority of you people suck.
Also, on the note of boss fights, i also find it amusing that after yahtzee has quoted an example of a good boss (ie Half Life 2) you then go "i totally agree with you yahtzee, and HF2 sucked."
But hey what do i know, the bosses i have most enjoyed and felt a sense of accomplishment from are in World of Warcraft.

From TFA:

games are no longer solely about jerking off your big bloody gun cock.

Big bloody gun cock? Mmm I smell DLC content!

It depends on the game, some games they make sense, like a Sword and Sorcery game where the last boss is a huge bloody dragon that you've been building up to stabbing in the eyeball, but in games where it's just another bloke in normal clothes that can some how take 5 million bullets to the face and still keep jabbering on is where things just get silly.

JimJamJahar:
I actually commented on Yahtzee's Alpha Protocol review and I remember that the one thing I mentioned that pissed me off most is the boss fights. I want an RPG to actually allow me to play my role, including during combat (but they did make role-playing and choices in dialogue work very well).

Until they work out a way to program an self contained self reinventing game (they'll never do that, any game that can "go off the rails" like that would mean they have less to sell later) you'll never get the kind of rule playing you want outside of sitting down with some other people and playing a pen and paper game.

I enjoy both types of games, sometimes I want a story RPG like Mass Effect / Dragon Age where I've got choices but it's still "save the world at the end of the day", other times I really enjoy a good old fashioned pen and paper game where you can go totally off the rails and do things that no programmer could imagine you doing (like inciting a civil war in a country we were suppose to be saving... ending up with half the main NPCs dead... the DM looked like he was going to pop a blood vessel during that session... poor guy... so much work wasted)

Sometimes boss fights are awesome, sometimes they feel like the devs just crowbarred them in for the hell of it - Dawn of War 2 anybody? I didn't mind the boses in Alpha Protocol though, never had too much trouble with any of them. Except Darcy towards the end. Fucker was spamming grenades like they grow on trees. I even died almost immediately after I'd killed him! Thank fuck for auto checkpoint saving, there may have been some controller throwing going on otherwise!

The Boss fight with the Prophet of Truth in Halo 2 was by far the most rewarding and thrilling boss fight to date. I mean he just floated around shooting that big ass laser at you and you had to literally 'board' him and punch his face in multiple times till he uttered a final scream of pain and his head went limp rather pathetically. If that's not epic, I don't know what is.

wow, that ending hit hard, because I'm sitting here by myself wearing an "I'm with stupid" shirt. I'm doing laundry. don't judge me >_>

Or that peculiar tendency for Japanese animation to attempt to simultaneously cater for as many fetishes as possible so that jiggle physics are laboriously animated even if the work satirizes gender politics with its very next breath.

Someone's been watching FLCL.

With fans complaining and expecting crap that they arent really entitled to;
It happened the same way with the Devil May Cry franchise. The very first one was super bad-ass and cool.

But some gammer, "Waaa, Waaa. Its to haaaaard!" (insert whiny, snivley voice over here).

Then DMC2 came about and guess what? "Waaa, Waaaaaaa-blargh--aaaaaaAA! Now it's way to eeeeasy! I hate the world and I'm going to slit my wrists in a bathtub full of ice!" (insert whiny voice again).

And when DMC3 came you you had lots and lots of various option on difficulty levels.

As the resident "System Shock" fanboy, I nonetheless have to agree with Yahtzee on "SS2". The "repair" skill was absolutely useless, for example, whereas the "Maintainance" and "Hack" ones were essential. (I'd love to know if anybody has ever beaten SS2 on "Hard" or "Impossible" difficulty without putting at least three points into "Hack" early on.)

The "Exotic Weapons" skill was useless until the Operations level (almost halfway through the game) because you didn't get the crystal shard until that point. Heavy and Energy weapons were extremely specialised, whereas the "Standard" weapons included the two best weapons in the game, easily - the versatile pistol and the assault rifle - and also used the most plentiful ammunition. Standard weapons could be used on robots and annelids equally effectively (unlike any other weapon class). Yeah, it's fun one-shotting the Heart of the Many with a viral proliferator, but there's really no practical use for it before that point.

And I've only just recently got used to the psi-amp, after several playthroughs. It's a bit fiddly to use and you need to know what powers are useful and what are useless. The healing ones sound useful, for example, but there are so many health pick-ups throughout the game that they turn out to be something of a waste of cybernetic modules.

And stats? There's zero point in having anything more than three agility or endurance points, even on the very hard difficulty levels. Strength is essential for the heavy weapons, armour, melee, and just basically carrying stuff about. Psi is either essential or useless depending on your build. And Cyb is essential for a decent hacker build (which as has already been established is just about any useful build in the game.)

Incidentally, I bought a bunch of older games and am now playing through Deus Ex. Unfortunately the graphics really are seriously ugly, to the point that it's actually somewhat off-putting.

Half Life? Didn't have any problems with the boss fights myself, although the giant spider thing annoyed me. It seemed like a gigantic ammo drain.

awatkins:
With fans complaining and expecting crap that they arent really entitled to;
It happened the same way with the Devil May Cry franchise. The very first one was super bad-ass and cool.

But some gammer, "Waaa, Waaa. Its to haaaaard!" (insert whiny, snivley voice over here).

Then DMC2 came about and guess what? "Waaa, Waaaaaaa-blargh--aaaaaaAA! Now it's way to eeeeasy! I hate the world and I'm going to slit my wrists in a bathtub full of ice!" (insert whiny voice again).

And when DMC3 came you you had lots and lots of various option on difficulty levels.

I've not played DMC myself, but I like games where you can set different settings to different aspects of the game as regards to difficulty. This was a feature of the original "System Shock" that I missed in SS2. I'd like to play on "Impossible" level but with "Easy" or "Medium" level's cybernetic module costs, for example. Why not have the option to use the extra upgrades you can buy on the easier difficulty settings against the stronger, more plentiful monsters of the harder ones?

I think boss fights in most games don't make sense. Okay in Doom, Duke Nukem and even Gears of War, the massive bullet absorbing death sponges make sense, but in games that pertain to realism it doesn't work. In both the Assassin's Creed games the bosses near the end take an obscene amount of damage (but I guess there is a large supernatural element to those game). What's worse, is when a game that could have an awesome boss fight, have you either kill them in two shots or pulling levers to kill them. The Darkness could have had something special but the last two boss fights consist of killing minions and pull switches, and then a canned animation of shooting some fat guy.

One boss Fight that comes to mind is an arcade game I played several years ago. I forget the name but the premis was that rock 'n roll was outlawed and the player was fighting to bring down the oppressive military oligarchy by shooting explosive music CDs at roller blading super solders. On one level you were sent in the jungle to investigate an secret enemy lab. The "boss" turned out to be a giant centapied like creature with regenerating health. It chased my brother and i back through the entire level until we stopped above a canyon. We were shooting at the dam thing for at least 2 whole minutes before I realized that the creature was standing on a wood plank bridge that we had already crossed. So while my brother held it off I shoot out the rope anchors, and the ugly bastard hurdled downward to his death. I am not at all opposed to scenery becoming involved in game play, but the most we had done up to that point was shoot out a couple of windows. The game was awesome by all other standards but I feel mechanics that are essential to winning boss fights should be included in the game beforehand.

It's disturbing how many people just admitted reading in The Escapist in the nude. I feel slightly disgusted now.

On topic, boss battles never bothered me in platformers and RPGs very much, but in FPSs or any game that claims to be realistic, the "human or humanoid boss that absorbs a billion grenades to the face" feels like an insult to my intelligence. At least make him wear a forcefield, or give us a ridiculously big beast to shoot down with rockets. It's more a scripted set-piece than an actual battle, but as long as it carries the same emotional punch and sense of resolution, it counts.

I'd like to refer to a specific game series as a case study. And lo and behold, it's one of those series I always bring up as a case study in this column. How staggeringly predictable of me.

Funny, I was thinking of the Half Life series while reading the article before you even brought it up. Seems you're on to something here.

Blue-State:
One boss Fight that comes to mind is an arcade game I played several years ago. I forget the name but the premis was that rock 'n roll was outlawed and the player was fighting to bring down the oppressive military oligarchy by shooting explosive music CDs at roller blading super solders. On one level you were sent in the jungle to investigate an secret enemy lab. The "boss" turned out to be a giant centapied like creature with regenerating health. It chased my brother and i back through the entire level until we stopped above a canyon. We were shooting at the dam thing for at least 2 whole minutes before I realized that the creature was standing on a wood plank bridge that we had already crossed. So while my brother held it off I shoot out the rope anchors, and the ugly bastard hurdled downward to his death. I am not at all opposed to scenery becoming involved in game play, but the most we had done up to that point was shoot out a couple of windows. The game was awesome by all other standards but I feel mechanics that are essential to winning boss fights should be included in the game beforehand.

REVOLUTION X! MUSIC IS THE WEAPON! ahaha i played that back in the day. friggin arcade with an aerosmith tie-in? yeah, played the HELL outta that back in the day.

I think the weirdest part is when you think you're building up to a boss fight, and you're really not. Let me toss this in spoiler tags (relates to Army of Two and the sequel)

I hate games that advertise playing your own way and don't do it. Or games that advertise stealth and then make you do these utterly ridiculous confrontations with boss fights. Don't get me wrong: I like ass kicking fight scenes and brutal shootouts, but if I am offered stealth, I want the option of stealth. If I'm told I can do things the way I want, I want to do them the way I want. It doesn't seem too outlandish of me to want what is advertised.

I play SHMUPS and Arcade-style games and I enjoy them. Like Yahtzee, I think that it needs to fit the game. I don't oppose boss fights, but if you give me the choice of stealth and drop a big combat roadblock in the game, you are doing it wrong.

I beat system shock 2 on hard at first run without cheats.

Skill ups went into "normal" guns, agility, strength, and hacking. There was plenty of ammo for the assault rifle and you could switch between anti-personnel and armor-penetration for different types of enemies. I think I also put enough points into exotics to use the crystal shard, not sure.

Bosses whose only characteristic is a massive amount of hp=bad, bosses where you have to do something interesting to win (zelda, resident evil 4)=good.

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