How much do you miss boss-battles?
I want them back badly!
63.3% (93)
63.3% (93)
I'm indifferent.
29.9% (44)
29.9% (44)
They're too hard and I'm glad they're gone!
4.8% (7)
4.8% (7)
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Poll: Does anyone here miss good boss-battles?

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Out of the various video game tropes I enjoy, my most favorite of them all is usually the boss-battles, especially against final-bosses. They're such epic culminations of everything that preceded them, and the best part is that most of them are main-antagonists, whom unlike their low-level minions have not only immense, curb-stomping power, but also familiar names and faces to go along with this immense power. They also remind me of the various villains of Dragon Ball Z for some unknown reason, most notably the fact that they have a crap-load of performance-enhancing transformations, each stronger than the previous, as well as the fact that they just take too fraggin' long to actually die and stay dead, or at least never come back after losing.

Nowadays, we have either crappy boss-battles (i.e. the Human-Reaper from Mass Effect 2), or no boss-battles at all (i.e. Mass Effect 3's end-game showdown with the Reapers on Earth). I think the reason is because the game-industry is so obsessed with making their games as hyper-realistic as possible, that in the process they couldn't find ways to incorporate boss-battles in those games without making them either (a) human-sized one-hit kill assassination targets who can't fight back (i.e. Call of Duty; Assassin's Creed), or (b) over-sized monstrosities that also happen to be too easy to kill, if only because they have predictable, easy-to-dodge attack patterns and glaringly-obvious weak-spots. This bothers me a lot, because realism in video games strips developers of the privilege to end their levels and quests with big bangs via epic battles against memorable over-powered villains, and instead force them against their will to end them with miniscule whimpers that not even the Michael Bay-style explosions could compensate for.

Thank God that even in an industry that would abandon boss-battles for hyper-realism like in Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, we still have the following:

This is why if I were to pick an answer to my own poll, it would mostly be the option, "I want them back badly!" What about you, and why?

Not sure I care for the "they're too hard" part of this equation, but I generally dislike them and want them gone. They're almost never tuned well. Either too easy and ergo pointless, or full of forced failure and pattern repetition, which is fucking tedious as hell. It's just not a game play style that appeals to me.

I don't mind them in MMOs as much, mind you, but the dynamics there are different, and there's no narrative to get yanked out of hammering quickload over and over while you learn the boss.

Back? I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I'm a little busy shitting myself as I make my way towards Gwyn Lord of Cinder.

erttheking:
Back? I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I'm a little busy shitting myself as I make my way towards Gwyn Lord of Cinder.

I'm sorry, but the way you've responded felt too subtle, which means that I have no idea if you said you missed them or not.

However, if I were to decipher what you've said to me on my own, it'd be that you do enjoy boss-battles and miss them. After all, when you said you're too busy "shitting yourself" as you reach Dark Souls' final-boss (yes, I learned he was from Dark Souls because I once Googled this information a couple days ago), you've implied that your adrenaline-levels have hit over 9000 plus infinity and beyond as you make your way to fighting that powerful villain.

Am I right?

EternalNothingness:

erttheking:
Back? I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I'm a little busy shitting myself as I make my way towards Gwyn Lord of Cinder.

I'm sorry, but the way you've responded felt too subtle, which means that I have no idea if you said you missed them or not.

However, if I were to decipher what you've said to me on my own, it'd be that you do enjoy boss-battles and miss them. After all, when you said you're too busy "shitting yourself" as you reach Dark Souls' final-boss (yes, I learned he was from Dark Souls because I once Googled this information a couple days ago), you've implied that your adrenaline-levels have hit over 9000 plus infinity and beyond as you make your way to fighting that powerful villain.

Am I right?

I'm kind of indifferent to be honest, I'm just saying that they're still around.

Some games don't have boss battles, some do. Much like it always was.

erttheking:

EternalNothingness:

erttheking:
Back? I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I'm a little busy shitting myself as I make my way towards Gwyn Lord of Cinder.

I'm sorry, but the way you've responded felt too subtle, which means that I have no idea if you said you missed them or not.

However, if I were to decipher what you've said to me on my own, it'd be that you do enjoy boss-battles and miss them. After all, when you said you're too busy "shitting yourself" as you reach Dark Souls' final-boss (yes, I learned he was from Dark Souls because I once Googled this information a couple days ago), you've implied that your adrenaline-levels have hit over 9000 plus infinity and beyond as you make your way to fighting that powerful villain.

Am I right?

I'm kind of indifferent to be honest, I'm just saying that they're still around.

Sort of bullshit that they had to tell you that the games are hard. Almost pathetic how easy some games are nowadays. Little sad when a good game has to grab peoples attention by claiming that it is hard as shit. Every game should be spread word of mouth, or by people taking a chance and playing it. Say that marketing a game is good in my book, but not coming right out and saying that gamers have it to easy. Most people don't see the big deal in this and it is kind of heartbreaking. Almost like me selling my game by going, "look at all these pussy assed survival horror games out on the market." "Nothing compared to my game, so play it with the lights on you pansy."

Shawn MacDonald:

erttheking:

EternalNothingness:

I'm sorry, but the way you've responded felt too subtle, which means that I have no idea if you said you missed them or not.

However, if I were to decipher what you've said to me on my own, it'd be that you do enjoy boss-battles and miss them. After all, when you said you're too busy "shitting yourself" as you reach Dark Souls' final-boss (yes, I learned he was from Dark Souls because I once Googled this information a couple days ago), you've implied that your adrenaline-levels have hit over 9000 plus infinity and beyond as you make your way to fighting that powerful villain.

Am I right?

I'm kind of indifferent to be honest, I'm just saying that they're still around.

Sort of bullshit that they had to tell you that the games are hard. Almost pathetic how easy some games are nowadays. Little sad when a good game has to grab peoples attention by claiming that it is hard as shit. Every game should be spread word of mouth, or by people taking a chance and playing it. Say that marketing a game is good in my book, but not coming right out and saying that gamers have it to easy. Most people don't see the big deal in this and it is kind of heartbreaking. Almost like me selling my game by going, "look at all these pussy assed survival horror games out on the market." "Nothing compared to my game, so play it with the lights on you pansy."

Dark Souls is hard...but it's hard in a different kind of way. I've played a couple of hard games in the past and while they could be really hard at points, they tended to wait a bit for you to get used to the controls before they started slamming you with the really hard stuff. In Dark Souls you will, at the very least, see the words "you died" a couple hundred times in a single playthrough, at the very begining of the game they make you fight a 50 foot tall demon, and afterwards you'll get destroyed by skeletions, dragons, chests that want to eat you, and a lot of other stuff. But the game throws all of this at you, looks you in the eye and says "take all of this stuff on, AND WIN!" It's ridiciously hard, but it's fair about it, if you reajust your strategy you can make it through any area. It's not just designed to be hard, it's designed to kick your ass for 95% of the game, just to make the remaining 5% that much more satisfying. It's hard to describe to someone that hasn't played it, but it isn't just a game that says "I'm hard" it's a game that says "I'll make you sweat blood for every square inch you gain" and it does it in a fair way that makes you feel like you're on top of the world when you finall win.

erttheking:

Shawn MacDonald:

erttheking:

I'm kind of indifferent to be honest, I'm just saying that they're still around.

Sort of bullshit that they had to tell you that the games are hard. Almost pathetic how easy some games are nowadays. Little sad when a good game has to grab peoples attention by claiming that it is hard as shit. Every game should be spread word of mouth, or by people taking a chance and playing it. Say that marketing a game is good in my book, but not coming right out and saying that gamers have it to easy. Most people don't see the big deal in this and it is kind of heartbreaking. Almost like me selling my game by going, "look at all these pussy assed survival horror games out on the market." "Nothing compared to my game, so play it with the lights on you pansy."

Dark Souls is hard...but it's hard in a different kind of way. I've played a couple of hard games in the past and while they could be really hard at points, they tended to wait a bit for you to get used to the controls before they started slamming you with the really hard stuff. In Dark Souls you will, at the very least, see the words "you died" a couple hundred times in a single playthrough, at the very begining of the game they make you fight a 50 foot tall demon, and afterwards you'll get destroyed by skeletions, dragons, chests that want to eat you, and a lot of other stuff. But the game throws all of this at you, looks you in the eye and says "take all of this stuff on, AND WIN!" It's ridiciously hard, but it's fair about it, if you reajust your strategy you can make it through any area. It's not just designed to be hard, it's designed to kick your ass for 95% of the game, just to make the remaining 5% that much more satisfying. It's hard to describe to someone that hasn't played it, but it isn't just a game that says "I'm hard" it's a game that says "I'll make you sweat blood for every square inch you gain" and it does it in a fair way that makes you feel like you're on top of the world when you finall win.

Selling me on a game that I already like. All I am saying is that the game first became popular because people heard it was hard. Lots of ads for it were telling you it was hard as shit. Even I can admit that there alot of cheap deaths. Sort of don't care because it is fun to play. My beef is not with the game. Ads for the game are bullshit in my opinion. Not really sure why you had to tell me why Dark Souls is fun because that was not the point I was trying to make.

Am I missing something? There are plenty of excellent boss battles in this day and age.

First off, plenty of games still have literal boss battles.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, I do think every game should have some form of boss "battle". It doesn't have to always be some hulking monster though. It should be in a form fitting with the rest of the game.

Deus Ex: HR's conversation "battles", literal bosses from Dark Souls, that final push in Journey, etc all fall into "boss battle".

Depends on the games really. Some games do not lend themselves well to boss battles and shoehorning them in generally ends up making the fights feel stupid, too hard, too easy or out of place. Maybe we are just seeing more games being made lately that realize that and don't bother to try. I do remember fighting...

I did find myself having a familiar feeling of juices flowing that I don't get as much anymore. It felt good, really good.

Boss fights dont fit with a lot of games and frankly id rather have them just left out rather then have them badly crammed in.

Though if you want good bosses from a recent release: Asuras wrath.

Thats really fucking terrible poll btw.

Mr Freeze in Arkham City was one of my favorite boss fights ever and that was just last year. Boss fights aren't dead, they just don't show up in every game for no reason anymore.

It depends on the game itself. Not every game needs a giant, multi-staged boss battle because it may not fit the game.

Swyftstar:
Depends on the games really. Some games do not lend themselves well to boss battles and shoehorning them in generally ends up making the fights feel stupid, too hard, too easy or out of place. Maybe we are just seeing more games being made lately that realize that and don't bother to try. I do remember fighting...

I did find myself having a familiar feeling of juices flowing that I don't get as much anymore. It felt good, really good.

Heeeeeey, real nice of you to put the game you're spoiling outside of the spoiler box first so I don't open it up and spoil part of the game for myself.
Oh wait.

OT: We do seem to be missing some decent boss battles in recent years. Some games like Dark Souls are there to give us the good fights, but some are just... lacking.

im sorry

They are far from dead. Some modern games have great boss fights (Arkham City was mentioned already, but not nearly enough... some of the bosses are great)

Then again, they don't need to be in every game, and many times they are poorly implemented. Arkham Assylum has pretty crappy boss fights, and Deus Ex is an example of a game that would have been better with no boss fight at all instead of what we got.

I also think ME3 decision to make the final boss fight a conversation with the Illusive Man was pretty great.

I agree with much of the thread. In an action-adventure or hack and slash game (GoW, DmC, Bayonetta, Zelda, etc) a boss fight makes sense.

But putting them in a game just to have one, especially in games where it doesn't fit (CoD) seems like bad design.

Some games have them some games don't, even in your example you list more games with boss battles then you do games without.

I can't actually think of a boss fight I've ever enjoyed. They're a miserable hangover from previous console generations that need to be stamped out for the most part.

AC2 had the best boss 'battle', the first half of which was shit because it played like all other boss battles. But then...

'Thank God that even in an industry that would abandon boss-battles for hyper-realism like in Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, we still have the following'

I'd love to know how you traveled from the universe that makes those games seem 'hyper-realistic' to our own. You used some form of portal, I presume?

Swyftstar:
Depends on the games really. Some games do not lend themselves well to boss battles and shoehorning them in generally ends up making the fights feel stupid, too hard, too easy or out of place. Maybe we are just seeing more games being made lately that realize that and don't bother to try. I do remember fighting...

I did find myself having a familiar feeling of juices flowing that I don't get as much anymore. It felt good, really good.

As impressive as my penis is, it doesn't have psychic powers (yet). Spoiler tags are useless unless you say what you're spoiling; unless you only intended for someone to read that after they'd played all of the games.

they don't fit every game anymore. but they are still around and some are still very good (See: Asura's Wrath imo)

we should be trying to 'bring them back' they never left, we should be calling for more great boss fights, not 'one goon that has way more HP then the other minions' bosses

I feel that most boss-battles have become "Shoot shiny thing until health reaches 0" or bosses are just larger, stronger versions of normal enemies. Some boss battles feel good, others just feel like they were shoe-horned in so you could fight the boss instead of watching your character fight him in a cutscene or quicktime event.

Please, boss battles are way too "video gamey".

NO, I'm never going to let that go!

i finished azura's wrath, i will say those boss fights were so fucking epic

I'm glad that we moved away from "Always have a boss at the end of the sequence/dungeon/game".

The trend of always putting a boss there tended to make it a bit formulaic. Now it can be a standoff vs. a big horde, a running away chase sequence, a particularly hard stealthing or platforming sequence, a verbal exposition (a la Elusive Man at the end of ME3) and many more ways to do it.

Also, there are plenty of good Boss Fights in modern games:
- Bayonetta says hi
- Gears of War series says hi (RAAM and Queen Myrah (spelling?) have their bullshit moments, but Lambent Zerker (3), Leviathan (2) and Berserkers (1 & 3) are excellent fights)
- Dead Space 1&2 says hi
- World of Warcraft says hi (well, I can't speak to Cata bosses, but Burning Crusade and WoTLK had many many extremely excellent fights)
...and so on, I'd be here a while if I listed every single game with good bosses.

I don't miss boss battles. In every recent game that I've played there has been some sort of "boss battle". I have no idea what you're talking about.

Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are all about boss battles.
I agree with the introduction of the OP. Also next to the obsession for realism, I could add the obsession with making the games easily accesible to wider- even non gamers- audiences. Boss battles maybe don't fit in in this approach.

Garzahd, Hawthorne, Sss-Thsss, and Grah-Hoth say Hi, too. Avernum: Escape from the Pit.

Do i miss boss fights? No. But not for the reason you might expect.

This is what i was doing last week.

(The actual fight stats at 1:10)

devilofthemist:
I finished Asura's Wrath, i will say those boss fights were so fucking epic.

Id just like to add to this that the Part 4 DLC takes this to even further extremes. Not particularly challenging, but epic all the same.

Super biased poll to make out anyone who disagrees into a pansy...
Deliberately skipping games that have come out and DO have boss battles...
Taking games that actually do have them and then ignore them...
Oh EN threads, how I've missed you.
I'm going to be keeping a close eye on this thread, should make for decent entertainment if it holds.

Nonsense. ME3 did have a final boss. His name was Marauder Shields.

Anyway, to answer the poll, I chose indifferent. Indifferent because they're still around in the games I play. Guess it depends.

I miss well done boss battles. Those are few and far between. I am gonna get into some obvious spoiler territory here.

Fallout 3 had a great boss against the president, you could really choose how you approached that section depending on the build of your character. I had one that was really charismatic but was shit at head on fights, so being able to talk the boss into killing himself was brilliant.

The last two Batman games had great bosses as well. Mr. Freeze was already mentioned so I will bring up Killer Croc in the first game. Granted he wasn't "fighting" Croc, but then again Batman wouldn't get into a fist fight with the guy because he wouldn't stand a chance so he had to trick him into submission which is essentially what he does in the game.

While this game is a series of boss battles, I also like the Monster Hunter series quite a bit. Yes there is barely a story to speak of but fighting the large monsters in that game is very satisfying. The first time you fight something like a Rathalos, you kind of feel like there is nothing you can do against the damn thing but the second you figure out the "tricks" behind taking the thing down it can feel incredibly rewarding. Especially the first time you beat it and you get to reap the spoils of your hard work. (that usually also led to creating new weapons and armors to push you along)

While there have been lots of examples of games that do boss battles good enough, I am hard pressed to think of many recent games that are GOOD. The ones that when finished give you a sense of accomplishment.

EternalNothingness:
-snip-

As many have already pointed out, all of your examples are AAA games and don't even scratch the surface of all the games that have come out in the last few years. There are plenty of "boss battles," I'm afraid the games you're playing are just missing them. Not all games need boss battles, either. Boss battles are simply a way of changing up the pace and adding punctuation throughout a game. Games do need pace and punctuation, but boss battles are not the only way of doing it, and they are not by any means the BEST way of doing it. In narrative-heavy games, evenly-spaced out creatures that are for some reason or another bigger than the player don't always work for the story. And shoehorning them in there would only hinder the narrative. The battle needs to serve the narrative as much as the narrative needs to serve the battle. There has to be a point to it.

And even if you want to rephrase the question to be "does anyone here miss difficult boss battles," difficulty is relative. Yes some games these days have boss bosses with glaringly obvious weak spots, but do you know what game is the most famous for this? Star Fox 64. Yet Star Fox 64 still revered as a classic and one of the greats. Glowing weak spots are not a new thing. They probably aren't the best way to do boss battles, but blaming the games of today for using them is unfair because the way developers see it, it's a formula that worked in the past. And they are correct.

So no, I don't think games need good boss battles. I think they need gameplay mechanics that work for what the game is trying to achieve. These "non-boss battles" are a sign that the games industry is trying to move on from its older methods of breaking up gameplay, which is a wonderful thing. Games will never get anywhere if we keep demanding what we had in the good old days. Because you know what? That's just what they'll give us. Games from the good old days, games that we've already played. That's probably another reason glowing-weak-spot boss battles have stuck around so long. We gamers are such suckers for nostalgia they know they can slip an old and archaic mechanic in on us and get us to say "Aww, wasn't Star Fox such a great game?" We'll take something from the past over something new any day of the week.

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