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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Amethyst Wind:

What is up with that? He is always lauded as the best boss battle ever, but I can't remember finding him that engaging, hard or even memorable. He was the dragon behind the hive-mind attack of the dudes you were fighting. What is it about him that I'm missing?

I do like a good boss fight, even the ones that are frustrating as hell. Those are the ones that are the most satisfying when you finally win.

AbstractStream:
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 thought the final-boss was that Reaper at the end of the final mission that Shepard had to destroy with a pack of missiles he had to guard from invading Reaper-minions. Sure, instead of just shooting at whatever weak-spot the Reaper was supposed to have, Shepard had to launch the missiles after they fully prepare themselves, then once he's done he calls in reinforcements to finish the thing off. However, it was trying to kill Shepard with its particle-beam when it wasn't sending waves of enemies to eliminate him. And, if Shepard had to launch missiles at a Reaper that was trying to kill him at the end of the final mission, then surely he was the final-boss, and not some generic enemy that later went on to become another Internet sensation, whom you now call "Marauder Shields."

Am I right, guys?

Lilani:

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.

Sure, trying to create human-sized bosses would be a lot harder in the hyper-realistic games like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty. These kinds of bosses are just normal enemies with over-powered stats, but nothing else to distinguish them, not even a set of special-moves and defenses akin to Megaman's robot-masters. And, because they're small, that means there is no way to incorporate weak-spots in them without having to make the controls fraggin' tight beyond recognition, which is just too difficult to incorporate in any game, AAA, indie, or otherwise.

But then again, I guess the real reason why I've wrote this thread isn't because I miss good boss-battles, let alone boss-battles, period. Rather, I just seem to prefer human-sized bosses, such as Vergil from Devil May Cry 3, Liquid Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid 4, and the examples I've given away in the above spoiler-tag. The reasons include:

-They're a nice break from giant bosses with easy-to-dodge attacks and obvious weak-spots.

-They're just as quick and nimble as they are incredibly strong, and therefore a lot more bad-ass for it.

-They somehow remind me of (a) one-on-one fighting-games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, and (b) once again, Dragon Ball Z.

-They're actual villains with familiar names and faces, rather than a bunch of mindless giant-monsters whom players won't really remember beating anyway.

So really, I might as well have made a second poll-thread that have people decide whether they prefer giant-bosses or human-sized bosses (and yes, I once made a first poll-thread about it, and I remember it, too). Too bad I can't, though, because most message boards like this one (I think) barely allow people to make two or more of the same thread, even when it's done differently each time.

Woo hoo! Otogi fanboyism inbound.

Seriously though, the Otogi games have got some of my all-time favourite boss fights of any game ever. The key is that, while some of the bosses are giant scripted monsters, a lot of them are actually incredibly strong human-sized foes who don't just follow predictable patterns. In any given game, the boss fights require you to memorize a set pattern or script, then attack weak points when the pattern dictates. Even great hack-and-slash games like Ninja Gaiden fall into this trap. In Otogi, however, enemies like the Crimson King are not all that different in behaviour to regular enemies, they're just a lot stronger.

It means that you actually have to fight them, rather than go straight for the weak spot, and it makes for a much more satisfying boss-battle.

No amount of quick time events can match the feeling of actually fighting against a deadly enemy, and feeling like you beat him through skill with a blade.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Woo hoo! Otogi fanboyism inbound.

Seriously though, the Otogi games have got some of my all-time favourite boss fights of any game ever. The key is that, while some of the bosses are giant scripted monsters, a lot of them are actually incredibly strong human-sized foes who don't just follow predictable patterns. In any given game, the boss fights require you to memorize a set pattern or script, then attack weak points when the pattern dictates. Even great hack-and-slash games like Ninja Gaiden fall into this trap. In Otogi, however, enemies like the Crimson King are not all that different in behaviour to regular enemies, they're just a lot stronger.

It means that you actually have to fight them, rather than go straight for the weak spot, and it makes for a much more satisfying boss-battle.

Gameplay starts at 1:30

No amount of quick time events can match the feeling of actually fighting against a deadly enemy, and feeling like you beat him through skill with a blade.

Such a good pair of games. I love the whole "this guy is a boss because he is crazy fast and hits like a freight train" design that From Software does so much more than the "this guy is a boss because he's big, telegraphs his attacks, and has giant glowing fuck-me lights" that so many other games opt for.

Kahunaburger:

Such a good pair of games. I love the whole "this guy is a boss because he is crazy fast and hits like a freight train" design that From Software does so much more than the "this guy is a boss because he's big, telegraphs his attacks, and has giant glowing fuck-me lights" that so many other games opt for.

Exactly. From what little I've played, Dark Souls does seem to mix up the OTT giant monster bosses with the more interesting boss in mook clothing fights. But then again, pretty much everything in DS is comparable to a boss fight, so maybe I'm just getting my ass handed to me by regular mooks.

What I will say about the Otogi games is that the reason the boss fights work so well is because of the emergent gameplay inherent in the design. FROM made the bosses fight like regular guys, they gave them incredibly hard-hitting, lightning fast attacks... and then they give you these vast, beautiful, incredibly destructible levels in which to play out the fight. It's pretty much a license to create your own set pieces in game, using the fighting engine and the destructible environments.

I remember fighting Seimei, the wizard fan-lady, at the end of Otogi 2, and the only thing I could think to compare the fight to was something like Dragonball. The game places you in a huge snow-filled canyon, you have your high-level character (in my case Raikoh, natch) fighting off against an uber-powered wizard lady, and you're literally throwing each other around the entire level. I remember fighting Seimei about 30 feet above the ground, hitting her with a heavy attack, and sending her flying into the ground and literally bouncing along the entire length of the canyon, leaving craters everytime her spinning body slammed into the ground again.

Sorry, but 'Press X to not die' can't even come close to that.

a good boss fight is fun and hard and makes you wanna plan new ways to beat him with the skills you have. Not forcing you into too many QTEs,grinding or trial and error runs.

SamuelT:

Amethyst Wind:

What is up with that? He is always lauded as the best boss battle ever, but I can't remember finding him that engaging, hard or even memorable. He was the dragon behind the hive-mind attack of the dudes you were fighting. What is it about him that I'm missing?

Well I dunno about others but for me it was because he soaked up damage like a sponge, dished it out twice as hard, relentlessly stalked you, used tactics to flush you out of hiding, brought in air support to flank you and his hand-held weapon is one that is more commonly seen mounted on heavy tripod.

That' s why I want Kingdom Hearts 3 so badly. Seriously, I can't wait to kick Xehanorts arse........ again...... sort of.

I was let down by Skyrims boss battle due to it not having a complex combat system.

Yeah, I miss good boss battles.
Not necessarily fighting, but a challenge.
I.E; Deus Ex HR has an example of poorly done, and IMO brilliantly done boss fights.
The poorly done ones are the official boss fights, where you grab out you gun and shoot some stupid enemy with 200K health.
The Brilliantly done ones are the conversation boss fights. Sure, there is a 'get out of jail free' card for them in the CASIE mod, but without it they can be challenging, engaging and hard. Can be.

Another example of a good boss fight is the Mr Freeze boss fight in Arkham City. Especially on NG+/hard.

I would love to have better boss fights in games these days, but I doubt we'll get any. Something that requires skill to beat, and for you to learn the boss itself. It shouldn't be absolutely evil and take you a ton of lives to learn, you should be able to pick up on what the boss is doing during the fight, and still make it out alive, if you try hard enough. It would be a fine balancing act between that, too easy and too hard though.

I miss the option "I dislike boss battles"...

Well. I dislike boss battles. Unless they make sense in context of the story they can fuck right off. The predictable boss battle in games is not epic anymore, it is standard formula which bores. You know you have to fight this big baddie and that there is in most cases an obvious way to beat him easily. Why the fuck even bother? The best games of last year that I played had no or only one boss battle during them.

Boss fights still exist in tons of games today. Some games just don't implement them because they wouldn't fit with them as a lot of people in this thread have already explained. I'd imagine CoD wouldn't make sense if a giant tentacle monster came out of the ground and started spewing magic spells at you.

I miss the Zeldaish boss battles, You got this new item, you spend the rest of the dungeon or level learning how to use this item, now you have to fight a boss with it.

Or the a climatic boss battles in the old rpgs where your not getting one shot killed but your basically taking turns rounds attacking then healing yourself and guarding and other weird things during the phase.

What I don't miss is " here it an just out right harder boss battle, or you didn't spend the last 5 hours grinding in the dungeon, well two bad cause i'm basically going to one hit you then."

Don't get me started to on the 100 hour grind session before fighting the baals in disgaea

I find it funny that EN insists that good boss battles are gone...then proceeds to list videos of good boss battles from games released recently.

Make more sense, damn you!

SamuelT:

Amethyst Wind:

What is up with that? He is always lauded as the best boss battle ever, but I can't remember finding him that engaging, hard or even memorable. He was the dragon behind the hive-mind attack of the dudes you were fighting. What is it about him that I'm missing?

He's very difficult, especially on the higher difficulties. Beating him on Insane is a pretty impressive feat, especially given just how many factors are stacked against you in that fight. Extremely limited cover, constantly flanked by enemies, boss is always advancing and can kill in less than a second, partner is a moron (and if he dies, gg), and a good 60% of the arena is actually a no-go zone thanks to the kryll.

He may not be the most dynamic or cinematic fight ever, but there is a serious catharsis factor that comes with finally beating him. Plus its kinda nice seeing a final battle that is actually the most difficult part of the game.

SirBryghtside:
Even the CASIE mod wasn't an 'I win' button.


I also loved the part when I first got it, and then was all excited so used it on Malik. She... didn't take too kindly to that :P


I wish more games had something like the Deus Ex Convo Boss Fights. They were great.

I dunno, I'd say we have some pretty good boss battles today. Dark Souls especially.

Heck even Skyrim had some good boss battles. Alduin was a bit of a push over in the final fight but when you first fight him, he's actually pretty challenging I think. Plus you have Paarthunax helping you out and there is fire raining from the sky while you do battle on the highest peak in skyrim, that's pretty epic.
Morokei was also very difficult if you were a low-medium level.

The Batman games have also had some pretty awesome boss battles. They weren't too challenging but they were creative. The Ras al ghul (however you spell that) fight was especially memorable for me.

Of course there is God of War 3. That game has some of the best boss battles ever.

Then there's Gears, Beyonetta, Dead Space, ACII (only because you beat up the pope with your fists), Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Galaxy... The list of games with great boss battles in this generation is actually quite long.

I voted indifferent because that was the closest option to: I am perfectly content with boss battles today.

Not every game needs boss battles. Games like CoD and other "realistic" shooters would basically have portions that feel alien in them due to some sort of juggernaut-like human that can take several magazines of ammo to take down.

Some games they work much better. Metroid, Mario, any RPG, and anything were realism is thrown out the window from the get go.

However I do believe that all games need or would benefit from some sort of final encounter situation. Basically something where you the player finishes the fight. The game doesn't have to end with a final boss, but I think games should at least have a bit where you know "This is it!"

The industry needs more boss fights like the Mr. Freeze fight in arkham city; intense and a good test of skill, while still being fun.

It might be nice to have some such things back. I mean, I just breezed through about half of Dark Souls in two days and all of Demon's Souls before that in about three. Challenging? Certainly. But not because of the bosses.

Ordinaryundone:
I find it funny that EN insists that good boss battles are gone...then proceeds to list videos of good boss battles from games released recently.

Make more sense, damn you!

I know I sounded like a hypocrite in my first post, and in a crap load of ways you'd be right.

However, it's mostly because, once again, I just seem to prefer human-sized bosses rather than giant ones. The reason is mostly because whenever I were to fight a human-sized boss, whether in a Megaman game, a Kingdom Hearts game, or what-have-you, I feel less like I'm playing a typical action/adventure game or RPG, and more like a fighting-game, minus the "fighting-game" part. And for me, that can be pretty epic. After all, size isn't everything, right?

If anything, every time I look at Megaman's robot-masters, it almost, in a certain way, remind me of Street Fighter II. Sure, aside of differences in genre, SFII had you pick any character you want, and would be given even more character-options in later updates of the game, while with Megaman, all you get are the robot-masters' weapons, but not the robot-masters as playable-characters in any way. All that, plus Street Fighter II mostly involves melee-combat, while Megaman involves long-range shooting instead. However, the reason I'd compare Megaman with Street Fighter II isn't just because they're both from Capcom. Rather, it's because Megaman fights human-sized bosses in one-on-one battles to the death, which in my opinion aren't that different from the battles between two human-sized contenders in Street Fighter II.

Seriously, just imagine Zangief fighting Gutsman, just because both are the giant muscle-men! Or how about Dhalism vs. Fireman, both of whom shoot fire? And don't get me started on Blanka vs. Elecman, just because both can control electricity! Not to mention, Chun-Li vs. Cutman, because they're both lightweight. And don't forget Guile vs. Bombman, because... well, you know, "Sonic Boom?" Which leaves E. Honda vs. Iceman, even though they have nothing in common, and I just paired them up anyway because I had no idea what to do with those two characters after pairing up the rest.

And, if that's going to be the case, Megaman and Protoman vs. Ryu and Ken. Or failing that, Megaman X and Zero vs. Ryu and Ken, because apparently Megaman fans prefer the X/Zero pair over the Classic Megaman/Protoman pair. All that, plus Zero has blonde hair and wears red like Ken, and has somewhat of the same stubborn attitude as Ken. Compare them to X and Ryu being the pacifists, albeit the former being all whiny and angsty like a little girl about how he's always forced against his will to fight despite his hatred for it, and the latter being more nomadic and calm despite actually liking to fight, albeit with a code of chivalry that bans him from fighting weaklings and instead only target the strong (i.e. Gouki/Akuma).

But back on topic, you get my picture. Megaman's battles against the robot-masters are as much humanoid-versus-humanoid as the battles in Street Fighter II, albeit with shooting instead of melee fighting. And for me, it's awesome, epic, and such a huge break from the unofficial rule that all bosses have to be giant monsters with scripted attacks and glowing weak-spots.

Bosses are gone?

Here's the list of current games I've bought since 2011:
Diablo 3 (soon)
Mass Effect 3
SWTOR
Zelda: Skyward Sword
Uncharted 3
Skyrim
Batman: Arkham City
inFarmous 2
Dragon Age 2

Everyone one of them has boss battles. As for bosses themselves, I'm indifferent.
Their difficulties can be prohibitive even on easy difficulty modes. Their also rarely the most fun segments in games for me. I tend to enjoy set pieces and battles with hordes leading up to the boss much more than the boss encounter itself.

EternalNothingness:
I thought the final-boss was that Reaper at the end of the final mission that Shepard had to destroy with a pack of missiles he had to guard from invading Reaper-minions. Sure, instead of just shooting at whatever weak-spot the Reaper was supposed to have, Shepard had to launch the missiles after they fully prepare themselves, then once he's done he calls in reinforcements to finish the thing off. However, it was trying to kill Shepard with its particle-beam when it wasn't sending waves of enemies to eliminate him. And, if Shepard had to launch missiles at a Reaper that was trying to kill him at the end of the final mission, then surely he was the final-boss, and not some generic enemy that later went on to become another Internet sensation, whom you now call "Marauder Shields."

Am I right, guys?

According to the developers, they made a deliberate decision not to have a final boss in ME3 - at one point there was going to be a fight with a monsterised Illusive Man on the Citadel, but they decided that would be stupid so they pulled it out.

If the missile launching bit was a "boss fight" then half the game was a boss fight.

As for the original question, I couldn't care less. They work in some games, they don't in others. The last game I played that really had them was Dragon Age: Origins and for the most part they were just irritating, repetitive exercises in kiting and/or cheap exploits.

In fact, the only boss battle I can remember enjoying (for the context / music / coke rage, not the actual gameplay) in recent years was this one:

That video actually shows a lot of what's wrong with boss fights - so often it's about just finding a way to break the game.

Yeah I miss the big boss battles where you need to know what to do and have huge buildups to them.

Last boss fight I had was in prototype 2 which had huge buildup before it with him getting 8 peoples worth of strength in front of you making you think "well I'm fucked"...then you win by jumping around whipping and he can't touch you.

EternalNothingness:
Snip

Boss battles are a backwards, archaic feature which serve little to no purporse. I haven't encountered one which I'd consider fun, and usually they don't make narrative sense either. I'm fucking glad they're gone.

Seriously, without them Deus Ex; Human Revoloution would have been my favourite game.

Oh, and your poll option for not liking boss fights makes you a massive tool.

omglazorspewpew:
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.

The killer croc fight in Batman Arkham Asylum was really great. The best part of the game in my opinion

If anyone has fought the hidden final boss in Yahtzee's Poacher, then you'll understand my answer is no. Three boss stages and then four enemy screens until a save point for those that think the can do it.

(ps if you go for the hidden ending - make sure you didn't shoot any normal bunnies at the start, didn't shoot any zombie blemineg, and jumped over Derek's angry possessed friend instead of shooting him -- you do not want a 99% on this game)

The 'bosses' in Red Dead / GTA IV were bizarrely easy - part of a theme with those games is killing old enemies leaves the main character unsatisfied, and doesn't quite bring them peace or closure.

That being said the Ruby and Emerald Weapon's in FFVII/ FF8 and Ozma in FF9 were a fun treat.

Prototype 1 had 3 INSANE boss fights that came out of nowhere... and the last boss fight had a 6 minute time limit to add salt to the wound. To be fair, it just made it more satisfying to lob tomahawk cruise missiles at the Boss's face... still...

I'd take this argument more seriously if there was ever any indication of boss battles ever being different than they are now. What was so complex about "Jump over Bowser and hit the axe/switch/whatever-it-was" in Super Mario Bros? What's so different about the final bosses from, say, Mass Effect 2 and Star Fox? And for "Not just tougher enemy" bosses... didn't the final boss from the original Doom spawn the "Protip: Shoot it until it dies" phrase?

There are and always have been good boss fights. There are and always have been Bad boss fights. There are and always have been games with NO boss fights.

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