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Topic: What do you look for in a boss battle?

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iKhan

Obviously challenge, balance, and good story context/build-up are nice, but I'm gonna focus more on the design of the fights themselves. Here's what I tend to really like to see.

All games that have boss battles
(A) Unique Mechanic(s)- For a turn based games, this really doesn't need to be anything more than a super powerful attack, but for me, it's boring when the bosses follow the same mechanics you have been using the whole game. For action games, I like to see a bit more than that. This is usually done well with weak points, but it could also be like the Stallord battle in Twilight Princess, where you just have to damage him in a unique way.

Only 3D Action/Real-time based games
A constant threatening presence- I like feeling like I could get hit at almost any second (aside from maybe when I succeed in exposing a weak point). Something like Tentalus from Skyward Sword kind of sucks at this, because I'm just slicing tentacles off with no danger in the first half. Colossus 14 (the Pig one in the ancient city) is really awesome for this.

Using the games main combat mechanic- Action-Adventure games don't do this too often, which kind of sucks, but as much as I like unique mechanics, I also like to feel that all my hard work fighting grunts is coming to fruition. Good examples of this are Koloktos from Skyward Sword, Crimson Helm from Okami, and my personal favorite, Ironclad Turret Master from Pandora's Tower.

What about you, what do you like to see in a boss battle?

Edited on by iKhan

Currently Playing: Steamworld Heist, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

sanya_exe

It just depends...in Prime 2: Echoes, I love Quadraxis because everything is pretty much epic. The music, the giant freakin' robot and you taking it down, literally.

In Paper Mario: TTYD, Macho Grubba I just love the story behind him...the whole thing was like a Scooby Doo episode. (...also loved his music)

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Shinion

Depends on the developer of the game. If they're a team based in the west making an AAA game to appeal to people in Europe/USA/Australia etc I have next to no expectations as even one decent boss fight in the entire game would be a bonus from what the main developers of this ilk usually deliver (Rocksteady, Naughty Dog, CDPR, Rockstar, DICE, Ubisoft Montreal might have made like half-a-dozen decently enjoyable boss fights combined from the many games I've played of theirs). Japanese developers consistently deliver and from Nintendo's to From Software to Level-5 to Square-Enix I'll set my expectations high and expect and enjoyable and challenging experience.

Shinion

iKhan

TheLastLugia wrote:

Depends on the developer of the game. If they're a team based in the west making an AAA game to appeal to people in Europe/USA/Australia etc I have next to no expectations as even one decent boss fight in the entire game would be a bonus from what the main developers of this ilk usually deliver (Rocksteady, Naughty Dog, CDPR, Rockstar, DICE, Ubisoft Montreal might have made like half-a-dozen decently enjoyable boss fights combined from the many games I've played of theirs). Japanese developers consistently deliver and from Nintendo's to From Software to Level-5 to Square-Enix I'll set my expectations high and expect and enjoyable and challenging experience.

Wow, I never really thought about it, but I think you're right.

Pretty much the only combat based western AAA games I've played are Uncharted and some of CoD: MW3, and yeah, now that I think about it, it's just a linear campaign with almost no boss battles.

On the other hand, Japan literally created a game where you just fight 16 great boss fights.

Currently Playing: Steamworld Heist, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

RR529

I don't look for anything in particular. If it stands out, it stands out, I suppose.

I will say in action games I perfer more humanoid bosses that are on the same scale as your character, size wise. It really feels like you're facing off against a rival, or opponent who is truly more skilled than you, that you have to overcome (rather than just some monster that's incredibly powerful). The Organization XIII members (and Sephiroth) in KH, and most of the bosses in MGS3 come to mind, as examples. Non humanoid monsters can be effective for me too, especially if they're really big and seem insurmountable (I actually think the Akrid are my favorite bosses in Lost Planet, especially the enormous ones later in the game).

Currently Playing:
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PS4 - Moss

sanya_exe

Yeah I noticed that too about western developers...think the only big western game I have that has bosses is Garden Warfare. Those are fun to fight...(especially when you get their super boss waves)

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Silly_G

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RR529

Yeah, like some here have already stated, it seems like boss fights are something that are being phased out of big budget AAA western developed games, which is kinda sad.

Boss fights can be some of the most memorable parts of a game.

Currently Playing:
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PS4 - Moss

SCRAPPER392

I always like the puzzles, varied or specific strategies, and precise action.
The best boss fights I ever saw were in Bomberman: The Second Attack!, Pokemon Colloseum, Donkey Kong 64, God of War series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Metal Gear Solid 3, Resident Evil series, Dead Rising series, Contra series(I guess), The Legend of Zelda series, Monster Hunter(these are all mini boss battles, IMO), Mario RPGs, and that's about all I can say; off the top of my head.

This is still considering time frame, to an extent, because Bomberman was a much more impressive game on N64. The same thing goes for DK64 and similar instances.

Edited on by SCRAPPER392

Qwest

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Aozz101x

Challenging XD

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Silly_G

I'm over boss battles. I don't mind boss battles that might take me say, 5 attempts to beat (10 tops), but any more than that, and it stops being fun (which is only the whole point of this hobby), especially when the game is stingy in respect to accessing ammo. I don't mind more difficult boss battles when the game is more generous in handing out ammo and health (especially mid-battle) or if it isn't unreasonably difficult, but it's a novelty that has overstayed its welcome (and I remember adding gratuitous boss battles in my own games in my childhood as an easy means of prolonging an otherwise short experience).

Edited on by Silly_G

Silly_G

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iKhan

sillygostly wrote:

I'm over boss battles. I don't mind boss battles that might take me say, 5 attempts to beat (10 tops), but any more than that, and it stops being fun (which is only the whole point of this hobby), especially when the game is stingy in respect to accessing ammo. I don't mind more difficult boss battles when the game is more generous in handing out ammo and health (especially mid-battle) or if it isn't unreasonably difficult, but it's a novelty that has overstayed its welcome (and I remember adding gratuitous boss battles in my own games in my childhood as an easy means of prolonging an otherwise short experience).

Do you not play games where you don't have a gun?

Currently Playing: Steamworld Heist, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

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Shinion

@iKhan: well yeah when people who've played these games think back to Bloodborne/Dark Souls, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, Shadow of the Colossus, Xenoblade, Dragon Quest and more, one of the most memorable parts of those games is beating the bosses at the end of a world/area/level and as you and others have said, Shadow of the Colossus and Monster Hunter are essentialy a series of boss fights. I can't put my finger on why the developers I mentioned at times don't even try to be as creative.

Take Naughty Dog as an example, I think that both the Uncharted series and TLOU are very clever games (the latter in particular) but each of the 3 Uncharted games has one boss, the final boss right at the end, and in 1 & 3 it is just a QTE. 2 doesn't fare much better either as despite being more 'involved' than the other 2, it is so embarrassingly poor that if I wasn't so annoyed and let down I would've been laughing my head off at the stupidity of it. TLOU has arguably no boss fights, one fight could be described as a boss fight but it again is poor execution and nowhere near what the likes of From Software have spoiled us with. But when you don't even try do you expect any difference?

Arguably it is the genre of shooters that don't lend themselves to boss fights, I'd respectfully disagree because of Metroid Prime, Metal Gear and heck even Splatoon had a fantastic final boss but I'm also currently playing thought the Batman Arkham games, and credit at least to Rocksteady as they at least try but after competing Asylum, the only couple of boss fights that were fun to play and memorable were against Scarecrow and Killer Crock. The others suuuuuuuuuuuucked.

As I say it's hard to say why but from The Witcher 3 to Assassin's Creed to Battlefield/Front the bosses that do exist (if there are any at all) are usually so poor they're forgotten about straight away.

Shinion

Silly_G

iKhan wrote:

Do you not play games where you don't have a gun?

I was referring specifically to games with boss battles. :/

Silly_G

3DS Friend Code: 2578-3134-0847 | Nintendo Network ID: sillygostly

iKhan

TheLastLugia wrote:

@iKhan: well yeah when people who've played these games think back to Bloodborne/Dark Souls, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, Shadow of the Colossus, Xenoblade, Dragon Quest and more, one of the most memorable parts of those games is beating the bosses at the end of a world/area/level and as you and others have said, Shadow of the Colossus and Monster Hunter are essentialy a series of boss fights. I can't put my finger on why the developers I mentioned at times don't even try to be as creative.

Take Naughty Dog as an example, I think that both the Uncharted series and TLOU are very clever games (the latter in particular) but each of the 3 Uncharted games has one boss, the final boss right at the end, and in 1 & 3 it is just a QTE. 2 doesn't fare much better either as despite being more 'involved' than the other 2, it is so embarrassingly poor that if I wasn't so annoyed and let down I would've been laughing my head off at the stupidity of it. TLOU has arguably no boss fights, one fight could be described as a boss fight but it again is poor execution and nowhere near what the likes of From Software have spoiled us with. But when you don't even try do you expect any difference?

Arguably it is the genre of shooters that don't lend themselves to boss fights, I'd respectfully disagree because of Metroid Prime, Metal Gear and heck even Splatoon had a fantastic final boss but I'm also currently playing thought the Batman Arkham games, and credit at least to Rocksteady as they at least try but after competing Asylum, the only couple of boss fights that were fun to play and memorable were against Scarecrow and Killer Crock. The others suuuuuuuuuuuucked.

As I say it's hard to say why but from The Witcher 3 to Assassin's Creed to Battlefield/Front the bosses that do exist (if there are any at all) are usually so poor they're forgotten about straight away.

To be fair, I find that most RPGs have rather forgettable bosses (still fun though), because their boss fights tend to be limited to the same rules and mechanics you have been playing with the whole game. I can't really fault them though, I as I think a strong consistency in mechanics is a defining feature of RPGs. The only RPGs I've played that really try to put in a unique mechanic with bosses are Tales of Vesperia with it's "Secret Missions", and Ni No Kuni with it's "Now's your chance!" moments, but as fun as those are, they aren't matching up to Okami or Shadow of the Colossus.

That kind of leads me into thinking that boss fights simply might not be conducive to the type of game many western shooters are trying to be. Metroid Prime has a more "adventurey" design and Splatoon has a lot of platforming mechanics built into it. Compare that to Uncharted, where the goal is more to integrate the gameplay into a seamless story adventure about one man with a single gun. CoD really tries to focus on feeling like a real military campaign, so "boss battles" aren't really realistic.

I can't speak for the Arkham Series or Assassin's Creed though.

Currently Playing: Steamworld Heist, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Aviator

Mr. Freeze. Arkham City.

That fight is everything.

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-Godot

I like bosses where the odds feel against you, when the enemy is much bigger and more powerful. Design is pretty important to me too. The boss battles from games Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes are some of my favorites. Oh yeah, and I second Mr. Freeze.

Edited on by -Godot

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Whydoievenbother

I like bosses that reward the player for thinking more about the game's mechanics and systems, as it makes you feel like a genius for beating it.

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