It's widely agreed that the Super Mario games - in their various forms - are among the very best in the industry. Yet some parts of them are somewhat 'meh', nevertheless, even if they are relatively brief sections among far better gaming moments.
Our video man Alex Olney reckons boss fights can be a weakness in some Mario games, perhaps not living up to the stages that preceded them. He's picked out five of the worst - in his view - from across multiple generations, demonstrating that Bowser and his minions need to up their game!
Check it out below and share your own lists and views in the comments.
Final boss fight of NSMB2. Not because of the difficulty, but a recurring issue with games in general; unskippable cutscenes.
So, you run in, hit the switch, bridge falls, Bowser follows. But then you HAVE to watch the cutscene. Once or twice is one thing, but needing to watch it for EVERY attempt? Super annoying. The time, while by no means "long" all adds up. You might spend more time watching the cutscene then actually trying to beat the final boss, if you mess up early.
Needless to say, when the White Raccoon Suit was granted, I said "screw it" and just used it to beat the game. I may revisit the game someday to do it normally, but the flow of that final area was killing the fun.
Otherwise, the boss itself wasn't all that bad. But the stupid 8-bit era-level of tedium was.
I like King Bob-omb for what he stands for. He is the first test of how well you mastered 3D movement. And if you haven't mastered that yet, he picks you up and throws you off the mountain so that you can train some more and try again when you reach the top.
And for some reason I always have a lot of trouble against the SMB bowser. Just bad luck I guess.
Mario boss fights in general are pretty dull. I mean, the Galaxy games had some notable ones, but besides those... Most seem to be either enemies you should typically run into as part of the level, or the fight is more platforming than boss.
Boom-Boom: Too Many Games.
I laughed way too hard at that. XD
Pretty much agree except for King Boo. I like how it was a creative boss fight, nothing ever done before, and felt really fresh in a Mario game. The other bosses in the video where simple: either do ____ 3 times to win, or it's over in 5 seconds. For King Boo, it's stomping moving panels, throwing fruit; certainly nothing generic! I just think it's a cool boss fight!
King bomb, awesome boss fight.
I personally would like this sort of thing in an article. I don't come here for youtube. I go to youtube for youtube.
That being said, the koopa kids have always been dull.
I actually found Boom Boom to be a relatively good boss in SMB3, but after that he was terrible.
Including King Bomb is harsh - remember the entire first world is essentially a training ground for getting used to the 3D controls, which were very new at the time.
I always found Super Mario Land 2 to have the most interesting bosses in the main series games. They all sort of fight the same way but they are all unique in design at least.
That said I was very disappointed the 3D Land and 3D world didn't have bosses like the Land series did. I think it would've been cool to continue where those games left off.
inb4 someone snarks at Super Mario Maker.
Not surprised to see at least one entry coming from Super Mario Sunshine.
I loved the boss of New Super Mario Bros 2. That game may be the black sheep of the series but, it had a fantastic final showdown.
Except it had one thing in common with the final Bowser battle in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and I'm not talking about the music. Glorified escape sequence, anyone?
Of course, then again, NSMB2's showdown is more clever, engaging and epic. At least to me.
Every boss in Super Mario Land (GB)
Slightly off-topic, but one thing that always annoyed me is that, beside bosses, it's taken until New Super Mario Bros. U for Nintendo to finally give the levels proper names. I was so sick to call levels "World number dash number". If you tell me "Flaming Passion", I'll answer "third arabian level, Crash Bandicoot 3". It's really annoying not to remember which level of which world had that one part you really liked. I don't know if I'm alone when complaining about this.
@manwithoutfear I'm still waiting for a 2D Mario game where the Koopalings' battles last a decent amount of time. I really like them as characters, but as bosses they are pretty terrible, and it doesn't help that in most New Super Mario Bros. games (I haven't tried the 2) you can jump on them right after the head comes out of the shell...
anyway, the fist two Bowser battles in Super Mario 64 are epic in settings and music, but man, one bomb and he's done!
And the Bowser Jr. battles in New Super Mario bros. get gruesome near the middle of the game as you realize he's a poor little child desperately trying in all imaginable ways to defeat Mario only to fail miserably each time!
I actually like Boom Boom, but I will agree that I sighed a sigh of relief when Boss Sumo Bro. was the boss of the Rock Candy Mines. Great list overall! My top 5.
5. Koopalings (SMB3) - The first one (Larry?) was pretty cool, but the rest of them were basically copy-pasted.
4. That Spikey Gate boss (3D World) - It was really uninteresting. Nuff' said.
3. King Bob-omb (64) - Some are saying he's simplistic because he's the first boss. I point to Dino Pirahna.
2. Fry Guy (SMB2) - More of a personal grudge, as I had to get a Game Over on him because a mini-guy flew off screen.
1. Mama Mandibug (SMG) - Who is Mama Mandibug, you ask? She's the "boss" of the Honeyhive Galaxy's fist star. She gives you a star, she was a cut seen dedicated to her, and she's pointless; a pointless boss.
The worst (not mainline) I have ever played in my days is the last boss of Mario and Luigi Dream Team. It's not too hard to stay alive (except for one unavoidable attack) but you cant kill the freaking thing because even if you do 700 damage, it heals over and over and over until it no longer matters. I made it to the boss and quit the game. Never even beat it. Extremely frustrating 3 tries or so.
Needs more NSMB bosses. lol
Good video! I recently completed 3D Land and I must say that the boss fights were really lame it's not just that they're easy but also they don't have any wow factor even Bowser was kinda lame except at the end. (still easy but epic)
Can we get a top 5 bosses?
@Blue_Blur Fun fact: that's not really supposed to be King Boo, it's a translation/localization error. I'm pretty sure in the original Japanese version he's just like a Big Boo or something. That said, I completely agree with your statement about the fight being unique, but I can see how some people would dislike continually hitting the slots for a Jalapeno.
@Zelda_Rocks: You have a good point about the Jalapeno. XD I agree that the boss can take a while because of the slot machine, too. And thanks for the fun fact! I didn't know it wasn't supposed to be King Boo; it's always cool to know trivia like that.
Donkey Kong Racing? Slip-up or did you secretly play that unreleased GCN game?
I hate Cackletta for being a broken cheating piece of toast that the game did literally nothing to prepare you for. Broken bosses > bad bosses, every time. Though, as much as I dislike Fawful for being a cringeworthy forced meme, the guy put up a fight and then some.
Yeah, I can see that. Luckily, I don't think I needed more then one try. But yeah, a skip button is always ideal.
I'm surprised that hot tub Bowser wasn't mentioned.
All you do in that fact is ground pound 5 platforms whilst high jumping, it's pretty anti-climatic.
I'd say the worst one ever is 3D World's Bowser battles. They're so lame, just run forward and kick back balls at Bowser with no challenge.
Personally for me...
5) Bowser (Final) - Super Mario 3D Land
I love Bowser, but his final boss fight is a huge turn-off for me. I mean, I like chase scenes and all, but that should never end the game. I expected myself actually fighting Bowser (like...fighting him in an arena, where he spins around until he pops out of his shell, throwing Koopas at you. Stomp the Koopas into their shells, kick them at Bowser to knock him on his back, and stomp on him three times to defeat him. As he gets lesser HP left, he will occassionally throw spinies at you), but nope, chase scene where you must run like Greg Hefley and Rowley Jefferson through an obstacle course and...the end. I'm sorry if the lot of you liked this boss fight, but I didn't.
4) O'Chunks - Super Paper Mario
I liked the character, but his boss fights could have been a lot better. Repeatedly use Thoreau and jump on him and...well, the fight is over before you know it. Oh, and don't get me started on the Bowser + Carrie combo!
3) Bowser - New Super Mario Bros 2
...okay, for whatever hate this fight received, I have no choice but to agree with the word of mouth. I personally don't find this fight challenging at all, but very tedious and pointless.
2) Hiyoihoi (Third Boss) - Super Mario Land
All the bosses in the game had their own unique charms, but this one...I just didn't really care much. He tosses rocks too frequently and when you're behind the boss as Superball Mario, you can wreck him by mashing the B button; he doesn't even turn around, unlike Bowser in SMB1.
1) Bowser - Mario Pinball Land
I was annoyed with all the bosses in the game in most cases, but Bowser...hoo boy. I raged at the game so hard for each time Mario fell in the drain. Enough said, I need an ice pack.
Every other boss in the many Mario games I played may be simple, but unlike these five above, had some enjoyability for me and memories.
I don't know about the King Bob-bomb one. It seems to me like it is intended to teach you to try to pick up Bowser.
I hated just about every boss fight in 3D World. It was all so generic and then the last boss was such an anticlimactic event.
Omg I hate when people pronounce Mario, Mary-O. It drives me nuts!
@sWiTcHeRoO that's the first boss battle I thought they would list. It was terrible.
The final boss battle in Sunshine is way worse than that King Boo fight. Bowser just flops around in a tub, and it's over before it even really begins. Embarrassing.
King Bob-omb is awesome! He is the first boss you encouter in a new 3D game and environment. He was your first test and think he was a good first boss. He also prepares you for future Bowser battles in Mario 64.
@Joshua179 The tv commercials for the NES games pronounced it like mar (mars without the s) when I was a kid. So did the Super Mario Bros Super Show cartoon.
@NESlover85 I've noticed in the UK we tend to say Mah-ree-oh whereas in the US they say Mar-ee-oh. Given that Mario himself says "It's-a me Mar-ee-oh" I should probably adjust, but I've been saying Mah-ree-oh since the days of the NES!
Any of those Boss battles where you're not actually fighting the boss, but platforming while keeping away from the actual boss.
Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World are all guilty of this, and all of these were the final bosses!
@Joshua179 lol sorry. I forget that this is predominantly a UK site. I completely forgot about the cultural differences.
Main Mario games No RPG and Spinoffs? Lets see...
(The Crow) Mario Land 2: Quake in fear as the winged menace divebombs in a arch! And..that it.
(Bathtub Bowser) Sunshine: Your only threat of danger is by falling. Bowser LITERALLY making bubbles with his mouth in the tub is all you need to get for this boss.
(Father and Son) NSMB: Bowser, why did you have to jump? If you had a shockwave attack or something it would've justived your jumping but nope! And the ending is sorta anti-climax.
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