Why Do Bosses Suck So Much Nowadays?

 Think back, what's the last game you played that didn't have a shitty boss fight? 

There's games like God of War 3 that have good boss fights (I thought Hades was fucking awesome, there's some other great ones in there, too) but not all are that fantastic.  There's games like Uncharted 2, Batman:AA that, for whatever reason, still think they need a "final boss" to end a game just because that's the way games have worked for a long time and if they don't have a final boss there somehow not doing what they should, even if that "final boss" is complete shit. Does anyone remember that stupid train boss in UC2? That was not fucking necessary, and was one of the worst video game decisions ever.  I can't remember for sure, but I think I remember getting pissed off at some Infamous bosses. Some just have retardedly repetitve boss fights, like Batman or Resident Evil 5. 
 
I think boss fights are slowly getting worse and worse as time goes on. I've never felt that hack n' slashes in general were good things to have bosses. God of War definitely has it's moments, but there's also a lot of disappointing and anticlimactic boss fights in them, too. The only type of games where I know bosses will still be great are 2D ones.  
 
So, I think, instead of cramming so many boss fights into one game like many devs do, just take your time and make a really good boss fights that works well with the mechanics of your game, and if you can't make a good boss fight, DON'T MAKE ONE. And for the love of God, not every games needs to have a final boss. 

So, to answer my question at the beginning, I guess I'd have to say Metal Gear Solid 4, then maybe Super Mario Galaxy. 
 
Also... agree, disagree? 

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Posted by SJSchmidt93

 Think back, what's the last game you played that didn't have a shitty boss fight? 

There's games like God of War 3 that have good boss fights (I thought Hades was fucking awesome, there's some other great ones in there, too) but not all are that fantastic.  There's games like Uncharted 2, Batman:AA that, for whatever reason, still think they need a "final boss" to end a game just because that's the way games have worked for a long time and if they don't have a final boss there somehow not doing what they should, even if that "final boss" is complete shit. Does anyone remember that stupid train boss in UC2? That was not fucking necessary, and was one of the worst video game decisions ever.  I can't remember for sure, but I think I remember getting pissed off at some Infamous bosses. Some just have retardedly repetitve boss fights, like Batman or Resident Evil 5. 
 
I think boss fights are slowly getting worse and worse as time goes on. I've never felt that hack n' slashes in general were good things to have bosses. God of War definitely has it's moments, but there's also a lot of disappointing and anticlimactic boss fights in them, too. The only type of games where I know bosses will still be great are 2D ones.  
 
So, I think, instead of cramming so many boss fights into one game like many devs do, just take your time and make a really good boss fights that works well with the mechanics of your game, and if you can't make a good boss fight, DON'T MAKE ONE. And for the love of God, not every games needs to have a final boss. 

So, to answer my question at the beginning, I guess I'd have to say Metal Gear Solid 4, then maybe Super Mario Galaxy. 
 
Also... agree, disagree? 

Posted by Skytylz

I'd agree and I think it is harder just because of how games are made now a days.  That's why games like Mario Bros. still work.

Posted by canucks23

dude, Cronos was all i needed for bossfights for the rest of the year.

Posted by Gabriel
@canucks23 said:
" dude, Cronos was all i needed for bossfights for the rest of the year. "
Posted by spankingaddict

i like bosses...

Edited by Atomasist

I agree for RE5 because my sister and I were trying to beat the game on professional and she had to hammer one of the buttons for like a minute straight.

Posted by MKHavoc

I know one of the things people didn't like about Fable 2 was the lack of a final boss fight.  It seems like most people are so used to expecting them that they'd rather a bad one than none at all.  I can sort of understand this though.  Don't you like being able to finally finish off the bad guy you've had to put up with for the whole game?  That's not to say that you can't make a great game that works without them though.

Posted by Icil

Twilight Princess did it best in my experiences with video games.
 
Infamous is one of the transgressors =(

Posted by spankingaddict

IMO Shadow of the Colossus has some of the best boss fights ive ever seen! plus it has a whopping 16 bosses!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by SuperSecretAgenda

Tenchu Z.

Posted by wefwefasdf
@spankingaddict said:
" IMO Shadow of the Colossus has some of the best boss fights ive ever seen! plus it has a whopping 16 bosses!!!!!!!!!!!! "
There were only boss fights. I agree though. :)
Posted by ninjakiller

How about ridiculously hard games like Demon's Souls with easy boss fights?

Posted by S0ndor

I know. I haven't seen a single memorable boss fight since the Metroid Prime series came to an end.

Posted by xyzygy

Mass Effect 2's Praetorian disagrees... what a bastard. The final boss of ME2 was also a bitch. Very challenging. 
 
I think that FFXIII has some pretty awesome bosses, especially Barthandelus. The music that plays while fighting him is epic. Plus, when you fight him the second time he looks badass.

Posted by RobotHamster
@spankingaddict said:
" IMO Shadow of the Colossus has some of the best boss fights ive ever seen! plus it has a whopping 16 bosses!!!!!!!!!!!! "
Yea.   
 
And as for the post, god of war 3 had awesome bosses but maybe not one or two.  And its true some game just fail miserably at them but i guess they have a need to have them.  
Posted by Brendan
@xyzygy said:
"Mass Effect 2's Praetorian disagrees... what a bastard. The final boss of ME2 was also a bitch. Very challenging.  I think that FFXIII has some pretty awesome bosses, especially Barthandelus. The music that plays while fighting him is epic. Plus, when you fight him the second time he looks badass. "

Dude what, all you had to do was hide and pop up and shoot his eyes.  It was one of the easier fights in the game period
Posted by swamplord666

in games like uncharted 2, boss fights seems stupid. They should have kept it at being a super intense firefight ALA COD:WaW. But for stuff like zelda or GOW there should be bosses :)

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

Bosses almost never work well in FPS and 3rd person shooters. They usually don't require a special strategy, they take too long, sometimes they're frustrating. They also have a tendency for devolving into you pumping a massive amount of bullets into a single enemy, and that being the only reason it's even considered a boss. Those being probably the two most popular genres right now, you get lots of shitty bosses. Recent example, Uncharted 2 had terrible boss fights. That super soldier in the train who kills you in less than a second of sustained fire (on normal!) and somehow takes four full clips of the most powerful rifle in the game to kill? Nonsensical and frustrating. Don't even get me started on those sasquatch guys. It's really too bad that Batman: AA had such crappy bosses too, that game did everything else so well.
 
As for good recent bosses, Bayonetta had a few, but a couple stinkers as well. Mega Man 10 is Mega Man, which means fun boss fights.

Edited by Vager

Is there a way to satisfyingly end an RPGs or Hack 'n Slash games without a boss fight? 
There are probably other genres that pretty much always have boss fights.

@ninjakiller:

 
 I beat the Flamelucker a few hours ago. That was damn hard; at least until I figured out how to glitch the guy.
Posted by Sweep

When a boss fight is done well it's supposed to be a peak of difficulty. I remember back in the day when we used to measure our progress in games by which boss we had just killed.
 
Games which do it right are things like Shadow Of The Collossus - which turns each battle into an epic platforming adventure - and world of warcraft, because it has a depth that can drown entire civilizations. A boss should be scary. Bowser doesn't cut the mustard these days...

Moderator
Posted by Aaox

You want bosses? Try Shadow of the Colossus.

Posted by Skald
Posted by Kraznor

Was going to use God of War III as a defense but you already mentioned it. You're right, a lot of boss battles have been pretty lackluster. Uncharted 2 and Batman:AA are some fine examples. I'd also include the original Bioshock. Really killed that otherwise amazing end sequence.

Posted by RandomInternetUser

If you want a good boss fight, Darksiders has a few great ones imo.  I really loved the final boss...

Posted by Xanth93

Most bosses are terrible. My favorite recently has to be Cronos from God of War III. But it's annoying how lots of bosses are so huge, but are so fucking easy. Some of the hardest bosses are the size of a human. Vergil from Devil May Cry 3 took me SEVEN HOURS on Dante Must Die mode!

Edited by Astras

Just started replaying super metroid on the SNES, some of the bosses on that are a proper insane struggle and pretty amazing really compared to some of the latest I have seen, they demand alot of skill.
Some of the most memorable and my personal choices of boss fights:
 

  • Metroid prime
  • Super Metroid
  • Final fantasy 7.. that bloody scorpion and seph 
  • Chrono trigger
  • Ikaruga
  • Street figher 2 and 4
  • Metal gear solid 1 and 3
Posted by RandomInternetUser
@Sweep said:
" When a boss fight is done well it's supposed to be a peak of difficulty. I remember back in the day when we used to measure our progress in games by which boss we had just killed.  Games which do it right are things like Shadow Of The Collossus - which turns each battle into an epic platforming adventure - and world of warcraft, because it has a depth that can drown entire civilizations. A boss should be scary. Bowser doesn't cut the mustard these days... "
WoW bosses are by far the most sense of accomplishment I've ever had while beating a boss.  I still remember exactly how it felt when my guild killed Kel'Thas back in spring/summer '08.
Posted by Atlantus_Air

The only boss I like in my games are end bosses as long as they aren't ridiculously hard or just doing an easy repetitive task over and over, like a QTE.

Posted by Whisperkill

JRPGs have great bosses. 
 
And so does Zelda.

Posted by Veektarius
@SuperfluousMoniker:  I want to add to this analysis that given the recent focus on quasi-realism in games, it's not surprising that games avoid guys you have to pump a million shots into, cause that just makes no sense.   
 
Props go out to the Scarecrow levels in Batman, though.
Posted by Tennmuerti
@xobballox said:
" @Sweep said:
" When a boss fight is done well it's supposed to be a peak of difficulty. I remember back in the day when we used to measure our progress in games by which boss we had just killed.  Games which do it right are things like Shadow Of The Collossus - which turns each battle into an epic platforming adventure - and world of warcraft, because it has a depth that can drown entire civilizations. A boss should be scary. Bowser doesn't cut the mustard these days... "
WoW bosses are by far the most sense of accomplishment I've ever had while beating a boss.  I still remember exactly how it felt when my guild killed Kel'Thas back in spring/summer '08. "
Agree.
I think Blizzard kidnapped all the best boss fight designers :)
Posted by xyzygy
@Brendan: On Insanity you constantly have Harbinger around you and the boss has an insane amount of health. You're not safe anywhere because of Harbinger and can die in a few hits.
Edited by S0ndor
@xyzygy said:

" @Brendan: On Insanity you constantly have Harbinger around you and the boss has an insane amount of health. You're not safe anywhere because of Harbinger and can die in a few hits. "

As someone who has beaten Insanity I can honestly say that that is simply not true. With the right weapons and ammo Harbinger can be killed within a matter of seconds and as long as you stay behind cover, the Reaper simply can not hit you with anything. Bioware is not known for making great, or even good bossfights, but this one was exceptionally sucky.
Posted by IndeedCodyBrown

Bosses are easy but bosses are fun!

Posted by xyzygy
@S0ndor said:
" @xyzygy said:

" @Brendan: On Insanity you constantly have Harbinger around you and the boss has an insane amount of health. You're not safe anywhere because of Harbinger and can die in a few hits. "

As someone who has beaten Insanity I can honestly say that that is simply not true. With the right weapons and ammo Harbinger can be killed within a matter of seconds and as long as you stay behind cover, the Reaper simply can not hit you with anything. Bioware is not known for making great, or even good bossfights, but this one was exceptionally sucky. "
Ok. So I guess I came in here and made that up for absolutely no reason then. Call me a liar. 
 
sheesh...
Posted by Brendan
@xyzygy said:
" @S0ndor said:
" @xyzygy said:

" @Brendan: On Insanity you constantly have Harbinger around you and the boss has an insane amount of health. You're not safe anywhere because of Harbinger and can die in a few hits. "

As someone who has beaten Insanity I can honestly say that that is simply not true. With the right weapons and ammo Harbinger can be killed within a matter of seconds and as long as you stay behind cover, the Reaper simply can not hit you with anything. Bioware is not known for making great, or even good bossfights, but this one was exceptionally sucky. "
Ok. So I guess I came in here and made that up for absolutely no reason then. Call me a liar.  sheesh... "

I have to say that I beat it just the way I described on insanity.  The "big" boss is not that hard.  I tihnk the game would have ended alot better with a Gears 1 General raam, that requires you to move between cover constantly.
Posted by xyzygy
@Brendan said:
" @xyzygy said:
" @S0ndor said:
" @xyzygy said:

" @Brendan: On Insanity you constantly have Harbinger around you and the boss has an insane amount of health. You're not safe anywhere because of Harbinger and can die in a few hits. "

As someone who has beaten Insanity I can honestly say that that is simply not true. With the right weapons and ammo Harbinger can be killed within a matter of seconds and as long as you stay behind cover, the Reaper simply can not hit you with anything. Bioware is not known for making great, or even good bossfights, but this one was exceptionally sucky. "
Ok. So I guess I came in here and made that up for absolutely no reason then. Call me a liar.  sheesh... "
I have to say that I beat it just the way I described on insanity.  The "big" boss is not that hard.  I tihnk the game would have ended alot better with a Gears 1 General raam, that requires you to move between cover constantly. "
Maybe because I was playing as an Adept?
Posted by StarFoxA

The last great boss fight that I can remember is Final Fantasy VI. Kefka is a god.

Posted by Brendan
@xyzygy said:
" @Brendan said:
" @xyzygy said:
" @S0ndor said:
" @xyzygy said:

" @Brendan: On Insanity you constantly have Harbinger around you and the boss has an insane amount of health. You're not safe anywhere because of Harbinger and can die in a few hits. "

As someone who has beaten Insanity I can honestly say that that is simply not true. With the right weapons and ammo Harbinger can be killed within a matter of seconds and as long as you stay behind cover, the Reaper simply can not hit you with anything. Bioware is not known for making great, or even good bossfights, but this one was exceptionally sucky. "
Ok. So I guess I came in here and made that up for absolutely no reason then. Call me a liar.  sheesh... "
I have to say that I beat it just the way I described on insanity.  The "big" boss is not that hard.  I tihnk the game would have ended alot better with a Gears 1 General raam, that requires you to move between cover constantly. "
Maybe because I was playing as an Adept? "

Could be, ME2 heavily favours soldiers.
Posted by Brians

Best boss
Giygas in Earthbound
Defeated by harnessing the power of all the people you met in the game really cool.

Posted by LiquidPrince

Uncharted 2 and Batman both had pretty epic end boss fights. None felt out of place in my opinion.

Posted by arab_prince

I think one of the worst bosses ever was the final boss of uncharted drakes fortune...ugh

Posted by ZombieHunterOG
@Atomasist said:
" I agree for RE5 because my sister and I were trying to beat the game on professional and she had to hammer one of the buttons for like a minute straight. "
lol i was the designated button masher on my coop play through :P 
 
i was upset lol
Posted by habster3

I think it would be nice for there to be good boss battles in a tps, as long as it doesn't absorb a stupid amount of bullets and it's a monster rather than some human character. It seems that everyone forgot the worst boss battle ever: Grant from From Russia With Love. In my opinion, Tiamat in Darksiders was a great fight, as well as the second stage of Sir Sweet from Prinny; sure, it was difficult, but that was the best part about it.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

I think that Bayonetta has the best boss fights in recent memory.
Posted by captain_clayman
@canucks23 said:
" dude, Cronos was all i needed for bossfights for the rest of the year. "
this
Posted by EVO

For what it's worth, Shatter had awesome bosses. All 10 of em.

Posted by empfeix
@arab_prince said:
" I think one of the worst bosses ever was the final boss of uncharted drakes fortune...ugh "
wrong fable 2 has the worst end boss in recent memory
Posted by SJSchmidt93
@captain_clayman said:
" @canucks23 said:
" dude, Cronos was all i needed for bossfights for the rest of the year. "
this "
Hmmm, all you guys love Cronos but my favorite was definitely Hades. Cronos was still pretty good, though.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

Having recently finished Devil May Cry 3, allow me to tell you that the bosses in that game do not suck. Considering that the first legitimate boss fight in the game is easily one of the hardest in the game (Seriously. Cerberus rips new players, such as myself, to shreds.), It really can't be faulted for having pansy bosses.  Of course, it came out almost 5 years ago, so I guess it doesn't count as recent. 
 
However, I have to agree with you on Batman. The boss fights were easily the weakest part of the game. Resident Evil 5? Maybe. But considering that every playthough after the first has been an "Infinite Magnum and Rocket Launcher Party", I really can't complain.

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