Boss Fights Need to Go

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#1 Edited by Doogmeister (2 posts) -

Years ago, so-called "boss fights" were a predictable but reliable tool for prolonging an otherwise short playing experience. When gaming was in its infancy the emphasis was necessarily on mastering move combinations and quick reflexes because frankly, if you stopped frantically stabbing at the controller, there wasn't much worth seeing on the screen. Today it's a different story, at least for story-driven games. They feature great graphics, natural fighting and movement mechanics, and carefully crafted plot lines. All of which makes for an immersive experience - all the more so because you can participate with your controller rather than simply watch as a passive spectator. But all of this is ruined in seconds when game creators give in to the impulse to return to yesteryear and throw us into one of those endless slugfests known as the boss fight.

Nothing frustrates me more than working my way through a believable storyline, completely engrossed in the game, only to be confronted by a boss-type enemy that turns the game into a cartoon-like exercise of pumping bullets into an impervious enemy. I'm not talking about a complex shootout with multiple flanking enemies who are tough to deal with all at once. I'm talking about the guy dressed up in some sort of super body armour and sporting a chain gun or the mega-beast that can soak up bullets like a sponge but kill me with one or two swipes. Quickly the game devolves into a trial and error repetition of cat and mouse while the "kill meter" slowly drains. We all know the routine of learning what the game wants us to do: Empty a magazine into the boss, run to the left, throw a grenade, run past the boss while he's reeling and stab 3 times, take a hit, grab the medkit behind the bench and heal... Wash, rinse, repeat.

For games and gamers that still rely on frantic move combinations and super-human eye-hand coordination, I say the more bosses the better. But for today's generation of story-driven adventure games, some of which offer enormous play-through times, it's a needless insult that cheapens the entire experience. It's time to tell the boss he's fired.

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#2 Edited by Gamerno6666 (6793 posts) -

Doogmeister marked this as the best answer

Boss fights in uncharted types of game? I agree.

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#3 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (21548 posts) -

Hmm, I'm listening. Can you provide specific examples?

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#4 Posted by heljar (132 posts) -

Depends on the type of boss. You only seem focused on shooters, but there are other games you know. Zelda wouldn't be the same without the bosses. Arkham games had some very cool fights where you had to employ various gadgets to your advantage.

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#5 Posted by Archangel3371 (28120 posts) -

No way. I love boss fights myself, as long as they’re well done of course but I guess that can be dependant on the player. For me the more grandiose the boss fights are the better the game tends to be. That’s probably why I love games like Final Fantasy, Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, etc. Give me boss fights and lots of ‘em!

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#6 Posted by R-Gamer (209 posts) -

I love Boss fights so no. Lots of great boss fights this gen. GoW, Spiderman, Bloodborne, Demon Souls 3, Sekiro, DMC5, The Witcher 3. I absolutely love an epic boss fight.

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#7 Posted by Valgaav_219 (2430 posts) -

I love boss fights. They make games feel more epic and also create challenges. Without them the game also tends to be more monotonous. Most normal enemies are just cannon fodder anyway for anyone with any sort of skill.

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#8 Posted by VFighter (4999 posts) -

Can't say I agree, at all. Love me some good boss fights, hope they're always a staple of gaming.

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#9 Posted by Pikminmaniac (11367 posts) -

It depends on the genre

I think they need to go in platformers

They need to stay in games like zelda, Dark Souls and hack n slashes

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#10 Edited by Ish_basic (5007 posts) -

I just think devs need to look at their game and decide what's appropriate for it, not just tack on a too-tall, too much health, singular powerhouse for the sake of satisfying tradition.

I think a great example is the way the original Deus Ex handled fights with its more narrative important characters and how Human Revolution did it. In the original, your build came into play and if you wanted to bait your enemy into a killzone where you finished him silently with one shot, go for it. Want to go loud? Sure. In Human Revolution you get the more traditional HP powerhouse, stuck in a single "boss room" and a pre-defined cycle based strategy, regardless if you were playing the game as a stealthy techno-ninja or a bionic commando. If your game is about choice, those choices should still matter when the boss shows up.

we should also think of boss fights as climactic events and not necessarily one on one battles. The latter worked fine in the simplistic days of 8 bit gaming, but doesn't always make sense in the campaigns you find today. Like 1v1 vs Hitler in Wolfenstein made perfect sense, but it would be completely stupid in a WW2 CoD or BF campaign. You still need a sequence that kind of caps off a level or campaign in these latter games, though, so you accomplish that with some clever scenario writing and there's your "boss fight."

Some of this is also the result of gamer idiocy and devs that feel like they have to meet someone else's expectations of how a game should play. Like, many didn't get that climbing the palace without your rewind abilities in Prince of Persia Sands of Time IS the "boss fight," not stabbing the Vizier at the end, which was just the punctuation mark on the finale. Why should a game that is primarily about puzzles and platforming with combat tossed in for flavor end with a sword fight?

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#11 Posted by Heirren (1445 posts) -

Sounds like Bruce Springsteen aint accepting your invitation to dinner.

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#12 Posted by Clefdefa (745 posts) -

Dark Souls and Bloodborne wouldn't be as fun without boss fight. It is quite fun to finally kill the boss that you had so much trouble beating, it feels great.

I don't play many shooter outside of Borderlands, DOOM and KillZone. There are bosses in those game but they felt fair to me. difficult yes but fair for a shooting games.

Mega Man without robot master would be fucking stupid.

Never understood people talking about immersion ... I play a game. I know I play a game... I'm never into the game. I enjoy the graphics, the story and the ation but it still just a game.

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#13 Posted by Speeny (1764 posts) -

Boss fights are pretty much essential depending on the game, I think. It's tradition basically. I will say that, most newer games haven't really given me much of a challenge anymore though. Maybe I'm just playing easier games?

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#14 Posted by RSM-HQ (8410 posts) -

@doogmeister: Monster Hunter: World just hit 13 million copies sold and the series is known as boss_fights_the_video_game so. . .

Sucks that you think your taste holds any real weight honestly.

If you don't like them? Nothing is stopping you play something else. Plenty of walking simulators exist.

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#15 Edited by Yams1980 (3511 posts) -

Not a fan of boss fights here either and I think most games don't need boss fights. It's what impressed me so much with the original Halo, the game had no boss fights or even any boss at the end of the game, you just had to escape Halo at the end.

It really disappointed me in Halo 2 when they added a boss fight, i think it was vs a brute... i can't even remember. It felt like just another generic game at that point instead of an adventure like the original Halo. I can't remember if other Halos had them, probably in some form. The series was downhill after the original.

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#16 Posted by DaVillain- (36901 posts) -

Boss fights, I can take it or leave it meaning I just don't care if a game has'em or not.

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#17 Posted by pook99 (862 posts) -

If done right boss fights are potentially the highlight of a game. Figuring out a difficult boss pattern and then executing the right moves to take them down is an enormously satisfying experience, I agree that a poor boss fight can bring the vibe of a game down. If the boss is just a giant bullet sponge and the whole fight boils down to just circle strafing and unloading ammo, then sure, that sucks, but a good boss fight is memorable, rewarding, and tests the limits of the player.

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#18 Posted by Megavideogamer (6498 posts) -

Depends on the genre. I always look forward to the end level boss in "Shoot Them up games" "Third person shooter games" First Person Shooter games" or final end of game Bosses such as Mortal Kombat or Killer Instinct. Where you you get to see the final monster. Goro, Kintaro, Eyedol,The steel tailed Centaur, The dragon King etc.

Or Even in games like Wonder Boy 3 Monter lair where you take on "SunGlare the boss with the expandable arms".

But There are some games such as the "walking simulator" where you take control of the hipster girl with the camera in Life is Strange game. This genre is played for the story choose your own adventure trope. Great for when you need a break from trying to kill General Raam in Gears of War. or the Alien Rib Cage in Blazing Lazers.

And Tetris doesn't require Bosses at the end of the game.

World of Tanks gets by with no Boss battles.

So sometimes games can get by without boss battles. But unskippable cuts sequences should go then boss battle.

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#19 Posted by Pedro (34907 posts) -

Some games benefit form boss fights others games don't. It all depends on the type of game and application. Saying to remove all boss fights or to always have boss fights is to ignore the objective of the game in question. There are a lot of games where boss fights feels forced and unnecessary especially in games that ride on the "realistic" train in which a mere human now takes 100 shots to kill simply because "its a boss".

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#20 Posted by Shantmaster_K (1469 posts) -

I don't necessarily enjoy boss fights, and I agree, I don't understand the need in more realistic type games. I just want a good story.