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Heyy, welcome back to the Weekly Site Poll!    :P

 

Poll 31 - 'What games need a reboot?' - is here if you'd like to read the responses, or post a late reply.

 

Moving on, this weeks questions are about those dang monstrosities we all love to rage at...
 
 
Boss Battles. Which ones do you love, or hate?
 
Also, what is the hardest Boss Battle you've been involved in?
 
 
The next Weekly Site Poll will be posted on 7/9/16. Feel free to suggest the topic for the NEXT Weekly Site Poll in your response!
 
SD, out!     :split:
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For me, a good boss battle is one which forces you to prove that you've mastered the game's mechanics up to that point - bonus points if you have to try using them in new ways which show you understand their concepts, have to execute them without crutches, or are forced to use multiple mechanics rather than just being able to get complacent and repeat the same tactics over and over.

 

So for me, the 'perfect' boss would be something like Mr. Freeze from Batman: Arkham City. It's brilliant because in order to pass it, you have to demonstrate that you've mastered almost every single takedown ability in the game, because every time you use one, he adapts to it, and you can't use it again. There's no surprises about it - you aren't introduced to any wholly new mechanics, enemies, or concepts - and while he has a lot of health, it's not just a case of repeating the same action over and over again and slowly whittling it down. Instead, you have to keep thinking of what takedown abilities you can still use to reduce his health, all while staying hidden from him, and under the pressure of knowing that if you go too long without hurting him, he might find you or use one of his heat-seeking attacks to wound you anyway. If you've spent the whole game not bothering to learn anything but the same basic two or three takedowns, you're going to have a lot of problems as you struggle to think of ways to injure him, but if you've taken the opportunity to practice with all the tools at your disposal, the whole fight becomes a really tense but satisfying battle in which you prove you've mastered all of the game's core 'predator' mechanics.

 

In terms of bosses I hate? Things which throw completely new mechanics at you, where you haven't had a chance to practice them, things where what you're supposed to do is poorly explained and isn't a sensible course of action based on what you known of the game and its mechanics so far, or where the enemy is basically a giant sponge, where you're only really doing the same thing over and over with the real 'test' being one of endurance, to see how many times you can repeat it without making a mistake and needing to start over.

 

In terms of 'bad' bosses, for me the most obvious things would be something like Tartarus form Halo 2. It introduces a brand-new mechanic in that you can't hurt Tartarus until Johnson shoots him with his Beam Rifle (bonus points because the rifle is so quiet and so far away that it's hard to see this is what's provoking your window of opportunity; bonus points again because it's completely beyond the player's control; bonus points again because it's a mechanic which has not only never been seen before in Halo 2 and thus gives you no opportunity to prepare for it, but is in fact seen literally nowhere else in the entire series), doesn't challenge the player to try any new tactics (you're still just shooting him), and he has a ridiculous amount of health, so all you can do is slowly chip away at him until he dies.

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One game with great boss battles is one of my favorite games of all time: Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door. The Shadow Queen is the last boss of the story but Bonetail is technically the last boss and that was hard. 

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The best boss fight I've ever encountered has to be Executioner Smough and Dragonslayer Ornstein from Dark Souls. It's the hardest and the most challenging boss I've ever fought. It's given me the most fun and rage of any game. Other fans can relate to the struggle to topple the guardians of Gwynevere

 

As for worst boss fights, Halo 2. Pointless, tedious and outright stupid. They had no place being in the game and are a complete waste of time. I've always wondered why it was allowed into the game. The campaign would have been so much better without it.

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Best boss for me is the End from MGS3. A test of everything you've learned up to that point about camouflage, survival and tracking. Not to mention the amount of unique ways in which you can kill him, even before you face him in the actual boss battle.

 

I can't actually remember what the hardest boss I've fought was.

 

Mechanics I hate in Boss fights are multiple healthbars, One hit kill attacks and fake boss fights like Kai Lang or whateverhisfaceis in ME3. 

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A well-designed boss battle is one that cannot be cheesed, and (as many of you have said) are a test of your skills and knowledge with a game's mechanics. Surprisingly, Mario games fit the bill rather well, because there aren't very many mechanics to master... you mainly just run and jump. But out of all the Mario games, Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy do this the best. They introduce new mechanics into the game, and then require that you know how to use them in boss fights.

As for poorly-designed boss battles... well, I'd say most of Final Fantasy 6's boss fights fall under this category. Many bosses are vulnerable to crippling status ailments (such as Stop, Berserk, or Vanish then Instant Death) which removes any semblance of challenge. Bosses are supposed to be threatening, but in FF6 they eventually turn into wastes of time.

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Is Comic Sans hard to read on mobile? It looks funky on my browser, and I don't know if it's just me. I'd hate to have indiscernable text in the thread.

 

Anyway, I've got a few boss battle gripes...

 

1. I know there's a boss battle in a particularly large area with copious amounts of ammunition. I SHOULDN'T know that.

 

2. Battles backed by amazing musical tracks, but the battle itself is either too easy or plain garbage. Looking at you Index Gundyr #1.

 

3. Having doors and obstacles magically obstacle-ize out of nowhere upon the arrival of a boss. Seriously?

 

4. Boss battles reduced to short QTEs -- not being a real battle then. Ur-Didact you mother-

 

5. Having regular old enemies from the game jump in to do the job the boss is supposed to do. Listen here, Dead Space 2: GET THOSE DAMN NECROMORPHS OUTTA MA FACE WHEN IM TRYNA KILL NICOLE.

 

6. Hype up this big bad, kill em, and then that's the end of it. Final boss of the game that only appears in that game and nowhere else? You thought they were an interesting, and cool character? Get over it.

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