Nerds with Words: Boss Battles
Today is a simple Sunday. Partially because its a pretty slow news cycle, but also because this was a topic I felt was rather interesting to discuss since it has been bought up often in the past few days due to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Do boss battles still have a place in modern games?
Just hit up the comments section below with your own thoughts. I’m very curious indeed.
Define “modern game”. There are certain genres where boss battles do work, and others where they don’t. Boss fights in fighting games are always more frustrating than fun, because you’ll have to change your tactics and are forced to just spam certain attacks (SHAO KAHHHHHHN!). They can still work on fantasy and science fiction games though, because fighting a big creature can make the action intense.
I don’t know, I would say Mass Effect falls under Sci-fi and in my experience, I just thought the boss battles in it were out of place.
And from what I’ve been told, it seems to be the same for Deus EX!
Yep, I definitely think boss battles have a place in modern games. Action/ adventure games feel odd if there aren’t bosses, and they can make games in other genres like the FPS stand out from the other games. Plus, who doesn’t like boss fights?!
I imagine you mean what everyone would associate as ‘next generation’ games? Are you excluding indie games and the such?
When I saw the question I immediately thought of the Arkham Asylum ‘boss battles’ and how dire and out of place they were in the game. The problem I thought when I was playing the Poison Ivy boss battle was; “It feels like a Zelda boss, why is that in a Batman game?”, maybe they feel that it’s the only way to do a boss battle.
When I mention indie games too, Outland comes to mind but that essentially is a game that could have been released for the SNES as a ‘retail game’ and the boss battles are pretty much what you’d expect; find weak points beat the crap out of them, and to be honest I enjoyed them because they stand out- unlike that Poison Ivy battle.
Funnily enough when I think back through the games I’ve played in the recent years I’ve never really remembered the boss battles- apart from Nintendo games, but that’s probably because of the on going franchises and what I expect from a Mario of Zelda boss.
Every other game? Poor boss battles where the developer obviously has no other idea how to do things- which is a shame.
Originality in games is becoming scarce now as all the competing top titles appear to be taking stuff from one another to boost the gameplay but I genuinely believe there is a hidden gold mine in a new way of boss battling.
Boss battles will only have a place in modern games when developers decide to evolve them rather than use old ideas- which will be a helluva job for the person who tries to tackle that challenge.
Batman Arkham Asylum is an excellent example for many reasons.
-As you mentioned the battles with Poison Ivy and especially Titan Joker stand-out as being odd fits in the game, but based on the property they actually make sense. I mean go toe to toe with Bane and even the Joker is expected in the franchise, and the game does a commendable job, but they do feel out of place.
-The Scarecrow sequences, I would consider out of the box thinking of “boss battles”. I mean they retain the elements of a boss battle, but make them less about being physically engaging and instead focus on the stealth elements presented in the game. Which I think is a problem a lot of newer games have is combing their unique game play with the idea of a traditional boss battle/end game sequence.