Since the dawn of the independent gaming journalist lists have served as a simple and effective mean to bring home the bacon. Though this opportunity has since been exploited — without naming names, why does it take five pages to run through ten options? — and all and all reduced to ‘baiting material’ we here at Bagogames say NAY! That’s why, starting this week, we’ll be releasing a list of seven, and no more, things about a topic of our choosing without rendering the entire thing seem stupid…
And with that out of the way, we give you our Seven Worst Boss Fights!
Not every villain is a superb blend of suave, challenge and crass. In fact a lot of the time villains turn out to be what every gamer dreads, a beach of a boss battle that just doesn’t play fair. We’re talking health bars that overlap because the confines of your TV; one hit kills with every, damn, hit; Or just obnoxious, annoying abusive one liners. It’s hard to determine what gets us annoyed most about certain bosses, so with that in mind this is our worst case scenarios brought to horrific life in videogames.
Lucien the Feeble, Fable II
Adventure games are a journey. A quest for completion that will put you at odds with one or many foes. So it is custom for when said adventure reaches its final furlong that you’d be greeted with some form of rival, someone who is the antithesis of your perspective and who means to kill you. Usually it helps when they are ferocious and capable of putting up a fight as well. Fable, as a whole, has had mixed choices for the coveted final boss spot. In the first game we got a dragon, that was pretty cool. But in the second game, in true Molyneux style, we get a pensioner with a never ending series of monologues, that is until I put a single bullet in his chops. So this man takes my sister, my family and, most criminal of all, my dog and all I get for revenge is to let a music box hum at him before blowing him away with one shot? This, dear readers, is the anti climax of our list. The game that just ended on whimper, without bang, and robbed me of a dose of very anticipated pay back.
What’s worse, if for some reason you want to listen to him someone else will do you the favour and end him. Meaning you could walk away with now revenge whatsoever, wouldn’t that piss in your bonfire of victory? So, out of sheer underwhelming force, Lucien earns out first spot on the list. We hope he’s happy, wherever the hell he is, because we sure as hell are not.
The Cursed Case of Colonel Radec, Killzone 2
I quite enjoyed Killzone 2. In fact I’ll even go as far to say it was my favourite shooter of 2009. The looks, the feel and the gritty ‘this shit is real’ ethnics of it all just spoke to me, even if the trophies were a joke to collect. One, small, thing though. Ending Radec, and his lackies, while babysitting Rico.
I especially hate any boss in which they themselves are tough to kill but only pose a limited threat to you. Radec show cases this in spades. He sits at the back of the room, like a pussy, and takes pot shots while his legion of cannon fodder throw everything from sniper rounds to ballistic missiles at you. But there are two factors that make this already tedious recipe just plain unbearable; Rico and the fact Radec cloaks himself. Since shooting a guy in the head from across a throne room while all out war breaks out was apparently not hard enough, Guerilla decided to hand their end all baddie for the game a cloaking device, and only give you small sporadic windows of opportunity. Then, just as you’re about to snatch victory from the tired jaws of annoyance, Rico goes down. Right there, right then, I turn to my colleague, lift an RPG and blow myself up. Since the game is so dedicated to stopping me, I’d rather go out my way than give Radec, or Rico, the satisfaction of knowing they’d personally bested me.
Screw you Radec.
Nihilanth the Floating Foetus of Doom, Half Life
I loved Half Life. Today it sits comfortably on my favourite games ever shelf — at home in Ireland out of my reach, alongside Dark Souls and My Little — anyway there is one, large, sour note that most be brought up. This!
What the hell is it? Why the hell won’t it die? What the hell is going on, how to I beat this — are you serious? The crystals on the walls? And this game was so great too…
Nihilanth just didn’t cut it. In a game that was celebrated for being unique, smart and stylish — by nerd standards — this giant thing comes in like al bull in a china shop and just screws up my shit all together. It’s a gimmick battle. When we had to kill the giant molesting tentacle of death earlier in the game that was cool, we threw science at the damn thing and came up trumps while it roasted to cinders. When we came face to face with the mastermind of all our woes however the cool level dropped off a cliff and landed amongst the sharp pointed barbs of the mundane. He’s insanely powerful, is invincible unless you shoot some crystalline structures spotted in its lair and you spend a lot of time sitting behind a rock and remembering the good ol’ days. Y’know, when you were having fun playing Half Life.
This game deserved better, and while there is certainly an element of challenge about Nihilanth the final level was just so separated from the rest of the game that it was a chore to finish. Especially when you had something like that staring you down, looking all almighty and gruesome from the cover the your rock.
The Terminator Knock Off, Mass Effect 2
My standing for Mass Effect began to decline from the final battle with the Reaper knock off in Mass Effect 2. I mean, seriously? Who invited the T-1000’s ugly ass giant twin for a show down?
So we get to the end of the game. We’ve had a great time, some laughs and maybe a few tears along the way. So now it’s time to finish it, to send the crowd home with a bang and something to remember. What does Bioware have up their sleeve for this job, I wonder quietly to myself. I get to the end, no one around. Just a giant Terminator rejected suspended by a few questionable supports. Drop it in the pit and go home, says the game. Okay, so we do that. Mission accomplished.
Or not. The Larva returns, pissed after you ruined its beauty sleep but clearly not powerful enough to actually do anything about it. One long test of your patience and ammo reserves later and you’re finished. The Larva drops, for good this time, and you’re free to depart your very confined final stage feeling robbed of a good final battle. God forbid you died, because you would have had to back track about twenty minutes of progress to try again. But wait! Maybe that wasn’t the final battle, so you rush on in hopes of finding a giant mutated grab or something. You don’t, the game ends, and the final battle of Mass Effect 2 reminds me of my ma’s dinner menu when I was a child; take it or leave it.
Artificial Annoyance, Deus Ex: Human Revoultion
Deus Ex: Human Revoultion is a game which promotes choice and open gameplay, so adding boss battles in the first place was a pretty stupid idea. I mean really, who the hell in the office came up with boss battles during the round table idea stage? Then who the hell agreed with him? Most importantly, why did nobody think this was a bad idea? Seriously, there must have been a couple of dozen people on this and not one of them thought this was going to suck? What’s worse is they seemed to have saved the worst for last; this chick!
She’s a pencil pushing broad with a terrible accent and a delusional goal of market conquest. She’s Zhao Yun Ru, and she’s also a really pathetic excuse of a final boss, and one that’s completely isolated from the ethos of the game. Enclosed spaces, open combat, gimmicks? Poor show Eidos, poor show. It’s difficult to even say she was the boss, as she spent the duration locked behind a bullet proof screen mating with a mainframe for some…reason. You get locked in a room, you grab the first and most powerful weapon you find and you end the lives of three young woman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time before shooting at a sheet of glass for a time then finally finishing it all with half a clip of plasma rounds. The entire boss battle was summed up in one sentence, albeit a long one, and is easily accomplish-able in under ninety seconds if the player is geared for it. Seriously, a philological debate with Zhao Yun Ru would have served as a more connecting finish than what we were given. The ‘pick your poison’ endings after it only added salt to the wounds and the entire affair did dampen the experience for more. Not good enough Eidos!
The Absolute Ass Bag, Final Fantasy XI
When I was asking for opinion on the absolute worst boss fights ever to have been created a friend of mine came to me with some shocking news. According to him, one boss battle actually killed somebody. Allegedly there was underlying health problems, but this guy reportedly takes eighteen hours to defeat. If this is the standard for MMO bosses, count me the hell out. Here he is, direct from, Final Fantasy XI, it’s Absolute Virtue.
Since I can’t find any news supporting the claim, the closest thing being an Destructoid article on how much of a bastard he is to beat, I refuse to abandon every other entry to give the crown to a potential pretender. I’ve never seen this thing, I’ve only just heard of it, but I just watched a very brief youtube summary video of it and I can only say one thing. Who the hell dedicated eighteen hours to killing this thing? It had more than one form, takes little damage and has an entire arsenal of attacks to use on you. Who the hell thought this was a good idea? I’m a paramedic, this screams health threat at me from my computer monitor.
“People were passing out and getting physically ill. We decided to end it before we risked turning into a horrible new story about how video games ruin people’s lives.” – Sylphet, Absolute Virtue conquerer.
…Holy shit dude.
Jasper Batt Jnr, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
He killed my best friend, tricked me into thinking he’d killed my loved ones, and THEN he becomes one of the most unfair and unsatisfying boss battles of all time? I’m sending you straight where you belong, to hell with you Jasper! I hate this guy so much I couldn’t even think of a catchy alias for his title — any suggestions can be left in the crotch (comment box) of this editorial.
Jasper was almost the undoing of No More Heroes 2. Seriously, where do I f***ing start!?! Do I start with his offensive, annoying little voice, those goofy buck teeth of his or the fact he is one of the most unfair and annoying characters to have ever existed. It got to the point where I was dragging my nails down my face in frustration, this kid just doesn’t take a god damn hint! He’s also the number one ranked assassin, and he never kills anyone himself! He’s spoon fed, he’s obnoxious, he’s unfair and he’s far too much alike the annoying kid on your headset during a game of Call of Duty for my liking. He’s the keyboard warrior, only far more god damn annoying and even less satisfying to kill.
Batt Jnr is a three stages of hell boss fight, ranging from easy to hard to ‘OH MY FREAKING GOD WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?!’ In his first, most visually annoying form, he’s rather tame. You beat him across the room and grind him down. Things were going sweet until his health stopped dropping…
Oh shit, I thought. It’s going to be one of those days. Jasper transforms, and my blood pressure spike. As pictured above, his second form still looks annoying and now he has the power to teleport and spam punch your ass all across the room with a series of near unavoidable attacks! Not to mention the window. Oh yeah, in case things weren’t difficult enough already one well aimed punch can send you jet paced through a window and down several hundred stories to your instant doom. Because shit just wasn’t hard enough before, right Suda? Then, stay with me I’m almost done, when we get to the third and final stage of this endurance challenge Batt Jnr will take his ultimate final form of doom!
…A giant parade float. I shit you not.
“It’s not happening brother. I cant be associated with that travesty. I mean I got standards for fuck’s sake!” – Henry, No More Heroes 2
Great, he’s big so he must be easier to hit now right? Wrong. Now he’s harder to hit, and he can hit you no matter where you hide! This is freaking insane, I’m slicing up an oversized bag of hot air and I’m getting my ass handed to me at the same god damn time. Then, when you finally, defeat him for good he has the audacity to die with a god damn smile on his face. No! Just no! He doesn’t get to be happy, he’s been pissing me off for hours and when I finally kick his ass he smiles about it?
Haven’t had enough yet? Why not read about the worst game I’ve played in, well, a few years at least;