Where Have All The Tough Bosses Gone?

Is it just me or have I missed a trick with the gaming bosses these days? I remember the times when you had to spend hours thrashing and smashing your way through various levels, collecting the necessary bits and bobs and facing the all important and all mighty final boss. But before you can get to the bitter end of the game, you have to first flex your gaming muscle against the smaller, slightly feebler mini boss. This is normally the part where you can not only get some invaluable items or find out something interesting about the storyline, but you can have a peek at what to expect with the final boss. At one point each of these mini bosses you faced got that little bit more difficult with the final boss being the hardest. With the games I seem to play now it’s the second to last boss that packs the biggest punch and the final boss just seems to wither away.

Marcus - Do you mind moving back, you're crowding my personal space.
Marcus – "Do you mind moving back, you're crowding my personal space."

I have experienced this boss cheat a few times in other games like Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but I only came to this realisation when battling through the final chapters of Gears of War 2 a while ago. If you haven’t yet finished Gears of War 2 I suggest you look away now. For those who have, please cast your mind back to just before the game ends and please read on. So after fighting the locust queen’s duel wielding guard, then having to chase him down and run away from the icky locust you know it in your gaming bones that you’re a hop, skip and a jump away from the end. The final fight is now here. Marcus and Dom have the chance to bring peace by killing the morphed and ridiculously enormous locust. You’re put into a helicopter where all you can do is repeatedly shoot at this monstrosity. With the adrenaline pumping and the helicopter swaying to dodge the locust, as soon as the fight starts it’s all over. Believe me, I was more than chuffed to get to the end of the game, but please explain how this fight is anything like the fight I had before. In hindsight, the final fight being as short as it was does fit in with the Gears story, for of course you’re meant to think you have saved the human race when really things are probably going to get worse, so this whole blog could just be me wittering on over basically nothing. But I know that games can follow these random trends so all I do hope is that this is not the case. For the last thing we would all want is for every other game to have these short final fights.

So all I am asking, dearest gaming gods, is to please let the boss difficulty be like it used to be: progressive. Let us crave to see what the final fight is going to be like, and make the boss so hard that it will make us shout, curse and possibly throw our control pads down in anger as we promise to never play the game again, only to say “I’ll give it one more go”. If you can make my one wish come true I would be a very happy gaming bunny!







6 responses to “Where Have All The Tough Bosses Gone?”

  1. mark.p avatar

    I’ve actually just realised there’s a distinct lack of bosses in a lot of the games I play now. Maybe I play too many “realistic” FPS games. :/

  2. mystery avatar

    Where have all the tough bosses gone? They all went to Demon’s Souls.

  3. Leon avatar

    One of my favourite games of all time is Devil May Cry 3 – it’s bosses were fantastic. Each one had it’s own unique style of fighting, different weaknesses and strategies – and were all tough as hell – until you grew as a player and were able to move on, only to be faced with the next challenging opponent. And then, the final boss of the game is probably one of my favourite boss fights of all time.

    I miss those days. While I hate bosses that are almost stupidly unfair (SFIV’s Seth, for instance), there does seem to be a distinct lack of challenging-but-fun bosses nowadays. Even Metal Gear Solid 4’s final boss was more cinematic and less challenging than the bosses from the earlier titles.

  4. Duncan avatar

    I think it’s mostly to do with the current onsalught of ‘realistic’ game settings. You can’t really have a giant robot spider suddenly pop-up in the middle of BFBC2 and get away with it. 😉

  5. Sarah-Lou avatar

    I think a good boss fight can actually make or break a game, of course if the game requires a boss to be in it. So I totally understand Leon’s comments (Seth is disgustingly hard…there have been times that I wanted to break my tv because of him!) and think that the bosses shouldn’t be all fancy and cinematic but more nitty gritty like they used to!

  6. Andy T avatar
    Andy T

    I’m hoping Sonic 4 will provide me with a decent boss fix…If Eggman can’t do it no one can.

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