Posts Tagged ‘ boss battle

The bosses of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and what might have been

The boss battles in Deus Ex: Human Revolution suck. Hard. The people of the internet appear to agree on this notion. While they aren’t game-breakers, they are clumsy and uninspired bullet sponges whose design runs counter to the nature of the rest of the game, which should not come as a surprise given that the bosses’ development was outsourced by Eidos Montreal to a different company. You see, DXHR is all about the ability to deal with situations in multiple different ways, and while the game is fairly slanted towards stealth play, there are varied and intricate ways through most events. In fact, there’s a good argument to be made that the game should have let me somehow sneak or talk my way out of the fights altogether. However, with the bosses in DXHR the only real choice is to figure out what weapon is the best for exploiting their horrendously simple attack patterns.

The saddest part of these bosses is not that they’re bad, but that they could have been extraordinary if they had gotten some more specific attention. DXHR is often described as a wondrous offspring of Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect, and by “often described” I mean “described by me”. However, the unfortunate part is that DXHR seems to have taken more after Mass Effect in regards to bosses rather than Metal Gear, which is a damn shame since the Metal Gear series has given us some fantastic bosses over the years.

WARNING: Minor Spoilers

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The Bossness of Sonic’s Bosses

Due to a slight tug of nostalgia that the recently released Sonic The Hedgehog 4 was unable to satisfy, I went back and played through all of the games that comprised Sonic’s glory days. You know how it feels when you watch 10-year-old highlight reels of some sports team you care about? How you’re reminded of how good they used to be? It was kind of like that. Between Sonic 1-3/Knuckles and Sonic CD I truly felt like they held up after all this time.

That wasn’t the surprising part though. What really got me was how well some of the bosses were designed, especially in the later games. There were a few that didn’t quite measure up to the rest (fuck off Labyrinth Zone), but the majority of Sonic’s Genesis days (with the exception of the ultra-crappy Sonic Spinball) are a pleasant reminder of the time when bosses were more than just a string of quicktime events or a lumbering behemoth with a big “HIT THIS SPOT” sign on his forehead.

As I’ve argued before, a good boss needs to be three things: memorable, distinct, and challenging. Am I going to remember this boss once the game ends, or even years down the line? Is it significantly distinguishable from the other bosses in the game? Is it difficult enough that I feel like I’ve accomplished something by beating it? After all, a hard boss is a good boss. Hard bosses shouldn’t be cheap (undodgeable attacks, ridiculous amounts of damage, etc.) but they do need to make the player work. Sonic’s golden era answers the bell on all three of these conditions quite often. And now because we bloggers love our goddamn lists, here are some of my favorites.

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