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Old 03-03-2005, 09:15 PM   #10
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 1,087
Default Re: Boss Preferences

Okay, this probably isn't going to be the most popular answer, but, I think most bosses in games today suck. There has been SO little innovation in boss battles that they all start smearing into one another. I agree there should be a boss battle in a game. But, there needs to be something "new" brought to the table.

Pattern bosses probably suck the worst of all. Why? Because, they have a "pattern"...okay, lemme splain. Once you learn the pattern, the "challenge" is nil. Sure, it may take some time to learn the pattern. But, then it's a simple matter of the "right" button presses to beating them...not true tactics. Also, with most pattern type bosses there is simply ONE pattern that MUST be used...again, no tactics involved.

Puzzle bosses are probably my favorite of all. At least it takes more than "brawn" or some "pattern" to defeat them. However, as with the pattern bosses, once the "trick" is discovered, the game is over...including replay value. Sometimes these types of bosses come across as a bit tedious to beat (especially if you have been running and gunning the whole game and now you have to play as Sherlock Holmes). The "shift" in gameplay can also take you out of the experience a little bit.

Staged bosses are sometimes okay. As long as they are not bosses you have faced before (or simple varients of them). They need to be progressively challenging (but not frustrating). Unforutnately, these types of bosses are often simply mini-varient of the other boss types just thrown together.

Equal bosses have been around a long time too. They were interesting/shocking once. But now they just come across as a game staple (requirement/cliche) level type of thing. How many years ago did Mortal Kombat come out? :}


Basically, all these bosses have a big "been there, done that" feel to them. For example, just look at the number of games mentioned in the original post...Doom 1, Quake 1, Half-Life, Quake 3, UT. Only 2 of the games mentioned even break the year 2000 mark....Metroid and Beyond Good & Evil.

So, I say instead of using some old school, lather-rinse-repeat, type of end game boss, developers need to come up with something new. Prove that something unique can be done that will help games advance beyond the level of simply copying the "known" things.

Keep in mind that it's the games that DID go above and beyond that usually caught the most attention and are considered "classics". They didn't just follow the norm by hitting their marks of expectation/gameplay cliches. And yes, I call it cliche because once something has been the norm for SO long, it no longer holds the same strength it once did. That loss of strength starts to remove things from the believable catagory and moves them into a more joke/silly/less serious one.

As a comparison to the film special effects world, just think morphing and bullet time. When you first saw them, you were probably blown away. Now, if you see them, you recognize them for what they are, but, you are not "amazed" by them any more. They are simply seen as just another "effect" that does not hold the same strength they once did.

Innovation ppl, it's about the innovation. :}

PS: Where were you ppl on the SiN server last Friday around 10:30 pm CST? :{
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