A good boss fight can be a challenging, fun and rewarding part of any game.
But we’ve all had those boss encounters that we absolutely hated for one reason or another.
What are your least favorite boss fights? Whether they were absurdly hard, absurdly easy, a poorly designed mess, tedious/annoying or just plain not fun: what baddies gave you a bad time for the wrong reasons?
Please be respectful. At the end of the day, these are just opinions. It’s okay if someone doesn’t like a boss you like (or vice versa); it’s all in good fun.
Certainly don’t say stuff like, “Actually, that’s a good boss fight, you’re just bad at the game”. Don’t be a jerk!
Also, use spoiler tags.
Okay, none of the boss fights in Resident Evil 0 are very good but goddamn that [spoiler]dumb bat boss.
It generally sucks for an old style Resident Evil game to have a flying enemy, you’re completely disadvantaged being a tanky, slow ground-walker. In this case all you can really do is stand there and try to hit the thing with your grenade or shotgun rounds (which could easily miss).
Plus there are constantly little bats dive-bombing you and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it![/spoiler]
I think that boss fight was when I decided I didn’t like that game.
I think it goes without saying, but I feel like most of Gearbox’s boss fights fall into this category. Quite a lot of them are tedious, time-consuming damage sponges that overstay their welcome. Whatever fun there is to be had fighting them is lost when the fight drags on. They seem to have this mentality that if something is harder to kill, and hits harder, then that makes it more challenging. In reality, it just makes it more frustrating and boring to fight. I’m fine with a boss being a damage sponge if they have more than one form, but generally Gearbox just has one thing go on for far too long.
Oh, for sure. Gearbox’s bullet-spongey enemies/bosses is why I find Borderlands so tedious to play and is an outstanding problem for Aliens: Colonial Marines (amongst many other things). It’s not even challenging to fight those bosses, it’s just wasting upwards of 15 minutes while I peek around a corner and snipe the guys.
For me, any boss in Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories is awful and accentuates how chaotic and poorly implemented the combat is in that game. Fighting normal enemies is bad enough while having to run around the arena while you manually switch to the correct cards to pop off a combo (until you eventually get countered by an enemy across the fucking map) and making sure to dodge the attacks. Now make it so that the enemy always has overpowered cards that are impossible to break unless you chain up most of your cards into a sleight, and have it so that THEY can make sleights too!
The final nail in the coffin is that aside from some of the Organization XIII members, all of the bosses reuse their same moveset from KH1, but now you’re prohibited by the awful, awful combat system.
In short, fuck Chain of Memories forever.
I didn’t have much of a problem with the bosses. Until the final boss, with three phases. The first one is OK, I guess, though I had to rebuild my deck to suit it, but otherwise standard fare for Organization XIII. Then the other two forms are fought as a single battle, so you essentially have to build a deck that fits the first one and also have enough space left over for a deck for the second fight. It was the one part of the main game I got frustrated with.
The best part about that boss is the tiny bats screw with your aim so hard if you have auto aim on
Vagullion in Ys. His weak point is his legs, which have terrible hitboxes, and he can turn into bats that have a flight pattern which is somewhat erratic and will take chunks off your health if you don’t know the best way to dodge them.
Also pick any SNK boss or I-No in Guilty Gear.
I’m kind of glad I skipped playing Re: Chain of Memories. I already played through the GBA version, and kinda felt like “eh, I’ve had enough of Castle Oblivion and it’s card based shenanigans. I’ll just skip it.” Judging by everyone else’s reaction to that game, this was a good idea.
But, while we’re on the subject of bad Kingdom Hearts bosses man, I want to like the Vanitas Remnant in Birth By Sleep, but that thing is no fun to fight. I’m actually fine with the whole “it’s only got one health bar, but is impossible to hit” and “you can’t use healing magic or it’ll heal too” bits-those are cool, and worth of an powerful optional boss.
What gets me is the status effects it inflicts-like, it already hits like a truck with attacks that are hard to dodge. It doesn’t need to hit like a truck with a hard to dodge attack that also makes you go blind, get hit by another attack you didn’t see coming, and die. That domino effect means that everytime he hits you, you have to run away, hope he doesn’t get you while you’re retreating, wait for your blindness to disappear, then charge back into the fight. Status effects have never really meshed well with Kingdom Hearts, and the Remnant really makes that clear.
And hey, while I’m picking on bad Square Enix bosses, I should also pick on Final Fantasy XV’s Ifrit, who isn’t so much difficult as poorly thought out and boring, especially for a penultimate/final boss. So much of that fight is spent waiting around or futilely swinging at him, waiting for his flame armor to drop or an opening to appear. And when there’s an opening, it never lasts long enough-you get a few attacks in, start up a technique, and oh hey look, his armor’s back, just in time for you to do next to no damage. This should be a climactic, exciting fight, where the player is actively fighting a dangerous opponent, not a fight where the player is just waiting around for too-short openings.
The final boss of Resident Evil Revelations, Jack Norman, is a real fucker. Teleporting superfucker who makes clone images of himself, likes to teleport behind you, and only shows his weak point right before he slams you into the floor. Since he’s taller than you and his weak point is on his chest, it can be hard to get a good angle on it if it’s in the wrong position. To make matters worse, his floor slamming has an AOE effect so you get knocked on your ass and take damage even if you try to run away. You have to hit it perfectly every time, or take a ton of damage. Also he can teleport behind you. The worst part, tho, is he has a fuckton of health, multiple phases, and NO CHECKPOINTS.
I’d also nominate Beldr from Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. Invincible boss who can only be harmed by a physical attack by the main character, in a Strategy RPG based around effectively using multiple characters. It’s a really unfun war of attrition that is more about keeping your man safe than actually employing any sort of effective tactics.
I feel like the Bed of Chaos from Dark Souls should go pretty much without saying. It doesn’t fit with the game mechanics up to it, is full of instant death pits, and the fact that it dies from only one hit in the end makes it incredibly unsatisfying to finish off.
On a similar note is the Tree of Men in Salt and Santuary. It also features instant death pits that it is more than happy to knock you into, which in that game have the added problem of spawning a salt-bat enemy into the arena should you happen to plunge to your doom. The bat isn’t that dangerous but it does feel like the game is rubbing salt in the wound. I wouldn’t say the Tree is as awful as the previous boss I mentioned but its certainly the worst in S&S imo.
So two bosses that I can think of at the moment are both final bosses:
Mario and Luigi Dream Team has Dreamy Bowser. I was initially happy that Bowser betrayed the really boring co-villain whose name I don’t remember, except that guy had a really fun, legitimately difficult battle. So after I left that battle satisfied, I then had to deal with Dreamy Bowser, who was awful. His attacks are all pretty bad, especially the one you have to run from. He also has a healing attack. Now, Paper Mario’s final bosss had a healing attack, but I can sort of understand that one. It was a way to circumvent 99 being the max amount of HP. It’s also limited. If I remember correctly, Dreamy Bowser’s heal move was just part of his pattern. It was preventable, but I remember that being a pain in the ass to stop as well.
There’s also Mega Man Legends 2, with Sera. Now, it’s been years since I’ve played Legends 2, but I still remember Sera being one of the most difficult final bosses I’ve ever fought. Juno from the first game was pretty easy, but both forms of Sera are pretty damn hard. Her second form especially had some tough to dodge attacks, which I think did a lot of damage as well. I don’t think she was horribly designed, other than the fact that you had to fight her first form again if you died. It’s to be expected, but it’s still a pain.
Ignatius in Lunar: Dragon Song. Look, this entire game is a heap of garbage. Every awful design decision you could make in a game was made in this game. It’s an abomination. And I’m extra mad because the studio that released this game, Ubisoft, actually contacted the two biggest names in the Lunar fandom to act as consultants on the game (one of those two fans also contacted me so I consulted on this garbage game by proxy. One of my dialog suggestions is actually in the game. Yes, I am ashamed.) So it could have been great but they didn’t want it great they wanted a claim to fame, first one out the gate, cash in.
[spoiler]You don’t even get to fight him. You fight a three part sub boss to get to him, then the hero (I use this term extremely loosely) refuses to kill him and continue the cycle of violence even though he’s been fucking solving everything with violence up until this point. And while Ignatius is being a dick and blasting the hero with magic the hero is all, “I will not sink to your level!” And when Ignatius takes one of his friends hostage the hero is all, “You suck, but wouldn’t punching Nazis make us just as bad as the Nazis?” Until deus ex machina shakes the stage and Ignatius falls unceremoniously to his death after spitefully taking a swipe at the hero who grabbed his hand to keep him from falling. We never learn what his deal was.
Take a look.[/spoiler]
Rest in peace, Camel Pimp. You are most assuredly still alive but this game killed you inside.
I love you but your first actual boss sucks, design wise the fight is fine there’s decent tells for his attacks but he’s just a bucket of health that can take out over half your health per hit.
Speaking of Nioh, (second region spoiler) fuck that centipede boss. It’s not even hard or anything, it’s just tedious and annoying garbage that isn’t fun to play against.
Also, Souls games are a hit or miss with boss fights but The Nameless King is annoying to play against in particular unless you have a VERY specific build.
So like, Zelda bosses aren’t often impressive - they’re fairly simplistic and formulaic but even amongst a myriad of generally not-great but rarely _bad_bosses, Twilit Aquatic Morpheel from Twilight Princess is a stand out for being badly designed. The fight takes part in two stages, in stage one you stand still and use the Clawshot a bit and you win. In stage two, you swim around and use the Clawshot a bit… and win. Morpheel basically never actually attacks you, in stage 1 it spits out bomb fish to hassle you and occassionaly flops its tentacles at you and in stage two it just kinda… swims around, I’ve like never taken damage in that part of the fight or seen anyone take damage and I have no idea if it even actually has attacking animations in that stage or if you have to go out of your way to be hit. None of this takes place quickly though, which is what pushes the fight from simply being dull and easy to honestly tedious and actively frustrating.
I feel like I bashed my face against the final boss of Beyond Good and Evil for two hours before rage quitting the game, thinking I would pick it back up and finish it in a few days. Think that was in 2009.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that every boss in every Sonic the Hedgehog game, and spin-offs, are god awful. Whoever thought that a game marketed for going fast should have bosses that take more time than the levels getting to them really should fuck off to the bad idea zone, instead of making more shitty bosses in a 20+ year old series. The supposed good bosses in those games are just presented well, but still are just as tedious and unfun to play.
Off the top of my head: All of the Demise (pre-Blanka) fights in Skyward Sword, all of Halo 2’s bosses, Icon of Sin in Doom 2 (sorry), and the Time Eater or whatever at the end of Sonic Generations.
Special mention: Harp mini-game in Skyward Sword’s pumpkin bar for the one piece of heart.
Basically every boss from Dark Souls 2 honestly. I don’t think I had any fun fighting any of them, or i was killing them in 2 hits (50STR Broadsword tears everything up)
Sonic Advance 2’s bosses were the most frustrating in particular because you were constantly running right and it was hard to hit some of them with the correct timing.
Thank you for reminding me about Chaos 04 in Sonic Adventure.
Goodness what a terrible boss that was. Awkward to hit with Tails and Knuckles, sometimes taking forever to even become vulnerable, and the most annoying arena to move around in.