Jump to content

Why do so many people enjoy "boss battles"?


Recommended Posts

A great boss is an artistic and technical showcase. Particularly in 8-bit and 16-bit games, the boss would often use most of the available resources of the game engine/platform so that there couldn't really be many other enemies on-screen at once. They present a longer-term challenge than the rank-and-file enemy, requiring the player to identify weak spots and develop a strategy to defeat them. Their complexity developed further over the years, as defeating the boss was often no longer a one-and-done scenario - next there were bosses who changed forms one or more times during the course of the battle. Just like real-world bosses, they run the spectrum from dull nuisances who don't deserve to be there, to the more rarely-found genuinely inspiring individuals who present a healthy challenge that spurs one's advancement.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

** this.


Boss battles should be a test of your current achievement in-game.  Feeling progress is an integral aspect of gaming fun.  Usually it goes:


Play -> Fail -> Learn -> Play -> Win -> Reward -> Back to First Step (Play)


Good games present you with a range of challenges to explore up to that boss battle.  Better yet: within that boss battle they give you various ways to win that suit your playstyle.


I think many people "hate" boss battles due to unbalanced difficulty curves and being forced to play the developers way.  The player never gets the validation of their effort as Win and Reward get clipped from the cycle.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As usual it depends on how it's handled. Boss battles can be amazing for helping expand your understanding of mechanics with a worthy rival. Other times they can stall a game and be pointless damage sponges. Ninja Gaiden or Souls games have good boss fights, as for older games like Mega Man, but not all do.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your comment makes me realize that the boss design in Mega Man 2 (and the NES Megaman series) is borderline genius.


Bosses have a reason to exist : they showcase your future weapons; they are also introduced in the story, they are part of the plot, they aren't just random "big ennemy". It's brilliant in that the game pit your against an ennemy with a brand new and dangerous weapon... That become yours.

Then, second genius realization : since you can select your levels, it mean that you are encouraged to experiment redoing the game with your new weapons, giving a sense of exploration to the game that most platformers of the era didn't had.

Then, (at least in Megaman 2, can't recall if the othes does this) there is the "boss rush". Usually tedious, but since you can choose, again, your opponent, AND the game feature a password system so you can redo it at will, the developers reward you with a fast and easy way to try a boss' weapon against others to see which ones are the strongests (or the easiest for you to use).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...