Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bad Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Two

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE FOLLOWING GAMES:

  • Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Mega Man X7
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Last November we began a new segment on SuperPhillip Central, Bad Boss Battles in Gaming History. Now, it's several months later and we have a new installment to share. The rationale for our choices of awful boss encounters can be because of one or many of the following issues: they're forgettable, they're boring, they're tedious, they're in the game for no reason, they're counter-intuitive, or they're just plain not fun. After you've read our latest picks, feel free to throw in some agreement/disagreement and ideas for bosses to consider for part three.

Liquid Ocelot - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)


Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots may not strike a proper balance between showing cutscene after cutscene to the player while giving them enough gameplay time to justify all the exposition, but it's an entertaining game that is worthy of the franchise name. However, what isn't very worthy is the final boss fight versus Liquid Ocelot.

The purpose of the battle narrative-wise is to show a decade's worth of history of Metal Gear Solid battles during the fist-to-fist, foot-to-foot fight between Solid Snake and the persona of his brother in Ocelot's body. While it was indeed cool to progress through the four installments of the series through phases of the fight, each implementing a tune from each given installment, the mechanics used are so far gone from what was already established throughout the entire game. It's essentially grunt-fest between two drugged-up old rivals that goes on for far too long. Compare this to the ending fight in Metal Gear Solid 3, where the battle against the Boss implemented everything that the player learned throughout the course of the game. In Metal Gear Solid 4, all of this is basically thrown out of the window.

Human Reaper - Mass Effect 2 (PS3, 360, PC)


The entire journey of this squad-based shooter leads up to this final encounter, constantly escalating the stakes on your way there. However, rather than ending the conflict on a bang, Mass Effect 2 ends on a whimper. What it results in is a weak conclusion to what was prior to that a massively enjoyable sci-fi space adventure.

The final boss is the Human Reaper, an unfinished organism that just hangs by several supports. The aim of this fight is to take out each support, which glow a bright orange as if to say you are too dumb to figure it out on your own. As each support is destroyed, a new wave of throwaway grunts descend into the area, needing you to pick them off before they pick you off. Once they've been eliminated, another support can then be destroyed. After all of the supports are no more, the Reaper falls and a cutscene presents itself.


Not so fast, however, as there's more to this battle. The Reaper pulls itself up and initiates phase two. However, this is as simple as shooting-- once again-- at the boss' glowing spots to defeat it. While the boss battle isn't horrible due to its mechanics, it is pretty bad because it's so underwhelming after everything that was building up to the fight.

Necron - Final Fantasy IX (PS1)


Essentially stealing the thunder of what was the main antagonist for the majority duration of the game, Final Fantasy IX's ultimate boss Necron gets shoehorned into the game as the final foe for what can easily be perceived as no real discernible reason. This wouldn't be so bad if the boss served a purpose rather than to just seem like it was thrown in as a godlike being for the last challenge of the game.

Necron itself is an incredibly annoying final boss. Its most obnoxious and dangerous move is called Grand Cross, delivering a random status effect to all characters. This is in addition to moves like the most powerful forms of Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder, as well as moves like Blue Shockwave, which sends one character's HP down to 1, and Holy and Flare.

Our main issues with Necron is its out of left field appearance at the last very moment, it stealing Kuja's thunder, it serving no real place in the story, and just being a bastard to beat in general.

Flame Hyenard - Mega Man X7 (PS2)


If ever there was a reason to mute one's TV, the battle against the ear-destroying Flame Hyenard is that reason. Apparently, Flame Hyenard is in pain and would like Mega Man X, Zero, and newcomer Axl to "burn to the ground" and just "burn" in general, as he makes this point multiple times during battle... and that's a gross understatement. It wouldn't be so awful if the boss went down quickly. However, that's not the case, even with his weakness equipped to X, Zero, or Axl.

The battle arena when facing Flame Hyenard is a large square surrounded by lava. Slowly walking around the lava is a large mechanized vehicle that needs to be climbed upon to initiate the fight with the real Hyenard, otherwise you'll just be dealing with his clones on the square platform. Missiles rain down from the center of the vehicle, and if you allow Hyenard to use his tri-formation attack, an incredibly difficult amount of offense to avoid, much less counter, then you're in for an even more arduous encounter.


The combination of the poor controls and camera that Mega Man X7 is plagued with, and the incessant ear-piercing pain that the prolonged battle with Flame Hyenard will give you, make the battle an easy choice for this edition of Bad Boss Battles in Gaming History.

Silver the Hedgehog - Sonic the Hedgehog (PS3, 360)


Sonic the Hedgehog's 2006 adventure is one of the worst games we have ever had the displeasure of playing. Whether it's gltiches, absolutely horrid mach speed sections, poor controls, poorly designed levels, embarrassing story, etc., at least Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has its soundtrack going for it.

This awfulness extends to the game's boss battles, with one of the more notorious encounters being the one with Silver the Hedgehog when playing as Sonic. Silver uses psychic powers to freeze his enemies in place. He does this frequently in the fight against Sonic, so much so that he can unfairly grab you twice in a row due to you not being able to control Sonic for a moment after Silver drops you. Seeing as when you're lifted by Silver's telekinesis, your rings go bye-bye, making it so Silver can pick you up over and over again. This means he can effectively kill you in a very cheap and fast fashion.


In fact, you can actually get caught in an endless loop where he continually picks you up, holds you, drops you, and then picks you up again. Repeat this ad infinitum. If you're interested in seeing just how bad things can get, video proof is right here.

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