Thursday, August 4, 2016

Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Sixteen


  • Metal Gear Solid (PS1)
  • Bayonetta (Wii U, PS3, 360)
  • Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)
  • The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)
  • Chrono Trigger (SNES, DS)

They're baaaaaack~! After fifteen previous parts (that's 75 boss battles so far!), Best Boss Battles in Gaming History is back for another round of great boss fights that exemplify fantastic design, genuine creativity, a unique hook, or are just plain fun to fight! After you've checked out the bosses featured on this sixteenth installment, feel free to peruse past lists, conveniently located below!

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six 
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen

Since the following list has spoilers, check it out after the break!

Psycho Mantis - Metal Gear Solid (PS1)

Psycho Mantis is an iconic boss in the very iconic Metal Gear Solid series. Though he isn't the greatest gentleman, starting off his battle with Solid Snake by taking control of Snake's love interest Meryl. Under Mantis' control, Meryl gets unnaturally hostile to Snake, who must be careful in knocking her out. Instead of using his fists like he would in close-quarters against any other enemy, with Meryl, a gentler touch is needed, throwing her or utilizing a Stun Grenade.

When Meryl is at ease and out cold, Psycho Mantis delves even further into his bag of tricks, able to somehow read every move Snake is about to perform. The solution is something incredibly clever, even to this day. The player must disconnect the controller from the first controller slot and put it in the second, completely getting around Psycho Mantis' trick.

Another trick that was and still is a bit clever is Psycho Mantis' ability to read your mind further, or so it seems. Thankfully, this mind-reading FOXHOUND soldier only reads what other Konami games you've been playing thanks to reading the memory card inserted in your PlayStation and not your Internet search history. You know he'd shame you! Don't deny it!

These displays of parlor room trickery remain notable even many console generations later. It shows what kind of creative mind Hideo Kojima is as a director, and how the team behind the original Metal Gear Solid knew how to surprise and bewilder their players.

Umbra Witch Jeanne - Bayonetta (Wii U, PS3, 360)

What can you say about a boss battle that pits two witches on equal footing together across a series of different battlegrounds? You can say a whole lot, especially when the battlegrounds in question range from a fight on top a falling skyscraper, to the sides of buildings, and to the top of raging rockets.

This is the final confrontation between Bayonetta and Jeanne in the original Bayonetta game. The two attack one another with fast flying kicks, powerful punches, and a plethora of spectacular Umbra witch magic. This battle spans multiple areas, growing more and more intense in escalation, even entering a game of Hot Potato with a gigantic missile.

Director Hideki Kamiya might have problems with putting too many gameplay concepts into one game, making for a muddled experience overall, but when he's behind the scenes with his team coming up with fantastical boss battles, there's few that can truly compare in the character action genre.

Final Vergil - Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)

Character action games like we've already seen with Bayonetta dole out some sensationally tricky boss battles. They're the kind that simple button mashing won't give you a victory with most of the time. No, great skill and mastery of the concepts the game in question teaches you are necessary to get a well-earned win over a specific boss.

This very much holds true with an incredible bastard of a boss battle, the difficult final fight against Dante's rival Vergil near the end of Devil May Cry 3. Vergil's repertoire of offensive attacks are completely fresh compared to past battles with him. However, at the same time, Dante and the player have gotten a new set of skills and abilities as well, making for an even playing ground. Both Dante and Vergil possess the same skills to take one another on, and it's the player's task to somehow find the means to outperform and outmaneuver Vergil in battle with these skills. That makes for one heck of a boss battle, one that forces you to use every tool at your disposal to take out one of the game's ultimate challenges.

Prince Vorkken - The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)

Prince Vorkken, or as Wonder Pink would call him, "Vorkkie", like Wonder Red, has his own team of a hundred warriors that he can summon to create different shapes to perform various attacks. He and his team are the antithesis of The Wonderful 101, and players take him on multiple times in the duration of this sensational and ever-escalating-the-stakes Wii U exclusive.

A rival in every sense of the word to the player (I'm noticing a theme with this boss and the last two mentioned...), Prince Vorkken utilizes many of the same attacks that The Wonderful 101 team use, thus making the fight seem even. However, Old Vorkkie also has some exclusive tricks under his team's collective sleeve. Whether you do battle with him on top of his ship or in the vast darkness of a world under destruction, each and every battle with Prince Vorkken is one where you know your skills will without question be put to the test.

Magus - Chrono Trigger (SNES, DS)

The final boss battle pick of this installment of Boss Battles in Gaming History goes retro with a Super Nintendo RPG classic, Chrono Trigger. After venturing through Magus's Castle, taking out his three loyal henchmen, all named after heavy metal all-stars, and coming face-to-face with the 6,666 HP-possessing Magus, Chrono's team is in the fight of their lives. Magus is what many Chrono Trigger players consider the hardest fight in the game up to this point.

The main challenge of the fight against Magus is that every time he is attacked, he changes what type of magic he is both vulnerable and resistant to, making for a battle that players have to pay a lot of attention to-- well, more attention than normal! Between switching between his fire, water, lightning, and shadow magical barriers, what ever barrier he currently has up is the type of spell he will routinely use while absorbing the magic that isn't of that variety. Thus, if Magus uses water magic, then using a water spell on him will be the only effective means of attack with magic. What a tricky little goon!

Having a healer or two in the party is especially helpful in this very challenging battle. However, as difficult as it may be, it's an invigorating and fun battle, particularly so when you finally overcome Magus's offense and achieve victory!

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