eGamer Mini-Awards 2012: Best Boss Fight
Boss fights are a bygone relic of a past era in gaming, but that doesn’t stop at least a few games from excelling in that area each year. While this year wasn’t great for boss fights, we did see some real quality battles during the course of the year. With any luck they’ll endure in this new anti-boss fight world where they come across as afterthoughts rather than the satisfying climax to each sequence or level.
For the sake of not going too in depth into one specific boss fight, and risking spoilers, and in the interest of fairness, we’ve looked at a game’s boss fights as a collective rather than singling out individual brilliance. In short we’re looking for a game that embodies the scale and spectacle that boss fights should exhibit. In addition to this we’ll be assessing criteria such as variety of the battles, the challenge they offer, and how unique they are when compared to other games.
While it will likely go down as one of the more underrated games of 2012, Lollipop Chainsaw managed to do boss fights right. They were energetic and engaging encounters that challenged the player while also benefiting greatly from Suda51′s LSD-infused art direction to offer grand spectacles with characters of the quirky nature we’ve come to expect. Perhaps the only minor letdown was a liberal use of QTE’s. There was a fair lick of variety which included a fight reminiscent of the musical battle between Sex Bob-omb and the Katayanagi twins, from Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. As a whole, these fights are unique, interesting, and stand out the way boss fights should.
With a game made in the style of an interactive anime, you would expect over the top battles. But, Asura’s Wrath exceeded expectations with some truly breath-taking battles of epic proportions. While they may have been hampered by the game’s over-simplistic combat, they were fairly challenging, where the multi-staged nature of the fights kept you on your toes. There was variety too, from an epic duel on the moon to battling a planet-sized foe. Asura’s Wrath indulged in the spectacle that boss fights thrive on.
At this point you have no idea what’s going, or how much eggnog I’ve had drink. But rest assured, I have no idea what I’m doing. Imagine if you will, a darkened arena, where somewhere within it is your opponent. You have no idea where he is, when he’ll strike or what he looks like. All you know is that he exists. To the uninitiated, they do not exist and I’m merely a crazed fool, but think about it for a second. Your skills could be tested in the Euro Cup Final against Barcelona or in an online match against some random. It could even come at the hands of the unsuspecting Wigan. Boss battles test your skill, and in FIFA you have no idea when or where that will happen. You will always need to keep your wits about you, and be on guard. Also, in manager mode you are referred to as the boss which roughly translates to you being your own worst enemy.
While it wasn’t the strongest year for boss fights, there were some strong contenders. Of course there could only be one, and it really did stand out above the competition. Have a look at the winner below.
It’s really no surprise when you think how well Asura’s Wrath did its boss fights. Perfectly scripted multi-stage battles that enthralled you. This game understood what boss fights are all about and they really did provide a fitting climax to each chapter of the game, while also serving up some real variety with an interesting array of foes to face off against. Couple all that with the epic scale of these fights, and the dramatic spectacle that they exhibited, and you can’t not love these encounters. Asura’s Wrath was the clear winner without a doubt.