Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


The final boss of AC2, who is actually the Pope, is so easy that the only reason he can't be beaten faster is that the game won't let you finish him until he's finished his speech (which he delivers while you repeatedly kick him in the balls)

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


swamp waste posted:

I know this is reductive but I'm kind of feeling it. I don't see a single core mechanic in let's say Assassin's Creed that is dynamic enough that they can really "test" you on it; if you place your guy within the collision frame and press the right button he will rictus into the same canned animation in the same way as every other time. it's not something like Mario where split-second differences in your inputs affect trajectory and momentum in a way that a player can get significantly better at manipulating.

I feel fairly comfortable calling the King of Beggars mission in Assassin's Creed: Unity a "boss fight"; it tests your knowledge of the environment, your arsenal, and your navigational tools, as well as elevating the difficulty because you're suddenly up against a prepared target. The target himself is no tougher than any geek off the street, but getting to him without being detected or killed is the trick.

One of the relatively recent innovations in game design is in the construction of a level so some secondary challenge is the actual boss fight. In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the run up to the final encounter, during which you don't have the time rewind anymore, is the "boss fight"; the later game Forgotten Sands, where you're forced to wall-jump between temporary walls of water, pulls a similar trick. In the older Resident Evil games or something like Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the "boss fight" is managing your inventory well enough so that you have the ability to participate in the fight at all, and if you've done that well enough the fight itself is trivial.

It's useful to remember here that given the relatively slow pace of game design compared to other forms of creative endeavor, we're actually not that far into exploring what a games narrative can really do. Boss fights in the traditional sense are a relic of earlier stages of design, and in a more narrative-focused environment such as what we have now, they're often unnecessary. I do wonder if they're included at times because some marketer or another thinks you have to have them or you don't really have a video game, and the result is some dickhead bullet-sponge who didn't need to be there.

Al Nipper
May 7, 2008

by XyloJW


Because game developers are genius auteurs, and you may only play the game in a manner THEY deem most effective towards unveiling their complex narrative, which ends up being the same goddamn poo poo story found in every loving videogame.

MG: Rising owned because the dumb story was hidden in codec calls you could completely ignore. And the instant poo poo got boring they'd pipe in the buttrock and have the villains do Dragonball moves on you.

Al Nipper
May 7, 2008

by XyloJW


Also why bother when 'console exclusive single player campaign' now translates into 'just watch the whole loving thing on youtube'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYkf8kz__kg

Wanderer
Nov 5, 2006

our every move is the new tradition


Have you considered that maybe you should pick up a new hobby for a couple of years and come back when you aren't quite so cynical about everything? You don't seem to enjoy this, and I doubt there's anyone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to do it.

Ernie Muppari
Aug 4, 2012

Keep this up G'Bert, and soon you won't have a pigeon to protect!


Wanderer posted:

Have you considered that maybe you should pick up a new hobby for a couple of years and come back when you aren't quite so cynical about everything? You don't seem to enjoy this, and I doubt there's anyone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to do it.

the only way to beat the boss is not to play

Brosnan
Nov 13, 2004

Christ, not this shit again.

Lipstick Apathy

Wanderer posted:

One of the relatively recent innovations in game design is in the construction of a level so some secondary challenge is the actual boss fight. In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the run up to the final encounter, during which you don't have the time rewind anymore, is the "boss fight"; the later game Forgotten Sands, where you're forced to wall-jump between temporary walls of water, pulls a similar trick. In the older Resident Evil games or something like Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the "boss fight" is managing your inventory well enough so that you have the ability to participate in the fight at all, and if you've done that well enough the fight itself is trivial.

The Boss Fight is the part where you Fight the Boss you weirdo.

Just a Fish
Mar 22, 2012


Someone already mentioned the Faster than light, but none has said anything about the final bosses of Binding of isaac yet, God drat they are difficult, but they really expect you to either be amazingly good or atleast super lucky.
It just seems like when it comes to final bosses the indie games are superior

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013




I call upon Shiva (either the Final Fantasy one or the actual Hindu god will do, I'm not picky) to end these joyless people as well as Charlie Brooker.

SolidSnakesBandana
Jul 1, 2007

Infinite ammo


What the gently caress? This is getting my nerd rage going. All the best games have bitchin' boss fights.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011



There should be 3 boss fights per game.

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


I hope Senator Armstrong does brutal ground pound AOE attacks on Charlie Brooker.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


"Oh god, I have to stop killing faceless goons and fight a tough enemy with creative mechanics. gently caress this stupid piece of poo poo."- Charlie Brooker, inbred British idiot.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011



The first boss to see if you've learned the game's systems, the second boss at a climactic moment, and the final boss.

KennyMan666
May 27, 2010

The Saga



Shadow of the Colossus alone invalidates that Brooker idiot's statement.

And that first commenter - fighting games, seriously? He brings up fighting games as an example of a genre that should have boss fights? I mean, given the premise of a boss fight being a unique (at least for that "stage") enemy that is stronger and tougher than the other enemies you've faced, how the gently caress do you even do that as something distinct in a fighting game? I shall admit to being pretty lovely at classic fighters like Street Fighter and whatnot, but even then - I'd consider pretty much EVERY fight a boss in that genre. How do you then make an actual boss without making it pure bullshit (I hear SNK likes doing exactly that)?

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Thank God other idiots go to Kotaku so I can look upon their works and despair without giving them click money.

Baku
Aug 20, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


The first commentator is extremely loving weird; games with a narrative focus absolutely need "boss fights" for the same reason every film in the same genre as a videogame (action, often sci-fi or fantasy, etc) has a climactic confrontation between the good guys and bad guys or bad guys and worse guys or w/e. They provide dramatic tension and eventually closure.

Fighting games are probably the least narrative type of games that major studios publish.

Ernie Muppari
Aug 4, 2012

Keep this up G'Bert, and soon you won't have a pigeon to protect!


i wish boss fights were a dick

NuttO
Oct 22, 2001

sold fifty gold sixty platinum

thought this was a cool thread, but then the op started insulting charlie brooker. that's real messed up imo

gay skull
Oct 24, 2004




NuttO posted:

thought this was a cool thread, but then the op started insulting charlie brooker. that's real messed up imo

He had it coming, good boss fights rule.

Even the greatest game of all time, the perfect game, the game formed in Christ's own hands before he fled Earth after his resurrection would have ended with a wet fart without its final boss.

gay skull fucked around with this message at 01:04 on Feb 28, 2015

Devil Wears Wings
Jul 17, 2006

Look ye upon the wages of diet soda and weep, for it is society's fault.


gay skull posted:

He had it coming, good boss fights rule.

Even the greatest game of all time, the perfect game, the game formed in Christ's own hands before he fled Earth after his ressurection would have ended with a wet fart without its final boss.

But but Planescape Torment doesn't even have a final boss fight if you have high enough INT and WIS

Accordion Man
Nov 7, 2012




Buglord

Devil Wears Wings posted:

But but Planescape Torment doesn't even have a final boss fight if you have high enough INT and WIS
And its actually more satisfying and climatic to do those dialogue options instead of fighting.

But the thing with that though is Torment had real good writing so it felt sufficiently climatic. You don't need a final boss but you you do need some sort of climatic equivalent.

Quiet Feet
Dec 14, 2009

THE HELL IS WITH THIS ASS!?




An opinion
Woops no sorry, TRUTH BOMB!!!!

SunAndSpring posted:

"Oh god, I have to stop killing faceless goons and fight a tough enemy with creative mechanics. gently caress this stupid piece of poo poo."

I'm a throwback who pretty much only plays retro games these days, so maybe some of this is lost on me, but I don't get what's wrong with boss fights. Yeah, probably not every game needs them, but the notion that they're all entirely a bad idea seems really stupid. If nothing else a boss fight breaks up monotony.

SolidSnakesBandana
Jul 1, 2007

Infinite ammo


I'd say the worst boss fights are in Dead Rising 2. Holy gently caress did those piss me off. I eventually quit playing because each one was somehow shittier than the last.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


NuttO posted:

thought this was a cool thread, but then the op started insulting charlie brooker. that's real messed up imo

I really like Black Mirror and his other comedy stuff, but that was one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

Ernie Muppari
Aug 4, 2012

Keep this up G'Bert, and soon you won't have a pigeon to protect!


SunAndSpring posted:

I really like Black Mirror and his other comedy stuff, but that was one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

you haven't heard many things

Aegis Bear
Apr 27, 2007

Float like a butterfly, sting like a Beerus


I've stayed in my Nintendo platformer/RPG/MMO gaming bubble for years now, and have never had a complaint about boss fights in the aforementioned genres.

Seeing these posts reaffirms that by sticking to titles like these and avoiding the endless sea of dreary brown AAA shooters, I'm doing the right thing.

Looper
Mar 1, 2012





Good games are good

Bad games are bad

namaste

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


I'd say a big problem is that games nowadays are expected to have more character customization. Which is all well and good if you do it right, but if you're lazy then it makes all your challenges completely homogenous. If the game is expected to be beaten by either a mage or a knight or a ninja, then you either have a perfectly designed masterpiece of a boss fight that challenges each archetype in its own way, or a generic damage sponge beatable by anything that tests nothing but the player's patience. You can guess which is more common.

Back in ye olden days customization was rarely a thing: players never demanded it, and designers knew exactly what the player could do in any given encounter. Challenges were tuned very specifically to what you could do. That doesn't mean they were all perfect, but it was certainly a lot easier to get right.

Hat-lock
Jan 5, 2007


I like to stir up controversy so I think that Mega Man games have terrible boss fights and would all be substantially improved if they were removed.

Rocketlex
Oct 21, 2008

The Manliest Knight
in Caketown


I think a big reason modern boss fights tend to be underwhelming is that a lot of modern games don't use mechanics that lend themselves well to boss fights.

A lot of earlier games focused on giving the player a limited, understandable number of moves and built their bosses around testing your ability to use those moves with precision. When Mega Man fires his buster, a projectile shoots straight in front of him. As a game designer, it's simple to build challenges around exploring and exploiting the possibilities of a simple move like that. In Arkham City, by contrast, pressing the attack button causes Batman to do what is essentially a procedurally-determined animation that brings his fist in contact with the enemy's face...somehow, which is a far more tricky verb to get your head around as a designer. Your player has all angles on any enemy, and so many moves you couldn't realistically "test" them all in a single fight. If a boss fight is supposed to be a chance to prove your mastery of the gameplay, the feature-bloat of modern games have made it difficult for designers to even know what "mastery" or "skill" mean in the context of things like soft auto-aim and procedural animation.

Games like Assassins Creed and the Arkham series also use mechanics that work best when fighting large groups of weak enemies. When you're faced off against a single, strong opponent, it constrains what the game designers can have you do. You actual man-to-man options for fighting someone aren't as fun, because the fun of the combat is bouncing around from target to target. Shooters have an even tougher road to hoe. When your basic combat flow consists of "Auto-aim to head -> Kill" it's hard to translate that into a drawn-out fight against a single opponent that feels satisfying. Arguably these games make the player too powerful by default, so they essentially have to cheat to make their bosses challenging. (Arbitrary invulnerability, time limits, death-on-fail QTEs, etc).

Certain games are just better "built" for boss fights than others. Any game can have a fun boss fight, but it takes a clever designer to make some mechanics translate well into that formula, and...well...not every designer is that gifted.

Crosscontaminant
Jan 18, 2007



KennyMan666 posted:

I shall admit to being pretty lovely at classic fighters like Street Fighter and whatnot, but even then - I'd consider pretty much EVERY fight a boss in that genre.
Fighting games are the boss fights from beat-em-ups made into a separate game, but Kotaku commenters have never played a game made before 2005 (or by Nintendo) so they have no idea that games can have saturated colours and guns without ironsights.

Brooker's stance on boss fights is nothing new - he talked about it on Gameswipe way back when. It's basically the current zeitgeist that because someone bought a game they're entitled to all sixty hours of gameplay even if they're a dribbling idiot with three fingers. If you don't agree with that, then you won't agree with him.

BottledBodhisvata
Jul 26, 2013

by Lowtax


Hat-lock posted:

I like to stir up controversy so I think that Mega Man games have terrible boss fights and would all be substantially improved if they were removed.

hosed up if true

Real hurthling!
Sep 11, 2001






Crosscontaminant posted:

current zeitgeist that because someone bought a game they're entitled to all sixty hours of gameplay even if they're a dribbling idiot with three fingers. If you don't agree with that, then you won't agree with him.

Someone is my family is very disabled and can't control games that require more user imput/reaction time than pokemon and he's very bummed that getting passed the title screen is all he's capable of in most games because he grew up loving them before his motor control devolved to where it is now. Games should have accessibility modes including playing themselves to completion so that users can decide how they want to experience the content they bought. make these modes not count for unlocking content in standard play and not count for trophies or whatever if you care about the sanctity of gaming or whatever.

multijoe
Oct 15, 2007

NYO~HO


Real hurthling! posted:

Someone is my family is very disabled and can't control games that require more user imput/reaction time than pokemon and he's very bummed that getting passed the title screen is all he's capable of in most games because he grew up loving them before his motor control devolved to where it is now. Games should have accessibility modes including playing themselves to completion so that users can decide how they want to experience the content they bought. make these modes not count for unlocking content in standard play and not count for trophies or whatever if you care about the sanctity of gaming or whatever.

Designing every game to 'play itself to completion' would be a significant and costly effort in alot of cases. It's definitely a worthy goal to aim for and stuff like automatic easy in Bayonetta is great for that reason, but I wouldn't hold up every game, especially those made by smaller studios, to that standard. How could Team Meat have made Super Meatboy disabled-user friendly on the budget they had? They could've included a prerecorded playthrough for each level I guess but how would that functionally be any different to looking up an LP of it on youtube?

Real hurthling!
Sep 11, 2001






A Steampunk Gent posted:

Designing every game to 'play itself to completion' would be a significant and costly effort in alot of cases. It's definitely a worthy goal to aim for and stuff like automatic easy in Bayonetta is great for that reason, but I wouldn't hold up every game, especially those made by smaller studios, to that standard. How could Team Meat have made Super Meatboy disabled-user friendly on the budget they had? They could've included a prerecorded playthrough for each level I guess but how would that functionally be any different to looking up an LP of it on youtube?

its different because when its your game you control what the game does. if you want ryu vs ken in guile's stage you can do it instead of waiting for a video to get made. if you're playing gta you pick the order the missions are in.

I agree that there will always be examples of games that are impractical to have accessibility functions in, especially multiplayer and indy games, where the resources aren't available, but for major publishers a lot of game testing done nowadays is automated . that technology can probably be adapted to help people play.

i also wouldn't fixate on games just playing themselves, i meant that options should run the gamut, from simplified features, as you mention, to control schemes that account for having less than 2 fully functional hands.

VVV

if you can't beat or don't like a part of a game but will like what's after it why shouldn't you get what you want? not everyone has the same idea of fun

Real hurthling! fucked around with this message at 19:36 on Feb 28, 2015

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


I don't have an issue with difficulty/accessability settings at all, but the idea that gameplay should be able to be skipped so you can get to the "content", it's like, idk.

I guess it speaks to a modern sense of AAA game design where gameplay ends up just being regarded as the stuff you have to get through to get to the "content" rather than the content itself. To put it another way, if you can get the same enjoyment out of watching a game complete itself (and, like, watching the cutscenes) as you can actually playing it, it's probably a bad game

I really hate the word "content", if you couldn't tell.

Ernie Muppari
Aug 4, 2012

Keep this up G'Bert, and soon you won't have a pigeon to protect!


warning contents may be hot

multijoe
Oct 15, 2007

NYO~HO


I agree but I'm not disabled, so I'm not really gonna judge if they want a 'press a to win' mode

If you're physically capable and still use that stuff, you're probably a gigantic baby though

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


Real hurthling! posted:

if you can't beat or don't like a part of a game but will like what's after it why shouldn't you get what you want? not everyone has the same idea of fun

The problem with the idea that you should make stuff skippable in case it's bad is that it basically passes the job of game designer onto the player. the solution to "this is a lovely boss fight" isn't to make all boss fights skippable, it's to make the boss fight non-lovely. (or to add better difficulty options, but that's really just a different side of the same issue)

Like, if the game designer goes in with the idea that if he makes a lovely level, it doesn't matter because people can skip it anyway, do you really think they're going to put out good work?

this is going to sound dogmatic and I'm not being 100% serious when I say this, but absolutely nothing in a game should be skippable, and if you want to make it skippable, you need to ask yourself if that content should be in the game in the first place.

  • Locked thread