The best Boss Battle designs in gaming

Undoubtedly, my most enjoyable video game experiences are mainly rooted in overcoming stellarly designed bosses. There is an innate sense of catharsis in achieving wins on in-game tasks determined by skill-based perseverance. With that being said, three collective experiences come to mind when you think about which boss fights are the best; really the cream of the crop. And those titles are Ys Origin, Cuphead The delicious last courseand Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind. These three games manage to provide a boss design that I believe is at the top of the medium.

Kingdom Hearts III 9

Cuphead The delicious last course is the latest release of these titles and does not require a full introduction. This highly anticipated DLC for the critically acclaimed cup in the end, it was worth the wait and exceeded my already high expectations set by the precedent set by the base game.

Still, while I love the original cup for myriad reasons, many of his bosses were too straightforward and unchallenging to be the best, even in Expert mode. Satisfying, The delicious last course is completely on a whole different level, offering some of the most ingeniously designed battles I’ve ever seen.

For example, Glumstone The Giant in Expert Mode requires genuine courage from the player to navigate the perpetually dangerous arena in inventive ways. Aside from hosting telegraphs with ample warning and a simultaneously compact yet rich set of moves, Glumstone is one of those battles that emphasizes the sheer freedom of control of the player’s character, especially when Miss Chalice is used. In a way, the moves you can perform resemble acrobatics and there are no restrictions associated with the controller input.

Cup 3

Moonshine Mob, Mortimer Freeze, and the final boss also embrace this power, except to varying degrees. Mortimer Freeze, for example, inhibits the arena’s movement, but it’s only through his own actions rather than stage hazards. Essentially, the freedom of movement in this case is not rooted in ubiquitous stage factors, which makes it stand out. There is a non-limiting link between character movement and attack signaling that The delicious last course excels at.

Even The Howling Aces and Esther Winchester have their own unique advantages. The former has a more limited arena with less navigable space, so reaction time is key to succeeding there. In addition, the Esther Winchester battle can be seen as another iteration of the movement design that the standard bosses include because despite being an airplane, speed is in spades.

The core boss design in this DLC is no different from what the base game offers, but the greater level of challenge combined with the greater animation work amplifies the experience tenfold. Furthermore, as if those facets weren’t enough, the soundtrack is sublime, and great songs alone act as excellent motivators for continued pursuit. cup and The delicious last courseby extension, it’s mostly about dodging enemies, and the top-notch movement is the factor that really makes any boss’s attacks thrive.

Cup 5

Ys Origin is an older title, which was first released in 2006. What makes this title such a wonderful boss design is its experienced development history. Ys Origin is the last entry in the series to use the Napishtim Engine, which aptly originated with Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim and would then be refined in the Ys III redo, The Oath of Felghana.

This engine is different from the early Yes games and the current one because it is most similar to a traditional action game. The first entries in the series used the Bump system, which literally bumped into enemies to damage them. And the recent entries have used the Party system, which has interchangeable playable characters at will with modernized action combat.

In contrast, the Napishtim Engine titles have only one playable character per story, and action games rely on limited movement pools rather than the Party System’s diverse array of attributes. Unfortunately, the first use of this combat system is in Ys VI was messy due to excessive boss behavior which created a hugely unbalanced experience. Satisfying, felghana greatly improved on the errors of the system, but Origin would be the game that pushed the Napishtim Engine to its near-perfect state.

Ys Origin 1

Each character plays in a unique way with different strengths, such as Yunica Tovah as the average middle-range fighter and Hugo Fact as the long-range magician. Furthermore, despite exploring the same locations and mostly fighting the same bosses, each combative approach is completely different, emphasizing the versatile, all-encompassing nature of each boss.

the bosses of Ys Origin boast the expected telltale signs of well-implemented design, such as masterful telegraphs that are well-timed and never overtly depicted. Of the three games described in this article, Ys Origin’s boss telegraph are certainly the most subtle. Observation is arguably more important than reaction, as the latter is not so demanding.

It’s more about figuring out how to counter with the specific character you’re using. Each protagonist’s elemental skills are also naturally separate, so the experience is completely unique regardless of the multiple playthroughs envisaged. Even when faced with the same bosses multiple times, they never stay welcome for long due to their carefully crafted moves and disparate combative approaches. They far exceed the quality of Ys VIs also bosses, showing a drastic and commendable improvement.

Ys Origin 2

Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind is an experience that I have praised endlessly, especially through countless articles. This DLC to Kingdom Hearts III added a staggering amount of new content, the most prominent being the Data battles and Yozora. These 14 super bosses turned out to be the best collective video game experience I’ve ever had. I’ve covered each Data battle at length in an ongoing series of articles, and I’ve talked in general about why Yozora is my all-time favorite boss, so it’s admittedly somewhat difficult to summarize my differing thoughts. Anyway, I’ll try.

Any data battle in Re Mind is a joyous celebration of that particular character’s history. From movesets consisting of merged attacks from previous games to great arrangements, every attack put a smile on my face. I’ve never felt so frustrated because this DLC caters to fans who crave well-designed fair challenges on a par with some Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix as long as. And Re Mind managed to surpass even that desire. But even with callbacks for fans to appreciate, the merits of these bosses are self-contained enough not to feel shackled by the past.

The name of the game with Yozora and the Data battles is detecting shaky points. This design philosophy differs significantly from: cup, where encounters are essentially long runs, because avoidance is the main factor there. Therefore, Ys Origin can be used as a point of comparison because gaps are also present. However, the complexity of the super bosses in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind far outweighs the thought necessary in Ys Origin.

Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind 6

Not to belittle Ys Origin, but with one primary exception, the bosses in that game only had a few moves. That title did the best with what it had, and it was great. On the other hand, I look at the design of the boss of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind to be Ys Origin on steroids. Each boss’s Desperation Moves, essentially their ultimate attack, feel like a battle in their own right. The time spent figuring out their intricacies and the constant failure that accompanies them is glorious.

Further, as with Miss Chalice in cupheads DLC, controlling Sora is never limiting in any sense of the word. Airstep helps a lot with that freedom, but it also has to do with how easy moving Sora feels like an extension of myself. That same foundation of true catharsis is felt everywhere cupbut the movement of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind is just in a different league altogether. Yozora, a struggle that I haven’t even discussed here yet, further reinforces my love for this experience. His boss fight is the idealization of my combative desires and more.

Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind 3

Despite the conceptual differences they have, every title mentioned here has given me achievements that I initially thought I wasn’t skilled enough to perform. And in my view, games that give you that ultimate satisfaction are where the medium excels at its best. Now I eagerly await the day to play a game that surpasses Kingdom Hearts III Re Minds super bosses, and I have a feeling that will be extremely difficult.

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