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The best boss battles of 2010

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A good boss battle is like a fine wine. Refined, elegant in it's exectuion and quite likely to kill you fourteen times on the spin. Wait, scratch that last one. Unusally, 2010 has seen a string of games with bosses that not only didn't suck, but actually proved to be some of the biggest highlights of their titles. So if you're keen to go back and reminisce about fighting feral tigers in casinos or popping a deity's eyeballs like juicy grapes, keep on a reading.


God of War III

The brilliant boss: Poseidon

What better way to start an epic Greek adventure centred around murdering your mythical old man than by fighting the God of the Sea? The answer, younglings, is squashing said sea god’s eye holes to bits with your revenge-obsessed thumbs.


Above: Here's one we mutilated earlier

Before Kratos treats Poseidon to a bit of impromptu eye surgery, though, the pair embark on the game’s most epic battle. Aided by the titan Gaia, Kratos must first beat the seaweed out of a bunch of water crab, horse… eh, things, before the H2O-lover will show himself.

It’s the sheer scale of the fight that makes it so memorable. Clambering over Gaia while you avoid Poseidon’s attacks as the titan scales Mount Olympus should be Webster’s new dictionary definition of epic. And previously mentioned eye-gouging should probably get a nod when the book gets to ‘Ewww’.


Above: Hulking great blades of death beat glorified, horse-shaped puddles every time


Limbo

The brilliant boss: The spider

If we were handing out an award for the best boss introduction of 2010, Limbo’s horrific arachnid would win ‘horrendously spindly legs’ down. So here, have a smiley face sticker, spidey. While its legs sprouting from a tree and trying to impale you is unnerving, it’s got nothing on what’s to come. Over the spell of 20 minutes the eight legged freak pursues you with all the determination of a hairy T-1000.

When it finally catches you, it spins you up in webbing, seemingly leaving your haunted-eyed boy to meet his virtual maker. Thankfully, you manage to break free of your sticky cocoon. Of course, like anyone with a restraining order knows, perseverance is key, and it’s not long before the beast tracks you down again. Each time it does, it’s low reverberating score chills our spine like it’s been coated in liquid nitrogen. Still, the product of all our worst childhood fears or not, it’s ultimately no match for a kid that knows how to wield a shitting big boulder.


Dead Rising 2

The brilliant boss: Snowflake

Now, before you accost us in the streets and try to mutilate our faces with boxing gloves that have had pocket knives cellotaped onto them, we’ll concede that most of the psychopath battles in Dead Rising 2 are pretty miserable. Hell, even fighting Snowflake, an escaped performing tiger, ain’t exactly a hoot and a half. But come on. You’re fighting a frigging tiger in a casino full of zombies… usually with a bloody big burning stick. How could we leave out a fight with such a badass concept?

We’ll admit to being a tad disappointed with the colour of Snowflake’s coat. After all, any self-respecting, man-eating stripey bastard that turns up in a Vegas-style resort should be white. End of. We’ll move past our colour complaints, though, because this is the only boss on the list where you’ve got the option of saving the soul you’re beating on. If your inner WWF enthusiast is having a squirm at the thought of putting the hurt on a innocent animal, Chuck can simply win the beast over with a few tasty steaks. He can then escort it back to the warm embrace of the safe house, and even give it to his kid as an appallingly negligent pressie.


Vanquish

The brilliant boss: The Argus robot

In spite of what Batswana duelling midgets might say to the contrary, size is important. Why, one could even say it matters. And one would be correct if one was talking about blowing the mechanical bits off a screen-filling monstrosity like Vanquish’s Argus robot. A droid dastard of such towering proportions, not even a Predator-style minigun can scratch its surface, only Sam and his Matrix-shaming suit can stop the artificial a-hole.

And stop him he does. Capturing our hearts in the original Vanquish demo, the staggering scale of the fight warrants the first Argus battle a mention. Switching forms like the world’s most unwholesome Japanese Transformer, the best moment comes when Sam blows its arms to bits by shoving its own missiles back up through its hands. But as we’ve learned from Jason Voorhees and other sociopathic professional stabbers, video game bosses rarely do down quietly into the night. And later in Vanquish you’re attacked by two Argus robots.


Above: Time to break out the Batswana duelling midgets, we’d say

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47 comments

  • 911donkey - January 7, 2011 10:24 p.m.

    I have a feeling that the GR team hasn't played Monster Hunter to completion. I can name at least 5 fights from the game, off the top of my head, that are dozens of times more epic in scope, score, and cool-factor.
  • UberNerd27 - January 6, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    Not a single mention of Ys 7 or Oath in Felghana?! Those had the most challenging, exciting, balanced and fun boss battles I've played in a long time.
  • daggertail - January 6, 2011 1:49 a.m.

    Yes, The fight against the Praetorian was better, if only that you need to move around, even if it can be solved by running around a single box. But did anyone else think that the "Boss" fights at the end of Ace Combats 4 and 6 were awesome? Not Yellow or Strigon Squadron, I'm talking about Megalith and the Chandalier
  • vanille314 - January 2, 2011 7:52 a.m.

    wow god of war boss battles are really awesome!! and check out Argus has really have a nasty face! Whew
  • Skykid - January 1, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    Even though you downed it, Force Unleashed II has one of the best boss fights I've ever done: The Gorog. Can't beat a midairboss fight, ever. It was f@#*ing insane!
  • revrock - December 30, 2010 6:14 a.m.

    Not to mention Monster Hunter Tri has by far the best online community I have ever experienced. I know there have been times I have "blown it" on a quest and no one ever responded with immature insults, etc.
  • Eliath - December 30, 2010 4:02 a.m.

    @thedonut Monster Hunter is awesome, and it's a shame it hasn't taken off in other parts of the globe like it has in Japan. I've played it off and on since the first one, but I actually bought a second Wii for my wife and I to play together online in Tri. We easily had 600 hours or so logged between us in Tri. It's unfortunate that a lot of people won't get in to it because of it being on the Wii.
  • mockraven - December 30, 2010 4:02 a.m.

    After reading this and the comments, I want to pull out Monster Hunter: Tri again. That's just such an awesome game and the major boss fights feel so epic every time. It's just you, possibly your comrades, your weapon, and the dragon. Looking straight forward, you might get to see its knees, looking skyward is the beast's head about to plume a giant wave of flame. One well-placed hit from the mighty beast can knock you dead or near it (especially if you don't have the best armour equipped at the time) and the only things protecting you from your death are your weapon, your skills, and your much needed herbs. Human vs Dragon. Hunter vs Hunter. Sure, God of War III and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow both had gorgeous, epic boss fights, as well, but MH3 really captured the feel of an epic boss fight for me. I think it's partly due to the idea that you're still a very breakable and normal human with no magic powers to turn the tables with. Anyway, great article and great feedback! Was a fun read. :)
  • NightCrawler_358 - December 30, 2010 3:58 a.m.

    Snowflake is the reason i started hating Dead Rising 2 haha. Also, i'd say every boss battle in GOW3 is more epic than alot of these bosses. it deserves its own list!
  • Grif - December 30, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    I mean boss fights
  • Grif - December 30, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    Man I loved the Bayonetta cutscenes.
  • thedonut - December 29, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    I love the Monster Hunter hype going on here, as well. I bought the game the other day with my Christmas money. I have to say, I'm happy with the purchase. I'm in love with the game.
  • tacehtselrahc - December 29, 2010 10:47 p.m.

    Or what about the boss fight on the railway bridge about halfway through Singularity?
  • revrock - December 29, 2010 7:12 p.m.

    @ Eliath great points. Very well thought out and presented (I immediately though of all the requests I got to fight Lagi (Barroth was an early harbinger for such requests, too)...You have swayed my opinion.
  • Yeager1122 - December 29, 2010 4:54 p.m.

    The one in vanquish was pretty epic but then so was pretty much the entire game.
  • jahead - December 29, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    fu
  • philipshaw - December 29, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    Great list Meiks, good to see castlevaina on here
  • reaperman22 - December 29, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    I think the fight with cronos was a little bit more epic than the one with gaia but since its the most amazing opening to anything ever and gouging out his eyes still makes me cringe i guess i will agree with you
  • jmcgrotty - December 29, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    You messed up one of these. The image for Dead Rising 2 actually shows the boss battle from Kinectimals.
  • Eliath - December 29, 2010 6:25 a.m.

    @revrock Lagi was fun at first; don't get me wrong. It just wasn't the best fight to me in Tri or the coolest. It could be I'm not too fond of Lagiacrus because the game is saturated with Lagi. There are event quests with him, there are double kill quests with him, he is in multiple maps, and there are a ton of items that need parts from Lagi. Fighting Lagi was just a chore. Fighting Caedeus, Deviljho, Jhen, or Alatreon was always fun. I still watch videos of Caedeus every now and then to hear the music. It's just epic. Lagi was a novelty with the water battles the first time you fight him. Playing the game enough, the novelty wore off, especially after Caedeus. Jhen is definitely awesome in Tri. I should have mentioned him. Anyway, it's an opinion piece. I had a different opinion. I loved Lagiacrus the first time I fought him, and it really got the blood moving. I also know a lot of people really liked the Lagi battle since my wife and I were always tired of people asking us to kill Lagi with them. To each their own. Life would be boring without different opinions. ...wow that came off sounding snobbish. /shrug

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