The best boss battles of 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

The brilliant boss: Rock Titan

The titans Gabriel Belmont faces in Lords of Shadow simply couldn’t be more of a saliva-powered kiss to Shadow of the Colossus. Unlike Kratos’ mountain-sized mates, the titan battles in Castlevania are much more interactive. Requiring skilful timing, if you’re not careful Belmont is liable to get his noble self crushed if your fingers go a bit Forrest Gump on you.

Probably the most impressive is the Rock Titan. A boulder-based bitch who’s as tall as a small skyscraper, she towers above your tiny knight as a ghostly storm rages in the background. Thankfully, with the assistance of a hardass golem and a few sizeable rocks, Gabe takes down the stony shit. Although we doubt he’ll ever be able to fully relax around pebbles again.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

The brilliant boss: Gobblegut

Compared to this colossal serpent, Bowser is the most embarrassing of pushovers. Floating above a small planet, Mario must use his jumping spin attack to pop the dragon’s glowing spot… thingies, in order to best the beast. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Wrong. Gobblegut is a burrowing bastard who weaves in and out of the planet’s core like it was made of Edam. Our portly plumber also has to avoid the beast’s hot-sauce sponsored breath, which can char the toilet jockey to cinders in seconds.

First time through, we managed to send the brute to Mushroom Kingdom hell without too much bother. But a later Power Star challenge demands you beat the monster without taking a single hit. Maddening? Fairly. But dude also sounds like a runaway steam train. And that makes him alright in our barely literate book. That, and the fight’s probably the most technically impressive thing we’ve seen on Nintendo’s diminutive white box this year.


The brilliant boss: Iustitia, Cardinal Virtue of Justice

In a game that lets you summon giant spiders from your hair to eat bosses and twat other massive foes in the face with churches, refining Bayonetta’s brilliant boss encounters down to one entry was mighty tough. Seeing as we’ve always had a bit of a thing for tongues, though (blame Freddy Kreuger), the eventual choice was obvious.

Thanks to some ridiculously long licking appendages, Iustitia, Cardinal Virtue of Justice, is officially the most off-putting half demon/half statue abomination we’ve ever seen with the eyes in our head. Also, it’s ludicrously creepy kid’s voice means the homicidal hurtin’ Bayonetta puts on it is the most just assault since Kevin McCallister gets an all too brief beatdown from Joe Pesci in Home Alone 2.

Monster Hunter: Tri

The brilliant boss: Lagiacrus

Have you got a spare fifty minutes on your hands? How about two hours? No? Then you’re screwed. The poster boy… or, to be more precise, scaly-assed dragon for Monster Hunter: Tri, Lagiacrus takes an age to kill. And we’re talking Ice Age proportions here. Even if you’re lucky enough to be part of a four man beastie-slaughtering party, this underwater leviathan can still put up a game fight for over an hour. Usually before squashing you all with one feel swoop of its really malevolent tail.

It’s the only monster in the game to have a weapon in every catergory and it’s the largest underwater foe you’ll find in Capcom’s brilliant Wii adventure. And that’s partly why we chose this encounter. The deep-sea smackdowns you can get into in Tri are some of the game’s most satisfying. Seeing Lagiarcrus lurking around in the murky waters before it charges you with the kind of determination we’ve not seen since 1975, off the coast of Amity Island with a rubber fish called Bruce, is pretty terrifying. So make sure to clear a free night from your social calendar if you plan to skin the bugger.

Heavy Rain

The brilliant boss: Doctor Death

Technically, we realise we’re stretching the definition of a boss battle just a smidge here. See, the ‘fight’ against psychotic physician Adrian Baker (lets just call him Doctor Death for short), like most of Heavy Rain, is just a glorified QTE. But really, what a QTE. Depending on your choices, you can have an incredibly tense scene where Madison searches the doctor’s house for evidence or you can accept a little drink and get drugged for your troubles.

Either choice will end up with Madison on a cold slab of metal with ol’ Doc Death primed and ready to perform some decidedly questionable surgery on our heroine. Sure, it’s partly so tense because a psychotic coot is pointing a drill at your womanly bits. But mostly, it’s because this is the first scene in Heavy Rain you can actually die during. Admittedly, you have to have inbred sausage fingers to get Madison offed here and no self-respecting gamer or games jarnalist could possibly be rubbish enough to let Miss Paige bite i…

Yeah, maybe we should look into starting new professions. We hear gardening jarnalism is really booming just now.

But our personal favourite scrap of 2010 simply must go to Darth 'in no way the most awful, frustrating boss we've ever fought in a game' Vader. Although admittedly, the minor stroke we suffered when fighting this joyless tin can might be impairing our judgement.

Above: If you like having your pad in one piece, stay away from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Dec, 2010

The Top 7... Most satisfying one-hit boss kills
Bang! Dead.


Why Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is the most half-assed sequel I've ever played
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  • 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.

  • 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. that came off sounding snobbish. /shrug

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