The best boss fight designs in games

Without a doubt, my most enjoyable video game experiences are mostly rooted in defeating stellar bosses. There is an innate sense of catharsis as you achieve victory in game tasks determined by skill-based perseverance. So, that being said, three collective experiences come to mind when thinking about the best boss fights; really the cream of the crop. And these titles are Yes Origin, Cuphead The Delicious Last Dishand Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind. All three of these games manage to deliver a boss design that I think is top of the line.

Cuphead The Delicious Last Dish is the latest version of these titles, and it doesn’t require a full introduction. This highly anticipated DLC for the critically acclaimed game Cuphead ended up being worth the wait, exceeding my already lofty expectations set by the precedent the base game instilled.

Yet while I love the original Cuphead for a myriad of reasons, many of his bosses were too plain and simple to be the best, even in expert mode. Fortunately, The delicious last dish is on a whole new level entirely, offering some of the most ingeniously crafted battles I’ve ever seen.

For example, Glumstone The Giant in Expert mode requires true courage on the part of the player to navigate the always dangerous arena in inventive ways. In addition to hosting telegraphs with enough warning and a compact yet rich moveset, Glumstone is one of the fights that showcases the freedom of control the player character has, especially when battling. the use of Miss Chalice. In a sense, the movements one can perform are akin to acrobatics and there are no constraints related to controller input.

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Moonshine Mob, Mortimer Freeze, and the final boss also adopt this force, except to varying degrees. For example, Mortimer Freeze inhibits arena movement, but that’s only through his own actions rather than stage hazards. Essentially, the freedom of movement in this case isn’t rooted in pervasive scenic factors, which helps it stand out. There is a non-restrictive link between the movement of the character and the attack signaling that The delicious last dish excels in.

Even The Howling Aces and Esther Winchester contain their own positives. The former has a tighter arena with less navigable space, so reaction time is central to success. Additionally, Esther Winchester’s battle can be seen as a different iteration of the movement design that the standard bosses contain since, despite being an airplane, the speed is in spades.

The core boss design in this DLC does not differ from what the base game offers, but the greater level of challenge coupled with the greater animation work amplifies the experience tenfold. Plus, as if those facets weren’t enough, the soundtrack is sublime and the terrific songs alone provide excellent motivation for continued effort. Cuphead and The delicious last dishby extension, mostly revolve around enemy evasion, and top-notch movement is the factor that really makes each boss’s attacks thrive.

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Yes Origin is an older title, originally released in 2006. What makes this title boast such a gorgeous boss design is its experienced development history. Yes Origin is the last entry in the series to use the Napishtim engine, which was rightly created with Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim and would then be refined in the Yes III remake, The Oath of Felghana.

This engine differs from the beginning Yes games and current games because it’s most comparable to a traditional action game. Early entries in the series used the Bump system, which involved literally bumping into enemies to damage them. And recent entries have used the party system, which has at-will swappable playable characters with modernized action combat.

In contrast, Napishtim Engine titles have only one playable character per story and are action games reliant on limited move pools rather than the Party System’s diverse range of attributes. Unfortunately, the first use of this combat system in Yes IV was messy due to the outrageous behavior of the boss, creating an extremely unbalanced experience. Fortunately, felghana greatly improved system faults, but Origin would be the game that pushed the Napishtim Engine to its near-perfect state.

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Each character plays uniquely with different strengths, such as Yunica Tovah being the medium mid-range fighter and Hugo Fact being the long-range magician. Additionally, despite exploring the same locations and fighting mostly the same bosses, each combat approach is entirely distinct, emphasizing the versatile and all-encompassing nature of each boss.

The bosses of Yes Origin extol the expected telltale signs of a well-implemented design, such as masterful telegraphs that are well-timed and never overtly depicted. Of the three games detailed in this article, Ys Origin’s the bosses’ telegraphs are certainly the most subtle. Observation is arguably more crucial than reaction since the latter is not as demanding.

It’s more about thinking about how to counter with the specific character you’re using. Each protagonist’s elemental skills are also inherently separate, so the experience is entirely unique regardless of the multiple playthroughs planned. Even when facing the same bosses multiple times, they never outstay their welcome due to their meticulously crafted moves and disparate combative approaches. They far surpass the quality of Ys VI the bosses as well, showing a drastic and commendable improvement.

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Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind is an experience that I have never stopped praising, especially via numerous articles. This DLC to Kingdom Hearts 3 added a staggering amount of new content, the biggest being Data Battles and Yozora. These 14 super bosses have become the best collective video game experience I have ever had. I’ve discussed each data battle intricately through an ongoing series of articles, and generally explained why Yozora is my all-time favorite boss, so it’s admittedly somewhat difficult to condense my different thoughts. Whatever, I’ll try.

Every data fight in Recall is a joyful celebration of that specific character’s story. From the move sets made up of fused attacks from previous games to some great arrangements, every fight put a smile on my face. I’ve never felt frustrated with the way this DLC caters to fans who are looking for fair and well-crafted challenges on par with what Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix provided. And Recall succeeded in surpassing even that desire. Yet 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 data fights detects lag points. This design philosophy differs significantly from Cuphead, where the encounters are essentially endurance races since avoidance is the main factor. Therefore, Yes Origin can serve as a point of comparison because openings are also present. However, the complexity of super-bosses in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind far exceeds the necessary reflection in Yes Origin.

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Do not minimize Yes Origin, but with one exception, the bosses in this game only had a few moves. This title did its best with what it had, and it was great. On the other hand, I look at the pattern design of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind be Yes Origin on steroids. Each boss’s desperation moves, essentially their ultimate attack, feel like an entire fight on their own. The time spent understanding their intricacies and the constant failure that comes with them is glorious.

Moreover, as with Miss Chalice in Cuphead DLC, controlling Sora is never binding in any sense of the word. Airstep contributes a lot to this freedom, but it also has to do with how just moving Sora feels like an extension of myself. This same basis of true catharsis is felt through Cupheadbut the movement of Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind is just in another league altogether. Yozora, a battle I haven’t even talked about here yet, further cements my love for this experience. His boss fight is the idealization of my combative aspirations and more.

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Despite the conceptual differences they have, each title mentioned here made me achieve feats that I didn’t think I was capable enough to accomplish initially. And, in my eyes, the games that give you that eventual fulfillment are the ones where the medium excels at its highest. Now I look forward to the day to play a game that surpasses Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind’s great bosses, and I have a feeling it will be exceptionally difficult.