I perfected the use of my move-set in training mode and fought a seemingly endless roster of increasingly difficult foes. I have mastered the inherent system of action and reaction, it all makes perfect sense, i am in a state of Flow.
Mihaly Csiskzent... Mihaly Csikmihal...Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would be proud.
And then I get kicked in the nuts. Repeatedly.
I get kicked in the nuts repeatedly and ferociously by sadistic monstrosities going by names like Jinpachi Mishima, Seth, Galactus, Saiki. Suddenly i remember why you are not really supposed to play these games alone: you can't hurt developers, you can't even yell at them. I tend to sink my teeth into the controller instead. My dentist is a rich man.
Bosses in (fighting) games demand a higher degree of attention or skill, i am perfectly alright with that. But they also tend to force the player into a certain style of playing the game.
These atrocities are not only the developer's projection of his own wet dreams of omnipotency, they are also interrupting my Flow. And they are not fun. They don't generate a feeling of achievement after i finally beat them. I do not want to spam the same moves over and over again or rely too heavily on (imo overused) super-special-ultra-meters.
I am forced to play a certain way - i am forced "to pay attention to the that man behind the curtain".
I hate that.
Thinking about this i had to do another picture. The one above is purely descriptive and does not reflect upon what fighting-game-bosses do to my soul, what it feels like to spend too much time with watching loading-screens. So I made a second one:
Some reflective moments later i also thought about the other end of the spectrum of negative feelings concerning game-bosses. For me it is the experience of disappointment, the anti-climax, the too-easy-boss
An experience which seems especially virulent in RPGs. I tend to grind enthusiastically and more often than not I am underwhelmed by the bosses I encounter.
I actually feel quite bad for most of them.
It is like stomping kittens on the head.