WARNING! THIS BLOG CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR EVERY GAME ON THE LIST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
"It's about the journey, not the destination."
I hate that phrase. Because it's not entirely true. While the journey certainly does matter, and it is important to appreciate the journey, if the destination is a dissappointment or just flat out bullshit than what was the point? Sure, I had fun on the way. Made some good memories. But what did I accomplish?
I think it's very important to remember that games, more than any medium in my opinion, can usually get away with a piss poor ending. Because it is very easy to just be like, so what, the rest of the game was great. But that doesn't mean that a game can't end so poorly that it sours your opinion of the rest of the game.
And that is why this list exists. These are the final bosses that ruined a game for me. That made me just feel like I accomplished nothing. That disappointed me. Frustrated me. That just, in my opinion, make the destination not worth the journey.
Just a reminder, these are just my opinion. And I'm not saying the games below are bad, or even that I don't like them. Just that I don't like the final bosses.
10. Giant Robot - Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
I’m not going to rag on this one too much. This is a pretty shit final boss, but it’s still the best boss fight of the game. It’s not even really that bad per se, just really boring and not challenging. And yeah, this is a game aimed at kids so I wasn’t expecting a Dark Souls-tier final boss, but still I hoped for some challenge. The worst part of it is trying to guide the Doomerang to it’s core. You know those parts of the Batman Arkham games where you have to guid the batarang through a narrow passage? Think that, but with worse controls and way too long. Also it’s timed. A bad final boss to a mediocre game.
9. Andross - Star Fox Adventures
I loved this game as a kid. I hadn’t played that many games yet though. Looking back on it, this game isn’t very good. It’s not terrible, but it’s pretty bad. However, like I said, I did enjoy it growing up. In particular, I liked the story. Yeah, it’s pretty generic, but it’s serviceable. Much like it’s villain, General Scales. A pretty generic villain that would probably fit in better in a Saturday morning cartoon. Still as a kid, I couldn’t wait to fight him at the end of Adventures. Unfortunately it never happens. Instead I fought Andross. Who is pretty much exactly the same as he is in the previous two Star Fox games. What a disappointment that makes me wish that Rare hadn’t listened to Nintendo and just made Dinosaur Planet instead.
8. Alpha - MegaMan Battle Network 3: Blue/White
The irony of this is at one point I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of putting Alpha on a list like this. I loved MegaMan Battle Network 3 as a kid. It was my favorite game in the series. Probably because it was the first one I played. Having replayed it on Wii U as an adult, it doesn’t hold up compared to Battle Network 2. Especially the final boss, Alpha. In concept, Alpha is cool. The idea of a rogue network turned into an unstoppable virus-like AI is really interesting. Unfortunately, from a gameplay standpoint, Alpha is just obnoxious. It takes several shots just to chip away at his body and allow you to actually do damage. Once you do you have very little time to hurt Alpha as it regenerates its mass quickly. And worse it almost never stops barraging you with attacks. It’s just too much of a clusterfuck. I found myself not feeling like I accomplished anything. I just felt annoyed.
7. Shao Kahn - Mortal Kombat (2011)
Fuck Shao Kahn. What a cheap bastard. It’s not fun fighting an opponent that’s so annoyingly cheap as this. Every hit takes huge chunks of damage, his X-ray takes over half your health, and he takes twice as much damage as any other character. Worst, he gloats. When he wins you have to sit through him taking forever for the game to rub it in. You lost, ha ha ha. I hate that with games. Screw you, I know I lost. Just let me try again already. And to add insult to injury, the rest of the game is great. Even the fights against Goro and Kintaro are better. But Shao Kahn is just a dick and he’s a blight on the game.
6. Seth - Street Fighter IV
Speaking of cheap bastard boss fights. I hate Seth. Even on the easiest setting he is the cheapest freaking fighting game final boss I’ve ever fought. He’s just too overpowered. And fast. And he blocks practically everything. There’s no openings. You have two options to beat him 1) be someone whose played every Street Fighter ever and be so good at it that it’s almost inhuman or 2) get very, very lucky. This is actually kind of true of the game in general. There’s a real steep learning curve. If Street Fighter IV was your first Street Fighter game (0r if like me you hadn’t played since the Genesis days) you were not going to have an easy time adjusting to the game. And even when you do start to improve, Seth will always be way too cheap.
5. Talbot - Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Forgettable. That’s what Talbot is. That’s what Uncharted 3 is. I still like it, at least for some of the set pieces. But to me it’s easily the worst Uncharted game. It’s plot is a mess, it’s gameplay was messed up on launch, and it’s villains are just so bland. And to think that somehow Naughty Dog managed to make a final boss more boring and annoying than Atoq Navarro. Talbot just isn’t someone I cared about. Sure, he was annoying. At first I couldn’t wait to mess him up. But by the end of the game I had no emotional attachment to kicking his ass. I was just ready for the game to end. Some bosses aren’t bad because they’re annoying or disappointing, some are just bland.
4. Le Paradox - Sly 4: Thieves in Time
Sly 4 was a disappointment all around. It had some good points, but I feel like around the Medieval stage you could feel that Sanzaru Games were running out of time and money. I won’t say much more than that about it, since that’s not what this list is about. However I think it’s important to note since I feel it had a hand in Sly 4’s final boss, Le Paradox, falling so flat. He has no real build up, no personality, even his design is boring. I felt like he was just there. Just tacked onto the story. I don’t know, I just didn’t give a single shit about him. And worse still, his fight is a quick time event. And a bad one. One where all movement stops and freeze frames until you press the button, making the scene all clunky and jittery. It isn’t fun, interesting, and it’s anticlimactic. In the end it just left me thinking, “Really? That was it?”
3. Joker - Batman: Arkham…Knight?
Yes, I know Joker is bad in Arkham Asylum. But I wasn’t expecting much from it. The whole game had shitty bosses. Knight had the misfortune of proceeding two Arkham games with much better boss fights (say what you will about City and Origins, I like them, and their boss fights are way better than Asylum’s and Knight’s). After building up Scarecrow as the big bad of Knight who was the final boss? Joker. Again. Bo-ring! And what makes it more annoying is that Scarecrow is just beaten in a cutscene afterward. You don’t even get to fight him at all. In the entire game. What the actual hell? I actually dislike Knight as a whole, but the final boss is one of the big reasons why. It’s the old bait ’n switch that they’ve already done in City and Origins. Screw this game and it’s final boss.
2. Zeus - God of War 3
If the fight against Zeus inside Gaia had been the last fight, this wouldn’t be here. But it’s not. Instead, after beating Zeus, Kratos is “killed” by Zeus and has to wander around a dark realm until you finally walk long enough to fight Zeus again. In first person. And it sucks. The chain blades just weren’t designed for first person. It feels like you’re slapping Zeus with wet noodles. And there’s no challenge to it. The only way Zeus has a chance to fight back is if you stand perfectly still. Otherwise he’ll never touch you. And at this point any adrenaline I built up during the previous fight inside Gaia had died off after wandering through the dark realm. It just felt hollow to me. Like it was unnecessary. Not to mention the games attempt to “redeem” Kratos. That was just stupid. This final encounter with Zeus was actually bad and disappointing enough to almost ruin the whole game for me. Seriously. I hated it back when I first beat the game. It was a lousy end to a great game that soured the whole experience. Like eating a great meal, but the last bite being so bad tasting it leaves you gagging and wishing the meal had ended just a little sooner.
1. Demon Battleship - Rogue Galaxy
Rogue Galaxy is one of my favorite RPGs. The gameplay is simplistic, yet satisfying. There’s more depth to it than you might expect with a cool skill tree system, the ability to forge new, powerful weapons and items, and having actual rewards for grinding. The characters are (mostly) great, the graphics hold up well. The story, while not terribly unique and perhaps a bit too reliant on familiar tropes, is pretty neat and has some neat ideas. I would recommend anyone who likes action RPGs give it a shot…
…but, I must say it has the worst final boss of any game I’ve ever played. Why? Well for starters, because it proceeds a much better boss. Throughout the game, you learn about “Mother”, the being that creates monsters and is the embodiment of evil. She used to be a powerful sorceress, but she was transformed into Mother when she came into contact with “Rune” a substance that mutates anything organic life it touches. When you finally encounter her, it’s epic. She has two forms. One large form, the classic game boss of upper torso and arms on side of cliff. Standard stuff. Then she transforms into a flying goddess-like being that is much more challenging. She’s not that tough, but she’s a more than adequate final boss.
Unfortunately, she’s not. Instead the game brings in these evil corporate types that, quite frankly, I feel really don’t need to be here. They and their battleship get transformed by the rune after Mother is no longer around to be it’s avatar. They are then reborn, fused into the ship in horrific glory. It’s a truly awful sight and very, very menacing. This should be a truly awesome final fight.
It’s not. First, each of your party members has to fight a part of the ship 1v1. Which sucks since, if you’re like me the first time I played Rogue Galaxy, you probably had some party members you didn’t like. And you probably weren’t buying better weapons for them. And so I died, having to start all over. And I mean all over. Fight Mother’s first form, then second, then you get a crack at the warship again. It’s frustrating having to do this, since several of these 1v1 fights have strategies that aren’t necessarily easy to figure out. So you’re going to die a lot. And even when you finally do manage to accomplish this, then it’s time for the main character Jaster to go head to head with the ship’s, well, head. And here’s where Jaster gets a massive sword. Like seriously big. About 5 times his size. Which again, seems cool.
But it’s not, because the sword takes forever to swing. Your combo is down to three swings, and you will only ever be able to get two in before it’s time to block. If you get greedy and go for that third swing you are going to take substantial damage. You’ll also need to heal often, and use consumable items that boost your defense and strength if you don’t want the fight to take like half an hour. So soon you’re locked in a repetitive cycle of one swing, two swing, block, heal, boost. It gets really, really boring. And if you slip up at all, it can be fatal. Forget to heal? You’ll probably die. Go for the extra hit? You’ll probably die. Block too late? YOU’LL PROBABLY DIE! And after a while, you’re going to slip up. Whether it’s because you’re getting bored, or you get cocky, or just because your getting fatigued. And remember, if you die here you start over from Mother’s first form. And my god, is that some bullshit.
It’s a shame, since up until here, the game is great. It has some issues, sure. And it had some bullshit here and there. But it was a very solid RPG that I loved. But this boss fight is absolutely irredeemable and unforgivable. Level 5 really dropped the ball on this final boss. And it’s a disgrace to an otherwise fun game.