So I was hanging out with LostCrichton as his place noodling around with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
for the 360. Sadly, LostCrichton had passed out on his couch from a concoction of Arby's Roast Beef and antihistamine medicine of Heath Ledger proportions.
The game is goofy fun, but had a shining example of poor boss design with the Rancor Battle at the end of the first level in the Return of the Jedi campaign.
Much like in the movie, your band of heroes is knocked down into a pit of Jabba's Palace, having to face a vicious Rancor Monster. As the boss battle begins, the game gives you no idea of how to damage the Rancor. You can either set off some explosive devices to cause an avalanche to fall on him or use a droid to send a Gammorean guard for the Rancor to gobble, distracting him so you can attack. It would be nice if the game gave you visual clues with what to do instead of just throwing you blindly in the midst of a boss battle.
The bad boss design goes from bad to worse towards the end when you have the Rancor's health down to 1/2 heart. Setting off the explosions or distracting him with Gammorean snacks does nothing to his health. To finish off the Rancor, you have to flip the switches to make a gate crush down on his neck, as in the movie. The main problem here is that the game doesn't cue the player about the "finishing move"-it just expects you to rember what they did in the movie.
There is a worse example of bad boss design in the Phantom Menace for the PSX, but that's another story.
Anyone have other examples of poorly designed boss fights?