233 The RPG Boss Tropes

One thing that has always bothered me about the majority of JRPG and JRPG-inspired American RPGs is the boss design.

Not any one specific boss usually, just the tropes with it in general. The game spends so many hours teaching you how to battle regular enemies, and how to use different abilities to overcome different challenges and situations. But when it comes to the boss, most of them are designed to prevent almost all of those tactics from being valid. Common abilities, like poison or silence, will never work on bosses. And it makes sense why it would be designed this way, to be a challenge. But I feel like there are better ways to design a challenging boss encounter than to just prevent things that are usually valid for 95% of the rest of the game.

The Souls games by From Software are a great counter example to this. While the bosses in these games are extremely challenging, their is nothing about them inherently that makes them unfair. They’re simply stronger, less surmountable foes.

Another thing {continues angry rant}, who ever thought that a multi-stage boss would ever be fun!? I’m looking at you Kingdom Hearts series (but also you, Persona 4: Golden, but not as badly). Though it may feel like a great accomplishment when you do finally succeed, the only reason that’s true is because it’s such torture throughout. It goes back to the idea of bosses being special cases in the game design. No other time in the game do I have to fight 3 battles back to back without saving, healing, or regrouping in between. But sure, it’s the end of the game anyway, and only a fraction of a percentage of people make it there anyway, right? ;)

[ Today I Was Playing: Card Hunter and Persona 4: Golden ]

August 21, 2015