I’m up pretty late right now because I was trying to win an especially long boss fight in a game. The same thing happened last night. The boss isn’t hard, just really long. I know how to dodge all of its attacks and harm it as much as possible. What, artistically, do I actually gain by going through the same little process over and over again? It’s repetitive, boring and mundane.
When I was thinking about how bad this particular boss is, I reflected that I don’t really like boss battles in general. Why do video games always need to have bosses? Boss battles are frequently repetitive, they break your immersion (buy killing you a lot) and are often quite forced. It’s such a deeply ingrained part of video game culture that all games have them (pretty much) but why? I can’t really think of any thing like it in different mediums.
Having said that, I do have to admit that there are one or two boss battles which I really loved, but not many. When I like a boss, it’s because it feels like a natural part of the narrative or the journey which the game is trying to take me on – I feel like a good 90% of boss battles are just thrown in because the creators feel like bosses are an essential. But why does nobody ever question this? Video games do not need boss battles to be good and, in fact, some might even be improved by their removal!