TA Top Five: Boss Battles

By ClumsyOnion, 2 years ago
Ever felt the need to put down the controller, chainsaw your front door apart, run down the street and punch a dog in the face? If you haven’t then you obviously haven’t experienced a proper Boss Battle. The Bosses of the video game world have long been the nemesis of the gamer, who often spends a painstaking amount of time running between shops and crafting stations in order to set themselves up for these epic fights, only to be crushed again and again within the first few seconds. There’s nothing quite as soul-destroying as wrenching a gigantic foe down to nothing but a sliver of health only for it to enter ultra-uber-one-hit-kill mode and slam you into a nearby pool of acid. This scream-inducing agony is only reconciled through the intense joy felt after toppling these monsters of gaming. It is a true mark of a player's skill when they can boast of defeating the Scarab Beetle of Halo 3 on Legendary, the gargantuan Venom Joker in Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360) or the Lambent Brumak of Gears of War 2 …wait…not that last one. In honour of these truly heroic feats we have compiled the top five boss battles on the 360. These top five were chosen not only due to difficulty but also out of the enjoyment they granted and how interesting they were. Get your rockets loaded up…we’re goin’ in.

Before we start, needless to say, there will be spoilers. You know, final boss battles and stuff? Consider yourselves warned.

Honorable Mention

The Arch Demon - Dragon Age: Origins

When you see a boss in your dream you know you’re going mad. When your character hears it in theirs…you know you’re playing Dragon Age. The Arch Demon is the cause of The Blight and, as such, is the reason you sacrifice your old life and become a Grey Warden. The final confrontation between you and the demon is marred by the emotional decisions and relationships you make or break before it. Controlling the flow of ballista, coordinating teammates and fighting back hordes of Darkspawn on top of the Dragon itself makes this fight brutally difficult on any setting but the easiest.

5. Wheatley - Portal 2

Wheatley 1

As we mentioned at the top, not all of these boss battles are rated on difficulty and this is a prime example. Armed with just the trusty Portal gun, players were required to attach a series of corrupted CPU cores to the body of Wheatley. The backstory of betrayal, more betrayal and then betrayal again makes this fight all the more interesting as the player is required to team up with the science queen of evil from the original game, GLaDOS. With blue and orange goo, bombs and talking computer-balls flying all over the place, Stephen Merchant’s manic ramblings are a perfect match to the ongoing chaos.

While the fight itself is a ton of fun, it’s the climactic finish that slides the final fight of Portal 2 into fifth place. As a tile of the roof falls away the player is faced with one of gaming’s all time greatest moments. The moon makes a great surface for one last portal, tearing Wheatley away from Aperture and into the silence of space. The final scenes of this battle make it one of the most memorable experiences to date as GLaDOS saves Chell and sends her through a lift of singing Portal turrets to freedom on the surface. Portal 2’s piece de resistance still stands as arguably the greatest puzzle game boss fight of all time.

4. Terramorphous The Invincible - Borderlands 2

Terramorphous 1

Giant Boss Battles are often some of the best and Terramorphous of Borderlands 2 is no exception. After giving a well-deserved metaphorical finger to Handsome Jack and ridding Pandora of The Warrior, you are given a new objective simply titled, "You. Will. Die. (Seriously.)". This terrific Thresher Maw rises from the ground as soon as you make your approach and will regenerate all of its health every single time you respawn. For the majority, Borderlands is a great single-player experience made better in co-op. For Terramorphous, co-op is a necessity. For a chance at victory you’ll need four players at around level 45-50. That preparation I mentioned earlier that makes boss fights so annoying; well this is where it really comes into play. Equipping yourself with legendary weapons is an absolute must here. For those masochistic gamers out there, you’ll love the obnoxiously large health bar that comes in the Terramorphous package. Here’s a psychologically friendly tip: when Terramorphous’ dying scream fills your headphones…scream back…it makes it all worthwhile.

3. General Raam - Gears of War

General Raam 1

From the very start of Delta Squad’s journey they were given glimpses of the Locust General…General Raam. When the COG team finally meets up with this dastardly evil quandary, it’s down to Marcus and Dom to down him on a runaway cargo train. While this boss fight may only pose a minor threat at lower difficulty levels, find yourself on Insane and this showdown gets messy, fast. Raam is cloaked in the bat-like Kryll that he will surge toward you. Find yourself out in the open when the Kryll come beating down and you’ll soon find death, so find cover quick! The real curve ball of the boss fight comes from Raam’s inability to just sit still and be shot. You’ll often find him hurtling toward your cover, forcing you to roll to the side, into the open and into a cloud of Kryll. If you’re riding the train on insane you’ll need to strap yourself in, fetch some beverages and hang up some pictures of kittens and narwhals around your Xbox, either that or get some window insurance and a couple of new controllers, because it’ll be one hell of a trip.

2. Grigori - Dragon's Dogma

Grigori 1

When we talk about setting up a final showdown in a game we usually mean letting the bad guy make an arse of you, beginning some sort of world destruction sequence and acquiring some kind of mega weapon before the final fight begins. Dragons Dogma takes the villain vs hero set-up to an entirely new level with the game’s final boss, Grigori the Dragon, rocking up at the very start of the game amidst a whirlwind of thunder, almost killing your entire town and ripping out your own heart in the process. He then tasks you with coming to face him and retrieving your own beating organ when you’re ready…talk about making it personal…Jesus!

While his name may be completely ridiculous for a dragon, Grigori is a fiend not to be trifled with. The player must first climb to the top of the Tainted Mountain while felling monsters, (the like of which don’t exist anywhere else in the game) to even begin the showdown with the dragon. Once the actual battle commences Grigori will crumble the ceiling to pieces forcing you to flee to the next room or receive an insta-kill to the face. Hunt him down and kill him, and your heart is returned to its rightful place.

1. The Four Kings - Dark Souls

The Four Kings 1

Cue collective groan, yes, in a top five boss battle list Dark Souls will eventually rear its…*large amount of expletives*…ugly head. If we’re going to pick a boss from a game that’s renowned for being mind-bendingly difficult, it only seems fitting to pick the hardest…doesn’t it? The hardest, of course, being the The Four Kings. Now, if you ask anyone who has played through Dark Souls what the key strategy in the game is, they’ll say take each enemy on one at a time. The game is built around this; which is why for this impossible battle they throw four incredibly difficult bosses at you all at once. The bosses themselves all share one health bar, as this health bar depletes each of the Four Kings will fall one by one. Once they’ve stayed down for about 30 seconds they’ll respawn, right up you proverbial... you know what. Once again, *expletive*.

The Kings themselves use homing projectiles, circular shield swings and downward sword attacks in an attempt to crush your bones into a little, compact square. Alone, these attacks would be fairly easy to avoid, but when there are four projectiles hitting you at once, you better be ready to down those Estus Flasks like you’re in a Solo commercial. As hard boss battles go, this is one of the worst. The joy felt after toppling these giants is comparable only to licking chocolate rainbow ice cream off of a unicorn. Victory over The Four Kings is sweet indeed!

So there you have it. The hardest, most mind-boggling, adrenaline-pumping, joyous boss battles across every game on the Xbox 360…or at least according to us. Have some titles and bosses that didn’t make it? Feel free to suggest your own top five boss fights in the comments below. Until then, keep whittling away at those health bars and guys… leave the dogs alone, I was only kidding.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!