Vidjagame Apocalypse 127 – Mediocre Games, Amazing Stories

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A new Metal Gear is just a few days away, and the critics can’t shut up about how great it is – but somehow, we manage to restrain ourselves long enough to get out a Top 5 about games with storytelling that outshone their so-so gameplay. THEN we lose our shit over Metal Gear coverage, but not before talking excitedly about Until Dawn, Mega Man Legacy Collection, the Madden “trailer” and your favorite games that never got a sequel.

Question of the Week

What’s your favorite boss battle of all time (besides Psycho Mantis)?

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27 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 127 – Mediocre Games, Amazing Stories

  1. The reboot DMC had so many good ones… I know a lot of people didn’t like it, but I enjoyed the final 1 on 1 battle with Virgil. It had an emotional weight to it, and its difficulty was just right- tough, but fair.

    1. I guess all that fight has going for it is a more narrative driven engagement over the previous DMC Virgil encounters. But every other boss in that game is so much more interesting with the way they manipulate the stage around them. I would shout out the Bob Barbas or Baby fight first.

      The Virgil fight just seemed like an obligation.

      1. Agreed. I love the grotesque nature of the baby fight. The stage preceeding it is easily one of my favorite game levels of all time

  2. QOTW: Dark Souls 2: The Pursuer hands down! He shows up as an optional fight early and is the first real challenge. Just when you think, “Finally, I’m free now” he shows up again and again, in different settings that mix up what strategy you need to use. Dark Souls 2 is usually criticized for having either bad bosses or repeat bosses from the first game, but The Pursuer is unique where each encounter is purely situational

  3. Colossus 13, the Sky Dragon (from Shadow of the Colossus. This the fight that convinced me I had to get this game. Their had been some big grandiose fight in action game before this but at the time everyone was using QTE’s to accomplish their cool look bosses. But in SotC it was all up to you to chase this furry, stone, eel dragon on your horse in this massive desert then climb along its back to stab it to death. And the music is just excellent.

    1. That fight perfectly encapsulates the feeling of riding up next to a train and jumping onto it for a train robbery.

  4. The Catfish from Castle Crashers will always be a high light for me! I remember the first time seeing it when I was doing a blind play through with some friends and we all had a great and hardy laugh at the terrible pun it represented. Other then that I would say Kefka in the World of Balance in Final Fantasy 3 or 6, however you want to label it.

  5. QOTW:

    The first encounter with Azel in God Hand is a goddamn ball.

    First, learning to play God Hand is like trying to teach a chimp to play Devil May Cry.

    Second, with that in mind, Azel is your expected Capcom / Clover / Platinum Hero vs. Villain mirror-match (think Dante vs. Vergil), so now you’re in the fastest and weirdest hard-action game against a CPU opponent with a very similar move-set. Tons of dodging, timing your super, and building your moveset to counter Azel’s demands your brain to holistically fold around the game’s systems. While not the most difficult fight, it’s the most fun, and a true test if you will be able to stick with the game.

    Cannot recommend God Hand enough, if you’re a psycho for gonzo action games.

  6. I’m going to be in the minority on this one, and probably get some crap, but even as someone who played and enjoyed pretty much every Metal Gear game, I’m not really overly excited for 5. Ground Zeroes was very meh in my mind and kind of killed whatever hype I had in me, and as I’m getting a bit older and having less free time, the idea of sitting around to watch cutscenes and trying to figure out a convoluted plot doesn’t appeal to me any more, I’d rather just play something fun and not have to spend so much time watching. I know 5 is supposed to be more gameplay focused and less cutscene heavy, but still. I’ll be waiting to check it out around Christmas rather than buying it next week (it doesn’t help that university starts back up a day later).

  7. “What’s your favorite boss battle of all time (besides Psycho Mantis)?”

    My all time favorite boss is fighting Girgori The Dragon in Dragons Dogma The Dark Arisen. It’s so hard to choose, considering all the amazing boss fights in that game. But really, I don’t think anything tops of the Girgori fight. *spoilers*

    You show up to the fight, he has captured your love interest. He asks you whether you want to nut up and fight him at the sacrifice of your love, or turn tail like a cowardly dog like so many others. When once you choose yes, he comes down on your ass hard and breathes fire up your butt as you run for your life down a hallway. As you come out of the battlement archway you are ontop of the crumbling walls of the old castle. You run all the way down them as Gigori flies above you and you can’t attack him; when you reach the end you see a giant arrow-catapult. You climb ontop of it and launch yourself into the sky and grab onto his back; climb your way to his heart and repeatably stab it until he falls from the sky. You both land in an old wasteland of a battlefield; he stands up and tells you to fight for your life; you pawn friends enter the battlefield through the rift (portal). You all pull out your weapons and begin to fight.

    IT’S SO FUCKING HYPE.

  8. It has to be ‘Burnt Ivory King” from the dark souls 2 dlc. However much I love the feeling small and weak against a lot of dark souls bosses, this has been the only time the boss felt like a full on brawl. Having up to 4 npcs and 4 players running around was fantastic. Then going back as a summon and being able to see how many of the npcs another player has unlocked to gauge how difficult the fight was going to be was great.

  9. This QOTW is so tough, there are a lot of games that have amazing boss battles.

    In my childhood I thought Bomberman 64s boss battles were really well done. Similar to a Zelda game they required a bit of creativity as well as trial an error in order to figure out how to damage the enemy (plus they had that gold card feature that rewarded you for hitting the enemy in hard to hit areas).

    The most memorable of these for me was the 2nd boss, Sewer Savage. He was a giant angler fish that you had to fight on a Huck Finn style raft. What made this so challenging was how the longer you take to beat him the more of your raft becomes destroyed. I remember the first time I beat him as a kid, after failing numerous times, I managed to kill him with just a sliver of the raft left. Had I been more unluckily, he could’ve easily knocked me off the tiny raft, but luckily he didn’t use the move that would’ve killed me and I was able to beat him.

  10. The Cyberdemon from Doom, the first real sense of dread and peril as the seemingly unstoppable beast’s loud stamping gets closer and closer, running from it’s blasts that can kill you in a blink of an eye.

  11. It’s a shame so many people missed out on Shattered Memories. That game has the best twist I’ve seen pretty much anywhere. The way you interpret the games narrative completely changes based solely on the ending, and it basically become a completely different game because of it.

  12. I’ve bought Madden every year since 1999. The majority of the time I don’t even play the game, I just make trades in the franchise mode and simulate seasons. I regret nothing.

  13. QotW:

    Promathia, the final mission boss from the second Final fantasy 11 expansion Chains of Promathia. Now i don’t totally remember what made him difficult at the time, but i do remember my group playing for hours only to get trounced by the final boss. Then we waited all night until japan midnight so the missions could reset and we could try again. We got the win and we were so physically and mentally exhausted people were openly weeping, i’m pretty sure someone passed out and i think my heart stopped for at least a couple seconds.
    I was not doing well the next day. stomach pains, migraines, uncontrollable sweating, tunnel vision and developed a blood clot from sitting so long. All this was to get a good ring. Don’t play mmos kids~

  14. QOTW: my personal favorite boss battle has to go to General Raam from gears of war one. i remember the first time i took him on with my friend coop on the “insane” difficulty, i remember my adrenaline kicking in a couple of times during the battle. great boss fight to a great game.

  15. QOTW: I’d have to say the Locust Queen from Gears of War 3. Was it an amazing fight? No. Was it something new? Not really. Was it odd the grey skinned, sharpened toothed, locust were lead by one of the most attractive woman on Sera? Oh hell yeah. But why this boss was my favorite is because, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, she was the first boss I’ve ever beaten in a Gears game. General RAAM kicked my teeth in time after time. And I kept dying at one part of Gears 2 so I said “F this! I’ve seen the giant worm, a Carmine die, and what happened to Dom’s wife so I guess that’s it for me.” I like to think me killing the Locust Queen marked me being a better videogame fan, but maybe they just made the game easier.

  16. Most memorable boss fight is a toss up for me, so you get both.

    My first time fighting Gwynn, Lord of Cinder from Dark souls. It was the first game I had ever completed on live stream, and the sheer number of frustration from dying upwards of 50 times made the final blow so good I swiftly threw my controller to the ground and gave my cam the finger.

    The other is Atlas from BioShock. It hadn’t particularly difficult as a fight, but I would be lying if I didn’t have nightmares of little children stabbing me with hypodermic needles for weeks afterwards.

  17. QOTW

    My fav boss battle is a tie. One because it is one of the toughest I faced down and beat. The other because it’s completely absurd and awesome!

    One: Alma from Ninja Gaiden (2004). Goddamn, just saying her name makes me mad! Firstly, love her entrance!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtWOjcp14FI

    She’s borderline cheap, esp if you are not a true ninja of the Dragon lineage. Her attacks are deadly and she is incredibly resilient. It took me many, many attempts but I finally did vanquish her! When I did, I leaped off the couch and yelled “Yeah, motherfucker!”, or something of that ilk, at the TV. Forgive my language, but what a cunt!

    Two: the Great Mighty Poo from Conker’s Bad Fur Day. I mean come on, he’s a giant pile of shit, with corn for teeth, who sings and operetta (ehem, me-me-me-me) about how he’s going to defeat you. You defeat him by throwing TP into his mouth and flushing him away. He’s so wonderfully dumb, silly, and cheeky! On a side note, I found the making of Conker video in Rare Replay to be most excellent/

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdd4rBlsj2o

  18. Giygas from earthbound…

    FUCKING GIYGAS is in my opinion the single greatest boss battle in vidjagame history.

    Twenty year Earthbound fanatic rant incoming:

    Combining some of the best and most original music the SNES chip could churn out, the trippy as balls changing backgrounds, plot development into the f’ing stratosphere, and a strategy that singlehandedly justifies that price increasing players guide; twenty years later, I have still never played another quite like it.

    And now I have to dig out the pictures of myself dressed as Ness at the Magic Kingdom Halloween party last year. Double fandom boner!

  19. QOTW: Monsoon from Metal Gear Rising. Mechanically I love how it it makes you apply everything the game bothered trying to teach you up to that point effectively making it a pass fall to prepare the player for the difficulty curve ahead. He ain’t no Armstrong but this is best boss battle, not best senator

    Armstrong/Trump 2016

  20. QOTW:

    Newsreader Bob Barbas from DMC is one of the most memorable boss fights for me. Getting inside of a pseudo-fox-news-broadcast and fighting the giant head and face of a fox news douchebag? Awesome. And, that his face gets all distorted as he literally and figuratively spews vitreol at you — awesome as heck. The whole fight was a weird, distorted, strange sequence in an otherwise not-very-memorable (but still pretty fun) game.

  21. QOTW: For me it’s The Lich King from World of Warcraft “Wrath of the Lich King” expansion. My guildies and I raided Ice Crown Citadel for weeks trying to kill Arthas before he got nerfed, because in WoW, if you kill a boss after a nerf, it doesn’t count. Plus if you killed him after the nerf, you didn’t get the “KING SLAYER” tittle, which meant you weren’t cool. I feel that killing a boss in WoW is different from killing a boss on a single player game. Here you have to work together with your raid team, everyone has a job to do and a job that has to be well executed because one screw up can wipe the raid and starting over sucks on a fight that last over 10 mins. The Lich King was a really cool boss, the prince Arthas, who turned evil trying to save his people. Burned villages with men women and children in it. Killed his father wielding Frostmourne, the soul absorbing blade that whispers to him. After my raid team finally killed him and after the nerd screams on ventrillo, we all had to make a speech in celebration. My speech was a mix of my WoW playing experience and the end of Rocky 4.
    P.S Shoutout to The Fallen of Azuremyst!!

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