People always ask me what my big pet peeves are. For some odd reason, I can never quite remember what they are until one of them hits me in the face, and then I remember how many times it has frustrated me in the past. The other day, I was faced with one of these moments, when I realized what my video game pet peeve was.
When it comes to video games, nothing gets on my nerves more than a final boss that is exponentially more difficult than the rest of the game. In particular, a boss that comes back to life five times before you can finally put him to rest will get my ire every time. For those of you hardcore gamers out there, I know that you'll say I'm just some kind of cover boy namby pamby pansy, but let's take a serious look at this anyway.
It goes without saying that a game should go out with a bang. You don't want to find yourself saying "that was the last boss?" after you've surprisingly finished a game in an effortless fashion. I have played a few games like that in my day, but they were far more the exception than the rule. The final boss should be the most difficult challenge of the game. That's all there is to it. However, that doesn't give every software developer the right to make the final passage of the game an impossible one.
Final bosses that come back to life are one of the biggest cliches in the video game industry. If a final boss doesn't come back to life after his first defeat, it's gotten to the point where the player is in a state of shock. Don't you see something wrong with this picture?
Anyway, I've got some advice for you game developers out there. Why don't you just make the boss as difficult as he needs to be the first time around without bringing him back? Also, why not make the final boss slightly more difficult than the rest of the game up to that point, but not exponentially so? If you've not given the player a ridiculously difficult challenge up until that point, why would you wait until the end to frustrate him by making it impossible to complete the game that he has worked so hard at to get to this point?
That's just my two cents worth on that topic, and I won't throw in anymore. For the most part, game production has stopped for the TurboGrafx, so my advice really won't have much effect on the games for the system that we've come to know and love. However, let's hope that game developers can turn over a new leaf for the current and future generations of consoles.