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10 of the worst: fighting game bosses - Reader’s Feature
Street Fighter V – M. Bison has always been a pain

A reader names the fighting characters that have annoyed him the most over the years, from M. Bison to Shao Kahn.

Hello again! I bring another YouTube-style list for your good selves to either grumble about or nod quietly in agreement with. You may notice that this list is exclusively bosses found in fighting games. Not that there aren’t zeroes to be found in other genres, like Murai and the helicopter from Ninja Gaiden; or bosses so pathetic they were better off staying at home, like the Act 1 boss from Sonic & Knuckles 3’s Launch Base Zone.

But we all know that fighting games are notorious for dreadful bosses and yes, they are worse than anything else. Special mention must go to Street Fighter IV’s Seth. If he made you suffer I’m not trying to say that your pain isn’t real – I suffered too – but it was inconsistent. Some characters, even on the maximum difficulty, could cut through him like he wasn’t there. While others really struggled to make a dent. So he’s not here. These guys, however, are.

10: M. Bison, Street Fighter II

My rules for this list are that these bosses are in no way at all enjoyable to confront or eventually defeat. And for every other boss on this list, even on easy, the difficulty spikes conspire to rob you of any joy or satisfaction from the bout. Bison is beatable on the lower difficulty settings, but you won’t get to see your chosen character’s ending unless you stick to normal or higher.

In which case, Bison jumps around the screen like a maniacal grasshopper. He absolutely loves hitting you with head stomp, followed by a flying heavy punch. He also seems to have total air superiority. You try any sort of jumping attack and it will be countered nine times out of 10. If you had no trouble with the Mega Drive controller’s chunky, stone age D-pad, then you could counter with dragon punch-style moves. Which I was never able to do, but I did see a highly skilled player score two perfects against Bison on the highest difficulty setting as either Ken or Ryu. Bison does not like dragon punches.

9: Dark Tengu, Dead Or Alive 2

I’ll be honest, this guy isn’t very hard. The wind blast attack that he can do with his wings is extremely cheap and will hit you from any distance. What really kills this guy is his whole look. Sorry to be shallow, but this guy just looks ridiculous. Tengus aren’t that intimidating anyway, at least to Western eyes, but this guy takes the cake, the biscuits and even the ice cream. The long nose, white fur, angel wings, and those really high geta (high platform sandals) are bloody hilarious. On seeing him for the first time, a friend of mine remarked that he looked like a womble.

8: Jinpachi, Tekken 5

Oh Tekken. Just… why? The boss here is Heihachi Mishima’s dear, old dad. Clearly terrible hair runs in the family. Bad news for Kazuya in a few years’ time. And Jin. I think. It’s hard to keep up with the whole Tekken soap opera that is the Mishima family.

Jinpachi also has a demon mouth for a belly. And a screen-filling laser that he likes to use. A lot. As well as other ‘pleasant surprises’. Tekken usually does quite well with its endings, but it does charge a steep price for them.

7: Azazel, Tekken 6

I really have no idea where Tekken’s fascination with so-called arcade killers comes from at this point. I’ve paid £40+ for my game – to keep. Please stop presenting me with cheating bosses! Azazel is huge, has multiple attacks that can take off a third of your health and more, and he cannot be thrown. But if you think beating him in arcade mode is bad, just wait until you try to do it in free-roaming scenario campaign. That’s a treat.

6: Hazama, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift

How did this happen, BlazBlue? Why would you hurt me like this? The boss of the first game was tolerable, if still not actually fun. For the record, there have only ever been two entertaining boss battles in fighting games. They both belong to Power Stone 2. Pharaoh Walker (What a massive animal! But it’s not unstoppable – aim for its head…) and the gangrenous Doctor Erode. This is because they play more like something out of Contra/Probotector.

But I digress. Hazama is a green-haired cowboy, who is also Cthulu. Or something like that. The plot of BlazBlue makes even the craziest anime shows seem coherent. Fight him in arcade mode and you’ll find out that he has more health than a late game Final Fantasy boss – and it can regenerate! Thankfully his attack power or aggression aren’t too bad on the easier settings. Not that it will matter. It’s less a fight and more a siege.

5: Shao Kahn, Mortal Kombat (IX)

Now it’s time to get really smelly. Strangely, Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat II is a pussycat. Then the third game came along. If his appearances were only limited to that, he’d still make it on the list thanks to that sledgehammer of his that eats away a quarter of your health! But for the reboot, unless you are amazing, only the cheapest of moves will succeed. He’ll also glow during some attacks meaning they can’t be interrupted.

It’s interesting that all bosses that NetherRealm have created since have been far more manageable.

4: Gill, Street Fighter III

Yes, you knew this git would get a mention! Resurrection! If you know what I’m talking about straight away then you’re probably shuddering a little right now.

Gill, who I pronounce as ‘Jill’ instead of fish gill even though I know that’s wrong, is one of the most vicious opponents here. He can keep the pressure extremely high even when the difficulty is low. Then, if you beat him – he’ll come back to life! Ha! It’s enough to drive a fellow mad! But not me, gurgle.

Also, he looks like one of those old Fruit Salad chewy sweets which I don’t think you can buy anymore. So he looks stupid too.

3: Galactus, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds

This one’s just tragic. How can something this spectacular to behold be no fun to play at all? First you fight super strong clones of Al Wesker and Doctor Doom – who can kill you easily enough on their own – then it’s Galactus who is armed with not just one, but several one-hit kills. And you’re on a time limit. It’s like the developers thought of all the least enjoyable things they could think of and then just threw them at you. You will never want to touch arcade mode again. No kidding.

2: Alpha 152, Dead Or Alive 4

For a time, I thought nothing could be worse than this. Not only is it a clone of Kasumi, the most boring female character in the history of the genre, not only does she look like a creepily sexualised puddle (don’t think too much on that image) but she gets to take advantage of a counter system that has always favoured the computer.

Her attack power is massive. She’s much faster than anybody else in the game. If you get hit with a counter and your health is slightly less than 50% then you’ve either lost or you might as well have.

Alpha 152 represents the nadir of Tomonobu Itagaki’s blackened soul and his terrible attitude towards the player. And for this boss alone I wish him every failure in life, he deserves it. Yes, she really is that bad.

1: Unknown, Tekken Tag Tournament 2

This girl is so bad that I gave her her own feature way back when. And she’s still the worst. And just like Galactus that’s such a shame as she was okay in the first game. The liquid latex look is a bit… weird, but she does look sinister and demonic.

But you can’t set the fights to one round, you can’t let her start any combos or you may find yourself on the receiving end of a 100-hit string and then demon hands can come out of the ground, covering the entire surface in a black vortex that then sucks you under and leaves that character only one hit away from death and forces you to switch over – as it’s a tag team game, you see. After beating her, I thought to myself: ‘Gosh, I don’t ever want to do that again.’ Hell, I almost didn’t want to play fighting games again. Damn you, Namco. Damn you to hell.

But, breathe… and rant over. What do you guys think? Am I too much of a noob with some of these entries, any nightmares that escaped my notice? Do tell!

By reader DMR

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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