Capcom recently released the “Championship Mode” expansion pack for Street Fighter IV, free on Xbox Live and PSN. This gives players a replay mode, a new points system and a much needed enhanced tournament matching system. However it doesn’t patch the fact that Seth is the cheapest boss of this console generation. Let’s take a look back on some of the biggest cheating scumbags to ever bar us as gamers from those end sequences.
10. Raven Lord (Heavenly Sword). The kind of boss you have to hit ten times for every one time he hits you. Plus he can fly. You’ll have been wanting to clobber him for the duration of the game and the fact that he makes it so hard nearly dulls the sharp ending of this overlooked PS3 classic.
9. Graven (Conan). It’s the repetition that kills this game’s enjoyment factor. You have to jump through hoops and perform identical, perfectly timed attacks repeatedly or he regenerates health and you start all over again. After six phases of doing the same thing you begin praying to Crom that Conan will simply grow a pair, forsake the quick time events and just cut this bastard’s head off.
8. Darth Vader – Final Battle (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed). Vader should not be easy to beat, granted, but when he effortlessly parries every one of your attacks except a specific three-button combination that he seems particularly weak to, it forces you to turn what could have been THE grand duel into a series of Vader beat-downs, which he is fumblingly unable to counter.
7. General Raam (Gears of War). Hiding behind a huge gun and merrily absorbing your bullets into his head, Raam is one of those essentially invincible guys, until you reach the prescribed quota for shots in the face, at which point he dies. It makes no sense. Infuriatingly difficult, especially on Insane.
6. Navarro (Drake’s Fortune). Run a gauntlet of grunts and get nothing but perfect headshots, all the while being cut to pieces if you break cover. Follow up with a ridiculous quick time event. The game itself is worth so much more than this laborious war of attrition.
5. Solidus (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty) At last you get a katana, and that blond whiner finally starts seeming like he might have some hidden grit to his character. Then Solidus whips out his own blade and lays into you so ferociously it reduces the fight to long periods of blocking with occasional frantic attacks. It’s all the more insulting considering how visceral the Snake-on-Snake fight was at the end of MGS1.You were right to hate Raiden.
4. M-Bison (Street Fighter II Turbo) Bison takes one look at you and begins a shuttle-run of Psycho-Crushers back and forth across the screen. If you ever get a decent kick in, you get thrown like a Don King prize-fight. He’s a legendarily cheap boss, but he’s not as cheap as…
3. Seth (Street Fighter IV) If you thought Bison was unfair, Seth will calmly counter every attack with one of his amazing repertoire of three moves; the instant hundred-foot kick, the teleport/bitch-slap and the suck-you-into-my-belt, which takes such little regard of physics it’s beyond insulting.
2. Abyss (Marvel VS. Capcom 2) If you never played MvC2, look forward to a summer of screaming at this evil green fuckwit. He has three forms: firstly, a twelve foot-tall armoured horn-beast; secondly, a green naked man with a gun who laughs chirpily as you get blasted; and a third that fills most of the screen with teeth and lava. All of these “moves” are spammed constantly until you die, which you will, over and over.
1. Jinpachi (Tekken 5) Saving the worst for last. Remember fighting Heihachi at the end of Tekken? He was fast and strong, with swift, brutal counters, but he was fair. This mutated version has a cannon in his chest and if you stop attacking him for more than half a second he’ll happily blast you with it, dealing about 80% damage, at which point it just takes one more cheap shot to finish you off. Evil incarnate; thy name is Jinpachi.
The problem with all of these bosses is that they force you to fight in one particular way. Their limited but overpowered attacks leave you resorting to the one or two tactics that cause them even a little damage. But by the time you’ve figured out what these are, you’ve been killed a dozen times and your joy in the game is ebbing. Hands up who’d play more single-player Street Fighter IV if the final boss was Bison, not Seth. The best bosses, (which I might write another article on) are memorable for the way they kill you once or twice, fair and square, and then once you spot their weakness, go down gracefully and leave you remembering how enjoyable the whole game was. More like them, please.