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Fighting games have seen a revival this console generation. 2D fighters, in particular have never looked, played, or sounded better. As a fan of the genre I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going.
But I have one major grip with recent fighters: the final bosses.
Suddenly every fighting game can only feature one of two possible final bosses: a robot that knows everyone’s moves (Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter 4) or a massive enemy that fills the entire screen (Tekken 6, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 3).
Even as I rail agteainst the idea, I can understand the temptation to craft villains around these troupes. It sounds cool on paper to have a character that exemplifies the best moves the game has to offer, or a massive visually stunning character. But what once sounded interesting is rapidly becoming a cliché.
Not only is it a cliché, but there are issues that arise because of gameplay as well. Fighters of this generation, for better or worse, revolve around online play. As someone who is trying to use arcade mode in order to prepare for online play, fighting a giant dragon/ robot/ destroyer of worlds isn’t quite what I’m looking for.
What game designers need to do is look all the way back to Street Fighter 2’s final boss: M. Bison.
Bison is the perfect fighting game boss. Storyline wise, he’s a dictator who has given every character in the game a plethora of reasons to take him out. He looks and sounds evil while featuring a move set that matched his evil appearance. Bison also gained cool points for being an evil dictator who refused to let his henchmen do his dirty work.
A man with Bison’s resources probably could just build a giant robot to take out Ryu. But he doesn’t. The Street Fighter 2 final boss fight was brilliant because it was so simple. Just two fighters doing what they do.
I’m starting to think that game designers immediately assume that simple=bad. Far from it. Give us more M. Bison’s- we miss him.
Originally Posted on DigitalHippos.com