Top 5 Challenging Boss Battles in Dark Souls 2!

Sinh

Dark Souls is a series known for its robust level of challenge and punishing learning curves. Dark Souls 2 is no exception to this, and it contains several bosses that occasionally make you wonder why you are playing in the first place. Generally speaking, the bosses in DS2 are considerably easier than the original (or perhaps I am now just more skilled at the game). Indeed, some are almost laughably easy. Demon of Song and the Skeleton Lords spring to mind immediately, with an honourable mention to Nashandra and Aldia who were disappointingly easy as a final boss in comparison to Lord Gwyn.

That being said, some of the bosses were frustrating to say the least. Here are my own personal top five most difficult (or annoying) bosses in Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin.

  1. Sinh, Slumbering Dragon

The main game and the DLC material pit you against a number of Dragon bosses, but I would say that this is the most challenging of the lot. Primarily, this is due to the fact that it spams toxic at you as an after effect to its breath attacks. Bosses that like to inflict status effects on to the player are always frustrating, but in this case the combination of toxic, flying charges, fireballs and punishing melee attacks make this fight stand out.

  1. The Smelter Demon/Magical Smelter Demon

smelter

I have included these two in the same spot as they are more or less identical in terms of appearance and move set (albeit slightly more power on the magical demon). Some players may have found this fight pretty easy but I found myself struggling. The Smelter Demons hit hard, move faster than you would expect for their size and also inflict fire and magic damage respectively. A few area spread attacks can catch you off guard, and midway through the fight the Demons will cause residual damage if you stand too close and enchant their weapons for further damage. This is challenging enough, but I think what caught me off guard the most was the fact that, well telegraphed as the attacks are, there is a slightly longer pause than you would expect between the beginning of the attack animation and the attack landing. Often you roll out of danger only to then take the attack full on in the face. Most people could probably adapt to this a bit quicker than I did but it still proves a challenge. A special nod has to be given to the magical Smelter Demon for having a very irritating run up to the boss, full of dangerous enemies and traps.

  1. Aava, the Kings Pet

aava

Hands up, who remembers Sif from Dark Souls 1? Anyone else feel slightly bad about killing him? I always did; he looks too cute, makes a heart-wrenching noise like a dog when hurt and just misses his dead buddy.

No such feelings accompany this fight. Aava is a bastard; a straight-up bastard. Beast boss fights are, in my experience, either quite easy or punishing in the extreme. Aava falls into the latter category. Unlike the Royal Rat Authority, whose attacks are pretty easy to suss out and avoid (roll forward), Aava’s move-set is more varied, do more damage, and he is much, much faster. All of your dodges need to be completely on-point or you are in for a mauling. There are many times where I felt that my dodge was perfectly timed only to die moments later. Additionally, Aava also has a few spells/area attacks to keep things interesting. I always plump for a melee build; I have no idea how spell-casters manage to get through this fight.

  1. Raime, the Fume Knight

SotFS_Raime

I probably died more times in this boss fight than in many of the others put together. He is another boss fight that comes in two halves; once his health is depleted by half he becomes a lot more dangerous. His initial attack pattern is quite varied but can be mastered with a few attempts. That being said, if he hits you, the damage can be quite severe as he racks up combo-hits and staggering attacks. It is easy enough to heal at this stage; sprinting across the room should give you enough time to chug that sweet, sweet Estus.

His second form is genuinely frightening. He adopts the move-set and flaming sword attacks of Lord Gwyn, the final boss in Dark Souls 1, only there is no favourable terrain to assist you in the fight. His attacks are lightning fast and it is nearly impossible to get enough breathing space to heal. I ended up two handing my Pursuer’s great sword as blocking any of his attacks was simply not an option. In order to win, your rolls and doges must be perfect every time. There is no margin for error. Additionally, he can follow up his quick combos with punishing area attacks, fireballs, and a laserbeam-like type attack. If you have depleted your stamina through dodging his combos they can be very hard to avoid.

However, the sense of triumph on winning this fight is pretty special, and has only really been matched the first time I defeated Ornstein and Smough in the first game.

  1. Burnt Ivory King

SotFS_IvoryKing

I am going to preface this entry by saying that I did actually enjoy it quite a lot, despite the level of difficulty.

This boss is possibly unique in the Souls franchise (I haven’t played DS3 so can’t say for sure) in the sense that the boss fight includes a melee or sorts with multiple enemies and allies. The Burnt Ivory King opens portals into the fight arena and you have to defeat all of the Burnt Knights before facing off against the King himself. It’s actually quite fun, but the enemies are not as weak as you would like which means that the changes of actually getting to the King each time you try is about 50/50. Due to the fact that he is similar in fighting style to the challenging Fume Knight, this can be problematic. He moves with terrifying speed, hits hard and offers very few chances for healing. On his own, this fight is probably a bit easier than Raime, but when you add in the extra challenge of defeating his knights, it just pips it for me in terms of difficulty.

Do you agree with my list? If not I’d love to hear which bosses made you want to never play the series again!

Advertisements

Killer is Dead: Misogyny is Not

There are some flaws in video games which can be forgiven. Frame-rate issues and ropy graphics in places can be absolved bImagey the player if the gameplay itself is engaging and fun. For many players, a whole host of issues can be forgiven if a game stands out as a work of art, a creation of true beauty. And so on. It was with some disappointment that I realised that Suda51 had created a flaw in their latest game ‘Killer is Dead’ which is completely inexcusable;  the misogynistic nature of its content. In too many sections of society the way in which women are portrayed and represented is completely unacceptable. It seems that video games have also been unable to avoid this problem. The way in which women are used in this game is appalling. The awful nature of the ‘Gigolo Mode’ is pretty self-explanatory. However, in addition to this, many of the female characters in this game are made into sex objects or targets for violence. A game which encourages people to act in this way through its gameplay is shameful; by turning this subject matter into a medium for entertainment it is tacitly giving approval and propping up the messages that the game is putting across. It has no place in video-games or anywhere else. Not only is it on very morally questionable ground with its content, but it also makes the game utterly exclusionary. Suda51 has seemingly forgotten the fact that video games are also extremely popular with women. In creating a game like this it has essentially ignored half of the potential video game market. This game’s ability to alienate cannot be overstated. Perhaps as equally depressing is the fact that Suda51 clearly feels that it is responding to some sort of perceived market for this game. They have assumed that there are plenty of people out there who want this sort of content in their games. Clearly, they have aimed this game at men. It is insulting to think that this developer has assumed that just because I am male that I would want to play a game of this sort. There is no need to make games aimed at men or women in the first place; in my experience men and women tend to want to play the same kind of games. All gamers want quality in their games, not pathetic attempts at gender stereotyping in games. If you type ‘girls for games’ into amazon, all that comes up are terrible games which all seem to exclusively feature horses and make-up. These games are not quality games and no-one will want to play them if they are over the age of 5. Gender aiming should not be part of the game designing process. If it is, games featuring the kind of misogynistic gameplay evident in ‘Killer is Dead’ will be the end result.