While I agree with the last one, I’m not so sure I agree with the rest.
To be honest the battle against Fatman is the number one reason I don’t revisit MGS2. I played that game very heavily and acquired more than a few dog tags in my mastery of Solid Snake Sneekery back when it was a young game. But I reflect upon how the old games were and how frustrating that speeding bastard was, and view it as the biggest challenge to actually completing the game.
You can probably tell that I don’t like bomb timers very much 😝.
When I originally played Snake Eater I probably would have considered The End the third biggest challenge amongst the games bosses. But having played through a few times, I’ve generally found that to be more one of strategy. Let’s face it: engaging The End in a sniper battle is cool but not productive. The controls and visuals being what they are, my preferred strategy was hunt him down and assaulting with automatic weapons and explosives. Because it’s a lot easier than seeing the camouflaged old bastard in the jungle. Especially if you’ve gone from a tube TV to a modern 4K, and are still stuck with 480i! Fighting this way makes it much less cool but also much more easily accomplished.
By contrast the battle with Quiet was much easier and actually fun. I owe this to two real factors. Metal Gear Solid V is built more like a shooter where as Metal Gear Solid III and prior were built more like RPGs: it’s just damned easier to engage in a sniper battle. Being faced with the wide open terrain also makes it a lot easier than finding The End. With Quiet it is more a matter of hitting first than hitting at all.
Metal Gear has always been known for its boss battles, and it’s rather eccentric boss characters.
The first right with Vulcan Raven is actually one of my favorites. See, when I played MGS for the very first time: that was about as far as I got. Coming back some years and around 300 VR missions later: I unleashed hell upon the bastard and his M1 tank. Being called a demon for taking down an Abrams main battle tank almost bear handed in that situation was something I relished. Because that was around the crossing point in my life when I actually got to be good at clearing games like MGS. Ironically thought, I have never completed the original Metal Gear Solid.
Fuck you, Colonel Volgin 🖕.
Most of MGS3’s boss fights are more a nuisance in retrospect but Volgin is a pain in my arse. Mostly due to how the checkpointing interacts with kicking his saddist ass in the CQC and his various special moves as the bout progresses. It’s the kind of fight that you’ll either find easy or very hard; me I find it very tiresome.
Fighting The Boss was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done in Metal Gear. The first time I cleared Snake Eater, I must have fought Boss for hours in that beautiful field. But it isn’t just about the right to the death, oh no. I think of all the things I’ve seen and done in Metal Gear: the story of The Boss influenced me the most. Because Metal Gear Solid 3: Operation Snake Eater is as much our story as it is hers. We experience the birth of Big Boss through the death of The Boss. But in the aftermath we get to see all the threads unravel, and if you paid deep attention the threads run very deep. MGS3 and it’s narrative struck a deeper cord with me than any other in the series ever has.
Actually that makes me remember, her code name in The Cobras was The Joy, wasn’t it? Yes, I think it was.