It's a very common expression that a story is sometimes only as good as its villain, and you can definitely see merit with this.
After all, it's much more of a motivating factor if the big bad is a real piece of work, as you find yourself drawn to take them down once and for all.
However when it comes to presenting these final conflicts, when cow-eyed warrior meets hardened bastard, that the wheels can come off the project entirely.
Sometimes the games have built up this legend of evil so much that it's impossible to replicate via gameplay, other times the title wrests control away from the player so it can show EXACTLY HOW COOL ITS BAD GUYS ARE, like an excited child, and some simply crash and burn with generic ideas and dull as dishwater gameplay.
These are such times, where instead of sticking the landing they dived nose-first into the pavement and left us with a sour taste in our mouths come the rolling credits.
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5. Joker - Batman: Arkham Asylum
So let's set the scene.
Imagine if you will, you've been out for a lovely dinner date with your partner. You've enjoyed fine wine, even finer company, and eaten food so succulent that it's like God himself spat it into your mouth like you were a baby bird.
However, just when you think you're going to end the night with a giddy high, you return home to find that the dog has had explosive diarrhea and honked its arse over every carpet in the house with a stench so foul it's like someone poured fish heads into a vat of bubbling durian fruit, and now you have to spend the rest of the evening cleaning up the mess before going to bed tired, angry, and worried about the future.
This is what it's like to play Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Or more specifically this is what it's like to play through the phenomenal Arkham Asylum and then end on the absolute brown note that is The Joker boss battle. On paper, the Caped Crusader squaring off against his ultimate rival should be one for the ages, but here it's like the developers couldn't contemplate how to offer a fair fight between what is essentially a stake of well-done meat vs a punchline pipe cleaner and so decided to slap a bit of the old Roidy-McGoo's into Jokers veins.
This KILLS the suspense and tone of the game as well as sacrificing a great deal of Joker's character. He's a villain that never needed strength to get the job done, but now he was just a copy-paste Bane rip-off that battled in exactly the same way as the other Titan goons you've dispatched many times over. Why did they think this was a good idea? Hell, I'd have rather had Batman turn him into utter paste because that is what SHOULD happen when the beef train meets a tube of toothpaste.
Still what we got was a terrible Birdie from Street-Fighter mohawk look, a boss battle that was about as appealing as massaging Maggie Thatcher in the nude, and a final moment that failed to leave fans excited and left them shrugging going "I guess it wasn't as bad as All-Star Batman and Robin"