They offer control, which - although still fun in their own right - are lacking in the current Chase-based fights. That may not sound like much, but I can see a good reason behind it.
But what do "traditional" bosses have that chase bosses don't? They're fine in 2D, sure, but I fail to see the point in reverting back to arena-style battles once we bring the third dimension into play; they don't really offer anything that the chase bosses can't, and are a lot less exciting by definition.
Traditional bosses allowed you to attack them at a stand still or in motion whenever you had an opening. The chase boss fights we have throw away half of that and keep you running at all times, and to make it even more of an issue you're not even making the character run as the game is keeping you in motion for you while you have the option to press the boost, jump or quick step.
The Egg Dragoon fight in Generations was fun. But I would love to have been allowed to come to a stop and run the opposite direction to catch Eggman from behind. Heck, I would also have loved to have been able to run on the walls and ceilngs during that fight, and we know Sonic is more than capable of doing so.
I'd argue that we have another problem. Arena-based fights are in no way a bad way to go nor are they inferior so long as you can develop a fight just as fun as a chase based one. One flaw of the arena based fights were that they restricted your movements in where you could go; chase based fights merely stretched where you could go in a single path while taking away a segment of the player's control.
I'm not saying that chase bosses are perfect and don't require improvement; I just mean that any problems with them are problems with the 3D games' approach to bosses in general. A return to arena-based fights isn't the way to go at all, because what we have now is far superior anyway.
The solution? How about an arena based fight that gave you plenty of room to move around while you used your surroundings to help attack the boss? Of the top of my head, you could have a boss fight in a sphere with a number of obstacles that both the player and the boss can use to help them attack each other. The player can run on the ground and strike from below, run on the "walls" of the sphere and attack from the sides, or run all the way up to the top of the stage and cannonball on top of the enemy.
Or a chased based fight that gave you control and a more wider path so that you can turn around and flank your foe or the foe can outflank you if you're not careful. Design a boss fight something like an series of islands in the middle of a sea while chasing the boss, and instead of the boss constantly running, how about a boss that runs and stops at will so that the player isn't too pressured to keep moving forward on the water. Heck, throw some battleships and carriers in it while your at it so that the player can feel powerful blazing through their hull as they try to defeat the boss; have the wreckage be used as potential projectiles so that the player can attack from a distance.
I'm just throwing out ideas here. Other ideas were a multi-tiered cylinder for an arena, or a city layout for a chase sequence. I'm not the best when it comes to game design, but I can brainstorm some mean ideas for levels.
My metaphor here would be this: It's not wise to buy a new car because the new one has better features when you can very well upgrade the old care so that it's works just as well. There are things to salvage or enhance.
Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic, 26 March 2012 - 11:45 AM.