Regrettably, Tomb Raider: Legend shows that Crystal Dynamics can make a memorable boss precisely because it isn't fun.
The first boss battle takes place in a confusing environment with terrible camera control. The best strategy is to rush the boss with guns a-blazin' with little regard for health. If you miss a key-but-hidden part of the environment, you'll languish as you die time after time. In a nutshell: I hated it.
The promised other tidbits:
- Stuttering and dodgy sound lead me to believe that the PSP port was still rushed out the door at the end, as I had feared. Let's hope Crystal Dynamics optimizes heavily for the PSP when they do their 10th Anniversary game. (Note: Buzz Monkey did the PSP port of Tomb Raider: Legend. Makes me wonder just how much internal expertise Crystal Dynamics has with the PSP version of their engine...)
- How do you know that Lara can't/shouldn't reach some part of the environment? The texture is super low resolution. So if a ledge is tempting but the texture looks like something on a Voodoo 2, forget it. (May only apply to PSP version.)
- Lara's hip-wagging walk in a sexy party outfit is just shy of the nasty slink of a Vice City woman.
- If nothing else was learned from Angel of Darkness, they at least realized that Lara is a character crying out for a good story. So far so good.
The Sands of Time didn't necessarily have bosses, but I remeber this one part where you had to kill the dude that was in the prison. If I remember, he was hard as hell.
I didn't recall any bosses, but from Deadmeat X's FAQ on GameFAQs:
Finally, all normal monsters will be gone, and you're left with the King. He's pretty easy, actually. [strategy snipped] Then, just use the Dagger to finish him off. Congratulations, you've just beaten your first boss!
Alright, meet your first boss! This fat guard is a real menace. He will block most of your attacks, and he attacks very frequently.
Then the final battle, which I'd call a boss battle.
Like I said, I didn't recall these one-enemy-choke-points, which at some level resemble a boss battle. So while they weren't dramatic enough to stick in my memory, they also didn't evoke deep hatred either.
I can't say the same of Takamoto in TR:L.