Disclaimer: I’m not saying inconsistent boss fights are bad, they add unpredictability to the game and can make boss fights seem less tedious especially when farming. But this fight in particular is just strange. Also I have been farming him on Normal Mode Mayhem 3 with Zane using a radiation Loaded Dice Relic, and a radiation Crossroad smg. I am fully aware of the Mayhem mods and do take them into account when I write this.
So after farming Katagawa Jr about 40 times, (only to get 2 of the class mod I actually want, I legit got like 6 Techspert mods and only 2 Infiltrator mods which were what I want), I can’t help but feel his fight is either buggy or just weird.
The general idea of the fight I feel is when Katagawa slams one of the generators and gets his shield back, you shoot the generator and he takes a decent chunk of health damage. Already right here, I find that sometimes half of his health evaporates when I shoot the generator, and then other times he takes like a tenth of his health, rarely he won’t even take any damage from this. Also, he will teleport to the top right generator 80% of the time, and the other 20% of the time he either goes to the top left generator, or the generator right in the middle of the arena on the ground. This would imply that he is supposed to be able to teleport to most, if not any, of the generators in the arena. But if he is only supposed to use those 3 generators I mentioned, why does he go the top right one almost all the time?
The clone phase is wonky at times. Katagawa is supposed to do a slamming animation when he goes to one of the generators to make his 3 clones. But sometimes, he will teleport there and instantly spawn the clones, giving you little to no time to react, and I’ve seen him even do it in succession at least one additional time, so I miss not just one but possibly 2 opportunities to get his health low from the generator. Another thing that’s weird is that if I kill all of the clones or 2 of the clones, Katagawa will instantly start the phase where he jumps around the map throwing the homing explosives at you, meaning when I find the real Katagawa in the clones phase, he will no longer be in that same spot and be somewhere else because of the abrupt transition between phases. Also bit of a nitpick with this one but when I shoot the clones and look at their health bars, their shields go down but their health doesn’t, even though they still die. (Maybe this was intentional by the devs since they are clones and they thought this would be appropriate since they aren’t the real boss.)
Katagawa’s Last Phase
When he his at a tiny bit of health, Katagawa will teleport to you, almost one shot you if he hits you with melee, teleport back to a spot on the map, repeat. The idea of the phase isn’t my issue, I actually think it’s an interesting way to end off the fight, Katagawa’s Last Stand. But it’s how inconsistent it can be that’s annoying. I’ll be shooting him in the end both when he is near me and when he is on his perch, and the time it takes can range from one magazine from my Crossroad finishes him, to where I fill multiple Crossroad magazines into his skull only to find that his health bar doesn’t even move, and I have to wait for him to do his slam the generator move so I can shoot the generator to finish him. I understand he likely has immense damage reduction during this part which is fine, but what I don’t understand is why sometimes that damage reduction factor just does whatever it wants in different instances of the fight.
Two last things I want to point out. Firstly, in the beginning of the fight when he spawns his clones near the entrance of the arena, I will find the real Katagawa, shoot him, and sometimes he will lose a good quarter of his health when I kill his shield. This can make the fight quicker sometimes which is good, but I just dislike why it only happens sometimes. If this feature of the fight where the game gives you a good head start if you find the real Katagawa in the beginning is intentional, then I’d suggest nerf it so he doesn’t lose literally 1/4th of his hp, but make it consistent. Or just take it out all together if this is just a bug. The second thing is also more nitpicky, but at times in the fight, the boss health and shield bar at the top won’t match the health and shield bar when I look at the real Katagawa. Another inconsistency I thought would be good to mention.
I think Borderlands 3’s boss fights have improved for sure, since BL2 at least, and Katagawa’s fight has a unique and cool concept, ninja guy jumping around, has clones, and the smoke grenade that screws with your vision if you’re in it, that’s pretty awesome. But when you farm him for arguably an unhealthy amount of time, you start to question why sometimes the fight takes 30 seconds, and sometimes it takes 5 minutes, when you do things mostly the same every instance of the fight.