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Thread: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

  1. #151
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    Woof, been moving up in the world while last I commented here. :3

    Bitchslapped Genichiro several days ago, then made my way into the memory of Ashina Estate and kicked Lady Butterfly's ass after a few tries. Oh, I also killed Seven Ashina Spears - Shume Masaji Oniwa after a few tries with the Mikirin counter.

    Currently at Mibu Village after much bouncing about. Fought but got killed a few times by O'Rin of the Water before calling it a night. Man, shit's good, but there's so much to explore, aaaaah! Though, it is great to have such strong verticality with Sekiro's mobility (bless, grappling hook!).

    Fun times. :3

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Seven Spears took me more tries than all but a couple of the hardest major bosses, so nice work!

  3. #153
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    What also disappointed me was that I was, perhaps unconsciously, looking forward to a particular fantasy and the game "Dark Soulsed" it up. A lot of times it felt like it was trying to be a jidaigeki Dark Souls in its storytelling, except it wasn't really supported by the game's other systems and at times it felt it was was incoherent and obscuring to its own detriment. It's fine to piece together the lore in Dark Souls from bits and scraps, because it's steeped in myth and post-apocalyptic desolation, being more of a mood piece than a coherent story. It's kind of like Berserk in that way and proudly wears its influences on its sleeve. It's much less charming when you have this in a story that is supposed to be a drama or at least emulate actual historic events with characters that are consistent and semi-realistic.
    In an interview, Miyazaki claimed something to the effect that Sekiro was the first time he had tried to tell a story in his games. Which is kinda funny, considering Dark Souls is a masterclass in storytelling, but I can see what he means: DS has fantastic lore and environmental storytelling, but effectively no main character. Sadly, it looks like characterization isn't one of Miyazaki's strengths. Wolf is a blank slate, and the game has two of the least childlike children this side of The Phantom Menace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    From has always been better at world-building than storytelling, but jeez, I'm like six hours into Bloodborne and I don't have a single clue what's going on. Like, there's beasts and a hunt and that's all I know. Even reading the wiki feels like trying to learn math by reading Wikipedia...
    Nooo, don't read the wiki before finishing! Here's a synopsis for the start: about a century ago a new technology called "blood infusion" was developed, which acts as a panacea. However, every decade or so a portion of people who've received this infusion turn into beasts. Rather than discontinuing blood infusion, the authorities institute the hunt, to cull such beasts. This time around, the hunt failed and the main city is near collapse; you're a hunter from outside the city who has come here to try to help.

    (explanation of Insight) Oh, yeah. Thanks.
    Insight is the ability to perceive the supernatural. As it gets higher, new stuff appears (or becomes visible) in various places. The only crucial level is Insight 1, which allows you to speak with the doll and level up. Seeing new bosses increases your Insight, which is why most people don't get to level up until they reach a boss the first time.

  4. #154
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I killed spear guy. I am liking the feel of the combat, just hope I can maintain a skill level to carry me through the game.

    Killed the chained ogre on my second attempt, but have the feeling he is not all that hard if you can avoid the grab attacks.
    Last edited by faetal; 3rd Feb 2022 at 19:18.

  5. #155
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Chained ogre is probably my least favourite boss because his grab attack has a magical range and heís almost impossible to deflect. But most of the subsequent bosses arenít like that.

    The basic routine of Sekiro combat, that I learned mainly from watching people play on YouTube, is attack your enemy until they start deflecting, at which point you start deflecting until you get an opening again.

  6. #156
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I have to admit that I beat him using Dark Souls technique of dodging lots and punishing missed grabs. Grapple attack came in handy a few times too.
    I should not get used to that.

  7. #157
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.

    Hullo, everyone! :3

    Haven't posted here for a little while now. Updates then!

    I've been tearing ass pretty much, with some bosses giving me trouble more so than others (and some of the mini-bosses, sheesh...), but overall, I have yet to struggle (i.e. die) with any boss as much as with Genichiro.

    Hell, a lot of people seem to struggle horribly with the Guardian Ape, and yes, it certainly kick my ass plenty of times, I never found the fight daunting, y'know? In fact, it was one of the easiest fights to get into a rhythm despite the "erratic" nature of my enemy.

    Oh, and the Headless Ape and Mate fight? Killed'em on my 2nd try. :3

    Right now, I am back at Ashina Castle fighting papa Owl. SHINOBI FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! I'm going for the Return ending. Then I will climb down the endings ladder on subsequent NG+ sessions.

    I'm having fun and can't wait to fight the rest of the bosses. I am particularly stoked for Isshin Ashina in his Sword Saint form. <3

  8. #158
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Nice! The ape felt more like a Souls boss, a giant erratic enemy that you probably have to tank at least a little bit. But it is possible to dodge most of his attacks, and if you have the spear prosthetic you can do a couple critical hits at the exact right moment that take off a huge chunk of posture. Since it seems you know what's coming up, don't forget to go back to Hirata Estate to fight Owl again. Easily my favourite fight in the game, and probably the hardest.

  9. #159
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'm admitting defeat (for now).
    Uninstalled.
    Also because I don't want to burn out on FromSoft before Elden Ring.

    Will try again later in the year.

  10. #160
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    Aw, faetal...

    <3

    Aja - I knew about that move and got to try it on the 2nd encounter. Good stuff. :3

    As for the fight with Owl in Hirata State, doesn't that have to be in another memory?

  11. #161
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    PS. Among the mini-bosses killed so far (and there have been quite a handful...), I've started to finally beat the Headless warriors. Alas I had to stop because, well, y'know...I ran out of Divine Confetti. *Cries* I'm sure I will find more and resume my ass-whupping.

    I also dig that Sekiro does have some underwater segments.

  12. #162
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by MrDuck View Post
    Aw, faetal...
    I know I can do it, just need to spend a few solid sessions forgetting Dark Souls and getting down with the rhythm game aspects.
    Just best left for a time when I haven't been playing loads of Dark Souls 3 and am anxiously awaiting Elden Ring.
    It deserves more attention than I'm giving it.

  13. #163
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by MrDuck View Post

    As for the fight with Owl in Hirata State, doesn't that have to be in another memory?
    Yes, and I don't remember exactly how you get it, but I'm pretty sure you can for all of the endings except maybe the evil one.

  14. #164
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    I came, I saw, I kicked (almost) everyone's ass.

    Owl (father)? Dead.
    Divine Dragon? Bitchslapped.
    Demon of Hatred? Dead ( ).
    Genichiro, 2nd bout? Deadgetthefuckouttamyface.

    All of these in the same day. Not too shabby, even if I say so myself. :3

    To be fair, Owl (father) did have me on the ropes for a little while, but the others I beat on the same day I encountered them.

    I finally got my taste of Sword Saint Isshin Ashina. This one? This one's going to be tough.

    BRING IT!

    PS. All the mini-bosses? Also dead. Including the terrible duo (y'know who I'm talking about...). :3

  15. #165
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    EDIT: *Cough* Nevermind, I just kicked his ass. Good fight, but found it easier than I thought—still challenging enough to keep me on my toes.


    No, I still haven't beaten Isshin Ashina, BUT....not even a dozen defeats later, and I'm starting to semi-regularly get him to his last life bar, and once or twice around half of that one. He doesn't seem to put as much constant pressure on me as Owl (father). Then again, I do have a MUCH wider area to roam about, and most of his ranged attacks are easy to deflect/dodge. Lightning continues to be a bit tricky at times with the timing, but nothing crazy bad. Man, I can almost taste victory. Soon, soon. :3
    Last edited by MrDuck; 18th Feb 2022 at 14:52.

  16. #166
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    You are clearly a Sekiro prodigy. Now that you've mostly finished it, where would you rank it terms of FromSoft difficulty? Overall I think I'd put it at the top although I'm currently doing the Bloodborne DLC and at this point it feels like Ludwig is going to take me just as many tries as dear Father. I may be underleveled, though.

  17. #167
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    Shucks, I'm gonna blush now, Aja....nah, I'm no prodigy. Though, I do find it interesting -and a bit surprising, if truth be told- how I didn't struggle as much as I expected to do so with some of the bosses compared to the community. Guardian Ape, Demon of Hatred and Sword Saint Isshin obviously come to mind.

    By struggle, I mean not just how many times I died with them, but also how much it felt I was being pushed to stay on my toes throughout the fight, with very little margin for error. Those top honors go to Genichiro and Owl (father). The first one because I was still a newbie, not really grasping the combat system, and even in our last battle on that first time, it was a nailbiter. The second was because the arena was quite narrow and the boss was quite aggressive (and hits really hard).

    There were, of course, other bosses that kicked my ass more than a few times, but nothing that ever felt I was inching my way towards victory. At least not to that level. Hell, if anything, they felt like fights where I had gotten the hang of their moveset and rhythms, more or less. It's just that any mistakes were heavily punished. Of course, the Demon of Hatred fight would most likely have been a massacre had I not had the fire-blocking umbrella prosthetic upgrade. That really was the cornerstone of my victory. It didn't make the fight easy-peasy, but it was one less thing to worry about. Even then, it was certainly an epic struggle on that last battle which had used up ALL of my healing items (10 gourd uses, 3 pellets and 1 grass). I have little doubt I would have reached a stage where I didn't have had to use all of them, buuuuut I saw an opening and said "fuck it".

    By the time I got to Isshin, I had fought plenty of bosses with complex attack patterns that mixed up-close/mid-range/long-range tactics. That were precise in their movements, or erratic as Hell; fast or slow, or even a mix. Isshin is certainly the complete package, and yet, in retrospect, I thought the fight wasn't as punishing as some of the ones I mentioned before. There was plenty of space in the arena to put distance between us, giving me time to readjust strategy, as well as heal. No, his gun was never really an issue. Easy to block or avoid. Probably the thing that threw me off the most were some of his unshakeable combos, but even then, I just blocked them or ran away until he was done, rushing back to get a quick hit or two. Shit, FromSoft was really generous because here was a boss that didn't have infinitely high posture like DoH or even Owl(father). Yet, I too was surprised when I started deathblowing him on my first few tries, then soon enough second deathblowing. The dance was not perfect, but as with other bosses, I A)knew most of his patterns and, more importantly, B)could react to most of them. It still took most of my healing items, mind you.

    All in all, a worthy final opponent, even if I had found some of the previous fights more of a struggle. Loved the arena (with due respect to the peeps here who hated it and mentioned they couldn't properly see his attacks), how the beginning was the end. Loved the music. LOVED how the fight itself came to be: Genichiro beaten, desperate, used his own blood and life to wish for Isshin's return from the Underworld. Using a second Mortal blade he offered his blood as payment, cutting his neck, and from that wound emerged a younger Isshin. Ripping the poor bastard in half. Metal as fuck. I loved it.

    NOW.....with all that faffing about, to your question on FS difficulty ranking, Aja.

    That depends. For myself, it's a bit of a complicated answer. On a purist combat level, yeah, Sekiro gets top honors. You can cheese some enemies and bosses, fair enough, but you can't make complicated ultra-kill builds. Though, you can grind for a higher power level (ZZZzzzZZZzzz.....), but who the fuck has time for that? Nah, mostly, it's you learning to fight, and the game testing you over and over, if you don't master it, or even get a solid grip on the combat system, each boss/mini-boss/enemy's rhythm and pattern down, you're gonna have a VERY bad time. It also feels, imho, the fairest BECAUSE of the combat system applied to both enemies and the player (with some notable exceptions).

    On a personal level, though? Bloodborne. Specifically, Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC. I...made the mistake of playing the DLC on.....NG+3. *Twitch* The Lady Maria fight gave some good ol'hunter vs hunter challenge, but I won after about a dozen tries. Challenging, for sure, but not even close to the pain in the ass than fighting Gehrman for the first time. The Living Failures fight was an even shorter one. Probably lost three or four times against the.

    Now, for the rest....Ludwig, Orphan and Lawrence?

    Mo.
    Ther.
    Fu.
    Ckers.

    Each one took me between 50-70 tries. Each fight with them was a desperate struggle, with only Ludwig becoming considerably easier to battle in his second phase. The other two, especially Orphan, were Hell. Sure, Lawrence's real challenge is the little box of an arena that they pit you against him and the fact that he has fire damage and punches HARD.

    Between these three bastards, my blood vial supply was emptied. TWICE. And yes, I was pretty well-stocked.

    Despite my grumbling, I did enjoy the fights, even if at times they were quite frustrating, especially Lawrence. Bless you, Orphan, you really taught me to do visceral attacks until it was second nature. Gehrman didn't stand a chance by that point.

    Now, Bloodborne the base game was a good solid challenge with a different gameplay mechanic compared to the Dark Souls games (minus the whittling down the healthbar of a BIG nasty boss), but the combat was fast and furious, unlike the clunkiness of Demon's and the first two Dark Souls, so it made things easier, even if the defense was trickier, and it was more about the in-and-out of a mad mosquito poking at a bull's ass.

    Of the Dark Souls trilogy, for my personal ranking, I'd like to go with Dark Souls 2 Crown DLC Trilogy. There was plenty of bullshit packed in the base game, but the DLCs had it in concentrated form (I'm looking at you, passageway to Blue Smelter Demon fight...). After that, it becomes a bit fuzzy. Perhaps Dark Souls 2 base-game, but not the bosses, just the game itself. A lot of bullshit, bottleneck spots of absurd difficulty, with a lot of meh level-design. Oh, don't get me wrong, the game's still better than a lot of similar ones coming out around that era, but it certainly felt like a step back from Dark Souls in some key aspects.

    Here I will insert two specific bosses from Dark Souls 3 base game and the first DLC: Nameless King and Sister Friede/Father Arandiel were a buncha bastards. Good fights. Hard as Hell. The ones I struggled with the most in DS 3. Yes, Midir kissed my ass by the fifth try, and Gael was dead after less than 20-15 losses. Both also epic boss fights, but not the impassable walls, to me at least, that many claimed them to be.

    Next would probably be Dark Souls Artorias of the Abyss DLC. Phew...three sexy -and challenging- boss fights. Then Dark Souls base game (hola, Laurel and Hardy). This was a bigger, badder world than Demon's. Even if I knew the mechanics, it certainly upped the challenge on all levels.

    Lastly, Demon's Souls. The OG. It was challenging, we were new-ish to these sort of games and the clunky, weighty combat, yes, but there was only ever ONE boss who really made me grind my gears. Flamelurker, I salute thee, you spicy asshole.

    So, to summarize my long-winded, rambling post, my personal take on FS games, hardest to least based on my overall experience struggling with them as a whole:

    • Dark Souls 2: Crown Trilogy DLC.
    • Dark Souls 2.
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC.
    • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
    • Dark Souls.
    • Dark Souls 3: Ashes and Ringed-City DLC.
    • Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss DLC.
    • Dark Souls 3.
    • Bloodborne.
    • Demon's Souls.


    HUGE caveats:
    This ranking is based on my impression of difficulty, obviously, regardless of whether I died a million times or not in X or Y game. I have yet to replay Dark Souls and completely solo all the bosses, so the ranking is not really complete until I do so. Every other game in the list I completed by myself at some point or another.

    Now, if the rankings were based on boss/bosses and how much they kicked my ass, or felt like I struggled, the ranking is quite easier:

    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC NG+3.*
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC NG+3.
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC NG+3.
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC NG+3.
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC NG+3.
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC NG+3.
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
    • Dark Souls 3's Nameless King.
    • Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Arandiel's Sister Friede/Father Arandiel.
    • Dark Souls 2: Crown Trilogy DLC's Fume Knight.
    • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's Genichiro and Owl (father).
    • Demon's Souls's Flamelurker.


    After that, bosses were challenging (or not), but nothing that made me go SFDFASDGSAHSDFHAFASFAdg. I can't count O & S nor Kalameet as I had player-summons helping out. Will update when I get my time in the ring with them again.

    And now my Watch has ended.

    *Dies*

    *Save for Lady Maria and the Living Failures.

  18. #168
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    My first time playing Dark Souls, I thought Ornstein and Smough were the final boss... and as a result, I thought the Tomb of the Giants was a secret area, and I explored it blind.

    No boss since has caused so much trouble, nor probably will, now that I've gitten gudness. I did give up on Sister Friede and Midir, but that's half because the fights felt unethical, like killing Priscilla.

  19. #169
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    Friede was certainly a doozy of a boss fight, especially with what having three full phases. Still, in the end, she fell to my blade. :3

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