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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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After not being able to play that much recently I took down LB today in totally cheesy style.  Could not beat her in a straight up fight despite finding everything up to the Castle fairly easy. I'm in for a rough time going forward methinks.

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2 hours ago, jonamok said:

Well, looks like I can’t get any further in Senpou until I beat GenA.

 

So back I went yet again to that fucking Castle dojo. And in those 20 or so attempts (after scores of previous efforts) I finally managed to get him to his second phase, and did it twice - though more by luck than judgement. Both times I was low on health, post resurrection, and I died instantly before he even got his lightning on. He just piled in and twatted me.

 

I guess it’s some kind of progress. But it was mostly unrepeatable, the next X attempts I’d die on his first health bar. I imagine if I do nothing with my gaming time for the next few weeks but try and try again, eventually the stars will align, and I might spawn it.

 

But it’s made me utterly hate the game. For me it’s become more of a ‘Fuck You’ to From Soft now, I don’t really care about the game other than just beating this cunt. Which is fucking sad. As I love all of their stuff. I know it’s irrational, but this is utterly sapping my love for Miyazaki’s oeuvre. FFS. :(

 

I think he always does that thrust move at the beginning of the second phase. Its an invite for an easy mikiri counter, but I found the timing a bit tricky in that you had to move forward a bit before pressing the counter button. When you get used to getting to second phase, just anticipate that forward thrust from him every time at the start. Im not sure if you can dodge that. I used to get a heal in before he came charging.

 

After that, I wouldnt worry about catching his lightning arrows, but just dodge left or right in the last instance before he shoots and you will end up safely on his side with a window to hit him a few times. Hes basically a glass cannon at this stage, and youre almost done. His posture damage shoots up a lot faster compared to the previous rounds (dont forget to try and deflect his combos in between the arrows to break his posture quicker).

 

Youre almost there.

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Just got the Platinum for this game.

It’s the first From game I’ve platinum’ed, I think that says something.

 

Personally, I think the game is stunning. I know people compare this to DS but it’s really not. The combat system, the traversal system and it’s environment has been their focus. There is flashes of DS in there but it really isn’t, and people looking for a DS fix won’t find it here.

 

They wanted to make something different and I think they’ve done an excellent job.

 

The combat system is designed for you to practise, learn and overcome. Overlevelling, summnoning, would just break what they want you to achieve. Just play Juzou The Drunkard with the NPC and see how it “breaks” the combat.

 

As a fighting game fan, I think of the Daigo’s parry moment.

 

He uses his skill to deflect all the opponents attacks and wins the game. That is the sense of achievement they want you to gain from fighting an enemy in this game.

 

 

 

Here’s a top player fighting Genichiro. He deflects all the enemies attacks perfectly and punishes.

 

 

 

Unfortunately the game demands a skill level from you, that, by the sounds of it, some people struggle to attain.

 

The game needs to be like this though.

 

I do believe the game’s combat is designed well enough that ANYONE can do it, however I guess it comes down to how long you’re prepared to sit there, grind it out and practise until you can do it. For some people it sounds like it’s a lot longer than others and I can totally understand people getting frustrated and giving up. Is this game for everyone? I’m not sure...

 

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1 hour ago, jonamok said:

No. I don’t believe ANYONE can do it.

 

I'm not a top player, far from it. I needed easily 50 attempts at GenA. By the time I was regularly getting to the lightning phase I could just about parry the entirety of the first part. Think of what progress you've made since attempt #1. You will have made a substantial amount I'm sure. Eventually it will come together...below is when it just fell into place for me. 

 

When you see the lightning...jump...attack. Huge posture damage.

 

 

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I think once you take down GenA, you are equipped to deal with anything the game throws at you. (haven't completed the game yet, so I may eat my words later) Another boss that was trouble for me was GA (the ape). Was really struggling with him for a while, but i persevered and  in the end annihilated him. When he returns later (not on his own) i actually managed to take him down quite quickly. You do feel yourself getting better a the game, and that confidence will carry you through.

 

I know there is a huge debate about sliding difficulty scales in games, but in my opinion, its refreshing to have a game that doesnt cater to the masses. I never struggle with any of the Far Crys, GTA's, Assassins creeds, as there is an option in them to make them insultingly easy. I love the fact that this game will punish you, and punish you hard if you don't play by its rules. I'm not alone, as referenced in this thread.... a lot of people are loving it as much as i am.

 

The challenge is part of the game... without the difficult bosses, the sense of elation would never feel the same.... you cant have the sunshine, without the rain.

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The thing that needs to be said over and over and over is that the core experience, curated by Miyazaki himself (if that's the case) and perfectly calibrated to represent a set challenge, does not need to change. You can hammer this home in the presentation: all the Halo games after ODST labelled Heroic as Heroic "the way Halo was meant to be played." Prevent players from changing the settings mid-game if you like (after a few levels), to discourage players from dialling the difficulty down when the going gets tough.

 

This idea about catering for the masses is just wrong: letting other people tailor their experiences doesn't need to affect yours.

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Why do they have to be tailored for everyone though? 

 

If you dont like it, or are struggling with its difficulty, play another game. Lifes too short. 

 

Just don’t warn people off if it’s not your cup of tea.

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From patch the difficulty of Souls games all the time. If you don't use the various exploits, an unpatched DS1 is significantly harder than the final game ended up. You get much less Souls for bosses. No humanity and no homeward bone. You can get cursed multiple times. They want the games to sell so they adjust the challenge to be hard, not impossible. 

 

The difficulty curve in this game is broken. Lady Butterfly is a brick wall a lot of players will bounce off. They've removed every crutch the DS series has. I'm not convinced they've fully understood the consequences. Even making Pellets a bit more available would impact the difficulty of the game.

 

At some point Git gud is no fun. I did not enjoy the majority of my 100 attempts with LB. If I'd have been able to do it after 30 I'd have been happier, and had the same sense of achievement. 

 

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An easy mode doesn't achieve anything positive in my opinion. Ok, give people an easy mode and they choose that and blaze through the game. Then they turn around and say "why is this game so revered?". Because these games are not really about experiencing the story or set pieces or whatever. The whole point of the game is to overcome the challenge and master the systems.

 

I found this exact problem with God of War. I chose the default difficulty mode and after a while it was pretty straightforward progress through the game. The combat felt rubbish and I could button mash most of it. I completed it, but overall I thought the game was really underwhelming. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the game is actually pretty good on a harder difficulty setting. But by the time I'd got to that stage it was too late. The whole difficulty setting thing is almost always just poor design. Make people play it the way it's intended. 

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13 minutes ago, cohen205 said:

Why do they have to be tailored for everyone though? 

 

If you dont like it, or are struggling with its difficulty, play another game. Lifes too short. 

 

Just don’t warn people off if it’s not your cup of tea.

Because there's loads to love in Sekiro/souls apart from the combat.

 

Because From would presumably like more sales.

 

Because with relatively little effort, and zero impact on you, they could implement these changes.

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4 minutes ago, Hylian said:

An easy mode doesn't achieve anything positive in my opinion. Ok, give people an easy mode and they choose that and blaze through the game. Then they turn around and say "why is this game so revered?". Because these games are not really about experiencing the story or set pieces or whatever. The whole point of the game is to overcome the challenge and master the systems.

 

I found this exact problem with God of War. I chose the default difficulty mode and after a while it was pretty straightforward progress through the game. The combat felt rubbish and I could button mash most of it. I completed it, but overall I thought the game was really underwhelming. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the game is actually pretty good on a harder difficulty setting. But by the time I'd got to that stage it was too late. The whole difficulty setting thing is almost always just poor design. Make people play it the way it's intended. 

 

All in the presentation. Be clear that there's an 'as intended' game mode.

 

And to repeat what lots of others have said on the topic, 'difficulty modes' are a blunt, ineffective solution. A range of accessibility settings, plus celeste-style assist modes or gameplay modifiers are much better than getting the player to select easy, medium or hard.

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39 minutes ago, kensei said:

From patch the difficulty of Souls games all the time. If you don't use the various exploits, an unpatched DS1 is significantly harder than the final game ended up. You get much less Souls for bosses. No humanity and no homeward bone. You can get cursed multiple times. They want the games to sell so they adjust the challenge to be hard, not impossible. 

 

The difficulty curve in this game is broken. Lady Butterfly is a brick wall a lot of players will bounce off. They've removed every crutch the DS series has. I'm not convinced they've fully understood the consequences. Even making Pellets a bit more available would impact the difficulty of the game.

 

At some point Git gud is no fun. I did not enjoy the majority of my 100 attempts with LB. If I'd have been able to do it after 30 I'd have been happier, and had the same sense of achievement. 

 

 

They really need to change the dialogue of the guy outside LB to "Mate, just leave it. Come back later, like way later. This ain't the critical path, yeah."

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14 minutes ago, kensei said:

From patch the difficulty of Souls games all the time. If you don't use the various exploits, an unpatched DS1 is significantly harder than the final game ended up. You get much less Souls for bosses. No humanity and no homeward bone. You can get cursed multiple times. They want the games to sell so they adjust the challenge to be hard, not impossible. 

 

The difficulty curve in this game is broken. Lady Butterfly is a brick wall a lot of players will bounce off. They've removed every crutch the DS series has. I'm not convinced they've fully understood the consequences. Even making Pellets a bit more available would impact the difficulty of the game.

 

At some point Git gud is no fun. I did not enjoy the majority of my 100 attempts with LB. If I'd have been able to do it after 30 I'd have been happier, and had the same sense of achievement. 

 

 

They've removed every crutch because the playstyle is totally different in this. If you play this like Bloodborne, you are doing it so wrong. I started playing it like bloodborne, and got frustrated to begin with, as it just doesnt work.

 

Once the parry system clicks, the game is simply wonderful. It is literally all about the parrys. If your'e expecting this game to be the next Dark Souls/Bloodborne, then you are going to be sorely disappointed.

 

I've said it a few times in this thread, but it is my favourite From game, by quite a margin.

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Did either console make ever implement that feature where you can hand the controls over to a remote buddy to help you out?

 

Not that I'd fancy doing any of the bosses in this via a stream.

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This game is hard enough without me self-sabotaging. I was doing very well in the Lady Butterfly fight - managed to get her down to literally one last strike when she killed me. Not to worry, I thought, I still had my revive so it was a mere formality of getting back up and finishing her off. In my frenzy, I began impatiently tapping L1 instead of R1 and chose death over reviving myself. This was maybe my third attempt at the boss. I then spent about two hours trying to beat her, completely and utterly titled by my stupidity which made the fight even harder because I was barely concentrating anymore.

 

R1. R1. Press R1 next time.

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59 minutes ago, Timmo said:

 

They really need to change the dialogue of the guy outside LB to "Mate, just leave it. Come back later, like way later. This ain't the critical path, yeah."

 

No, they need to fix the fucking design and difficulty curve. Firstly, the game encourages you to go to Hirata Estate by putting, a big, angry, red eyed brick wall in your path and hiding the item needed to help with him in Hirata. Second, If Dark Souls didn't want you to be in an area until later, it made normal enemies seriously lethal, not the boss of an area. You can easily get through Hirata Estate, and it's actually quite fun because the stealth gameplay is brilliant. It also bears no relation to the boss you have to deal with. 

 

Third - and this speaks to the 'it' s not Dark Souls" point - the game doesn't just want you to parry. It wants you to dodge when appropriate, and it wants you to jump, when appropriate. Trying to teach you to do all these things at once is a bad idea. But Lady Butterfly does it. And as pointed out, the red perilous attack warning is actually more confusing than just having an attack you can read. 

 

And no Souls game to this point has punished you as heavily for a single mistake - even when upgraded once Le Bitch could knock 70% of my health for a single error, nor gave you so few health items initially. That would make the game hard independent of playstyle. The early game balance is way off. 

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Talking of controls, has anyone changed L1 to L2, and vice versa?

 

It helped me immensely with the parrying. I found it better to have block/parry on a trigger, rather than a button, if that makes sense.

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1 hour ago, jonny_rat said:

Because there's loads to love in Sekiro/souls apart from the combat.

 

Because From would presumably like more sales.

 

Because with relatively little effort, and zero impact on you, they could implement these changes.

 

Why do you think they've not done it, then?

 

Somewhat loaded question but your tone makes it sound like it's a win-win. They obviously don't want to (or they would have) and I will be extremely surprised if they do. 

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12 minutes ago, kensei said:

 

No, they need to fix the fucking design and difficulty curve. Firstly, the game encourages you to go to Hirata Estate by putting, a big, angry, red eyed brick wall in your path and hiding the item needed to help with him in Hirata. Second, If Dark Souls didn't want you to be in an area until later, it made normal enemies seriously lethal, not the boss of an area. You can easily get through Hirata Estate, and it's actually quite fun because the stealth gameplay is brilliant. It also bears no relation to the boss you have to deal with. 

 

Third - and this speaks to the 'it' s not Dark Souls" point - the game doesn't just want you to parry. It wants you to dodge when appropriate, and it wants you to jump, when appropriate. Trying to teach you to do all these things at once is a bad idea. But Lady Butterfly does it. And as pointed out, the red perilous attack warning is actually more confusing than just having an attack you can read. 

 

And no Souls game to this point has punished you as heavily for a single mistake - even when upgraded once Le Bitch could knock 70% of my health for a single error, nor gave you so few health items initially. That would make the game hard independent of playstyle. The early game balance is way off. 

 

Doesnt the Hirata Estate have those spear fuckers that you can mikari counter, and i'm sure a lot of the enemies in that area will teach you the basics of the sidestep/jump mechanic. The training is basically there to take on LB.

 

And ok, maybe the game isnt totally about parrying, but i'd say its about 90% of the game. The dodge, and jump evasions are kind of like a rock/paper/scissors effect, where you have to react to either counter, or dodge at a split second. Again, its not easy, and it takes a lot of time to read, and learn these patterns, but surely thats part of the gameplay cycle. See boss - > Shit pants and wonder if you'll ever be able to beat them -> have a few goes and get totally annihilated -> learn moveset and make progress -> take that mother fucker down and feel like a BOSS.

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4 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

 

Why do you think they've not done it, then?

 

Somewhat loaded question but your tone makes it sound like it's a win-win. They obviously don't want to (or they would have) and I will be extremely surprised if they do. 

 

They do want to: there are some really interesting bits that came out from interviews with From staff on working with Activision. They had no idea how to approach play testing (they handed all this over to the US Activision office), and didn't even feel confident about creating the tutorial section in Sekiro: all of that was guided by player data, and it was great. It also includes loads more accessibility/quality of life settings than did DS3.

 

Again, this comes back to the idea that Miyazake and the Souls teams want to make hard games: in every quote about it, he's said that he wants to make games with challenges that players will initially fail, and then pass. Letting players tune the challenge is totally in line with that.

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29 minutes ago, kensei said:

 

No, they need to fix the fucking design and difficulty curve. Firstly, the game encourages you to go to Hirata Estate by putting, a big, angry, red eyed brick wall in your path and hiding the item needed to help with him in Hirata. Second, If Dark Souls didn't want you to be in an area until later, it made normal enemies seriously lethal, not the boss of an area. You can easily get through Hirata Estate, and it's actually quite fun because the stealth gameplay is brilliant. It also bears no relation to the boss you have to deal with. 

 

Third - and this speaks to the 'it' s not Dark Souls" point - the game doesn't just want you to parry. It wants you to dodge when appropriate, and it wants you to jump, when appropriate. Trying to teach you to do all these things at once is a bad idea. But Lady Butterfly does it. And as pointed out, the red perilous attack warning is actually more confusing than just having an attack you can read. 

 

And no Souls game to this point has punished you as heavily for a single mistake - even when upgraded once Le Bitch could knock 70% of my health for a single error, nor gave you so few health items initially. That would make the game hard independent of playstyle. The early game balance is way off. 

 

You make some good points.

 

I would argue, though, that the game heavily implies snap seeds are needed to win the fight. And you can't buy them until late in the game.

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Also, like most Souls games, if you are struggling, you can go off in another direction, to try other areas, to either practice, or get more items to help with the fight.

 

When it was time to fight LB, i'm sure I had at least 2 other paths to take.

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8 minutes ago, Timmo said:

 

You make some good points.

 

I would argue, though, that the game heavily implies snap seeds are needed to win the fight. And you can't buy them until late in the game.

 

Shouldn't have gave you one then and made it make a lot more difference to the fight. Like taking a full bar, it's not like the game doesn't let you do that loads. 

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