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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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Hmm, I think the combat is superb. Once the deflecting basics click, it feels sublime to play. Love the speed and grace of traversal too. If anything's weak so far, it's variety of locations (as in, lack of). The maps themselves are wonderfully open - sometimes the game plays like MGSV, almost, but with Souls mechanics - but I could do with a bit more than endless Japanese rooftops, honestly.

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It's got that beautiful, regretful sadness down pat, though. I only just beat the first true boss tonight - which felt pretty epic - and the game immediately presented me with reasons not to be cheerful.

 

Spoiler

 

Horsey.thumb.jpg.9cc3f8a5d32892ce7bc1b64538dfefa0.jpg

 

Poor horsey. I like the way his master is spread out next to his big, sad, sniffing face and there's nothing in the scene to suggest any form of happiness can exist after such a victory. Even though, I must admit, I did do a bit of a fist pump after that one until the sad horse face made me feel bad about it. But I guess that's what sad horse faces are for. I expect to make many more horses/demons/Cthulhus sad before eventually trading it in because my blood pressure will finish me before their sadness finishes them. 

 

 

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Started today, got to LB boss in one direction and BB boss in the other and called it a day after several tries at them. Had to look up where the flame and firecracker arm attachments were even though I had been to those areas already. The flame one in particular was completely invisible on my screen and I walked right past it when I went there originally - not sure if it is a HDR/brightness issue? 

 

Game is alright and I guess I'm enjoying it despite some frustrations. I've barely used any of the items in my inventory, just the basic health items. Everyone has Dragonrot and even though I could cure them it seems pointless as they will get it again soon after the amount of times I die and resurrect!

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First impression after beating what I assumed was the first boss (although maybe not, after reading a couple of those comments above mine - maybe there's more than one "first boss"? ) 

 

 

It's great - more of a "Soulsborne" than I was expecting, having read a few reviews which seemed to go out of their way to stress that it isn't actually a Soulsborne game. To me, it very much feels like one - the combat has a very similar feel to it, with similarly mapped controls, dodging to evade attacks, an emphasis on tactics rather than button-mashing, etc. 

 


Love the setting and the general atmos - again, a few of the things I'd read had led me to believe that the structure (i.e open world areas, punctuated with boss fights) was going to be radically different from what we're used to from From. But I was pleased to find it's all fairly familiar!

What is different - the stealth,  Dragonrot, the upgrades, etc - all seem really well done and fresh. Looking forward to putting some more time into it very soon.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, df0 said:

Not feeling this so far, especially when it comes to the combat. Spoiler for early boss behind locked door:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Well this one gives me God of War Valkyrie Queen PTSD. What I absolutely detest in this type of combat is this "fuck you that's why" approach. Her unblockable where the takes to the air and dive-bombs you is easy enough to dodge, I know it's easy because I can do it 4 out of 5 times. The camera keeps track of her so when she dives you dodge. It works well until it does not. It works well until the game decides you could do with 80% less HP. The tracking of bosses' attacks is ridiculous, I've seen that sodding ogre do 180 degree spins mid attack.

 


 

Coming from NioH which I played a fair bit but never finished, It's a slap in the face.

The exploring is superb fun, the bosses so far are incredibly weak.

 

 

 

 

Totally opposite experience for me, LB has become one of my favourite bosses in any souls game 

 

Spoiler

I found all the attacks she does to be easily telegraphed once you learn her patterns and what to look out for. She initially seemed impossible but by the time I beat her I was consistently getting through stage 1 without being hit.

 

There’s the tension of the rock/paper/scissors fast decision making to deflect or dodge which gets amped up in stage 2 with a couple of deflect then dodge as the butterflies come at you. And there’s the mini-game of managing yours vs her vitality and posture... (is her vitality low enough that you should push through the last ounce of her posture or will she recover too fast? Is my posture strong enough that I can hold my ground with my sword raised to stay safe, or do I need to risk opening myself up to retreat behind a post?)

 

When it all clicks it’s glorious, I’m totally in love with this game.

 

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"YES! GOT YOU, YOU FUCKER!"

 

These are the words I've just screamed out like a teenager and not the greying mild mannered fifty year old that I am.

 

Sorry. Only started playing tonight, found the training guy, practiced fighting him for a bit then moved onwards to the Ashina Outskirts and met some General who kept killing me. I discovered I could just ignore him and move on but I needed to see this fucker dead. Ninth attempt and I was counter-attacking and dodging like a ninja-mofo until I finally wore him down and stuck my sword in his neck.

 

I'm loving the speed of combat compared to Dark Souls, it''s really beginning to click with me and it''s sooo satisfying to string defensive/offensive moves together.

 

Early days but I can't fault the game so far, and i'm loving the Tenchu vibe.

 

 

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Jesus I just found some crazy dude on the HE level. There's so much hidden stuff and different routes. It's totally From in that sense.

 

I'm so into it I've even been reading up on the history of the era, fascinating stuff and I think they got the mood just right.

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How do you spend your skill points or am I just not there yet? Gave up on the ogre, went back to start and discovered a whole new area! 

 

I really love this but now getting absolutely whopped by the second general and the other spear guys. Spotted the first fogged area also, absolutely not going in there yet.

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Haven't got the game yet, but one thing I like the sound of from these impressions is precisely the thing some are disappointed with, the lack of endlessly deep customisable rpg elements. It's one of the things I think always put me off Souls, having to get my head around stats and muddle around with endless bits of armour and weapons in menus. It's too intimidating. And just looking at the last page of the Nioh thread and reading about the deluge of largely pointless loot gives me a headache.

 

Not knocking those games at all. But I think I might actually welcome the difficulty here if it's more divorced from stats and grinding and all that. Although I'm sure this game will likely destroy me either way!

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I can't figure out if I've broken a couple of game triggers 

 

Fairly early on spoilers

Spoiler

 

I've got a Buddha to return to the sculptor, who will then tell me what to do with it, but that doesn't seem to be part of the conversation chain.

 

Similarly, I've got the blood sample off the old maid, but again, it doesn't prompt when I talk to the doctor, even though we've had the conversation about getting blood samples.

 

I'm getting a Losefka vibe off her.

 

 

Fought some general this afternoon and figured I'd try and get a surprise drop on him, then wait until he'd de-aggroed before trying again. First strike was dead on, hid, waited, tried for a second strike and he'd got both deathstrikes back! Sufficed to say we all had a good laugh and I died.

 

Also something I was disappointed with (not with the game) was Vati's beginner's guide. I remember his Bloodborne one was really helpful, but the one he's done for this is full of spoilers. I stopped watching after a couple of minutes. 

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34 minutes ago, Goose said:

I can't figure out if I've broken a couple of game triggers 

 

Fairly early on spoilers

  Hide contents

 

I've got a Buddha to return to the sculptor, who will then tell me what to do with it, but that doesn't seem to be part of the conversation chain.

 

Similarly, I've got the blood sample off the old maid, but again, it doesn't prompt when I talk to the doctor, even though we've had the conversation about getting blood samples.

 

I'm getting a Losefka vibe off her.

 

 

Fought some general this afternoon and figured I'd try and get a surprise drop on him, then wait until he'd de-aggroed before trying again. First strike was dead on, hid, waited, tried for a second strike and he'd got both deathstrikes back! Sufficed to say we all had a good laugh and I died.

I’ve been playing around with JtD and keep getting this, but can’t really figure out when or why it happens. I’ve had it where the other guy was fighting him and I retreated around a corner for a quick breather, but when I came back he had both his dots back. What are the rules for avoiding it?

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When a boss resets, ie you run away and he goes back to his default starting state, his health resets. Including the dots. So you can get one deathblow in maximum.

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Epic Name Bro has posted Part 1 of his walkthrough and it's excellent. I highly recommend it to you all.

Spoiler

 

 

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Finally beat horseface at 2am. After another 20 goes. It did help me develop a simple, if ugly, tactic though:

 

Spoiler

Run away. Do one deflect as he rides past. Run away. Repeat this tedium for 15 minutes. Do the occasional grapple/firecracker attack, and run away, but forget all that shit on his second life as it barely works.

 

Now, no doubt, a couple of similarly themed corridor areas await before another life-shortening brick-wall of hypertension.

 

The world is okay, I like fighting the mobs, but I still despise boss/mini-boss fights. I would happily pay Activision a couple of quid a time to skip each after, say, 5-10 attempts.

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Can anyone tell me if there's a moment or trigger for being able to use my skill points? I'm racking them up but then losing before I've banked them, etc. I'm still early, not long at Hirata and not had a proper boss fight yet. I'm just checking I've not missed something glaring (like the Korok seeds upgrade NPC in BotW!). 

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23 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

Can anyone tell me if there's a moment or trigger for being able to use my skill points? I'm racking them up but then losing before I've banked them, etc. I'm still early, not long at Hirata and not had a proper boss fight yet. I'm just checking I've not missed something glaring (like the Korok seeds upgrade NPC in BotW!). 

Skill points are permanent, you only lose the little bit of progress towards the next one skill point. Unlike Dark Souls, there's barely any penalty for dying in Sekiro, mostly you lose half your cash but you can buy coin purses to counter thst.

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Ah, cheers. I hadn't realised that but now you mention it, that's what's been happening. It's just reset the point, effectively. I've also now spoken to the Sculptor and found the skill upgrade tree stuff. Not sure what the trigger was but regardless, I'm on the way. 

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2 hours ago, Goose said:

I can't figure out if I've broken a couple of game triggers 

 

Fairly early on spoilers

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I've got a Buddha to return to the sculptor, who will then tell me what to do with it, but that doesn't seem to be part of the conversation chain.

 

Similarly, I've got the blood sample off the old maid, but again, it doesn't prompt when I talk to the doctor, even though we've had the conversation about getting blood samples.

 

I'm getting a Losefka vibe off her.

 

 

Fought some general this afternoon and figured I'd try and get a surprise drop on him, then wait until he'd de-aggroed before trying again. First strike was dead on, hid, waited, tried for a second strike and he'd got both deathstrikes back! Sufficed to say we all had a good laugh and I died.

 

Also something I was disappointed with (not with the game) was Vati's beginner's guide. I remember his Bloodborne one was really helpful, but the one he's done for this is full of spoilers. I stopped watching after a couple of minutes. 

 

 

If it’s what I think, there is a a shrine to the left of the sculpter, which is where you place the bell.

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10 hours ago, Dark Soldier said:

I read something about Dragonrot which I'll spoiler (its a fairly large spoiler but one I didn't mind knowing):

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

In general it means fuck all apart from a change of dialogue/missing some dialogue

 

 

This is pretty much on the money, however sometimes not having it can be helpful.

 

Speaking to one hag she gave me directions to a place, which I didn’t get when she was ill.

 

Still, there’s good chance you’ll figure this out yourself so it’s not a major deal.

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12 hours ago, Let us measure said:

 

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Holy. Shit. I had to put the controller down after that. An amazing set piece that I didn't see coming, and that bit where you hide in the palanquin was just brilliant!

 

Can anyone give me some tips for the spear-wielding shinobi hunter you meet in Hirata? He's not even a boss... Kicks my arse handily and I can never tell if he's going to go in for a thrust or a one-shot rising upper. Probably been discussed before, but I'm trying not to read too much of this thread!

 

Start by clearing his cronies out and then reset the threat by running back to the steps. Reapproach through the bushes and wait for him to have his back turned before attempting a sneak attack deathblow to remove one of his symbols. That's half the fight sorted right there.

 

As for his two unblockables they're triggered based off of your range. Stand close and he'll sweep, stand afar and he'll thrust. Sticking with the thrust make sure you have Mikiro Counter unlocked and stand at range. Once the kanji appears spam B/Circle so that you counter it. Follow with two or three slashes before running the hell back out to medium range to repeat the thrust>counter. It takes around five counters for him to finally lose Posture, so be patient - it's working!

 

There's likely a way to counter his close range attack, but I didn't work that out in time. You could try a thrust yourself (charged attack), instead of the two or three slashes. That might do him faster.

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That Mikiro Counter is one of the coolest moves in any game ever, feels so good when you pull it off.

 

I totally cheese a General last night, got him stuck on some stairs and he couldn't hit me, game is so hard sometimes I take my chances where I get em, turn the tables on the game, felt fair.

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Bit gutted last night. Got to the first general & died. Got back to him, landed the first deathblow then, while he was following me he fell off a cliff. Bit of an anticlimax, but there you go....

 

hit two sticking points

 

Spoiler

Ogre and spear Shinobi hunter 

Spoiler

Ogre feels like a classic Souls type boss & probable the more likely to go down first  

 

 

Both feel doable - just need to stick up on pellets. 

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15 minutes ago, Fallows said:

 

Start by clearing his cronies out and then reset the threat by running back to the steps. Reapproach through the bushes and wait for him to have his back turned before attempting a sneak attack deathblow to remove one of his symbols. That's half the fight sorted right there.

 

As for his two unblockables they're triggered based off of your range. Stand close and he'll sweep, stand afar and he'll thrust. Sticking with the thrust make sure you have Mikiro Counter unlocked and stand at range. Once the kanji appears spam B/Circle so that you counter it. Follow with two or three slashes before running the hell back out to medium range to repeat the counter. It takes around five counters for him to finally lose Posture, so be patient - it's working!

 

There's likely a way to counter his close range attack, but I didn't work that out in time.

 

No desire to get pedantic or anything but I'm getting confused. When you say spam B you are not countering per se you are sidestepping right? 

 

Also, can't you properly counter him with LB? With Mikiro Counter unlocked it should be the best option, in theory at least. Because in practice I have never been able to properly counter. :facepalm:

 

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18 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

No desire to get pedantic or anything but I'm getting confused. When you say spam B you are not countering per se you are sidestepping right? 

 

Also, can't you properly counter him with LB? With Mikiro Counter unlocked it should be the best option, in theory at least. Because in practice I have never been able to properly counter. :facepalm:

 

 

 

You press B to use Mikiri Counter. It's by far the easiest way to kill the thrusting spear enemies and is pretty generous in terms of timing.

 

In general, I reckon people should probably concentrate on unlocking the four main starting skills before delving too deeply into the rest of the skill trees. 

 

Hit the Lady B/Bull brick wall last night but neither felt impossible. Just bloody hard. More than anything I need to keep reminding myself that I don't always need to dodge or parry. I'm often trying to play it like Bloodborne. Simply blocking is a perfectly good way to deal with many attacks. So much muscle memory to unlearn.

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Unless things change further in, the structure of the game feels more like Dark Souls 2 than 1, one huge, sprawling corridor with some branching paths that eventually lead to dead ends. The areas themselves though are vastly more open than any Souls game which more than makes up for it. I'm a little disappointed though that the game closes off certain routes at points, forcing fast travel (I think). Once you move through the AO into AC proper, after

 

Spoiler

defeating BB, it shuts the AC gate, meaning you can't run from the DT starting area all the way into AC. Bit lame, but I guess it's a loading issue?

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48 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

No desire to get pedantic or anything but I'm getting confused. When you say spam B you are not countering per se you are sidestepping right? 

 

Assuming we're talking about the same spear bastard, I didn't even have that counter unlocked and did it quite easily just dodging round behind him - you can get in a good few blows while he's recovering from his thrust (ahem).

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4 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

I've died on the Ogre fifty times now. I keep trying to play it like Bloodborne and keep getting grabbed and twatted and drop kicked. 

Took me ages too. I stealth attacked him once, ran away and re-engaged stealth, then just really kept my distance not getting too greedy with hits after he'd done one of his attacks. He's susceptible to a certain kind of damage too which helps a little. I probably jumped more than dodged too, not the most elegant way to fight but it worked.

 

It is tough but it's the first time I really felt challenged and the need to sharpen up. 

 

Jeru the Damaja is a fantastic fight, and not very hard, just requires a bit of patience and planning.

 

I love this game.

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2 hours ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

No desire to get pedantic or anything but I'm getting confused. When you say spam B you are not countering per se you are sidestepping right? 

 

Also, can't you properly counter him with LB? With Mikiro Counter unlocked it should be the best option, in theory at least. Because in practice I have never been able to properly counter. :facepalm:

 

You don't need to spam it but if you're unsure of your timing it might help to quickly give it a couple of quick taps, it'll be obvious when you've done it right, then imediately counter with RB/L1.

 

Edit. RB/R1 :doh:

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