Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - From Software and Hidetaka Miyazaki's new game for PS4, XBone, PC

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Out on March 22. Samurai Dark Souls maybe? I am incautiously excited.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 20:34 (three years ago) link

Things to know:

- No PVP, no multiplayer
- YOU CAN PAUSE!!!!!!1!!!
- Activision is publishing but there's no monetization in the works
- Stab a giant rooster in the head

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 20:37 (three years ago) link

- Stab a giant rooster in the head


invited to an unexpected ninja presentation (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 20:39 (three years ago) link

preordered btw

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 20:43 (three years ago) link

That game looks ... awesome. And fast. And hard. Be great if that was the real music.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 23:03 (three years ago) link

does it have dynamic horse testicles

ciderpress, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 23:10 (three years ago) link

- YOU CAN PAUSE!!!!!!1!!!

Not only that, you can SWIM.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 23:18 (three years ago) link

Which boats well for aquatic duels in the next Soulslike game.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 23:19 (three years ago) link

boats = "bodes", but lol

I'm excited for this, despite the multiplayer having become my favorite part of From (or pretty much any) games.

Speaking of the music, I thought this was really cool:

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 23:21 (three years ago) link

i am okay and maybe even more than okay with this being single player only. i will miss the interactive qualities of messages and ghosts but i dunno how they would program combat with the water/grappling hook to not be buggy as fuck and HEY pausing!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 7 March 2019 02:36 (three years ago) link

apparently, no falling damage too!
I'm appreciative of the suggestion that there's an immense amount of nuance and difference from stage to stage; was a bit afeared it was all gonna be japanese villages. the verticality of it all looks superdope.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 7 March 2019 02:39 (three years ago) link

glad there's grains

ciderpress, Thursday, 7 March 2019 02:41 (three years ago) link

There's still fall damage iirc, it's just minimal

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 7 March 2019 04:05 (three years ago) link

These apparently there's the resurrection mechanic to instantly come back from a death, but it's balanced out by a GUILT mechanic where using it makes your npc buddies get sick (and probably die).

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 7 March 2019 17:09 (three years ago) link

lol i am into this though i will likely kill all my in game guys on my first run through
"Please for the love of god GIT GUD"

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 7 March 2019 20:02 (three years ago) link

so i am getting pretty excited about this now
this is inessential viewing but it has a great bit at the end that hit my sweet spot: "every game by from software arrives like a sort of birthday present just for you"

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 19 March 2019 18:20 (three years ago) link

Heh, that's pretty good. I am excited enough that when my partner said "I won't be home on Sunday, I have an all day continuing education seminar", um, I wasn't exactly dismayed.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 March 2019 18:29 (three years ago) link

having seen more footage now this looks very much not like dark souls other than being difficult. it's a stealth action game

ciderpress, Tuesday, 19 March 2019 19:18 (three years ago) link

Seems like a riff on Souls concepts, playing against things they've done before? Like getting rid of the stamina bar but adding the 'posture' mechanic that forces you to parry.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 March 2019 20:18 (three years ago) link

most reviews seem to think this is significantly harder than dark souls

ciderpress, Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:59 (three years ago) link

my copy is waiting for me at home

i am psyched

i'm w/ tato, super hot AND weird!! (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 March 2019 16:02 (three years ago) link

mine is en route; I'm busy all weekend but will need to do some late night exploration. super psyched, may need to cancel some plans tbh!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 21 March 2019 16:41 (three years ago) link

the whole "Spider Souls" vibe i'm getting has me confounded and crazy curious

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 21 March 2019 16:43 (three years ago) link

Psyched for the difficulty curve and to be bad at a new game.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 21 March 2019 18:47 (three years ago) link

this seems v promising after the first hour of play - feels good to be blowing the dust off my parrying muscle memory

i'm w/ tato, super hot AND weird!! (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 21 March 2019 22:45 (three years ago) link

where's my game mr azmazong mang

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:09 (three years ago) link

not cool amazon, get it fuckin sorted

i'm w/ tato, super hot AND weird!! (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:26 (three years ago) link

I got the digital this time (mostly so I never have to take the DS3 disc out, lol), all downloaded and ready to go. My terrible internet appreciates the relatively small file size.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:29 (three years ago) link

sorted! Loading! Won't be able to play until late night but making sure it's installed and updated so i can actually have a go at it.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:53 (three years ago) link

i suppose a 2.5 gig patch day of release is sort of standard these days? this is why nintendo makes money you guys: plug and play.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:54 (three years ago) link

a lot of Nintendo games have patches now though it's mostly to add dlc or improve performance and not to fix game breaking bugs

ciderpress, Friday, 22 March 2019 19:00 (three years ago) link

I picked myself up off the ground and rushed at him. He began an onslaught of attacks and, after six hours of learning his style and developing the muscle memory, I just started parrying on instinct. Each one of his swings and each arrow he fired was met with a perfectly timed raise of my sword. Every unblockable attack he lunged at me with was sidestepped or hopped immaculately. I watched as his Posture deplete, edging closer to the breaking point, and at the same time I could feel my breathing become more rapid, my thumbs beginning to tremble. I wore him down and delivered a Deathblow, backed away, and did it all over again, and a third time. In that final moment when I pierced through him with my katana, I was completely overcome with emotion. After six gruelling hours of failure, the winning battle lasted just six minutes. I'm not too proud to admit that I cried, and I'd do it all over again.

I will never play this game lol

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 22 March 2019 23:26 (three years ago) link

It's not a deathblow if you have to do it three times imo

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 22 March 2019 23:33 (three years ago) link


i'm w/ tato, super hot AND weird!! (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 23 March 2019 00:18 (three years ago) link

on a scale of 0 - 450, how important is parrying in this game?

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Saturday, 23 March 2019 01:12 (three years ago) link


ciderpress, Saturday, 23 March 2019 01:14 (three years ago) link

Only had time to go through the tutorial section, but it feels good so far! I like the new parry (deflect) mechanic. Died once.

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:57 (three years ago) link

first mini boss killed me 25 times then suddenly i figured it out and slaughtered him w/out even needing a flask/gourd. resigned myself to an unstoppable dragonrot epidemic

adam, Saturday, 23 March 2019 13:47 (three years ago) link

That guy took me awhile too. Seems like you need to be very aggressive and stay close, but also learn their attacks. I also realized that you can interrupt his special attacks, but I'm sure that's not true of all bosses.

Now I'm sword-fishing for carp.

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 23 March 2019 14:42 (three years ago) link

yeah kiting him did and trying to chip away with shurikens did me no good.

also if you throw a fistful of ash in his face you can get a few hits in, enough to trigger his posture-healing routine (which can be interrupted and punished).

tenchu vibes are strong here with the rooftops and the grappling hook and raining death upon unsuspecting mooks.

adam, Saturday, 23 March 2019 15:50 (three years ago) link

Got through a lot of mini-bosses (bosses?) yesteday! I feel like I'm juuust starting to get the hang of the combat. Although, most of the bosses that seem impossible at first are much easier with the right prosthetic/skill/upgrade/stealth approach. There's probably a 'hardcore' way to do them with straight up combat. Two little things that I didn't realize until a friend told me:

1) You can do a charged thrust attack by holding down R1 (I had no idea)

2) For the secret doors in this game, you have to hug the wall

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 25 March 2019 14:34 (three years ago) link

This is a pretty good characterization of the combat system (shows a couple mini-bosses from later on) -

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 25 March 2019 14:35 (three years ago) link

So, did you all give up, or

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:09 (three years ago) link

lol, i got nailed with work and haven't touched this beyond the introduction of the grappling hook! Likely gonna need to wait until mid-summer before i can dig in.
whats the general takeaway from y'all who are playing?

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:12 (three years ago) link

Everyone took the game back to the shop because they can't beat the Chained Ogre and consider his grab attacks to be "bullshit". Lots of soul-searching going on about how we raised such a disappointing generation of people

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:38 (three years ago) link

Ha. That's probably the easiest, most Souls-friendly miniboss so far!

Honestly I'm loving this game. It's been relatively linear so far but seems to be just starting to open up.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:55 (three years ago) link

not had as much time to play this as i’d hoped but it’s an intriguing new twist on soulsborne so far - finding it a bit of a challenge to get a handle on but it’s a rewarding one

recreational colonoscopies 4 u (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 18:05 (three years ago) link

honestly tempted to either say fuck it to everything else in my life and disappear down a GIT GUD rabbithole or else just watch minimized youtube/twitch of playthroughs
being a grown up is not cool

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 18:47 (three years ago) link

I feel you, I've really only been playing on the weekends when my partner is working. A friend of mine, who is a professor and "on spring break", has been texting my constantly about playing it. We are very mature adults.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 19:34 (three years ago) link

OK the boss fight at the top of the castle is fucking amazing

Like if Ornstein and Smough were fun

"mid-air lightning parry" is a bit of a fkn heavy duty mechanic to introduce during the third stage of a gruelling boss fight though

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Monday, 1 April 2019 23:11 (three years ago) link

thing is, XP are secondary to Prayer Beads, you don't really need many of the skills unlocked by gaining XP to get far in the game, whereas Prayer Beads are pretty essential

Neil S, Friday, 1 October 2021 12:38 (one year ago) link

Well, you really never *need* anything, as a hundred youtubers have demonstrated with these games. Prayer Beads you do need to get stronger, gourds you need to get more estus, but XP you definitely need for skills to make things a little easier in some circumstances. Case in point: were it not for ichimonji I would have gotten even more bored fighting Genericho over and over again and possibly set the game aside a while. Though, fair enough, I can see not needing to go past a certain point in skills.

Regarding prayer beads, weird, then, that for being essential the prayer beads are generally gleaned by fighting often *optional* mini-bosses. Just another aspect of From perversity. (One of my favorite From FU moves is making you face singular tough enemies early game, then throwing in situations with several of them later. I'm at the gun fort part now.)

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 October 2021 13:35 (one year ago) link

Pretty standard in these games to be rewarded for exploration/playing more of the game, but hardcore speedrunners (or just people who have played the game before) don't necessarily need the extra stats/gear

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 1 October 2021 14:49 (one year ago) link

For sure. Though it's tricky with these games, because you don't *need* to do anything ... if you don't ever die. But if you do die, a lot, then you need to level up if you want to have a fighting chance. In the case of this game specifically, the fastest way to level up, or at least gain some advantage, is not to die, because dying halves your XP and money. But of course if you're not dying all the time then you don't really need the advantages. On the other hand, the more you play the better you get, dying or not, which in turn once again negates the need for stat advantages, because you have gotten gud. It's kind of a vicious cycle of contradictions, with the emphasis on vicious.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 October 2021 15:13 (one year ago) link

I do appreciate how this is in essence a Souls game, but one that changes things up in subtle and not so subtle ways, with new mechanics, old tricks, new tricks, old mechanics, and so on. There's a lot more platforming, there's more (overt) strategy, there seems to be even more risk/reward management. Tons of idols, tons of reasons to have more idols. It kind of makes me even more curious about Elden Ring, since on one hand it seems like a return to a fantasy world, but on the other it comes after this and Bloodborne. And, of course, because it's Miyazaki, who clearly has his go-tos. "In a dark world blighted with decay and cloaked in mystery, an undying hero must battle his way through legions of enemies whose diseased blood has infected the realm and sent its residents into a cursed frenzy." Etc.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 October 2021 17:47 (one year ago) link

Poking right along here. I'm in the spooky PIA Village straddling two bosses, Orin of the Will O'Wisps (or whatever) and ... Corrupted Monk? Still discovering all sorts of kind of random choices made by the designers, akin to the prosthetic that pierces armor but not the armor you think it's introduced to pierce. For example, the first snake eyes can be poisoned with the sabimaru, but the second snake eyes didn't seem as (or at all?) affected. And yet, the second one was the first boss I've managed to actually cheese (thank goodness) in this game, since it turns out she *is* susceptible to poison ... when she's standing in a big pool of it, like a moron. Then there's the mist monster boss in the house that you need to kill to get rid of the fog, which has two red dots but is a cakewalk, but corrupted monk has just one red dot and is a huge pain. And some other bosses so far have two red dots but come back for a third round, anyway. I know the enigmatic mythology is a big part of the appeal of Souls games, but at a certain point these games are just fucking with you.

Like, did Miyazaki sit down one day and say, you know, I'm actually going to make poison build up slower and less lethal than players are used to. But terror! That shit is going to build up fast and kill you almost instantly, like curse did. It's shit like that that doesn't make me feel bad for trying to find alternative routes and fighting methods. I'm happy to try and cheese an enemy when the "right" way is to slash them once, run away, wait, run in, slash twice, run away, etc., for a few concentration-filled minutes, all while avoiding various unblockable attacks, their ability to turn ethereal, needing to use up limited resources like divine confetti or snap seeds, and so on. Even the cheesing, sometimes I wonder if *that* is supposed to be the right way.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 4 October 2021 12:34 (one year ago) link

OK, well timed case in point. I first stumbled on Orin of the Water completely by accident. I had made it through the particularly manic Mibu Village to another idol, rested up, and figured, well, I have a couple of minutes, let's see what's around the corner. Oh, it's the NPC I didn't send to be experimented on! (Miyazaki has a thing for tricking players into sending NPCs to their doom.) He still hears the music, only this time, so do I. I go a little further and see what appears to be a lady playing music, with an interaction button by her. It looks like an arena space, but she seems chill, so I interact. And she freaks the fuck out and attacks me! I panic and race around, then realize I can get back to the idol, which means she's an optional double red dot enemy boss. I look her up, learn her name, and learn she's one of the harder optional bosses, at least at this stage of the game (and aside from the headless enemies). I really want another prayer bead, though, so I keep googling for strategies and ... yeah, she seems tough.

However! Some folks note a few potential cheese strategies, so planning for the worst, I looked into them. One involved sneaking in a backstab after sort of prematurely getting her to aggro, for 50% off her health. Another involved getting her stuck behind some rocks en route back to the idol, another involved luring her across the bridge coming up and fighting her over there. Now, I knew about the bridge, because once I learned she was optional I zipped past her, fought some other enemies and explored a bit more, but also learned there is *another* boss, this one not-optional, coming right up, and figured I might as well give her a shot before dying to the next dude a lot. I had fifteen minutes this morning so figured I would at least see if any of those tricks worked. I sneak up behind her to try the 50% off trick, and no dice. She's onto me, and I run back to the idol. Googling, I learned this cheese was apparently patched. Next I run past her across the bridge, turn around, and see her slowly making her way to me. I figure why not, keep luring her across the bridge (which takes no time, thanks to her teleporting attack)... and more or less kick her butt, a total cheese. I guess the AI doesn't quite know what to do in the tighter confines across the bridge?

Actually, it took me three times to kill her, because the first time I accidentally aggroed another nearby enemy I forgot to dispatch, and the second time I think she fell into the water (?) and vanished, to respawn again after I rested. But the third time the bait-and-kill strategy worked like a charm. Now, why would From fix the first cheese (taking off a dot of her health) but *not* this one? Why would they keep her AI designed to slowly follow me well outside of the arena to a place where I have the advantage? And then there's the matter of the sabibaru. I saw somewhere that while she was hard to damage she could be worn down a little by an initial sabibaru attack, so I tried that. And it *worked*. The poison took off some of her health, but more importantly the sabibaru took out *a lot* of her poise, which similarly means that From designed it to do that, too, just like letting her wander across the bridge. These were no oversights, they must have been left in as sort of back-door strategies for those having trouble.

Which I assume I will have with Corrupted Monk, which seems like another war of attrition type fight. Stab, run away, wait, repeat. They give you a divine confetti right before the fight so I assume I'm supposed to use that, but I'm wary, since they don't really show up that often in the game so far, and I have a hunch it will take me more attempts than I have divine confetti.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 4 October 2021 20:27 (one year ago) link

O'Rin was fun, I don't remember her being too hard to fight straight up.

I don't think I did all the Headless fights though. Or maybe I did later, using the prosthetic that protects against terror. Seems like a pretty classic From thing, optional bosses that are accessible early on to strike fear into your heart, but you're not really supposed to tackle them until late game.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 4 October 2021 21:15 (one year ago) link

I knew better than to skip the giant monkey for now, even though I know it's possible.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 4 October 2021 21:24 (one year ago) link

Hmm, I guess Corrupted Monk wasn't quite as bad as I expected. Don't get me wrong, everyone had dragonrot now, again, but still, for a big spooky ghost samurai it's relatively slow and easy to parry/avoid. Plus, while I tried a few times with snap seeds, which are effective, those things are so hard to come by I decided on a different approach and followed a suggestion to throw ash at it, and that worked like a charm to disrupt its attacks.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 5 October 2021 03:13 (one year ago) link

Tried the ape once or twice, looks like another one that reward patience. And keeping your distance.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 5 October 2021 21:19 (one year ago) link

Famous last words and all that, but I think this might be my favorite fight so far. A grotesque monster monkey that farts and flings its poop? More of that. I managed to beat its first phase, and got about halfway through the second, even crazier phase. Shouldn't be too bad, though, because at least it's kind of fun and definitely ott in the best way.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 5 October 2021 21:57 (one year ago) link

Wait until you meet his monkey life partner

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 5 October 2021 22:00 (one year ago) link

Holy shit, I used up all my spirit emblems!

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 October 2021 02:55 (one year ago) link

Ha, I just noticed you can buy them at the idols. Funny one, From. I assume I'm 2/3rds or so through this game and I stand by my assessment that it my least favorite of the Froms I've played so far. Just so much bullshit for the sake of bullshit. In Dark Souls you can reclaim your souls after dying. In Bloodborne you can seek out the blue eyed baddie to retrieve all (some?) of your souls. But in this annoying game losing half your souls *and* money when you die just makes busy work, which is super annoying, since the game is essentially designed to *be* busywork already. That is, trial and error is once again the name of the game. Which combat art? Which items? Which prosthetic? But then dying over and over while you trial and error just sets your upgrade progress back further and further, more or less forcing you to farm, not for any real advantage, but just to at least get back to where you *were*, which is stupid. The only way around that is to not die, but not only does it take all that trial and error to learn how to not die, dying is the *whole point* of these games.

I feel like this game really overdoes the grabbing bosses trick, too, though I concede it's funny to watch the giant monkey throw me across the arena.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 October 2021 15:41 (one year ago) link

You know what? I take it back, fuck this giant monkey. I do OK with the first phase, but the second phase, especially the all but insta-kill terror attack, is just tedious bullshit. I read something about using the spear to pull out the centipede (?) in the second phase, but in the opportunities I've had to use it it hasn't retracted shit from the monkey (which is ironic, given this particular fight). And of course you only have a couple of shots to use it, anyway, because you run out of spirit emblems you can use. Anyway, I can totally see the monkey as a wall I don't feel like making it past. I've liked the From games so far, but maybe it's because I just played the gentle by comparison Red Dead 2 or maybe it's just the stress of it, but I'm finding this kind of boring.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 October 2021 19:37 (one year ago) link

Noooo, the monkey's not that bad. You just need to be super cautious about that scream. I remember mostly attacking him when he does that body dive that puts him past you. You can parry the sword too iirc.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 October 2021 20:16 (one year ago) link

We'll see. I can make it past the first stage pretty easily (Night Jar seems to help a lot), using maybe just one or two gourds if I'm being sloppy. But the second phase my impatience is an even bigger obstacle. I've already spent several tedious minutes running around the arena, dodging poop and whittling away at the monkey. Now I have to do it again? Only this time I can't stun it or get in as many hits? And even if I could the terror attack more or less limits you to one or two hits before you have to take cover? That's even more tedious. I've blocked or parried many of the attacks, but I'm not sure to what end.

It's such a weird boss to throw at you. After the game has trained you to be aggressive and get in their face, bam, here's comes a hyper aggressive enemy that you're meant to stay away from and get shots when you can.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 October 2021 21:05 (one year ago) link

Ooh, apparently the scream can be blocked with any umbrella prosthetic? Didn't know that.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 October 2021 21:16 (one year ago) link

Takes more spirit emblems! I use firecrackers the first round to speed things up, which leaves me with maybe ... 8 left over?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 October 2021 21:57 (one year ago) link

lol I think I finally figured it out. Don't fret about the first half of the fight, because I have that one down. But for the second one just play it like a dum-dum. Keep my far distance, slash once or twice when able. It takes a while but should be doable. in fact I almost did it a little bit ago but I had to take my daughter somewhere. lesson learned, when the enemy has an attack that can kill you instantly, better to just stay as far away from that attack as possible.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 October 2021 23:30 (one year ago) link

Well, this monkey's finally gone to heaven. In the end the way it played out (or at least the way I played it) was like an old school Nintendo game. Race around the arena evading or avoiding attacks, then when the opportunity arrises bounce on his head two times and run away. It took forever, but I guess it worked. I did not grab the white flower yet, though, because as I understand it once you do that then everything changes. Kind of like the blood moon (or whatever) in Bloodborne.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 October 2021 03:09 (one year ago) link

well done! I've started playing this through again, it takes a while to get back into the swing of parrying, but when it goes well it is so satisfying, this game has THE best combat

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Thursday, 7 October 2021 08:06 (one year ago) link

I guess? I'm getting pretty tired of clashing swords, which is a bummer, since at some point I wanted to dive into my copy of Ghosts of Tsushima, but thanks to this one (whether or not I totally finish it) it may be a bit. I might have to let the pendulum swim back to something less stressful and violent first, like Last of Us 2.

That was a joke.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 October 2021 12:32 (one year ago) link

It's been a while, but at least as I remember it I think I really prefer the risk/reward system of Bloodborne a lot more. There's no shield, but you're still trained from the start to be aggressive. You have lots of weapons to choose from, and they all have pros and cons, but nowhere near the number or options of Dark Souls. You can retrieve your echoes by racing in and killing the glowing baddie. Similarly, you can reclaim some health by quickly getting back at the baddie that got you. You don't have to parry (riposte/shoot) all the time if you don't want to, but it can help if you're good at it.

This one I think there are many more annoyances, and even a few missed opportunities, like the grappling hook, which where I am so far is more or less just another hoop to jump through, with the exception (so far) of one boss fight. Compared to how integral the similar mechanic is in Spider-man (for obvious reasons).

I do wonder, though, when they're developing these things, how they choose just what works where, and when. Like, they have a hundred different enemies. Do they just spin a wheel and say "this one is vulnerable to poison," or "this one doesn't like fire" or "this one you can take down with this particular combat skill or prosthetic?" Sometimes seems kind of arbitrary, especially compared to certain enemies that require a certain item or specific weapon. Like, headless you *need* divine confetti; otherwise there's really no reason for it to exist. Others can be hurt by snap seeds, but so far snap seeds are even harder to come by than divine confetti. Or the guys with shields, you *need* to use the prosthetic ax, but it's not hard to use, just an extra step.

Interesting to me that this one is the first of these games to more or less abandon the RPG elements (at least some of them), and also to skip both DLC and PVP. It's a lot shorter, too, isn't it? And feels really boss-heavy.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:04 (one year ago) link

I think there are usually *lore reasons* for enemy placement and weaknesses, but it can arbitrary if you don't pay attention to that, which I often don't. And obscure mechanics are hallmark of these games obv.

It makes sense that losing the pvp is what let them commit to this combat system, it's hard to imagine no endurance + all the deflect/posture stuff working for online pvp (plus the non-customizable character, it just wouldn't make sense). But it's going to be real interesting to see what Elden Ring does as far as taking parts of all the games (like it sounds like the jumping to avoid attacks, some of the weapon blocking, etc are going to make it in along with all the traditional Souls stuff).

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 7 October 2021 17:31 (one year ago) link

I mean, if you aren't feeling it by now it just may not be your game. I doubt the last parts of the game will suddenly change your mind. Ghosts might be more up your alley.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:32 (one year ago) link

tbf, it's basically 75% like the other games, so there's a lot to like. It's just that the 25% that's different I don't think makes things better, especially after Bloodborne.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:35 (one year ago) link

I does seem like a bad game to put away and come back to later.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:38 (one year ago) link


reggae mike love (polyphonic), Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:38 (one year ago) link

Yeah, muscle memory and momentum seem key. I don't hate it, I just don't like all of it, and a lot of the stuff I like the least seems least essential to the game. I could be wrong, but I don't encounter a lot of online clamoring for another Sekiro.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:49 (one year ago) link

It's definitely more of a niche fandom but I see some people say it's their favorite. It's my favorite to watch for sure.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:58 (one year ago) link

it's not their best but its biggest weakness is probably the way it reuses a lot of content more than anything else, a lot of minibosses you fight again & again, some areas get reused a few times etc. the core combat is as great as always with their games, even if it's faster-paced here and probably the most difficult it's ever been, i'd be very excited for a sequel. my only complaint with the core systems is spirit emblems should just be always re-stocked upon death instead of you having a finite stash that you can run out of and have to grind for - bloodborne's blood vials are similarly frustrating.

with the ape i find it's definitely worth saving spirit emblems to use the umbrella just for the scream, it's the most dangerous attack without it by far, & not having to worry about it lets you play more aggressively. there are some bosses where you do really have to play very cautiously in a more dark souls-esque manner, but with the ape you can actually just deflect a lot of stuff. there's a lot of pattern recognition as always & i think the increased difficulty in sekiro comes from there being a lot more options in-the-moment in combat than in dark souls.

ufo, Friday, 8 October 2021 02:19 (one year ago) link

Case in point re: (imo) needless bullshit. Beating the Guardian Ape took me many, many tries. I know I am not unique here, and that doesn't even include the poor fools that attempted it earlier in the game, let alone wherever/whenever I am in the game. Losing a million times to the monkey means 1) burning through my spirit emblems 2) giving everyone dragonrot 3) emerging out the other side with no XP and no gold. First, re: the gold, spirit emblems are not so easily farmed that banking them that way is better than just buying them, so if you want to restock you have to shell out gold (at an apparently inflating rate), which means farming for money (since they apparently limit the number of money bags you can buy, for some dumb reason). But second, the ape gave me 4000 or so XP, which sounds like a lot but really isn't, as the next big skill point costs some 9000 or so XP. And yet, because I expect to die many more times, so as not to waste all that effort on the ape the game more or less forced me to farm for XP, too, to bank my next skill point before losing half on the next death. Even then, there seems to be soooooooo many skill points/trees I'll be unable to unlock short of never dying, since it takes so long to save up thousands of them, let alone doing so with no setbacks. That just adds an air of unnecessary tedium, assuming I'm even able to unlock then at all before the end of the game. And if the point is to unlock them before playing the game *again*, no thanks.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 8 October 2021 17:05 (one year ago) link

It's weird, I don't remember worrying about XP or emblems this game, but maybe I just forgot.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 8 October 2021 18:15 (one year ago) link

And I never had a problem with the equivalent in Dark Souls or Bloodborne. I think it's the whole "lose half your shit" system that makes it such a strain here. Also, most enemies don't really give that much XP, so it's hard (for me) to save up.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 8 October 2021 18:31 (one year ago) link

My brain is so warped from watching speedruns like that one. Dude takes the ape down in like no time.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 8 October 2021 19:02 (one year ago) link

But how many hours did he play to get to that skill level? A billion?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 8 October 2021 19:10 (one year ago) link

assuming I'm even able to unlock then at all before the end of the game

you are not expected to complete the skill tree before the end of the game & a lot of the skills don't particularly matter at all. they're far less important than just levelling up from previous games. my recommendation is don't force yourself to grind out of some fear of losing out on the skill points, you're just making everything more unpleasant for yourself. unlike in previous games where levelling up can significantly make a difference, most of the skills just offer playstyle variations or some marginal benefits.

It's weird, I don't remember worrying about XP or emblems this game, but maybe I just forgot.

i don't think the XP change is a real issue at all - unlike in souls/bb you keep a skill point after death if you gain it, so it's not a total loss. however if you die a lot on a boss that you're heavily using the prosthetic against then you can completely run out of emblems, which is frustrating, but this is just a minor frustration in the same way as blood vials in bloodborne being finite was.

ufo, Saturday, 9 October 2021 12:50 (one year ago) link

Oh yeah, definitely don't try to unlock the entire skill tree! That would be like trying to build a level 800 character that can use every weapon and spell in a Souls play through.

The blood vials thing is what always stops me from replaying BB tbh. It's fine the first time, when you're exploring and killing every enemy. But if you're trying to cruise through and get stuck on a boss, it's annoying to have to stop and grind. But emblems aren't as essential as vials, generally.

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 9 October 2021 13:19 (one year ago) link

unlike in souls/bb you keep a skill point after death if you gain it, so it's not a total loss.

You don't lose the actual point, but if you are, say, 4500 points toward the next skill point at 10000, and you die, then suddenly you are only 2250 points toward your next skill point. And then if you die again you're down to 1100 or whatever. And so on. But if getting skill points is indeed not that important, then I guess yeah, it doesn't matter.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 October 2021 15:37 (one year ago) link

Anyway, I just beat the double apes, which thankfully were not as hard as the single ape. It helped that I learned/realized too late that I can drink from my purple gourd *before* he uses his terror, not as a heal but as inoculation! So as he roars I just swing away. And to that end, I also learned that the headless ape is weak to divine confetti, for whatever reason, so that made it that much easier. The other brown monkey, fwiw, thankfully does not grab, does not fart and does not throw poo, among other downgrades, and it doesn't have too much health, either. So all it took was some firecrackers and quick ass kicking to get it out of the way. One thing that happened that surprised me, though, was that after I killed the headless ape (for, what, the fourth time?) the red deathblow icon flashed *again*, so I instinctively hit R1, just in case I hadn't closed the deal. (Which has happened before, I panic in shock that I've finally "killed" it and actually miss my cue and basically have to hit it again to get the deathblow cue back.) Only this time when I hit R1 I somehow used my mortal blade, which I literally forgot I had (even though it has been on my back for most of the game), killing the ape/centipede/whatever for the fifth or sixth time and getting me another ninja skill! That was pretty cool.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 9 October 2021 17:01 (one year ago) link

OK, I can tell these last few bits are going to be a pain, but I do appreciate this game's endgame. Ghost enemies have started to appear here and there, I think it's getting darker outside (?) and now I suppose I need to fight my way through the castle again, with new, tougher enemies? I guess I don't mind, it's kind of like having a DLC built in. It's also kind of a relief to realize that skill points are not that important, and certainly not as important as prosthetics can be. It would have been really frustrating to get this game a couple of years ago and dive in blind thinking it was even possible, or at least practical, to get all those skill points and combat arts. I suppose only letting you use one combat art at a time is a hint they're not really necessary, even if the ability to pause for once does let you switch things around on the fly, however awkwardly.

Something else novel (for From) about these games is whereas past games of its ilk encouraged you to separate and fight groups of enemies, or gives you the option to run past them, here there are a few choke points of ninja gank squads that all but indicate you're supposed to outright skip them if you can/want, like the super aggro nu rooftop ninjas or those annoyingly agile little toadstool guys. They're just not worth the effort, really, especially in groups.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 10 October 2021 13:40 (one year ago) link

It's happened a couple of times now, but I love it when the NPCs fight. And as cheap as it was, needing to fight another ninja mini boss again ... with a second ninja hiding in the corner, was worth it for me to (after dying a bunch to both of them) learn I needed to puppet the second one and let it take out a hunk of health from the main one before I stood a fighting chance.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 October 2021 19:00 (one year ago) link

Oh, so now I have to fight two more bosses, one after the other, to get the first "bad" ending? Or I have choose a different ending and fight different bosses? And then there are two more potential endings? Yeah, I think I may just call it a day on this game. I really couldn't care less about the "plot," as such, and generally I haven't really been enjoying the boss fights that much, which have been almost exclusively aggro sword fights. This game is fine but I just didn't get much out of it. All the upgrading, the prayer beads, the combat arts, the prosthetic, they never really felt like they gave me much more power or advantage, it was all pretty imperceptible, since so much of the game is built around deflecting/parrying/posture. Which, if that's your thing, I can totally see someone really digging this. But from my perspective - and who knows, coming right after RDR2 might have been the problem - this feels both more difficult and more rote than that Soulsborne games, which makes it less ... fun. All work and no play, etc. It had its moments, though, and I'm glad I made it through as much as I did.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 October 2021 19:33 (one year ago) link

Oh shit, it looks like there is a *ton* more!? Yeah, nah. I can't do it, don't want to do it.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 October 2021 20:19 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

well done! I've started playing this through again, it takes a while to get back into the swing of parrying, but when it goes well it is so satisfying, this game has THE best combat

― Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Thursday, 7 October 2021 08:06 bookmarkflaglink


Fizzles, Sunday, 7 November 2021 17:59 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 18 January 2022 20:26 (ten months ago) link

What a show off. At least, I assume they're showing off. I watched it blindfolded.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 19 January 2022 14:44 (ten months ago) link

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