Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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Stanshall
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Stanshall » April 12th, 2019, 5:28 pm

I saw that! He's gone beast mode.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Nupraptor » April 20th, 2019, 5:53 am

Finished. After struggling with the early game, I got into the groove and made it through the rest of the game without major trouble. It's tough but fair.
That final boss though.....It must have taken me about 6 hours and I was getting blisters by the end of it. It's such a long fight, there are so few openings to attack and any time you make the slightest mistake, you risk having to start over.
That was just masochism for me by the end. Never again!

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 20th, 2019, 2:48 pm

I think this game is suffering from a severe identity crisis at its very core. It wants to be a proper action game, but the basic structure of a Souls-like is preventing it from achieving its full potential, especially in terms of the controls.

There are solid reasons why so many old-school action games have a fixed or partially fixed camera system, and it's not just to disorientate the player for shits and giggles. It's so that the game can easily differentiate between on-screen and off-screen attacks, to allow uninterrupted use of the more responsive face buttons, and to minimize the need for constant micro-managing of the camera mid-combat. Most modern dual-analogue games don't seem to understand that and Sekiro runs into this problem headfirst, same as the GoW reboot.

Most of the complaints I've heard were related to the bosses, but honestly, 1-on-1 encounters in open spaces have been the most enjoyable parts of the experience for me. Less enjoyable however are the half-baked stealth elements, performance issues and poorly conceptualized mechanics. I was recently able to revisit the game's very first starting position, and the encounter that took place there was just an exercise in frustration between the camera that wasn't able to deal with the enclosed space, the Mikiri counter that only works half the time and the moody framerate messing up my inputs.

Either make an action game with solid 60fps and sensible controls and mechanics, or make a slow-paced action RPG with deliberate animations for both protagonist and enemies. I'm fine with either of those. Pick one.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 30th, 2019, 7:59 am

...This thread dead already? I suppose everybody else has either beaten the game or given up on it by now. :P

Quick progression update: I beat GSO last night after what felt like an eternity's worth of retries. I don't know what it is about that boss, but he got in my head like none of the others. My patience was running on fumes and I was making stupid mistake after stupid mistake. I think the fight also exposes some of the issues with the combat system like the Posture damage taken even on successful parries that can lead to an inopportune Guard Break. Frame rate is also not nearly stable enough for my liking. A game that relies so heavily on precise animation timing should run at a perfectly smooth 60fps. DMC5 is arguably even more graphically impressive and I didn't notice a single dip over the course of my multiple playthroughs. FROM, please.

Went back to Hirata for the extra content afterwards and I fully expect to repeatedly bang my head against O(F) tonight. I'm only moderately ashamed to admit that I used a guide for the exact ending requirements. They are obtuse as usual and I doubt me empty brain would have figured all this out by itself. I think I'll go for the... rice one, though.

I've heard people saying the game was dipping in quality in the second half, but I don't think I agree with that. If anything, a lot of the late game areas are very beautiful and a welcome change of pace from the interminable rooftops in the first half. The FSM boss might very well be my favorite in the entire game and the technique unlocked after finishing Mibu Village is a very nice touch.

It's a good game, I think. Certainly an interesting one.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Michiel K » April 30th, 2019, 10:35 am

KSubzero1000 wrote:
April 20th, 2019, 2:48 pm
Either make an action game with solid 60fps and sensible controls and mechanics, or make a slow-paced action RPG with deliberate animations for both protagonist and enemies. I'm fine with either of those. Pick one.
I can get with this opinion, even though I'd personally hesitate to give a development such strict parameters.

Like yoiu more or less say, you can't escape the sense that FromSoft are kind of married to a template now. A more Otogi-like pace and control scheme might have benefitted Sekiro.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 2nd, 2019, 9:51 pm

DoH is down. Aaalmost there.
Stanshall wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 1:40 pm
Yes, this particular boss feels like the very worst of DS2 and the Chalice Dungeons. In terms of bullshit, think somewhere in the region of Blue Smelter Demon crossed with Defiled Watchdog crossed with Fume Knight, but as dreamed up by a total bastard.
Interesting comparisons. He reminds me a lot of Laurence, the First Vicar. Both in terms of his general appearance as well as body language and fire-based attacks. I have to say, though: I found DoH a lot fairer than those you've mentioned, all things considered. He's definitely tough, but there is only one of his phase 3 attacks that I would consider outright cheap.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 3rd, 2019, 10:28 pm

Credits! I actually really like the final boss fight. Based on some of the reports I had heard, I was expecting a grueling 20fps endurance test with hardly any healing opportunities. But I think it actually plays to the game's strengths and is fairly enjoyable. Certainly less of a soul-crushing hurdle than either O(F) or DoH. Lightning Reversal = win button.

I stand by my earlier statement about the game's identity crisis, although some of my negativity was due to a particularly frustrating encounter in the early-game. Whereas something like DMC is made to encourage creativity, Sekiro is all about cold-blooded discipline and therefore even more punishing than its predecessors. It's an acquired taste, for sure. But a very flavourful one once you get in the zone. Character and environmental design is excellent, but the various bosses are definitely the highlight of the overall experience. I do bemoan the restrained soundtrack, monotonous item pool (how many candies and balloons does one need?) and lack of environmental storytelling in comparison to Souls, however.

I like Sekiro a lot. But its Souls-esque design elements are preventing it from becoming the character action classic it tries to be at times and its streamlined nature is preventing it from challenging Bloodborne as the crown jewel of FROM's modern library. It does have a very interesting and cathartic (although rather one-note) combat system filled with neat mechanics and I look forward to revisiting it at some point in the future. Definitely worth playing and persevering past its front-loaded difficulty curve.


PS: Japanese dub > the cockney geezers I'm forced to listen to in Vaati's footage.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » June 22nd, 2019, 8:23 am

Thanks to an incredibly generous forum user, I got to start this game last night.

Good lord its tough.

I've completed every Dark Souls game, Bloodborne and Demons Souls, and I'm confident in saying this is From's most challenging yet. I'm literally only an hour or so in, I'm getting my ass kicked by not even a mini boss, just a guy who needs two death blows to finish. It's really in the first area after the prologue after there are three dogs to kill, go through a gate then face this guy one on one. Died about five times before calling it a night.

I've definitely not got my head around any of the systems like regenning, and upgrading and stuff yet. I've found one upgrade for my arm but that's all so far. Seems great though, very atmospheric and looks pretty even on base PS4.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by James » June 22nd, 2019, 1:55 pm

Fear not, Alex79uk, the enemies which need multiple deathblows are definitely mini-bosses. The distinction is similar to Souls games in that he won't respawn once you beat him. That particular fight is testing your ability to deal with Perilous Attacks (symbolised by the red kanji alert).

This was certainly the toughest of From's Souls-era games that I've played. It requires the player to adopt a specific playstyle and requires both aggression and precision in a way that its forebears didn't.

Do stick with it though! It's not an easy journey, but (if you're anything like me) you will slowly, but surely learn the systems and timings. Those moments where you've learned a boss and can hand them their backside are quite something.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » June 23rd, 2019, 8:07 am

Thanks - finally managed to get him after about ten attempts! I made a little progress, but then was given a bell by a lady which upon offering to the buddah has whisked me off somewhere else! Not sure whether I'm meant to do that area now or carry on the path I was travelling, but I'm going down the bell route at the moment. So you can swim in a Fromsoft game, that's new! My only gripe so far is having to hold a button to collect the loot from dead bodies, seems odd. Why wouldn't you want it, just make it come over automatically like all their other games! Very much enjoying it so far though, maybe 2.5 hours in.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Stanshall » June 23rd, 2019, 8:36 am

Very quick one but you can later get an item which boosts your pick-up rate so you may want to leave a load of bodies and their goodies, pop the item and then run round getting the bonus totals. It makes little odds, though, and I'm with you. Weird mechanic.

The game does a pretty good job at letting you know if you're in the right area to make progress or not but you can pretty much attempt any path which opens and enjoy some success. The only thing is that there are several brick walls which might make you think the game is advising you to come back later when you're stronger, but often no, you just need to git gud. I've never found any Souls game quite as frustrating as Sekiro but once the combat clicked, and for me that was towards the very end, I found that the game is in fact easier on subsequent runs because it's much less dependent on stats than the Souls series. It's about learning to play the game.

My advice would be that attack is often your best defensive option to buy yourself some time and recover posture. Parry is an essential attacking option to knock your enemy's posture down. Dodge and jump are used very rarely since you can parry almost any attack in the game.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » June 29th, 2019, 1:27 pm

Getting my arse handed to me by the first boss I've encountered! The something Drunkard. There's a guy who joins the fight with you and is quite literally no help whatsoever! I still haven't quite clicked with the combat, but determined to progress!

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » June 29th, 2019, 11:14 pm

Nope; turns out he's a miniboss!

:lol:

Decided to leave that area for a while, and finally encountered the first proper, proper boss. Some guy on a horse. Died 4 times and went to bed. It took me almost an hour to kill the mini boss in the area just before him, too.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Stanshall » June 30th, 2019, 5:39 am

Kill that guy and you're on your way, you'll have a little more power and the wind in your sails.

For Juzou the Drunkard, it's trying (not very well) to teach you to stealth all the mobs first. Then speak to the NPC and take on Juzou together. Fire is very effective against him. Oil will give you extra damage. One of the most annoying bosses for me and a massive wall early on because every time I died, I'd have to do all the enemies again and run away and hide to deaggro Juzou. Even when I learned how to play the game properly, it's hard to just go straight in and take him on because there are countless annoying enemies around who can hit you from off screen. It would be a decent boss if it were easy enough that you once you got the mobs, he was more or less free, so once you figured out the approach, you'd get the reward but that's not the case at all.

Same reason I loathe Micolash in Bloodborne. I appreciate a puzzle boss, of course, and the voice work and dreamlike confusing atmosphere is amazing but don't make me run round for 5 minutes in a maze of fog only to get one shot by A Call Beyond the moment I land in the arena. The first section is completely without challenge, it's just time consuming and repetitive and yet still subject to RNG. Worse than Bed of Chaos for me.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » June 30th, 2019, 7:22 am

I'm just struggling a bit with the speed of the combat I think, I can't think fast enough to press the right buttons! It's difficult to tell whether a miniboss is going to do a thrust or sweep attack and whether I need to dodge or jump or parrry and I inevitably end up just leaping and diving all over the place, usually headfirst in to their sword. Parrying never seems to build up their posture damage either for me, just meaning every blow I deflect I end up losing a bit of mine until I fall over. This is only on the minibosses, I'm really enjoying the standard enemy combat and using a lot of 'swift stealth' running in to cover, running up behing people to slice their neck and sliding in to a bush etc. It's a lot of fun in that regard, and I'm generally not a stealth fan at all.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by KSubzero1000 » June 30th, 2019, 7:42 am

Alex79uk wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 7:22 am
It's difficult to tell whether a miniboss is going to do a thrust or sweep attack and whether I need to dodge or jump or parrry and I inevitably end up just leaping and diving all over the place, usually headfirst in to their sword.
Perilous Attacks (those with the red overhead kanji) are one of the game's most crucial mechanics. As a general rule, you can better anticipate the upcoming Perilous Attack by looking at the enemy's body language:


When they draw their right shoulder back, they usually follow it up with a Thrust attack, which can be parried.

But when they draw their left shoulder back (or do a 180 degrees spin), that usually means they are preparing to do a Sweep attack. Jump over it.

Lastly, when they sheathe their weapon or lunge towards you with their arms outstretched, that means a Grab is coming. Dodge out of the way.


Also, the most important skill in the game is probably the Mikiri Counter. It allows you to counter Thrust attacks by way of dodging forward into the enemy animation. With the Mikiri, you don't need to parry Perilous Attacks any more: Either jump over the Sweep, dodge back from the Grab or dodge forward into the Thrust. I would strongly recommend purchasing it as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Here's a perfect example of a heavily telegraphed Thrust attack followed by a Mikiri Counter:

Image


Hope this helps a little! :)

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » June 30th, 2019, 4:07 pm

It does! Thanks mate :) I think I'm going to spend a bit of time sparring with the undead near the dilapidated temple perfecting these moves.

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » July 4th, 2019, 11:32 am

I'm finding Sekiro a lot more obtuse with where you 'should' be heading next compared to previous From games. I ended up down in some dungeons before emerging at a whole new temple where a voice in a poster (!?) kept telling me to turn back. Its quite a nice area and I made good progress there before thinking I wasn't supposed to be going this way as I'd not finished the castle or the Flashback memory areas yet. Re: the castle area, I just fought a flaming bull and then made it to a sculptors stone just before a staircase leading upwards where there was a mob and a miniboss. There are loads of annoying flying ninja things about to. I just get a bit overwhelmed with navigation options and in a way I wish it was more linear. Not only is it confusing knowing where to go, I also get that gamer feeling that I have to explore every way to see what's there rather than just picking a direction and sticking with it! Even consulting walkthroughs hasn't helped a great deal!

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by James » July 4th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Fair to say you've reached the point at which the map opens up. I know it's not what you want to hear, but anywhere you can go is perfectly fine for now. You might find that you progress to a dead end or insurmountable challenge in any given direction, but as long as you're finding new Sculptor's Idols then you're making progress.

In short: Keep exploring; there are no wrong turns!

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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Post by Alex79uk » July 5th, 2019, 11:35 am

The last couple of days I've been suffering (ladies, you won't understand how bad it is but the gents on here will sympathise I'm sure) with fluey like symptoms that have really knocked me about. I sat playing Sekiro till about midnight last night, and ended up having an awful night's sleep because every time I drifted off I started having fever nightmares that I was being chased by ninjas.

:lol:

I'm 40.

:oops:

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