Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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DaHeckIzDat
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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby DaHeckIzDat » November 17th, 2019, 2:01 am

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Having played through all three Dark Souls games and Bloodborne more times than I could count, I decided it was time to shell out for FromSoft's newest title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It immediately feels both familiar to me, as a dedicated Souls fan, and completely different. The basic gameplay is the same as ever: you run through levels that are linear, while still being open enough to allow for different strategies and fighting styles, eliminating minor enemies on your way to a boss. It's got that trademark Souls-like difficulty that will mash you like a potato until you figured out the mechanics and give it a good ol' mashing of your own (does that sound dirty? I feel like it sounds dirty). But at the same time, it's also not just a new Dark Souls game with a Japanese skin thrown on, Sekiro is it's own beast entirely.

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There's no stamina gauge this time, which means you can hack, slash, dodge, and dash to your hearts content and never run out of breath. But if you think that'll make the game easier, you're in for a nasty surprise. Enemies will block every attack you throw at them, meaning you either have to wear down their stance (which is KIND OF like stamina, but only applies to blocking...I think?) or parry them. This creates a huge leap in difficulty for me in particular, because I SUCKED at parrying in Dark Souls, and Sekiro's parrying is only slightly more forgiving. Still, learn the timing to parry your enemy's attack and you'll open up a window for an instant kill.

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There's also stealth gameplay now. Crouch walk outside of the enemies' line of sight and stab them in the back for an instant kill. Basic, but functional. Your prosthetic arm also functions as a grappling hook, making nearby rooftops the perfect place to scope out the perfect plan of action. Your arm can also be loaded with a number of other little tricks, like a flamethrower, shuriken launcher, and shield-shattering axe, all of which are useful for taking down certain enemies.

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Frankly, I'm finding Sekiro kind of frustrating. Keep in mind, though, that does NOT mean it's a bad game. I AM having fun with it. I found the Souls games frustrating too until I figured out the mechanics, and now they're some of my all time favorite games. That said, I'm not enjoying it as much as I did Dark Souls. It's partially because I prefer Dark Souls' slower, more calculated combat to Sekiro's fast paced one. This is probably the closest FromSoft will ever come to making a twitch-game. I also miss the majestic, decrepit post-apocalyptic medieval setting that can practically tell you stories just by walking through them. Sekiro's levels aren't bad by any means, but I haven't come across an environment yet that made me stop and stare at it.

I'm only getting started with this game. Learning how to parry is definitely the biggest obstacle in my path right now. Maybe I'll learn, and Sekiro will become another of my favorite games. Or maybe I'll never get the hang of it and decide this is one adventure I'd rather sit out on. Reserving final judgement for later!

Anticipation Rating: 9/10
First Impressions: 5/10
Desire to keep playing: 8/10

Buttermancan
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Joined: March 26th, 2019, 6:05 am

Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby Buttermancan » November 17th, 2019, 5:26 am

Anticipation Rating: 9/10
First Impressions: 5/10
Desire to keep playing: 8/10


I enjoyed reading this. Initially I thought you were doing a review of the game but you did well to convey your worries that the title may not live up to your expectations.

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DrLitch
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby DrLitch » November 17th, 2019, 7:22 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:
Anticipation Rating: 9/10
First Impressions: 5/10
Desire to keep playing: 8/10


Add in:

Solidity of Challenge: 8/10

Enjoyed reading, game might give me arthritis though. Joypad taking a pounding.

Better than Nioh but hard to put above Dark Souls.

DaHeckIzDat
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Joined: April 9th, 2015, 1:41 pm

Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby DaHeckIzDat » November 18th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Well, I give up. I played the game almost nonstop yesterday, got all the way to the first real boss, and hit a brick wall. I have literally no idea what I'm supposed to do to beat Lady Butterfly. She blocks every attack, and her attacks are almost all ranged so parrying them does no good. When I do manage to get in close to her, she does an un-parry-able grab attack that'll probably one shot you.

Now, like I said, I've beaten all the Dark Souls games more than once, so you know I'm not averse to a good challenge. So take it from me when I say: THIS. IS. NOT. FUN. Parrying is everything in this game, and that requires pinpoint accurate reflexes that I just don't have. Yes, Dark Souls had parrying, but in Dark Souls is was just one option you could take out of dozens. If you didn't like it, it was entirely possible to beat the game without parrying a single attack. In Sekiro, if you can't parry, you can't win.

I know Sekiro isn't Dark Souls, and that trying to play it like Dark Souls is the wrong attitude, but being a diehard Dark Souls fan I can't help but compare them. Dark Souls is open to multiple playstyles, but Sekiro locks you into one. And it's one that I don't enjoy. I like stealth games, but I don't like stealth games that force you into open combat against foes with abilities you don't seem to have any way to counter. It would have been so much better if they'd given you more options, the way Dark Souls did, so that you could devise a combat style that fits what you enjoy.

I know, I know, that's like saying Metal Gear Solid (the first one, anyway) should be able to be played as a run and gun shooter. But seeing how well FromSoft did incorporating multiple playstyles into their other games, Sekiro feels like a major step backwards. If you can master the parry mechanic better than I did, maybe you'll get more enjoyment out of this. For me, I returned the game and used the credit to buy a handful of cheaper games.

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ActRaiser
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby ActRaiser » November 18th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Did you try looking at any of the online FAQs?

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/ps4/24100 ... s/26448954

I'm the world's worst at these type of games so I'm of zero help. My patience for this level of punishment is no more. I'd sooner stick a needle in my eye than play something like this.

Having said that Youtube and other sites have quite a few tips on things these days.

Ozzybear
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby Ozzybear » November 19th, 2019, 8:04 am

I'm a huge fan of the souls /borne games , and loved lords of the fallen as its in that style as well. I'd like to try this game but waiting for the price to drop as the theme of the game just doesn't excite or appeal to me like all the others have , but Definetly at least want to play it !

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Retro STrife
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby Retro STrife » November 19th, 2019, 8:50 am

I've been interested in this game, but I still haven't tried the Souls series yet, and that's where I plan to start. (I own a couple of them, but just haven't had a chance to play them yet, and could be awhile longer.) Still, since you're the Souls advocate on the forum, I was looking forward to your take on this game, DaHeck. Interesting write up, thanks.

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DrLitch
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby DrLitch » November 19th, 2019, 9:21 am

Retro STrife wrote:I've been interested in this game, but I still haven't tried the Souls series yet, and that's where I plan to start. (I own a couple of them, but just haven't had a chance to play them yet, and could be awhile longer.)


If you have a PS3 start with Demons Souls and then go through them sequentially.

DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby DaHeckIzDat » November 19th, 2019, 2:39 pm

DrLitch wrote:
Retro STrife wrote:I've been interested in this game, but I still haven't tried the Souls series yet, and that's where I plan to start. (I own a couple of them, but just haven't had a chance to play them yet, and could be awhile longer.)


If you have a PS3 start with Demons Souls and then go through them sequentially.


Demon's Souls is the DEFINITION of "play them in order." There's nothing wrong with the game at all, but since Dark Souls improved on it, making what was already great even greater, it's hard to go back to. If I'd played it first, I wouldn't have any complaints at all.

Voor
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Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Postby Voor » November 19th, 2019, 3:15 pm

Can’t get past first boss? Maybe you’re doing something fundamentally wrong and the review isn’t too fair?


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