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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition Discussion - Spoiler Free

  • FlopsyTheRabbitFlopsyTheRabbit1,053,413
    Posted on 24 March 22 at 23:33
    I think the areas with regular enemies work well, just finding some of the bosses a bit annoying. Was stuck on the well ninja for a while, managed it now but had to whittle his health down rather than doing anything about his posture laugh.

    FruitofPassion said:
    As for your posture bar, it's a good idea to learn how to deflect.
    I've been trying to use the deflect but it seems to work differently in this game than most others. The enemy combo sometimes continues even after you deflect the first hit, so you need to also deflect the rest? I've been thinking of it as a typical parry system where the enemy staggers/stops after the first parry, but maybe it isn't. The counter move is also not very impressive against some of the bosses, sometimes by the time you attack afterwards the enemy already has their guard up again.

    Allgorhythm said:
    There’s some info that is not readily available inside the game that is pertinent. Unlike Sekiro who recovers posture in a number of ways, enemies can only recover posture when inactive. This inactivity allows you to attack & keep the posture gauge continuously increasing.
    Thanks that all makes sense. Still need to get a good feel for the dodge, it feels like it gives iframes but either not very many or not consistently. I've been trying to use the prosthetics but finding them a bit hit and miss, they take a little too long to come out sometimes.

    I think I'm struggling to enjoy it because the boss combat isn't satisfying in the traditional sense, and I just need to get over that. Normally in games like this you're rewarded after a parry or counter with a decent window where you get to put down some damage and see the health bar dropping. Sekiro doesn't have that, you get to do a small bit of damage if you're lucky and the enemies just go straight back to attacking as if nothing happened. And with the posture system some fights feel like you cheesed it because you one-shot a boss who still had a chunk of health left
  • Posted on 25 March 22 at 01:31
    FruitofPassion said:
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    Not enjoying this as much as I hoped so far. A lot of the bosses just feel very cheap with the amount of moves they can spam and the damage they do, while you are stuck with health and a posture bar that barely withstands one combo, and damage output that barely chips off a few pixels at a time.
    As for your posture bar, it's a good idea to learn how to deflect. Ideally that's how you should be playing as blocking will indeed eat up your stamina and on some bosses that will destroy you. Not only is deflecting more effective, but it also deals more posture damage to enemies.
    Would also like to point out a hidden mechanic in the Posture meter (yours specifically) that could help you: if an attack that fills up your Posture meter completely is Deflected (NOT Guarded) your Posture meter will not break no matter how many attacks the enemy dishes at you, as long as you can Deflect them.
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 25 March 22 at 01:49, Edited on 25 March 22 at 01:55 by Allgorhythm
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    Thanks that all makes sense. Still need to get a good feel for the dodge, it feels like it gives iframes but either not very many or not consistently. I've been trying to use the prosthetics but finding them a bit hit and miss, they take a little too long to come out sometimes.
    It's interesting you bring this up. I was going to discuss this in my previous response but felt I'd already been too long-winded. laugh

    You're absolutely right. I've read in many places that the dodge is simple, "Just press cn_B--that's all there is to it." However, they are wrong and you are right. You are invulnerable only during the beginning of the animation. There is a window of vulnerability at its conclusion.

    The solution is to side step with cn_B pressing the left stick in the direction of your choice or not at all and immediately press cn_LB to guard. This executes the side step where you are invulnerable and cancels the frames where you are vulnerable. It has the added advantage of guarding a potential enemy attack. In fact, there is a high probability you will deflect if an attack comes.

    The disadvantage of doing the cn_B->cn_LB option is you forego the opportunity for a counter. This defeats the purpose of starting out with a side step attack sequence to whittle the enemy's full health to below 80%. But, with time, you internalize how the enemy is going to react. One of three things is likely to happen:
    1. The enemy does not move. You will end up at the side. Execute cn_B->cn_RB->cn_B
    2. The enemy will turn to face your side step destination point & guard or attack. Execute cn_B->cn_LB->cn_B
    3. The enemy will initiate an attack against your present position or at another point away from your sidestep destination. It may be a simple attack or a combo of 2 or more moves. Execute cn_B one or more times until you are beside or behind the enemy as the attack or combo finishes and attack once followed by a side step.
    In each of these three scenarios, you'll note we finish with a side step. What we do following that side step is dependent upon the same 3 enemy options.

    This sounds a lot more complicated than it is. Basically, if there's a clear shot at the enemy's side or back, take it. If not, guard or side step again. When attacking, attack only once. Strong enemies and sub-bosses guard quickly. If the enemy is guarding, you will inflict no damage and expose yourself to risk. Any posture damage is quickly recovered by an enemy at full health.

    As long as the enemy's health is above 79%, unless you have super twitch skills from extensive playing of the game, the objective is simple. Whittle enemy health away a slash at a time until the posture gauge turns yellow. Then, you can get more ambitious and start to inflict posture damage through deflections and other means (combat arts, prosthetic arts, etc.)

    Note that low vitality affects your posture as well. But you have a tremendous advantage. Your posture will drop while you evade. This is not a Dark Souls game where everything you do exhausts stamina. If you sprint away from the boss by holding down cn_B, you will recover posture. If, once you're far enough away, you can hold cn_LB to recover posture very quickly even at low health. Because you can dash around at will without incurring any penalty, you can watch enemies and learn their combos while staying just out of reach--a luxury you don't have in a Dark Souls game.

    I like to use Hanbei, the trainer, at the Dilapidated Temple. You can do free form training to practice the side steps. Because Hanbei does not damage your vitality, you can prolong free form training sessions. What you want to do is internalize what you do after a side step. You:
    A. Follow up with an attack if you end up beside or behind Hanbei
    B. Follow up with a guard if Hanbei attacks you
    C. Follow up with one or more side steps when Hanbei moves away from your direction of attack. Your goal is to side step behind or beside Hanbei so you can attack.

    As you've found out for yourself, the ending frames in the side step animation are not iframes. The split second of vulnerability could expose you to a devastating hit from a powerful enemy. As you get more comfortable with deflections, you may decide to abandon the tactic of side step -> attacking strong enemies at the beginning of each encounter The deflection (single or consecutive) followed by a counter is the meat & potatoes of the game. You are much more in control when continuing to face the enemy and deflecting attacks than you are side stepping attacks.
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 25 March 22 at 02:12, Edited on 25 March 22 at 02:13 by Allgorhythm
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    I've been trying to use the deflect but it seems to work differently in this game than most others. The enemy combo sometimes continues even after you deflect the first hit, so you need to also deflect the rest? I've been thinking of it as a typical parry system where the enemy staggers/stops after the first parry, but maybe it isn't. The counter move is also not very impressive against some of the bosses, sometimes by the time you attack afterwards the enemy already has their guard up again.
    Strong enemies, sub-bosses, and bosses often require consecutive deflections. Usually, the enemy's animation is very flashy. Train with Hanbei at the Dilapidated Temple. He has a specific section on consecutive deflections. They are not flashy and you can quickly learn the timing.

    For strong enemies and above, the timing of the consecutive deflections is the same as it was with Hanbei. Ignore the flashiness and employ the same rhythm you used with Hanbei.

    Wrt the counter move, it can be improved. There's a skill tree that enhances both posture damage caused by a deflection as well as damage (to vitality and posture) inflicted by the counter attack.
    *** Spoiler - click to reveal ***

    Note also that, as the game progresses and you defeat main bosses, you acquire 'memories' that boost your overall attack. Everything you do will become more potent.
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 25 March 22 at 03:07, Edited on 28 March 22 at 02:58 by Allgorhythm
    FruitofPassion said:
    Yeah, that is one of the nice things about Sekiro. Other Fromsoft games have characters, but Sekiro is probably the one that you can most bond to them. Likely due to there being a lot more dialog and somewhat less vagueness as to what's going on :p
    If you ever feel like it sometime, it's got some really good lore if you wanna do additional research. Some of them are really sad stories :'(
    Miyazaki could read English books in high school. But he was not completely proficient. He often describes how his imagination would fill in the gaps created by the language barrier. Later, when he went on to work on Demon Souls and Dark Souls I & III, he spent great care on the lore and in creating cohesive game worlds. But he left much to the imagination of the players just as his old high school self filled in the blanks of the English novels he read.

    Since I'm a linguist, you might humor me while I become a little pedantic. Eastern narrative style especially in China & Japan differs from the beginning-middle-end that characterizes most western prose. We are accustomed to plots advancing chronologically--cause-effect action, or the like. Western stories are about conflict and conflict resolution. Eastern prose often pieces vignettes together using some form of aesthetic that serves as a unifying binding. There is often little or no conflict but instead what are referred to as complications.

    In Japanese high schools, a four part narrative strategy is taught as Kishotenketsu composition. The second and third parts (development and complication) may not be directly related to one another. Thus, in a Dark Souls game that uses the Kishotenketsu structure--Miyazaki was an avid student of literature and composition, we have the immediate circumstances of the protagonist and the overarching lore of the game with no direct connection. It is up to the players to make associations as they see fit but are under no obligation to do so and each individual will see things differently. This is the "vagueness" you refer to.

    I haven't gotten far enough in Sekiro to have pieced together much of the lore. I can only play sporadically and not very long each time. I'm very much interested in the lore though. I never rush through RPGs (although Sekiro is not strictly speaking an RPG) but always try to absorb as much of the narrative and back stories as I can.

    In short, you have piqued my interest with your comment about sad stories.
  • Dr MartyDr Marty1,068,260
    Posted on 25 March 22 at 15:13
    didn't even realize this was this month's game.
  • Posted on 25 March 22 at 21:20
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    FruitofPassion said:
    As for your posture bar, it's a good idea to learn how to deflect.
    I've been trying to use the deflect but it seems to work differently in this game than most others. The enemy combo sometimes continues even after you deflect the first hit, so you need to also deflect the rest? I've been thinking of it as a typical parry system where the enemy staggers/stops after the first parry, but maybe it isn't. The counter move is also not very impressive against some of the bosses, sometimes by the time you attack afterwards the enemy already has their guard up again.
    Ah yes, the curse of knowledge bias here as I failed to mention that.
    Yes, this is not like Dark Souls parry system. You must deflect every attack of a combo for max efficiency. So if a boss swings 3 times, you deflect those 3 swings. You of course can block through it all (or mix and match blocks/deflects) but that goes back to the issue of your posture bar filling faster.

    Not to discourage you but it should be noted that just spamming deflect won't help too much as the timing still needs to be close to correct on each attack. But once you start to get the hang of certain bosses and enemies, you'll find the right rhythm that will hopefully give you that satisfaction you're wanting.

    One last thing as a tip, as true with enemies, your posture bar also goes down slower if you have less health. But you can also force it to go down faster by doing a guarding stance. As long as you don't get hit while doing it it will go down. If you get hit, the attack will block, but alas the bar will fill for that. Knowing this, try to mix that into your combat like a true ninja!
  • Posted on 25 March 22 at 22:09
    @Allgorhythm

    Very interesting comment about the story structures you made. I never knew this about Miyazaki or how Eastern cultures structure a story. It has made me appreciate this game that much more.
    This is a no spoilers thread, but if you ever wanna get into deeper conversations about the story to Sekiro or just have certain questions, feel free to send me a message anytime. I think it's safe to say I know a great deal about it. Just really like this game xD
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 25 March 22 at 22:42, Edited on 25 March 22 at 22:46 by Allgorhythm
    FruitofPassion said:
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    FruitofPassion said:
    As for your posture bar, it's a good idea to learn how to deflect.
    I've been trying to use the deflect but it seems to work differently in this game than most others. The enemy combo sometimes continues even after you deflect the first hit, so you need to also deflect the rest? I've been thinking of it as a typical parry system where the enemy staggers/stops after the first parry, but maybe it isn't. The counter move is also not very impressive against some of the bosses, sometimes by the time you attack afterwards the enemy already has their guard up again.
    Ah yes, the curse of knowledge bias here as I failed to mention that.
    Yes, this is not like Dark Souls parry system. You must deflect every attack of a combo for max efficiency. So if a boss swings 3 times, you deflect those 3 swings. You of course can block through it all (or mix and match blocks/deflects) but that goes back to the issue of your posture bar filling faster.

    Not to discourage you but it should be noted that just spamming deflect won't help too much as the timing still needs to be close to correct on each attack. But once you start to get the hang of certain bosses and enemies, you'll find the right rhythm that will hopefully give you that satisfaction you're wanting.

    One last thing as a tip, as true with enemies, your posture bar also goes down slower if you have less health. But you can also force it to go down faster by doing a guarding stance. As long as you don't get hit while doing it it will go down. If you get hit, the attack will block, but alas the bar will fill for that. Knowing this, try to mix that into your combat like a true ninja!
    @FlopsyTheRabbit; these are great tips. I’ll expand on them a little. The deflect window is just under a quarter of a second—about a fifth of a second, maybe. That’s quite generous though it sounds brief. If you say, “One Steamboat” to measure a second; you can tell that a quarter or fifth of that time gives you sufficient time to press cn_RB & deflect.

    The issue is that, with each missed deflection, the window becomes progressively smaller. By the 4th missed deflection, it’s about a tenth of the original window. In other words, it’s probably shorter than a fairly rapid spam.

    A three hit consecutive combo, discussed above, is quite common. Going back to measuring a second with “one Steamboat;” if you strike first on the “one” second on the “steam” & third on the “boat,” all three hits should be deflected in their respective windows of about a fifth of a second. The window resets to that fifth of a second interval when you execute a successful deflection. Since the deflection, itself, takes a tenth of a second or so; you should pace consecutive deflections about a third of a second apart from one another.

    Naturally, you’re not going to be measuring time. You’ll internalize it very rapidly. I’m just stating the parameters so that you’ll have ballpark expectations when you practice with Hanbei. Hanbei, in the “consecutive deflection” training sessions does not embellish. Without distractions, you’ll quickly pick up the right timing. Then, you can employ this same timing to enemies with flourishes & other movements intended to distract you.

    A tip I would provide is, as much as possible, start from a guard by keeping cn_LB depressed. You would execute a 3 stroke combo by releasing cn_LB & tapping it 3 times. If the enemy surprises you & hits you early, you would guard this hit by virtue of depressing cn_LB. Of utmost significance, this does not count against your window as it would have if you had mis-timed the deflection from a neutral stance & guarded instead of deflected. This means, you still have a window of about a fifth of a second to deflect the second hit. And, even if you miss it, deflecting the third hit is still manageable.

    In contrast, if you start from a neutral stance, the game’s mechanics are a little different. Pressing cn_LB early so you guard instead of deflecting is considered a missed deflection unlike holding cn_LB before the attack & getting an early hit before you have the chance to release the button & deflect.

    The difference in the window starting from a neutral stance & missing the first deflection is, therefore, quite substantial even if you guard the enemy’s first strike. Moreover, a mis-timed deflection from a neutral stance is much more likely to end up in a complete miss in contrast to mis-timing from a guarded stance where the lack of precision is most likely to end up in a guard.

    When you practice with Hanbei, try it. Guard before Hanbei approaches you. As he strikes, release &, immediately tap cn_LB 3 times using a tempo of about 3 beats per second. Execute the death blow when the prompt appears.
  • FlopsyTheRabbitFlopsyTheRabbit1,053,413
    Posted on 26 March 22 at 15:28
    @Allgorhythm @FruitofPassion

    Really appreciate the tips, it's all starting to click now. I got past the walls I'd hit (spear guy at reservoir and fast sword guy guarding the castle boss), and since that nothing has given me too much trouble. I've only cheesed one boss, which wasn't even intentional (but if someone wants to sit in a poison swamp until they die, not going to stop them! All I was trying to do was lure them away from the other mooks).

    I've stopped trying to dodge everything and started to rely more on deflects and counters, which is working much better and feels great when you get in the flow of it. Was very satisfying to quickly kill the fast sword boss with double deflects. Also started paying more attention to the sound cues, I noticed there's a different sound made when a boss blocks your combo if they intend to attack afterwards, so you know to get ready to deflect. I do wish the cn_A and cn_B counters had different indicators, bit too much of a guessing game when you encounter something for the first time. I know in theory you should be able to tell what an attack is based on watching it, but it's a bit much to ask when the animations are so fast and there are unblockable grabs mixed in that you can't counter.

    The environments continue to be stunning, they really nailed the exploration aspect.
  • Posted on 26 March 22 at 21:22
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    @Allgorhythm @FruitofPassion

    Really appreciate the tips, it's all starting to click now. I got past the walls I'd hit (spear guy at reservoir and fast sword guy guarding the castle boss), and since that nothing has given me too much trouble. I've only cheesed one boss, which wasn't even intentional (but if someone wants to sit in a poison swamp until they die, not going to stop them! All I was trying to do was lure them away from the other mooks).
    That seven spears guy you are talking about is arguably the hardest miniboss in the entire game so getting him down should be smooth sailing from now on! Well not really but you know what I mean xD But everybody gets stuck on him. Even in NG+ he still can be a pain. The best thing to use against him though is the Mikiri counter which is an early access skill that I would highly recommend buying if you haven't yet. It allows you to counter thrust weapons by stepping on the blade and doing huge posture damage. Will come in handy against some later game bosses.

    The fast sword guy before castle boss is also a huge pain in the ass guy too xD He's mostly designed as a deflect skillcheck the boss as you'll really want to be able to deflect somewhat at least on the boss. Not that you need it but future cheese tip is the umbrella shield prosthetic counters him hard. Not only does it tank hits, but it also acts as a deflect with a higher range of frames. It's kinda like using smaller shields in Dark Souls for easier parrying.

    Glad to hear you're really starting to get the game figured out! As for the dodging stuff, yeah that's one of the community jokes. The game literally warns you of a dangerous attack coming and we still get hit by it anyways xD
    Just know there are 3 types.
    1) A thrust: Can be deflected. Can be Mikiri Countered (recommended). Cannot be jumped over.
    2) A swipe: Can be jumped over (recommended), can be avoided with distance. Cannot be deflected
    3) A grab: Cannot be deflected. Cannot be jumped over. Must dodge or run away.
  • afrekafrek2,096,240
    Posted on 27 March 22 at 00:06
    Sounds like a good game, not my cup of tea though.
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 27 March 22 at 00:34
    FlopsyTheRabbit said:
    @Allgorhythm @FruitofPassion

    Really appreciate the tips, it's all starting to click now. I got past the walls I'd hit (spear guy at reservoir and fast sword guy guarding the castle boss), and since that nothing has given me too much trouble. I've only cheesed one boss, which wasn't even intentional (but if someone wants to sit in a poison swamp until they die, not going to stop them! All I was trying to do was lure them away from the other mooks).

    I've stopped trying to dodge everything and started to rely more on deflects and counters, which is working much better and feels great when you get in the flow of it. Was very satisfying to quickly kill the fast sword boss with double deflects. Also started paying more attention to the sound cues, I noticed there's a different sound made when a boss blocks your combo if they intend to attack afterwards, so you know to get ready to deflect. I do wish the cn_A and cn_B counters had different indicators, bit too much of a guessing game when you encounter something for the first time. I know in theory you should be able to tell what an attack is based on watching it, but it's a bit much to ask when the animations are so fast and there are unblockable grabs mixed in that you can't counter.

    The environments continue to be stunning, they really nailed the exploration aspect.
    You're welcome. You make an excellent point about the sound cues. There are numerous cues in the game not the least of which is the satisfying metallic clang of a successful deflection. I think the reward of hearing this sound helped me most in learning to deflect. It conditioned me to respond properly so I'd get the reward. Conversely, if I didn't get it, I knew something was wrong and quickly side step or jump away.

    For enemies that have more than one unblockable attack, sound cues can give you an idea of which it is. @FruitofPassion listed the various counters. Additionally, a double backwards side step will get you out of range of all of them. This allows you to learn the timing along with the visual and audio cues. Then, when you are ready, you can execute the appropriate counter.

    But it sounds like you're doing fine. You've internalized many of the fundamentals of the game. The rest will come faster & easier because you are also learning how to learn.

    And you're absolutely right. The visuals are stunning.
  • KinectNinjaKinectNinja853,263
    Posted on 27 March 22 at 16:43
    does this game have anything to do with darksouls storywise
  • Posted on 27 March 22 at 21:27
    A Jumping Zebra said:
    does this game have anything to do with darksouls storywise
    No, it is a completely independent story.

    That said it is still the same company and director so you'll find style similarities, such as the recurring theme of undeath, but it is indeed something totally different.
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 27 March 22 at 22:31
    A Jumping Zebra said:
    does this game have anything to do with darksouls storywise
    The stories are quite different. Sekiro's plot is much more developed. Though there are fantasy elements, Sekiro is more imagined historical fiction whereas Dark Souls is pure fantasy.
  • Posted on 28 March 22 at 01:14
    Allgorhythm said:
    A Jumping Zebra said:
    does this game have anything to do with darksouls storywise
    The stories are quite different. Sekiro's plot is much more developed.
    I think it’s more so the fact that "Souls" games require you to piece the lore together yourself to figure out the story, while "Sekiro’s" lore is really there to fill in the occasionally vague bits of the story.
  • AllgorhythmAllgorhythm614,968
    Posted on 28 March 22 at 02:56
    ChiflaGoodluck said:
    Allgorhythm said:
    A Jumping Zebra said:
    does this game have anything to do with darksouls storywise
    The stories are quite different. Sekiro's plot is much more developed.
    I think it’s more so the fact that "Souls" games require you to piece the lore together yourself to figure out the story, while "Sekiro’s" lore is really there to fill in the occasionally vague bits of the story.
    Yes. I discuss how Dark Souls tells much of its story through lore in my 24 March 2022 post above: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition Discussion - Spoiler Free
  • EverStoned77EverStoned77801,941
    Posted on 28 March 22 at 05:20
    So just read all the page.4 comments & as someone who have never played a souls game before I have definitely come to the conclusion that Sekiro is NOT where I should start lol but thanks for a very interesting read guys wave
    "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open" -- Frank Zappa
  • FlopsyTheRabbitFlopsyTheRabbit1,053,413
    Posted on 28 March 22 at 08:06, Edited on 28 March 22 at 08:18 by FlopsyTheRabbit
    EverStoned77 said:
    So just read all the page.4 comments & as someone who have never played a souls game before I have definitely come to the conclusion that Sekiro is NOT where I should start lol but thanks for a very interesting read guys wave
    I don't really think it's a Souls game, it shares a few superficial mechanics like flasks, resurrection and bonfires but the core gameplay and character upgrade system is completely different. In Dark Souls you can grind levels and weapon upgrades from easier areas to power your way through tough bosses, in Sekiro you have to beat the bosses legitimately because your upgrades come from bosses themselves. Dark Souls also has much more scope for different character builds both in terms of stats and equipment, Sekiro is a more focussed experience around a specific set of abilities. Personally I don't think just being 'difficult' makes it a Souls game, there are lots of difficult games.

    It reminds me more of an open world PlatinumGames game or Ninja Gaiden for the combat, with stealth elements from Assassin's Creed mixed in
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