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Souls veterans: What's your final assessment of Sekiro?

Souls veterans, what is your final assessment of Sekiro?

  • It was great.

    Votes: 159 59.1%
  • It wasn't for me.

    Votes: 56 20.8%
  • I'm kinda in the middle.

    Votes: 54 20.1%

  • Total voters
    269

decisions

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Could you elaborate how Souls combat is repetitive while Sekiro's is not?
In Souls combat, most enemies and bosses have simple patterns that, once figured out, can be defeated by a simple strategy. There are relatively few ways to defend (walk left, roll, walk back, shield), and relatively few ways to attack (repeatedly light attack, heavy attack, cast a spell). Usually you can just defeat a boss by alternating the offense/defense for that boss. The real problem lies in the fact that several of these simple strategies can be applied to different enemies and bosses. Which means that, against bosses that are vulnerable to the same strategy, the player can act very similarly. Dark Souls III especially suffers from this issue where many bosses are defeated by using the same strategy of walking left, rolling for some attacks, and then attacking after the enemy has. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have some more quirks/gimmicks thrown into the mix that serve in those game's favor, but the problem is still there to an extent.

In Sekiro, you cannot, literally not once in the game, act the same against any boss or enemy type. This is not to be confused with mechanics, since of course you use the same mechanics against every enemy. You must always watch the enemy, pay attention to their actions, and perform well enough to defeat them. You cannot apply the same strategy you did against the previous enemy, you cannot identify a new, simpler strategy based on excessive item usage or some sort of ranged attack "cheese", you must learn this enemy's animations and patterns, and perform accordingly.

I guess to sum this up, I could say that Souls games offer more movesets, but each moveset confronts many enemies in the same way. Whereas in Sekiro, you use only one moveset, but never fight a single enemy in the exact same way using that moveset. So you must always adapt to the current enemy, rather than classifying them as vulnerable to a strategy you developed in the first third of the game.
 

Dragon_Rocks

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In Souls combat, most enemies and bosses have simple patterns that, once figured out, can be defeated by a simple strategy. There are relatively few ways to defend (walk left, roll, walk back, shield), and relatively few ways to attack (repeatedly light attack, heavy attack, cast a spell). Usually you can just defeat a boss by alternating the offense/defense for that boss. The real problem lies in the fact that several of these simple strategies can be applied to different enemies and bosses. Which means that, against bosses that are vulnerable to the same strategy, the player can act very similarly. Dark Souls III especially suffers from this issue where many bosses are defeated by using the same strategy of walking left, rolling for some attacks, and then attacking after the enemy has. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have some more quirks/gimmicks thrown into the mix that serve in those game's favor, but the problem is still there to an extent.

In Sekiro, you cannot, literally not once in the game, act the same against any boss or enemy type. This is not to be confused with mechanics, since of course you use the same mechanics against every enemy. You must always watch the enemy, pay attention to their actions, and perform well enough to defeat them. You cannot apply the same strategy you did against the previous enemy, you cannot identify a new, simpler strategy based on excessive item usage or some sort of ranged attack "cheese", you must learn this enemy's animations and patterns, and perform accordingly.

I guess to sum this up, I could say that Souls games offer more movesets, but each moveset confronts many enemies in the same way. Whereas in Sekiro, you use only one moveset, but never fight a single enemy in the exact same way using that moveset. So you must always adapt to the current enemy, rather than classifying them as vulnerable to a strategy you developed in the first third of the game.

What you are saying is same for every other game if you throw out the mechanics. You use the game mechanics at your disposal to defeat the enemies but with different pattern based on the their pattern. Every game which has a parry/deflect mechanic makes you pay close attention to enemy movement to perform it properly. Souls has its parry/riposte, Bloodborne has its visceral attack etc. This is not unique to Sekiro. What you said for Souls is true to Sekiro as well. In fact Sekiro heavily forces players to rely on deflect to deal with bosses and mini bosses. Souls provide variety of ways to take down enemies be it offensive or defensive, Bloodborne forces players to rely heavily on attack and visceral attack and Sekiro forces players to rely heavily on deflect and counter rather than on primary attack. One can say that you can simply use the strategy of simple attack and deflect to deal with all enemies who don't have special attacks and for those with special attacks you just have to use attack, deflect, dodge and counter.

Edit: Here is the final boss kill using just parry and no attack or counter. That is how much importance Sekiro gives to deflect. That is all the strategy one needs to deal with majority of Sekiro enemies.

 
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Ladioss

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I'm a From Soft fan. I've played and completed every Soul game (Demon, Dark 1-2-3, Bloodborne) - heck, I'm even a fan of the Armored Core series and I've played some King Field game back in the day.

I loved Sekiro. I know where the original misunderstanding lies : it's a Tenchu-like action game with elements of a rhythm game in its combat, not a dark fantasy action RPG - and a lot of people were riled because of that. Nonetheless, the combat and the exploration felt great, stealth was both playable and not boring (for once), and I loved the setting in all its fairytale jidaigeki-slash-Blade of the Immortal glory. It's one of their finest games ever.
 
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Holgren

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As time passes I have come to appreciate it more, the bosses are among the best ever. It is as good as Bloodborne it just needed a bit more content.

Definitely one of the best games they have done.
 

decisions

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What you are saying is same for every other game if you throw out the mechanics. You use the game mechanics at your disposal to defeat the enemies but with different pattern based on the their pattern. Every game which has a parry/deflect mechanic makes you pay close attention to enemy movement to perform it properly. Souls has its parry/riposte, Bloodborne has its visceral attack etc. This is not unique to Sekiro. What you said for Souls is true to Sekiro as well. In fact Sekiro heavily forces players to rely on deflect to deal with bosses and mini bosses. Souls provide variety of ways to take down enemies be it offensive or defensive, Bloodborne forces players to rely heavily on attack and visceral attack and Sekiro forces players to rely heavily on deflect and counter rather than on primary attack. One can say that you can simply use the strategy of simple attack and deflect to deal with all enemies who don't have special attacks and for those with special attacks you just have to use attack, deflect, dodge and counter.

Edit: Here is the final boss kill using just parry and no attack or counter. That is how much importance Sekiro gives to deflect. That is all the strategy one needs to deal with majority of Sekiro enemies.


As I was writing my post I felt it wasn't really that well-written and was somewhat confusing, so it may hav been my fault, but you missed my point. In Souls games you can apply simple strategies to deal with almost all enemies. In Sekiro, there are very few strategies so the goal is not to identify one, the goal is to use the game's mechanics to deal with the current enemy. "Mechanic" is a loose term but in this sense I mean the core gameplay mechanics the player performs in real-time. In Souls games there are many times where you walk up to an enemy, block their attack with a shield for them to get stunned, and then attack them while they are stunned for an easy kill, or repeat if needed. That is the "strategy' the player used to defeat these enemies, and it will be adequate to defeat many different enemy types. In Sekiro there are literally no enemy types that the player performs against exactly the same way. Each time, the player's inputs In term of timing, movement, are different, whereas this is not the case in the Souls games.
 
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Dragon_Rocks

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As I was writing my post I felt it wasn't really that well-written and was somewhat confusing, so it may hav been my fault, but you missed my point. In Souls games you can apply simple strategies to deal with almost all enemies. In Sekiro, there are very few strategies so the goal is not to identify one, the goal is to use the game's mechanics to deal with the current enemy. "Mechanic" is a loose term but in this sense I mean the core gameplay mechanics the player performs in real-time. In Souls games there are many times where you walk up to an enemy, block their attack with a shield for them to get stunned, and then attack them while they are stunned for an easy kill, or repeat if needed. That is the "strategy' the player used to defeat these enemies, and it will be adequate to defeat many different enemy types. In Sekiro there are literally no enemy types that the player performs against exactly the same way. Each time, the player's inputs In term of timing, movement, are different, whereas this is not the case in the Souls games.

What you described about Souls is applicable to Sekiro as well. You can just attack and deflect enemies to kill them. This is the core strategy that is needed. With just this you can defeat all enemies including bosses and as shown even the final boss. What I am trying to say is that what you are accusing Souls combat to be doing is the same for Sekiro as well. In facts Souls enemies make you play aggressive or defensive based on their strengths/weakness whereas in Sekiro you can beat almost everything just by being defensive and only doing the execution when theie posture is broken.
 

Sejan

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I really didn’t like it. My problem with the game was that it really was only built around parrying. It was a combat style that I never cared for in the souls games and blood borne. Compared to demons souls, dark souls 1-3, and bloodborne sekiro is far and away my least favorite of the bunch.
 
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bbeach123

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While the gameplay getting better and better . I really dont like the direction they going after dark souls 3 . The game became less and less of a RPG .

You cant even upgrade armor in dark souls 3 ffs .
 

FrankWza

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Excellent game but the lack of builds compared to other From Software "souls" games kind of makes me feel less inclined to play it after seeing all of the endings.

With Dark Souls Trilogy, Bloodborne and now Demon's Souls I really liked going back in and starting again with different builds and ideas and just seeing what's possible in the game.

Sekiro is a bit more linear and a bit less replayable, in my opinion.
No XP/ no fun for me.

I like equipmwent and leveling too much.
You can still “level “ it’s just a different system. There are still choices on where you distribute points as far as upgrades you choose. There’s xp but it’s a meter instead of a number. The biggest difference and the ones that matter most is not being able to over-level and having to learn the combat system
In Sekiro, there are very few strategies so the goal is not to identify one, the goal is to use the game's mechanics to deal with the current enemy.
What you described about Souls is applicable to Sekiro as well.
I think Souls combat appear more complex than they are and are actually somewhat shallow and Sekiro looks simple but it’s more complex than it appears. Bloodborne and sekiro are more action than rpg and the souls are more rpg.
 

Keihart

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My problem with Sekiro is that plays mechanically too similar to souls game while removing every bit of self expression those games have, leaving an empty shell focused in very few mechanics, at least that it's my impression of it after the novelty wears out when you understand how it really works. It is way more demanding mechanically than any soul's game, but those had a lot strategy to fall on for difficulty thus allowing self expression in those strategies, it's not a bad game by any stretch but as a fan of hard action games like God Hand and at the same time having enjoyed thoroughly Bloodborne and Demon's Souls, Sekiro falls flat for me as forgettable when comparing it to any of those.
 

luffie

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To be honest, they need to come up with a bit more variety than "invincible parry" mechanix for future titles/installments.

But putting that aside, it has the best 1 vs 1 boss battles in all of Souls series, plus it is the only one that is actually pretty enjoyable to watch as a spectator.

The fights often appear like shinobi fights not unlike Souls rolling spam and sometimes cowardly running away and spamming spells.
 

SafeOrAlone

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Sekiro was great. I enjoyed the break from online multiplayer and it was nice seeing FS experiment with in-game "set-piece" moments, such as the knight who ambushed you on the bridge, calling out for his son. Knocking him off was an epic moment. I'd love to see more surprise moments like this.

That said, Dark Souls and BB still take the cake for their subtle storytelling, atmosphere, innovation, and scope.
 
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Rubberwald

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Probably the only time my GOTY was a game that I never managed to finish. I have trouble killing some of the very late game bosses so I get back to it once in a while, but every second of it was a great experience.
 

John2290

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Best in genre. For months it broke me though, I really didn't think I'd be able to go near a souls game again because I'd never be able to put up with the stress. I did return to games like Nioh 2 but fell off for reasons I didn't see coming, they lost the feeling of refinement. I went back through most of them and the ones i thought were the most refined and solid really arent, Nioh and Dark souls 1 feel like crap compared to Sekiro. BB and Souls 3 still hold up but Elden Ring is going to have to do something radical again to keep me interested in the genre, they out done themselves and I think by design, the creator of those games I feel, wanted to get away from the souls formula for a while which makes me really excited for Elden Ring.
 
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perkelson

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Skipped it after playing for a while:

- hate japanese astetics
- don't like combat parry system
- don't like story from what i have played
- doesn't feel like there is anything to explore
 

FunkMiller

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I voted in the middle.

It has a huge amount that's great, but there are elements of the Souls games missing from this one that left it feeling a little lacking for me.

I missed jolly co-operation. I know it wouldn't have suited the story or the main character, but it really felt like it was a HUGE missing element of the formula.

Also, the story was pretty lacklustre, when you get right down to it. I prefer the obtuse methods they use in the other games. A good bit of mystery is a fun thing to unpack.
 

Phase

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My honest opinion is it became stale to me very fast. Creating different builds is my favorite part of souls (well besides that rush you get when fighting a new boss for the first time, amazing OST's too).

I pushed through until Isshin but I didn't have the patience or the drive to finish the game. I had already lost interest hours earlier. So as much as I respect how well crafted the game is, it just isn't for me.
 

junguler

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i'm not a souls veteran but i've played almost all of the the games that are on pc (even those that are not made by from software), i really liked it for how different it was, the movement is amazing and being able to understand the story was kinda nice. two issue i had with this game was the lack of clothing options and very limited amount of melee weapons it had. there wasn't much variety of builds so it kinda got old by time i was about to finish the game.
 

Arachnid

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Skipped it after playing for a while:

- hate japanese astetics
- don't like combat parry system
- don't like story from what i have played
- doesn't feel like there is anything to explore
Agreed with those points. I'm still on the last boss but I just don't have the interest in this game I have in other Soulsborne titles. I can't sit there for 5 hours straight attempting the same boss like I did for Ludwig or the Vicar. I'll beat him eventually, but the game is just OK for me.

I think the aesthetic was the biggest problem I had though. It wasn't interesting to me. Plus, between Nioh, Ghost, and plenty of other games, I am super burned out on it.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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The group of NPCs in Sekiro go unmentioned, but I think it has the best group of NPCs and the best central plot out of any FROM game. The weakness when Sekiro is compared to other Soulsborne games is perhaps the familiarity of the game world itself. It's a quasi-realistic feudal Japan with homages to established japanese folklore and tropes. So it lacked almost all of the weirdness of a typical Soulsborne game. I mean, there's weird stuff, but not nearly as much.

The swirling plot between Wolf, the divine heir, Owl, the tengu, Emma, the sculptor, Isshin, and the few surviving Ashina heroes is well fleshed out. Every character has motivations and ethics they are bringing to the table. You're not fighting against some tiddy-spider whose history is hidden on a random item description, you're fighting against generals and master swordsmen with conflicting loyalties. It's a bit dramatic like you'd expect in a story about japanese ninjas. The objective is always crystal-clear: the land of Ashina is collapsing, so fulfill your oath to the divine heir by getting him away. You don't wake up with some dude cackling in your ear about being a hollow. At all times you have a central loyalty and a central goal in front of you. For what it's worth, Kuro is my favorite NPC in the Soulsbornekiro mess.

The foggy confusion and aimless wandering / stumbling upon destinations is almost completely absent. There are secrets and plenty of optional sections, but I never felt like I was lost in the dreamy world itself. Every Soulsborne game has that vibe. Sekiro does not.

But I like it. They tried to tell a grounded story and they succeeded. Almost every character is memorable, if I'm counting them on my fingers.

My honest opinion is it became stale to me very fast. Creating different builds is my favorite part of souls (well besides that rush you get when fighting a new boss for the first time, amazing OST's too).

I pushed through until Isshin but I didn't have the patience or the drive to finish the game. I had already lost interest hours earlier. So as much as I respect how well crafted the game is, it just isn't for me.
P E A S A N T
 
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bobone

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I have Platinum trophys / all Achievements in all the Souls games and Bloodborne. Love them all.

Absolutely did not like Sekiro. Tried 3 times to start it and get into it.
But it just doesn't have any of the lore, which I love.
The combat just feels bad, not sure why. Maybe because they force you to play a certain way.
The level design is meh, and I really don't enjoy the bland enemies and characters.

I'm glad others enjoyed it. I just hope they go back to Bloodborne next.
 

SSfox

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Together with Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls it is part of the Holy Trinity of Souls games.
Those, and Dark Souls 1 also hold special place in my heart.

I loved DS2 et 3 but a but less iconic than those above.
 
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Valt7786

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Amazing game up until the last area for me, that place sucked so hard it makes me not want to replay it, which is a real shame.
 
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A bit too challenging (cheap bosses), specially the last boss (horrible to design it that way). Great game nonetheless. It didn't overstay its welcome.
 
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Ladioss

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Amazing game up until the last area for me, that place sucked so hard it makes me not want to replay it, which is a real shame.
Wait, you are talking about
Fountainhead Palace
? What did you dislike ?
 

Danjin44

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A bit too challenging (cheap bosses), specially the last boss (horrible to design it that way). Great game nonetheless. It didn't overstay its welcome.
How’s it cheap exactly? I’m no skill player but manage to beat and still have tones of fun with the fight.
 

Sentenza

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A bit too challenging (cheap bosses), specially the last boss (horrible to design it that way). Great game nonetheless. It didn't overstay its welcome.
Ah yes. "Horrible to design" (?) is a good summary to describe quite possibly the best boss battle I've ever experienced in any game to date.
Jesus Fucking Christ, the hot takes on the internet.
 
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How’s it cheap exactly? I’m no skill player but manage to beat and still have tones of fun with the fight.
Lol that boss fight is absolutely poorly designed... it literally laughts at the player (and not in a good way). How many folks that actually got through the first bosses and got to the end (usually in itself the point at which casuals from hardcore's diverge and drop Soul games) actually dropped this game unfinished cause they couldn't get through this Final boss? Which btw also decentivizes players doing other runs for alternate endings because it's simply not fun to go through the last boss again?

The first phase of that fight was completely and totally unnecessary - to me, clearly, poor design. It's only there to drain you and make you recall a previous moveset from a different boss completely unrelated to the actual boss of the fight. Which results in three things: 1 - it makes the boss fight last longer beyond the already created expectations on length as you progressed through the game (3 phases), 2 - it makes you unprepared for the fight to come muscle memory wise and sets you off on timings for attacks, and 3 - it forces the player to be literally perfect, to almost perfect in order to have enough life, and resources to actually last the actual fight on the eventual fails, with the real boss, which is no slouch either. Then of course you could get to the actual boss and make a criticism here or there about the level of punish of a certain attack, whether that be the speed at which it happens, or the damage slider of the actual attack, or the sequence of attacks and how that could've been balanced to take into consideration the lengh of the fight, the variety of the attacks and what's being asked of the player challenge wise.

If, after going through such a challenging game, after an untold number of frustrating deaths, you're dropping your controller to go to youtube to watch some "expert" point out a cheap strategy you're doing it wrong - that is to say, the challenge spike is way to high, and the path and strategy forward is not clear to the player still - after reaching the game's end. Poor design. Cause we know, even after watching someone beat Ishin with a particular strategy... replication is still hard and not guaranteed success - not in the slightest.

There are certain folk who never take the slightest of criticisms, whether valid or not of FromSoftware well. Their games are far from perfect, design wise or otherwise, specially when balancing challenge - which you usually can tell it's up to individual designers there when going from boss to boss. Dark Souls 3 is that regard will continue to be, to me, one of their best games for the consistency and challenge build up (not counting Arandiel DLC).

Ishin feels cheap and is a cheap boss (and the last boss of the game to boot - not a good way to end the game when it leaves a sour taste).

Hence:
Amazing game up until the last area for me, that place sucked so hard it makes me not want to replay it, which is a real shame.

Blinders off folks...
 
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Danjin44

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Lol that boss fight is absolutely poorly designed... it literally laughts at the player (and not in a good way). How many folks that actually got through the first bosses and got to the end (usually in itself the point at which casuals from hardcore's diverge and drop Soul games) actually dropped this game unfinished cause they couldn't get through this Final boss? Which btw also decentivizes players doing other runs for alternate endings because it's simply not fun to go through the last boss again?

The first phase of that fight was completely and totally unnecessary - to me, clearly, poor design. It's only there to drain you and make you recall a previous moveset from a different boss completely unrelated to the actual boss of the fight. Which results in three things: 1 - it makes the boss fight last longer beyond the already created expectations on length as you progressed through the game (3 phases), 2 - it makes you unprepared for the fight to come muscle memory wise and sets you off on timings for attacks, and 3 - it forces the player to be literally perfect, to almost perfect in order to have enough life, and resources to actually last the actual fight on the eventual fails, with the real boss, which is no slouch either. Then of course you could get to the actual boss and make a criticism here or there about the level of punish of a certain attack, whether that be the speed at which it happens, or the damage slider of the actual attack and how that could've been balanced to take into consideration the lengh of the fight, the variety of the attacks and what's being asked of the player challenge wise.

There are certain folk who never take the slightest of criticisms, whether valid or not of FromSoftware well. Their games are far from perfect, design wise or otherwise, specially when balancing challenge - which you usually can tell it's up to individual designers there when going from boss to boss. Dark Souls 3 is that regard will continue to be, to me, one of their best games for the consistency and challenge build up (not counting Arandiel DLC).

Ishin feels cheap and is a cheap boss (and the last boss of the game to boot - not a good way to end the game).
I’m sorry but I completely disagree with your points. The last boss the ultimate test of everything you learned through out the game, he literally bring out most of the weapons you encounters so far. If you master the combat then most of his attacks you can deal with.

I played this game multiple times and I only had a hard time on my first playthrough but once I learned his attack pattern I can beat him even my first try.
 
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I’m sorry but I completely disagree with your points. The last boss the ultimate test of everything you learned through out the game, he literally bring out most of the weapons you encounters so far. If you master the combat then most of his attacks you can deal with.

I played this game multiple times and I only had a hard time on my first playthrough but once I learned his attack pattern I can beat him even my first try.
it's not the first time nor the last where we'll disagree on FromSoftware design choices (always a conscious choice) looking at the repeating nature. It's Ok too.
 
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iHaunter

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It was okay, I didn't really like it. It was too easy to cheese in that game.

I would give it a 6/10.
 
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I still like Bloodborne the best. And DeSo edges it out on atmosphere alone, but fuck it's an amazing game...I loved how the combat really required mastering the rhythm of enemy attacks. The boss fights started to feel like rhythm games to me.
 

Ladioss

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Navigating it felt like a chore and the enemies that drain/cripple you? They sucked. yeah yeah, git gud.
The point was to avoid their line-of-sight and then stealth kill them, but yeah whatever.

And Heian jidai-style aristocratic decadent court was a great change of setting from all those sengoku-era samurai castles in the rest of the game.
 

FrankWza

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I’m sorry but I completely disagree with your points. The last boss the ultimate test of everything you learned through out the game, he literally bring out most of the weapons you encounters so far. If you master the combat then most of his attacks you can deal with.

I played this game multiple times and I only had a hard time on my first playthrough but once I learned his attack pattern I can beat him even my first try.
I agree. It’s the end result of being miyagid.
 

ssringo

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Great game that I finished one time and will likely never play again.

Finished every Souls game at least 3 times.