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Sekiro

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02 Apr 2019 14:07 #294876 by Gary Sax
Sekiro was created by Gary Sax
Alright, so I'll mostly have to stay out of a thread I'm creating because of spoilers, but a lot of TWBGers have had a lot to say about this elsewhere.

My main question: does this run ok on a base PS4? I'm worried the frame rate will be too poor and it's such a sensitive game to frame because of the counter emphasis...

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02 Apr 2019 14:27 #294878 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
I'm only about halfway through so I can't speak for the whole game, but I haven't experienced any significant performance drops. Even sections with loads of enemies, fire, and other environmental stuff at the same time have felt fine. When it dips it doesn't jitter, and when you're fighting a boss it's typically only one enemy so the frame rate sits high and stable.

For the Souls-curious out there, there hasn't been a better starting point. Moreso than any prior FS game Sekiro actually tries to teach you its important concepts. Of course it's got plenty of hidden and cryptic stuff to learn too, but there's not a single thing your character can do that it won't eventually tell you about.
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02 Apr 2019 14:32 #294879 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
God, I need this semester to end so I can dive in. Going through the whole of the recent From Games (DS2 remaster, DS3, Bloodborne) are like some of my flat out best entertainment experiences of my 30s.
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02 Apr 2019 14:59 #294883 by Colorcrayons
Replied by Colorcrayons on topic Sekiro

Gary Sax wrote: My main question: does this run ok on a base PS4? I'm worried the frame rate will be too poor and it's such a sensitive game to frame because of the counter emphasis...


I'm not having any problems using a normal PS4 to play sekiro.
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03 Apr 2019 09:46 #294903 by JonathanVolk
Replied by JonathanVolk on topic Sekiro
Oof, this game is brutal, and I had half a mind to say it’s far harder than the Souls games or Bloodborne, but something has finally clicked in the parrying system. I get it, though I’m not certain I love it—same for the world, which has all those lovely From designs that twist and deform and become more uncanny the deeper you get, but for some reason aren’t quite connecting with me the way Bloodborne did.
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03 Apr 2019 09:59 #294905 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
So far Bloodborne is still my favorite. Yharnam had incredible atmosphere and the aesthetics appealed to me more. You WANTED to hunt the monsters in Bloodborne because they were all horrible nightmares, and the fights against human enemies were particularly special as a result. Sekiro is going for something entirely different and I think it does it well, but it's slightly less to my taste.

That said I still really like it and intend to make a lot more progress once I find the time.

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04 Apr 2019 06:17 #294942 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Sekiro

Vysetron wrote: So far Bloodborne is still my favorite. Yharnam had incredible atmosphere and the aesthetics appealed to me more.


Not played Sekiro but wanted to chime in on this. Bloodborne certainly had the best aesthetics, but hiding the item required to level up unless you beat Father Gascoigne is design bastardy of the highest order. There's simply no way that it improves the player experience, it just makes new players more likely to give up and go elsewhere.

Dark Souls tops it for me. For much of the game, it was possible to grind your way past encounters you found difficult. Although even then some of the late fights were just gruelling slogs, where the envelope of difficulty for the sake of difficulty was pushed too far.
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04 Apr 2019 10:09 - 04 Apr 2019 10:10 #294961 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
Required is a strong word, I never found it and squeezed past, but it does make that initial challenge before you learn to counter a pretty hard wall.

I actually think the bigger sin in the opening of that game relates to not being able to level up before you get an insight. So you have to get to the usually-first boss, the Cleric Beast, before you can even begin to get any stronger. I think that's a real fuck you since, as you mentioned, the system is created to allowyou to grind past really hard stuff if it comes down to it.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2019 10:10 by Gary Sax.
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04 Apr 2019 10:17 #294965 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
Every FS game likes to force you to learn key concepts by making you break through a wall. Bloodborne's is Gascoigne. If you can't beat Gascoigne you are completely unprepared for what's behind him. Sekiro does similar in its early game by forcing you get past midbosses like the Chained Ogre early on. I haven't played Dark Souls as much but I'm sure it happens there too.

"Proving" that you're ready to progress is a very old school way of handling things. I happen to be fine with it as long as the lesson it's teaching is actually necessary. Generally speaking I've found FS picks the right lessons.

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04 Apr 2019 10:21 #294968 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
I think what we're probably ultimately buiding to is the meta discussion sweeping the internet about Sekiro right now, which is if it should have an easy mode of some sort. Since it wouldn't affect me, my reaction is why not, I'd never play it and I *know* Miyazaki would not design around it, but I know there are other strong opinions about how a game should be made and authorial intent, etc.

I do think the cooperators and other mechanisms that used to be in the games were much more elegant ways to handle this problem, so it's a shame some of them have been cut out.
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04 Apr 2019 10:34 #294972 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Sekiro
I normally wouldn't care if a game had difficulty modes, but the way the arguments around Sekiro's difficulty have been framed are incredibly disingenuous. Journos are claiming it's an accessibility issue and using disabled folks as a shield in a "think of the cripples" argument and it disgusts me.

Accessibility and difficulty are not the same. Accessibility is allowing as many people to play your game as possible. Subtitles for dialog and key sound effects, colorblind coding, rebindable keys, etc. There are legions of disabled folks of all kinds who demonstrate mastery of incredibly difficult games. Shit, my wife is disabled and I've seen her overcome ridiculous hurdles in games like Monster Hunter or Dorf Fort. Her reaction to the recent flurry of articles was a disappointed "again?".

We only see "accessibility" come up in the zeitgeist when journalists are personally struggling with some popular game that they need to beat in order to maintain credibility. Meanwhile there's post after post of folks with all sorts of physical issues kicking Sekiro's ass. Frankly that's the best advertising FromSoft could ask for.

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04 Apr 2019 10:45 #294974 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Sekiro

Gary Sax wrote: I actually think the bigger sin in the opening of that game relates to not being able to level up before you get an insight. So you have to get to the usually-first boss, the Cleric Beast, before you can even begin to get any stronger. I think that's a real fuck you since, as you mentioned, the system is created to allowyou to grind past really hard stuff if it comes down to it.


That's what I was talking about. What did you think I was talking about?

Vysteron wrote: Every FS game likes to force you to learn key concepts by making you break through a wall. Bloodborne's is Gascoigne. If you can't beat Gascoigne you are completely unprepared for what's behind him.


That choice ought to be up to the player, not the game designer. And if this logic is accurate, why is there a workaround whereby you can find an Insight hidden in the sewers?

Even if accurate, Bloodborne is still bastardy because it chooses to impose this wall through the totally unnecessary and very harsh means of forcing a player to essentially waste *all* the echoes they earn early on. You can play for hours and gain no grind progress at all. Why not simply design Gascoigne to be impossible to beat unless you can pull off a counter?

FWIW I totally wasn't doing that. As soon as I realised what was going on I scoured the internet to see if there was a solution and went to find the hidden Insight. Hasn't spoiled the game for me, at all.

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04 Apr 2019 11:11 - 04 Apr 2019 11:12 #294976 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic Sekiro
I haven't tried this one. I played a small chunk of Dark Souls, and an even smaller chunk of Dark Souls 3.

I don't have the patience for games that are openly antagonistic to the player, nor do I have the time and inclination to devote to them, so this stuff isn't for me. I would certainly be more open to playing them if they had an easy mode.

I really liked Super Meat Boy, but you know what? I got to see about 8% of that game. But I bought 100% of it.
Last edit: 04 Apr 2019 11:12 by hotseatgames.
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04 Apr 2019 14:08 #294987 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Sekiro
I misread you, Matt, I assumed you were talking about the music box that stops him! Apologies.
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04 Apr 2019 15:05 #294989 by JonathanVolk
Replied by JonathanVolk on topic Sekiro
I see two interesting conversations intersecting here/running parallel.

1. What could FromSoftware do to make their games more accessible to players who love their worlds but can’t play their games either because of a difference in ability or an aversion to difficult games?

2. How much of “Difficulty Gate” is tied into a bigger discussion of “get gud” culture—which brings in discourses of masculinity, aggression, dominance, etc?

The metaphors to other media—books, films, etc.—are interesting but in many cases leave me in a state of confusion? We have more “accessible” translations of Shakespeare, for instance, but we might bite our thumbs at them too (as we begrudgingly admit their utility for getting Shakespeare in front of more eyes). There is no “accessible” Finnegan’s Wake because modernism is its own closed, masturbatory system, like a porno going on inside a porno (Insextion). If enough people cared about Joyce, maybe we’d see calls for accessibility that interrogates difficulty, but the difficulty of the book is largely the point; Joyce said it took him 17 years to write Finnegan’s Wake, so it should take you 17 years to read it. Sure thing, Joycey!

If Sekiro is video game’s modernism, then maybe count me out? While the friction and resistance of From games is one seductive point of entry, that can’t explain away the vicarious pleasure spectators on Twitch streams have just watching others play. These games have gorgeous worlds and gorgeous moods that have nothing to do with the difficulty!

Couldn’t From include an “invulnerable” mode that allows you to soak up all damage? Would the inclusion of this seemingly quick and easy fix (you can tell I’m a programmer, right?) change the game in fundamental ways? Especially if it was buried in an Accessibility Menu for those few who might use it? Would we be too tempted, knowing it was buried there? I don’t know! I just think we should be suspicious of ever agreeing with the “git gud” crowd.

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