After I finished Bloodborne I had this feeling it was their biggest “artistic achievement”

Sekiro isn’t perfect in this regard, but combat wise feel similar

As a game whole probably Demon’s closely followed by DaS 3

Hahaha I was too comfortable in ng+, the extra revisited area for ending 2 kinda burnt my whole afternoon. Hands hurtin!


bloodborne is one of the greatest artistic achievements in videogames imo. it is just so rich


has anyone tried actually fighting the great carp? like with your sword? can it be done?





The Souls series are fascinating in how they let you express yourself in combat and immerse yourself in the world. While I think the latter has been expanded upon as each new game has been introduced, the former has actually been continually reduced since Dark Souls 2. Sekiro seems to be perhaps the most recent evolution of that (again, if we’re considering it as really being part of the Souls series at all).

Sekiro’s speedruns are really interesting. Air-swimming seems to be the current big thing experimented with to try and swim through zones. There were a few skips before but the game looks entirely different at this point, a good 40% or so is now spent out-of-bounds.


It took me 15 hours to figure out 情報 is an old word for “stock, inventory.”


The whole overly prideful, boasting/competitive player base these attract (and develop) are something that can be hard to clarify for local-close friends: yes I enjoy the challenge, they can be that difficult demanding and unfair, no it’s not just barebones story and medieval gristle, no it’s not for getting a trophy. Because it’s such a great case when those statements can be inverted: it is at times too painful but then rewards some serenity, you can also break bits of the game in response, yes very little plot exposition richness underneath, yes I do get some personal satisfaction from the accomplishment.

If anyone wants to enjoy Sekiro but their 1)enthusiasm 2) aptitude for its combat focus (very specific-niche of speed/reflex reaction to enemy movement-patterns) is grating against their interest otherwise, well it really comes down to why? What’s left to enjoy? Is there another method for me to appreciate those things, or move on? The latest but also leanest; imo you aren’t missing a great deal if it doesn’t click.

I love looking at various RTS games and their setups, details, histories, etc. etc. but have never been good with them, some remain daunting, some just look boring af. I know my mind’s not super geared for what I perceive as tons of fluctuating micro-macro management.


I just beat Demon of Hatred and the boss became a lot easier once I became aware you could block pretty much all of its attacks. It’s still a much more attack-y fight than most other bosses, but blocking during some of those bits is a lot more valuable than me trying to dodge like I did before.

Still, I am feeling weird when I beat these bosses. I will butt my head against them and feel like they’re a wall. Then I’ll have a run and beat them with very few problems and then begin to question what happened. I wish this was a less regular feeling but especially with the endgame bosses this has been a very regular experience when I play Sekiro. It’s less satisfying and more, “ok, I guess…” I think it’s because I’m not sure if it was me or what I did or if the loop I got just happened to be the good one.

And there’s no real way to know short of doing what speedrunners do.


Strange! The wikipedia page claims it was imported from french in the late 19th


some thoughts on the difficulty discourse surrounding this game:

  • I think multiple difficulty modes are cool when (and only when) each mode provides unique, tailor-made challenges, such as Mushihimesama or Monkey Ball or most puzzle or rhythm games… rather than a lazily watered-down (or fillered up) version by tweaking a few variables of the same experience. Sekiro (and other Souls games) are remarkable in providing non-artificial, non-condescending options to have yourself an easier experience when and where you need it.

  • I think the moral/financial (is it really fiscally necessary?) imperative for multiple difficulty modes gives an uneasy sense of homogenousness across games; they lose that aspect of identity and distinction. I think it’s cool for there to be hard games and easy games; I think there’s a good mix and I think it’s depraved that disabled gamers (many of whom have proven that they love taking on challenges and accomplishing what the rest of us would give up at) have been brought into this in the name of “making games more accessible”.

  • I think the way forward for gaming is to allow creators to make their games as inaccessible as they want them to be, by any flavor of difficulty they deem appropriate (physical, intellectual, moral/emotional). I think any convention that is inessential to the very soul of a game should be abolished, and that goes hard for UI/HUD design (which I find generally more problematic than difficulty modes).

  • I think any statement that begins or arrives at “all games should have this concession” is harmful to the advancement of the artform and the expression of artists. This goes for everything in the main menu; I’d even be willing to argue cases like key rebinding in some instances (custom hotkeys in StarCraft: Brood War, combination press binds in fighting games; these sacrifice a distinctive physical element and challenge of the game, for better or worse).


the recent Waypoint podcast had a good discussion about the difficulty and the discourse around it.


A lot of these same arguments also get used for the wide array of garbage that’s currently floating about the market. Anything and everything goes, regardless of direction, doesn’t lead to better things.

Though that said, I’m not typically one for wide statements anymore. Statements specific to a design or aesthetic perhaps, but for those to mature it has to know where the boundaries are, it has to build a language and know how to speak it.

It is perhaps why From is so frequently at odds with itself. It has so many working designs and yet it violates those conventions on such a regular basis, as if they themselves do not understand the purpose of their own designs. Perhaps the purpose is reinvention on a continual basis, but violating design without purpose just leads to inaccessibility as a result of decisions that are perfectly controllable.

I see in Sekiro a design which wants to control the flow but also feels itself too overbearing in some aspects, and so half-heartedly pulls itself in another direction. The grindable skill tree, the eventually purchasable attack power. These decisions seem like they should have been made much more exacting and causal, just as the rest of the game is (Prayer Beads, Prosthetics, Healing Gourds, etc.), but instead are left to how much time and frustration the player is willing to endure. Purchasable Spirit Emblems, reusable buffs but also non-reusable buffs. Items spread everywhere that are almost all entirely useless and most all eventually purchasable. Always this weird mash of ideas, always so much paint at the wall. I guess each person will just find that particular wall better or less-suited to them.


I have, yes, and I don’t think it can be done, no more than killing the giant snake guarding the dried viscera in that cave


I think creators should know what they’re making and make just that, with the minimum of artificial concessions, and deal with the consequences if their design fails. I think this would necessarily drive improvement across the board.

I think you can’t allow greatness to exist without also allowing garbage to exist; they both transgress conventions. Any piece of garbage can be recontextualized into something great; greatness in art is often built out of garbage.

I find this aspect of Souls games endearing; I don’t think everything laying around on the ground should be empowering to you, so it’s just used to flesh out the world. It makes it feel real special when you find something like Prayer Beads, and it doesn’t feel as patronizing as having Guaranteed XP Rewards or whatever for scouring every inch of the map.

I also love how most Souls games have a seemingly useless consumable that’s of great (exchange) value to a certain NPC or questline. They play with your expectations of what is important to you and your progress.


So many times the items spread over the environment seems to be the game designers saying to you: hey, this is an interesting path to follow, or hey, this item could make your life easier in that area. They also serve as an in-game marker of where you’ve haven’t gone.

They’ve added another new layer of that with the spying.

Sekiro taught me (informed by playing The Witness) that I’ve all my life played games as if they were simulations. I now see the error in that: there’s a literacy of game design, there’s environmental story telling that I’ve been completely missing and that started unfolding itself once I told myself: the game designers are trying to tell me something here.

And with so much of our modern interactions being about words, symbolic concepts, I now better understand why I play games.


It’s weird because I think Souls games could have an easy mode and Mario games could have a hard mode but I wouldn’t dick around in either for more than two hours anyway, so my opinion is immediately worthless to anyone. Notice I didn’t say “should” have because I really don’t care either way. Some games are not for me.

I feel for those that want to have the Sekiro experience though and can’t get it because the game is just too punishing. There are people out there who find it incredibly rewarding but there must be an equal amount of people out there who would feel the same way if the game was adapted down to their skill level. An easy mode can still be rewarding if that’s where your skill level is at. I don’t know that that’s really a matter of artistic freedom. It’s just… having options to make a game have wide appeal. That costs resources though so I get that not every game has all the options you’d wish for.

Options cost time and money and effort. Having a narrow appeal might be an artistic choice after all so I don’t know…


Is the game “too punishing” or is it simply too much work for them, because they weren’t inclined to take the game seriously on its own terms? If they weren’t, why should the game cater to them at all? Is the game really complete without the experience of learning it? Sekiro isn’t that demanding in terms of reflex; it’s just learning and adapting the correct response when you see X on the screen. If you don’t care about that, then what are you here for? It’s not as if the game looks a third as good as Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which has a discounted edutainment version with just the world to explore and no game. If you want to play Sekiro just to join the conversation, then it’s for the best that you’re talking about the same game (and the same mode) as everyone else.

I’ve never understood the line about playing games on easy “to experience the story”, because you aren’t really experiencing the story if you’ve stripped the hardship out of it. The difficulties the player character faces ARE most of the narrative!

Anyone can have “the Sekiro experience”; theirs just might be more intense, and really, I envy them, because this game by default was mostly too easy for me, but that’s okay and I won’t count it as a flaw against the game. I also don’t complain about the many games that are too hard for me to ever finish, and I feel there aren’t nearly enough of them.

Basically, I’m just not inclined to believe that the proponents of easy modes actually desire a challenge but on a more accommodating level… because then they never talk about the challenge. I’ve never heard someone pointedly praise a game for providing a good challenge on Easy.


MOOD and PLACE are the things I like in videogames, I’ve never given a shit about mechanics or mechanical difficulty or mastering button presses


on what planet