A serious test of your concentration, and reflexes.

User Rating: 8 | Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice PC

The Good

- the fights can be frustrating but after you beat it, it feels satisfying. When I finally beat the game, it felt like a long journey finally complete.

- have to be careful when to heal. Keeps the tension up even when you are half health, even if you have a bunch of healing items.

- I like how the saving is done. It prevents save scumming to retain XP and money.

- the posture and health battle mechanic is clever. It forces the player to parry, and learn the pattern and timing of the enemy's moves, instead of just blocking forever. The game rewards you for parrying successfully. A fight can be over fast if you are good at it. Long and stressful if you are bad at it. Hence, it rewards skill, which is great.

- Enemies and bosses are unique. Each boss encounter threw something interesting your way. Every fight was a new challenge.

- The visual style is really cool, if you like historical Japan/Asia. The design of the enemies and allies were interesting too. Involving spirits and mythical creatures was a nice touch.

The Bad

- the respawn points for a boss fight should be right before the Boss encounter. Having the spawn point so far back just causes unnecessary travel time. Every death you are guaranteed a death screen, a loading screen, and walking to the boss fight. These three things add up. It may only take about 30 seconds in total, but when you die 30 or 50 times it adds up to a lot of unnecessary time loss.

- skills in the skill tree could have used a video or gameplay sample before the player decides if they want it or not. XP is precious in the game cause you can lose it so easily. Knowing exactly what you're spending it on is important. Text explanation simply isn't detailed enough.

- the respawn points annoyed me so much I decided to use a trainer to just practice the boss fight, before taking it on for real.

- the grappling points on the trees against the Guardian Ape boss was very finicky. I would be trying to grapple the monkey but end up grappling the tree.

- lock on can be finicky sometimes too, especially against lady butterfly. If the poles break your line of sight with her for too long, you lose the lock on. Or if she goes too far away, the lock on will also disappear.

- the camera can feel wonky sometimes

- items being used up after a lost battle made me not want to use them in case I needed them for a hard boss fight. In the end I didn't use any buff items because of that reason. Losing money and XP is one thing, but losing items after a boss fight is kind of annoying. Perhaps there could have been a better way they could have done this, while still retaining the difficulty.

- it was really hard to get much of the extra skills because I kept losing XP from losing boss battles. I decided to farm XP off of weak enemies. This took forever. This felt inevitable because I had to go back to the boss fights over and over to learn the patterns. Unless your second playthrough or you have prior experience with the game, there's just almost no way you can build up a much XP. Hence most of the skills will be out of your reach. Luckily almost none of the skills are mandatory to win the game, it just makes it a bit easier.