Underneath my yellow skin

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Sekiro: Praise the Empire of the Sun!

Ed. Note: More Sekiro, of course. Yes, there will be spoilers. Many, many, many spoilers. In fact, consider the whole post one gigantic spoiler. 

Update Ed. Note: Turns out I had a lot to say about the difficulty of FromSoft games, so this post will not be as spoilerific as I initially thought. More like mild spoilers. Unless you’ve never played the Souls games, for which there are bigger spoilers. There will be one major spoiler for Sekiro, and I will tag it when we get to it. 

My complicated relationship with Sekiro continues. I have consumed it with a focus that is probably frightening to behold, but it’s how I play all FromSoft games. By the way, I’m retiring the Soulsborne moniker and just calling them FromSoft games from now on. They are not all the same, and they are not interchangeable. Even though I understand why people lumped Dark Souls and Bloodborne together, it’s not really the best way to talk about the games. Yes, they share similarities, but it’s because they’re made by the same company, and, specifically, the shared vision is that of Miyazaki. So, FromSoft games it is.

I have no idea where I am in the game, but it feels like end game to me. By that, I mean the last third of the game. Again, I don’t know for sure, but I know the rhythms of FromSoft games by now, and, yeah, I would say I’m two-thirds through it.

Last time I wrote about Sekiro in the bonus post, I was raving about the unique experience I get from beating a FromSoft boss that I previously thought was unbeatable. I’ve written posts in the past, likening the process to the 5 stages of grief. I’d like to expand on this a bit because every time there’s a release from FromSoft, there’s the inevitable discussion about whether or not there should be an easy mode included. It’s frustrating because it’s hard to explain exactly why an easy mode would absolutely take away from the essence of the games. Dan Tack from Game Informer (their resident FromSoft games enthusiast) has a great article on it.

I have to note that people conflate two things when they bring up an easy mode for FromSoft games. (Almost typed Souls games. It’s gonna take a while for me to self-correct on this.) One reason for requesting one is to make the game for accessible for people with disabilities, and the other is to make the game more accessible for people who don’t have the time, patience, obsessive nature, etc., to become competent at the games.

I have sympathy for the former, and to the extent the games can be more accessible such as being able to rebind buttons (Sekiro is the first FromSoft game for which you can do it), colorblind settings, etc., I am here for it. All of it. Putting the glowing red Deathblow circle on an enemy, having differently-colored arrows over enemy heads, using a kanji character to indicate when you’re about to encounter an unblockable hit–all of this i s good. (If FromSoft wanted to add an option to turn it off, that would be fine, too.)

Making the game itself easier? Yeah, no.

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