The Wizeguy: No Easy Mode

Well, there goes my life for the next month. I’m sure gamers out there are finding themselves in the same predicament. When you consider the amount of great games that have already launched this year alone it boggles the mind as to how one will find the time to fit them all in. What can I say? Gamer problems, right.

Personally speaking, Souls games are a special treat (I know it’s technically not a souls game, calm down everyone.) so I’m more than looking forward to this latest romp through frustration. These games are a unique breed that harken back to the old NES days of challenging titles. As such, the feeling of accomplishment associated during one’s journey is something that is very hard to capture in today’s gaming landscape with other titles.

Now, if you have never played Dark Souls and want to give it a try there are things that can definitely ease the experience. Not quite easy mode, but critical stuff. If you or anyone else struggled like me for years to get into it here’s my tips for making it so it’s manageably easier (this will apply to Dark Souls 1 and Remastered but more or less works with any of them).

1- Look up where to find really good or overpowered armor early, and a really good weapon to suit your play style. Ignore progression to B-line for it. In Dark Souls 1 you can get the Elite Knight Set immediately which you can use for 3/4 of the game, same with the Drangleic set in 2. It’s cheesy but the games are hard as what so there’s no shame.

2- Co-op. My first run through of Dark Souls I had no idea how humanity worked. Being able to summon another human or NPC to fight a boss can turn fights from impossible to trivial.

3- You can grind. You can kill peeps over and over again to boost your stats, making you hit harder, have a higher health pool, etc.

4- Magic. Pyromancy in 1 or Hex/Sorcery in 2. It basically adds another button to nuke dudes from range.

You also very quickly get a feeling for the game’s visual language. If an enemy rears back in a certain way, you can consistently assume which direction it will attack from. At worst you die once, then come back with heavy knowledge of how the fight will go. I beat nearly every encounter in Bloodborne within three (hundred?) or so attempts because of this consistency, and it was the first From Software game I really delved into.

Sekiro is definitely hard, there’s no sugar coating that.

On the plus side this game is designed so that you are allowed to die at least once before punishment, with a cool down requiring you to kill a few enemies or do enough damage to a boss to get another do-over. No gambit run to your corpse after this death by the by. You just stand up wherever you died and can get the jump on what killed you. It’s only when you die twice without hitting that cool down requirement that you get punishment.

Sekiro is more deliberate than Ninja Gaiden, but it’s faster than Dark Souls — something like halfway between the two and it is one of the best games of 2019 so far. 


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