Sekiro’s Final Boss

Word of Caution: The following post contains spoilers to the game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The post contains information and a video footage of the game’s final boss.

It has been two years since Sekiro released (where does time go?!). I thoroughly enjoyed the game up to the final battle, at which point I dropped the game after countless tries. It has always been bugging me, but I remind myself that I’m not a completists or a perfectionist when it comes to games by any means. Having said that, I did finish every Miyazaki game I played, which probably warrants that nagging feeling.

It took a couple of days to get back into the game and roughly over 48 hours to finally beat the final boss and what an exhilarating feeling to finally do that. Despite it not being particularly described as a souls-game, it’s not different from Miyazaki’s other games. Except in this game, the final boss is a collection of 4 stages. Each one is unique with enough antics under its belt.

Genichero’s first stage is similar to Genichero’s battle, which the player has already beaten at that point. It’s a very fast-paced sequence that isn’t particularly harder than the first battle you face him in, but because of the pacing, you’re very prone to making mistakes and all it takes is one mistake for the entire battle to fall apart. This is probably something that I have always liked about Miyazaki’s games, is that the lower rank enemies are just as capable as bigger ones to challenge you, no matter how advanced you are in the game.

Isshin’s first phase is slower than Genichero’s, but the range of his sword attacks is massive. By far, it’s the most forgiving stage of the battle, but any wrong turn and you’ll pay the price. The two phases after this are the most gruesome. Isshin’s third phase, in my opinion, is the most challenging. At this point he abandons his sword and reveals a long deadly spear and fashions a gun. His movesets are so erratic, bizarre, unpredictable, and highly predictive of your own. Although he only has a handful of moves, he alternates them remarkably well depending on your own moving. In the final phase, Isshin maintains almost very similar movesets to his previous phase, except now he has a couple of new special attacks: two types of lightening and a wide arc charged attack. He’s also slightly faster and deadlier.

My strategy for the battle is the same as any souls game. I spend a few tries simply blocking to observe and memorize the movesets of the opponent. There’s no point trying to beat them at this point. The goal is to memorize the moves so well so that I could fall back onto muscle memory when and if I need it, especially when things suddenly go out of the ordinary or I need to focus on the next sequence.

For Genichero, I try to be as aggressive as he is and a bit more. If I give him space then his movement becomes wider and out of control. So for this stage, I try to keep him defending as I can. Eventually his breaks and he’ll fall.

For all four stages of the battle, I do not aim to defeat by means of attacking. Instead, I focus on building their posture bar through deflecting and then breaking their posture. It’s useless attacking. It will take a long time and put you more at risk of taking damage yourself, unless you’re doing the “tanking or cheesing” method, which is basically cheating and the game wasn’t designed to be played that way. At the same time, my own posture builds up as I deflect, so it’s an ongoing struggle to maintain the balance between attacking, deflecting, and allowing my own posture bar to deplete before charging. If my posture breaks at any point then I’m unmovable and basically sitting duck for a fatal blow.

For Isshin’s second and third phases, I deflect 90% of the time and only attack 10% between his own deflecting, if and when I get the chance like immediately after he lands an attack or when his back is turned. Some of his attack combinations are very long and I struggle to counter them without breaking my postures, so I try to get away, let him attack, and then counter the final special attack he does with a Mikiri encounter. The last phase continues the same way, except now whenever he jumps to perform a lightening attack, I wait a little for a second or two and then jump touch the lightening and throw it back at him. So overall, without attacking him, deflecting, countering with mikiri and using his own lightening should fill up his posture bar fast to finally break him down.

I absolutely loved the level of detail that went into designing the battle, and frankly every other battle in the game (Owl’s battle being one of my favorites). It’s not always fun playing Miyazaki’s games. They’re usually slow in the beginning, and I often find myself losing hope and confidence, but I also absolutely love the ability to see myself progress through active strategy. Once you get it, you’ll see yourself finding a way out. This is usually referred to as a motto souls-games fan often use—“Get good!”

The following video is of my gameplay against Sekiro’s final boss

Nioh 2 | Review

So after my post-YatsuNoKami mini hiatus I did actually go back and finish Nioh 2. The battle system is that addicting, as for the story I couldn’t say the same. I was never really that invested in Nioh’s world for some reason. There’s plenty of lore but not enough to have kept me engaged the way Sekiro or souls-games have in the past.

I’ve solo-ed my way through to about 3/4 of it but by the end I discovered the co-op feature and used it plenty. I don’t usually enjoy co-ops but I found myself digging this one. The game’s flexibility in armor, weaponry and character enhancement made it really fun to meet up with other players to see how they utilized theirs. Each build comes across as very unique. Refashioning your character alone can take up so much time and the end result is satisfying.


The level designs were also nice in my opinion along with great graphics and music. What I didn’t like; however, was how the missions were planned out. A lot of the side missions were just rehashing of the main. Revisit the area of the main mission, drop a boss (often a mini boss from the main mission), then rinse and repeat. Many times it played out like a colosseum fight mode where one fight sequence leads to a chain of seconds and thirds. It got to the point where they would throw at you 4 or 5 (and at one point more than 6) mini bosses back to back. I found that ridiculous, which is what prompted me to yield to the co-op feature. With Sekiro, for instance, the bosses were difficult in their own unique way. With this game; however, I felt the ‘intention’ of wanting Nioh 2 to be difficult far outweighs its own good. Not sure if this makes sense.


I don’t think it’s always fair to compare Sekiro to Nioh though. There’s enough in this game to appreciate for sure. I can also see players spending months playing this game with the amount of content that it has. As for myself, I can say that I enjoyed it a lot. Watching the credit roll in the end actually gave me a bitter-sweet moment. I felt relieved to cross it off my list to focus on other games, especially when I wasn’t that invested in the story, but was surprise nonetheless to see how much the world of Nioh 2 grew on me.

My final score is 4/5 ★★★★

  • 4/5 for gameplay
  • 3/5 for design
  • 5/5 for battle system
  • 1/5 for plot
  • Game Platform (played on): PS4.
  • Game link
  • Game trailer

Related Post: Yatsu no Kami Battle | Link

Control | Game Review

Control is an action-adventure game that takes place inside a Bureau in New York. This Bureau functions as a secret organization that is doing a lot of quantum or para science experimentations. The main character is Jess Fayden; a woman that seeks the Bureau to find answers about her lost brother but finds herself appointed as the Bureau’s new director struggling for “control”.

Control 2

At the start, the game gives little attention in spelling out the events for you. In fact, I kept wondering whether perhaps I was playing a sequel, but I wasn’t. The course of narrative in this game is very hazy and for the most part it stays hazy till the end.

Control 4

The Bureau itself was fun to explore. I heard there are plenty of references in Control to other games, among those are: Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Max Payne. I’m pretty sure Prey also played a role in influencing Control. The level designs were very reminiscent of Prey, which happens to be my top favorite game. The level of detail in each room is wonderful. I absolutely love walking into companies, labs, or tech centers and this game did not disappoint in that regard. What it did end up disappointing however was not giving you enough to actually appreciate the level design.

Control 5

In Prey, for instance, there’s plenty to do exploring, aside from memos and inside culture (which this game has), you can also collect raw materials and then recycle them to upgrade tools and weapons. In control, the only thing to collect aside from notes and audio clips, is basically a box with random materials. It would have been better, for example, if those materials were scattered in the level design instead. Another thing, each floor has an aid kit hinged on a wall, 80% of the time that means you’re picking up a healing item. Not in this game. In other words, there’s plenty of enticing detailed elements that are basically pointless. As a result, it brings a lacking experience to exploring. You stop feeling motivated to unlock new destinations and just focus on moving ahead with the main mission.

Next, there’s a wealth of memorabilia and lore to pick up in this game and while plenty of it adds some value to the main story, for the most part, yet again, feels lacking. In Fallout, The Last of Us and Prey, often notes allude to certain locations or to a specific ‘incident’ or character. In the Last of Us, you read correspondence between two people. You then visit that location and you visually see the remnants of that incident. Similarly, in Prey (and it does this so well), you read about a work event, you visit that location and you find that particular door, secret item, or special weapon mentioned. Even if it’s not for the purpose of finding an object, you find yourself wanting to go to a place mentioned just to put in context a touching story you just read. This adds a great deal of depth and culture to the world you’re exploring and often times gives you a fun ‘aha’ moment that’s very much missed in this game. In comparison, Control’s world feels empty and meaningless.

Control 3

The other major let down for me is the battle system. The game has unique battle features such as manipulating objects and launching them from a far. Additionally, you can unlock cool skills like floating and conjuring up a shield from nearby ruble. These are all creative tools to appreciate if it wasn’t for the tedious battle designs. Enemy attacks are unvaried, frequent and hardly changing. It was exciting in the beginning but I found myself getting seriously bored halfway and I stopped bothering about taking parts in battles. A good game will make you care about side missions and battles, even the idle ones. I would go far as to say that the game plays out as button-smashing sometimes due to lack of inventiveness in battle designs. And to make things worse, the frame rate drop is inexcusable. You can get away with one or two enemies undisturbed but add a fourth one and the game lags so badly, and it gets worse till the end. Even the ending credit roll lagged- how is that even possible? There’s also no apparent way to increase the difficulty for a bit of a challenge. Random battles can be very easy but boss level designs are absurd. Difficult and absurd are two different things.

Control 6

Control 7

Having said all of this, now that I look back on the game, I don’t consider it a total waste of time. It had its charming and memorable moments. I definitely won’t play it a second time though. I just hope that if and when they develop a sequel, and judging from the ending, a sequel is possible, they would take into consideration all these shortcomings. There’s a lot to work with in Control and I think once it’s polished, the game could turn out to be very interesting.

My final score is 3/5 ★★★

  • 2/5 for gameplay
  • 4/5 for design
  • 3/5 for battle system
  • 2/5 for plot

Game Platform (played on): PS4.

Game link

Game trailer

Review: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of The Tomb Raider is the third game of the Square Enix’ Tomb Raider series. It takes place after the events of the second game Rise of The Tomb Raider. In short and without saying too much, the story centers on Lara Croft’s adventures in South America as she battles, yet again, the military organization Trinity and tries to put a stop to a Mayan apocalypse.


I plunged into The Shadow of Tomb Raider without actually remembering the previous games. For the most part it was fine except for some references to characters here and there that I completely forgot about.


The game stood out the most compared to its counterparts for the following reasons:

  • There are more puzzles and less combat
  • The puzzles are more complex
  • The world itself feels far-ranging than the other two
  • The culture (particularly Paititi)  portrayed in the game is distinct (although reminded me a lot of Assassins’ Creed Origins


Having said that, there were a few things that I didn’t like. The story, for example, is a bit mundane. The gameplay eventually became predictable too. After mountain climbing there’s definitely a grappling hook. After a cliff jump there’s usually a diving session. After a temple puzzle there’s always combat and then rinse and repeat. Even the combats can be predictable in the number of enemies you get and where they are situated. Another issue I have with the Square Enix Tomb Raider games is the leveling up mechanics. I find myself never too excited or motivated to unlock skills like I am with other games because I find the variety of skills a bit boring and to be honest useless compared to lets say games such as Dying Light, Fallout and Far Cry games. In fact, I pretty much got through the entire game without upgrading any survivor skills and it didn’t feel like I missed anything.

Overall the game isn’t overly bad but it isn’t anything special either. I would probably say that it’s not worth the full price to be honest. I would recommend renting it or borrowing it from a friend instead.

My final score is 3/5 ★★★★

  • 4/5 for gameplay
  • 2/5 for plot
  • 3/5 for puzzles & exploration
  • 3/5 for overall experience

Game Platform (played on): Sony Playstation 4

Links: Trailer