With the final sword slash struck, I can add Sekiro Shadow’s Die Twice to my catalog of From Software games beaten. Of the titles released by them, this one has been the most polarizing to talk about: between discussions on difficulty, to the very design and whether it’s as good as people were saying.
I’ve already written a lengthy piece discussing the overall nature of the game which people have disagreed with, but for this one, I want to talk explicitly about the combat engine, and why whether you love or hate Sekiro, the combat is objectively broken.
An essential element of videogames, and by extension any game, is having a win and lost state. One aspect we have seen to add more weight to a game’s design is the use of “punishment systems” — systems that penalize the player beyond the initial lost state. However, we’re going to talk about why kicking the player when they’re down is not the best way to motivate them to keep playing.
For today’s cast we’re talking Metroidvania design with developer Mark Radocy who created Vision Soft Reset. We spoke about his background, what it was like to design the game, and his thoughts on good metroidvania design.
Recently I tried the Kaizo hack known as Invictus, and in 30 minutes I racked up 100 deaths; not even getting to the first checkpoint. Over the last two months, I’ve played over 50 platformers while working on my next book, and this is the first time that I am just stopped dead in my tracks. With a sore hand, I’m left asking this question: Is Kaizo good game design?