Absolutely this. I’m with you, I can’t really articulate exactly how to fight and deal with horse-headed assholes in Nioh 2. It’s not something I could put into 10 bullet points or something.
Honestly, this game beat the shit out of me for a long time and I just had to learn by getting my face smashed in repeatedly. Each of the first three bosses took me literally hours of trying to take down. I think most of a Saturday afternoon/evening was spent trying to beat that tornado guy in the forge. That’s when I learned to love low stance for the mobility to dodge his mines and various attacks.
What’s surprising to me is that I didn’t get overly frustrated. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d get frustrated but I would expect a lot of rage quits to happen when they just didn’t. It’s remarkable that they were able to package together such a difficult and punishing intro to a game (at least for me) yet keep me engaged. Every fight I was getting beat up, but every fight I always felt like “Ah dangit, I screwed up by doing _____. I really should have done ____. Round 32, FIGHT!”. That is, I was able to figure out why I got my face smashed in. And holy cow, beating those first few bosses was intensely rewarding once they finally went down.
Things got a lot smoother for me after that and a lot of bosses have been one shots since, thanks to the game basically forcing me to “develop a feel for it”. That being said, I’m loving the fact that despite sticking with the same weapon throughout, I’m still learning how to be more effective with it. It’s super interesting for me to look back and see how my fighting has evolved as I’ve played the game, I almost wish some video highlights/overviews were recorded so I could see it in action. The way I approach battles with the splitstaff now is just completely different than it was earlier on in the game. I think it went something like:
- Brain overload. Stick to mid stance and fight like Monster Hunter with some tweaks (as we just discussed).
- Oh, hey, this low stance thing sure is useful to avoid all these explosions and to get back to the baddy after he attacks.
- Wow, the range and damage on my high stance is fantastic against some of these yokai that have some reach themselves. But boy is it depleting my stamina, I really am having to get better at timing ki pulses and making sure I do that constantly.
- Oh lookie, lots of new moves opening up in my skill tree! Lets experiment with a bunch of stuff.
- Interlude of getting my ass kicked.
- You know, I’ve mostly been paying attention to the enemies’ red bar, not that green one. I’m not as clear on the Yokai purple bar but for humans this is kinda kicking ass. Demons maybe not so much.
- Oh okay, I am getting the purple ki bar thing now. This is pretty handy too, even if I don’t get the grapple immediately like I would on humans.
- Oh wow, translating that to boss fights is amazing. My battles with bosses is heavily focused on getting that purple/max bar down and then wailing on their stupid face!
It’s been an amazing ride so far. I’m just finishing up the first DLC, am really looking forward to getting into NG+ and really customizing my gear/build.