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02.27.20 CD Archive II02.26.20 CD Archive I
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Sekiro BOSSES and AREAS ranked order of preference! Stuck on final boss on first playthrough, but I'm travelling from tomorrow and won't get a chance to play for a while so I figured this would be a good time for a first impression.

We're Here Because We're Here

BEST AREA - Fountainhead
Absolutely stunning, smartly designed and rewards good use of stealth, plus plenty extensive. Am still slightly overwhelmed by the sights on this one.
The Alchemy Index Vol. II: Water

Mibu Village
This one is fairly linear, but it gets a lot of extra points for atmosphere. The sinister feeling I got on first arriving really stuck with me, and it marked this one out.
4Red Sparowes
At The Soundless Dawn

Ashina Castle
Absolute blast to play through, loved the verticality and the branching paths kept me in the dark as to what the 'correct' way forward was. Bonus points for developing according to game progress, was nice to see the challenge renewed.
5My Dying Bride
The Barghest o’ Whitby

Hirata Estate
Linear design done just right. Great secret area (where you find the Mist Raven) and a lot of suspense and intrigue with the firebrand aesthetic and memory setting
6Shinsei Kamattechan
Tanoshii ne

Senpō Temple
Absolutely beautiful, the clifftop where you find the red and white pinwheel in particular took my breath away. This might have ended up higher, but I felt it was missing a sense of threat and urgency that the better levels nailed; I came here early on and found it a breeze. The infested monks and theme of corrupted immortality do give it a few dread points though...
Ashes Against the Grain

Sunken Valley
Loved the acrobatics here and was a big fan of the area at the bottom of the valley, where you stealth your way to the great serpent's inner sanctum. Loses a few points for direct linearity, but very impressive all the same.
8The Dear Hunter
Act I: The Lake South, the River North

Ashina Outskirts
Not much to say for this one; solid first level and some great interconnectedness with other levels, but fairly middle of the road on its own term
9The Veils
Total Depravity

Abandoned Dungeon
This is more of a connection zone than anything else, but the connections in question are very satisfying and Surgeon NPC alone gets extra marks for creepiness
10Rolo Tomassi

Ashina Depths
Taking this one to include everything post-Abandoned Dungeon that isn't Mibu Village. The poison swamp is...fine, and the misty woods are (as Gyro pointed out) dangerously reminiscent of those in DS2 (which I hate with a passion). Saving grace would be the disconcerting transformation of the woods after you kill the Mist Noble, but this is clearly the weakest zone in the game for me.
11Modest Mouse
Good News for People Who Love Bad News

BOSSES (and minibosses, wow!)
12Hop Along
Get Disowned

I fully expect this opinion to change as I get more confident with the tougher bosses, but Genichiro's fight atop Ashina Castle was the moment I started to crunch the mechanics and really get into Sekiro. It's not the hardest fight but it's definitely fun and best played full-on, plus the story adds an extra intensity that I really took to heart.
13Faith No More
The Real Thing

What a great introduction to Fountainhead! Great example of spicing up a familiar enemy/moveset, this makes for a really fun endurance fight in a stunning arena open to player innovation.
Head First

I think this one got my blood boiling more than any other boss in the game - that second phase's Terror howl is horrific and a lot of its sword movements are a nightmare to track. But damn, this is a beast fight done exactly right and I loved every minute of it. I've nudged it up a place or two for the satisfaction I got from winning the rematch on first try
15A Lot Like Birds
Plan B

Best spectacle fight in the series, without a shadow of a doubt. RIP Yhorm, Dragon God and Bed of Chaos (?)
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky

This guy got me salty as hell until I read the hell out of his every move and worked out a strategy to punish his double-shuriken jumpslam. It was boring and didn't work out, but by the time I went back to fighting him regularly I knew all his moves inside out and had a great time beating him down with ease. Solid fight.
17Secret Chiefs 3
Book of Souls: Folio A

Still struggling with him (have got him most of the way figured out, but the final phase keeps shredding me when I screw up the lightning jump time window), but this is certainly an amazing challenge. Going to withhold further judgement for now.
Century Child

O’Rin of the Water
My favourite miniboss gets half its points for being a challenging and initially confusing fight and half for being a stupendous piece of level design. O'Rin is both a surprise encounter and entirely appropriate for the Mibu setting and her character and placement struck a huge chord with me.
Pale Horses

Think I took this guy down first try, which would explain why I don't have much of a memory of him other than being a fun encounter perfectly balanced for first boss difficulty
Shadows of the Sun

Lone Shadow Longswordsman
Memorable for kicking my arse so many times in the early game, I loved this guy's difficulty spike and might have put him higher if it weren't for a few dodgy camera angles
21Oomori Seiko

Intense, speedy challenge but definitely manageable with a bit of patience. I felt this was the fight that tended towards a Dark Souls playstyle the most in the game
22Coheed and Cambria
The Unheavenly Creatures

Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe
The endless slashing and parrying that comes with this one is super intense but satisfyingly manageable
Fake Train

Solid end to Mibu Village but eclipsed by the true version. This fight felt a lot slower than it might have done, but I imagine I'll enjoy it more and step up the pace next time I play
The Hunter

Shinobi Hunter Enshin of Misen
The ranking gets a little looser here. I like this guy mainly for his placement in the level, surrounded by long grass but poised confidently with his spear; he carried a real sense of menace.
25Ephel Duath
The Painter's Palette

Excellent puzzle boss, with points knocked off for that fucking invisible monkey. Took me forever to resort to slashing randomly at thin air and I was more bemused than pleasantly surprised when I got him.
Darker Than Darkness (Style 93)

Juzou the Drunkard
Good early-game challenge and a decent opportunity for crowd control with friendly support
27The National
Trouble Will Find Me

Seven Ashina Spears - Shikibu Yoshikatsu Yamauchi
This guy destroyed me to begin with but forced me to step my game up. I liked the opportunity for a stealth kill here, felt very much earned when I slashed half his health off on first strike.
Start Something

Naomori Kawarada
Hooray for tutorial boss!
29Machine Head
Burn My Eyes

Spookiest miniboss of them all, this guy terrified me when I got to his cave early. I took forever to fight him properly and found it a bit of a joke with enough confetti thrown in, but he gets full marks for freak factor
Hats Off To The Bull

Blazing Bull/Sakura Bull
Dodgy hitboxes but fun, mobile fight
The Illusion of Safety

Armoured Warrior
Honestly, I'm still more bemused by this guy than anything else. Funny way to die, but otherwise just miffed.
32Fort Minor
The Rising Tied

Chained Ogre
Tutorial boss v.2. Not much of a challenge but a nice early milestone.
33Avenged Sevenfold
City of Evil

Ugh. So much salt. Honestly preferred Laurence to this.
34Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures

Ashina Elite - Jinsuke Saze
Have almost no memory of him, so must have been okay?
35Soutaisei Riron
Tensei Jingle

Shichimen Warrior
First boss I minorly dislike. Headless did the spooky setting better, this guy is either a complete nightmare or a breeze with confetti.
36Red Sparowes
Every Red Heart Shines Toward The Red...

Shigekici of the Red Guard
Mildly annoying gank fight
37Sonic Youth
Murray Street

Kuranosuke Matsumoto
Moderately annoying gank fight
La Malora

Tenzen Yamauchi
Very annoying gank fight
The Great Annihilator

Seven Ashina Spears - Shume Masaji Oniwa
Super gank.
40Wreath (PL)
Serpent Moves

Snake Eyes Shirafuji
This boss can go to hell. Died countless times to her and still cannot stand her moveset or attack timings. The swamp version is a pain too, but Shirafuji is easily my worst boss and will likely remain so indefinitely.
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