Only for Guardian Ape to stomp me an entire afternoon. I stopped death counts after dying 15 times, when he still has a beefy health bar left, in first phase. I watched YouTube guides, just to confirm how shit my reaction time is. This boss is impossible, I thought. There was no way for me to beat it. But I did. I overcame him. The rush of adrenaline every time I fight him resulted in the biggest sense of accomplishment I get from gaming, so I want to rant, and share my excitement.
I never played dark soul or blood borne. When I first picked up the game, the advice I hear the most is be aggressive and learn to deflect. I took this advice to heart, and went through most of the game with little to no trouble. I started to think this game is easy. Maybe I'm just good at the game, you know. I may not be the best, but I certainly didn't get stuck on Butterfly or Genichiro like other scrubs. At this rate I might as well challenging myself to beat Isshin in one try.
I knew the ape was coming. I already seen all the Sekiro bosses floating on the Internet. I know he can throw shit at you and has a headless second phase. I know the gimmicks of this boss, it will be a cake walk. One reality check later, I am now depressed, because I couldn't beat a boss, even after watching boss guides. His movements are too agile and random for me to counter properly. I wanted to do all the things boss guides mentioned, but I was just not good enough. I was ready to put down the game, but my ego is too big for ape to fuck me all over and walk away quietly. I am going to beat the ape and quit, because this boss design is stupid, not because I was stuck.
I don't know when was the ticking point, I just know that after fighting him for so long, I began to figure out his attack patterns. I got better at dodging and positioning myself. By the time I realize it, I beat the boss. People often say that Genichiro is their ticking point for figuring out deflect. For me, it's the opposite. This is my first experience of Fromsoft, and I have always prioritized deflect over dodging, because pressing a button is easier than pressing two. Guardian Ape is that side dodge or movement check I needed to get better at the game. On later attempts, I feel so satisfied when I successfully side dodged under his belly and avoided his rampage, deflecting only when needed. I got good, and Fromsoft earned them a royal follower.
TLDR; Ape was a dodge check for me, and I finally see why people love Fromsoft games.