I'm feeling a little puffed up right now cos I just beat Owl and, my god, it went so smoothly I kind of can't believe it.
When I started, I had just gotten a little stoned and was figuring "Okay, I'll go at him a couple of times, get to know him a little, but I probably won't beat him just now."
So the first time, I try fighting him like the fights in this game usually work best, you know, getting the fuck in there and deflecting and sidestepping as necessary. And I got him down pretty far, but I wasn't stopping everything and goddamn, he hits like a truck. So he mopped me up before I even got a deathblow in.
My cat came and sat on my lap, so I spent a few minutes petting her, and then tried it again. And this time I decided to treat this like a Dark Souls fight: stay the fuck away from him until he decides what he's gonna do, figure out how to avoid all his attacks and which ones you can punish. Be patient.
And it started working. I could jump over the horizontal slash, completely avoid the heal block, and get around the flip and the shuriken/swipe quickly enough to come at him from behind. I started figuring out his patterns in reaction to being hit and throwing them back at him, getting out of the way in time to avoid the firecrackers. It all just started clicking and fuck me if, sweaty palms and all, I didn't beat him on the second try.
There is something to be said for these games in the like... dopamine hit of satisfaction you get from having a moment like that. I remember how intimidated by this shit I was when I picked it up, how even coming off the other Souls games, I struggled with this one. And now here I am plugging through it with aplomb. Much has been said about that--articles about like... Souls games helping with depression and whatever.
But what impresses me is how well From keeps hitting that. How the games have developed on one another so that there's still a learning curve in each one. I'm really curious what adjusting to the feel of Elden Ring is going to entail; it looks very rich/deep, in terms of like... build style and approach and some of the boss fights look insane, so I'm really excited to get in there and feel the machine of it, y'know?