Haha yes, it definitely takes some practice to get used to his attacks. But by the time you get to him you'll have had so much practice from fighting other smaller creatures that any flinch from an enemy will have your muscles trained to either block or dodge immediately. That is the main draw I want to come from this game. Players developing skill in themselves from experience while fighting throughout the story. I don't want grinding for experience points and increasing stats to be the safety net that carries them to victory. Answering this will actually give me the opportunity to really explain why/how I've done things the way I have!
Mechanically, the game is rather shallow in the sense that everything takes place on the same two dimensional plane, so I have to add depth by making enemies that are unpredictable and always unique. They are tough, but fair. As quick as the boss Malik may be (or any other enemy you may encounter), Amber is just as quick. And the quicker the player becomes, the quicker Amber becomes, giving you the edge. Also, having the enemy and the protagonist on the same plane means that no one is handicapped by things like a poor sense of depth perception. That means that the enemy is always within reach, and so are you. This levels the playing-field to shear skill and timing.
I also want the players to have to learn how each encounter works, and realize that no two creatures will ever approach you the same way. They're being created as organic individuals that act in their own unique way. So some may dodge attacks, some may block, and some may even try to counter. With these possibilities always being present, that means that the player's play-style will have to constantly adapt to the adapting threats. The story itself is not based in realism, but I want the combat to feel real in the respect that you are a stranger to this place and you will never walk into a situation fully knowing or understanding your opposition. In the game, as in real life, stats fall second to skill, meaning all you can truly rely on in this hostile environment is knowing yourself and use what skills you have/develop to survive.
I'm hoping that these things will keep the game fresh and consistently challenging. I don't want players to have just another mindless hack n slash on their hands. You could say that I want Grave Prosperity to be the "Bullet Hell of Hack N Slash," which demands extreme focus and accuracy at all times a threat is present.
**I'm glad you commented what you did, because sometimes I don't even understand the motivation of the things I create. Having to think on and answer to a comment like yours has been very revealing mainly to myself. So much so, that I even posted our interaction here on the game's Facebook page! It really helps to explain the direction the game is taking. I never full realize the logic behind what I'm doing until long after I've started! Haha!