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DonFerrari said:
Machiavellian said:

In the higher difficulty you really have to use your elemental effects as those will either stun or improve a lot on damage in GOW fights.  Building up frost and then switching to blades and adding fire add that extra damage.  You can also upgrade the moves you use the most to deal better damage, elemental or stun by going to niflheim and practicing those moves.  It really makes a big difference in delivering damage since the harder difficulty you can basically get one shot and the enemies are basic sponges for damage.

I usually finish the game on balance first before trying the harder modes because you cannot really perform those nice combos because the enemies just power through most attacks and do not stagger or stun as much. 

I'm already over mid game, 35h in, and almost no combos given. When dealing against boss I try to build up the energy on the weapon and inflict status, but the status go over very fast =p

And even basic enemies don't stutter much unless you are focusing all attacks together with ally on it, so combo is very hard to pull

I find, parry then shield bash will stun bosses and allow you to add your combos and use all of your Runic attacks in one big chain.  Its best to do it then as any other time your Runic attacks can get powered through sometimes and you take unnecessary damage.  The side bosses in this game are way more of a pain then story wise so I had to be patience and go for the stun you get when that white bar underneath the boss heath reach the max.

Later in the game you get skills that allow you to enter either frost, fire or stun very quickly which you should use often as it adds to the boss stun meter faster and shorten the fight.