NIER Reviews

  • xkikicakesxxkikicakesx99,423
    02 Dec 2010 03 Jan 2012
    49 3 3
    I went into this game not expecting much. I had heard both sides of opinions on it, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

    The game does start out a bit slow. The storyline is a bit confusing when you start it. The first part has you fighting monsters in a snowy city, and the next part is "1,300 years later." The story can be very mind boggling, unless you actually play through the game. One of the things I liked a lot about the game was its side quests. They didn't seem at all pointless, like most in rpgs. They each had their own back story, and gave you information to piece together about the mystery of the main story. There were many times I stopped and put information together, trying to figure it out. There were also times I could feel empathy for the main characters and the side quest characters. This is a very deep and emotional game. It doesn't give you all sides of the story once you beat it. There are still many ties that are loose and require some thinking from the player. Once I had beaten it, I immediately started up on my second play through to find out more of the story.

    Another thing I liked was the multiple play throughs. While most games would have you restart everything, and have to complete things you have already done, Nier lets you continue with everything you had before, except storyline quests after the second part. I was very relieved to not have to collect all the money, items, weapons, side quests, etc on my next play through.

    The music for Nier is hauntingly beautiful. I often sit and just listen to it for a while. When the ending credits came on, the main song played and I sat through it all to listen to the music. The music can be emotional, and always seemed to fit whatever was happening in the game.

    A lot of people seemed to complain about the graphics, but I never found anything wrong with them. Some people might think they are perhaps outdated or bland, compared to the newer Xbox games. However, many areas of the game are beautifully detailed and nice to look at.

    The achievements are a bit slow to get in the beginning, but playing through the game (and more than once) makes it very easy to obtain them. Almost all of them can be collected on multiple play throughs, but there are some that cannot be obtained after beating the game the first time, unless you start a new game. I wasn't sure if I would be able to get most of them, but I was able to get a lot as I played through it more.

    There is not much that I did not like about the game. One of the things I stayed away from for most of the game was fishing. It can be very frustrating, since upgrading your fishing skill requires you to fish heavy specimens and can take a few minutes to reel them in. I spent five minutes trying to reel in one of the last fish, and when I lost it I felt like screaming.

    Multiple play throughs of the Junk Heap location also frustrated me. I disliked having to go through it many times, trying to find certain items and getting lost in all of the halls. That might just be me though.

    The gardening aspect, I never did much. One of the hardest achievements has to do with multiple gardening and seeding. I haven't felt the ambition to do so yet.

    All in all, this is an extremely underrated game. It is very fun to play, and has a compelling storyline. It has a high replay value and will most likely be cherished by many. It has become my favorite game of all time and it has a special place in my heart.
    10/10
    5.0
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    OfficerBarbradyVery nice review! I wanted to leave a positive before I wrote my own review of this game. I just love this game way too much to not review it.
    Posted by OfficerBarbrady on 14 Apr 11 at 04:49
    WeisGuy9Great review. I like games with a great story and your review influenced me to go ahead and get this game. Thanks!
    Posted by WeisGuy9 on 22 Jun 11 at 00:32
  • Darth BieberDarth Bieber145,651
    11 Jun 2010
    23 5 0
    Nier is one of those games that flies underneath the radar with a low production value and comes out being a gem of a game. It is however not for everyone. It reminded of the "old school" of hack and slash/rpg gaming. They weren't about doing a few big things right, but rather doing many little things right.


    *To address one issue rather quickly SquareEnix did not develop the game they only published it, Cavia Inc. was the developer known for Drakengard and Beat Down*

    Movement and Combat

    This aspect of the game was one of the little things that Nier did right. The combat, while basic x button or y button mashing, was fluid and tight and very responsive to the direction in which I wanted the main protagonist (only referred to as the Father in the game) to go. This might seem a small thing but honestly, how many games now a days have tight controls especially during combat? The Father moves fast and has a useful dodge roll that will be used mainly during boss fights and rarely during enemy encounters. I am taking a shot in the dark here, but I believe that because of low production values the enemies aren't varied and they look as if made out of pixelated bits of black matter. The bosses are similarly designed only much bigger than the normal sized (which seems to be the norm in video game design currently). There are a slew of swords (both one handed and two handed), spears, and even giant axes. All weapons are upgradeable to four levels. Most of the weapons are useles, standard for the genre and the ones that are good are devastatingly good. Besides simple hack and slashing you have spells available as well. There are many to choose from however I found that only 3 were of real usefulness. They also look as if designed on the original X-box (production values?) which is unfortunate since the combat is really good.

    Story and Graphics

    The story of Nier is intriguing if often times confusing. By the end though all the bits and parts you didn't quite understand come together and wow you with a pretty unique twist that you really only find in rpg's. The story centers around the Father and his daughter Yonah in post-apocolyptic earth sometime around the year 3300. Yonah has contracted a deadly virus known as the Black Scrawl which is hinted at is what destroyed the Earth 1000 years before. The Father is desperately searching for a cure. Upon his adventures he runs into a sentient book known as Grimoire Weiss (which means The White Book). Weiss is by which the Father can use magic. They join forces to search for a cure for Yonah. During the game you will come across load screens and documents that hint at the overall plot of Nier, and truely nothing is as it seems. I won't provide any other details as it will spoil the rest of the story!
    Other than main quests that move the story forward there are side-missions which you can get from people in your hometown. This hometown is the hub of the game with four other towns linking to it in a north-south, east-west pattern and two others that aren't in the pattern. Most side quests take place in these towns. They range anywhere from gathering items for a customer to fishing and farming. These side-missions are not mandatory but they are the main way to acquire currency in the game as no enemies drop currency only items. Also there are achievements linked to doing up to 30 side missions which might provide the ample motivation to do at least a few. In all regards they are a nice way to break from the actual gameplay.
    One of the detracting things about the story is that at times it becomes text only. As in the entire screen goes black and white lettering appears telling part of the story. It makes sense since you fight with a book and you collect words to gain extra powers like +15% exp or extra item drop, but at times it takes you out of the game and it might take a few minutes after to re-engage with it.

    As I stated in the combat section the graphics are not top notch. Everything is smooth and properly rendered just the graphics are a little dated. They are reminiscent of late X-box, early 360 graphics. What really amazed me about Nier was that the sound and music for Nier, which is something I think current rpg's and just games in general take for granted. At times I found myself humming some of the tunes in Nier which I haven't found myself doing since the middle entries of the Final Fantasy series. Sounds cheesy I know, however sound is usually only been used really effectively in current survival/horror games.

    Achievements and Extras

    Nier is definitely not an achievement mining game as the main achievements take at least 3 playthroughs to pop. Most of the others are things like grow the legendary flower or catch the legendary fish and even collect all weapons and upgrade them all. I netted around 475 gs my first playthrough. There are unfortunately no extras in Nier.

    Overall

    I didn't go into the game with many expectations, just a game to pass the time between AAA titles and came away very impressed. I will reiterate that the game doesn't do anything big and does do many little things right. It is as if the developers lowered the graphics to be able to spread the money out across all aspects of the game to make a tight game. Nier is proof that you don't need flashy graphics to make a good game.
    4.0
  • NewtypeS3NewtypeS3140,020
    12 Apr 2014
    14 0 0
    +Wonderful characters, each with their own quirks and flaws.
    +Hauntingly beautiful music, which provides an eerie otherworldly atmosphere to the game.
    +Fantastic voice acting that brings the characters to life.
    +A delightful translation for the script, resulting in real lines that normal people might say.
    +Multiple endings, each with their own changes to the story.
    +A large variety of magic spells give combat a unique spin.
    +Many different areas wind up giving some new twist in gameplay, keeping things fresh.
    +Tons of weapons, each with a unique design.

    -This game may give you depression.
    -This is a game that will troll you in the most traditional sense.
    -Tons of grind for many of the sidequests.
    -Only three different fighting styles, despite the tons of weapons.
    -Character movement is clunky at times, restricting the flow of combat.
    -Multiple endings require multiple playthroughs, although the game does let you play through a shorter chunk of the game.

    -----------

    When I used to work a retail job in the electronics department of a large “everything” store, I would often get well-meaning parents and unknowing newbies to the Xbox 360 wondering why Nintendo hasn't made a Zelda or Mario game for Microsoft yet. Sometimes, I could barely keep a straight face when I tried to explain what Nintendo tended to keep their games to the systems they owned. Had I known about Nier at the time, however, I think I would at least have been able to recommend one game that is very so much like the Zelda franchise.

    Nier was released back in 2010 to very little fanfare. The final release of Japanese developer Cavia, best known in America for their work on Resident Evil: Dead Aim and the Drakengard series on the PS2, Square-Enix didn't put a whole lot of hype on this game's release in the US. In Japan, it should be noted, it got a bit more fanfare in the end – entire artbooks dedicated to analyzing the game and revealing the backstories of many characters, a novel's worth of content linking Nier to the Drakengard games in the oddest of ways, and four complete soundtrack releases are just the tip of the iceberg.

    ...also, the game was modified for the Japanese PS3 release, giving an entirely different main character while keeping the core of the story the same. Why this is important comes later, however.

    Nier is all about the story of a father (Nier, or whatever you choose to name him) and his daughter Yonah. You see, the world is a dangerous place, filled with monsters known as Shades, and the ruins of an old civilization can be found all around. Dungeons can be found in the proverbial back yard, and not everyone can travel from village to village safely. To make matters worse, Yonah has grown ill with an odd sickness known as “the Black Scrawl,” which has claimed the lives of every person it touches.

    So, to try and keep Yonah well, it's up to you to take odd jobs from the villagers, protect the villages from being overrun with Shades, rescue your daughter from when she goes wandering into local dungeons... in short, it's a lot like a Zelda game if it took place with Link being a dad.

    During Yonah's attempt to adventure into a dungeon to find a mythical flower known as a Lunar Tear, and your subsequent rescue attempt and boss battles, you encounter an ancient, floating, talking magical book known as Grimoire Weiss. While ridiculously snooty, Weiss is willing to grant you his magical powers to aid you in the upcoming fight to save Yonah.

    Or he would, if you hadn't just given him a concussion breaking him out of the lock he had formed, keeping you from Yonah.

    As the story continues, your happy duo of well-meaning tough dad and sarcastically snooty magic book are joined by a beauty with a talent for language fouler than any cesspit and the ability to rend and tear anything in her way... as well as a young boy with a terrifying power in his eyes. These three form a party alongside Nier that is just a delight to watch during cutscenes, and they actually do assist you during combat – both in fighting the enemy, and providing snarky dialogue.

    The game can be split into two parts, with there being two main quests. The first is a search to cure Yonah of the Black Scrawl, and the second quest is a major spoiler that I will not go into. But both quests have our heroes traversing the Earth, encountering other odd people who eek out a living in the wasteland that remains after whatever unknown tragedy turned the old civilization into dust.

    And that's where another area of the game shines through: the level design is utterly wonderful. Admittedly, a lot of the game feels empty, and the levels do reflect that. Empty temples, ruined and abandoned with time. A city of shut-ins mounted on the walls of a canyon, nothing but the abyss below you. A lovely town on the sea, with sailing vessels looking to trade. A mansion taken right from Resident Evil, complete with awkward camera angles. Nothing feels quite right in this game, outside the home village and that lovely town on the sea.

    As a bonus, the music works with the level design to create an atmosphere that just bleeds this feeling of something wonderful that was lost, long ago. I may be putting a bit too much thought into that analysis, I freely admit, but it is something that stuck with me throughout the entire game. We have music for those uplifting moments in the game, mainly used for character development or redemption, but most of the soundtrack is dedicated to slow, haunting tunes that only enhance the ruins surrounding you. It really is the best musical score I've run into in video games, period, and deserves those four soundtrack releases given to it back in 2010.

    Really, the only complaint I can actual level against this game is how Nier himself controls. This is actually not a major flaw in the game, but can cause a lot of unwarranted death (ironically, this usually goes to the camera in 3D Action/Adventure games). Nier is a bit sluggish in his movement, and his momentum carries through on direction changes, sometimes leaving you with a moment or two of slowdown in a turn when you need an instant reaction. There is, luckily, an evasion roll that can be used in that case, which helps keep combat faster than it should be normally, although the pre-set sword/big sword/spear combat techniques do try to drag the combat down to “merely average” levels.

    Which is where Weiss' magic comes in. As you kill enemies and level up, Weiss will slowly remember more of his Sealed Verses, magic that Nier can use in combat. These range from throwing spears of darkness at your opponents, to using a giant magical fist to punch them (my favorite), or shooting orbs of death everywhere... or eventually unleashing a storm of blades to erupt from the ground to eviscerate your foes. While you can only equip so much magic at a time, there really is an awesome level of variety to it.

    The variety of magic also comes in handy against the game's many bosses and enemies. Basic combat against the rather normal “grunt” Shades never becomes overly dull, thanks to how combat tends to flow once the Sealed Verses and a wider variety of weapons are obtained. However, that's only a small amount of the fun compared to some of the bosses. If you remember the PS2 release Shadow of the Colossus, you might have a good idea as to how some of these boss battles are presented, while others feel ripped directly from the Legend of Zelda. And I mean that in the best way possible. There isn't a single boss battle I didn't have fun with, and there's not a single boss battle that doesn't feel fresh or challenging in some form.

    I must say, however, all of this mostly excellent gameplay and wonderful story does come at a cost. This game is one of the most relentlessly depressing things I've experienced as a video game. This game will tell you tales that bring your hopes up for a few moments, only to tear those hopes away and leave you feeling empty. This game will make you feel like the conquering hero, only to show you on a later playthrough how much of a monster you really are – or it'll do so during the same playthrough. This game hates children, and it hates you if you love completing a game to 100% (achievements too).

    If you can survive that, however, you will have one of the best experiences I've seen come out of Japan in a decade.

    When it comes to DLC, Nier doesn't have much. The World of the Recycled Vessel is set up as Nier reading through his late wife's diaries, and experiencing nightmares that manifest as various levels of difficult grinding, remixed music, and harder enemies. Rewards are few – only a trio of ridiculously strong weapons, two optional costume changes, easier rare item farming, and a deeper knowledge about the game's history are what you get for eventually slogging through all 15 stages. You don't even get a single achievement... but the slog is really worth the run.

    Remember how I mentioned the Japanese PS3 version was somewhat important? Well, in the DLC, you wind up playing as “Young Nier,” the Japanese PS3 protagonist. In that version, Nier is Yonah's elder brother, and the game is changed appropriately to match their new relationship. Here, instead, Young Nier is used as a representation of Nier as he was when his wife was alive. There's no new voice acting here, instead using the grunts and cries of pain of the Japanese version, but it really fits well – and provides another off-putting twist to a DLC that's already really strange.

    In short, this game is a must have for just about every adventure or action gamer on the planet. The music, the characters, the story, the script, the gameplay... everything ties together into one of the best games released in 2010, and one of the best games that Square-Enix has ever published. It's certainly not for everyone, but it really comes close. I highly recommend this game, and cannot say enough good things about it – even after going through the emotional wringer that is Nier. Just get it: you won't be disapointed.
    5.0
  • flair ricflair ricThis gamer has had their achievements removed from the site
    03 May 2010 04 May 2010
    25 14 7
    Nier. Nothing Is As It Seems...

    * Thanks to UnknownAvatar for informing me on information I missed *

    Nier is the latest RPG published by Square Enix. It takes place in... well I'm not too sure the name of the entire region(I think it mentioned it somewhere at the beginning of the game, but I have long forgotten that by now). However it is a world that consists of the village where you live. In the village there is a library which you will find yourself coming back to alot to ask Popula for information throughout the game. There is also a market where you can buy items, raw materials, seeds, groceries and weapons. If you continue through the market you will be in a large feild which leads to the Seafront. As you can guess by the name it is a city right on the edge of the sea. It is a fishing village, so this is where you would go for all your fishing supplies. There is also a marketplace here too where you can buy the above mentioned items. If you head north of the village you will end up in the Northern Plains(original name, I know). From here you can get to The Airie, The Junk Heap and the Forest of Myth. The Airie is a quite strange town where it seems as though you are floating on air. The village is in the middle of a large chasm with bridges connecting both sides. There is no marketplace here, which is reasonable because *SPOILER ALERT* it gets destroyed later on in the game. The Junk Heap is actually an abandoned military base. There are 2 children who have a shop just outside of the junk heap where you can upgrade your items if you bring them the right materials. When you get into the junk heap, it's a place full of broken down machinery and robots who attack you. The Forest of Myth is pretty much just a town with nothing else to do. You cannot talk to people, there is no marketplace and all the houses are in trees. However, you will find the significance of this town later on during the game. There is also a large desert with the city of Facade. This is pronounced Fha-sahd. It is a large, confusing town with hundreds of thousands of rules. One of the rules is that if you see a lizard go into a pot, you must catch it. Yes, very strange. The language that they speak in the city is something which you cannot understand. But dont worry, once you have been there for a bit you will meet a resident who will help you out.


    Ok now onto the different aspects of the game:

    Graphics: 8/10
    The graphics in this game are very well done. I had a hard time seeing blocky textures within the environment. The enemies all look like black and yellow ghosts, which can get a bit repetitive. However, the character design is phenominal. The main character looks badass with his brassard, gauntlets, sash, and sandals. Kaine, a woman who you meat during the game looks a bit... flashy. Don't get me wrong, it's hot to see a woman in thong underwear hack and slash the hell out of enemies, but It just seems strange. Emil, a young boy you meat a bit later in the game looks like an average rich kid. Although once you get further, he turns into a skeleton-mage type thing. This looks uber cool and a bit freaky at the same time. Yonah, the main character's daughter, is a typical young girl. She is playful and her voice definitely matches her look. Grimoire Weiss, a book the you meet early on in the game, looks super cool with his designs and voice.

    Gameplay: 8.5/10
    The gameplay is traditional hack and slash style gameplay. There are 8 different magic spells you can use. I will breifly go over them:
    Dark Blast: Fire tiny bursts of magic energy
    Dark Phantasm: Dispatch a magical doppleganger to attack nearby enemies. The attack range increases the longer you charge the spell.
    Dark Hand: Pummel foes with a powerful magical arm. Charging will result in greater attack power.
    Dark Lance: Launch up to 3 devestaing magical spears. Charge to aim with RS.
    Dark Whirlwind: Attack with magical rotating blades. Charge to increase the number of blades.
    Dark Gluttony: Absorb enemy magic attacks. Charge to inscrease absorbtion time.
    Dark Wall: Erect a magical defensive barrier. Charge to increase the size of the wall.
    Dark Execution: Summon magical spikes from the ground to impale enemies. Charge to increase the ammount of spikes.
    You can also fish in this game. Fishing can be quite difficult to start off with, but don't worry you will get used to it in time. To start fishing, approach a body of water. If you see the prompt to fish that means you can fish there. Once you start fishing you need to wait for your rod to bend. Once you see it bend pull back on the left stick. You will see splashes come from where your rod is. Whichever direction the splashes go, you need to move the left stick in the opposite direction while still holding the left stick back. Once you have a fish on the hook you will see a bar at the bottom of the screen. You need to deplete this bar in order to catch the fish. That pretty much covers fishing.
    Gardening is also one of the features of the game. Beside your house there is a little field where you can grow different plants. To start growing a plant you walk over to the field and press the action button to bring up a menu with the options "Plant" "Fertilize" and "Do Nothing". I would recommend fertilizing before you plant. Once you have fertilized you can plant the seed you wish to grow. Once you have planted the seed you can water it. Then you just wait about 1 day and your plant should be ready to harvest. There are 3 types of weapons in this game: One handed swords, Two handed swords, and spears.
    One Handed swords are balanced weapons with decent strength. Two handed swords are very slow weapons that deal alot of damage. Spears deal more damage than one handed swords but are harder to aim. Play around with different weapon types and see which one you like best. You can also add "Words" to your weapons to make them better. There are 120 different words you can collect. Each words either increases melee strength, magic strength, or martial arts.

    Sound: 10/10
    They really nailed it with the sound. Each character's voice has it's own values that make it very unique. Grimiore Wiess has an intelegent voice. It is very funny whenever he tells a joke. Emil sounds like Justin Beiber singing. So yeah, he sounds like a girl. The main characters voice sounds awesomely epic. However, he does use big words at times where they were not needed. Kaine's voice has to be my favourite one. She is very rude and swears quite a bite. Her and Wiess always argue and it is hilarious whenever they do. The sounds that enemies make are strange. It sounds like someone gargling water. Animals sound fairly like how they are supposed to. There is a single music track for each area which can get repetitive if you stay there for a while.

    Story: 8.5/10
    The story is a bit slow to start but it starts unfolding a bit later in the game. Once you get into the game the story becomes very exhilirating and it keeps you guessing what will happen next. There are also 4 possible endings which will differ depending on what choices you make throughout the game.

    Multiplayer: N/A
    This game is single player only. They are coming out with downloadable content which might incorporate multiplayer somehow, but for now this game is only singleplayer.

    Achievements:
    Originality: 7/10
    Difficulty: 7/10
    The larger chunk of gamerscore will come from completeing the game with certian endings. Those are those achievements worth 100-200 gamerscore. Another large chunk comes from defeating bosses within a certain time limit. The rest is storyline and other random stuff that will most likely come along with playing the game.

    Pros:
    - Character Design
    - Environment Design
    - Boss Design
    - Voices
    - Variety of weapons and magic

    Cons:
    - Not all conversations you have will have voices behind them. Instead it will just be text.
    - Large groups of enemies that respawn whenevr you leave the area.
    - Music can get repetitive if you are in the same area for a long time.


    Final Thoughts:
    This game is a very fun game that will keep you entertained for hours. I would recommend it to fans of hack and slash games, fans of Zelda games, and fans of open world games.
  • Danny Dubs 86Danny Dubs 861,576,680
    11 Jun 2013
    8 1 0
    Originally posted on my blog at http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/

    Video games offer a unique opportunity for emotional content among the various types of media. The mere fact that the player is actively engaged with the game’s world instead of passively absorbing it sets up stronger emotional responses, even if the gameplay has no direct impacts on the narrative. Considering that game designers are able to develop stories that can rival epic novels in length, video games are overflowing with emotional potential.

    Nier is without question one of the most emotionally compelling games I’ve ever played. It combines an intriguing and relatively understated story with good gameplay to form a great all-around experience. Here’s why you should check it out:

    Before you even hit the title screen, you know that Nier is going to be something different, because it greets you with a woman excitedly screaming “Weiss, you dumbass!” She continues with a rant sprinkled with just enough profanity to make it seem like a realistic outburst. You’re given no context for her rage at this point, which adds to the intrigue; it’s a fabulous way to draw the player into the game.

    As you begin your journey, you’ll ultimately take control of the grizzled protagonist some 1,300 years in the future. The world has clearly been shaken by some apocalyptic event, but the player character’s only motivation is to cure his young daughter’s bizarre disease. A variety of ghostly shades stand in his way, adding to the mystery of the past. And he becomes friends with a floating, sentient book; it’s a strange future.

    Nier’s strongest component is undoubtedly the character interactions. The main characters are generally standard RPG archetypes, but they have little quirks that make them more interesting than most (for example: the foul-mouthed lass featured on the title screen). The dialogue is very well written and executed, and the somewhat unexpected use of profanity makes the characters seem more genuine and their conversations more compelling.

    These believable characters serve as a catalyst for the game’s most emotional scenes. Their relatable personalities and realistic reactions to events add weight to scenarios, causing many situations to be a bit more gripping than they might otherwise be. Combining the characters’ evolution with gradual revelations about this world’s history leads to an interesting story from start to finish.

    Perhaps most surprisingly, the end of the game isn’t the end of the story. Proceeding through a New Game+ opens up new scenes and additional dialogue, all of which shed more light on the game’s events from different perspectives. You start to see a complex web of information and relationships, enriching the narrative and making the emotional impact that much stronger. Completing the game again allows you to start over once more, giving you the chance to see yet another set of ending scenes. I found all this new content to be totally unexpected, as additional endings are fairly common, but additional cutscenes are definitely not.

    The only downside is that this new content is sparsely distributed throughout the game, and a third has nothing new until the very end. It hints at a totally new experience, but only delivers in short bursts, which is a little disappointing. Still, Nier uses clever techniques to maximize the story’s impact.

    Supporting this incredible story is a great audiovisual presentation. Despite obvious graphical limitations, it looks good and successfully gets the point across. There’s a nice variety of environments, but there’s nothing particularly outstanding in the graphical side of things.

    The audio is undoubtedly amazing. The voice acting is superb, contributing to the wonderful characters. The real treat, though, is the soundtrack. I was initially put off by the music because it prominently features vocal parts when I generally expect purely instrumental pieces. I soon realized that the human voices add a lot, taking what might ordinarily be reserved for epic boss fights and playing it while exploring the field. The music does a fabulous job of setting the tone, evoking very different responses for different areas.

    In short: Nier is beautiful.

    Sadly, the gameplay isn’t quite up to the same standards. At its base, Nier is an action RPG, with a relatively robust combat system. You don’t get the opportunity to use a bunch of skills (most of the game’s magic spells have limited usefulness), but intuitive melee combat and dodging controls keep fighting fun. There are also limited customization options; you’ll be able to buff your weapons and spells, but there are only a few buffs that are actually useful.

    Nier does fail miserably in one common RPG feature: sidequests. There are a number of sidequests throughout the game, and a few of them are quite interesting, but the vast majority of sidequests are boring fetch quests with no real point. Limited rewards (many times the items you’re collecting are more valuable than the gold you receive as payment) and mundane requests make the sidequest system seem superfluous. It’s not compelling when it could have been a key feature of the game.

    I was also very disappointed with the difficulty. Early on, I had some trouble fighting some of the bigger bosses, but once I got the hang of what I was doing, it all seemed terribly easy. I was never challenged in the second half of the game, and even the final boss seemed trivial. Higher difficulty and a deeper combat system would have done Nier a lot of good.

    It’s also relatively short for an RPG. The world isn’t terribly big, with only a few major areas to explore, but the fact that you’ll return to those places a few times as the story progresses prevents it from feeling terribly small. One complete playthrough can be easily completed within 20 hours, even if you’re spending time doing sidequests along the way. Further playthroughs will take fractions of that time due to decreased difficulty, so you’re probably looking at 30 hours to get through all the relevant endings. Not trivial, but not nearly the 100+ hour epic that some modern RPGs have become.

    Still, I had fun with it. Dodging attacks and dispatching giant bosses is entertaining, and it’s certainly good enough to support the amazing storyline. It can get a little tedious in later playthroughs as the difficulty doesn’t change at all (so it’s even easier than the first time around), and completionists might hate it because you’ll need to do tons of grinding to upgrade all the weapons, but the gameplay is solid enough not to distract from the beauty of the story.

    The achievement list is pretty monotonous. In addition to the upgrades, you’ll have to complete a bunch of the sidequests and accumulate a million gold, both of which can take up a ton of time. You’ll also have to search for rare crafting materials, which may take hours of repeatedly checking the same locations. At the time of this writing, my in-game clock is just under 50 hours, and I still have a ways to go on the upgrades. Most of the other achievements are pretty straightforward, but there are four or five that might give you a huge headache.

    In the end, although the gameplay could have been more exciting, I can’t help but highly recommend Nier because of its awesome, emotional plot.

    My Rating: 8/10 – great.

    (For more info on my rating system, including overall stats, see http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html)
    4.0
  • inspectorpjinspectorpj65,738
    28 Sep 2011 21 May 2013
    8 8 1
    Nier certainly is not for everyone, it has a very unique approach to gameplay, varying between bullet hell shooter and rpg. It also has unique moments like text adventures and such.
    Nier story is very emotional, and basically revolves around a father trying to save his daughter from a terrible disease. But as the game goes along, you will find out that nothing is as it seems.
    The game also has various endings, each of these ending revealing a little more about the world of Nier, providing the player a great incentive to replay the game several times.

    Backing up the gameplay and storyline is a great soundtrack, one of the best I ever heard in a videogame, the voice work is also top notch.
    It's a shame that the graphics from a technical standpoint can't really keep up with the rest of the game. But like I said, only from a technical standpoint because the art direction in Nier is very good, giving us some great environments and some nice designs.

    Like I said, Nier is not for everyone, but those of us who can appreciate the game will most certainly fall in love with it.
    5.0
  • Talonius888Talonius888218,349
    26 Oct 2012
    3 5 0
    OK - This ranks as possibly my favourite RPG on the XBOX 360. Graphically it is not going to win any awards however the storyline is incredibly deep and the multiple playthroughs (which should be experienced) help to create a fantastically well rounded and well thought out narrative that really makes you feel for the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Dismissed by many on release due partly perhaps to the poor first impression this game provides it can now be picked up at a bargain price and any RPG fanatic would be amiss to allow this one to pass them by. Achievements are of a varied type ranging from the standard story based achievements to the more obscure and time consuming varieties. The bulk of the gamerscore is earned by completing the 4 endings. In conclusion go out and buy this now you won't regret it - it is one of the few titles in the current generation that has stayed with me and made a lasting impression.
    5.0