| Original message (439 Views )
| "The NIER thread: 2B or not 2B" , posted Mon 1 May 14:10|
STOP THE PRESSES, I BOUGHT A GAME THAT WASN'T A FIGHTING GAME WITHIN ONE WEEK OF LAUNCH
~~All of your wonderful Nier: Automata thoughts, fanart, cosplay, and lifestyle choices go here~~
Thanks to Mosquiton and Iggy, I am loving Nier, and I don’t even like 3D action games that are not God Hand. But while Nier may lack the ability to spank your opponents, it contains the following crucial features demanded by all Cafe members:
2B: To paraphrase a line I still remember from GameFan twenty years ago: if falling in love with a video game character is a sign of mental collapse (and I believe it is), then cart me off to the funny farm, because I’d be content to gaze upon 2B for the rest of my days. It is Yoshida Akihiko so all the rest of the art is also perfect. C, Commander! Commanderrrrrrrrr
A beautiful world on a grand scale: The scale and beauty of the environments in general are wonderful, even if there is not much to do other than beat up fools. I wish I could cook or start a campfire. Sometimes there are invisible walls. Why? Still, it’s a joy wandering through lush fields, treehouse villages, or a beautiful desert with the wind kicking up sand. There is boldness and confidence in creating often overpowering scenery or daunting enemies. Nier is also effortless and bold in occasionally shifting into space shooter mode, which mostly works in service of the world's scale and the hugeness of the enemies.
Splendid camera: This beautiful world is easily examined via one of gaming’s most cheeky and customizable cameras. Blessedly, this world is also full of ladders. Lately, when walking by open manhole covers, I have to fight the urge to slide stylishly down their ladders like 2B.
Fishing: A vital selling point for any game at the Cafe is food. I’m even worse at fishing in this game than in real life. It took me twenty hours to catch a single fish, and I had to wander into an obscure oasis to do it. I have never caught one again. Diving did not help, incidentally. What is wrong with me?
Moose Rodeo: I was promised sexy moose riding by Iggy, and I am pleased to confirm that Nier delivers! I also like that you can steamroll enemies this way.
Music: Nier’s beautiful world is matched by a soundtrack of great beauty that captures the grandeur of the sweeping deserts or the towering boss fights. It often sounds a bit like what Mitsuda Yasunori was trying to accomplish with the Xenogears soundtrack, but if he’d had real instruments, or some of Hamauzu Masashi’s stand-out tracks from FFX like Raid. These often boosted by wonderful vocals in an unknown (to me) language, to the point that the English and Japanese singing in the end credits for routes A and B feel pedestrian and out of place.
Good writing, robot suicide: The game accomplishes a great feat in making a very unique sci-fi scenario but not having it get bogged down in its own jargon. It is often quite funny. Robots have been used thematically to examine AI and human consciousness before, but it’s quite convincing here. The use of robots also allows interesting things like frank and harrowing depictions of suicide bombing or WWII emperor worship and mass-suicide-to-become-gods.
Chrono Triggering: Multiple routes are a neat idea, though it's bizarre that in a game where even the loading screen or control settings are introduced sophisticatedly within the game’s diegesis as 2B’s routine maintenance, the first route ends with an “announcement from Square Enix’s PR Department” telling you to enjoy other routes. Route B was weak and repetitive, and unclear why the extra bits couldn’t have been in the first route. Route C's ambitious start is sort of marred by the horrid virus controls, which feel like a Kojima Hideo excess and/or Journey’s finale but done poorly. The bigger problem is that there is not enough 2B! Issues surrounding auxiliary characters have been known in our circles for at least 15 years.
| || "Re(1):The NIER thread: 2B or not 2B" , posted Tue 2 May 07:20|
quote: This, unfortunately. Maybe it plays with the themes of loss and how it truly stings to lose something of value you've been accustomed to, but, nah. The others don't compare.
The bigger problem is that there is not enough 2B!
I'm not entirely sure I get the whole "body replacement" thing. Like, when they die, they have spare bodies which are all the same, and they simply customize them with wigs? Is it why we can teleport from vending machine to another, as in "each vending machine has a set of spare bodies, you just download the data of the host and then the accessories are manufactured instantly?"
The people demand answers.
Spoiler about the last ending, just in case.
Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
I'm very satisfied with the all-saves-erased ending, but the more I read about the side quests I haven't done the more I feel like going back to it. But the slow "format C:" thing was so satisfying, and such a good way to close a narrative...
I had never felt how endings that let you continue afterwards, either with a NG+ or by letting you load the save data before the last boss and keep on adventuring in the world, didn't feel complete or bring a satisfying sense of closure. At least, not as strong.
End of Spoiler
| "Re(2):The NIER thread: 2B or not 2B" , posted Tue 2 May 09:45:|
quote: I have it on good authority from Juan in the 10,000 post matsuri thread that iggy is the phantom pain
Lame alternate characters
Phantom Pain excuses
quote:I kind of forgot since they tell you in the beginning and that was like 30 hours ago, but I think that yes, the master back-up is in the Bunker headquarters, and you just transfer that info from body to body in the vending machines, with the catch being that if you die and haven't had time to synchronize your current experiences with the Bunker, that "you" is forever lost, hence the impact in the opening and ending of route A.
I'm not entirely sure I get the whole "body replacement" thing.
I'm only midway through route C but know that the game reproduces the total erasure trick of the original Nier, though perhaps less absolutely. In non-spoiler terms, is it worth doing, and are there ways to avoid it if I want to keep playing around with 2B's Kaine outfit (available tomorrow (yes, it's true!))?
So far, Nier reminds me of another highly ambitious, flawed masterpiece that everyone should experience whether they like it or not, this time from the 90s. No, I'm not talking about Xenogears! I'm thinking Evangelion, where a cheerful but incomprehensible and incomplete first ending (TV episode 26) gives way to progressively more comprehensible but dreary follow-up endings (End of Evangelion). It's all quite creative with Nier, even if I don't know if I like the "sequels" included in this game.
[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 2 May 09:48]
| "Re(5):The NIER thread: 2B or not 2B" , posted Wed 3 May 00:45|
Thanks for starting the thread so that I didn't have to Maou!
I'm notorious for leaving even some of my favorite games unfinished as I crawl through them slowly, maybe an hour a day, for months, before losing interest when a new interesting game comes out. But N:A I not only finished the three main routes, but I also bought a second PS4 so that I didn't have to compete with whatever my wife was playing on the other PS4, but I also stayed up three nights in a row waaaay past my normal bedtime because I was obsessed with finding out what would come next.
Unlike Maou, I didn't hate route B that much-- the hacking element of that route was more than enough to hold my interest, and
Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
the different perspective introduced, including seeing much of the previous route given what happened through its storyline was a lot like a NG+ for me, but with a different character
End of Spoiler
. And then route C was super rewarding as a conclusion to the whole thing.
I had a few small complaints though-- while it was a real improvement gameplay wise on the original Nier, I can't help but feel that it wasn't Platinum at its best. But that made me wonder if it might have been intentional, given all the other pseudo-trolling moments such as
Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
the machine-headed android talking about how lame the in-game map is
End of Spoiler
. Likewise, while I was overall really happy that the danmaku elements were included, the use of the pod and the enemy bullet patterns during the non-shooter parts felt not quite right. I still loved them, but they felt just a little bit off.
Still, I love how I feel as though I could go back and play it all again given all of the weapons, pod programs, and chips I simply didn't get around to using because there was SO MUCH. For the moment though I'm on to Persona 5.
You have to carefully reproduce the world of "Castlevania" in the solemn atmosphere.
| "Re(6):The NIER thread: DLC or not DLC" , posted Wed 3 May 09:02|
As another gaiden of a gaiden of a gaiden, Persona 5 is a fitting place to move on from Nier: Automata! Veterans, feel free to talk about Nier and Drag-on Dragoon here too, just like any Vanillaware thread inevitably talks about all Vanillaware games!
This is also fitting since the
fine-ass original Nier costumes are out for Automata today! But on this note, I'm still looking for a non-spoiler-y explanation of whether I can/should do the erasure route E, and whether I can get around it with other saves so I can run around in Nier 1 cosplay without starting over.
quote: I stayed up till 4am on multiple workdays thinking "there will be probably be a resting point after this boss fight," only to accidentally beat route A.
I also stayed up three nights in a row waaaay past my normal bedtime because I was obsessed with finding out what would come next.
I will forgive route B if the resident MMC hacking crew can confirm to me that real hacking does indeed look like a space shooter/Tim Rogers' Videoball game.
As for pods: I actually had the most fun just sniping goons (or bosses) from afar, with the occasional laser blast. Normal mode is too dangerous to fight hand-to-hand! Fortunately, I later realized that dodging is both stylish and invincible.
The purposefully sucky map did sort of fit with the sense of the unknown world, as well as the game's general skill in making typical game mechanics part of the story, though we'll never know if that explanation was added after the fact. More importantly, it became much less painful to get around once I had my moose.
| || "Re(7):The NIER thread: DLC or not DLC" , posted Thu 4 May 01:38|
But on this note, I'm still looking for a non-spoiler-y explanation of whether I can/should do the erasure route E, and whether I can get around it with other saves so I can run around in Nier 1 cosplay without starting over.
Easy: when you've done everything you want, taken all the NSFW pictures with the cosplay, seen all the sidequests, gotten all the weapons... say good bye to 2B and go route E. It will erase everything, including other saves.
(I guess on PC you can locate the folder, make a copy of it, and replace it after the fact... but it makes more sense to do route E as the last thing you'll do in the game).
Also, do note E doesn't have a huge revelation or a grandiose finale. It's actually a bit disconnected from the game, in all the charming way this game can be itself while being disconnected from what it's in the process of doing.
Don't expect anything and you'll get precisely that.
| || "Re(2):Re:The YOKO TARO thread: calling all Dr" , posted Tue 16 May 04:48:|
I have a conflicting relationship with Drag-on-Dragoon 3, the only YT game I played before Automata.
It's a fantastic story, I loved all the interactions between the characters and several of them were lovingly hate-able... but playing the game was an exercise of frustration I have rarely experienced. Rarely have a game felt so much like I was working some dull, soul-crushing job to earn the right to watch the next (fantastic) cutscene. I couldn't finish it and just watched everything else on Youtube.
I would really like the game to have a remake to fix all the gameplay problems.
Unreasonable requirements of time, effort, and repetition are honestly kind of a theme with Taro's games. While there's not been a single YT game where I didn't think, "Wow, this is really interesting!", there's also never been a game where I didn't think "Come on man, just let me see/do/have the cool stuff already. Why, why must I suffer?"
I actually feel pretty fortunate that I did not have to collect every goddamn weapon in the game in order to access the final Automata ending, because many of the guy's other games allow only tireless completionists to get the "final" or "true" ending without hitting up YouTube. It really feels like an artificial requirement since the weapons themselves have very little to do with the main plot or even major themes, and you actually need these endings/scenes to fully get what the game is saying artistically. Repetition/timesinks are major sore spots for me with this dude's work.
I did play the original Drakengard/DoD when it came out, which is really interesting in terms of characters and themes (I hadn't really seen anything like it at the time), and while they do give you an indication of how to access alternate routes and let you use chapter select to jump around... it's still a huge effort. So I went to YouTube for the famous joke-ending that became a canon ending leading directly to Nier.
The original Nier is really interesting and worth playing, but it's very demanding if you want to see everything on your own. I played it over the course of a few days off when my wife was out of town, realized how much effort it would take to see the two endings with extra content. So after 1 and 3/4 playthroughs I had depleted my spare time reserves and went to YouTube.
Drakengard 2/Draggy Dagron 2 [EDIT: YOKO TARO CANNOT BE BLAMED FOR THIS] is I think actually worse than the first game. That, or it is so little improved that it felt like a really old game that really hadn't aged well. I played it a bit and just had no patience for it at all. The gameplay seemed so tenuously connected to the plot that I almost felt offended. There was no sense of momentum carrying me forward and I dropped it like a bad habit.
Draggin' On the Dragic Dragon 3 just came out at a time in my life where I was just needing to get a move on and pay my damn rent. I do like what I saw of the character designs and concepts, but I pretty much pretended this game didn't exist. I actually came really close to preordering it, but I felt I made the right decision after spying some poor, tormented souls in various comment sections chasing what sounds like some pretty-difficult-to-achieve ending requirements. Devil Hunter Taro may have created some fiendishly difficult conditions on this one to access certain routes. Player beware!
Automata probably is the best game in YT's oeuvre so far, but I would have liked a bit more variety in Automata's gameplay styles. I wasn't totally in love with the shooting... there wasn't all that much there and most of the sections felt stretched out to me. Old Nier included weird stuff like a text adventure section and a pastiche of the original Resident Evil mansion... so I was expecting just a little more weirdness there. Of course, these are probably things that other devs (like Platinum for example) would have just recognized as half-baked and cut from the game in order to focus on other things. Maybe that's what happened, who knows?
I will say I have high hopes for YT's future output. Even if Nier: Automata is a step up in budget compared to his past games, I have to imagine it more than paid off for the publisher.
/ / /
[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Tue 16 May 06:25]
| || "Re(4):Re:The YOKO TARO thread: calling all Dr" , posted Tue 16 May 05:53:|
Wasn't DoD2 made by an entirely different team, without YT's input?
A bit like Devil May Cry 2 or SaGa 3?
Well, it's not a totally different team since it's still Cavia, but I admit I didn't think about this when I was writing my previous post. I guess the most important thing to mention about that game might be that Taro didn't handle the story.
It looks like YT was only involved later on in production. But, it's not an entirely different team... it's important to note that Takamasa Shiba is basically the co-creator of Drag-On Dragoon and is credited as producer on the first and third game in the series. Which I guess actually kind of emphasizes that YT was probably a big part of what makes those earlier games feel special.
Since some of what I consider "bad habits" are carried through from Drakengard on forward, Shiba could well be partially responsible for some of the gameplay carry-overs I'm not so fond of even though he didn't work on either Nier game personally (to my knowledge). Of course they ditched the Dynasty Warriors gameplay that Shiba had pushed for completely with the Nier games, which was not a bad idea at all.
However, this could also indicate that maybe YT maybe doesn't even care about or examine certain gameplay aspects that much or left a lot of things up to other staff members... which to me would mean even more room for improvement with the right collaborations in the future. It's hard to say what exactly Taro is and isn't responsible for in every game, but I do have to imagine that both Taro and the rest of the team influenced each other in various ways.
So thanks Iggy, I would agree that the important takeaway is that people should feel free to skip Drakendragooner 2. It full of the bad stuff and is lacking in the good stuff. Needs more YT, for sure.
/ / /
[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Tue 16 May 06:26]