Evis T Reviews Nier For The Xbox 360

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This review is more of a rant than actual analysis, this game pissed me off so badly. After calming down I wrote a more helpful review here.

I pride myself on trying to give full and accurate reviews of games. Critics are ten a penny on the internet, Yahtzee, the angry videogame nerd and so forth all tend to rip into games, and while I enjoy their shows and what they do, it’s not very helpful to only focus on the negative aspects of a game. Playing through and picking out the good points then comparing and contrasting them with the bad so that people can make up their own mind is (in my opinion anyway) what a good review should be all about.

So please understand that the following review is not meant to be satirical, but is a truthful and honest indication of my genuine feelings towards Nier.

This game is shit. It is so totally God damn awful that I’m actually going to go and trade it in later today, after it was released less than a week ago. “But Evis!” I hear you cry- “How can you truly judge a game if you’ve only been playing for two days?”

“Good question!” I answer, and to that I can only say this: I’m a power gamer. When I get a new videogame I put my life on hold and play the living shit out of it, stopping only to eat, write guides and sometimes sleep. If I’m lucky I remember to use the toilet. Thanks to this I’ve clocked up several hours on Nier so far, and if a game hasn’t got the point by the 4th hour, then it never will (I’m looking at you FFXIII). You need to allow some time for tutorials to be completed, story arcs to start and foreshadowing to end, as well as some time for you as a player to get accustomed to the controls. But my rule of thumb is that a game should have all that out of the way by hour number 4 (except unlockable items and so forth). I have never played what I would consider to be a good game that dragged out its ‘start section’ for more than 4 hours.

So, six hours into Nier and what have I experienced? Well the combat is dull- you walk up to enemies and start mashing X. If you’re feeling really clever you might hold down X and let it go. If you want to walk on the wild side then tap Y from time to time. You also get a combo meter which does exactly nothing but go up. Do you get more XP for it? I Don’t think so. Do you get rare item drops if you bring it above a certain level? Maybe, but I never noticed. Do you get achievements for scores? Probably, but any gamer with a degree of intelligence knows that most achievements are just there to make you play the game longer and feel like you got better value for money, so who gives a damn about them?

It does nothing. The combat leaves you unsatisfied and even the boss fights are dull.

There’s magic too, but it’s nothing special. You get about 5 spells, but you can only have 2 bound to the keys at any one time. While they do add some variety to the combat, they get old quickly and you soon fall into the same routine over and over again. A good action RPG should give you many options and also reason to use alternating tactics to keep you on your toes. Nier’s response to this is simply either you need to use magic, or you need to hack at the enemy with your sword.

Next there is the character design. I mean seriously- WHAT THE F###? Nier looks like a wax statue of Stallone that’s been left in the sun too long and Kainé wears nothing but lingerie- and lingerie that Victoria’s secret would be embarrassed to stock at that. Hell, you probably couldn’t find an outfit like that in the Netherlands. Plus she sounds like a six year old having a temper tantrum all the time. Nier is as thick as pig shit and about half as likeable and while I do empathise with the character’s desire to do anything it takes to save his daughter, the rest of his conversations are just “Me hit thing with sword now? Ug Ug?”

Again, character development can be a little vacant for the first hours of the game, but when you start with a foundation of crap, you can only build a tower of trash on top of it.

The puzzles? What puzzles? Nier’s puzzles are insulting easy- there are no logic problems, no maths questions, no riddles (oh, except some easy ones with multiple choice answers) and nothing that even approaches intellectual stimulation.

And the story? Yeah forget it. The world setting makes no sense, and if I ever hear someone say the words Grimoire Noir again, I will snap. To illustrate my point, here is a pronunciation guide- Grim-Waah, Nwaah. Sounds stupid doesn’t it? The regional translators really dropped the ball on this one. My already strained suspension of disbelief was cruelly slashed down when NO ONE and I mean NO ONE in the world is surprised by the fact you’re being followed around by a flying, talking book. I mean it wouldn’t be so bad if they never remarked on it, but everywhere you go, people are like “Well I never, a talking book!” in a tone more accustomed to surprising gossip THAN THE PRESENSE OF A SENTIENT, FLOATING GRIMOIRE. To make matters even worse they keep making mystical veiled references to old technology such as moving metal boxes that carried people at great speed (It’s called a train) as if these ideas are the pinnacle of awesome- but a floating book? Pfft. We found one of them in the garden shed last year.

I’m bringing this to a close soon, but first I want to look at the gameplay mechanics. Nier has nothing original, and what little mechanics are there have no depth at all. Oh, there is also an upgrade system for your weapons and magic, but it’s mediocre at best. All you do is collect magical McGuffins (words) and bind them to your gear to increase their power or produce special effects. Nothing new, not badly done, but at the end of the day it’s just a nugget of average in a heap of awful.

I will say this for Nier though, the soundtrack is KICK ASS. It reminds me a lot of the Ghost In The Shell Movie, and If I get the chance I will certainly buy that. But again, soundtracks are not something that makes or breaks a game, so I must still conclude that Nier is the second worst game I have ever played. Avoid it at any cost, there are far better action RPG’s out there at a fraction of the cost, prototype and Dante’s inferno both spring to mind

This review is more of a rant than actual analysis, this game pissed me off so badly. After calming down I wrote a more helpful review here.

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