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PostSubject: Nier Review   Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:53 pm

Hey all,

Occasionally, I try to post a game review or two on here to let you know what the good and the bad buys are, since I have nothing but console games to dick with atm. Well, that and books...but why read when you can game, right? A couple previews first--

Anyway...3Dot Heroes. Don't buy. Rent if you must play it...the novelty of Zelda-esque games wear off pretty quickly when you're dealing with multi-minute runs back to the place you just wiped at, or spending hours farming for gold to buy the next uberl33t sword you need for this or that trophy. If you've never gone back to play the old Atari games, you'll understand what I mean after about 20 minutes...

Truly enjoying Dragonquest 9 for the DS, as you can make any of your characters into any class, and use some of the cross-functional skills to help in whatever profession you finally decide on. Sooo, it's a big thumbs up for character development, familiar musical themes and environment...all in all a very strong game.

Neither of which I titled this post with. Time to talk about the TOTAL sleeper game, Nier. It's a Square-Enix offering that has been broadly panned by the U.S. critics.

They couldn't be more wrong.

While I see most reviews placing it somewhere in the high 60% range for scores overall, I would have to put it in the high 80% range.

Here's why: the themes (the intro to the game is this profanity-laden rant by the lead female character...who, aside from being your standard borderline-hentai sex object is really this damaged soul with a mouth fouler than most Sailors...a VERY strange twist coming from Square, and reminiscent of the VERY old FF titles that went semi-translated in the US); the music; the plot; the levelling/harvesting/weapon progression; the voiceovers.

Theme: You're a 40-something dad trying to protect your daughter from succumbing to the effects of a deadly disease. Gotta go beat some ass to make ends meet.

Harvesting: Like WoW, you need to go look for certain natural materials to make nifty shit with, or complete quests, or upgrade your weapons. There's also a gardening section, where you are trying to crossbreed certain flowers that can be sold for crazy sums or used as healing agents.

Fishing: Go figure, very nihonzin...games are bought for months of gameplay, including beating up the RNG circa FF5 pink tails.

Fighting: One of your magic abilities allows you to use R1 like a trigger for an ungodly ranged attack, as fast as you can pull the trigger--unlimited mana. 2h swords, spears, and 1h swords...each able to be upgraded and with their own graphical style.

Questing/sidequests: Kill this, collect that. Pretty mundane.

Music: Ambient music is amazing. Mostly classical piano, sometimes with a woman's voice over the top of it (at one point you unlock this incredible duet between the two sisters who are your quest-givers). Some spanish-guitar themes, some new-age drumming. Every theme rocked.

Environment: Amazingly green. Rolling hills, trickling brooks, etc.

Voice acting: Par excellence. Not quite as amazing as Dragon Age, but the lead female is the most prolific in the business, same woman who did Rayne in the Bloodrayne series. Some detractors claim her voice isn't well suited to the profanity-laced rants of the character, but I don't know what sort of voice WOULD be if not this one. Male leads are solid, and there's a constant gallows-humor banter between the toons--much like Dragon Age.

Unique: Horrors abound in the blood...very Shinto. Children being experimented on and turned into horrifying weapons. Soul migration. Somewhat reminiscent of Xenogears.

BFS: (Big F Surprise)...to get the final ending (of 4 possibilities), you make a choice after meeting some requirements...and the game asks you if you REALLY want to make this far-reaching decision and sacrifice your identity, essentially...so after you do it...

It deletes ALL of your saves of the game. Heh. SURPRISE!

Most like: Drakenguard 1 and 2 (also terribly underrated in the US). Where else can you kill literally tens of thousands of soldiers atop the wings of a red dragon (and a sukhoi SU-37, if you manage to unlock it) while listening to bombastic classical music like Berlioz and Beethoven? Freaking amazing.

Highly recommended if you like the dark fantasy themes of dragon age.

Absolute must-have if you like Japanese games/themes.

J

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SNES Fanboi, player of (series) Shadow Hearts, Suikoden, Castlevania, Drakengard (Nier), Dragon Age, and Torchlight.

"It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the bean of java that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains.  The stains become a warning.  It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion."  -Dunecat
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