Hot damn, that’s your Twiglet Struggle :O
I have been playing Nier Automata early in the month. I got to the second of the 4 or 5 endings, and figured I’d go back to the start.
So I played Drakengard/Drag’on Dragoon first. Incredible game, apparently absolutely butchered in its English release. It is a very exhausting game though.
After seeing its five endings, I went on to Drakengard 3/Drag’on Dragoon 3, which is not good game. It’s a true “kusoge”, with stuff so bad it’s hard to not have some affection for it. But it was quite unsatisfying overall, and while it provides a couple of elements I’ll reflect upon when I’ll come to draw a map of the whole Yokoworld, it was not time particularly well spent, especially to watch all of the extra endings.
Of note, the game features a no-miss, one-hit=restart terrible rhythm game sequence that lasts for eight freaking minutes as the ultimate game sequence. It has to be seen to believe it. I can’t even detail all the “fuck you” thrown at the player’s face during this phase of play, even to nearly the last second. It constitutes now, to me, the worst trolling in all of videogame history, period.
I’ve now started playing the original Nier Replicant on PS3, the original Japanese version of Nier Gestalt, that was localized for the first time on PC this year. I have a few ideas of where this is going, and I’ll reflect more upon it when I’m really done with both this game and Automata.
Semi-spoilery rant for people who played those games and don't mind me.
One of the common denominators for all those games, from my looking around, is that the English versions were butchered at different levels. They are not easy games to translate for a variety of reasons, but the choice to “edulcorate” the text and themes is a very dubious decision to me. This is especially true of the two Drakengard games, the two games I have been to explore a bit more as I have completed them.
But when I was contemplating whether to play Gestalt or Replicant on the PS3, while I was casually trying to exchange with a friend who had played those games, it came to my attention that even Automata got a bunch of discutable adaptation choices, and he didn’t quite know sometimes what I was referring to.
As for the Gestalt/Replicant dilemma, I was not fond of playing some bro/sister Japanese couple. But after figuring I’d be lost with the English differences to the lore, I am playing the Replicant game and I know now that it actually is a very important part of the plot, as well as why the game is designed the way it is, I’m very curious about how they managed to make the main character a daddy without sacrificing some major points the game had tried to make so far.
Another aspect in the Japanese version is that there is one very specific voice actor that is present in all the works. He is such a unique, specific and charismatic presence. His performance provides a strange detachement feel to the games, a sort of irony that is particularly rare in Japanese works, and sometimes a sort of warmness that is mostly absent from those cold worlds and their unsympathetic protagonists.
Well, I’m far from done with Replicant, so stay tune for more ramblings!
On my Switch, I’ve been playing Stranger in Sword City, which is a very pleasant dungeon mapping experience.
All this Japanese gaming has prevented me from spending as much time as I want with State of Decay 2, which quite literally obsesses me like the first game when I think about it.
I’ll go with Drag’on Dragoon as my game of the month, because it is such a unique game. Also for its incredible soundtrack, that apparently got the composer to be locked away from working on soundtracks for the rest of his career (jump to Nobuyoshi Sano if you’re interested in some of the most painfully frank talk I ever read in an interview of a Japanese game contributor).