Nioh - Demo on PS4

Yeah, I think you nailed it. The advantage or random loot is a varied end-game you can play for a while, which I don’t really care about. The real intended benefit for exploring is finding the tiny green spirit dudes, but I don’t find their benefit to be worth it. I end up just exploring every corner because it’s how I play by default, and then feel a little burned out when it doesn’t feel rewarded at all. It’s a much better feel in a Souls game to go out of your way to fight a hard mini-boss and find a unique weapon, even if it doesn’t fit your build. Whereas in this case, the cool weapon I found may have just as likely popped on the main path.

I like the combat of Nioh a lot more than Souls games which is what draws me through. There’s a lot of depth to explore and a lot of skill to develop, especially as you get more advanced moves through the skill tree. But I think another unfortunate aspect of Nioh is the smaller number of enemy types. Even unique locations can feel repetitive since you’re fighting the same enemy for the 100th time. I think the enemy design is maybe a bit better than the Souls games, so those fights do have more depth and variety, but they still get stale sooner than I’d like.

I’ve been trying out different weapons but without respecing, so I only have the basic moves. They all seem pretty good. I’m considering moving the Kusa to a secondary weapon and changing primaries. Tonfa or swords (dual or single) maybe. Or maybe I should just try to figure out how to effectively use the Kusa’s other stances.

Edit: Oh, and the DLC boss Maria is tough

I’m curious, do those of you that like Nioh more that Dark Souls, so you also play fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Combat? I can’t play those at all because there are too many button sequences for my brain to handle.

Nioh has a lot fewer button presses to remember than fighting games, though. Actually what its system reminds me of more than anything is God Hand. There are a lot of different moves, but they all fall within a few different classes. Press triangle after pressing square a few times. Press square while holding L1. But within those classes you pick which moves the game will execute from a menu of choices. It’s quite fast, though, and I think a lot of the enemies do cheap bullshit a little too often, but I felt both ways sometimes about Bloodborne, too, the former thought more than the latter, but still, I don’t think there’s a lot of execution to remember versus most fighting games.

Although I guess there is stance switching which changes how the weak and strong attacks operate…I am not very good at fighting games’ combo execution, but I am at least passable in Nioh. I find dealing with enemies’ unpredictability vastly more challenging than bringing my own attacks out, though.

I like Nioh’s combat better than Dark Souls, but I like Dark Souls games better overall (the art direction, level design, world-building, and progression mechanics are all much better in my opinion).

That said, I do play fighting games but I’m not very good at them. I can’t handle combo-driven fighting games at all (like Marvel vs. Capcom, Skullgirls, or Mortal Kombat) for exactly the reason you mentioned. In Street Fighter, I play E Honda so I don’t ever have to combo, just hit hard. I’d agree with @Kolbex, Nioh reminds me much more of God Hand, Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. I think I’m drawing on that experience as much as Souls games in Nioh.

As mentioned above, Nioh is Souls + character action games (+ Diablo). The developer, Team Ninja, is known for the modern Ninja Gaiden games.

However, the brain overload is similar to fighting games, at least for me. In both Nioh and fighting games, I tend to use simple attacks and combos over and over because my brain is hyper-focused on defense and avoiding enemy attacks. The trick is that once you play the game enough, your unconscious mind takes over that stuff and you can focus on using more elaborate combos and switching weapons.

That’s where Nioh goes from a good Souls clone to a great experience. The repeated enemies and zones fade into the background and turn into a simple canvas for stylish action. Of course that requires a lot of time investment. That’s a personal choice to decide if it’s worth it.

I’m horrible at fighting games, just too many button sequences to remember. Nioh certainly has potential to be overwhelming, but I just focused on a few attacks and then really just tried not to get hit. I used a single stance for almost the entire base game.

In NG+, I’m just now starting to branch out to try to add some more attacks to my repertoire. It certainly helps knowing the enemies moves, since I can focus on adding a new attack here and there.

I got through the first NG+ and started the second. Wow, the XP is crazy. I earned about 110 million playing up to this point and in the first mission on NG++ I got about 55 million in that one mission. Unfortunately, gold didn’t follow that type of increase and so it will be limiting me quite a bit.

I’m using the sword a lot more (got a full 7 piece set of Hayabusa, which complements my Kusa usage too). Liking it a lot and it allowed me to take down a couple of those double boss missions without too much trouble. I still switch to the Kusa for quite a few fights though.

Playing through Dark Souls 3 right now, and I agree that it’s a better game, but damn do I miss Nioh’s combat. So fast and fluid. And DS3 is substantially faster than previous titles!

I think Sekiro might have the most viscerally enjoyable combat, but Nioh has so much more variety with the stances, weapon switching, guardian spirit etc.

NG++ (Way of the Demon) is hard. I die in 1 hit most of the time and that gets a little frustrating. I’m down to 6 achievements left and I’m not sure I’m going to have the stamina to get them done.

I watched a speedrun video of some guy running all main quests of the base game in under 90 minutes. Oddly, I think the most impressive thing was watching him go through the menus so fast while still moving. He used bare fists on several of the bosses because it was faster than weapons. Impressive.

Made it to Way of the Wise (NG+++). Another exponential jump in XP on the first mission. Glad I haven’t been farming XP. However, I did spend some time getting my gear right in Way of the Demon and now it is too expensive to uplevel it (~100 million gold per piece when I have a total of 7 million, ouch). That kinda sucks, I didn’t play around with gear until then so I didn’t understand how expensive it would become.

I really should move on, but those 5 achievements are staring at me funny.

You periodically need to start over with a new set of gear to reset the upgrade cost. Forge a divine set or play some levels to find some.

I managed to get through Way of the Wise by only upgrading my Kusa. The buffs on my armor were just better than anything else I could find and I couldn’t manage to get any decent replacement pieces to drop. I’d get killed if a mob so much as sneezed at me, but it wasn’t too bad.

On Way of the Nioh. Now I melt if a mob so much as notices me and I’m not doing enough damage, but I got through the first mission (for some ridiculous amount of XP, something like 2+ billion… they really need thousands separators in these numbers).

I really need a good weapon drop now. Revenants aren’t dropping much, I guess ethereal gear more often than not drops fragments instead of the gear.

I would’ve suggested waiting for a twilight mission to pop up to get some really good gear, but you seem to be completing a playthrough in a single day, so you probably don’t want to wait.

I haven’t done many Twilight missions. I’d have to run them on Way of the Wise. Do you think that would drop better gear than normal missions on Way of the Nioh? I’m also on level 13 in the Abyss, haven’t really done much there either.

Probably not. I usually had a good build from the previous NG that I used until I was able to unlock most of the missions in the next NG. I think I farmed Marobashi and maybe some other levels.

The Grand Tournament is crazy intense. 100 enemies coming at you, mostly 2-4 at a time, with no real breaks. I’m overpowered (weapon wise) for it on the Way of the Strong, and I still had to try several times to get through it. I can’t even imagine doing that on a harder difficulty.

Finished up the remaining achievements. Whew…

Got lucky and had a smithing text drop for my favorite Kusa. Crafted a killer version and started melting things. I also got lucky with my armor smithing text, but I didn’t have the right materials to craft them so ended up with the same armor I had since Way of the Demon.

Looking forward to #2 coming to PC (hopefully).

Way to go! I broke down and bought 2 on PS4 to double dip. Worth it.

I’ve been tempted, but my launch-era PS4 sounds like a jet engine and randomly drops controller connections. But if the PS5 arrives before the PC port, I may well break down. The original was one of my favorites of the past few years.