Nioh - Demo on PS4


#141

[quote=“Profanicus, post:140, topic:78498, full:true”]
Ughh… the Muneshige duel, that final stand-alone sub-mission in region 1, really separates the men from the boys.[/quote]
That’s probably the game-defining mission right there.


#142

You wouldn’t guess from all the cursing that I was actually enjoying myself! ;) The quick loading times really helped soften the pain of the countless retries, so I’m grateful for that. Let me get back into the humiliation with minimal downtime.


#143

Now go for the killing him without being hit once title! Actually, in the demo some people killed him in a single hit, with an ultra super-powered riposte.


#144

That’s almost just like killing him normally, since one good hit is all it seemed to take him… ;)


#145

Another cool thing about this game is it gives me a good excuse to talk games with my parents next time I visit because my dad has read Shogun like a dozen times.

I wonder if the bat lady boss is in that book. Maybe that’s why the thing is so long, William probably dies a hundred times there, too.


#146

My personal worst enemy is the loot. So much loot.

So now I have a plan. Press the controller’s center pad for extra options, then offer all white common items. Then do it again with yellow items, but double-check the list for unusually good accessories/armor. For more room, sort weapons by “ability” and keep the best one by type, then sort armor by “weight” and keep the best one for each model. BUT, if you have purple stuff to get rid of, disassemble it, don’t offer it, because you get highest quality materials, which would be a hassle to get otherwise. You should switch to disassemble sometimes anyway to get spirit stones to reforge, so you have to keep that in mind too. Oh, and if weapons have a very good inheritable properties, lock them and send them to storage for eventual soul matching.

It’s a pretty long process.

Gosh, I should just trash anything that isn’t purple, but what kind of OCD gamer would accept that? Besides, I got a “mere” yellow accessory that reduces the vulnerable time when out of Ki, an exceedingly rare purple special effect (I’ve only seen it once in hundreds of items) that is literally a life saver. Instead of standing there waiting for the coup de grâce, I can usually survive a Ki misstep.


#147

I just look for good weapons, then save armor set pieces. I haven’t messed with the inheritable traits so it’s a pretty quick process for me. I sort by newest and go through it every mission or two.


#148

Yeah same. Save one of each weapon, anything inheritable with high familiarity, and armour set bits that I can’t yet craft. Everything else gets disassembled.

With all the mats, forge for purples and re-roll all the rubbish affixes.


#149

These brawler RPGs are one of the rare times where an arena DLC would actually be amazing, so I’m glad they’re doing that soon.

I don’t know how they’re going to get that major DLC pack out in April since it also includes PvP. Didn’t it take them 10 years to make the base game? Hah!


#150

New weapon types, huh? Who else wants dual flintlock pistols?


#151

I’m still enjoying this game a lot, but slowly losing interest… I love the combat system but there doesn’t feel like there’s enough diversity in enemy types. In Souls games I feel like they do a good job using level design to shake up fights with enemies you’ve already done 100 times. That happens some in Nioh, but not very often. More so it feels like fighting the same enemies in a different visual context but now they have more health.

I still like it more than any game I played in 2016. I’m looking forward to how they evolve it. Hopefully this is a good base from which to build a solid sequel with a bunch more content diversity in a few years.


#152

It’s a different feel to Souls. There is only one enemy I really like to fight, and I enjoy fighting all the humanoid popcorn enemies. Mostly they’re just there to do combos on. Whenever I get bored I go look for something new in the skill tree to unlock or bring back into my rotation.


#153

I’m just starting to see a pretty big uptick in encounters where you have to fight more than one enemy at a time (mission levels are around level 70 here). All these tools the combat system has been giving me finally feel more like tools and less like toys. This combat is so much more fun with multiple enemies! I’m excited again.


#154

Nioh platted! For what it’s worth, it’s a pretty fun and painless platinum. Anyway, here is my Nioh review.

Having played the beta tests before release, I had to make an effort to notice again just how fluid the game is, because it had by then become second nature. The combat is silky sixty-frames-per-second smooth. Every one of the five weapons (sword, double swords, spear, hammer and a novel hook-chain thing) has three stances. Basically slow and strong for bosses, fast and weak for enemies that are easy to stagger and an in-between. Dark Souls’ stamina bar is here renamed “Ki” and a well-timed button press will let you recover some of it to get more slashes in the same amount of time. You can switch weapons mid-combo as a special attack that also recovers Ki. You can sheathe your sword when the bloodbath is done for extra style points and even do that Iaido thing where you do a lightning quick slash from the scabbard. Shooting enemies is fast and satisfying and the twirl/reload animation when shooting a musket is priceless (oh yes, you can be a musket samurai!). The game has Ninja Gaiden in its DNA (and in its dev team) and it shows. Basically, as a samurai simulator, Nioh is already a glorious success.

I think it is to Nioh’s credit that the combat has so many nuances that very few will master them, but that you can do well anyway. You can probably finish the game without ever recovering extra Ki. A great player, however, can combine parries with stance changes and guard breaks to dazzle and confuse. A player-versus-player patch is coming soon and I expect it will create some great fights. Youtubers will have a field day with this and it will make Nioh’s popularity jump to the next level if it is well made. In many regards, the combat is BETTER THAN DARK SOULS. Panic if you must.

Also, I don’t think any game of this type has a faster loading time upon death. It is almost instantaneous, probably a plus for those who need a little bit more “getting gud”, as they say.

There is, obviously, the elephant in the room. Is this a Dark Souls clone? Then again, what isn’t these days? Many, many things are obviously “inspired” by the series: losing experience on death which you get one chance to recover on your grave, stamina bar, bonfire shrines, level structure with narrow passages and pits, shortcuts and items in nooks and crannies and “extreme” difficulty (I don’t think the game is quite that hard, though). There is also the character-building aspect in Nioh, but it’s much more focused on jacks-of-all-trades as no skill requires intense specialization to obtain. It’s easy to create a custom build with a few dirty tricks (I used regen scrolls and poison shuriken, which actually work on bosses). For what it’s worth, I’d say it’s more of a Ninja Gaiden/Dark Souls/Onimusha/Diablo clone. So by that point Nioh is its own thing.

Why Onimusha? Because it is set in the Sengoku period in Japan and all the historical guys from the era are there, with a bunch of monsters plopped into the mix. Kou Shibusawa, one of the producers, made his name doing Sengoku games, so that explains that. Then again, the story is terrible, neither entertaining in its absurdity or interesting in its verisimilitude. Absolutely nothing significant happens until about two thirds of the game. For example, while I was playing in random coop, the game dropped me in the next story mission I had not completed and I did not get to see the cutscenes. So it turns out a character sacrificed himself, but I didn’t even notice that character was dead before a while, had no idea why a sacrifice was needed (it came out of nowhere) and didn’t even really care. Onimusha: Dawn of Souls was anime-style bad, but it had the courage to go all the way with its pseudo-historical hijinks and had an impeccable soundtrack:

For its part, Nioh has a lot of scenes of stern, important people sitting cross-legged in their living rooms while cartoon animals inspect the proceedings:

Every cutscene is like this. And you thought the historical meetings in Assassin’s Creed were boring.

I think the game would unarguably be better if they removed ALL the story, but kept the frame of it and made it a very low-key thing with vague references here and there. It’s probably the one thing they should have copied from Dark Souls, but didn’t. In the same vein, the world map is also very convenient, but it does remove a lot of the tension of being knee-deep in hostile territory. So for the sequel, just make it this: a lone gaijin samurai washes ashore in a Japan scared of foreigners and plagued by bandits and civil war in his lonely quest for revenge. That’s it. No more story needed. Change the title a bit and the less suspecting will not realize it’s a sequel and it will get even more adulation. It worked great for Dark Souls.

In that same vein, the game is about 70% monsters, 30% humans, which is a shame considering humans are the most interesting opponents. They have their own stamina bar and become vulnerable when it is depleted, which leaves them open for an easy critical hit. It’s brilliant, because it’s always better when it seems the AI has to play by the same rules you do (pro tip for developers: copy this mechanic). The ideal mix would probably have been 80% humans, 20% monsters.

There is also the issue of the loot piñata every enemy drops, with random modifiers and quality levels à la Diablo. It’s an extremely versatile system that lets you keep your favorite items throughout the game by enhancing them and even changing their appearance, but it’s kind of a hassle. I’ll quote myself on this:

[quote] My personal worst enemy is the loot. So much loot.

So now I have a plan. Press the controller’s center pad for extra options, then offer all white common items. Then do it again with yellow items, but double-check the list for unusually good accessories/armor. For more room, sort weapons by “ability” and keep the best one by type, then sort armor by “weight” and keep the best one for each model. BUT, if you have purple stuff to get rid of, disassemble it, don’t offer it, because you get highest quality materials, which would be a hassle to get otherwise. You should switch to disassemble sometimes anyway to get spirit stones to reforge, so you have to keep that in mind too. Oh, and if weapons have a very good inheritable properties, lock them and send them to storage for eventual soul matching.

It’s a pretty long process.

Gosh, I should just trash anything that isn’t purple, but what kind of OCD gamer would accept that? Besides, I got a “mere” yellow accessory that reduces the vulnerable time when out of Ki, an exceedingly rare purple special effect (I’ve only seen it once in hundreds of items) that is literally a life saver. Instead of standing there waiting for the coup de grâce, I can usually survive a Ki misstep.[/quote]

There are also many other niggles that could be explained by the fact that Nioh spent a decade in the development doldrums. The game is waaay too dark, probably to hide the fact that the graphical quality is average and would look even worse in the full light of day. The game’s Japanese audio has not been dubbed because it’s more “authentic” that way, but since it’s like 99% Japanese, 1% English (and 0,001% Gaelic), it just feels cheap. There are a lot of typos and weird choices of words and some tutorials seem to contain inaccurate information.

With all that being said, they should get around to start making an even better sequel soon. It has the potential to be truly spectacular.

I’ll also leave this here:


Pixel Privateers nearly sinks under the weight of all that loot
#155

I’m up to Umi-Bozu at the moment and that first stage is pretty easy. The insta-death beam has a big tell. Can’t quite beat the second stage though, with the adds!


#156

That one took me a few tries. Up to region 4 now and about 4 or 5 missions into the area. I started out almost fully spear but have switched to katana since it hits so much harder. Great game but Horizon Zero Dawn beckons tonight!


#157

I thought things really picked up in region 4. I don’t know if the game was necessarily better but it’s funny to reflect on the humble beginnings when all this crazy stuff is happening.

I also love that these later missions throw so many of the basic enemies at you. Most games have an AI budget so they have no room for cannon fodder. That’s a shame, because it’s so much fun to slice through them.

Like so: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nioh/comments/5vwen3/nioh_warriors/ (minor location spoiler in region 5)


#158

Great review!

I agree that I wish there were more vs. human fights, but I liked the monster fights a lot. Managing their energy bar and trying to get rid of all their stamina pools is quite fun for me.

I think I’m almost done, a couple missions into the 5th region. I’m still enjoying it a lot, but my biggest complaint is I think there’s not enough enemy / encounter diversity. Too many of the encounters feel too similar to ones in previous levels or to ones just a couple minutes ago.

In the 4th and 5th regions when the number of enemies finally starts increasing in each encounter this fully resolved my problem. So I guess I just wish the game was a little shorter and that we’d gotten to that part sooner.

I found the Ice Queen way more frustrating than Umi-Bozu, but she was also significantly more satisfying to learn how to fight. That was a great fight. It was the first time I used ranged attacks in the middle of combat!


#159

Getting magic up to be able to cast the slow spell helped me with her. It’s also nice for the dual-wielding yoki that have caused me trouble at times.


#160

The katana feels a little boring after unlocking a bunch of spear skills. I have different combo enders for each stance and I took the mystic art that does a little twirl attack on stance change. That actually makes things harder because you can’t dodge during the animation so you need to get the timing right. But if you do, you get a smooth string of glorious attacks.

The preview videos don’t do the spear justice until you combine all the parts together.

Anyway, after 10,000 iai strikes, the most fun thing about the katana is probably nailing a quick parry. As long as you don’t get hit…