Ranting While Playing: Nier

The first few seconds of this game are very, very angry at someone.

Wait, so what’s going on with the intro of this game? Is it even relevant to the plot?

The writing is either terrible or terribly translated. Characters repeat themselves over and over again, and frequently speak like infants.

I fought Shades in the Northern Planes, but then when someone mentions Shades in the Northern Planes the next day my character is shocked?

“I don’t have time for this…I have to save Yonah!” “I don’t have time for this…I have to save Yonah!” “I don’t have time for this…I have to save Yonah!” “I don’t have time for this…I have to save Yonah!” “I don’t have time for this…I have to save Yonah!”

My daughter was being blocked off by two statues with a force field. I attacked the force field and when in breaks a book flies out and yells at me for hitting it. This book turns out to be an important legendary figure who is meant to save the world, and will be an ally for the rest of the game. Why was he there? Fuck if I know. Convenience and poor writing are my best guess. Oh, but it gets better! The book now has amnesia because I hit it. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

It’s already common (and annoying) enough that JRPG’s love to have a ton of text-only conversations in them because they’re apparently too lazy to hire a full cast of voice actors…but in Nier the voices will randomly cut out and come back for segements of the same conversation. It becomes incredibly distracting, and sometimes the voices will only cut out or only be spoken for one line in an entire conversation! This feels both inexcusible and unexplainable. I’m genuinely confused.

On the bright side, the combat is pretty damn fun.

For the love of god, Weiss, you’re not omnipotent! You don’t even remember your own fucking spells!

“How can a pig be so strong? It doesn’t make sense!” At least you’re aware of your nonsensical game design.

“Who designed this place?” Check the game credits.

I was fighting a spell-casting woman who was wearing about half of a night gown as we were attacked by a lizard with breats covering it’s neck. Nothing wrong with that.

“Why did you save me?” I carried you like 20 feet to a bed! How is that saving someone’s life?

“Miracle? Pah.” You’re a flying, sentient book! Why is no one in the entire game shocked by this?

The game frequently switches between “normal”, isometric, and side-scrolling camera angles as you progress. It all feels smooth and intuitive and serves to add some variety to the already fun gameplay.

The fishing minigame is one of the most poorly executed parts of any game I’ve ever seen, and you have to play it just to progress the plot at one point. They want you to catch a shaman fish, and the old man on the pier says to fish for them at the beach with the sea lions on it. He’s standing about five feet away from a sea lion-covered beach, so anyone with even the slightest bit of common sense would assume that that’s where you’re supposed to fish. Wrong. The only fish you can catch there is a Breen, and they’re borderline impossible to catch. It took me almost an hour to catch a fish, realize it was a Breen, and then fucking scream at my TV. It turns out that the real beach is on the opposite side of town through a easily missed cave. Someone needs to be fired, then executed. It doesn’t help that the instructions on how to fish are almost entirely useless.

The second half of the game has you replay the dungeons from the first half? Lazy…

Kaine gets impaled, but don’t worry! She’s brought back to life through the magic of convenient plot devices!

The same dungeon three times? Oh come on, you’re not even trying at this point!

Wow, Emile annoyed me, but his death actually felt pretty tragic. Also, Popola is really creepy up close.

So…all the real humans died 1300 years ago and all of the people in this game were actually shells that were created by humans? Ultimately it has zero impact on the plot so it’s just a pointless twist.

Wait…did I just beat a JRPG? Holy shit, I beat a JRPG. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.


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