Nier will make you think about loving Futanari all over again…

Overview
Nier is a very, dark themed action rpg that will make you giggle with glee when you’re exposed to its diverse character cast, apocalyptic storyline, and ninja like combat. Oh and then there’s that futanari thing…

That is, if you are into that sort of thing…. Ahem, all notorious references aside I will have to say that Nier is one of the best console action rpgs to come out this year so far.

There are a couple things I’ll go ahead and point out before I begin this info post. First off the version of Nier that I’ll be talking about is the Gestalt version, on the Playstation 3. For those of you who didn’t know, as of this writing the US, Australia, and Europe gamers who have a Ps3 or an Xbox 360 have only been able to play the Gestalt version. For some reason Square-Enix decided that only Japanese gamers with a Ps3 are able to have the Replicant version of Nier…while the Japanese gamers who have a Xbox 360 will get the Gestalt version.

The Gestalt version of the game has the main hero as an older man trying to save his daughter while, the Replicant version has a young teenager trying to save his sister. Otherwise the storylines are damn near identical. Because of these slight changes it was rumored that the US wouldn’t want to play the game with a younger protagonist, and of course JP gamers don’t want to play with an older main hero so we were stuck with what we currently have. Both of these decisions are slightly asinine imho, and I think that they should have released both versions worldwide. However it is always possible that the Replicant version can come as downloadable content so I guess we will just have to wait and see…

Second thing is that this game has some nice mature content so there’s your heads up.

Nier was developed by Cavia, the same team who brought us Drakengard. It was only published by Square-Enix, but that’s also probably why it’s getting most of the attention it has garnished so far. Nier actually just released in the US on April 27, 2010, and was released 5 days earlier in Japan, so let’s see what I think is important about this game :D.

Story

Story

Taken directly from the manual:

It is the distant future. Humanity’s past glories are but a forgotten memory, its greatest achievements vanished into dust on the wind. The world that remains-a strange and savage place- is dying.

The few humans who remain now live a medieval existence, eking out what sustenance they can from a harsh and unforgiving land. Dark, twisted creatures known as Shades roam the world, bringing with them terror and death. Fear and chaos rule each day. As it did yesterday. …As it will tomorrow.

In this world lives a modest, unassuming man and his young daughter. She has been infected by a deadly disease known as the Black Scrawl, and so her father has sworn to journey in search of a cure.

The adventure that ensues will be beyond anything he has ever experienced.

He will encounter Grimoire Weiss, an ancient book of almost unbelievable power who can use words as weapons. He will face off against Grimoire Noir, a supposed harbinger of the end times. And he will learn the truth behind both the legendary Sealed Verses, and the cursed Shades that hound his every step.

As the world collapses into chaos around him, as his very mind betrays him, the man will press on with a single, dim light flickering in his mind:

He will save his daughter. No matter what the cost.

Nier Intro Gameplay part 1

I’m not one of the people who actually complained about the US getting the older main protagonist. I’m glad that we to get play with something different from the norm compared to how most Rpgs (especially JRpgs) are portrayed. The lengths that our main character goes through to save his daughter from the Black Scrawl disease makes this a serious storyline in the most respectable sense. And of course the vulgarness and mature themes help as well. You will see and hear some stuff they reserve for good action packed R rated movies. So there’s your second heads up. The storyline itself is pretty badass.

The intro that I posted above is just one part of the story that gives a couple hints as to what is actually going on once you begin the real game. I was quite surprised at how they went about the execution. Granted there are still some cliche things, but its slightly different for a JRpg…and I think it might have more to do with the way the other characters who work with our main hero are characterized, which also leads us back to the futanari thing.

First off if you don’t know what a futanari is check here.
Now there have been many misconceptions about this game concerning one of our female leads.When the game was first being introduced to the masses, this particular female lead was rumored to be a hermaphrodite. There are things in the game that could be misinterpreted, but as far as the previous rumor… honestly I don’t know if this was a joke, or a very serious error, (it was most likey a mistranslation), but I can definitely say that according to the current storyline, she is definitely a full woman, at least physically. Maybe they changed it at the final production of the game… I’m not 100% sure, but now you know what I think. And of course now you know why I made the futanari comment. Lol (p.s. I’m still doing research just to make sure I’m right)

Kaine

Nier

Gameplay

Gameplay

~Graphics…why is this guy so fugly?~
Lol of course you can see our main hero above, and one of the largest, I mean the hugest complaints about this game was the cavemen like features of our main hero. Honestly I can see the need for complaint. However it’s really not that big of a deal when you have an excellent storyline, better then excellent combat, and engaging characters. However some gamers will complain about anything. The rest of the game looks pretty good to me.

Although it should also be noted that most gamers will wonder about the dungeon and even enemy designs. One of the reasons is that most of the dungeons were designs with Legend of Zelda in mind. But if you’re really paying attention you can say that this game borrowed ideas from Ico, and even Castelvania. :) The outside environments after you skip certain apocalyptic scenes, are quite lush and beautiful.

The characters also all look good and fit their roles quite nicely. I have not encountered any slowdown when fighting larger then life bosses and let me also point out that whoever did the design for some of these monsters….most notably the epic bosses did an excellent job. They are very abstract, and a nice change of pace from fighting animal bosses, or you know regular human bosses in most rpgs. I like it! Although is it me or do the shades in this game seem very similar to the heartless in Kingdom Hearts…

Heartless from Kingdom Hearts

Shade from Nier

Hmm I must be imagining things…

~The Music…~
Is quite excellent if I must say so myself. They added a lot of good vocals for some of the themes. Especially the starting town theme when you walk to the fountain square. Although the music tracks don’t change up the pace as much as one would like, I found all the music that was played acceptable for every area. I’ll probably buy the soundtrack for this game. As far as the sound effects go all the grunts, slaps, sword strikes etc. fit.

~Combat~
This game’s combat is superb. The main hero in each version moves like a ninja when he’s running around and the controls for executing melee attacks is smooth just how I like it. Although I must say the jumping animation for our hero in the Gestalt version of the game is kind of weird looking, everything else he does makes him move around the screen quickly. I’m always talking about how the main character moves around like a ninja, but to add on to that comment I’d have to say that the way combat fluidly moves is very similar to Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. Anyways to explain combat in more detail…you’ll be using different weapons to dispatch your enemies coupled along with Grimoire Weiss’s magic attacks.

These magic attacks are pretty epic in scale once you power them up to a certain level, and as you can see from the pic above they are pretty brutal. But you just won’t see bloody lances, you can cast spells to protect yourself with shields, and you will also even be able to summon extra allies to defeat your foes along with the party members you already have. Combat can get pretty fast and chaotic with so many people and things in the mix. It’s a blast let me tell you! :D

As far as weapons go, the three main weapons you’ll see in the game are swords, spears, and 2 handed swords. Swords are a nice balance between speed and attack strength. Spears are the quickest, and they are good for thrusting. 2-handed swords are the strongest however you won’t feel like too much of a ninja anymore if you start swinging them around…since they are hella slow. However they allow you to break some enemies guard if they just sit around and block all the time. You however still have your choice on how you want to play. You could always just strafe around the enemy and hit em in the back of the head like I do. :D

Now after you pass a certain part in the game, you will get access to Grimoire Weiss and he will help you with casting magic, while also adding some comical dialogue exchanges between party members. The different types of magic you receive are based on when you beat certain bosses. They range from all out aoe (area of effect) attacks to single target attacks, and they can change in efficiency based on how you charge them up or even customize them…

Yeah that’s right. You can customize your magic! But not just that you can customize your weapons effectiveness as well. Grimoire Weiss can use “words” that you pick up from defeating enemies to change the properties of your magic and weapons. You can do anything from lowering the magic cost of spells, changing the magic properties of a spell or weapon, or even increasing an items overall attack power.

And when you’re not doing the main storyline, listening to your party members bicker, or customizing your weapons and magic you can expect to be doing a lot of sidequests.

The sidequests in this game were done very good. The only thing some people will complain about is the pure fetch and delivery aspect of it. However if you’re like me and you like to get everything in the game…or even just take breaks from the main storyline, then you will love the sidequests in this game. Some of the quests have interesting side stories to them, and of course there are some interesting items and secrets to be found. Also of note besides fetch quests are the fishing and farming mini-games which should also keep you pretty busy.

The only thing that some rpg lovers have noticed is the length of Nier. Even with all of the things I mentioned the average gamer should be able to finish it in about 25 hours. However if you decide to play around with sidequests, and actually explore and take your time I’d say you should be able to get 30+ hours out of it easily. There is something extra that I forgot to mention though…

This game has 4 endings :O!
Once you beat the game the first time you’ll be presented with a New Game+ option that will allow you to carry some items, powers, etc with you from the previous game and you start at about the middle of the storyline. Then from there you can do what is necessary to get a different ending so if you’re a completionist, then you will get your money’s worth out of this game. :D

Extra Info

  • This game is quite similar to Zelda in the fact that the game kind of focuses around a couple of unique towns, and as you get stronger you can access more areas & dungeons.
  • Certain sidequests will give you access to animal companions which do special things for you. One even allows you to ride on it for some quick transportation. :D
  • Here’s your third heads up. This game has a mature rating for a reason. It has a lot of explicit language, blood/gore, and people die. Definitely not a game for the weak of heart.
  • With the above being said the game does have a lot of light hearted moments and some decent comedy, so it’s not all dark and depressing.
  • If you finish the game and are still confused about certain events that happen, you can read the Nier comics for more info…I actually have them here for download. They are right below.
  • This game has no futanari. (My opinion.)

~Goodies~
Here are the 3 Nier comics I acquired:

  1. Nier Comic #1
  2. Nier Comic #2
  3. Nier Comic #3

And if you want this game, which I highly recommend you add to your growing rpg collection, then you can check your local gamestop if you have one, or you could just check Amazon. Don’t forget that this game is for Xbox 360 as well as the Playstation 3 so at least you have a couple of choices. :)

Image Gallery
This image gallery contains photos, art, & screenshots for Nier. Enjoy :D

Videos

Nier Quick Gameplay part 1 (LQ)
Nier Opening (LQ)
Nier – Lost Shrine part 2 (Includes boss fight)
Nier – Boar Ridin’

Words from Z
So overall this is another excellent rpg to add to my own growing collection, and I highly recommend it especially if you want something new to engage yourself in. I’m glad that they are finally making more good rpgs on the Ps3, and this is definitely one of them.

So have you played it yet?

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