If you haven’t heard about NIER yet, then you are sorely missing out on one of the oddest, but greatest games to come out in a while. Our dear friends at Cavia (think Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles) bring us this new title that is such as mix of so many different types of games that it is hard to place it solidly in one category. Of course, many are placing it in the JRPG category – for those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a Japanese Role Playing Game – which is probably the best place for it right now. Enough about how to classify NIER, let’s talk about what makes it so great.
First, you are introduced as a really foul-mouthed character, a hermaphrodite no less, who loves to wear lace undies – and yes, you can see most of her rear – named Kaine. In fact, she’ll even start the game for you with a dialogue that tells you how irritated she is with the Grimoire Weiss, a talking, flying book. During this dialogue, you’ll get a taste of her “colorful” vocabulary that will stay with you throughout the whole game. The story line then starts off in the year is 2049, where our main protagonist NIER and his daughter, who has the deadly Black Scrawl disease, are stuck in an abandoned shop. He is trying to defend her from Shades, monsters that are hard to see and harder to fight. During this battle, NIER somehow touches this magic book and the book helps to defeat the Shades that are about to do the pair in. And, bam – the story line goes 1300 years into the future. Now the world is on the edge of total destruction, yet NIER and his daughter are still there, living in a village, and yes she still has the disease, and the Shades are still coming for them.
While the story line is all about the post-apocalyptic gaming stories that we’ve come to know and love, it is full of swords, dark magic, and medeval goodies as well. This actually makes the game play better than the normal future weapon, shoot-em-up games that are out there today, as the melee combat is excellent in NIER. Of course, NIER still has that magic book, the flying, talking Grimoire Weiss. During your game play as NIER, you will take on many different quests for NPC’s, while the book makes fun of you. But, as you finish off these quests and bosses, you’ll gain 8 different dark powers that will provide you with some awesome ways of defeating enemies – such as Dark Whirlwind, which covers you with rotating blades. Of course, if you get tired of these quests you can always head out of the village to the open fields and just grind away or you can do side quests to fill the time as well. As you go through the game play you will notice so many different things from games like Zelda that it will make you feel right at home! The problem is that as you get toward the end of the game, the drama that enfolds actually becomes really boring.
So, how about other aspects of the game? After all, we’ve talked about the story line, the game play, and characters – what about graphics? One great thing about NIER is that the graphics are really beautiful. Everything is extremely detailed, extremely well laid out, and there aren’t any visible or noticeable buggy areas. The combat goes flawlessly, and you get to see tons of great mobs all over the game
When it comes to the sounds and audio, you’re in for a treat. This is one game that you want to listen to, if nothing else just for the Wiess’ funny, and sometimes mean, comments. The acting is good, even if the drama at the end gets overly cheesy.
Overall, if you are looking for something different, something that has great action along with great exploration, and some just downright funny parts, NIER is one game that you will want to check out right away. Rent it, buy it, no matter what, you want to give it a try – although it’s not a great kid’s game, so make sure that you’re playing this one without them around.