So this game was in my backlog for a long time, I started it about a year or so ago, and after forcing myself through most of the first scenario, I put it down l. I picked it up again recently because the hype for NieR Replicant got me wondering why I put it down In the first place, and the answer slapped me in the face pretty quickly again. But I got through the first scenario, made it to the second, was extremely annoyed that that combat is even more simplified on the second scenario unless you want to Interrupt the action to play a twin stick shooter for 3.5 seconds, then go back to the action, then another 3 seconds of twin stick shooting, etc. Etc. But I powered through, to try and make it to the third scenario everyone deifies. I was pleasantly surprised at how much more the action and story kicked off in this section from the beginning, and it does start to click certain things into place, where you realize the first two scenarios were really just to build attachment to characters etc. However, after a really ill-conceived segment where you have to limp across an entire zone, intermittently losing the ability to jump, and run, and dodge, and defend yourself, the annoyance with the game crept back in and continued to be a part of the rest of the third playthrough just as it had with the first two. So I have completed the whole thing now, and I have to say I'm underwhelmed. I really did enjoy how much daring it took to make sections of the game that are so clearly meant to be unenjoyable, and I'm not being sarcastic there. The willingness of the game to try and do new things is extremely admirable, and the willingness of the game to bore you, and lull you into a false sense of security before pulling it out from under you is also a wonderfully daring element to the game. But most of the positive elements fall under the category of story, and whole the story is thought provoking, I wouldn't call it "a good story" in and of itself. For instance, if I recounted the story to someone else, and covered it all beat for beat, I can't imagine that outside person being engaged by it. None of this is a cardinal sin mind you, but these are the strongest elements of the game, and it only goes downhill from here. The combat system is extremely boring. This felt way more like a ninja theory game than a platinum game to me. I don't think every platinum game has to have rated combat encounters or anything, but the lack of any meaningful depth to the combat absolutely eviscerated the ability for me to enjoy the act of playing this game. It feels almost deliberate how stripped down the combat is. There's launches, but no juggles. There's aerial combos, but no way to pull an enemy in to keep the string going, there's tons of weapons, but most weapons of a certain type have identical move sets. There is A shooting element, but it has no unique implementation in combat. You can play through the game on hard difficulty, hitting nothing but dodge, and light attack. This could be made up for if the enemy A.I. had really unique behaviors, or if they reacted to different types of attacks with meaningful variation. But, they don't. Aside from some enemies being unable to be damaged with your gun pod, there is little to no difference between attacking one enemy or another. It would be one thing if platinum hadn't showed that they know how to make an action game with RPG elements, but they did. Transformers devastation for instance is a game that includes almost every gameplay element that NieR Automata does (minus the shmup sections), except executed better. The gear is more meaningful, the shooting is actually integrated Into the combat, the combo system actually works, flows, and can't be facerolled through, etc. Metal Gear Rising, astral chain, the list of similar, but better-executed games is long. Anyways, I did find NieR Automata to be a really interesting game, but I didn't think the story was so good or so profound, that it justifies the lobotomized combat or the 100% reliance on fetch quests as side content. I think NieR Automata is a fascinating, but extremely flawed game. I am REALLY interested in the perspective of anyone who finds the game to be a masterpiece, or even anyone that finds the game to be on the LEVEL of a masterpiece. If you are among those that consider NieR Automata a masterpiece, please help me understand your perspective. And just to be clear, I am not being sarcastic, I really genuinely want to discuss it!
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