Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

Rating:
EU Release Date: Mar 10, 2017 (for PS4)
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Square Enix

Cover ArtDirector Yoko Taro once gave a talk titled ‘Making Weird Games for Weird People’. ‘Weird’ is definitely the word to describe Nier Automata.

Following loosely from 2010’s Nier, Automata takes place several thousand years in our future – somewhere around 12,000 AD. Mankind has retreated to the moon and sent an army of androids to reclaim the planet from the alien ‘machine lifeforms’. Or have they? Just like its predecessor, Automata keeps you guessing, ready to rip what you think you know from beneath you at any moment.

You play as YoRHa No. 2 Model B – 2B for short – a female combat android whose Lolita looks belie her ninja quick skills with support from 9S, a seemingly super-rare male reconnaissance android. Together, you run around a post-apocalyptic world smashing up machines and trying to work out what the hell is going on.

The gameplay itself comes out in a mash of styles. At its core, it’s a hack-and-slash RPG, but it doesn’t stay within the confines of the genre. As you run through the map, the camera will suddenly change, thrusting you into a top-down shooter-style battle and then pulling away again, leaving you with a side-scrolling platformer. And the combat isn’t limited to swords and spears; you also have access to a variety of ranged attacks via a device called a Pod and in some places, a flight unit for complete aerial battles. This constant switching between styles is one of Automata’s strengths – it keeps you on your toes, eager to see what’s coming next.

The game isn’t without its flaws, however. The camera movement isn’t always smooth. The voice acting is sometimes a little hammy. Some of the AI decisions are questionable. But then you wander into a dilapidated amusement park full where machines with painted smiles ride around on a tank spewing balloons or you see a new adaptation of Romeos and Juliets where the romance quickly descends into a murderous brawl with the last surviving Juliet blowing herself to pieces. Where else are you going to find that?

Would I recommend this game? Well, it’s certainly not going to be to everyone’s tastes, but that’s what I love about it. Maybe I’m just one of the weird people this game was made for.

So, they’ve given what was formerly known as “Nier: New Project” a proper name. NieR: Automata.
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With many of the original NieR team returning and new members such as Akihiko Yoshida, responsible for character design in my other favourite game (FFXII) and the Platinum Games people, this looks set to be awesome. Check out the trailer:

Although penned as a sequel to 2010’s NieR, you don’t actually have to have played that game, nor any of the Drakengard series (from which NieR was a spin-off) for it to make sense. It’s a very weird game and that’s all you need to know.

The story of Automata is set on Earth, after mankind fled to the moon during an invasion by mechanical lifeforms with superior weaponry. Now, mankind are using their own androids to take back their planet. That’s the girl you see in that trailer. Its name is YoRHa 2 Model: B – 2B for short – and it is an android, not a woman.

The original NieR story is linked to this only by location. Although some of the characters from that game may be mentioned, they are unlikely to appear. The gameplay, however, will be more similar, with a range of different play styles to keep the audience on their toes. You can almost guarantee that it will have multiple endings, the story won’t be anything like what you were expecting and there are going to be some ridiculously oversized swords in play. Oh, and the game’s producer says it will have a happy ending… just like the first NieR…

Currently, the game is only set for release on PS4, but no date has been given.

Rating: 3.5
EU Release Date: June 15, 2012 (for Nintendo 3DS)
Total play time: 10:00:00 (story mode)

Heroes of Ruin Cover ArtHere’s a multiplayer RPG from Square Enix that also works as a single player game for those who don’t play well with others. You pick a character from one of four vaguely customisable species and then you run around in some dungeons killing stuff. So far, so good.

There’s a vague storyline too. You play a mercenary who is trying to help the people of a city called Nexus find a cure for their dying ruler, the sphinx Ataraxis. You choose to play multiplayer or not, fight the monsters and find the cure. Everyone goes home happy. And here’s where it starts to fall apart. All the supporting characters seem to blend into one – I can’t say that I cared much for any of them. I was only trying to save their city to kill some time and even that grew tedious after a little while. Less than halfway through the game, I’d maxed out my inventory and my coins – you can’t sell stuff if you’ve got too many coins and you can’t buy stuff if your inventory is full. And the levels themselves were pretty easy – mash B and move forwards until you reach the boss. Done.
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I think I’m going to like this game. It reminds me a lot of FFXII and older Tomb Raider games – on map battles and lots of puzzles to solve. And, like most Square Enix games, the soundtrack is brilliant.
In fact, I was being won over before I’d started playing; the very first line dialogue in the game is shouted at you by an angry-sounding young woman and liberally sprinkled with profanity.
The tutorial level is set in 2049 and lets you experience the kind of manic, seemingly endless battles that you will encounter throughout the game. You are the father and you are fighting the monsters to protect your young daughter. But something happens and, for some reason (I haven’t worked it out yet), the next time we see them is 1300 years in the future. The mystery deepens… and I’m looking forward to solving it!

I love that it is grid based even though it is 3D. The customisable avatar is pretty cool and the graphics are awesome for the console.
The voices are a little annoying in between the cutscenes, but the myriad options let you turn that off if you want. In fact, there are loads of options. There is a choice of difficulty, a choice of gameplay mode, an abundance of options for customising your gameplay experience.
Having played previous Fire Emblem games (perhaps I ought to review those too?), I would have thought I would do better than three attempts at the first battle.
I’m starting to wish that I hadn’t opted to play this game on Hard mode. Since the options were Beginner, Hard or Expert, I figured Hard would be fine. Turns out, no. I also opted to play on Classic mode, where dead units stay dead. To give myself a fighting chance at completing the game I started again on Newcomer mode.