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Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139... |OT| Unto Thy Shade

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
My goodness...some of the tracks of Replicant are just like Automata...they're so good it hurts!
 

protonion

Member
I think I like it more than Automata so far!

As I said before it is very fun to play mechanically. Traversing the smallish overworld is very satisfying.

Around 13 hours in, I have 50% of the side quests so I can proceed to the second half. I only used a guide for the fishing quests as it seems a waste of time to figure out which fish is where. They were not as bad as the reviewers said!
 

Kimahri

Member
Jesus fuck I'm so god damn done with these pink moonflower seeds.

What an asinine bullshit quest!

I think I've planted that field with red and indigo 5 times now, and all I have for it is 4 pink moonflower seeds. This quest should have been given at the very beginning of the game, not towards the end where it's the only quest left and you have nothing to do but grind and wait for the damn things to wilt.

I love this game, I want to do every single thing this time, but artificially delaying me enjoying the end by putting this shit in is starting to reeeaaaally piss me off.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jesus fuck I'm so god damn done with these pink moonflower seeds.

What an asinine bullshit quest!

I think I've planted that field with red and indigo 5 times now, and all I have for it is 4 pink moonflower seeds. This quest should have been given at the very beginning of the game, not towards the end where it's the only quest left and you have nothing to do but grind and wait for the damn things to wilt.

I love this game, I want to do every single thing this time, but artificially delaying me enjoying the end by putting this shit in is starting to reeeaaaally piss me off.
Yeah, I haven't gotten there yet. In the original I just fast forwarded my system clock over and over. I have definitely not tried doing it straight up.
 

Kimahri

Member
Yeah, I haven't gotten there yet. In the original I just fast forwarded my system clock over and over. I have definitely not tried doing it straight up.
I've tried doing that, but I'm not allowed to start the game offline. Box keeps asking me to set it as home console, but it is. Bullcrap.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
I've tried doing that, but I'm not allowed to start the game offline. Box keeps asking me to set it as home console, but it is. Bullcrap.
What system are you playing on? I haven't tried messing with any of that on PS5 yet. Might have to hook up the old PS4 for this if it's possible lol.
 

ssringo

Member
I think I've planted that field with red and indigo 5 times now, and all I have for it is 4 pink moonflower seeds.
Plop some bounty fertilizer down, plant the pink seeds and water. You'll have enough seeds for the quest in 2 days.

Good luck with lunar tears if you want that achievement.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
First run I liked more than Automata but B and C are exactly the same experience. Its gets boring. Automata keeps mixing up every scenario. Its ultimately the better, more replayable game for me.
 

kyussman

Member
Well,that's that then....all endings done A,B,C,D and E.
Was my first time playing this and I played Automata before it.
Automata was a 9/10 game for me and I noticed this game got a lot of 6/10 scores first time around....I would agree with those,why it got 9/10's this time around is baffling to me.....and when I say 6/10 that doesn't mean I think the game is awful,it means it's just ok.....although it does have some incredibly shitty design throughout.
Just put all your story in a single playthrough,it's not big or clever making me play so many parts of the game over and over,especially when so much of it is so tedious.....granted It didn't bother me as much in Automata as I felt each playthrough revealed so much more story....that wasn't the case here and it felt like I was wasting my time....I guess this was the game that came first so they had got the design better by Automata,so I will give them that.
I called my character for the second playthrough where you see ending E....Troll....as I felt like I was being trolled by Yoko Taro throughout this game,lol.
Having said all that I still admire the artistic intent behind the game....and that sounds at odds with some of the other things I've said,but hell....it's a weird game and Yoko Taro is a weird guy,lol......glad I played it.
 

Clear

Member
Just put all your story in a single playthrough,it's not big or clever making me play so many parts of the game over and over,especially when so much of it is so tedious.....

No. Just no.

These stories simply could not work in a single playthrough because the point is to reorient the perspective and retroactively subvert the meaning of the game experience.

There can be no counterpoint, until an initial assertion is made. And without point and counterpoint, you have only a partial understanding.

What games, and games alone allow is for each "point" to be something YOU actively experience and participate in.

The real story Yoko is telling is in how these changes in perspective and understanding make YOU feel. And what that ultimately means.

Its super-conceptual, and frankly, utterly brilliant in how it leverages the unique possibilities of interactive storytelling.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
The time zone warp is worth it. Planted reds and golds yesterday then warped and went to work today. Came back and have 4 peach seeds. This isn't that bad honestly. Set the time back and planted some reds and blues now.
 

kyussman

Member
No. Just no.

These stories simply could not work in a single playthrough because the point is to reorient the perspective and retroactively subvert the meaning of the game experience.

There can be no counterpoint, until an initial assertion is made. And without point and counterpoint, you have only a partial understanding.

What games, and games alone allow is for each "point" to be something YOU actively experience and participate in.

The real story Yoko is telling is in how these changes in perspective and understanding make YOU feel. And what that ultimately means.

Its super-conceptual, and frankly, utterly brilliant in how it leverages the unique possibilities of interactive storytelling.
Yea,I do understand the storytelling aspect,like I said I admire the intent of it.....but the gameplay elements didn't back it up for this game.....it was a tedious grind for me,was much better in Automata.
 

Cyborg

Member
Let me say this: That Legendary flower trophy is just bullshit! So fcking complicated! Also upgrading all the weapons, THE FCKING GRIND! Where are those broken wristwatches? I know where they are but I'm not getting them.

Yes, this game is getting on my nerves after 48h.
 
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Clear

Member
Yea,I do understand the storytelling aspect,like I said I admire the intent of it.....but the gameplay elements didn't back it up for this game.....it was a tedious grind for me,was much better in Automata.

The grind is part of the story! Ending D only works if you've invested sufficiently to make the choice meaningful.
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
More games should have auto-battle in them. I have bad arthritis getting older and it helps so much. Was happily surprised to have it included in this game.
 

kyussman

Member
The grind is part of the story! Ending D only works if you've invested sufficiently to make the choice meaningful.
Yea,I know...I get it.What I'm is saying the payoff wasn't worth it for this game....it worked much better for me in Automata.
 

Clear

Member
Yea,I know...I get it.What I'm is saying the payoff wasn't worth it for this game....it worked much better for me in Automata.

Maybe not for you, but back in 2010 it was mind-blowing. Closely followed by being intensely disappointed by how not a single critic recognized the cleverness of what Yoko was doing on a limited budget.

Automata builds out from concepts pioneered in Replicant/Gestalt and really makes the most of it thanks to Platinum's stellar efforts.

Essentially Automata got a lot of credit for things the original does better in my opinion, but thankfully Yoko wasn't satisfied with resting on his laurels and built out from the original's meta-narrative by making the characters within it aware of the nature of their situation within the story!

So although in many ways Automata is superior, you need to look at Replicant as the thing that pioneered and proved his approach was viable and impactful.

Personally I give huge credit for anything that does the hard work of breaking new ground, its why Demon's to me is always more praiseworthy than Dark Souls. Its not necessarily a judgement on the works in themselves, but of their importance historically. Once you've figured a thing out, iteration comes naturally and its just a matter of how much more juice you can squeeze out from it.

What Yoko is doing, is, in my opinion hugely important. Any game designer worth his or her salt should analyze his method and try and wrap their heads around what its doing. His GDC talk is good, but in hindsight I feel like he was too modest and self-effacing to place emphasis on the "big picture" in terms of what it says about how to construct interactive narratives with real emotional impact.

I'm writing a long piece on this because it is really quite remarkable.
 

kyussman

Member
Maybe not for you, but back in 2010 it was mind-blowing. Closely followed by being intensely disappointed by how not a single critic recognized the cleverness of what Yoko was doing on a limited budget.

Automata builds out from concepts pioneered in Replicant/Gestalt and really makes the most of it thanks to Platinum's stellar efforts.

Essentially Automata got a lot of credit for things the original does better in my opinion, but thankfully Yoko wasn't satisfied with resting on his laurels and built out from the original's meta-narrative by making the characters within it aware of the nature of their situation within the story!

So although in many ways Automata is superior, you need to look at Replicant as the thing that pioneered and proved his approach was viable and impactful.

Personally I give huge credit for anything that does the hard work of breaking new ground, its why Demon's to me is always more praiseworthy than Dark Souls. Its not necessarily a judgement on the works in themselves, but of their importance historically. Once you've figured a thing out, iteration comes naturally and its just a matter of how much more juice you can squeeze out from it.

What Yoko is doing, is, in my opinion hugely important. Any game designer worth his or her salt should analyze his method and try and wrap their heads around what its doing. His GDC talk is good, but in hindsight I feel like he was too modest and self-effacing to place emphasis on the "big picture" in terms of what it says about how to construct interactive narratives with real emotional impact.

I'm writing a long piece on this because it is really quite remarkable.
I agree with needing more game designers that do fresh stuff for sure.....like I said,I'm glad I played this one even if I found it less rewarding than Automata.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Let me say this: That Legendary flower trophy is just bullshit! So fcking complicated! Also upgrading all the weapons, THE FCKING GRIND! Where are those broken wristwatches? I know where they are but I'm not getting them.

Yes, this game is getting on my nerves after 48h.
The DLC runs are usually the best for farming for weapons by the way. I haven't gotten there yet in Replicant though.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
No this game absolutely mixes nothing. B is only the second part of the storyline, with added context and visual novels that are quite good. C however, is exactly B again. With a different ending. On the flipside you'll steamroll it by then. I think it would be for the best if they left it at B, with perhaps a choice there. You might as well flick C on the easiest setting and one shot everything, and skip all scenes.
 
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Punished Miku

Gold Member

Cyborg

Member
"The World of the Recycled Vessel" quest. It was DLC in the original. Basically some short combat focused levels that drop a lot of materials.


I haven't gotten there yet in the new one. I guess you access it from your house after beating the game once.
Yeah, that's it :) Ive been there a bit disappointed in the drop rate. There are few stages but in only two you get materials enemies don't drop anything (of importance).
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Yeah, that's it :) Ive been there a bit disappointed in the drop rate. There are few stages but in only two you get materials enemies don't drop anything (of importance).
Dang, that sucks. I remember it dropped tons of stuff on PS3. Been a decade since I played it though ....
 

Cyborg

Member
Dang, that sucks. I remember it dropped tons of stuff on PS3. Been a decade since I played it though ....
There are some like drops like eagle eggs but only if you smash boxes. It a bit frustrating because you have 5 stages and only two have raw materials. In the last stage, you need to defeat
5 mini bosses/huge enemies
and you get nothing! A nice bonus is that you get 50.000 gold.
 

nowhat

Member
So just a heads up. Apparently, if you've started the DLC diary, and completed a single room, you have to complete all of them in order to meet the requirement to get to ending C and onwards.Whether this is bug or feature I cannot say.
 

Clear

Member
Did you just tell me a prolonged black screen with text is the best part of the game?

If you value good writing, world-building, creativity and intelligence, then yes it is.

As I mentioned earlier, the written word is the central thematic motif of Replicant in the same way that philosophy is for Automata.

The main difference between the two games is that Replicant is much more directly allegorical. Yoko takes the familiar tropes and conventions of game stories and superimposes them onto a mystical, magical framework in order to setup what he's trying to communicate. Automata smooths the way by using SF tropes, and explicitly references various philosophers and philosophic schools of thought throughout in order to make things more palatable and understandable.
 
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kyussman

Member
So just a heads up. Apparently, if you've started the DLC diary, and completed a single room, you have to complete all of them in order to meet the requirement to get to ending C and onwards.Whether this is bug or feature I cannot say.
You need all 33 weapons(30 main game,3 in dlc) in the game to see endings C,D and E.You can leave the dlc area after doing each of the three sets of five rooms and go back to continue where you left off though.
 

nowhat

Member
I have a bad habit of not completing games if I don't do it pretty quickly after I start playing them - this was already starting to slip to my ever growing backlog, so I decided to get to it. Just saw ending E and... with how it has been hyped, it was kind of a letdown. It wasn't a bad ending, I just would have expected "more ending". Still, as this is the OT and is the norm, I'm going to ramble incoherently about the game for a while. Just to be clear and so that I don't have to keep repeating it, everything below is IMHO, YMMV, etc.

First a disclaimer, I never played the original, so no nostalgia or bad memories. I did play Automata though and absolutely loved it, it's one of my GOATs, so that definitely does set some expectations (that it would be good, not that it would be similar). But I'm aware that despite the facelift and improvements, this is still fundamentally an old-ish game from two console generations back with a (even) smaller budget. And despite both having "Nier" in the title and set in the same universe, they are quite different games so comparing the two may not be fair and/or reasonable. And yet at the same time they are oh-so-similar in many ways, so it's hard to resist the urge to make some comparisons.

...which is exactly what I'm going to do, couldn't resist. But first something out of the way that doesn't really matter that much, graphics. Sure, there are some iffy textures especially up close and the world isn't the most complex one out there, neither in geometry or detail. But this game is a good example of how good art direction is much more important than gazillion pixels and polygons, it can look absolutely beautiful at times (and admittedly, quite bland at others). More importantly the game has been a solid performer, there may have been some drops from 60fps (my eyes are not DF-certified), but not so much that it would have been distracting. If there's ever a PS5 patch (or knowing Square Enix, paid update more likely) I'd be completely satisfied with higher quality textures or improved AF, some form of AA that would get rid of the shimmering and improved loading times (and for the love of $DEITY, embed the library into the village map so there's no loading screen). But as said, the graphics are what you'd expect from this kind of polishing of a game from a decade ago, and a non-issue.

On to the story - not going to attempt any kind of pseudointellectual literal analysis here, I'll leave it to Youtubers. I prefer the story of Automata, but this has a great story as well with some very memorable characters. My only larger complaint about the story is that while Automata does offer more depth to people familiar with the "franchise" and lore, it can also be played just as an individual game without any prior knowledge; instead here, some things remain very vague/unexplained unless you're up to speed with some of the Drakengard lore. I'm not saying that a game needs to spell everything out to newcomers or players in general, some questions can naturally remain unanswered, but especially as this is not a sequel at least in the traditional sense, I think it's fair to assume the game offers you enough information to understand what's happening without having to google it.

More interesting and less subjective than the story is the narrative structure (which in turn very much affects gameplay). Both games start out in a similar fashion, at least on a general level: there is gameplay for 10+ (depending on how much you want to do of the side content) hours, leading up to ending A. Then you can start a new game and go through some of the events with added context to reach ending B. There are some differences of course, with this game you replay only the second part of the game, while in Automata it's mostly all that's happened so far, but with some different events and an entirely different POV. Still by and large both follow the same blueprints. It's after ending B that they go their separate ways: Automata takes a completely new direction (and how - by the time the new opening credits came up my jaw was firmly glued to the floor) and this... lets you play the same thing you just did to reach ending B with a few tiny changes, but now with a mandatory collectathon if you want to get to ending C!

There are many aspects in the game where I thought to myself "this is how it is probably due to the budget (or lack thereof)", but getting to ending C is the first time I thought "this must be because they ran out of money", because I can't see how the developers and Taro could have been satisfied with how it turned out. In general, I'd advice against playing to different endings back-to-back - I played to B right after getting to A, and while the added context and background information is essential and very much welcome, I still was a bit burned out by having to do again what I just completed, even if it doesn't take that long to play. Took a week off between getting ending B and starting my way to ending C, still redoing everything felt like a chore and money or no money, the collectathon is on the developers, they could have come up with something - hell, anything - better.

It's not like you have to start from scratch, at this point you probably have many of the needed things already. It's that the game in no way tells you what you should do to reach that target, only "you're not done yet!". That's very poor game design. If I couldn't have looked up online where to go and what to do, I probably would have given up, as it involves doing specific side quests and also side quests in general to earn money. Pretty much all of them are either a) kill baddies, b) travel between locations to chat with people, or c) gather materials. Or if it's a very epic and long side quest, it may be some combination of the three! Sure, some minimal motivation is given for each busywork, but a few lines of dialogue doesn't make me care about an NPC. You want me to do your shopping for you? Go get your own groceries you codependent twat. Automata isn't the gold standard for side quests either, plenty of busywork there as well, but a) some of them can be quite funny, and b) they're side quests as they were meant to be, i.e. optional.

That's not the case here, so I was among other things forced to return to The Barren Temple. I thought it was very annoying at best and was glad it was done with, for good, but nope. Revisits didn't change my opinion, it's still pants. I get Yoko Taro wants to shake up the gameplay every now and then, but to me that is definitely the greatest miss when it comes to locations. But there's a more general problem with the locations and this very much affects the main game as well - they're almost completely static and while the first visit may be enjoyable, having to retrace the same steps every time gets old really quick. The Lost Shrine is the worst offender to me - great at first, but when you have to take the same path umpteenth time to reach the same destination it's not fun at all anymore. Sure, the enemies change depending on where you are in the main story. Sometimes you get to push some boxes, whoppee. But you get the same exact encounters with identical spawns every time. I know making more complex maps with lots of potential variation was probably not within the budget. But how about just randomizing it a bit? Like, define "enemy mob 1" that is supposed to be offer X amount of challenge, then create multiple variations of it with different enemies and when required pick one at random and spawn that, instead of the same predefined set every time. Yes, I realize Automata does the "identical spawns at the same location"-thing too, but a) it sucks balls there as well, b) locations can change quite drastically over the course of the game, some have multiple entry points/paths within the location which are available only at a certain time, and c) very often you do not need to return to a location at least multiple times within the same playthrough unless you want to/are grinding side quests.

...if it didn't come across yet, the grindiness of this game grinds my gears just a tiny bit. Moving on. Regarding the "VN" sections - first of all, there are practically no visuals, it's just text - shouldn't it be just "N"? Actually I wouldn't mind them being a bit more "V" as well, just a few still images here and there could make some of those sections more palatable. But even without any visuals, I don't mind the concept and it's pretty neat on some occasions. I do think some of them are too long given the context in the game where they appear, which harms pacing - either some editing or splitting into multiple parts could work better. For example, from the start of the second playthrough a lot of backstory for a character becomes available. As a huge data dump that you should definitely read and understand, but it's quite a lot to digest in one go. How about just showing pieces of it along with major story quests? I don't think there's a need to know all of what happened at once. So what about Tyrann - no one says the parts have to appear in chronological order, you can have the end be the first part while keeping the rest still a mystery. But whether they always completely work, at least those sections can be extremely interesting (for the first time).

Then combat. I think it's fine and does what is needed, and from what I've gathered is a marked improvement over the original, but to me Automata is superior and there's no contest really. It's not one glaring flaw, but a combination of many smaller things. The controls don't feel just quite as tight here. Some of the shades don't telegraph their moves that well (partially due to the character design, especially in numbers they can melt into a dark foggy mass instead of individual enemies). Spells and other particle effects can be flashy, but also obscure much your view (and often there's nothing you can do about it - your companions will make sure there's bling everywhere anyway). You have to enter a menu to use consumables. And while I have nothing against pink balls (blue balls OTOH... but I digress), some of the bullet hell sections can be absolutely ridiculous and not in a positive way. Things like these add up to combat that can be hectic and look impressive (or messy if it's only balls you see), but also feel somewhat chaotic and random. Whereas in Automata I always feel like in control, even if I'm totally getting my ass handed to me at the same time.

This is getting waaay too long so I'll wrap it up, but before that credit where credit is due - there's one thing where Replicant is undeniably better: Boar >>> messing around with animal baits. Having Hog Express ready to go wherever you are is just awesome. Oh, and soundtracks are a tie - both have their own strengths and are god-tier, let's leave it at that.

If I were to give a score on a scale from 1 to 10 (not an average of different elements, it can be more than the sum of its parts) to both games, Automata would be 10 and this would be 7 and a half. Before you bring out the pitchforks, this is not like a game review score but actually using the full scale, so well above average but with many issues that took away from my enjoyment. Would I feel different had I played the original a decade ago? Very likely. But I didn't, I bought it this year and it's hard not to judge a product within current time frame without any nostalgia factor (and don't get me wrong, nostalgia can be great). I may be a bit more generous with the score than what I'd give completely neutrally, but there's a lot of weird in Replicant and the world needs more weird. However, I'm glad I finally got to try this myself so I've been able to form my own opinion about it, and if me buying this game helps Yoko Taro get his next game greenlit by even a minuscule amount, it was completely worth it.
 

TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
If you value good writing, world-building, creativity and intelligence, then yes it is.
I do, hence the meme I chose (if you you know the context of the original scene it's from), but where you saw a waltz with words I saw laziness
Not to discredit it's quality though
 

Mister Wolf

Member
Thank God for Cheat Engine on PC. I was able to get all of the weapons through hacking. Now I can just focus on the main story.
 

kyussman

Member
I have a bad habit of not completing games if I don't do it pretty quickly after I start playing them - this was already starting to slip to my ever growing backlog, so I decided to get to it. Just saw ending E and... with how it has been hyped, it was kind of a letdown. It wasn't a bad ending, I just would have expected "more ending". Still, as this is the OT and is the norm, I'm going to ramble incoherently about the game for a while. Just to be clear and so that I don't have to keep repeating it, everything below is IMHO, YMMV, etc.

First a disclaimer, I never played the original, so no nostalgia or bad memories. I did play Automata though and absolutely loved it, it's one of my GOATs, so that definitely does set some expectations (that it would be good, not that it would be similar). But I'm aware that despite the facelift and improvements, this is still fundamentally an old-ish game from two console generations back with a (even) smaller budget. And despite both having "Nier" in the title and set in the same universe, they are quite different games so comparing the two may not be fair and/or reasonable. And yet at the same time they are oh-so-similar in many ways, so it's hard to resist the urge to make some comparisons.

...which is exactly what I'm going to do, couldn't resist. But first something out of the way that doesn't really matter that much, graphics. Sure, there are some iffy textures especially up close and the world isn't the most complex one out there, neither in geometry or detail. But this game is a good example of how good art direction is much more important than gazillion pixels and polygons, it can look absolutely beautiful at times (and admittedly, quite bland at others). More importantly the game has been a solid performer, there may have been some drops from 60fps (my eyes are not DF-certified), but not so much that it would have been distracting. If there's ever a PS5 patch (or knowing Square Enix, paid update more likely) I'd be completely satisfied with higher quality textures or improved AF, some form of AA that would get rid of the shimmering and improved loading times (and for the love of $DEITY, embed the library into the village map so there's no loading screen). But as said, the graphics are what you'd expect from this kind of polishing of a game from a decade ago, and a non-issue.

On to the story - not going to attempt any kind of pseudointellectual literal analysis here, I'll leave it to Youtubers. I prefer the story of Automata, but this has a great story as well with some very memorable characters. My only larger complaint about the story is that while Automata does offer more depth to people familiar with the "franchise" and lore, it can also be played just as an individual game without any prior knowledge; instead here, some things remain very vague/unexplained unless you're up to speed with some of the Drakengard lore. I'm not saying that a game needs to spell everything out to newcomers or players in general, some questions can naturally remain unanswered, but especially as this is not a sequel at least in the traditional sense, I think it's fair to assume the game offers you enough information to understand what's happening without having to google it.

More interesting and less subjective than the story is the narrative structure (which in turn very much affects gameplay). Both games start out in a similar fashion, at least on a general level: there is gameplay for 10+ (depending on how much you want to do of the side content) hours, leading up to ending A. Then you can start a new game and go through some of the events with added context to reach ending B. There are some differences of course, with this game you replay only the second part of the game, while in Automata it's mostly all that's happened so far, but with some different events and an entirely different POV. Still by and large both follow the same blueprints. It's after ending B that they go their separate ways: Automata takes a completely new direction (and how - by the time the new opening credits came up my jaw was firmly glued to the floor) and this... lets you play the same thing you just did to reach ending B with a few tiny changes, but now with a mandatory collectathon if you want to get to ending C!

There are many aspects in the game where I thought to myself "this is how it is probably due to the budget (or lack thereof)", but getting to ending C is the first time I thought "this must be because they ran out of money", because I can't see how the developers and Taro could have been satisfied with how it turned out. In general, I'd advice against playing to different endings back-to-back - I played to B right after getting to A, and while the added context and background information is essential and very much welcome, I still was a bit burned out by having to do again what I just completed, even if it doesn't take that long to play. Took a week off between getting ending B and starting my way to ending C, still redoing everything felt like a chore and money or no money, the collectathon is on the developers, they could have come up with something - hell, anything - better.

It's not like you have to start from scratch, at this point you probably have many of the needed things already. It's that the game in no way tells you what you should do to reach that target, only "you're not done yet!". That's very poor game design. If I couldn't have looked up online where to go and what to do, I probably would have given up, as it involves doing specific side quests and also side quests in general to earn money. Pretty much all of them are either a) kill baddies, b) travel between locations to chat with people, or c) gather materials. Or if it's a very epic and long side quest, it may be some combination of the three! Sure, some minimal motivation is given for each busywork, but a few lines of dialogue doesn't make me care about an NPC. You want me to do your shopping for you? Go get your own groceries you codependent twat. Automata isn't the gold standard for side quests either, plenty of busywork there as well, but a) some of them can be quite funny, and b) they're side quests as they were meant to be, i.e. optional.

That's not the case here, so I was among other things forced to return to The Barren Temple. I thought it was very annoying at best and was glad it was done with, for good, but nope. Revisits didn't change my opinion, it's still pants. I get Yoko Taro wants to shake up the gameplay every now and then, but to me that is definitely the greatest miss when it comes to locations. But there's a more general problem with the locations and this very much affects the main game as well - they're almost completely static and while the first visit may be enjoyable, having to retrace the same steps every time gets old really quick. The Lost Shrine is the worst offender to me - great at first, but when you have to take the same path umpteenth time to reach the same destination it's not fun at all anymore. Sure, the enemies change depending on where you are in the main story. Sometimes you get to push some boxes, whoppee. But you get the same exact encounters with identical spawns every time. I know making more complex maps with lots of potential variation was probably not within the budget. But how about just randomizing it a bit? Like, define "enemy mob 1" that is supposed to be offer X amount of challenge, then create multiple variations of it with different enemies and when required pick one at random and spawn that, instead of the same predefined set every time. Yes, I realize Automata does the "identical spawns at the same location"-thing too, but a) it sucks balls there as well, b) locations can change quite drastically over the course of the game, some have multiple entry points/paths within the location which are available only at a certain time, and c) very often you do not need to return to a location at least multiple times within the same playthrough unless you want to/are grinding side quests.

...if it didn't come across yet, the grindiness of this game grinds my gears just a tiny bit. Moving on. Regarding the "VN" sections - first of all, there are practically no visuals, it's just text - shouldn't it be just "N"? Actually I wouldn't mind them being a bit more "V" as well, just a few still images here and there could make some of those sections more palatable. But even without any visuals, I don't mind the concept and it's pretty neat on some occasions. I do think some of them are too long given the context in the game where they appear, which harms pacing - either some editing or splitting into multiple parts could work better. For example, from the start of the second playthrough a lot of backstory for a character becomes available. As a huge data dump that you should definitely read and understand, but it's quite a lot to digest in one go. How about just showing pieces of it along with major story quests? I don't think there's a need to know all of what happened at once. So what about Tyrann - no one says the parts have to appear in chronological order, you can have the end be the first part while keeping the rest still a mystery. But whether they always completely work, at least those sections can be extremely interesting (for the first time).

Then combat. I think it's fine and does what is needed, and from what I've gathered is a marked improvement over the original, but to me Automata is superior and there's no contest really. It's not one glaring flaw, but a combination of many smaller things. The controls don't feel just quite as tight here. Some of the shades don't telegraph their moves that well (partially due to the character design, especially in numbers they can melt into a dark foggy mass instead of individual enemies). Spells and other particle effects can be flashy, but also obscure much your view (and often there's nothing you can do about it - your companions will make sure there's bling everywhere anyway). You have to enter a menu to use consumables. And while I have nothing against pink balls (blue balls OTOH... but I digress), some of the bullet hell sections can be absolutely ridiculous and not in a positive way. Things like these add up to combat that can be hectic and look impressive (or messy if it's only balls you see), but also feel somewhat chaotic and random. Whereas in Automata I always feel like in control, even if I'm totally getting my ass handed to me at the same time.

This is getting waaay too long so I'll wrap it up, but before that credit where credit is due - there's one thing where Replicant is undeniably better: Boar >>> messing around with animal baits. Having Hog Express ready to go wherever you are is just awesome. Oh, and soundtracks are a tie - both have their own strengths and are god-tier, let's leave it at that.

If I were to give a score on a scale from 1 to 10 (not an average of different elements, it can be more than the sum of its parts) to both games, Automata would be 10 and this would be 7 and a half. Before you bring out the pitchforks, this is not like a game review score but actually using the full scale, so well above average but with many issues that took away from my enjoyment. Would I feel different had I played the original a decade ago? Very likely. But I didn't, I bought it this year and it's hard not to judge a product within current time frame without any nostalgia factor (and don't get me wrong, nostalgia can be great). I may be a bit more generous with the score than what I'd give completely neutrally, but there's a lot of weird in Replicant and the world needs more weird. However, I'm glad I finally got to try this myself so I've been able to form my own opinion about it, and if me buying this game helps Yoko Taro get his next game greenlit by even a minuscule amount, it was completely worth it.
I pretty much agree with all of this....the game felt like a first run of a concept that they improved with Automata.
 

Alvin

Banned
The new version looks worse in almost every way possible. I cannot believe how much they ruined the atmosphere.
I really don't get it nowadays that everything that is supposed to be ethereal, dreamy/gloomy looking or aesthetically cartoony has to become the same bleak and dull more realisticly looking.
Same happened with Shadow Of The Colossus.
 
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Never played Automata because I don't like frauding game series with continuity but I think it's pretty disingenuous to devalue Replicant if you played the titty robot game first. This game was the original and did it all first, should probably play it knowing that. But even then Drakengard had the same game design structure before Nier even existed.
 

Clear

Member
I do, hence the meme I chose (if you you know the context of the original scene it's from), but where you saw a waltz with words I saw laziness
Not to discredit it's quality though

Yoko's stuff is not for everyone, and although this and Automata before it are very competently put together they aren't likely to impress unless they work for you as "ideas".

The thing for me about the visual novel sections in Nier is that they are so organically connected with the rest of the work, they aren't like the VN bits in Lost Odyssey that are sprinkled in as event rewards to add some flavour and lore, they are actively important within the plot of the game.

I just love that he had the balls to do that!
 

nowhat

Member
OK, I know some of you are not going to believe me - I don't care, but honestly this is what happened.

I must preface this by complementing the studio, one thing that this version definitely has going for it is that tech-wise it's been really solid for me. Zero crashes or visible bugs, really solid performance with very long playsessions and rest mode in between. This should be the default state of things, but nowadays it''s anything but, especially so close to launch, so kudos to them. Just to repeat this once more, never had any technical issues with the game, at any point.

I wrote that I found the ending E to be bit underwhelming. It kinda is, when it comes to the last cutscene before credits. What happened though when I was getting there was, I got to the point where you have to input the name of your character for you-know-what to happen. But the virtual keyboard is nowhere to be seen. Wait a bit for it to appear, nothing happens. Try tapping a few buttons, still nothing. Wait some more.

...and then, there it is, the blue PS error reporting window. If anyone had seen me I imagine I had really genuine "you've got to be fucking kidding me" expression on my face at that point. I think people who break stuff to blow off some steam are both stupid and childish, but at that moment the DualSense I was holding was extremely close to becoming airborne. But instead I took a few deep breaths and just clicked to send the report. In retrospect I wish I had read what the report said, but I just couldn't believe what was happening and wanted to move on. Instead of an application error it was very likely a system error, because I was returned to the home screen, but when I selected Replicant, it went right back to where I was before. And now there's the keyboard, I'm able to input the name, the game does its thing, there's the final cutscene, credits roll.

But I hadn't been following this thread or gaming news in general very closely, wasn't aware that there's quite a bit of completely new post-game content (or rather that is the actual ending E), of course I'll check it out since I've got this far already. Would have been nice if the game notified me of it, but no matter. I start a new game with a new name, and... oh, we're starting in 2049. I guess the new content starts later, I'll just mash through the tutorial first. Then it's 1312 years later with kid Nier - I guess I'll go outside or something? So Popola wants me to get some mutton and herbs, I guess I can do that, maybe I'll get to the new content once I'm outside the village... but after 40 minutes I had to stop this futile effort and confirm what I feared.

I go to the main menu, try to start a new game with the name I previously used, and just as I thought, it works fine. So what probably happened was that while the game did its thing, it failed to update the system data that I reached ending E. Note I'm NOT blaming the game, it was much more likely due to my PS5 software and/or hardware. Still, FML - that's it for me, I'm done. Enjoy the game, I won't be touching it for a long time.
 
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iorek21

Member
This is my first time playing this game, but I got spoiled about some stuff, now I can't get off my head that...

Nier is committing genocide at every step of the journey; Route B makes it even worse by putting context behind every boss you kill.

I feel horrible about it, and I don't really know who to blame: Devola and Popola not being honest about anything and sending Nier further into his rage; Weiss being not thinking through the whole situation; or Nier being unable to see any of the signs the Shades left during the adventures.
 
Complicated feelings and emotions about this game. I’m about to complete route D, and it’s been a roller coaster so far! Loving this game, and this is probably one of the best works of art I’ve encountered. But as a game, there are definitely parts of it that drive me mad. Maybe it’s coming from my playing Automata first, but there are some things I can’t believe they allowed to make it into this version.

Without going into details covered by pretty much everyone in this thread, the grind is real and the game’s biggest fault. I have no problem with replaying the story (though routes B and C could have been combined, in my opinion) and that is essential in telling this kind of story. But the quests, my god, they are truly painful. I can see how strapped Yoko Taro was for funding, and while it’s amazing he was able to achieve what he did - I don’t see why they couldn’t improve the grind in v1.22. I’m committing myself to those abuse in search of a platinum trophy only because i want to get every bit of the story for myself.

Aside from the needlessly repetitive parts, I actually prefer the world, story, and characters of Replicant to Nier: Automata. The party is one of the most flawed but likable casts I’ve seen. But as a game to be played, Automata edges it out with all of the refinements in game design and how well it iterates on the multiple playthroughs. Some have complained about route B in Automata but I feel it’s different and engaging enough to warrant the repetition, unlike route C in Replicant.

I’ll reserve my final verdict for once I’ve completed routes D and E (and how maddening the platinum is) but I have a feeling Replicant will have a special place in my heart despite Automata being the clearly better game.
 
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