Nioh

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Nioh

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 11th, 2018, 3:01 pm

Basically, I would say it's halfway between a character action game and Dark Souls. The combat is a lot more technical and nuanced. The game is structured in the form of individually selected missions with their own unique levels, instead of an interconnected world like in Dark Souls. But the levels themselves are well designed. The story is told in a much more straightforward fashion, without the subtle environmental storytelling of the Souls games.

If you like character action games and find the setting appealing, it might be worth looking into.

Also, you might want to read through the older posts in this thread to see what others had to say when it came out last year.


Hope this helps! :)

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Re: Nioh

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 13th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Played a lot more of this over the past few days. Some cracks are starting to appear.

I think this game is plagued by a core identity crisis. It tries to be Ninja Gaiden, Dark Souls & Diablo at the same time, and that unfortunately means that the contradictory systems often end up devaluing each other. The combat is really good, but the importance given to raw stats over skill-based techniques means it doesn't always feel as rewarding as it could. The game is a bit too forgiving and it encourages grinding to the point where the Souls-esque type of tension it goes for often falls flat.

As a huge fan of both Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls, it feels to me like this game tries to tick all the superficial boxes without understanding the specific structures that make those games tick.

I think the overcomplicated weapons / loot system is by far the biggest issue. NG2 has 8 different melee weapons, each with their own unique movesets, abilities, pros and cons. Every one of those is memorable and easily available. Nioh has 7 different melee weapon types, including DLC, each with dozens of minor variations who only differ in terms of stats and random modifiers. I don't feel connected to any specific piece of equipment when I regularly have to sell hundreds of useless junk after very mission. It means absolutely nothing to be gifted a sword said to be a valuable treasure as reward for completing a mission when you end up finding 5 more of the exact same type as random enemy drops in the next mission. The entire system is tedious and lack any meaningful choices.

The cutscenes are usually really nice, but the game tends to throw way too many poorly developed characters at you and it's very easy to lose track of who's who.

I like this game, I really do. If only for the solid core combat and level design. But it tries to do way too much for its own good.


I'm slowly but surely starting to become very anxious about the future of the action genre if most of its titles in recent years are either shallow and/or overly scripted affairs (Uncharted, NG3, RE7, hopefully not the new GoW), or spreading themselves way too thin with filler RPG-style content (Monster Hunter, Nier: Automata, Nioh, even Yakuza to an extent). Where are the deep and curated experiences with fantastic replay value from past generations? Where are this generation's NGB, or God Hand, or Metroid Prime?

At least Bayonetta is still hanging in there.

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Todinho
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Re: Nioh

Post by Todinho » March 13th, 2018, 10:53 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 5:55 pm
The combat is really good, but the importance given to raw stats over skill-based techniques means it doesn't always feel as rewarding as it could. The game is a bit too forgiving and it encourages grinding to the point where the Souls-esque type of tension it goes for often falls flat.
I`ve seen this criticism being levied at Nioh before and I really dont get it, in Nioh unlike the souls games you actually have skill based techniques and they do make a hell of a difference in combat, when it comes to stamina managment alone a more skilled player will be able to keep the offensive way more then a unskilled player, here the gap between these 2 players is way bigger then in any souls games, and we didnt even get into combos or managing your oponents stamina, moves like the kick completelly change how you can engage in combat, changing stances is key to keeping up the flow of combat,etc etc.

Im putting all of this here because I really dont feel the game has big reliance on stats, certainly not more then any souls game and you`ll see that by watching any Lvl 1 runs on Nioh that rely solely on player skill.
While it`s true that the game ecourages grinding in the sense that it has alot of missions for you to do and it offers loot as rewards it`s all entirely optional, you dont have to do any side missions and even I who did every single side mission in the game still arrived at the final mission 20 lvls bellow the recommended and was able to beat it no problem.

I do agree that the game doesnt have the tension dark souls does but the game isnt by any strech too forgiving in fact if you compare this to any souls game you can die much faster in Nioh then any souls game, the yokai never become pushovers your ability in fighting them increases sure but they can still easily kill you at any point in the game, but as your skill with the game increases and you unlock new techniques and tools it gets easier sure in that sense yeah the game loses it`s tension but, and you may want to say Im just being an apoligist with this, but I feel the game is sorta designed that way, in the beginning you`re barely surviving and is learning the game and by the end the game expects you to master it`s systems and do it perfectly much like a Platinum character action game which is why the game has so many backed in achivements for killing a boss 5 times or doing it in a time limit or without taking any hits.

KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 5:55 pm
As a huge fan of both Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls, it feels to me like this game tries to tick all the superficial boxes without understanding the specific structures that make those games tick.
I have no experience with Ninja Gaiden so I cant speak to that but me only knowing souls and looking at Nioh as a game in the same genre I think its remarkable and it really brings the genre foward by bringing a combat system that leaves everything else in the dust(I mean the spear moveset in Nioh is hands down the best spear moveset out of any game I played, not that hard considering that video games seem to hate spears but I digress) it takes the souls template and expands on it with a far more complex and deep combat system, while preserving it`s signiature aspects of progression, intricate level design and high difficulty.
KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 5:55 pm
I think the overcomplicated weapons / loot system is by far the biggest issue. NG2 has 8 different melee weapons, each with their own unique movesets, abilities, pros and cons. Every one of those is memorable and easily available. Nioh has 7 different melee weapon types, including DLC, each with dozens of minor variations who only differ in terms of stats and random modifiers. I don't feel connected to any specific piece of equipment when I regularly have to sell hundreds of useless junk after very mission. It means absolutely nothing to be gifted a sword said to be a valuable treasure as reward for completing a mission when you end up finding 5 more of the exact same type as random enemy drops in the next mission. The entire system is tedious and lack any meaningful choices.
Yeah this is the point I agree with the most and I think they could have kept the loot drive but maybe do something like monster hunter where you can craft the weapon type by collecting itens in the world I think that would make the weapon you have feel more meaningfull but there are alot of people that are into that Diablo system and it`s entirelly optional you can completelly ignore the loot system if you dont like and it`s not like you`ll be punished for not finding the blacksteel katana or whatever because all you need is a basic katana and you can do everything with it, Im also really glad they just give you all weapon types in the beginning and allow you to pick the one you like right away unlike say BloodBorne where I have to beat the entiry game before I can get the weapon that I fucking like, and while in dark souls the gear you get is more meaningfull because of stats and their visual appearence their moveset is identic to other of the same class and much simpler, only Bloodborne has more significant changes from weapon to weapon but it also has the least amount of then out of every souls game and it`s moveset is still simpler.

To so extent I understand your criticism but I think Nioh achieves exactly what it wants to, and I for one love that despite of being a mixture of Ninja gaiden and Dark souls it`s neither of those :D

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Re: Nioh

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 14th, 2018, 1:29 am

Todinho wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 10:53 pm
I really dont feel the game has big reliance on stats, certainly not more then any souls game and you`ll see that by watching any Lvl 1 runs on Nioh that rely solely on player skill.
When I said the game over-relies on stats to the extent that it devalues the skill aspect of the combat, I was comparing it to Ninja Gaiden and other character action games, not Dark Souls. In Nioh, the difference between fighting an enemy with a lvl 1 weapon and fighting the same enemy with a lvl 100 weapon with a bunch of perks added is massive. The same fight could range between 3 minutes and 10 seconds simply due to the various stats involved. That's what I meant when I said it devalues the skill aspect and doesn't feel as rewarding as it could. In Ninja Gaiden or Bayonetta, fights are decided mostly by skill alone, which makes every victory feel earned.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the stat investment system is actively preventing the player from trying out weapons that they don't have the build for, because it will automatically put them at a disadvantage. Which is a perfect example of the RPG elements contradicting the character action elements.
Todinho wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 10:53 pm
While it`s true that the game ecourages grinding in the sense that it has alot of missions for you to do and it offers loot as rewards it`s all entirely optional, you dont have to do any side missions and even I who did every single side mission in the game still arrived at the final mission 20 lvls bellow the recommended and was able to beat it no problem.
I really don't think that "it's all optional" is a very good argument if the game is explicitly built around it. Sure, I could force myself to look the other way, but that's quite honestly not my job as a player. I should be focused on overcoming the challenges presented to me, not excising the parts of the game that would hamper my enjoyment. There is such a thing as design integrity and balance. The game should set the rules and restrictions, not the player.
Todinho wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 10:53 pm
I do agree that the game doesnt have the tension dark souls does but the game isnt by any strech too forgiving in fact if you compare this to any souls game you can die much faster in Nioh then any souls game, the yokai never become pushovers your ability in fighting them increases sure but they can still easily kill you at any point in the game
Please note that I said "forgiving" and not "easy". I wasn't talking about the difficulty of the fights. What I mean is that Nioh has a lot more safety nets than Dark Souls. Dark Souls has two safety nets: bloodstains and summoning. Nioh on the other hand has:

- Checkpoints behind every corners.
- RNG manipulation (Kodama blessings).
- No invasion mechanic, as far as I can tell.
- Only the risk of losing one out of three currencies (Amrita, Gold, Glory) when dying.
- Stat-based perks that can make certain bosses significantly easier.
- The ever-present incentive to grind when faced with a difficult boss or section.
- A completely static and safe menu in-between missions.
- Relatively short distances and travel times between checkpoints and bosses.
- Certain bosses within their own restricted, individually selectable areas without risk of losing any progress.

In Dark Souls, every choice matters, every defeat stings, everything has weight and consequence. You are very rarely safe, which is why it's such a tense and gripping experience. Nioh tries to do the same thing on the surface but doesn't commit to it which ends up devaluing the overall experience. Losing your Amrita in Nioh is nowhere near as punishing as losing your Souls is in Dark Souls.
Todinho wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 10:53 pm
there are alot of people that are into that Diablo system and it`s entirelly optional you can completelly ignore the loot system if you dont like
Bit difficult to ignore it when my inventory fills up quicker than the Titanic's hull and I have to sell all this junk every time I visit the blacksmith. Also, see my comments above in regards to the "optional" argument.

In Ninja Gaiden and Bloodborne, every weapon feels unique and special. The Kirkhammer is not just a random hammer, it's THE hammer in the game. Picking up the True Dragonsword in Ninja Gaiden is a pivotal moment in the story and the game's progression, because it is a completely unique and irreplaceable part of your equipment. Weapons in Nioh are little more than a bunch of stats. There is no reason to keep your current weapon if you find another one of the same type with better stats, therefore devaluing the connection between the player and the tools at his/her disposal.

It's usually a better idea to give the player a small number of meaningful choices rather than a whole bunch of meaningless ones and/or cold calculations. Nioh doesn't really seem to understand that. Picking either a green or a blue buff is not an interesting choice. Choosing between a 68 damage weapon and a 174 damage weapon is not an interesting choice either.


Like I said, I like the game. But it is too bogged down with filler elements to be a truly satisfying pure action game, and it incorporates elements of the Souls games without centering its whole design philosophy around them, which makes a lot of its systems rather meaningless in comparison.


I hope this clarifies things.


Edit: Since you haven't played Ninja Gaiden, here's a frame of reference. You said you like spears, how do you feel about pointy staves?





No stats, no overloaded HUD, no loot. Nothing between you and the enemy but pure skill. ;)

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Todinho
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Re: Nioh

Post by Todinho » March 14th, 2018, 5:46 am

KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:29 am
In Nioh, the difference between fighting an enemy with a lvl 1 weapon and fighting the same enemy with a lvl 100 weapon with a bunch of perks added is massive. The same fight could range between 3 minutes and 10 seconds simply due to the various stats involved. That's what I meant when I said it devalues the skill aspect and doesn't feel as rewarding as it could. In Ninja Gaiden or Bayonetta, fights are decided mostly by skill alone, which makes every victory feel earned.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the stat investment system is actively preventing the player from trying out weapons that they don't have the build for, because it will automatically put them at a disadvantage. Which is a perfect example of the RPG elements contradicting the character action elements.
You could levy that same criticism to dark souls and Bloodborne or in fact any action RPG, if anything Nioh suffers from that the least due to it's complex combat system that allow you to rely on skill more then any other action RPG out there. Also while stat allocation does favor some weapons over others(like any Action RPG) Nioh offer you plenty of respec oportunities so you can easily go from a katana to an axe from mission to mission if you want and even if your stats are say built to use katanas the game never prevents you from using any of the other weapons, unlike most action RPGs where weapons are gated by stats, hell in Bloodborne I cant even look at the weapons I get if I dont have the stats for it, I was playing it the other day and I got a boss weapon and I couldnt even see the model or the moveset because my arcane wasnt high enough...
KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:29 am
I really don't think that "it's all optional" is a very good argument if the game is explicitly built around it. Sure, I could force myself to look the other way, but that's quite honestly not my job as a player. I should be focused on overcoming the challenges presented to me, not excising the parts of the game that would hamper my enjoyment. There is such a thing as design integrity and balance. The game should set the rules and restrictions, not the player.
Like I said I did all the side missions in the game and at no point did I feel overpowered, they were extra challenges that provided extra rewards and those rewards can make the game easier. To pick on the 2 genres that Nioh stands on, you dont have to do any of the secret missions in Bayo or DMC but if you do you're rewarded same as with side quests in RPGs that provide both XP and loot. You can say that those rewards are limited in other games while in Nioh you can keep getting Xp and loot especially by redoing missions and it's fair to say the game can be exploited more in that regard but I dont think it's that much more then any action RPG including dark souls.
KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:29 am
Please note that I said "forgiving" and not "easy". I wasn't talking about the difficulty of the fights. What I mean is that Nioh has a lot more safety nets than Dark Souls. Dark Souls has two safety nets: bloodstains and summoning. Nioh on the other hand has:

- Checkpoints behind every corners.
- RNG manipulation (Kodama blessings).
- No invasion mechanic, as far as I can tell.
- Only the risk of losing one out of three currencies (Amrita, Gold, Glory) when dying.
- Stat-based perks that can make certain bosses significantly easier.
- The ever-present incentive to grind when faced with a difficult boss or section.
- A completely static and safe menu in-between missions.
- Relatively short distances and travel times between checkpoints and bosses.
- Certain bosses within their own restricted, individually selectable areas without risk of losing any progress.

In Dark Souls, every choice matters, every defeat stings, everything has weight and consequence. You are very rarely safe, which is why it's such a tense and gripping experience. Nioh tries to do the same thing on the surface but doesn't commit to it which ends up devaluing the overall experience. Losing your Amrita in Nioh is nowhere near as punishing as losing your Souls is in Dark Souls.
Sure that's all fair, Nioh isnt dark souls :D, I only disagree in saying that the game incentivises you to grind for bosses and difficult sections because if anything it's mission structure does the opposite, when you're in a mission you're stuck there until you finnish it, if you get out you have to do everything over again, in dark souls if you can warp to any part of the world where griding is best suited pick a few souls levels and warp back to the boss you're having trouble with, if you say you can grind in the missions with the shrines the same applies to dark souls bonfires.
KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:29 am
It's usually a better idea to give the player a small number of meaningful choices rather than a whole bunch of meaningless ones and/or cold calculations. Nioh doesn't really seem to understand that. Picking either a green or a blue buff is not an interesting choice. Choosing between a 68 damage weapon and a 174 damage weapon is not an interesting choice either.
Im not gonna insisit on this point because I pretty much agree with you on that and like I said I think Monster Hunter goes for the same feeling this type of gear system is going for but achieves it in a much better way, but I think it's fair to say that alot of people really like this type of gear system, of constantly getting new gear with new stats, diablo isnt popular over nothing.

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Re: Nioh

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 14th, 2018, 12:49 pm

Todinho wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 5:46 am
You could levy that same criticism to dark souls and Bloodborne or in fact any action RPG
Oh, absolutely. It is an issue with genre hybrids in general. There are two caveats to this, however:

- The Souls games don't pretend to be character action games, which lessens the dissonance present in Nioh.
- Their weapon upgrade system is fairly straightforward. You pick a weapon you like, upgrade it to +10 or +15, perhaps apply either a minor built-in or consumable buff, and that's pretty much it. Nioh has not only a +150 weapon upgrade system, but also about two dozens additional stats and random modifiers on top of that based on your equipment and guardian spirit etc... This makes the combat system feel a bit... abstract at times, especially with the huge numbers flashing upon every hit.
Todinho wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 5:46 am
Like I said I did all the side missions in the game and at no point did I feel overpowered
I think that the fact that we're having a discussion about whether or not the player can be overpowered in Nioh is kind of what takes away from its character action qualities. You can't really be overpowered in a pure character action game. Not without any massive drawback, anyway. Bayonetta doesn't even have weapon upgrades. What you see is what you get, hitting any given enemy a certain way will cause X amount of damage and it's up to you to find a way to overcome the challenges presented to you. Grinding rarely if ever enters the equation.

Look at it this way: If you did all the missions in the game and still arrived at the last mission 20 levels under the recommended amount, how do you think people were meant to attain that recommended level in the first place? ;)
Todinho wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 5:46 am
I think it's fair to say that alot of people really like this type of gear system, of constantly getting new gear with new stats, diablo isnt popular over nothing.
Of course it's fair to say that, my point isn't that there is anything inherently wrong with loot-based systems. I personally don't like them, but to each their own. My point is that the "action" aspect of action RPGs will almost always suffer from the inclusion of repetitive grindy mechanics. Same as with other genres: It's no surprise that Borderlands or Destiny don't have the tight structure of Doom or Halo. Do you get equally attached to all Pokemons like with party members in conventional JRPGs, despite their charming little personalities? No, because the system is encouraging you to replace them with statistically superior ones later on.

I just don't feel any connection to my equipment in this game. They're just a bunch of stats waiting to be replaced.


In short, all these various elements might work individually in games centered around them, but I don't think they mesh very well together.

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Todinho
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Re: Nioh

Post by Todinho » March 14th, 2018, 4:52 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 12:49 pm
- The Souls games don't pretend to be character action games, which lessens the dissonance present in Nioh.
I think that's the crux of our disagreement right here, I dont think Nioh is pretending to be anything other then Nioh, hell if anything it marketed itself as a souls game, theres a reason why all the youtube souls channels were the first to jump into it.
While I see your point of the stats getting in the way of a pure skill based combat that wasnt how Nioh intended to be in the first place, it was built with an RPG in mind. To bring up another point you made of "If you did everything and ended up 20 lvls below how we're you supposed to get the recommended lvl?" a fair point but it also shows that lvls here are much less consequential then any other action RPG, for example imagine tackling the Old hunters DLC 20 lvls below the recommended lvl. Also while Nioh has alot of stats and buffs,etc. It important to note they are all small increments to keep up with the growing increased stats of enemies(though I will say that balance in that regard could've been better no doubt) If you really want to the game allows you to go into the RPG side of the game and min-max you're character and some people will get enjoyment out of that side but if you dont you can play the game just putting whatever gear has the higher number to keep up with the increase of enemy stats, you can do both which isnt the case in a Character action game or an Action RPG, I think Nioh makes character Action combat more acessible by being in this format and also adds other layers such as the stamina management which you wouldnt have in a character action game, to me that's what makes it such a successfull hybrid.

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Re: Nioh

Post by KSubzero1000 » March 18th, 2018, 12:36 pm

Played some more, two more thoughts:

The level design is really good. It delivers on exactly the type of bite-sized yet substantial Souls-esque labyrinthine structures that I adore. It definitely rewards exploration and observation and I'm very happy to say that I've found every secret so far without the need to ever consult a guide.

The story may be a weak point, but one thing this game certainly nails is the audiovisual presentation of Japanese mythology / folklore / historical fantasy. In fact, it makes me wish to see mythologies other than the usual Japanese or Norse receive this kind of treatment! I would love to play a game of this type within a fresh and comparatively unused setting, like the Maya, Zulu, Hindu or Etruscan mythology. Or simply moving a little bit further away from using Tolkien as the basis of all fantasy. Lots of untapped potential there!

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Re: Nioh

Post by Flabyo » March 18th, 2018, 1:40 pm

That’s actually one of the things I like about the Witcher games. Yes, they’re their own fantasy world, but there’s a different mythological grounding going on. Central and Eastern European myth is a vastly untapped vein for videogames.

(Fable, for example, comes from a place of Celtic, Norman and Arthurian myth. Kingdoms of Amalur is even more Celtic fuelled than the fable series was.)

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