By RayCarter 28 Comments
You know the old saying: Don't judge a book by its cover. However it is nonetheless difficult to have a good impression of the game ier when you first see footage of it. The graphics look very dated, with texture fitting more for a Playstation game than a contemporary XBox 360 game. But here are some reasons why you should give this seemingly old-looking game a good hard look.
The story of the game is about a father trying to free her daughter from an incurable disease. In the father's quest he manages to run into some colorful characters to help him in the journey, from the foul-mouthed Kaine to the snooty Weiss. Before you know it, once the band assembles it acquires the type of narrative chemistry that makes you forget about the story and focus rather on the characters themselves. Furthermore, the story gets much better as the game progresses, so in short Nier's story is a strong point of the game.
The gameplay is itself... kinda weird. You really have to actually play the thing to get what I mean when I say that Nier is a multi-genre type of experience. It is mostly an action RPG that has the basics down, with your character (the father) capable of wielding various weapons and dark attack spells from Weiss. One problem is that the fighting feels a bit unwieldy because of a lock-on system (Then again, maybe it's intentionally set up this way). You have various side-quests to tackle like most RPGs again, but then in combat enemies release a bunch of bullets, giving you a sense that you are playing a 3D shoot-em-up. Add in several fishing, gardening, even a text-based games, and you have a gamut of genres through your 24 or so hours in your first playthrough. Keep in mind that there are various endings, so no doubt there is potential to add on to the game's replay value.
But what I really want to talk about Nier has to do with the music. Listen.
There is not much I can say other than fact that Nier probably has the best soundtrack I have been around period. These tunes make you feel so excited in an upcoming boss battle. It also can recede to accommodate more reflective, sadder moments. In short the music can generate all parts of the emotional spectrum, is pleasant to the ear, and is the game's best asset. I also want to give a shout-out to the voice acting. Everyone is expressive without overdoing it. I usually cringe when characters are given very obvious accents, but Grimoire Weiss' arrogant tone is a plus to the game, not a minus. Credit to Liam O'Brien for his voice acting work on Weiss.
Putting everything I have said together, Nier does not have the best gameplay, and its graphics are worse. That being said there are very few games that can better its story, characters and music. Those qualities alone are enough for me to say "Buy this one". Bring out the tissue boxes, because you are going to need it.
I give Nier: Gestault 4 stars out of 5.
Very Nier to my heart, you are.