To preface, I played Nier. I didn't just play it, I beat it. Then i got the rest of the main "playthroughs" under my belt for good measure. My 30 hours with Nier this year were some of the most laborious and unpleasant moments I've ever had in gaming. The atmosphere and message that apparently justifies this as everyones GOTY never really came to fruition, and I have a few gripes with the love for this game.
The story: I understand the melancholia and moral ambiguity of this sentient robotic future, but I did not find a single moment of dialogue or writing to be even remotely engaging. I wish I was a native Japanese speaker so I could enjoy the writing as it was originally written, because this localization, while functional, has given me zero emotional involvement with any of the characters, and every cut scene, while revealing information, was very much information dispersal instead of character development.
Gameplay: I guess i could play a really simplistic Bayonetta with a robot on the right stick, but they never truly made it necessary to use ANY of the many systems available to you, and playing on hard, I had only a few real tough moments throughout this slog.
Graphics: While clearly games do not need AAA graphics to be successful in the indie revolution, games with an open world that feel as empty as this could do with a different format I think. I'd have preferred a stage based game to get through faster that either looked better or had a defined art style, but this game just went for "pretty real looking stuff" with really low res and low population environments.
Audio: Ok the audio is amazing. I dont enjoy JPop so much but they really went above and beyond, the audio was lovingly crafted from start to finish.
I dont really know why I felt the need to post this, if you enjoy the game then I am happy for you, and don't hold dear any smug entitlement due to my opinions, which are just that. I just had such a roller coaster of a year, like most of us in 2017, and felt like the community was forcing me to play a game that I did not find to even remotely live up to its reputation. Was hoping to hear some arguments against, and hopefully some like minded skeptics.