Anyone playing the open beta?

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Acura_Max

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There's an open beta for the PS4 this week (November 1st-10th). I was wondering if anyone was playing the open beta and what their thoughts were. I played the closed beta, so I already know that this is more Nioh with some additions. So far, I really like incorporating the demon moves into the boss fights/combat. It makes every boss fight more flashy.

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Wemibelle

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I only played a little, but I'm not a huge of fan of how similar it is. What actual new combat options there are don't appeal to me either. Plus, I really hate that Yokai puddles pretty much negate your stamina now, instead of slowing it down. Means you have to be REALLY proactive about clearing them or you are going to get crushed.

Glad to see the character creator is good at least, with some decent options and an upfront female character choice. Still, I'll probably wait for the inevitable (?) PC release before I hop in, as I'm not seeing enough to make me buy it on PS4 first.

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BoOzak

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#3  Edited By BoOzak

I enjoyed what I played, but I echo the fact that it feels more like Nioh 1.5, the stuff they've addded, while cool in concept feels a bit tacked on.

The character creator is decent but generally speaking i'd rather have an actual named and voiced protagonist than a slightly prettier more customizable player model. I dont hold out much hope for the story being any good as a result.

(not that it ever is in these sorts of games but the first game was better than most)

All that being said i'm still getting it day 1. In the absence of Ninja Gaiden 4 this is the closest thing i'm going to get for awhile. The combat is still much more robust than most souls style games at least.

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SilverSaint

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It feels like a massive Nioh expansion, with new weapons, skills, style, enemies, etc which is basically exactly what I want from Nioh. In general Souls-style games are much more about the exploration and the unknown and as long as those are well done I'll be pretty happy. The bosses were pretty intense, especially compared to Nioh 1 where after the Vampire boss the game sort of nosedives in difficulty until the optional dual boss fights, so if that boss quality is there throughout I'll be pretty pleased.

I do miss the weapon specific living weapon modes from Nioh 1, but I loved the feral teleport dash.

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TheRealTurk

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#5 TheRealTurk  Online

I'll echo the sentiments of those saying it feels like Nioh 1.5. Having said that, I think that the changes they've made feel like fairly meaningful ones. I like that Yokai enemies are significantly more aggressive and have more attacks, which incentivizes you to learn to use your Demon-form "super-parry" and abilities. I'm not sure yet on the way they've broken out skill trees. That feels like it could be good or bad depending on a lot of factors.

I do worry that it might be really overwhelming to new players, though. I played a ton of Nioh and didn't have any problems jumping right in, but I feel like there's just so much that someone without that experience might feel overwhelmed. You've got even more weapons, more skills trees, and demon cores, on top of the existing stances, guardian spirits, move sets, etc.

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PananaBeel

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@therealturk: I'm slightly worried about this. I haven't played Nioh yet, but since its release on PS Plus I've installed it and plan to give it a try next week. Do you have any tips/advice to a new player? Also, have you played Sekiro? And if so, is it comparable to Nioh in any way, or are they quite different?

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Redhotchilimist

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#7  Edited By Redhotchilimist

I've played through most of what's in there and I enjoyed it a lot. Nioh is pretty dense, and I kinda bounced off the first game without getting that into it. For whatever reason, maybe the character creator sucked me in, I just kept playing this time and dug it. It's initially overwhelming, but they do provide a ton of tutorial stuff that helped me out a little. Even if I had to look up how to leave a mission, and then it turned out there was no point in going back to the blacksmith at all really.

It feels like a deep game. Ideally it seems like you wanna switch between the low, middle and high stances to dodge, guard and attack respectively. And then also do that with perfect timings and ki pulses so your stamina ( or ki, rather confusingly ) regens faster. It's a lot of button presses just to guard and attack effectively, which I dunno, I think it's maybe a little too micromanagey for me. The fewer people that get pro Smash Bros. player hands the better.

But at the same time that depth makes it fun to fight, in a way that it isn't in Dark Souls. It's a very effective separation where I started out just playing it like basic Souls and then layer on more and more moves and systems as I get comfortable, and the difference shows. The enemies can kill you in a combo, which is brutal. But you can easily do the same to them with some practice.

Then on top of your own skill level, the RPG mechanics do make a big difference in doling out new moves and abilities. So in addition to just being better I can also toss first one, then two, now three giant bombs that really do a number on an enemy if they hit, which feels great. The loot thing is a bit too extreme for me, enemies drop gear like crazy and it doesn't seem like it results in anything worthwhile. But on the whole I like the gameplay of Nioh a whole bunch. The framework and danger is Soulslike, but it also feels like its own good action game in a way many of these Dark Souls wannabes do not.

I get the impression that this was all also in the previous Nioh though. The new Devil Trigger and Castlevania-style enemy souls abilities are cool, and nice to have, but I think it's easy to forget them as well. The demon parry is the only part of the toolset I used consistently. It's good tho.

I'm playing through Sekiro currently, which is fun in a very different kinda way. There are things I definitely enjoy more in Sekiro - a more free moveset including jumping and grapple hooking to points, the graphics looking nicer without sacrificing framerate, some killer mood, a nice little self-contained story that doesn't involve a buncha historical Japanese names going in one ear and out the other, etc etc.

But while the word used to be that Nioh 1 had very few enemy types, I think there was more variation in the roster in the beta than in most of Sekiro, since Sekiro now needs more human enemies for its relatively more mundane setting. Sekiro also makes it a pain to use secondary moves. You only get a couple of slots for them, and they either help very much (mortal draw, double ichimonji, the firecrackers) or not at all(most other things I tried). It just isn't a big part of the game, just mash that attack button and parry the stuff. Which is fine and fun in a punch-outy sorta way, but I like that Nioh expands its movesets like it was a more traditional action game, with various moves that layer on top of the basic attacks.

Nioh also kinda keeps the torch going with the classic Souls stuff Sekiro abandoned. I like fighting other people's phantoms, I enjoyed co-oping with my buddy, and I made a pretty good approximation of Ninja Warriors' Yaksha in that character creator. It's great fun.

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FrodoBaggins

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I dont play betas but more Nioh sounds good to me.

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TheRealTurk

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#10 TheRealTurk  Online

@pananabeel: On Sekiro vs. Nioh, I'm probably the wrong person to ask. I hated Sekiro and everything it was doing. I find them to be pretty different games - although I think Sekiro is significantly more difficult, Nioh is much deeper mechanically and is much, much more responsive in the combat (the demo runs about 1000% better on my Pro than Sekiro did).

As far as mechanics go, I'll do my best. Keep in mind that this is based on my very brief time with the demo, so some stuff is either based on the first game or might have changed or will change before release:

1. If you can only learn *one* system really well, learn Ki Pulse. That's the one where you hit R1 after a combo to restore your stamina. Not only does that let you keep attack chains going longer, timing it perfectly also dispels the shadow pools the yokai enemies put down. That seems like it's going to be slightly more important in Nioh 2 - in Nioh 1 the pool slowed down your stamina regen when you were in it, but it appears it stops it altogether in Nioh 2, so clearing the puddles is likely going to be a big part of the combat with those guys.

2. Spend some time playing around with the different stances with each weapon to get a feel for them. The general rule is that the High/Mid/Low stance corresponds to Attack/Balance/Defense, but it also significantly affects how the weapons operate with normal combos. I definitely found some weapon types were more effective in certain stances, and some special moves you learn can only be used if you are in a certain stance. Once you've kind of got a feel for what you like, I wouldn't worry too much about it. There are some of abilities that rely on changing stances mid-combo, but that's pretty advanced stuff and at least in Nioh 1 you didn't really need it for a standard playthrough.

3. My initial impression in the demo is that I will probably spend a lot of time coming to grips with the new demon-form system. As I mentioned, the yokai seem a lot more aggressive than they were in Nioh 1. The strategy there was kind of to bait out the yoaki attacks and then poke them. I get the sense that won't work as well in Nioh 2, so learning the super-parry looks like it's going to be important.

4. Stamina management is big. You take a lot more damage if you get hit without stamina, to the point where it usually kills you. The aforementioned ki pulse is big for avoiding that. The first game at least also didn't tell you that stamina for human enemies and yokai works differently. Human enemies get staggered with each hit and can be grappled when they run out of stamina. They also recover stamina when not blocking or attacking. On the other hand, yokai don't get staggered by standard attacks or spend stamina to attack - they only lose it when they get hit. However, once their stamina drains, every hit will stagger them until they recover by spawning a shadow pool, so that's the time to whale on them. Most yokai also have a weak point that will immediately stagger them if you hit it right.

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Gundato

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I should pop in as Nioh 1 may be my favorite Souls game (tied with Dark 2 and Demon, with the acknowledgement that Demon is probably nostalgia).

I did the closed beta a few weeks (months?) ago and really liked it. I think the new mechanics make Living Weapons and the like more of a mode switch and less of a series of i-frames you use to power through the last phase of a boss fight.

But I also think that adds on to the already many meters and systems in the game and is something I need to sit down with and learn rather than pop in and try to use a quarter of the way through the story.

But I am almost guaranteed to double dip on Nioh 2 like I did 1. Buy it on PS4 at launch and play the hell out of it. Then re-buy it on PC during the steam sale after launch to play it again with better visuals and framerate and a deeper understanding of the mechanics.

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Shindig

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Yeah, I want to play more of it but the game's so far off I wouldn't be too annoyed if I wound up missing out.

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