44:18 for the main story line, with most of the side quests done. I have a 750ti, so I played at 720p with everything low. At the very least 30fps, mostly near 60fps, with one exception.
So, straight out. I hate Tengus. I loathe them- with their beady eyes, long beaks - penchant for throwing magic through solid objects. Hate them. I'd rather fight a monk that thinks it's a flaming wheel - and, as anyone who has played Nioh would tell you, that's saying something. So, Nioh...
Nioh is an odd game. Most will look at its mechanics and say 'it's a souls game ripoff' (like how I look at souls games and say 'it's a Monster Hunter/Megaman rip off via Berserk') and they wouldn't be wrong. They wouldn't be right either, and that's the rub. Nioh is far more Ninja Gaiden (unsurprisingly given the developer) than Demons' Souls and for that I am forever grateful. Halfway between the clanking brutality of the Dark Souls games and the svelte mindgames of Bloodbourne, Nioh carves it's own niche with aplomb. Combat is fast, furious, and often ends with body parts sprayed around - though rarely your own. You see, by upping the speed that characters can move while in a combo - and by utilising the 'ki pulse' mechanic that boosts your stamina regen while in combat - you can wreck shop in a way that Souls characters could only dream of.
Nioh is, at least in its base form, far more forgiving than Souls games. This may be because there are less enemy types to deal with, thus it's easier to learn the patterns. It may be because there is a (very) rare item that retrieves your amrita/souls from your corpse - thus blunting the threat of death. It may be due to how powerful the buff/debuffs are - especially on the default difficulty. After that though - best of luck, you'll need it.
So what does Nioh do differently? First up, lets talk about the story. Based on (in a similar vein to 'based on a true story') the life and times of William Adams, who was not Irish, a young man who found himself stuck in Sengoku era Japan. If you cut out the mystical, ninja, demon stuff - oh and him being Irish, then it's not far off actual events. Amusingly I'm reading a book set in the same time period where John Dee and Ned Kelley are very much part of the story - but I digress. For people who have either zero knowledge of European history (that's everyone outside of Europe) or zero knowledge of Japanese history (that's everyone outside of Japan that hasn't played Tecmo Koei games or studied it at Uni) the story will make very little sense. Luckily for me I grew up in Europe and happen to know a lot about the Sengoku Jidai - enough to loathe Ieyasu and bemoan the deaths of Mitsunari and Yoshitsugu. Even so, by the end of the game my eyes were filming over every time we had a cutscene - I just didn't care anymore and wanted to go back to slicing and dicing. As such, I can imagine that many were either put off or uninterested in the story, which is a shame because it had some potential. Nothing was made of William's Irishness..one would assume he would have been Catholic, which might explain why he was fighting Dee and Co. When Dee said to William 'Your country needs you' I flat out laughed.
What wasn't a laughing matter (segue) was the depth of the RPG elements and how the elemental spirits factor into it. Your 'beast mode/final form/ssj' mode evokes the elemental power of the spirit that you've chosen on your mission. You can switch these out as there are roughly 20? or so, each with different abilities and stats. They all fall within the template of earth/wind/fire/water/lightning and bosses tend to be weak to two of these elements. Meaning that it's usually best to fill up your gauge (via killing enemies and abosrbing amrita/souls), smack the boss about till they're half health and then go ham on them with your elemental power. This doesn't always work - you can be knocked out of it pretty easily, or grabbed and killed.
Which brings me to talk about THAT boss. You know, the one that teaches you how to play the game properly or you just give up. That's the second boss in this game - the bat lady. She's so fast it ridiculous. Add to this that she can paralyze you from afar before tearing you apart - and that when she's staggered she has a grab attack that can one shot you..yeah, I can see how people got frustrated and gave up. She's nothing compared to some later bosses - Ogress and Ornstein's cousin Sakon Shima come to mind - but I'm sure she caused many players to give up.
If you were one of those people, stick with it. It's worth it in the long run - like the Soul's game before it, Nioh rewards patience and adaptibility. I was stuck on the last boss for ages (the last, last, last, last, last, last, last boss..if you follow me) until I switched to a weapon I'd never used before and finally got it done. Experimentation is recommended and allowed as you can buy a respec item at any time (though the cost goes up). I stuck with dual swords and single sword mostly, with an odd Odachi to mix things up.
I feel this is going too long and meandering rather, so I'll finish with this - as soon as I completed the game I went into the DLC and died..horribly...while having RE5 flashbacks. I then went into the Abyss and died..horribly. Even after 44 hours I not only wanted to play more, but still have a lot to learn. I can't give a game any higher a recommendation than that.
5 'Nobunaga ain't no one's bitch' /5
Added to favourite games of all time list.