Zero Punctuation: Nier Automata

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Nier Automata

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Nier Automata.

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I'm still on the fence about this one. Jim loved it, Yahtzee can stomach it. Not sure where that falls on the critical spectrum.

Silentpony:
I'm still on the fence about this one. Jim loved it, Yahtzee can stomach it. Not sure where that falls on the critical spectrum.

Considering that you can sense the Japanese by just smelling the disk case, the fact that he can even tolerate it says quite a lot

I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

Not sure there's enough meat to this one to justfying paying full price or not, but I definitely intend to pick this one up once the price drops a bit.

Arthain:
I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

And Drakengard itself is the sequel to Drakengard 3's first ending. And Drakengard 2 is a different sequel that takes place in an alternate timeline where Drakengard 1's first ending happened and oh dear I've gone cross-eyed.

Hmm, genuinely surprised that Yahtzee didn't bring up that there's a fucking achievement for looking up 2-b's skirt.

I'm not even kidding with this shit..

Picked this game up on steam. I'm only a few hours in, and I've been taking my time walking around and doing side quests, but I'm enjoying it a lot already. The game has some network features where other player's dead bodies show up in your game. You can use them in a few ways.

I would highly recommend using a gamepad instead of keyboard though.

Also: for those who have the game, I find that the preset controller config C is the best one. fite me.

Arthain:
I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Playing them beforehand is not necessary at all but it definitely enhances the experience, there's a decent amount of references and callbacks. Not to mention that they're all very unique and entertaining games if you like Taro Yoko's style, despite the flawed gameplay (Nier is actually fairly decent gameplay wise but the Drakengard games are very rough and you have to be very forgiving).

Arthain:
Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

Drakengard's endings are "What if" scenarios and Nier picks up from the final "true" one. Nier basically only has two endings, which are determined by a choice in the very end, and as far as Automata is concerned the choice doesn't matter in the slightest. So it's all fairly straightforward.

Onliuge:
Hmm, genuinely surprised that Yahtzee didn't bring up that there's a fucking achievement for looking up 2-b's skirt.

I'm not even kidding with this shit..

Best part - at one point, 99% of the steam gamers had the achievement.

I wonder how many unlocked it 'accidentally' VS the people who saw it on the achievement walkthrough and went '(sighs) let's get this out of the way and never talk of it again'

(Side note: there's Gif out there where 2B will actually swat the camera away when you do look up, and there's also an achievement for making 9S walk around without trousers for an hour)

TNG for the characters and DS9 for the progressing worldbuilding and character arcs, thanks for asking.

Arthain:
I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

Automata is a sequel to pretty much any of Nier's endings apart from maybe Ending D(it's ambiguous), Nier is a sequel to Drakengard's Ending E (the weird one), Drakengard is a sequel to a combination of endings A-C of Drakengard 3 (no one of the endings actually lead to Drakengard, it makes more sense in context but is still loopy). Drakengard 2 is the sequel to Drakengard ending A, but D2 wasn't directed by Taro Yoko so it's shit and nobody talks about it.

Arthain:
I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

If you like endings, this game here technically has like.... 26 endings. Although only 5 or 6 of them are actual plot endings and the rest are joke endings you can get in various middle parts of the game. Make sure to save before doing any of them, since they will end your game still. The game was really explicit about telling me it doesn't auto-save.

I played it for a couple of hours, but I can't say anything about it is particularly hooking me. It has a certain charm, but not enough to have me munch through all the stale combat and environments.

I've heard it said that you need to dig through the game to get to the good stuff, but I'm at an age now where I have zero tolerance for games (or movies etc) that require me to put in more effort than that the title is providing me with engagement/fun.

I've heard the names Nier and Yoko Taro and didn't get interested, I heard the name Platinum games and this thing suddenly jumped high on the priority list along with Zelda and Persona.

crimson5pheonix:

Arthain:
I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

Automata is a sequel to pretty much any of Nier's endings apart from maybe Ending D(it's ambiguous), Nier is a sequel to Drakengard's Ending E (the weird one), Drakengard is a sequel to a combination of endings A-C of Drakengard 3 (no one of the endings actually lead to Drakengard, it makes more sense in context but is still loopy). Drakengard 2 is the sequel to Drakengard ending A, but D2 wasn't directed by Taro Yoko so it's shit and nobody talks about it.

Ow. My brain. And people say the Metal Gear and Legend of Zelda timelines are convoluted. You know what would be a great retro-review episode? Drakengard. It would be worth it just to hear Yahtzee go completely mad.

Darth_Payn:

crimson5pheonix:

Arthain:
I heard a lot of good things about Nier: Automata, but I'm one of those weird individuals that can't jump into a game without first playing the prequels. Even if Nier: Automata is largely disconnected from Nier and Drakengard, the fact that I know I'll be missing hidden meanings by not playing those two first would drive me bonkers.

Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

Automata is a sequel to pretty much any of Nier's endings apart from maybe Ending D(it's ambiguous), Nier is a sequel to Drakengard's Ending E (the weird one), Drakengard is a sequel to a combination of endings A-C of Drakengard 3 (no one of the endings actually lead to Drakengard, it makes more sense in context but is still loopy). Drakengard 2 is the sequel to Drakengard ending A, but D2 wasn't directed by Taro Yoko so it's shit and nobody talks about it.

Ow. My brain. And people say the Metal Gear and Legend of Zelda timelines are convoluted. You know what would be a great retro-review episode? Drakengard. It would be worth it just to hear Yahtzee go completely mad.

Well if you want rage, he could get to the final final boss. Then we can point out Yoko "improved it" in D3.

Can't wait until I have a little more free time and can snag this one. I'm a little disappointed Yahtzee spoiled the multiple endings thing. I didn't know that and it would have been a neat thing to discover.

Onliuge:
Hmm, genuinely surprised that Yahtzee didn't bring up that there's a fucking achievement for looking up 2-b's skirt.

I'm not even kidding with this shit..

In fairness he didn't mention the one in Lollipop Chainsaw either. I think he must lump it all under "Oh Japan!" and gets on with it.

Ok, can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on with it being a sequel to Neir and whatever the fuck Drakenguard is supposed to be? I don't know a whole lot about Neir, but I do know that humanity somehow being able to get into space after the first game is utterly freaking impossible considering the state they were in, IE,

EDIT: Also I just read a quick plot summary of Drakenguard and I'd like to know where summoning magical creatures and a little girl that will blow up the world if she dies come into the equation.

erttheking:
Snip

1. Might want to use the actual spoiler tags, friendo.
2. Without revealing much, Nier Automata explains the connection between the it and the original Nier.

EDIT: Got rid of the exact quote so I could hide the spoilers a bit better.

zombiejoe:
Snip

To be honest I don't really consider anything over five years old something that needs a spoiler tag. And to be frank, there's not much point now, considering everyone can see it in your quote. But...ok.

Well...I suppose that's something.

Windknight:

Onliuge:
Hmm, genuinely surprised that Yahtzee didn't bring up that there's a fucking achievement for looking up 2-b's skirt.

I'm not even kidding with this shit..

Best part - at one point, 99% of the steam gamers had the achievement.

I wonder how many unlocked it 'accidentally' VS the people who saw it on the achievement walkthrough and went '(sighs) let's get this out of the way and never talk of it again'

(Side note: there's Gif out there where 2B will actually swat the camera away when you do look up, and there's also an achievement for making 9S walk around without trousers for an hour)

You know the best part of all this? That when you get to the third playthrough of the game, there's a shop that opens up, allowing you to basically pay in-game money to get any achievement in the game. So you don't really HAVE to do any of the achievements other than make enough money to buy them.

erttheking:

zombiejoe:
Snip

To be honest I don't really consider anything over five years old something that needs a spoiler tag. And to be frank, there's not much point now, considering everyone can see it in your quote. But...ok.

Well...I suppose that's something.

Thanks for bringing that up, I just edited out your quote to better hide it.

And considering that people new to the series might want to go to the original Nier before checking out Automata without spoiling anything for themselves, I think that in this particular situation keeping the spoiler tags would be nice for their sake.

2B or not 2B, nice reference there. Another option is 2B future Waifu lol.

The lead dev is a trippy guy and he made a trippy game all in generally good fun. I watched TB's run with it and like Jim seemed to generally enjoy it but they also came away with "Hmmm still uncertain why it is I enjoy it.."

I plan to hold off on this one for a while that is until that naughty additional drm is taken off of it. Steam is plenty of DRM as it is for me and seeing how my network connection can get pretty wonky causes me to have to wait unfortunately.

Thanks for the post Yahtzee, so many endings and they are still not Neirly enough to explain the whole plot line. *cough*

Party Tank!

So this game approaches its "multiple endings" roughly the same way that Sonic 2006 did, is the impression I'm getting? Where you have to "play through the game three times" as different characters but in practice it might as well just be one game that randomly rolls the credits at the one-third and two-thirds marks instead of just at the end?

erttheking:
Ok, can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on with it being a sequel to Neir and whatever the fuck Drakenguard is supposed to be? I don't know a whole lot about Neir, but I do know that humanity somehow being able to get into space after the first game is utterly freaking impossible considering the state they were in, IE,

EDIT: Also I just read a quick plot summary of Drakenguard and I'd like to know where summoning magical creatures and a little girl that will blow up the world if she dies come into the equation.

If you'd like to know the full plot, I can provide it, but it's long and convoluted. To your specific question:

crimson5pheonix:

Darth_Payn:

Automata is a sequel to pretty much any of Nier's endings apart from maybe Ending D(it's ambiguous), Nier is a sequel to Drakengard's Ending E (the weird one), Drakengard is a sequel to a combination of endings A-C of Drakengard 3 (no one of the endings actually lead to Drakengard, it makes more sense in context but is still loopy). Drakengard 2 is the sequel to Drakengard ending A, but D2 wasn't directed by Taro Yoko so it's shit and nobody talks about it.

Ow. My brain. And people say the Metal Gear and Legend of Zelda timelines are convoluted. You know what would be a great retro-review episode? Drakengard. It would be worth it just to hear Yahtzee go completely mad.

It's actually much weirder and more convoluted than any other game's timeline, even Kingdom Hearts. This is due, primarily, to the fact that it goes well outside the realm of games to tell its stories. Short stories, drama CDs, and even stage plays all factor in to the Nier storyline. Seriously, stage plays. Automata is actually canonically the sequel to "YoRHa: Glory to Mankind", a stage play written and directed by Yoko Taro, which itself is the canonical sequel to Nier's ending D.

Aeshi:
And Drakengard itself is the sequel to Drakengard 3's first ending. And Drakengard 2 is a different sequel that takes place in an alternate timeline where Drakengard 1's first ending happened and oh dear I've gone cross-eyed.

So they went with the Zelda-style School of Continuity?

I liked Drakengard, and I liked Nier, so... I dunno. This game sounds weird, but awesome. I love shitty Japanese games, though, so I may be a bit biased. However, I will say that I don't like being forced to finish a game multiple times in order to get some kind of extra story out of it. I don't mind a "true ending" of sorts being locked behind a cavalcade of being at the right place at the right time, like Dark Souls III's Usurpation of Fire ending, but I'm not a fan of having to go back through a game several times because I rarely play through a game more than twice.

Sheo_Dagana:

Aeshi:
And Drakengard itself is the sequel to Drakengard 3's first ending. And Drakengard 2 is a different sequel that takes place in an alternate timeline where Drakengard 1's first ending happened and oh dear I've gone cross-eyed.

So they went with the Zelda-style School of Continuity?

I liked Drakengard, and I liked Nier, so... I dunno. This game sounds weird, but awesome. I love shitty Japanese games, though, so I may be a bit biased. However, I will say that I don't like being forced to finish a game multiple times in order to get some kind of extra story out of it. I don't mind a "true ending" of sorts being locked behind a cavalcade of being at the right place at the right time, like Dark Souls III's Usurpation of Fire ending, but I'm not a fan of having to go back through a game several times because I rarely play through a game more than twice.

It only feels like the same game twice on a couple occasions. There is enough variety in the approaches to certain situations (the game cleverly peppers new content inside of what might feel like retrod ground) and new side quests only available to certain playable characters that it barely feels like doing the same thing twice. Plus, each playthrough is only about 15-20 hours, shorter if you don't worry about all the side quests.

Arthain:
Although... when it comes to sequels wasn't Nier the sequel to Drakengard's 4th ending while Nier: Automata the sequel to Nier's 5th ending or some convoluted BS like that?

I don't know which of NIER's endings Automata is a sequel to, but if it is the fifth, want to know what's really fun about that? NIER the game only has four endings; the "fifth" ending is from a Japan-only book.

Jburton9:

The lead dev is a trippy guy and he made a trippy game all in generally good fun. I watched TB's run with it and like Jim seemed to generally enjoy it but they also came away with "Hmmm still uncertain why it is I enjoy it.."

It kinda feels like he designed it to be that way, especially after I found this .gif of some interview with him.

The_State:

Sheo_Dagana:

Aeshi:
And Drakengard itself is the sequel to Drakengard 3's first ending. And Drakengard 2 is a different sequel that takes place in an alternate timeline where Drakengard 1's first ending happened and oh dear I've gone cross-eyed.

So they went with the Zelda-style School of Continuity?

I liked Drakengard, and I liked Nier, so... I dunno. This game sounds weird, but awesome. I love shitty Japanese games, though, so I may be a bit biased. However, I will say that I don't like being forced to finish a game multiple times in order to get some kind of extra story out of it. I don't mind a "true ending" of sorts being locked behind a cavalcade of being at the right place at the right time, like Dark Souls III's Usurpation of Fire ending, but I'm not a fan of having to go back through a game several times because I rarely play through a game more than twice.

It only feels like the same game twice on a couple occasions. There is enough variety in the approaches to certain situations (the game cleverly peppers new content inside of what might feel like retrod ground) and new side quests only available to certain playable characters that it barely feels like doing the same thing twice. Plus, each playthrough is only about 15-20 hours, shorter if you don't worry about all the side quests.

Hmm, perhaps I'll leave it in my GameFly queue, then. Sounds like something I could get through in a few weeks.

So 9S is a hacker in the same way the protagonist of Watch Dogs is a hacker.

"...was a lot less clever than it thought it was. Despite its lofty philisophical ambitions, the plot wasn't making any kind of actual point. It just dropped a lot of existential thematic elements on the garage floor..."

-see: Just about any edgy Japanese anime, game, or [probably] pop novel. (Evangelion, Elfen Lied, Ergo Proxy, Persona 3, etc.)

This is such a cliche for me at this point it's really annoying.

I finished all of the main endings of the game. If you think this game just drops philosophical inquiries on you and doesn't try to answer them in any capacity then I think you're just not playing the same game. Or you didn't play to the end. Which is entirely fair considering the point that the combat can undoubtedly become repetitive.

Something something Japanese games suck (as per Escapist tradition).

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