NieR Replicant ver.122474487139: a testament to the greatness of games

Is there a right way to evaluate NieR Replicant ver.122474487139? How do you analyze such an authorial work? Is the best route to dissect your mechanics with as much objectivity as possible? Compare it to other modern RPG and action games? Who knows how to focus on the graphic improvements of the remake? Is it wiser to punish any technical stumbling blocks or to praise your unique history? How to be fair with such a creation?

There are so many paths, interpretations and different possible conclusions for this work that a traditional review would probably not do the job, and precisely for that reason, if you already have a minimum interest in the franchise, I recommend you stop reading immediately and go to play to get the answers. their own conclusions. But if you want to know more about the pros and cons of the game and delve into its systems, history and legacy, check out our full review below!

Nier’s legacy [A]utomata

The chronology of Yoko Taro’s work is so rich that it would need a separate text to be unraveled, but the least you need to know before playing the remake is that the original versions of Nier were launched in 2010 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. “Versions” in the plural, since the West and Japan won different editions of the game called Gestalt and Replicant.

Replicant, the Japanese version, was the one that served as the basis for this new remake that we are analyzing, and shows the journey of a young hero named Nier (or whatever name you want to give him) to save his little sister Yonah, victim of a mysterious disease apparently incurable. To help the project have more appeal here, the Americas version replaced him with a much older adventurer, a crown in the best Geralt style of Rivia, and Yonah was reimagined as his daughter.

The older version of the hero was the avatar of the series in the westThe older version of the hero was the avatar of the series in the westSource: Nier Fandom

Owner of a unique rhythm and constantly flirting with different genres throughout his campaign with multiple endings, the Cavia studio project has divided the criticism a little, but it has become a work worshiped by few (but loyal) fans around the world . Best luck had Nier Automata, its sequel launched in 2017 that managed to sell more than 5 million copies and competed for several Game of the Year awards!

Between 2010 and today, a lot has changed in the video game market, and the very positive result obtained with Automata helped Square Enix to realize that it was no longer necessary to “westernize” the design of their games to achieve success. Thus, NieR Replicant ver.122474487139 arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with all the idiosyncrasies and peculiarities of its creators, plus a lot of news for fans of old date!

One [B]om starting point

Newbies can rest easy, as you don’t have to have played any other Yoko Taro games to enjoy this new experience, although it will obviously be enriched if you have the opportunity to do so. But if this is your first time, Nier Replicant ver.122474487139 it is as good a gateway as any.

Even first-timers will be able to understand its complex narrative web and tormented characters if they pay the right amount of attention over the nearly 15 hours of the main campaign, which can reach 40 hours if you invest in making all the finals. In fact, to continue playing after the “final” credits is highly recommended in the franchise, since only then will you have access to the full narrative.

Nier was born from one of the Drakengard finals, already signaling the importance of seeing all the finals of the gamesNier was born from one of the Drakengard finals, already signaling the importance of seeing all the finals of the gamesSource: Drakengard fandom

What you may not know yet, since the game does not explicitly address this topic, is that Nier is a series derived from Drakengard (2003), Yoko Taro’s debut game in the director’s chair. It, in turn, is preceded by the events of Drakengard 3 (2013), where we met Zero, the protagonist who is part of a group capable of controlling magic through music.

End and re[C]riation

In Drakengard 3Zero discovers that a flower capable of destroying humanity is the source of her powers, so she sets out on a journey to kill all the other intoners (name given to people like her). At the end of the game, she appears to be successful in the mission, but one of the intoners manages to pass the powers on through the generations. His heirs were then renamed the The Watchers cult.

In the first Drakengard, the new hero Cain must defeat the Watchers to prevent the group from obtaining the seeds of destruction, as they can create a portal and summon an apocalyptic creature from another dimension. We already have multiple endings here, and in one of them, Cain crosses the portal and ends up in Japan in 2003, where he ends up being killed. This spreads its magic across the Earth, generating a deadly disease for the other survivors and annihilating much of humanity in the process.

Again, you don’t need to know any of this to start playing NieR Replicant, but it’s good to be aware that its origin goes back to this story, which is just one of Drakengard’s alternate endings. All of this is almost like a big troll by Yoko Taro, who took this hook and used it as a call to adventure for the hero of NieR Replicant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OPW-RdzStA

After all, young Yonah suffers from exactly this disease seen at the end of Drakengard, which already serves to show how important it is, in all games of the director, to focus on the different endings in order to have a glimpse of the general narrative. That is, if you are going to play NieR Replicant ver.122474487139, do not settle for just taking a route and leaving history in half, or you will lose one of its main attractions!

Even this universe and its events also have consequences for Nier Automata, which goes on thousands of years in the future. So start playing the franchise wherever you want but, regardless of your starting point, try to dive deep into the narrative to enjoy the journey to the fullest!

Generations not so [D]istantes

The franchise Nier it is full of oddities both in its text and in its mechanics, but the production company Square Enix itself also ended up making a bizarre decision. More than six months ago we had the launch of the new generation of consoles with the arrival of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S to the market, but the developer Toylogic ended up working only on versions for the old consoles.

With that, there is only a generation of difference between the original game and its newly released remake, which naturally limits how much things could be improved in terms of hardware and performance. Make no mistake, the frame rate per second manages to remain stable most of the time in this rereading – at least when your screen is not crowded with enemies – and the character models and scenarios are considerably more beautiful too!

The beautiful Kainé, for example, was even more captivating in her reinterpretation in ver.122474487139, and our hero Nier also gained features more suited to his original vision, looking even more like a young man straight out of a book of fairy tales, But, despite the excellent art direction, and speaking only in technical terms, the presentation The overall game is well below what we see in the most modern titles, including crossgen projects.

The new version of Kaine is a much better sculpted and detailed character model, but the rest of the look hasn't been improved that much.The new version of Kaine is a much better sculpted and detailed character model, but the rest of the look hasn’t been improved that much.Source: Square Enix

Probably the idea here was to capitalize on the largest installed base of the old machines, but as we are talking about a remake of a game not so old, it is difficult to stop imagining how it would look with even more polished textures in its various scenarios in the systems more powerful. In fact, this is not the only negative point of revisiting a 2010 title …

Some id[E]dated days

Although the look of the game has been modernized as far as possible, it is good to keep in mind that practically all of its mechanics still refer directly to a game straight out of 2010, with all the good and bad that this can bring with it.

Undoubtedly, the first hours of the campaign are the ones that most highlight the negative points of the game, since the beginning of the story is full of missions that consist of traveling between one and another area very close, facing moderate but terribly frequent loadings, each time. screen transition. You will probably get sick of reading Yonah’s diaries and seeing the small loading animations in the corner of the screen in the first hour of gameplay.

After a brief and interesting prologue, a time jump takes us to the main plot and a very linear and long “tutorial”, putting our hero at the service of the wisest woman in town, Popola, on missions ranging from slaughtering sheep to harvest your meat until you visit the local market to pick up specific items. Unfortunately, none of these tasks is particularly exciting.

Navigation [F]rustrante

If the map of Nier Automata was one of his most criticized points, in Nier Replicant the problem is even more severe. Occasionally some missions are marked accurately and clearly point out where the player should go, but other times the information is confusing and you may end up wandering around until you run into the solution at random, so you need to be a little patient during the matches.

Perhaps the problem of loadings would be mitigated with the SSD speed of the new consoles, but even that would not solve the confusing design of the first few hours of the campaign. Players coming directly from Nier Automata will suffer even more with this design focused on a deliberately slow start, as the futuristic saga of androids is already starting at 500 km / h, while the fantasy world of Nier Replicant it is presented in a very bucolic village.

At first sight, Nier Replicant it is a JRPG like so many others of its time. Right in the center of the village you will find the house of the protagonist and his sick little sister, and a little further south is the local trade, with several shops selling everything from healing items and ingredients to new equipment and improvements to your inventory.

Popola is primarily responsible for sending our hero on missions throughout the gamePopola is primarily responsible for sending our hero on missions throughout the gameSource: Square Enix

Both in the shopping center and in its surroundings, it is possible to see and interact with NPCs more than willing to make small talk and ramble about the joys and afflictions of their routine, which always happens between the main gates that protect the city from the dangers of the outside.

Further north is the large local library, where you will often meet with the helpful Popola, the know-it-all who always has a request or mission to pass. His twin sister Devola seems more concerned with playing his lute in the central square or inside the stores whenever possible, which ends up bringing more joy to the player, given that it is wonderful how his voice mixes with the incidental soundtrack. organically when you pass close enough to it.

Wonders of metalin[G]uage

The more missions you perform for Popola, the more the map of Nier Replicant it opens gradually, with the different gates revealing new locations, challenges and game proposals, which ends up working very well as a reward after the slow initial hours.

It’s as if the game’s designers, using Popola as their avatar, were “loosening their leash” slowly, slowly allowing you to discover a little more about the world with each mission accomplished. Thus, both the protagonist and the player gradually dive deeper into the world of the game together in a very self-conscious way.

This is a good metalinguistic trick of Nier Replicant, a balcony that will be repeated several times in the following hours, only with much more depth and in an infinitely instigating way. It is then that the fun and magic begin for real, but soon we will get into this subject here in the review.

Nier Replicant's gameplay has a lot of action, but it's not as constantly frantic as Nier Automata'sNier Replicant’s gameplay has a lot of action, but it’s not as constantly frantic as Nier Automata’sSource: Square Enix

Before, it is better to talk a little about the controls. After all, when you are not in the city dealing with your tasks, you start to explore the large open fields that connect the world to new closed areas, dungeons or cities, and in this way it is already possible to get a taste of the fighting.

[H]first-rate ack and slash

The basis of the controls is a hack and slash very similar to what you may have seen in Nier Automata, with a mix of hand-to-hand combat, light projectile mechanics and his occasional bullet hell flavor in the best style Ikaruga. In the remake, a cross hair has been added for better camera control, and that helps a lot!

In one of your first adventures beyond the initial area, you will find and will be accompanied by Grimoire Weiss, whose operation is very similar to the Pod seen in the next game. It is always flying around the hero and serves mainly to fire shots and long-range spells, but it also has some functions that can be accessed in the pause menu.

When opening the library you can customize your weapons and equip them with different “words”. They, in turn, are obtained by defeating enemies in combat and serve to guarantee some passive buffs, such as increasing the percentage of damage caused by physical and magical attacks. If you are too lazy to tamper with this system (which, in fact, is not that deep), it is always possible to optimize the use of words instantly with a simple push of a button.

Sometimes the screen is filled with bullets like a genuine bullet hellSometimes the screen is filled with bullets like a genuine bullet hellSource: Square Enix

Comparisons with Nier Automata are not so necessary because it is the most popular game in the series so far, but because the camera, angles and movement of the characters were all intentionally reworked in order to create a more familiar and similar experience to their successor, which ends up being one of the most interesting elements of this remake, as it helps to give greater cohesion to the franchise as a whole.

Flu genre[I]of

If you like works whose story could only be developed in the form of a video game, and no other media, you’ve come to the right place! One of the coolest things about the franchise Nier it is how she manages to fuse and mix different genres in order to move her narrative.

Of course, this requires a broad mastery of the nature of gameplay and the truly unique audiovisual language that this medium allows, so thankfully this is one of the greatest talents of creative director Yoko Taro! In fact, if you don’t want to spoil some of the best surprises in the game, recommend skipping directly to the subtitle [L] of this text in order to escape the spoilers.

Consider yourself warned! So, having said that and trying hard not to spoil your surprise, it’s amazing how Nier Replicant ver.122474487139 he manages to do things unlike any other game in ways that, at first glance, seem totally crazy and unusual, but that soon fit together and reveal his greatest purpose.

[J]ornate inter-media

One of the most memorable moments happens just before halfway through the first route of the game, when you receive a mysterious card from the unexplored area of ​​Forest of Myth. His mayor can’t even write a cohesive message and ends up talking a lot about “dreams, dreams and dreams”, which requires an investigation to see if everything is fine with him.

There are many different locations to explore, and they all hide emotions and breathtaking stories.There are many different locations to explore, and they all hide emotions and breathtaking stories.Source: Square Enix

Arriving in the area, it is soon noticed that the locals are all stuck in a kind of trance, and slowly the mechanics of the game begin to reflect this. If all dialogues until then were dubbed, suddenly his words are transformed into silence. In the bottom text bar, an omniscient narrator begins to describe the reactions of the characters of Nier as if we were reading a book!

When you realize it, suddenly a few minutes have passed in the real world and your game screen has turned into an interactive novel where the little you can do is seldom choose between one or another text option to answer questions or point a way to the characters. It’s something deliciously ingenious and it happens in a very fluid way!

There are several other parts of the game in which it organically changes its identity and gender: when exploring a large mysterious mansion, we ended up looking for keys to open doors on a map very similar to resident Evil. Further on, while exploring an underground laboratory, the game embraces an isometric perspective and the adventure almost becomes a dungeon crawler at the school. Diablo.

Go[L]making games as art

There are also segments with puzzles right on the line The Legend of Zelda (which gets to be mentioned explicitly in a fun and visual little joke), other parts where their controls are deliberately limited to help strengthen a message about the importance of the rules, but what all these segments have in common is something quite deeper:

The whole history of Nier Replicant it is formed by segments that could only become reality in video games, and in absolutely no other media. This, by itself, already makes the game excellent and something that deserves to be experienced by all those interested in studying and admiring the evolution of language in this medium.

There is always something unpredictable waiting for your next adventureThere is always something unpredictable waiting for your next adventureSource: Square Enix

If nowadays the market already seems saturated by games with almost Hollywood pretensions, owners of a very passive gameplay and linear narratives full of cinema clichés (which usually falls into the favor of the western media and even receives awards for the game of the year) , Nier Replicant ver.122474487139 goes against these trends and reminds us that nothing is more important or special than gameplay.

After all, what makes video games a medium full of potential is precisely the active engagement of players with their mechanics. And when you can use that to provoke, instigate thought, motivate different interpretations and even reflect on the evolution of the way of telling a story through the push of buttons, it is a sign that you have managed to create a truly special work!

[M]listening to my ears

For more hits and attractions than the franchise Nier ostentatious, few elements reach a consensus as remarkable of acclaim as the masterful soundtrack composed by Keeichi Okabe, also responsible for great works in the franchises Tekken and Ridge Racer, in addition to dozens of other games throughout his enviable resume.

As it could not be otherwise, the ver.122474487139 rescues all the incredible musical themes present in the original game, but the composer and his MONACA team re-recorded a lot of material, including expanded tracks and unpublished material. As if we still needed more reasons to cry when hearing beautiful songs like Ashes of Dreams

If possible, play in japan[N]ês

The sound care went far beyond the songs, and the characters’ lines were also re-recorded in greater sound quality, since the 2010 game was not exactly exquisite in this department, especially when we remember its English version.

The bad news for those who stay away from the original language – which is not recommended in any way – is that neither the presence of renowned voice actors such as the award-winning actress Laura Bailey prevent their performance from erring in tone and delivering speeches without the impact wanted.

I really like her work in other titles, even in games with a more otaku feel, like her great interpretation of Catherine in the eponymous game, but even her old work from 2010, when she voiced Kainé for the first time, seemed to understand better the character’s visceral emotions. A feather.

If possible, change the language in the options menu to enjoy the audio in the original in Japanese, as their Japanese voices are absolutely incredible and help to give much more excitement to the world of Nier.

It is also very nice to note that a lot of dialogues that previously only existed as text have been dubbed! Virtually every line in the game now has voices, which is yet another substantial improvement over the old game.

What Grim[O]cute river!

Would you say no to that book ?!

so you want [P]roblematize?

It wasn’t just video games that changed since 2010. Society as a whole keeps updating its values ​​and moral codes, and the world more globalized than ever helps different voices and opinions to gain traction through networks. Regardless of whether you think it is positive or negative, it is a fact that all works of art are more open than ever to public scrutiny.

Over the past decade, one of the most discussed and problematized subjects in video games, at least here in the West, has been women’s empowerment and the exacerbated sexualization of their characters, in addition to demanding more dignified representation for minorities. And this can be a thorny issue in the world of Nier

But [Q]what’s the problem?

It is pertinent to emphasize that, if this is a sensitive issue for you, it might be a better idea to stay away from Yoko Taro games, since the author has no qualms about giving life to his waifus. On the contrary, he actively invests the team’s time and money in order to model female bodies in the most attractive way possible.

So if you are part of the chain that is deeply bothered by this, it might be better not to even start playing. Between fair demands and crazy demands, both conservative and progressive sectors often reject nudity in video games, and the director is not at all willing to bow to the demands of these groups.

If those clothes already offend you in the art, you better not even touch the gameIf those clothes already offend you in the art, you better not even touch the gameSource: Square Enix

In a slight spoiler of the canon, Kainé herself, in addition to spending the entire adventure half-naked, is intersexual, and one of the achievements of the game revolves around manipulating the camera in order to check her intimate parts. Again, there is an alert for readers who may consider this a joke of dubious taste.

Routes, routes, [R]otes and more routes

Although the history of Nier Replicant if it unfolds in a relatively linear manner, as I explained earlier, there are several different endings to discover, and not only is the path to them instigating, but it is possible to be distracted by some parallel missions along the way.

Some of them are essential to unlock everything the game has to offer, while others are just there to distract and amuse you. There are hunting missions that, in return, allow the hero to ride the wild boars of the map, and even the absolute classic of the JRPGs, the ever essential fishing minigame.

Fulfilling NPC requests can also end up releasing, in addition to money, new exclusive weapons, which ends up directly impacting the finals system, since one of the routes is only released if you manage to collect all 33 weapons in the game! Don’t be ashamed to appeal to Google and collectible guides, as some of them are very well hidden.

In[S]folding and full systems integration

Weapon collection is just one of the clearest examples of how everything you do or fail to do ends up reflecting on whether or not to get an extra ending. Revisiting the game after finishing it for the first time allows you to contemplate the story from new perspectives and gain a lot, a lot of new information about the characters, who gain a lot of extra screen time.

It is advisable to search for an external guide after finishing Route A to see the rest of the plotIt is advisable to search for an external guide after finishing Route A to see the rest of the plotSource: Square Enix

A good tip here is to take advantage of the three recording slots in order to create convenient payback points, especially when you need to make some choices in the forked narrative. But the coolest thing here, which veteran fans should certainly see with their own eyes, was the addition of a new boss battle and an exclusive remake area that was naturally integrated into the final stretch of Route A, in addition to an extra ending totally unprecedented!

And it is not just a troll or easter egg, but the inclusion of hours of unpublished material with serious implications that will make any enthusiast of the work thrill. The surprising ending [E]it can even be a much bigger motivator to revisit the whole game than the various improvements and changes I mentioned throughout the text!

Yoko [T]hoop, thank you!

So far, there have been just over 4,500 words of text just debating the game, but I am aware that even they don’t even come close to scratching the surface of this beautiful piece of art. Or maybe I’m thinking too much?

Yoko Taro is as famous for his trolls as for his geniusYoko Taro is as famous for his trolls as for his geniusSource: The Guardian

After all, Yoko Taro himself has already said that ver.122474487139 it’s just a random sequence of numbers, and that he didn’t want to call his game Remake just to keep from doing ugly when compared to Square Enix’s work on Final Fantasy VII. So it’s quite possible that I was made a fool of myself while writing this review. Hmm…

One [U]last message …

Video games are not just a combination of mechanics and artistic elements. There are many games that have superb technicalities, wonderful arts and music, or even fun gameplay in the extreme, but do not have a lasting effect on those who consume them. And there are flawed products that go well beyond their limitations.

It takes a unique talent to connect all these elements and bring them into harmony in order to tell a narrative that could only exist in this media so incredible that are electronic games. Yoko Taro and his talented team understand what makes playing something special, and masterfully took advantage of the tools at their disposal to create a game where their worldview, baggage, values ​​and messages could reach the maximum number of people.

[V]eredite

NieR Replicant ver.122474487139 it may not even be technically perfect, but does it really need to be? His sublime connection with the player certainly transcends this debate and, for those who are lucky enough to be able to immerse themselves in such a rich universe, there is only gratitude for having lived an unforgettable saga and a wide smile like that of the mask always worn by its director.

Voxel score: 100

Nier Replicant is a work of art and a testament to the power of video games as interactive media

Strengths

  • Narrative that takes advantage of gameplay to tell a unique story that is only possible through video games
  • Memorable characters
  • Creative and provocative to the extreme
  • Superb soundtrack
  • Unlike anything you’ve ever seen
  • Lots of content to discover
  • Extremely authorial
  • It’s a “love it or hate it” game

Negative points

  • No localization in Portuguese
  • Many loadings
  • It’s a “love it or hate it” game

NieR Replicant ver.122474487139 was kindly provided by Square Enix to carry out this analysis.

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