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Other GamePeople columnists have reviewed this from their perspective - huh?:
Soulful Gamer (PS3)
Perpetual Gamer (PS3)
Returning Gamer (PS3)
Intimate Gamer (PS3)
Dressup Gamer (PS3)
Microcosm Gamer (PS3)
on paper, Square Enix's recent offering, Nier, sounds like a fairly intriguing prospect. an epic-scale fantasy adventure that utilises standard 3rd person 3D, top-down RPG style 2D and side-scrolling platformer style 2D perspectives, depending on the specific scenario.
however, on paper, Bridge can sound like a relatively fun activity and Ponzi schemes can sound like quite lucrative propositions. paper, in other words, is a filthy liar.
even if the creative approach to shifting perspectives wasn't subject to a clunky, dizzy-making mechanic, and if, after a shift, the new camera angle didn't almost always infuriate by somehow managing to be one that obscures more than it reveals, and even if the flat, poorly crafted characters and thin, un-engaging plot were all somehow made right, and the terrible dialogue and uninspiring visuals given a decent spruce, frankly, even then, Nier would still be dull as dishwater.
it's basically like someone forcefully mated one of the worse Zelda games with any of the Final Fantasy games, but, when the progeny emerged, it became clear that the parents were actually estranged twins, and the baby was all sorts of wrong.
character wise, we play as an ugly man with an overly big sword. his friends are a floating skeleton and, as seem so often seems the case in Japanese games, a young woman wearing about as little as you can without being arrested. story wise, i think it's got something to do with the ugly man's daughter having a virus, but i gave up reading, listening and caring pretty quickly.
the main problem is, and i really fail to see how someone didn't notice this during development and testing, having (as you must) to continually interrupt what you're doing in the main game to return home to your home village to do people's shopping and complete other stupid, meaningless side-quests, becomes extremely annoying extremely quickly.
imagine the scene: after what seems like days of DVD watching, you've got to the bit where Frodo, Samwise and Gollum are at the foot of Mount Doom and are just about to ascend and destroy the ring, when Sam gets a text from Rosie, and they all decide to 'pop' back to Hobbiton to help her with some laundry.
auto-spleen-punchingly annoying, right? the sort of thing that might drive you to smash a well-liked paperweight, or punch a friend's cat. the kind of bu%£$^!t move that might make you believe that Peter Jackson was mocking you, taking the ?!**, right?
well that's what Nier is like. you spend approximately 80% of time walking backwards and forwards across the same terrain and doing the same things, over and over, for no apparent reason. any time you get to something that's remotely new or interesting, it's immediately time to go home again to answer someone's inquiry about potions, or some other tosh. it makes Infinity Blade seem like it's undergirded by a random scenario generator.
the walking is occasionally punctuated with fighting, but luckily for fans of boredom it's the sort of fighting that anyone who has ever played a video game before, ever, will find unbelievably easy. some of the bad things are huge and look really tough, but, don't worry, they're not. just press the same buttons as last time, and before you know it you'll be back to walking home.
despite apparently offering around thirty hours of 'play' all told, i hope you've already grasped the aspects of Nier that made my decision to limit my engagement to only a couple of hours (yes, that's right, i spent a couple of whole hours walking around this dross, for you, reader, for you). some reviewers have insisted that something like twenty hours in it actually gets fairly good, but that sounds suspiciously like Stockholm syndrome to me.
i would recommend Nier for insomniacs.
i would recommend Nier for insomniacs, but unfortunately it's a lot more expensive than sleeping pills (or though it probably won't be for long) and is, more pertinently than that, the sort of dull that makes you want to be violent rather than restful - although, of course, one can eventually lead to the other: REAGAN SMASH, REAGAN SMASH, REAGAN SLEEPY.
in summary, if you hate yourself and your life and/or take pleasure in extremely repetitive, mindblending tasks, then Nier is as close as you can get to ideal (nier perfect). if, however, you don't and that joke was enough to draw up a small amount of bile from your stomach, then i advise, neigh implore you to keep as far away from Nier as you can.
[if you'd like to see more of the weird and wonderful world of reallyquitetired then the door is always open at his semi-detached house/blog]
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: