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Xbox 360 Game Review



Format: Xbox 360
Square Enix
RRP: £39.99
5 021290 041059
Age Restrictions: 15+
Available 23 April 2010

Jump into the title role of the unyielding Nier as he begins his desperate quest to discover a cure for his daughter, Yonah, who is stricken with the deadly Black Scrawl disease. Armed with a powerful set of magical abilities as well as mighty swords and armor, Nier will do battle alongside a set of formidable allies against waves of dark enemies and giant bosses to discover the truth about the disease, his daughter and himself. Nothing is as it seems as players are kept guessing from beginning to end by elaborate plotlines and cliff-hangers that reveal a complex reality hidden behind the illusion...

Nier is a Japanese action RPG which is similar in style to games like Zelda as well as the online MMRPG Runescape.

The biggest issue I had with the game is that in order to stretch the game play the developers have you running all over the place to complete rather silly quests. So, you'll have to run to one end of the map to get an item, run back to the village and then head off again in the opposite direction. In the early stages these tasks are dull (simply going to the stores or collecting a certain amount of meat by killing animals in the fields. However, once the game gets going these missions become a little more complex.

This game slowly introduces elements so as not to confuse the novice RPG gamer. So tasks like fishing and gardening are not available to you from the start. This has good and bad points. On the positive it means that the game stays fresh and there is always something new to learn. However, on the negative... well, it does start to feel like one long tutorial after a while.

And, on the subject of fishing... I never really did get the hang of it. I tried it on the hard and easy gaming settings but neither made much difference. It was all luck really whether I managed to land my catch. Sometimes I'd do exactly what I was supposed to only to lose the fish - while other times I'd mess up a little and still manage to land what I'd hooked.

There are some interesting little touches. I really loved the fact that the sound is used to add an interesting element. For example, in the main village area the music plays in the background, but if you enter your house or the library it changes ever so slightly and if you approach Devola she starts to sing along to the music (as it is her playing it). And if you talk to her or move far enough away her voice stops or fades away.

Any fan of Japanese anime will recognise the vocal talents of some of the mainstay of the American dubs. This also helps to add another level to the game - as the vocal acting is way better than you usually get in this style of game.

While visually this game is interesting, and there is lots to do, I wish everything had been a little more focused. I hit a point where I could find no new quests and the ones I had were incredibly difficult to complete. I little more freedom to roam and open many more quests would have made this a much more interesting game.


Darren Rea

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