nioh was the story of william, a western warriorwho’s quest to recover his guardian spirit from an evil sorcerer led him to the shoresof japan. however on arrival to this war torn country,with its battlefields still fresh with the smell of blood, william found himself caughtup in the struggle for power with none other than tokugawa ieaysu, the famous japaneseleader. basically it was a dark souls game set infeudal japan. it had the same ‘souls’ mechanic where ifyou died you dropped your xp, with one chance to recover it. it had the same giant bosses, the same highlevel of difficulty.
it even had that same dark, almost horrorfeel to it, with settings such as creepy cemeteries, old tombs and rainy, ninja filled ancienttemples. it was a world that was filled with war anddespair, where the barrier between life and death had become blurred. it drew a lot of its influences from traditionaljapanese mythology, with spirits, demonic oni and undead yokai wandering the lands,drawn towards the misery and death. even the combat stuck to the japanese theme,with an almost martial art feel to it. you could fight in three different stances;high stance, middle stance or low stance. high stance provided you with better attackbut was slow, middle was good for guarding
and low was good for moving and dodging. as you levelled up you’d learn new moves,which were often tied to a specific stance. so knowing which weapon and which stance touse on which enemy was all part of the game’s challenge. whenever you finished an attack, you’d letoff a little ki blast, which if would hit r1 at just the right time, would regain someof your stamina, adding another level of challenge to the combat. the best players wouldn’t just randomly mashbuttons, but would instead carefully remember to hit r1 after each attack, calmly and collectively.
just like in a real fight, where you haveto remember breath. now, i’ve heard a lot of people say that niohwas more difficult than dark souls, which i guess wasn’t really that surprising, consideringit was made by the team behind the extremely difficult ninja gaiden games. but personally, i didn’t actually find itthat bad. sure it was challenging, but very rarely didi hit that brick wall where you have to grind it out levelling up in order to progress. some bosses definitely took a few attempts,but once you worked out a good strategy or tactic you could definitely take them on.
and it was the kind of game that i don’t believeyou could cheat in. anything was fair game. any glitch or advantage you could abuse, wasfair enough. one boss i beat by just keeping a rock inbetween me and him and then just running round in circles, occasionally chipping away athis health, but as far as i’m concerned, you did whatever you could to win. one major difference between nioh and darksouls was that in dark souls the game took place in one big interconnected world, whereashere, you had a world map with a stage selection on it.
personally i preferred the dark souls method,because there was something exciting about going round the same area for hours and hours,only to eventually find a big door leading to somewhere new. then you had to ask yourself all the usualquestions like, is this the right way, am i meant to be here, is it going to be toodifficult in this new area? it captured that sense of exploration anddiscovery. but in nioh, it’s always kind obvious whereyour meant to be going and how difficult a level is because it clearly tells you on thestage select screen. what i did like though was that, without wantingto compare it to dark souls anymore, it also
had a bit of a borderlands or division feelto it, where you would pick up a ton of loot, all varying in rareness and each with theirown little stat changes like plus two percent poison resistance or plus six percent damagefrom behind. i found myself constantly switching out myitems, my armour and even my weapons as i was constantly finding something new thatwas better than what i already had. but when you did find something you reallyliked, it was possible to customise it however you liked. one area that i think the game got perfectwas the blacksmiths. you literally couldn’t ask for a better blacksmithin a game.
you could upgrade your lower level items,bysoul matching it with a higher level item. you could change the appearance of any pieceof armour or weapon, so say you got a really powerful piece of armour, but it looked likeshit, you could transform it to make it look like any other piece of armour that you’dalready found. so basically you could run around lookinglike you were in light armour, when really you had all the defensive stats of the heavystuff. i think this is important because there wasa hell of a lot of cool looking armour in this game. ancient japanese armour has something specialabout it, where every samurai used to personalise
and maintain their own set to make it unique. so it was important that the game let youdo the same. as a fan of both dark souls games, and offeudal japanese history, nioh was like a match made in heaven, with a rich, deep world toget lost in. i even got to fight alongside musashi in theaftermath of the battle of sekigahara. it was the kind of game where you’d get messagesfrom friends saying stuff like, "how’d you kill that harpy bitch- which weapon did youuse?" or- "aced the fucker. having a fire weapon made it piss easy."
oh, and of course- "i swear every side missionin this game is because someone lost their sword." next time, i’ll be delving back into the worldof the resident evil 7, with its second piece of dlc- banned footage volume two. so until then, thanks for watching!