Flip, you guys! I really need to go to bed soon so I'm going to try to keep these -isms short...
I picked up Nier this week! After hearing constant praise about its soundtrack, even though the rest of the game was apparently just OK, I decided I needed to check it out, if only for the soundtrack and aesthetic. I beat the game last night, and I enjoyed it so much! Obviously the music was lovely, but the characters are what made this game truly stand out to me. Emil, Kaine, Weiss, the father, Yonah... I loved all of them (but especially Emil... he was awesome, and kinda reminded me of Vivi). I also kind of loved the father's design. I'll admit, he is ugly. The first thing that came to mind when I saw him was Gary Busey. But I kind of liked that. It was a nice change of pace from your typical handsome man protagonist, and it helped that he was a really great, well-written character.
I also really liked the combat. Magic felt really fun and natural to use, and there were plenty of spells to choose from, so you could pick your favorites. And I even loved the graphics and level design, which seemed to be a major complaint from many reviewers. The maps reminded me a lot of Shadow of the Colossus. Sure, they were rather bleak, but they were still beautiful. I liked the tranquility and simpleness of the landscapes.
My only complaint would be the quests, many of which only seemed to be there to pad out the game (in particular, the fetch quests). There were some good quests, like with the Lighthouse Lady and Emil's butler, but most of them weren't very interesting. Otherwise, I was thoroughly impressed with the game. It has definitely earned a spot among my favorite titles. It kind of reminds me of my feelings toward games like El Shaddai or Enslaved; sure, it may not try anything revolutionary in the gameplay department, but it more than makes up for that with style and charm. And the style and charm is exactly why I love the game so goddamn much!