What does the community think of Nioh?

Parry me senpai

Nioh is shaping up to be my first big purchase for 2017. Even though I didn’t play the first alpha demo, getting to try the last-chance demo shot me from no interest to pre-order in an instant. It was also interesting to me that I could never get into Dark Souls or Bloodborne, despite those getting endless recommendations from my peers. But that sort of statement is the kind that will draw out endless arguments and discussions.

So if you played the Nioh demos, what did you think of the game? Especially if you compare it to From Software’s practical monopoly on a design philosophy that feels like a genre I can only really describe as Souls-like. I dropped Dark Souls after hours, getting only to the cathedral, and stopped playing Bloodborne after getting to the first major set piece with the mob of goons gathered around the bonfire. I literally dropped them, feeling no motivation to continue playing or interest.

But the last-chance demo for Nioh got me fired up to play again and again, death after death. It could be the instant load times between deaths, the incredible evade speeds, or the robust options in combat (always unlock the parry). But for me, despite adapting a Souls-like design, the unmistakable mark of Team Ninja shines through and really has me chomping at the bit.

So what did the rest of the community think of Nioh?

Kerrik52 has his interest piqued:

“I like it a bit. The combat felt nice after getting used to it. I think you’d need to play around with the skills in the full game to have a proper opinion of it. The constant looting got me annoyed as you pick up so much useless crap, even from treasure chests.

The look of it is great, but the aesthetics of Japanese folklore are so bland to me, no idea why. I think I’m content with keeping character action separate from Souls, but I’ll keep my eyes on it.”

Micheal Giff would’ve liked more time with the demo:

“To be fair, I was only able to sit down with it once during the limited-time demo (what’s up with that?) but I didn’t care for it.

It’s interesting you brought up games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry those are games that I felt nailed the concept, easy to pick up but hard to master, nothing about Nioh felt easily approachable…. at least within the 90 minutes of play I squeezed out of the demo.”

ajaxendar is in the same boat as me:

“I really liked it, for the most part. Easier or harder than Souls games overall, seems like a typically dumb judgement to make from a small demo (as if that will stop anyone), but at its basic level it is faster and seems more responsive which certainly made it seem easier to get in to.

I still haven’t clicked with Souls 1 or Bloodborne but I think Nioh might actually help with that, given some similar principles are involved (position, dodge, block, don’t mash buttons unless you want to get hit, and you usually don’t want to get hit) while acting a little closer to a typical action game, using face buttons and having loot and such. Stances and ki-pulses are just plain cool, too, great ideas to help build a flow in combat.”

gajknight mentions the stance system:

“I like the stance system and how it changed your movement and combat moves. Gives each weapon a lot of depth.

The visuals are great too. Technically it’s fine but the art style looks grand. Not quite Dark Souls amazing visuals but still great.

I think it’s probably about as hard as the Souls games. Just takes time to get used to the stance system.”

Absolutfreak needs to see the final product:

“Overall, my experience with it was positive. I needed to unlearn a bit of what I know from Dark Souls/Bloodborne, but once I got the hang of it, I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed experimenting with the different stances.

However, a lot of my goodwill left once I encountered that samurai after the first boss. That fight really rubbed me the wrong way as a Souls player. When I die in a Souls game, I can tell you exactly what I did wrong and why I died.

This samurai fight felt cheap, and several times I had no idea how I died or what I did wrong. For example, he did a jumping downward slash, which I dodged and began my attack from the side. He then did a follow up attack as expected, which was another jumping slash in front of him, and it killed me. I wasn’t in front of him or anywhere near the sword that freed me from the mortal coil. The other big gripe was his ability to instantly face toward me and either block of attack while I was right in the middle of slashing his back to pieces.

I don’t like the idea that I might possibly have to grind extra in order to brute force my way past some questionable hit detection.

I’m still very interested in the final game, but I will wait for reviews first.”

Jiraiya has a wait and see attitude:

“I like the Souls and Devil May Cry-like elements in the combat, overall the gameplay seems to be well balanced (considering the demo).

Hit detection is somewhat problematic specially felt during the samurai fight, although this is only a demo and I expect this kind of thing to be fixed on the final build.

I expect a good game. Let’s wait and see!”

Keiichi Morisato digs the aesthetic:

“I am not interested in the aesthetics of Dark Souls, at all. I am far more interested in the Japanese setting, especially the era, because there are few games set in Japan, and fewer still set in the feudal era.”

Fakeplastictree has complex emotions:

“I love it and I hate. Fuck you Tachibana, I’ll get my revenge.”

Shinta holds Ninja Gaiden in high regard and expects the same for Nioh:

“Honestly, I hold it in the highest possible regards. Ninja Gaiden Black and Ninja Gaiden 2 are literally in my top five best games of all time, and I think this is going to go right up there alongside them. Team Ninja at their best are simply the best action game developers in the world. Platinum and DMC never came close to the peaks of Ninja Gaiden in my mind.

For those that don’t remember that far back, Ninja Gaiden got 10/10 at a lot of publications. I’m expecting nothing less for Nioh. Pre-release buzz couldn’t have been more positive, and I think it will be judged extremely, extremely favorably when it comes out.

To be honest, I don’t know if the game actually has many flaws at all, if any. It’s just such a polished, well designed game. I played each free demo more than I played the Uncharted series.”

So what did you guys think of Nioh? Do you think it can challenge From Software’s library of Souls and Souls-likes? And what about that question of difficulty?

Marcel Hoang
Local contributor responsible for duties such as engagement, power bombs, cblog promotions, community engagement, and memes. I like fighting games, you scrub.