The exquisite pain of Nioh (Part 2)

So…those post-game missions. They’re absolutely fucking ridiculous and involve sadistically putting you up against multiple bosses at once. Extremely difficult and rage-inducing. I couldn’t get very far into these, and I had to come back way later after doing all the expansions and becoming even more powerful.

Beyond that, assuming you have the complete edition, there are three expansions, allegedly clocking in at around 10 more hours each, so there’s still quite a bit to do here, even after how many damn missions and sub-missions I’ve already struggled through for so long. I’m not even going to bother with all the Twilight missions or Abyss mode, because you already re-visit every main mission level 1-2 more times in all the normal side missions, I don’t feel the need to do so even more times just to get some rare crafting material for making NG+5 weapons or some crap.

Nothing says stealth like orange.

But yes, the expansions. They were pretty fun. They offered a nice amount of new content, much of which was actually new and offered up some pretty inventive new levels and bosses without resorting to just recycling pre-existing enemies and places like a lot of DLC seems to do these days (except for a few side missions in the 3rd one that were just straight up repeats from the main campaign).

There’s a lot more frustrating fun to be had here and the addition of Divine weapons helps spice things up a bit too. Divine weapons are the new level of weapons that are above even the rare purples. The trick with them is that gear doesn’t go above level 150, so you have to combine Divines to create a 150+1, then combine 2 150+1’s to make a 150+2, and so on if you want to get better gear. This starts getting insanely expensive very quickly, even though Divine items start dropping like pinata candy throughout the expansions. I managed to get all my gear up to +7 or +8 by the end, which still wasn’t that impressive considering my character was something like level 187. Oh well.

You know what else I really realized about this game during these expansions? I don’t think I’ve played a game in quite some time where I’ve cared less about the story and characters. Seems like there’s a fanbase out there that loves all these Japanese historical references, but they’re all lost on me and I don’t see how it would be any better even if I understood all the references because the plot and characters are all so incredibly dry and empty. I just never gave a single shit about anyone in this game. I even finally just started skipping the cutscenes altogether in the expansions because they just drag on and on and on, yet never really go anywhere. That’s Team Ninja for you though, I guess. Great at gameplay, absolutely awful at making anything resembling a good story. I suppose it’s impressive in a way, that the gameplay in Nioh is so good that it’s still enjoyable for so long even though the story propping it all up is just an afterthought.

At least I got a cool Ice-sickle though

Anyway, I made my way through all three expansions, all of which were even more challenging than the stuff I had been facing in the main campaign. The final level of the final expansion was particularly nasty, stretching on for what seemed like forever and featuring multiple tricky bosses and some annoying new monster-generating crystal things. The final, final boss was a pretty great battle. I wish I had some screenshots of all the crazy looking boss fights in this game, but I literally would have died if I’d hesitated for even the 1-2 seconds it takes to take a pic.

Like I said before, I was able to successfully go back and beat those post-game main campaign missions after all this, once I had gained 30+ more levels and had my full Divine gear, but unfortunately there are a pair of even nastier side missions lingering in the end of the final expansion that ended up finally making me give up.

This doesn’t look right at all

There’s a vicious 100 enemy arena battle mission and another one that puts you up against something like 6 very high level bosses in a row, and while I hate to leave things slightly unfinished like this, I just reached my tolerance limit for this game and decided to walk away. I’m sure that if I put in more hours of time and practice I’d be able to beat them, but why subject myself to that? I don’t want to waste another day or more just on 1-2 little side quests that don’t give me any reward I need anymore anyway. It’s just not fun anymore and I’ve had more than enough of this game at this point.

There doesn’t seem to be a timer in the game, but I must have dropped a good 100+ hours into it in the end. That’s more than enough (and a bit more than I was expecting when I started). It’s certainly a worthy competitor to Dark Souls, and one that doesn’t just feel like a simple clone. Now that it’s all over I feel kind of like I did when I finished the first Dark Souls too, as in “Boy, that was fun in a weird masochistic way! Oh, there’s a Nioh 2 coming now? Urghhhh, I’m going to need about 4 years to recuperate before I can play another one of these though.”

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