Review: Nioh 2 Remastered
Earlier last year my Souls game adventure started, I have already finished several games and I am working on a few. Two of those games are in the Nioh Remastered Collection. Where Nioh 2 was the first to captivate me with some cool elements.
The Nioh 2 Remastered version is therefore the second game within this Playstation 5 collection. Last time Jordy ventured into the original . This time Jordy allowed me to go into the endless difficult missions of Nioh 2. "You can do it, you can do this", Jordy said very leniently. Everyone in our group will know that he is eager to hear me curse through the headset, because yes, golden comedy when someone is completely freaking out, right? But hey, together we've defied quite a few missions. We have played most of the game with the three of us, here the difficulty is a lot more difficult than you would think. What did I think and what did we think of this remaster? Read it in our review!
A real Souls like
Nioh 2 is seen by many as perhaps the best Souls like game, which is not made by From Software, but by Team Ninja. A group of developers known for Ninja Gaiden! And in the first two or three missions I wasn't quite sure about these statements, but afterwards I started to succumb to the awesomeness that is Nioh 2. Well, back to the beginning! In the first part you play a fully written character. In this second part, things are slightly different. You can create your own character. You are a hybrid between human and demon, this gives you the power to shapeshift to a Yokai. What are Yokai? These are demons, monsters, affected humans. This makes up the bulk of your enemy arsenal. You make your way through a Feudal Japan,plagued by a conflict of the real world and the 'Dark Realm'. The story is full of intriguing characters, humor, anime scenes and above all a lot of style.
The game is essentially a Souls like. So while the game can be quite story heavy at times, there is also a lot of lore to uncover. The story is told a little more traditionally than in Dark Souls, for example, but that's a good thing in this case. The story is actually quite good. There is a clear distinction between the strong characters, and everything that roams around below. How did we manage it? Check it out in the short video below…
Nioh 2 is a game with 3 major resources. You have life points, a kind of mana bar (Ki) and you have to take into account your Anima bar. You can use the latter when enemies make special attacks, so you can counter them. You can also make dangerous attacks with it by temporarily taking on a Yokai form. You can find this Yokai form again by simply killing Yokai and picking up their hearts. Enemies don't counter that, but they do block a lot! Jordy regularly mentions the self-invented term 'block box', when an enemy again stops 200 sword blows with his measly arms.
Anyway, back to basics. Nioh 2 is quite a build heavy game, if you can expect from a Souls like. You have tons of different weapons to choose from and build your build around them. My favorite has to be the Hatchets and Switchglaive, although I only switched to these later. Besides all this you have your bows and guns, with which you can give enemies a head less on higher mountains, turrets or if they are not careful. The combat in Nioh 2 is indescribable good. But, I also expected that as a spiritual successor to Ninja Gaiden.
It is a fairly complicated combat system, which is very well put together due to smart controls. You can choose from 3 stances that each work differently. I regularly alternate these stances during battles. Besides that you can freely switch weapons and you can use your Yokai skills or your Yokai Form! Those Yokai skills come in twenty times again, because there are a lot of different weapons and skills to unlock in Nioh 2. I could decode the entire combat system and be typing tomorrow. So, take it from me that the fast, flashy and sometimes tactical combat of Nioh 2 is fantastic. I'd almost venture to say that this is the most addictive thing about the game, at least for me! By the way, you can level all those weapons separately and then you can also buy skills from them. Phew, yes it's all for me.
Besides that, there's one more thing Jordy taught me pretty quickly. When you deal some serious blows, your stamina bar (Ki bar) will of course run out pretty quickly. But, that bar also goes back up, in white. Has this bar reached full capacity and do you press R1 or the dodge button in time? Then you immediately get a large part of this stamina back. By the way, nothing feels as good as shifting to a Yokai, and then dealing heavy blows to enemies like a demon. This really gives me that bad-ass feeling I got playing Devil May Cry!
The boss fights are also really not cool. Especially with several people at the same time. It really is a clusterf*ck sometimes with where such a boss flies with his attack. Still, you'll feel great when you finally see 'Mission Complete' in your picture!
Shit, forgot shortcut
The level design in Nioh 2 isn't as strong as in Dark Souls Remastered, for example, but it's certainly not bad. Every mission you play has several shortcuts, which we sometimes forgot to take. You don't work with Bonfires in this game, but Shrines. At a Shrine you can level up, swap Yokai skills, sacrifice armor and weapons for bonuses and more! It is the place where your Kodama will feel most safe. Kodama? Yes, these are little green or purple creatures standing around the world waiting for you to take them to the Shrine. Collect them all for a nice trophy! The purple Kodama, Sudama, are already adapted to the new world, give them an item and you will get 2 back! The maps all look very nice. From dark worlds to beautiful colorful forests.The level design in Nioh 2 is very strong.
About the remaster
I tried to play the original version of Nioh 2 when I just got my Playstation 5. This was before we even learned that this collection was coming. It was quite rough, because the balance between resolution and frame rate was a bit 'off' in my opinion. To play this now in 4K and at 60 frames per second is a fantastic experience. I have rarely if ever experienced real frame drops. The game just looks spic and span.
What I love most about this whole title is the aesthetic. My god what an overdose of style Nioh 2 has. Any cinematic, piece of armor or weapon, character animation. Everything is just right. So much love has gone into making this game that it really comes across as very strong to me.
Nioh 2 also has a small dose of negatives. For example, it is sometimes quite unclear what you can and should do with certain items. This doesn't help if you're also constantly finding new items. Sometimes I am endlessly sacrificing items to make room again. I think working with obvious weapons and armor would have been just a little stronger here. How do I mean this? Well, you often find a lot of different types of weapons, which is so confusing that at some point you really don't know what to do with them anymore. Which weapon is better? Sometimes I completely lose the overview. Perhaps it would be better to look over this in a future part. How can we make it easier to find the perfect weapon for you? The game also sometimes suffers from frequently reusing content such as maps. But,because of the great combat I quickly overlooked this.
Nioh 2 Remastered is truly the best way to play the one of the best Souls likes. The game, on the other hand, has much more and much faster action as it is an Action RPG. It's sharper and more responsive than the original and it's one of the best online experiences I've had in the past year. I laughed my ass off with my mates when I fell into the water again because the camera went a bit wrong. However. If you're a Souls fan, like a challenge or a solid RPG, Nioh 2 Remastered is the game you need to play for the first half of 2021.
Look forward to our review of Nioh: Remastered next week! Let us know what you think of the game on our Facebook channel! Also read the diptych about the Souls experiences of Jordy and myself !
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