Well, I did a first impressions thread for the Open Beta of Nioh 2. Figures I might as well book end it by making a final impressions thread for the whole game. I'll be spoiling Nioh 1 here but not Nioh 2.
As previously mentioned, my relationship with Nioh 1 is love-hate. I like the game as a whole, a samurai souls type of deal taking places in Sengoku era Japan. As a history buff, I'm inclined to love the concept. However, certain factors, such as the ludicrusly unbalanced damage you take from everything made the game a large chore, especially against fast enemies such as White Tiger or the DLC's first boss Date Shigizane. The entire DLC in general can burn in hell for this reason. However, Nioh 2 fixes this issue and adds new mechanics that make the game far better simply by making it more balanced.
The game is a prequel to Nioh 1, featuring Hideyoshi, in the game going by his birth name of Tokichiro, as he rises to the top of Japan and you play as The Protaganist (Yes, that's the name the game uses in it's bios), a fully customizable mute who is half Yokai and, as such, can turn into one for a brief period and utilize Yokai abilities. You also have a shiny knife that is inscribed with the name "Hide", so that's what everyone in the game calls you.
Gameplay wise, the game is far more balanced than Nioh 1. No longer can everything kill you in one combo. You come with a new assortment of skills you can use thanks to being a Yokai. You can use other Yokai's abilties, including bosses, by collecting their soul cores. Using this you can equip your self with 2, later 3, of the cores that can do certain things such as inflicting status effects or doing a lot of damage. You can also counter the strongest attacks certain enemies, Human or Yokai, have when they flash red and use that to stun them for a few seconds if you do it right. Depending on the type of spirit type, you can either perform a hit, dodge or guard to knock an enemy out of the attack. Burst counters also have some other uses, such as actually allowing you to escape from the stun after you get Ki broken. Oh, and the game actually gives you enough exp to not fall behind the level suggestion in late game.
The game still has it's flaws however. Certain side quests are still the same where they throw a bunch of mid tier Yokai into a room and have you fight them all. One room in the game has you fight two large bosses with thankfully lessened damage in a small room and says "Good Luck". There's also the Yokai Form which is Nioh 2's version of Nioh 1's Living weapon except it's completely useless cause of how little damage it does when used but it can still be useful in making you invincible for a 5 second or so window. Finally, certain enemies and bosses are still a chore to fight, sometimes worse than even Nioh 1.
Overall however, Nioh 2 is far and away better than Nioh 1 to me thanks to it's added balance changes and new mechanics. If Nioh 1 was a 6, Nioh 2 is easily an 8 for me.
Now, let's just hope they learn from their mistakes and don't fuck up the game with the DLC like they did in Nioh 1.
For the record, I played Nioh 2 with an Odachi for 95% of the entire game, mostly in High stance, poked at Ninjutsu so I could get the extra Elixir capacity but ended up loving Poison Shuriken for their use on mostly everything and ended up dying 197 times by the end of the game. The most I died to a boss was 9 times. I died in Nioh 1 627 times in total, though a lot of that differance between death counts is likely due to experiance since I only beat Nioh 2 at the end of last month.
(edited by Gin)