Please note that the above is not representative of the gameplay; you DON’T need to ride on a boar to fight these enemies. 😄 This is also not related to the main story so it’s not a spoiler.
I ended up doing this since I was looking for new ways to amuse myself. After all, I already completed all story endings and nabbed a ton of other endings by this time. 😀
My experience with the Drakengard-NieR series consists of all but the first Drakengard game. However, I didn’t complete every ending for any of them. Here’s what happened:
Drakengard 2: Fucking egg boss. The camera controls and flight mechanics already sucked and this bloody battle relied on those two things. -__-
Drakengard 3: Fucking unforgiving rhythm game. This was a troll battle.
NIER: I could have completed the last ending but I didn’t want to go through with it since I had an emotional attachment to the game at the time. 😛
Truthfully, I don’t remember many story-related things in details; just bits and pieces here and there as well as some characters and their motives. I went through NieR: Automata wondering about a lot of things that were covered in NIER, but didn’t look them up until I finished the last ending so I wouldn’t spoil myself.
Anyway, I wanted to establish that I’m somewhat familiar with the universe and didn’t go into Automata blind. Although it’s not necessary, I would suggest people play through NIER first since all the references will have that much more impact.
The Positive Things
- Great soundtrack. It’s totally got the style of the NIER soundtrack. Same composer so it’s not a surprise (but he also did Drakengard 3 and I can’t recall a single track from that game …) There are also 8-bit variants of some tunes!
- Fun combat. I appreciated that the window for perfect evades was huge. I’m usually pretty terrible at timing them. ^^ Couldn’t pull them off for the life of me in Bayonetta, for example.
- Creative and fun boss fights.
- There are quite a few quests that, if you missed them the first time around, you can get them again once you unlock the option to select chapters.
- Some of the non-story endings are amusing like the bunker one. ^^
- Bullet hell. Or more specifically, the fun hacking mini games. ^^~
The Negative Things
- The game is short if you don’t do side quests. I clocked in over 60 hours, but that’s from completing 55 out of 60 side quests, all endings except one, lots of exploring and killing, and getting lost a few times in a dungeon AND in the machine village. 9__9 I’m certain many players can do all that under 60 hours though. ^^; Oh, there’s this site that has some data from a handful of players: https://howlongtobeat.com/game.php?id=38029
- Not entirely a negative thing but I didn’t really like how we could access side quests with enemies that were about 30 levels above. The battle was doable but it would take eons to finish and one false move would mean death. ^^ (I died by a 2-hit combo. ^^;) I’m not even talking about the optional/secret boss fights. Of course, there are players that like that sort of challenge. I just feel it should be locked out until later on. 😡 Also, I fought almost everything in my path so it’s not like I was underlevelled story-wise.
- Inaccessible areas. 😛 People are hypothesizing that they’ll be available in future DLC, but I also read that Yoko Taro just likes to troll players so who knows?
- The marker for the side quest “Machine Examination”. It’s on the fucking machine itself but the actual trigger is on the broken block of concrete in front of it. I suppose it should have been obvious since 9S says something if you stand on the edge of the thing. I just didn’t figure we’d have to hit the interaction button to start the quest. 😐
- Marking this as a negative since resetting the ENTIRE set of actions is kind of stupid: If you have ever jumped to another chapter at any point — this option is unlocked after a subsequent playthrough — you will be locked out of the doors leading to the optional boss’ home. In order to open them, you have to speak to the character again. If you want to fight him, you’ll have to steal his belongings once more. The game will state that the quantity for the items have been exceeded, but it’ll still count as successfully taking them.
Now it’s time for spoilers! 😀
The Amnesia Sidequest
Why does it treat the interaction with Jackass like it’s the first time you meet her? .__. It makes no sense considering that you HAVE to talk to her to continue with the game pretty early on.
Speaking about Jackass, the report you get at after the C or D ending is a good read. 😄
The Forest Kingdom and chests in locations that require more effort than it should to get to
Although the castle dungeon was short, I enjoyed it a lot. I think I spent more time than I should have there though since I kept trying to figure out how to get to this chest:
It turns out you have to drop from the ledge that leads to the blacksmith. :E
BUT! There are 3 other chests that I didn’t manage to get to. 😦 There’s one on top of a building in the city ruins (near the desert camp) that requires hacking. I’m guessing that I need to remote control one of the flying type of machines but it’s so difficult to do it since they immediately start attacking 9S the moment he’s within their shooting range.
The other chest is in the flooded city. I read that you need to hack one of the flying machines there, but aside from the snake one, ALL of them attack the moment you get close enough to initiate hacking. I suppose it takes trial and error, as well as timing, to attempt and get one before it turns around. 😐
For what it’s worth, remote controlling the snake machine is useless since it just plummets into the water when you gain control of it. -__-
The third one is in the abandoned factory. After (or maybe during?) the story sequence with the deranged zealots, the map shows that’s there’s a chest that’s seemingly within a silo/tower.
What’s with the chest in the Copied City that requires hacking?
Is there any way to access it? It seems like that area is only accessible with 2B.
Eve’s black tattoo and transformation are never explained
I assume Adam had a tattoo as well but since his right forearm is always covered, we don’t know for sure. (Or is there concept artwork showing the arm without the long glove?) At first, I thought it was similar to a Gestalt relapse thing but there’s this trivia bit on it here: http://nier.wikia.com/wiki/Eve
The beginning of paths C and D
Pro tip: Head left when you leave the sewer pipe. I went right the first time and man, that was the worst decision. 2B got knocked down to the bottom TWICE by enemies, and of course, once I managed to actually out of the goddamn crater, I ran out of time before I even got near the shopping center. 😛
The first optional boss battle
My first three attempts were done at level 68. I used recovery and enhancements like crazy, but I was always done in by the fucking explosion that occurs once the boss’ HP drops to about the 15% mark.
I kept thinking I was doing something wrong so I checked YouTube. Another player that was at my same level managed to survive it by using the Gravity pod program. For some reason, I didn’t recognize what it was and didn’t think about trying it. 😐 (I was missing 1 or 2 pod programs then and assumed it was one of those.) I tried using the M Shield but I mistimed it and it disappeared before the blast. 😛 In the end, I just decided to level up some more. I ended up going all the way to level 99 for the hell of it.
It wasn’t a good idea since there’s no sense of accomplishment as the boss goes down really fast. .___.; I realize that there’s another battle after this, but I refuse to go out of my way to max out weapons just to gain access to it. I loathed doing that in Drakengard 3 and swore that I wouldn’t do it again. (It wasn’t for an optional boss, but saying any more would be a spoiler.)
Oh, there was something I noticed about bodies that we lose if we die in battle! I thought that we had to get it back without leaving the game (e.g. going back to the title screen, reloading the save file, etc.), but even after hours of chapter hopping for endings and closing and then loading up the game again, the body was still there in the boss area! ^^
I remember freaking out the first time I went back for it since the boss battle started up immediately! I was running and evading all over the place trying to find the corpse. ^^; I did eventually, but I died once again due to the goddamn instant KO blast.
The rabbit at the amusement park
Just a tip: You don’t need to kill all the friendly machines to get it into motion. Just keep firing at it. This enemy is a source for the Powerup Part L too. It’s a rare drop though.
Here’s a silly thing. 2B was set to Aggressive for her combat AI so she just took off to fight the moment I started firing. I still wonder why she rushed off to battle another enemy without finishing the first one. It made for some amusing background action though.
Getting all trophies is really easy
All you need is some money. 😛
Devola & Popola and endings D & E
Their story was so sad. 😦 When I first saw them, I was half-expecting them to turn on 2B and 9S at some point.
I went into the game anticipating everyone would die because that’s just how this particular universe is. 😛 I believe that if I didn’t play NIER or any of the Drakengard games, more of the deaths in NieR: Automata would have come as a surprise. Having noted that, I expected 9S to keel over but not the way he did.
The mini game during the credits — what the hell was that? 😄 It took me two tries to get to the part where the Square Enix name shows up and goes into super bullet hell. Death just kept happening after that. I love all the questions that pop up every time my cursor blew up. I answered No to everything and eventually something wonderful happens! 😀
Another string of questions appear not long after. I replied Yes to all of those.
I was prepared for Taro’s jerkass gimmick to delete everything! It happened in NIER and I was suspicious that it’d show up again in Automata. AND IT DID. I backed up my save files after ending C because I thought D would be the one that triggered the purge. :E
Random tip about endings Q and V
You don’t need to actually run away or engage in combat to fail them. You can just stand in place and stare at 2B (for Q) and Devola and Popola (for V) and the endings will naturally happen.
Why are animals so powerful?
Incidentally, 9S wondered if there were giant boars and well, as you see above, there sure are! 😄