‘Nioh’ Demo Review: More Japanese Screaming Than Most Anime Games

A fan of samurai movies? A fan of Dark Souls? Before now, you only had a plethora of games about samurai, but now you have a demo for another one! Hell yeah! And you know what? Speaking of hell, Team Ninja’s Nioh is promising to be one hell of a good time.

Nioh is all about the warring states of Japan, which means samurai, ninjas, demons and other concepts which, once again, have been done a million times over. However, it is done in a style very similar to the Dark Souls series: a medieval-themed franchise so challenging you’ll eventually be surprised you haven’t jumped off a bridge to experience the same masochistic thrills with slightly less punishment. Each enemy’s attack takes off an eighth of your health on average, the bosses do three times as much, and enemies respawn as soon as you heal at a checkpoint. You level up by killing enemies, but once you die, you lose the power you gained by defeating them, forcing you to never make a mistake or to suffer the consequences. Considering you’re only human, that’s a lot of consequences(but if you’re not human please let me know, I won’t tell anybody, I promise!). This leads to a lot of tedious grinding and time wasted losing all of the power that you had to grind in the first place, yet considering it’s only a demo with around 4 hours of gameplay, this demo is perfect for newcomers in that respect.

However, that’s not what makes the demo great. You can choose which area you start in on the world map, each stylistically different but just as Asian. The music is next to inexistent unless you’re fighting a boss or in a cutscene, but when the oriental orchestra music is playing you can’t help but feel like a real-life samurai. Let’s face it, if you’ve never imagined yourself as a badass samurai you’re either lying or crazy, possibly both.

By killing enemies you can become stronger, as stated before, but this also includes chances to get new armor, new skills, and new weapons, one of which is a shotgun, surprisingly, called the hand cannon. Is this a reference to the “boom stick?” I don’t know, you tell me.

To truly beat the game, you have to kill all 3 bosses, the hardest being in the final “twilight mission.” Keep this in mind: the twilight missions are tough, but if you beat them, you’ll not only be ready for when the real game comes out, you’ll have the items necessary to kick some serious ass.

Overall, I’d say if you have a PS4 don’t play this, gosh you are missing the heck out, and that’s me editing how I really feel. With more Japanese screaming than most anime games, Nioh’s demo works as an amazing title on its own.

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