I’m pacing around my room again. It’s the third time this week. Today its the Giant Bombcast. Someone’s confused about NieR Automata. I’m in shambles. I’m speaking softly but angrily to myself. “There’s only 5 endings that mater the rest are joke endings. Its more like routes” They don’t hear me. It’s the third time this week that no one responded to my silent screams. NieR Automata just came out in the U.S. Websites are starting to talk about it. It’s always one person trying to explain a game they haven’t beat to people who are confused about some aspect of it. It’s driving me up a wall I’m going to take a walk, and try not to be mad about people talking about video games. I won’t
NieR Automata is my favorite game of all time. We’re not going to get into why in this piece just know that I adore this game. I couldn’t wait for this game. I bought the Japanese release of this game (Which had the English Dub and subtitles) that came out 2 weeks earlier. I beat the main campaign in about 3 days. I had a lot of thoughts/feelings about the game, and no friends to talk about them with. So I waited. Waited for the pieces, waited for the quick looks, waited for the podcasts. My surrogate friends to talk with.
About a week before the U.S release I remembered a video of Justin McElory playing the first NieR. It was 7 minutes of him trying to catch a fish and complaining about the game. I get why he made the video. It was funny. I thought it was funny too. I saw that video years before I played the first NieR. That video kills me now. I love the first NieR and thinking back about how many people that funny video turned off to one of my favorite games of all time kinda hurts me. It’s ok though. NieR found its audience. A small audience. But a dedicated audience. It found me after a couple of years. It’s ok. Why am I pacing around my room though?
I’m afraid. I’m afraid of someone being confused or complaining about the game. Probably rightfully so in most cases. NieR doesn’t explain all of its mechanics. Still though. I love this game. A LOT. Also unlike let’s say another game I liked this year Breath of the Wild. No harsh words against that game will hurt its sales or the overwhelming praise. The Director of NieR had never had a critical or commercial success. I felt like NieR was going to succeed or fail based on its word of mouth. So any talk that could affect its word of mouth made me break.
I couldn’t disengage from the conversation. I had to listen to it all. I had to know what the internet personalities were saying. I couldn’t let my experience with NieR be mine. People’s opinions on NieR automata followed my every waking moment for weeks. My mental state was already weak. NieR discourse was the final nail in that coffin.
In some ways it helped me for a bit. Instead of walking around and worrying that everyone was thinking about how I look. Or getting sad that I was going nowhere in life. I was getting angry about NieR discourse. It was a nice distraction. In till it wasn’t. I spent dinner consuming. Feeling sick whenever someone talked about NieR. Or maybe didn’t understand a theme of it. Unlike the other stuff. Which gets really bad at times I could sometimes disengage with it. Most of the time by playing Video Games. This time though it crept into my every thought. I was on auto-pilot for a month.
I wish I could say that I got better. That I learned to log off and saw a mental health professional. That I now live on a nice farm where I herd sheep all day. I don’t none of those things happen. The thing that happen was NieR was received well. I was lucky that people love that game I much as I do. I can’t imagine my mental state if the opinions on NieR were negative. Or not even negative just middling. After the first wave of reviews came out. The more in depth write ups came out. The ones I read had so much care put into them. It really made me happy. Then thanks to how games media is. People kinda stopped talking about NieR. They moved on.
Its GOTY time now. Those people who like me loved NieR are now making other people play so the discussion can happen again. Except this time everyone is on the same page. I’m still going to get weak in the knees hearing some of it probably. Luckily though I’m in a better place mental health wise. Not that much better. But I’m functioning. I’m going to get annoyed sure. But I think this time I’m going to be ok.