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Genchu is FLABBERGASTED in that last panel.

Okay, no lie, the last week of my life was completely consumed by the Nioh Beta. Shortly before posting this page I managed to complete the last piece of content this beefy demo had to offer! I think Tachibana Muneshige, this super aggressive samurai boss, killed me around 200 times over the course of four hours before I finally took the jerk down. Well, he was really polite about it, bowing every time he ended me, so maybe he’s a nice guy, I dunno. Either way, finally beating him was like the best video game feeling ever. Then I watched this video of some guy beating him with a level 1 character and a wooden sword and I was like FFFFFFFFFFFF.

I’m inspired to try Dark Souls again, because I think Nioh has helped me see the appeal of the Souls games. Granted, I don’t think the Souls series’ combat is as good as Nioh’s. Wielding any weapon in Nioh feels precise and powerful, and you’re always in control. Maybe I’d enjoy Bloodborne, as I’m told the combat in that is very fast paced and there’s less random jank than what you find in DS 1 and 2 (dunno about 3). Then again, I already fear for my free time whenever the full version of Nioh comes out. GIMME A RELEASE DATE, TEAM NINJA!!

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  • Arkone Axon


  • charles81

    Its up to Ricardo to restore the value of his merchandise!

  • Hakka

    Hey, speaking of Nioh, Im super hyped for this game and then I remember I don’t own a console… *cues The Sound of Silence*
    I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but on their website they posted an aggregate of the feedback they received during the Alpha. Here
    As someone who studies Game User Research, I think I just fell in love with them.

  • Da’Zlein

    Worth noting for the budding tacticians out there: Ricardo is neither a soldier nor does he have an army at his back. The worth of a weapon is not in being unbeatable, but in being consistently superior to its competitors.

    • leavescat

      The guy is pretty good at reloading under pressure though.

    • Xinef

      A weapon is valuable as long as it is good/best under at least some circumstances. It doesn’t have to be great in every single scenario. For example siege weapons are not that useful in open field battle, but it doesn’t mean they can’t win a war.

      Weapons with long reload times for example tend to be more useful in sieges both for the defenders and for the attackers.

  • Skralin

    So… general. Do you understand the concept of armies?

    • charles81

      Well… He does, but his belief is that his army of samurai (or pikers) will storm and over run the gunmen. He’s under the impression that a charging army of melee weapon wielders will take casualties in the front row from the first shots and then the remaining forces will roll over the gunmen while they reload.

      Whats needed is further explanation on the proper tactics of rifle lines with staggered fire and switching of positions between those reloading, those ready to fire and those firing.

      Of course, the Wataro’s may not have enough guns to pull that off on a reasonable scale either.

      • Skralin

        doesn’t really matter. When the first guns came ashore in japan it was less than three months later that they were replicated.

  • okamitora

    “And when they come at you with a few dozen such weapons from two, three, four times as far away?”

    • Kalrakh

      Also I guess the rifle can shoot further than that pole?

      • purplelibraryguy

        Is it a rifle or just a musket? Cuz if it’s just a musket . . . then its main advantage over, say, a longbow is in the number of people you can effectively equip with them, due to training and ammunition issues.
        I don’t think it ever really got tested, but I am convinced that if two armies of equal numbers confronted each other, one made up of fairly skilled longbowmen, the other of well trained musketmen, both with a good supply of ammunition, the longbows would cream the musketeers. Seriously, it wouldn’t even be close–the longbow outranges the musket and has a way faster rate of fire. Muskets took over more because they allowed really big armies of poorly trained peasants-or-whatever to be pretty effective.
        Rifles are a different story, although the early ones were even slower to load than muskets, and I believe somewhat expensive to make.

        There are also political problems with arming peasants with longbows. You have to have the political stability to institute and maintain a long term community training regime. Plus, you have to be willing to let the peasants be well armed and well trained all the time, not just when you’ve drafted them into an army and have officers keeping them under control. I can’t see Japanese aristocrats wanting their peasants to all be armed and trained with longbows; they might wonder why they were letting samurai go around chopping their heads of on a whim. But muskets–you draft ’em, give them a quick bit of drilling, hand them the guns, get half of them killed on the battlefield, take the guns away again and send them home empty-handed–no problem!

    • Kid Chaos

      Yes! This is the argument Genchu should be making! 😎

  • Sunwu

    Ricardo: Friggin’ Lag!!

  • leavescat

    I actually think Ricardo won, or at least would have tied in a real battle. If he stepped back a pace and shot immediately, it looks like he would have the time; he just didn’t want to actually shoot him. Granted, he’s probably much more skilled at reloading than any Wataro riflemen.

    • Xinef

      Ricardo “won” because… he was reloading for his SECOND shot. In a real battle he wouldn’t waste his first shot at the pole.

      … unless treevenge!

      • SlugFiller

        As mentioned above, the assumption is that you sacrifice your first wave, and manage a second wave charge before they can reload. So long as your infantry outnumber their gunners, and they do not have tankers at the front (which would make the job a lot harder for gunners anyway), you can take them out before the second volley

  • Richard Cockman

    Yaaay! Katanas win! Guns are a cowards weapon!!!1! My grandfather who fought in wwii had seen a japanese badass cut a bullet in half with his katana of destruction!!one

  • George Paterson

    And that’s why real musketmen had bayonets. The standard infantry tactics for most of the flintlock era were fire a few volleys to soften the enemy up, and then close to bayonet range. A flintlock man fighting in close range without a bayonet is dead. A flintlock man fighting in close range with bayonet fixed, is a spearman who can deal with a sword wielding hooligan or three, especially if he has several other bayonet armed buddies at his back.

    A purely melee force during the pike-and-shot era (which was the same era in Europe as the Sengoku era in Japan) would take hits from the flintlock men and either run into a wall of pikes with a formation reduced and demoralized by musket fire, or run into bayonet-armed flintlock men who could emulate those pikes well enough to live to fight another day. Heavy arquebussiers would also often be armored and have their own sidearms, so it was nowhere near a foregone conclusion that a melee force could overrun them. Tokugawa in particular was famous for figuring out very similar tactics in Sengoku Japan, and for example, using them to crush the famous Takeda cavalry.

    • 627235

      The bayonet is a later development (ca 17th century), while proper pikes were replaced with even more muskets (indeed pikes could be replaced because bayonets offered the option to defend against charging cavalry to an all musketmen force).

  • SlugFiller

    Most of Tanaka’s assumptions are correct, even though he doesn’t yet know that the Wataro have only a few guns. But I can see his mistake.

    He assumes that the gunners can’t take the rear, and act as DPS, with sword wielders acting as tankers. And the reason for it, is that he sees the gun as just a very slow bow. However, Ricardo’s rifle (and I feel fairly confident in calling them that) are far more precise than any bow. While we only see them being used from a moderate range, the level of precision is clearly beyond what a musket or arquebus could achieve.

    And to anyone thinking about Nagashino, and similar battles, with changing fire lines, it’s important to remember: The reason those tactics worked wasn’t because of the abundance or superiority of guns, nor because reloading removed the gap one might expect between shots. Ultimately, it was still one kill per one shot. A large enough mob could overrun a gunning position, even under fire, if they advance fast enough.

    What REALLY made that tactic work is that it was done behind muddy trenches and makeshift fortifications, which significantly slowed down the advance of horses and soldiers. It was fundamentally a defensive tactic, and as such, is completely unsuitable for an attack. If anything, Tanaka attacking pre-emptively against such a force would be the worst choice ever, as he would essentially be giving them a huge advantage.

    • Xinef

      Though in this case “preemptively” means “while they still have very few guns, and possibly very limited ammunition/gunpowder”. Also no experience in using this kind of weapon, and no-one to teach them.

      Waiting might mean they reverse engineer the guns and start making new ones… or just order a new shipment (I dunno how viable it would be at that point in history). I also remember they wanted to dive for the sunken guns. And they start mass producing ammo and gunpowder. And figure out how to use it.

      I still think it’s easier to fight against a dozen entrenched gunmen, who have less than a week of shooting experience and probably no ammo (they needed some to train shooting, right?), than a squadron of well-supplied sharpshooters on the offensive.

      Not to mention that on the offensive you can also make fortifications. Siege? The attackers also build a fortified encampment next to/around the besieged town/castle. Open field battle? If you’re expecting it, you can build some makeshift fortifications. Unexpected large-scale battles weren’t very common.

      • SlugFiller

        If Tanaka is banking on rushing the enemy, building fortifications would be between 10 to 100 times worse than reloading. And, in the general case, they cannot be efficiently moved (Otherwise, they’d make crappy fortifications).

        As for ordering more, or reverse engineering, I highly doubt that. Ricardo wouldn’t be boasting exclusivity, if he didn’t have good reason to feel his merchandise is exclusive. And while you may discount Ricardo’s judgement, the fact is, that we’ve seen few to no foreigners or foreigner contact, and reverse engineering a rifle that, by performance alone, is 200 years beyond what should be available at the time, would be a moot attempt.

        As mentioned in StackExchange, when discussing manufacturing of modern guns in ancient times, even with perfect blueprints, what is lacking is the machining, and unit standardization, required to make effective and accurate rifling. It’s something blacksmiths would not be able to do.

        • SlugFiller

          To better explain the case against fortifications: Consider the scenario. The village Tanaka is guarding is a bottleneck. For all intents and purposes, the Wataro are already besieging it on one side, while being besieged by it on the other. Neither could truly encircle the other.

          Additionally, even if the Wataro could somehow encircle the village, they can’t afford a prolonged battle. They need to make any offensive decisive, otherwise, reinforcements would be possible, and the village’s status as bottleneck would make things very difficult for them. And a siege inherently implies very prolonged battle, as it can last days, weeks, or even months.

          The only viable action for the Wataro is a decisive flash invasion. They need to get inside the village walls, and assert it as a base of operations, and do so within a couple of days of breaking the truce, at most. Fact is, you can’t move fortifications past a gate. Even if they break the walls, it would be a melee on the other side. The only way guns would remain effective is if they manage to shoot into the crowd from a safe distance, without hitting their own, or if they can somehow draw Tanaka’s troops out into an ambush with prebuilt fortifications.

  • David

    Jim Sterling helped me to see the beauty of the Souls series. And I do prefer Bloodborne as the combat DOES feel a LOT better in that series.

    Basicially, Jim said that most of the difficulty was in seeing huge monsters and saying “I can’t ever beat that!” but with the proper mindset and preparation, you can surmount ANYTHING in the Souls games.

  • Falling Star


  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    ooh man I wish that game was on PC!!

  • Insane Disciple

    I like how the sound effects are panicking but not Riccccardooo.

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