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REVIEW: Nier: Automata: Long Story Short




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Ashabel



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 205
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:03 pm Reply with quote
....Long Story Short is not an "official localization of the novel". It's a companion piece. It's intentionally written entirely from the perspective of 2B, who has never been a particularly reliable narrator, and its content is largely intended to reflect her state of mind. It's not supposed to recapture the original game's plot or emotional content, its only purpose is to provide 2B's very limited perspective of events.

This review is thus made very bizarre because it reviews the book for something it's not and was never supposed to be, and is therefore as unreliable as the book's narration itself.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:09 pm Reply with quote
Ashabel wrote:
....Long Story Short is not an "official localization of the novel". It's a companion piece. It's intentionally written entirely from the perspective of 2B, who has never been a particularly reliable narrator, and its content is largely intended to reflect her state of mind. It's not supposed to recapture the original game's plot or emotional content, its only purpose is to provide 2B's very limited perspective of events.

This review is thus made very bizarre because it reviews the book for something it's not and was never supposed to be, and is therefore as unreliable as the book's narration itself.


Thanks for this; I was gonna' buy this anyway (because the NieR series is my jam), but good to know this is meant more as supplementary material and not-so-much a replacement for Automata's story (though I do readily agree with the reveiwer that the translation choices strike me as odd, especially for "This Cannot Continue").
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Ashabel



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:10 pm Reply with quote
whiskeyii wrote:
Thanks for this; I was gonna' buy this anyway (because the NieR series is my jam), but good to know this is meant more as supplementary material and not-so-much a replacement for Automata's story (though I do readily agree with the reveiwer that the translation choices strike me as odd, especially for "This Cannot Continue").


I assumed the difference is intentional. Without spoiling too much, 2B has a history of altering her memories and perception of events in order to make them easier to cope with. The Nier Automata event in SINoALICE also has her do that, and that one was written by Yoko Taro himself.
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James_Beckett



Joined: 23 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:49 pm Reply with quote
Ashabel wrote:
....Long Story Short is not an "official localization of the novel". It's a companion piece. It's intentionally written entirely from the perspective of 2B, who has never been a particularly reliable narrator, and its content is largely intended to reflect her state of mind. It's not supposed to recapture the original game's plot or emotional content, its only purpose is to provide 2B's very limited perspective of events.

This review is thus made very bizarre because it reviews the book for something it's not and was never supposed to be, and is therefore as unreliable as the book's narration itself.


Except this isn't true at all, though. There are several asides that are written from the perspectives of the Pods, Adam/Eve, and A2, and the entire back half of the book covers 9S' perspective, plus the content of endings B-E, most of which spoiler[ 2B isn't even around for, on account of being dead]. In fact, the book is less ambiguous concerning perspective and plot than the game is - because of some of the character-specific narration that we do get, a couple of late game twists are made explicit and obvious very early on in the novel.

Unless there are key passages or entire chapters that I somehow missed out on, this really is just a run through of the events of the main plot of the game, with occasional scenes tossed in that technically offer different perspectives, though they don't tell the reader anything they couldn't have already inferred from playing the game.
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Ashabel



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:58 pm Reply with quote
James_Beckett wrote:
Except this isn't true at all, though. There are several asides that are written from the perspectives of the Pods, Adam/Eve, and A2, and the entire back half of the book covers 9S' perspective, plus the content of endings B-E, most of which spoiler[ 2B isn't even around for, on account of being dead]. In fact, the book is less ambiguous concerning perspective and plot than the game is - because of some of the character-specific narration that we do get, a couple of late game twists are made explicit and obvious very early on in the novel.

Unless there are key passages or entire chapters that I somehow missed out on, this really is just a run through of the events of the main plot of the game, with occasional scenes tossed in that technically offer different perspectives, though they don't tell the reader anything they couldn't have already inferred from playing the game.


Huh, that's interesting.

Well, this is my bad. I admit I haven't read it yet; I only had multiple people on social media describe it to me as "Automata from 2B's perspective". I presume that they simply haven't gotten very into the thing at that point in time.

Still, this is the first time I have ever seen it described as an official localization. Everywhere I know describes it as a companion piece that shouldn't be bothered with unless you've already played the game, not an attempt to recreate the game experience in novel form.
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R. Kasahara
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 19 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:17 pm Reply with quote
This review was harsh but fair. I read it late last year and got something out of it, but I'm also a little bit of a Drakengard/NieR lore completionist. I couldn't in good faith recommend Long Story Short to anyone else who isn't.

And yeah, that localization... oof. I have to wonder if it was rushed, since it seems overly literal and contains a handful of obvious errors, like where characters' names are mixed up or misspelled.

Ashabel wrote:
Still, this is the first time I have ever seen it described as an official localization. Everywhere I know describes it as a companion piece that shouldn't be bothered with unless you've already played the game, not an attempt to recreate the game experience in novel form.

It's both (and I think you mean "official novelization"?). Most of the non-sidequest parts of the A through E paths are present (some notable omissions: spoiler[Emil is completely absent [he is in one of the illustrations, weirdly enough], the whole bit with the religious cultist Machines is gone [though there is a brief mention of Machines founding religions], and both A2's backstory and Project Gestalt are only described in summary]) and told in order, so in that sense, it is a novelization of the game. However, the novel also includes the thoughts of most of the major characters, which fleshes them out to a degree that the game doesn't. I particularly enjoyed the parts that focused on Adam, Eve, and A2, which are presented in separate segments at the ends of the "main" chapters and are generally better written to boot. These "companion piece" elements are really the only reason to read this book.
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James_Beckett



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:13 pm Reply with quote
R. Kasahara wrote:
I particularly enjoyed the parts that focused on Adam, Eve, and A2, which are presented in separate segments at the ends of the "main" chapters and are generally better written to boot. These "companion piece" elements are really the only reason to read this book.


I noticed that too, and I found it incredibly odd - it was almost like those sections were by a different author, or at least a different translator. The difference in some places was like night and day.
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ICO44



Joined: 28 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:41 pm Reply with quote
Yoko Taro uses video games as medium to tells his story. Its not something you can just put it in books, anime or movie to get same effect as playing the games. His games are not like most AAA western games that trying to be Hollywood movies.
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Florete



Joined: 21 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:54 pm Reply with quote
NieR: Automata might be my favorite game ever. But unfortunately, this review of the novelization is completely accurate. I couldn't get through the first chapter, it's just so awful.
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:43 am Reply with quote
so what youre saying is: i have to finish the game if i want the 'real' story Laughing
ah man i got endings A and B and midway through my 3rd playthrough life decided to come knocking and I didn't have time to really enjoy the game so i stopped playing for a while.
that while turned out to be several months and now that i have time again i'm stuck in a state where I don't wanna continue where I left off cause I probably forgot a lot of small details and I didn't wanna start from scratch.
I was hoping the novel would fix that but i guess not.
Oh well guess I'm gonna have to finally finish it.
Also on a partially related note, to anyone who got all the game endings:
spoiler[is it ever explained why devola and popola would sometimes randomly appear in cutscenes as some sort of ghost? The first time it happened I thought I was crazy, thank sony for always recording your gameplay. Cause of that I was able to replay the scene and prove to myself that I wasn't playing Neir for so long that I was hallucinating things. I don't wanna know the answer if its eventually explained but I know this is Yoko game and not everthing might be explained]
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1565
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:03 am Reply with quote
Calsolum wrote:

Oh well guess I'm gonna have to finally finish it.
Also on a partially related note, to anyone who got all the game endings:
spoiler[is it ever explained why devola and popola would sometimes randomly appear in cutscenes as some sort of ghost? The first time it happened I thought I was crazy, thank sony for always recording your gameplay. Cause of that I was able to replay the scene and prove to myself that I wasn't playing Neir for so long that I was hallucinating things. I don't wanna know the answer if its eventually explained but I know this is Yoko game and not everthing might be explained]


spoiler[Yes, but they aren't Devola and Popola.] For what it's worth, both C and D (and E, by extension) all share the same "new" route before branching off at the very end, so you won't be subjected to the same amount of backtracking Route B was.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:54 pm Reply with quote
Calsolum wrote:
spoiler[is it ever explained why devola and popola would sometimes randomly appear in cutscenes as some sort of ghost? The first time it happened I thought I was crazy, thank sony for always recording your gameplay. Cause of that I was able to replay the scene and prove to myself that I wasn't playing Neir for so long that I was hallucinating things. I don't wanna know the answer if its eventually explained but I know this is Yoko game and not everthing might be explained]


It will be explained.
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Ashabel



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 205
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:09 am Reply with quote
ICO44 wrote:
Yoko Taro uses video games as medium to tells his story. Its not something you can just put it in books, anime or movie to get same effect as playing the games. His games are not like most AAA western games that trying to be Hollywood movies.


That's an interesting statement to make, considering that Nier Automata was a stage play long before it was a video game.

Also, Yoko Taro's manga is actually pretty great stuff too.
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