Nioh is more difficult than Dark Souls and here’s why

Nioh has been out for well over a year now and has gotten rave reviews all around. The samurai RPG adventure game features, great combat, beautiful Japanese scenery, and history, as well as extremely dangerous enemies.

The dangers of Nioh lead to the discussion about if Nioh is harder than Dark Souls (we’re excluding Bloodborne for now). The answer, at least in my opinion, is yes.

Although Nioh received its inspiration from the legendary Souls series, it still may be the more difficult of the two games. Nioh is essentially the offspring of Dark Souls.

Nioh is harder for numerous reasons. Here’s why listed below.

Enemies are faster and cause more damage

As you can imagine in a samurai type of game, the speed of combat is very quick, as ninjas and samurais are known for their immense speed. The same goes for the enemies who have almost no chill.

It’s not necessarily their speed that makes things difficult, but the impact of their hits. I don’t know how many times I had to down elixirs (Nioh’s version of the Estus Flask) because an enemy drained my health in just two shots.

Not to mention, you may have to use an elixir, even if you’re at around 75 or 80% health. I say this because, there are a lot of times where an enemy can quickly drop your high health two zero on one or two quick hits, so if you want to play it safe, it’s best to use some elixir.

Also, make sure to take advantage of the blocking feature, as it can save your life on many different occasions. Just don’t stay in block mode as the more an enemy hits while you’re in block mode, your Ki (stamina) will drain to zero, and this leads to my next point.

Getting your guard broken can lead to really quick deaths

Blocking is one of the features that seem like a blessing in Nioh, considering that there are no shields. The only problem is, if you continue to block, the enemy will continue to hit you until your Ki gets down to zero, which will cause your guard to break, similarly to Dark Souls.

The difference here is that, instead of just quickly getting stunned like in Dark Souls, you will instead lockup, where you can’t move for at least two to three seconds. This will likely lead to a big attack by the enemy or a visceral attack which can kill you in one hit if your health isn’t that good.

This was one of the things that destroyed me when I first stepped into the world of Nioh. I eventually figured out how to balance blocking and going in for strikes at the right time. I still suck, but I have improved over time and you can too. However, it’s still no walk in the park so don’t let the beautiful historic Japanese atmosphere distract from the fact that it’s a pain in the booty sometimes.


Figuring out a strategy that doesn’t allow you to use a ton of stamina too quickly will help you in the long run. Trust me.

The “bigger enemies” are more dangerous than in Dark Souls


There are several big enemies that are a pain to deal with. There are some that medium-sized and then you have some that tower right over you.

One thing they all have in common? They hit hard as crap. One enemy I particularly hate is this giant, creepy dude with a super long tongue. He will attack you with that tongue from long range (“from downtown, yes!” – Marv Albert). He also has a couple of punching abilities that can be devastating. Be prepared to use them elixirs with this guy.

Another one I’ll mention, and he’s probably the worst of the bunch, is the large raven that looks like some kind warlord or mage. He flies at you at a quick pace, swings at you with his staff, and then do a spinning kick attack which will easily kill you.

He also has a long-range attack where he uses magic to shoot this green type laser beam at you which also deals a lot of damage. Although his moves are predictable, you never really know when he’ll strike and he also dodges a lot which is rather annoying.

Those are just two of many tough enemies in the game. Keep in mind that there are some easy enemies as well, just like in DS so it isn’t all doom and gloom.

However, keep an eye out for some of these terrifying beasts.

There are fewer weapon options than in Dark Souls

In Nioh, you get a nice handful of weapons to use and choose from. However, the list is still smaller than in any of the three Dark Souls games.

In DS, you can use swords, hammers, daggers, spears, shields, miracles, sorcery, pyromancy, and bow & arrows among other things. Not to mention, some of the weapons have special abilities. In Nioh, you get swords, hammers, dual swords, spears and bow & arrows.

So, the list is a little smaller. And you get no shields. The only shield is your weapon which you can use to block like I mentioned earlier.

One thing I will say is, in Nioh, you can use a Guardian Spirit which will turn your weapon into a Super Saiyan like killing machine. When the Guardian Spirit meter is filled up, you can use square and triangle to activate your ability. This can help you defeat strong enemies with ease.


However, if the enemy gets too many hits on you, your meter will drain much faster until it ends your special power. Your hope is that you were able to drain much of the enemy’s health bar in the process. So, that’s the one powerful weapon you can use in Nioh.


There are some nice weapons in the game, but it still doesn’t match the rich arsenal that Dark Souls has, which alone makes Nioh a little harder. It makes it a little harder to strategize when you’re limited on weaponry.


The bosses are more difficult

This was a tough one, but I’d say Nioh’s bosses are a little tougher. These bosses are a lot faster and seem to hit a lot harder.

DS is famous for its tough bosses, but I feel that there are easier bosses in Dark Souls (which aren’t many) than in Nioh. On top of that, there are some bosses in Nioh where you can’t summon anyone for help.

In order to summon a visitor, you need to be at a “Shrine”, which essentially plays the same role as Dark Souls’ iconic bonfire. The Shrine is a beautiful miniature Japanese castle where you can do numerous things and where the adorable “Kodama” hang out and play (Kodamas are very important in the world of Nioh. These cute green creatures can offer you “Blessings” among other things which are beneficial on your journey).

You need to be at a Shrine in order to summon a visitor. In Dark Souls, you can basically summon someone from anywhere, you just have to wait until summon signs show up. Usually, summon signs appear at the beginning and towards the end of an area in DS.

In Nioh, you have to be at a Shrine, and depending on how far the nearest Shrine is from the boss room, you may have to trek a little bit. But again, some areas do not have a Shrine, thus you cannot get help against the boss.

Thankfully, this is usually the case only on sub-missions, not the main missions. The sub-missions can give you some cool rewards if you’re willing to give it a go. A lot of sub-missions do have a Shrine but some don’t.

Also, bosses are relatively fast in Nioh, much like the regular enemies. Even the large bosses are fairly quick and in some boss rooms, you don’t have a luxurious amount of space to work with either.

They’re tough, but much like Dark Souls, the boss battles are a lot of fun.

Harder to summon players

This is a really small one, but it can be much more difficult to summon help early on. In order to summon help, you need to get Ochoko Cups which you can offer at the Shrine. Once you do this, you will need to wait until another player receives your offering and comes to help.

However, it can be tough getting Ochoko Cups. in order to do so, you will need to defeat Revenants, which are essentially ghosts of other players who died on their adventures. Think of it like the Bloodstains in Dark Souls, only, you can actually summon a CPU version of the player who died, and fight them, which is pretty cool.

However, the fights can prove difficult when you’re just starting out. Once you get comfortable with the combat, then you shouldn’t have too many issues. Revenants drop Ochoko Cups nine times out of 10 but again, early on in the game, as you slowly try to grow your wings, it can be a tough battle.

Wrapping things up

Nioh is a fantastic game that helps bring the historic samurai culture to life. It also is a very difficult game if you aren’t careful.

I absolutely love the Dark Souls series, and is most definitely one of the greatest video games of all-time. With that being said, I don’t think the game is harder than Nioh. However, Nioh might not have been as difficult as it is if it weren’t for the inspiration it received from Dark Souls, just to be fair.

I also want to point out, and this may be slightly shocking but, I feel Bloodborne is a harder game than Nioh. In short, it’s Bloodborne > Nioh > all three Dark Souls games in terms of difficulty level. This is why I did not include Bloodborne in this discussion.

Sure, Bloodborne was created by From Software like DS and have the same template (health and stamina meters, sounds, character movement, etc) but they are still two very different games, with different gameplay styles and weaponry.

Bloodborne is the most difficult because your weapons are limited….very limited, at least compare to the other games. The weapons are super sweet, but again, you don’t have a whole lot to work with. You also can’t really block anything either so your best bet is to dodge.

And like Nioh, the enemies are very quick in Bloodborne. The health bar of the bosses also seems to be larger as well. On top of that, there are more enemies and bosses in the game who can “one-shot” you if you aren’t careful.

So there’s the curveball that I wanted to throw at you! Hope you were able to hit it for a home run.

But, Nioh is a great game that I’d highly reccommend if you’re a Souls fan. The game gets on sale a lot now since it’s a year old or so.

It’s a tough game, but it’s a lot of fun, especially if you appreciate cool Japanese history, architecture and amazing samurai combat. Get your swords ready.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @GhostPandaColin!









NBA Playgrounds: This is one of the wildest finishes you’ll ever see

NBA Playgrounds is a game that I highly recommend if you enjoy arcade sports games. It’s essentially a blend of NBA Jam and NBA Street and features a terrific roster of current and legendary players as well as beautiful locations.

I played online a bit as I have put a lot of hours into the game, and found myself in huge trouble late in the game with my talented opponent. The score was 41-24 with about a minute left in the game and I was losing.

Here’s the video from my YouTube channel to check out for yourself.

Of course, I got a little excited by calling it the best comeback in NBA Playgrounds, but I have no doubt that there have been greater comebacks. For a bum like me, however, it was a thrill, and although I got a little help to complete it, it was still a cool feeling, while enjoying a great arcade basketball experience.

NBA Playgrounds has been around for over a year now, and with legendary games such as the aforementioned NBA Street and NBA Jam kind of in our rearview mirrors, NBA Playgrounds does a great job of delivering a fun game. My only thing with the game is that we can’t create our own ballers and give them cool Legend “special moves”.

Other than that, it’s a great, fast-paced game, so if you play the game, especially online, have them thumbs and fingers all suited up, and ready to go to work!

You can follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! Keep in mind that I may be changing this soon. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel at!

The Golf Club 2019 is coming out, and it sounds like it could be a dandy

The Golf Club has taken over the reigns as the premier golf video game on market over the last few years, and now, HB Studios will once again be teeing it up. The Golf Club 2019 was announced last week, and as you can expect, the game’s community is getting excited about it.


Probably the biggest thing about TGC 2019 is, it will be self-published by HB Studios, just like with the original TGC back in 2014. When TGC 2 was created, HB had teamed up with Maximum Games to help publish the title, and release it out to retail.


Maximum Games is known for popular games such Farming Simulator, Rugby, and Styx. However, the partnership with MG was limiting HB Studios from doing certain things, hence a big reason why they are independent once again, despite the successful release of TGC 2.


Some of the things that TGC 2019 will bring include a deeper career mode, more online modes, and deeper golfer customization among other things. The Golf Club has been noted for its pro-am style approach in a golf game in that, there is no PGA Tour license or LPGA nor are there licensed courses as the game relied heavily on its now iconic course designer.

With this iteration of the game, however, there will be real-world courses as well as golf brands. There is no word yet on which courses will be featured in the game, but one brand that has been announced is Under Armour. UA, as we know, has skyrocketed in the ranks of the athletic apparel world, grabbing big names such as Jordan Spieth and NBA superstar Stephen Curry.


Having real world courses and brands can really help boost a golf game’s popularity. Combine this with a ton of excellent created courses, and you have an extremely deep golf experience.


I thought TGC 2 was great, and the fact that there are so many features that are going to be added to TGC 2019 that weren’t in TGC 2 is why I feel this game can be put over the top as the elite golf game out there. The game will also feature Speed Tree technology which will help improve visuals and gameplay.


It’s rare to see a golf game incorporate so many elements that people love in a good gaming experience on the links. To be able to mix real-world courses and still have the 170,000 plus designs by the community is huge. To have licensed and non-licensed apparel is a plus so there’s something for everyone.


What I’m looking forward to is seeing how much they improved the swing, and how balanced the challenge will be for all players. I also look forward to seeing which real-world courses will make the game’s roster (keep in mind that you will likely not see uber famous courses like Pebble Beach or St. Andrews) as well as the improvements to online gameplay.


Online, we know that there will be matchmaking which was absent in TGC 2. So now, you will be able to tee it up with anyone in the world, like in previous golf games. With online becoming quintessential in almost every game, having online matchmaking in TGC 2019 will be a very welcome feature to fans of online gaming.


Also, being kind of a media/journalism nerd, I would love to see a quality broadcast presentation during the career mode. It doesn’t have to be PGA Tour quality, but good enough to make me feel like I’m taking in a high stakes golf tournament.


From peeking around on the forum, it’s my understanding that there will be some changes for the broadcaster/caddy/friend known simply as “John” who you may be familiar with if you played either TGC 1 or 2. He usually gives you encouragement and tells you how many yards you have to the hole. He’ll also poke you with a stick by making jokes about your bad shots (darn you, John).


Turning John into a broadcaster in career mode or giving him a partner will help add to the immersion of the experience. This is one area I look forward to seeing.


Another thing I’m curious about is the swing animations. I’m big on things like ball physics and animations for any sports games, and It’ll be interesting to see how much the swing animations improve in TGC 2019 or if they will keep the animations from TGC 2 which are superb.


A game like NBA 2K has near perfect ball handling, shooting, and general player movement animations as well as ball flight when released. It helps you fall in love with the gameplay, and I look forward to seeing how HB handles these things with TGC 2019.


Overall, if you’re a fan of golf video games, you should feel pretty excited about what’s to come. We already have TGC 2 and Everybody’s Golf to enjoy among other games, and now, TGC 2019 will just add to the collection of golf gaming goodness.


You can learn more about The Golf Club 2019 at





Project Cars 2: A deep racing experience with unique options



Project Cars is a game that is aimed towards to heavy duty car and racing enthusiasts. After the success of the first game, Project Cars 2 has made its way onto shelves, digital retailers and eventually, into your console.

Immediately, one of the things that stands out about PC 2 is how deep the selection of cars and tracks are. From Indy cars to Ferarris to even karts, the roster of four-wheel road machines is ridiculous.

To follow up with that, there are numerous ways to race and you can mix and match too. Want to race some trucks on a track in France? You can do that. Want to have a kart race at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway? You can do that too.

All of these many options are a racing fan’s dream. On top of that, you can race in numerous weather conditions that include rain, fog, and even in a blizzard.

In the picture above, I was racing on one of the Daytona tracks in some heavy duty snow. As you can tell, the great graphics helped make things look epic.

Be careful though, driving certain cars in the snow will cause you to slip and slide, mimicking true to life driving. No lie though, it is pretty funny to see CPU drivers sliding around in front of you as you slowly cruise pass your neutralized opponents.

PC 2 also has a solid career mode where you can either start out as a kart star, or you can jump right into the world of Indy racing. I started on the karting circuit because karts are cool.

You’ll get a contract offer from a racing team and this will be reflected on your ride with the team’s name on the certain parts of your car or kart. The way you progress through the career is unique, and when you start racing in the Daytona 500, you’ll be reminiscing about your days as a karting pro, thinking about how far you came.

Well, that’s a bit much, but in short, the progression system is pretty sweet.

Project Cars 2 is a solid racing game for anyone who drools over those engine powered machines known as cars. If you appreciate some solid driving mechanics and a wide variety of vehicles and tracks, then PC 2 is a fun experience.



Why NBA 2K Should Feature G-League Teams

Image courtesy of


Ahh, the G-League, one of the most underrated leagues in all of sports. It’s a league that should be used for players coming out of college but is used more as punishment for players who don’t play well on the professional level.

Well, what if NBA 2K can give the G-League a fresh new perspective? I think in as a future release of the game, that all of the G-League teams should be included in the game.

Instead of going straight into the NBA after being drafted, players should have to play some games in the G-League before getting the call to the pros. Now certainly, this can rub some players the wrong way who are anxious to play NBA games from the jump.

This is why the schedule would be limited. You know you’ll get the call to the NBA, but you’ll have an opportunity to show what you can do in the G-League first.

This would be similar to MLB The Show’s “Road to the Show” game mode, only, the grind to the bigs won’t be as difficult. If colleges make a return to 2K (which they should), then you’d play a few games on the collegiate hardwood, get drafted, play a few games in the G-League, and then reach the NBA.

It’s a simple concept that could help deepen the NBA 2K experience. Obviously, the real NBA would need to follow this process before it reaches the video games.

In baseball, as we know, drafted players go to the minor leagues, hence the reason the minor league teams are so popular. It’s this process that makes RTTS so good.

It’s of the NBA’s best interest to start sending draft picks to the G-League before sending them to the NBA. It would help the brand, and help the G-League become a heavier force.

To have draft picks play on these teams is great for the league, and helps local fans see potential superstars live in action.

Having the process in NBA 2K would be fun, and rewarding. Sometimes, playing a couple of college games and just zipping into the NBA isn’t as rewarding. If you can play a few times in college, get drafted and play in the G-League, then the road to the NBA will feel much more rewarding.

I’m not saying that you have to play in the basketball minors for an entire season but to get some games in would help change the overall experience. Again though, the real league would need to roll with this process before it ever occurred in the game.

Unless 2K goes the bold route and decides to do it anyway. To at least have all 26 (27 in 2018-19) licensed G-League teams in the game only makes sense. Sure, it might seem weird to some fans, but that’s because we’ve become so accustomed to how things have been done, so we just automatically throw the minor leagues in the trash.

But an officially licensed NBA video game should include its development league, and to include it in MyCAREER, would change the way we view hoops games.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio or subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Thanks so much for reading!

The Rebirth of Sports Gaming


2K Bulls

By Colin “Ghost Panda” Mieczkowski

For years, sports video games spread far and wide. From NBA 2K and NCAA Football to Tiger Woods PGA Tour and MLB The Show, There were numerous series for us to look forward to each year.

Now, as we move forward into the new generation of gaming, some games such as NCAA Football, College Hoops and Fight Night have all rode off into the sunset. However, the sports gaming world has seen a rekindling thanks to the explosion of popularity from the aforementioned NBA 2K and MLB The Show franchises.

Some may still view sports games as inferior, but games like 2K have become as popular as some of the other mainstream games. This in big part is due to the rapid popularity of the NBA.

I’ve said this before and that is, I feel the NBA will be the most popular league in America, surpassing the NFL and college football. Sometime in the future, this will occur, because more young fans gravitate to the NBA culture and the swagger that comes with it.

Soccer (properly known as football) is still the sports king in the world, and it always will be. That said, the NBA’s growth here in the United States has spread to many countries around the world.

In turn, this translates to the growth of NBA 2K which is one of the best playing video games out there. It’s more than just the license, it’s just a darn good game.

The Same thing can be said about MLB The Show. It’s not just the MLB sticker planted on the box that makes it special. It’s the rich gameplay, beautiful graphics and amazing ambiance that makes it great.

Other sports games are shining as well. The Golf Club 2 is already one of the greatest golf video games of all-time.

This, thanks to near true to life golf mechanics, and the return of the deep golf course design feature. The gameplay is so good, that, when hitting a good shot, you simply can “feel” it.

Almost like hitting a no-doubt home run. You know when you hit the perfect golf shot.

So there are a ton of great sports games out there. I didn’t even mention Madden, FIFA, NHL and Everybody’s Golf (Hot Shots Golf) which all are very good games as well.

That’s a lot of sports gaming goodness.

I mentioned earlier that I think the NBA will surpass the NFL as king of sports. But, much further down the road, I think eSports will lead the way in American sports as video games continue to explode like crazy.

Sports games will be getting more involved with the world of eSports as well. NBA 2K and Rocket League already have tournaments where gamers can put their skills to the test.

Rocket League, in particular, has become an instant hit on eSports island. The Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) has already had tournaments all over the country from Chicago to Los Angeles.

That’s a good implication of how sports games have been reborn.

In short, sports video games may not have the depth it used to have, but it still in a great place. They have transitioned into the next generation beautifully and continue to rise back up in popularity.

Sports games may never reach the magnitude of popularity that many of the other mainstream games have, but the future is still bright.

Get buckets, score touchdowns, hit home runs, and sink putts you console warriors! GP, out!

You can follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio