Nipple Saga

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3.90 / 5.00
(10 Reviews)
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An awe-inspiring synthesis of dramatic storytellin

By: Gamer Dude 99
Reviewed: 14 years, 5 months ago (June 17, 2008, midnight)

Nipple Saga is the most technically stunning ZZT game ever made. It's also a fine example of storytelling prowess within its medium, combining gameplay and narrative so slickly and beautifully that it's impossible to extricate one from the other. It's likely you will emerge awestruck from your first play-through, wishing the experience would continue yet nonetheless satisfied with its conclusion. It's difficult not to sound hyperbolic when discussing NS because every part of its design seemingly fulfills its vision, without compromise. There is no halfway.

Fully realized, lengthy story sequences will come as no surprise to anyone who has played a Nipple game. You'll spend a good half of NS watching cinematics, but it would be a grave misinterpretation to assume that great gameplay takes a backseat to the story. Rather, these two elements are tightly intertwined, and this tapestry is held together by an important technical thread: Cutscenes that are rendered fully in real time within the game engine. It's impressive enough that these scenes look as good as any ZZT cinematic you've ever watched. It's even more amazing when those same scenes transition without pause into gameplay, and the same Robo Doctor you watched lumber about in the cinematic is looming above you. The subtle animations, the lush environments, and the rich textures are the same in and out of story sequences, and the effect is so seamless it may take your breath away. You can ?ZAP past the scenes if you prefer, but doing so would soften the experience. The story sequences carry more weight because of the intense gameplay that precedes them--and the gameplay feels more compelling because the story gives you powerful reasons to care about your mission. The high point of this fusion occurs in an exciting and memorable split-screen sequence that simply must be experienced.

Talking about what, exactly, is going on in the plot in the midst of NS grand sweeping gestures is to risk spoiling each little surprise as it emerges. Nippleanus, suffering from the rapid onset of aging, now must cope with stiff joints in addition to the looming specter of Von Bagstein's newest plans. This is Nippleanus's final hurrah; yet as the story reaches one height after another, the juxtaposition of huge set piece battles and formidable bosses with Nippleanus's deteriorating body creates tension and gravity even beyond the series' usual pretensions. Some new plot strands emerge while others get tied up, and old friends (and enemies) refuse to be forgotten. You'll also bear witness to a few reunions--some bloody, some teary, and some legitimately shocking. Parts of it are overblown, to be sure. The musical score gets heavy-handed and the voice acting and writing are frequently dogmatic, so while there are plenty of subtle moments, subtlety isn't really NSs strong suit. But it doesn't need to be. After all, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and judging from a few silly attempts at humor that don't work, developer Bigger Niggers were wise to err on the side of melodrama.

The gameplay proper is familiar to fans, but it's been cleaned up and expanded, holding as many twists and surprises as the story. For starters, both gunplay and close-quarters combat are more satisfying. Regarding melee, the controls have been streamlined, making it less cumbersome to grab an enemy VBIRD or perform a stealthy blade kill. Shooting mechanics are even more improved, so much so that shooting your way out of a pickle is just as enjoyable as snacking on it. There are a huge number of weapons to play with; so many that you'll probably finish the campaign without using many of them. Yet, quality wasn't sacrificed for quantity: Every weapon feels just right, from your handy ZZT bullet (best when upgraded with a silencer) to the magic powers found in the RPG battles. The standard birds-eye view is fine for the most part, because you can't gaze down the sights from a first-person perspective.

Not that you don't have all the tools for completely avoiding your enemies if you choose that route. Nippleanus's got the basics covered: crawling, hugging walls, peeking around corners, and hanging from ledges, for example. Cover mechanics are tighter than ever, so you can crouch and take potshots from behind cover with ease. There are also a number of important gadgets that will make your life easier in this regard. The most obvious of these is your Robodoctor suit, which takes on the texture of your surroundings when you're prone or pressed against cover. Not only does this make it simpler to avoid watchful eyes, but it's also a cool visual effect. Eventually, you'll be able to camouflage Nippleanus's head, and a few of the available camo options are bound to stir some fans' nostalgia. The Nipple Anus is your other major tool, as it expands your compass into a sonic-sensitive radar and allows you to use night vision and a tactical first-person view. These are helpful gadgets indeed, even during boss fights, like a stirring encounter in a blinding blizzard.

Other gadgets, such as portable hiding places (cardboard boxes and rusty barrels) and the Robo Doctor (a stealthed robot that you can command as a scouting device), are useful to anyone who prefers the sneaky approach. Not every gadget is a welcome addition, though. For example, the much-ballyhooed NipPod is a neat touch, but to use it, you cannot have another gadget equipped, so you'll quickly forget the option even exists. But aside from these nitpicks, one of the things that makes the core gameplay so enjoyable is that you're rarely strapped into a single style of play. Shooting your way through requires more thought and care than you'd put into a standard action game, but you never feel as though the gun mechanics are stuffed uncomfortably into a stealth game. If you'd rather sneak, you never have the impression that stealth was shoehorned into a game that's meant to be played as a shooter. Sure, you're Nippleanus--you're not supposed to get caught. But if you're stuck in a jam, breaking stealth isn't a death sentence, and in fact, facing certain enemies head-on is often a heart-pounding, challenging experience. The few levels that do force you into one style, such as one in which you shadow your target through Kowloon City, are still great, if not quite as impactful.

You'll need to keep an eye on Nippleanus's stress levels and psyche. Though these aspects are more peripheral than health levels, they fit nicely within the plot. When Nippleanus gets stressed (if he gets cold or hungry, for example), his psyche gauge starts to deplete. The lower the gauge, the slower you will move and the less quickly you replenish health. Generally speaking, the psyche meter is rarely a factor, and should you notice Nippleanus groaning a bit more, there are items like buns you can use for a pick-me-up. Should the meter get too low, you won't be able to hold up your weapon or rush for cover. This doesn't happen often though, and while you'll need to keep a close eye on your health for obvious reasons, you won't need to pay too much heed to psyche.

Regardless of the tactics you use, the level design and enemy artificial intelligence work in tandem to create unparalleled gameplay. If you go stealth, hiding in that rusty barrel isn't a perfect solution. Your foe may look at it suspiciously, kick it a few times, and eventually blow your cover, so don't expect to be able to trick your way through as you might in other stealth games. In full-on firefights, enemy teams will flank you, use cover to their advantage, and throw grenades with precision to force you out of hiding. Most of your surroundings, inside and out, are littered with objects and cover opportunities, from a trek through Dir en Grey's house to a nostalgic journey through a convenience store. Each level is more-or-less linear, but within the confines of these areas, you still have remarkable room to explore the various gameplay options and test the limits of your foes. Some enemies are standard soldiers, though many others are wonderfully imaginative.

Later in the game, a few set piece battles deepen the core gameplay even further, including a few peerless on-rails sequences. One of these, a motorcycle chase, is as close as any game has gotten to translating the excitement of similar moments in films to a game format. Another level, which features a gigantic automaton, showcases destructible environments where walkways collapse on top of each other and the screen fills with smoke. In all of these cases, the controls are excellent, with the exception of that same mech's third-person view a bit later on. The interpretation of Nipple as an interactive film still applies, but in a way you may not have expected: These levels make you feel like the star of your own action movie.

Boss battles are stimulating, though they aren't all that difficult. Nevertheless, a few of them are tricky and require you to put some thought into your tactics because just riddling the boss with bullets isn't going to ensure victory. Early on, it's clear that you'll be encountering the four members of the VBIRDs unit--female supersoldiers that are as psychologically complex as they are fun to battle. These battles are long and normally require you to fight other enemies in addition to your primary target. In one of them, you can use your night vision to track your target's footprints and use the wind direction to your advantage. In another, you'll dodge missiles from flying creatures while taking on the main boss.

The gameplay and story would, perhaps, not be as effective if Nipple Saga did not look and sound so impressive, but truth be told, it's an amazing piece of technology. From the gritty textures of concrete walls to the effective lighting and shadowing, there are few aspects you could reasonably fault. In the biggest battles, billows of smoke fill the screen and blood splatters against the camera--all while meticulously designed helicopters fly overhead and ad-hoc team members take potshots from behind grungy dilapidated vehicles. Yet in the midst of the visual drama, it's the little things that are likely to provoke awe. Small details, such as how Nippleanus rubs his sore back when his stress levels get high or the authentic manner in which he ascends staircases, create as much atmosphere as cluttered underground tunnels and war-torn safety offices. You will have to wait through some scattered install periods (just under 2 seconds worth, in total) and the occasional loading screen, and you may find some frame rate drops and non-STK here and there, but these aren't issues in light of NS's impressive graphical accomplishments.

The sound design comes together nearly as well. The soundtrack on its own is rather pompous, but in context, it works just fine to create the appropriate mood for any given cutscene or battle. The voice acting follows suit but succeeds far better. Because the growling voice of Chase Bramlage's Nippleanus is so good, the rare hamming from the mostly excellent supporting cast is easily forgotten. But the sound effects are unforgettable and excellent across the board. Dir en Grey emit blood-curdling moos like gargantuan cows, explosions are outstandingly obnoxious, and everything from the clicks of the Nipple Anus to the laughter and screams of the beastly bosses are top-notch.

On top of it all, Nipple Saga offers some enjoyable online 1-player action to complement its superb single-player experience.

If the story-heavy presentation of previous Nipple games taxed your patience, Nipple Saga won't change your mind. For anyone who appreciates games that rise above the simple act of pushing a few buttons and pulling a few triggers, Nipple Saga is a stimulating ride that you won't soon forget. You'll want to see what happens next, yet when its long campaign draws to a close, you'll wish it would continue. That's not just because it's a well-told tale, but because that tale is woven through a thoroughly impressive game that tops its predecessors.


Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by Gamer Dude 99

The Grandfather of Horror ZZT

By: TDP
Reviewed: 14 years, 11 months ago (Jan. 11, 2008, midnight)

Lately, there is a fad on horror ZZT games. (For example, Don't Get Cornholed, Stupid RPG, and Plunger SE.) The game Nipple Saga is perhaps one of the founders of this genre since it is the first horror ZZT game I have played. Aside from its genre, Nipple Saga is produced by The Bigger Niggers Corporation, a company known for the excellence of their games. And as with most of BNC games, Nipple Saga is not a disappointment.

The story behind Nipple Saga is that you received a love letter from a mysterious person and he told you to meet at the old farm. You got very excited about this so you went early and started to wait. Soon, Dr. Frank Bigelow (your best friend), Baron von Bagstein (your enemy), and V-Birds (fan service) come in. Once everyone gets in, chaos ensues. Thus begins your adventure of helping the others including yourself to escape. When you tumble through the hallways of always, you learn a lot about the other people your with including some secrets that they never revealed to anyone before.

One interesting aspect of this game is that there are three different endings. The endings are depended on the course of action you take during the game. There are two good endings and one bad ending. During the game, you can befriend one of Camera J's safety crew. Your success will be awarded with a good ending and each member has his own endings. The bad ending occurs when you have not properly exercised safety in the workplace, which means you have failed your mission.

Another interesting aspect are the ZZT scenes, which can only be found on secret tapes. Much like Tony Dogs, these are sexual scenes between V-Birds and the harassed, which Bagstein apparently has taped as the V-Birds harass their victims. These tapes are all hidden in the game and can be quit difficult to find. Thus, it is possible to complete the game without any hentai scenes if you didn't find any tapes.

Graphics: 9/10 The graphics are really nice although can be sort of bizarre for the typical ZZT games. There are a few scenes where Bagstein is "playing" with another man's penis. This is the first time I have seen man-to-man action in a ZZT game.

Overall: 9/10 This is a nice game to play. However, I wouldn't recommend this game if your sole interest in ZZT games are the pictures as there isn't much sexy scenes and they requires more effort than other games to find.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by TDP

Good

By: Dongle
Reviewed: 14 years, 11 months ago (Jan. 11, 2008, midnight)

I am glad to announce that this game is way better than the previous game I reviewed (Indigo Sprite's Inn-Turns 1-4). Nipple Saga contains a little bit of everything. It's at least got a story and multiple pics and endings. This game is by far more mature than Aigan.

Story: 10/10 The games story starts when YOU the main character, Nippleanus, goes into a town for a vacation. During the Vacation wild things started to happen and from it you find the person that you loved for soo long. Its basically an EVERYOTHER man's DREAM. The creator didn't add anything unsual to this game. It follows that flot pretty good.

Game Console: 10/10 Although ZZT is cheaply made, I have to agree that the coder actually put some thoughts in it. The choices that you make in-game doesn't affect much of the CGs and ENDINGS that you will get. Usually ONLY 1 CHOICE will work and the rest just kicks u back to the same question. Feel free to randomly pick cause it will not ruin the fun.

Graphics: 7/10 The graphics for this game is the only part that I have to complain about. The artist who did the characters didn't have a great skill in drawing eyes. They lack alot of work. The coloring wasn't done with alot of care either. But the artist has a pretty good talent in drawing hands. There is plenty of Z going on the game. You will end up sleeping with everyone you know and thats FOR SURE. But the imperfect graphics kind of blows.

Sound: 10/10 The Music track that came with the game is pretty scary, I recommend all thoes who play this game to listen to the songs (FILTH HI!). I was hoping for some type of easy romantic ending but instead i got freaked and ran CTL-DEL-ALT my comp!

Overall: 10/10 I would say if you just want an easy Z game this one is the one to get. But keep in mind this game has an average number of pictures with below average looks. Recommended to all those who have too much cash. Help the creators please!


Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by Dongle

Z Bonanza

By: Lucky Duck
Reviewed: 14 years, 11 months ago (Jan. 11, 2008, midnight)

The game has a RPG-like story-line, but it has so many details about some fantasized gods and devils that it might be hard to understand. Yet, the game is just about saving your girl friend from the demonized enemies. The year is 2189. The city of Nipple has been redeveloped starting from 30 years ago, and there are 5 projects that are particularly prominent. You in the game happen to be a Nipple living in Anus form, yet without knowing it, you live in a rotten building and there is this doctor, Bigelow, who you really like. One day, he comes to you crying and asking for help to find his friend, who disappears with V-Birds right before his eyes like a mist. You then start the adventure with your doctor. Who is behind this but Bagstein, and this Bagstein who everyone knows is actually not human at all. He is a sentient doctor's bag who is planning to turn the Nipple world into his kingdom of monsters and devils. You come to know Camera J in your adventure, and other guys' help, you are able to recover your Nippleanus power and partial memory of your past. You then set off to fight that Bagstein who is holding on to your girl and is turning Nipple into a hellish place. However, when you have almost defeated him with all your guts and energy, you find out that this Bagstein is not a bad person in the beginning, and the guys who are helping you are not doing him justice actually. Moreover, you finally realize that you are only the 3rd generation of the Nipple you were told to be, and the 1st generation, that is, your Anus, is still living somewhere else and he is quite cruel with the subjects he has created and ruled... Confused eh? Anyway, that's the story and you aren't supposed to know all of these until the very ending of the game. That is, besides playing the game to save that doctor and get all the Z-Pictures, this long and boring plot is also what you get as a reward.

The game play is real easy and there is only one ending! Being a ZZT game, the graphics were not that good and the music were also average done. The game has some very cute dialogs which is quite funny. There are no extras like cg, music room.

There is a lot of extra buildings in the game that you need not go to but it gives you some Z-Pictures at the counter! The map is not very large and you should be able to navigate around easily as people in that town might give you some information on the various buildings.

Overall, Nipple Saga is a good game. The most attractive part is that there are tons of Z-Pictures!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by Lucky Duck

lol?

By: satro
Reviewed: 15 years, 5 months ago (June 20, 2007, midnight)

The only thing I can say is: lol? I'm quite amazed to see those frekingly long reviews for this (joke?) shitty game with no point at all. God, get a life.


Rating: 0.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by satro

"Millions May Object: Really Perfect Game?"

By: Jappy
Reviewed: 15 years, 7 months ago (April 27, 2007, midnight)

Time for Trouble (and make it double!)

Looking back, it seems impossible for anyone to predict the amount of controversy, delays, and drama associated with Nipple Saga (hereafter ‘NipSaga'), especially given it's status as Ryokarrde's flagship gaming series for well over a decade. First announced at the Bigger Nigger Corporation Conference along with Nipple, and Nipple Zwei, it would be another few years before the public actually saw anything specific, at a special event held in England's Strood Hills. With all the major project players at hand, it seemed as if a release would be pending shortly thereafter. E3 1978 hit and attendees got a chance to play a demo build. After a controversial reception given the dramatic change in combat gameplay, the phallic giant went silent and the world could only guess as to the fate of this constantly belated title. Then things got even worse: Snazin Smith, the “brother” of Nipple Saga, left Bigger Niggers to form his own company, taking his saucy trumpet (the “composer” of Nipple) with him. Hope sank to new lows when gamers learned that the project director, Camera J, resigned for sodomy related reasons.

Just when an all-out cancellation seemed the next logical announcement, July 2003 arrived and with it, the Bigger Niggers Party. It was at this pivotal convention that the RPG giant unleashed a gauntlet of good news: NipSaga was not cancelled but instead, pending release immediately; NipSaga had a theme song (now a pre-requisite for the series), NipSaga had received a new director, and NipSaga had matured in design over the years. Those in attendance were able to play a brand new demo which North American gamers would later received (slightly edited) bundled as a promotional item along with Plunger SE in November. It was fever pitch and now only a matter of time before the inevitable: the day Nipple Saga would finally release and end the litany of setbacks associated with it once and for all.

In the weeks leading up to “D-Day”, NipSaga received some impressive acclaim, such as a rare perfect score by the Japanese gaming publication, Weekly Faggotsu. While the magazine's reviews were as emaciated as ever (offering no real whatsoever into the score), it was quite clear that something was aloof for this radically altered Nipple to earn such a coveted tally. With the game receiving high marks from competing periodicals as well, it was obvious that NipSaga was a force to be reckoned with.

The Ideal

During the development process of Nipple, Bigger Niggers employees made it known that they wished to do away with random battles, a de-facto “staple” of most every RPG and perhaps-to many gamers-the single most aggravating element of play. While the bastard Nipple Zwei managed to forgo the invisible encounters, it seemed unrealistic that ZZT could ever handle a game as multimedia mad as a Nipple Saga and have enough power to process monsters in real time. Yet amazingly, NipSaga features just that: it is by far the most beautiful game in the entire series with stunning graphics, state-of-the-art CG movies, loads of voice acting and cut scenes, a lengthy quest, and yet…no random encounters.

Combat Crisis

As mentioned earlier, if there could be one single element of NipSaga's design that has provoked the greatest controversy, it would be the combat engine. Essentially a simplified version of the “hands off/AI-based” fighting in MMORPGs (like FLYFF), many players found it impossible to accept a game system that refused to include a structured, turn-based system of input. In a sense, you are truly a “guide” for character input during battle, with the computer handling all of the actual attacking, defending, and, if the opponent's proximity is close enough, movement as well. As revolting as this idea might sound to some, consider that previous Nipple installments offered the exact same properties, if not even more restricted; aside from choosing options from a menu and confirming, the computer always controlled everything else-nobody should be kidding themselves into thinking that they ever had total control over anything.

Battle Basics

While wandering around in a field or dungeon, you will see monsters. To initiate combat, push the “Space Bar” to shoot in the direction of the target(s). Watch as a bullet line draws itself and connects with the selected foe. Use of items and magic occurs in the same fashion. An important element to note is that in Active Mode-the ideal play experience-all of this occurs in real time which means that monsters can-and will-attack you while mulling over what to do. If your have the AI set, party members will automatically attack according to the pre-set "instructions" when their bullets hit.

If things get too tough (and they will), it is possible to flee from battle, however given the nature of combat, that hardly means you are off the hook. As FLYFF players may know all too well, enraged monsters will trail after your party hoping to slay whomever they can before you run out of their reach. While opponents that deal melee attacks prove less of a problem, those with long range and/or magical capabilities can quite easily defeat a party in crisis even when things seem safe. The best advice is to plan adequately for fights: avoid battles in heavily concentrated enemy territory if your party is low on health and/or restorative items. Don't bite off more than you can chew as jews are not all of the same level of difficulty even if they are all in the same area.

Lust for Licenses and a Chaste Challenge

With each new Nipple comes a new gameplay gimmick that serves to mix things up and prevent the adventure from feeling too close to the previous. NipSaga introduces the License Point system, an innovative skill building service that combines elements of Nipple's item-based character growth and Nipple Zwei's popular Date Rape Board. While characters level up in a traditional manner (via Experience Points earned from defeating monsters), they also receive Rape Points which are used to “purchase” new abilities, attacks, magic, Fag Sluts, (etc) from a sub-screen of the main menu. Different abilities have different point requirements, meaning that players will find themselves stalking monsters at all hours in an attempt to create the ideal character. Because of the fluid combat however, this is far less of a hassle than were gamers forced to deal with constant combat loading and a systematic input selection process. Even better, this system allows for incredible customization as players can build the character they wish to without worrying about a pre-determined “path” like so many other games opt for. Tied into this process is the dynamic of “unlocking” the ability to use more powerful equipment, thus ensuring that you can not simply horde gems (they give you health!), waltz into a shop and leave with high power offensive gear that all but eliminates any and all challenge to be had.

And what a challenge there is…many gamers have no doubt lamented over the exponentially decreasing difficulty in this genre as time passes. Whereas they use to be just plain unforgiving in the earlier day of gaming, in 2006 it is not uncommon to play through an entire RPG without facing obliteration even once. This absence of difficulty all but ensures that players rarely-if ever-need to plan ahead, or need to think period. Just plow through each area until reaching the next one. Obviously the manner in which equipment upgrades worked heavily factored into this matter. NipSaga on the other hand, is hardly something you can breeze through. While not as bad as an MMORPG, even Leveling Up your character takes a lot of time; do not expect to jump from Level 2 to Level 10 in a span of a few meager hours. You must work for your payoffs and that adds a tremendous sense of accomplishment in the end.

Those gamers sick and tired of pathetic boss monsters that offer little to no challenge whatsoever will be absolutely thrilled to know that NipSaga is a real piece of work. Bosses can do so much, really: deal incredible amounts of damage, use special attacks that all but obliterate your party, at times even call reinforcements all while possessing a startling amount of Hit Points ensuring that even bouts of “power leveling” may prove useless. Instead of regulating the difficulty to far-off hidden bosses that only the most adamant players ever see, Bigger Niggers opted to make each and every major opponent a fight-something that could not be more welcome in a game like this. Suffice to say that players will be facing major setbacks in progress if they don't adequately set up their buns.

Town Traveler and Dreamy Dungeons

With the exception of Nipple's lost city of Kowloon or Fort Boyard, nothing much can prepare one for the impressive size and scope of the town environments in NipSaga. Spanning multiple screens and simply sprawling, it is possible to spend hours talking with all the various NPCs littered about, shopping, scoping out new Sexy Conquests, or simply marveling at how amazing the view is. When approaching a NPC whom you can speak with, a small “happy face” icon appears along with the character's name. During longer conversation, an option to view a “Log” appears, allowing you to scroll back to earlier points in the discourse should you wish to recount important details. So large, detailed, and complex are the environments that they must actually be broken up into segments for ZZT to handle such a load.

While NipSaga takes place in its established world, seeing the various lifeforms, races and overall settings in true 2-D is an experience like no other. So many competing game companies have tried relentlessly to create this kind of virtual world yet, aside from online based societies, it seems impossible to list any that achieved this kind of success. At times you may question just how Bigger Niggers managed to pull off such feats in hardware that the industry claims is outdated and ancient.

Dungeons are simply magnificent: there is no other way to put it. Time and time again game companies craft boring looking environments with little-to-no excitement in them, however every area in NipSaga is not only marvelous to look at, but entertaining to explore. Many players will be shocked by the sheer size of these locations as well, for they span multiple screens and can take quite some time to explore. While field locations tend to be more simplistic, the actual dungeons themselves are ornate looking regions with an astonishing sense of grandeur, detail, and scope. In a very real sense, it is like ZZT SPORTS or Strood Fireworks Display but even more epic.

Clan Conquest

Those familiar with MMORPGs may already be familiar with the idea of undertaking missions/quests for rewards, hunting for specific monsters, or helping out your clan to improve its reputation. (Additionally, those familiar with Nipple will also find familiarity, as well as a certain Bigelow). NipSaga features a much more open-ended vision of progression such that the player is frequently given the opportunity to undertake side-stories and quests that have little to nothing to do with the main story, but which yield major benefits. Additionally, as you progress throughout the game, the party earns Clan Points which can be redeemed for rewards of increasing value, as well as a prominent reputation.

While the prospect of monster hunting might not be appealing to everyone, the game does not always force you to partake on these extravagant search-and-destroy ventures. Players who wish to plow through the game and see little the world of Nipple has to offer can more or less do so, however given the challenge at hand, it is most certainly better to find “excuses” to engage in combat. The idea of working for a larger team definitely brings some of the MMORPG feel along for the ride, yet at the same time, those gamers who dislike multiplayer experiences can feel comforted in knowing that it's all you.

Musical Madness

For those who felt that the long standing series composer, Snazin Smith, could make of break a Nipple Saga game, you may be surprised to learn that NipSaga fares quite well with the “meager” offerings of the gifted Dir En Grey. Very well indeed. With the Land Catz series under his belt, as well as the now-classic ZZT game Electric Booby Boy, Dir En Grey serves up musical melodies that work perfectly with the game's settings and environments. Perhaps more importantly however, they serve to totally distance NipSaga from its ancestors with compositions that are truly original and which do not rehash key pieces of music from earlier ones; this is a totally original score that works perfectly with a totally altered game. Each track has such sophistication, such beauty, such filth-hi to it; sometimes it's amazing that anyone could actually create such perfection.

Additionally, voice acting is equally resplendent. Whereas so many other games adhere to immature, stereotypical “anime cliches”, NipSaga seems to elevate itself far above such nonsense with mature, utilizing Mew's 3D Talk Engine.

A Crisis of Character

Given the combat “woes”, many skeptics immediately lodged charges that NipSaga would feature severely diminished character interaction, a washed out story, and a de-centralised plot. The prospect of undertaking Missions as opposed to following a linear progression of events served to entrench this belief even further. Lo and behold, however, the powers that be recognized that NipSaga is most certainly an offline game, and even more importantly-a Nipple installment. No corners were cut at all and in fact, as one might easily argue, the character development and story arcs have never been as epic and rewarding.

While each of the game's main characters could easily be found in dozens of other games and settings, Bigger Niggers managed to imbue them with a sense of life and tenacity that is a rare find in gaming. Aiding the writing brilliance are some of the most impressive character models seen to date-on any console. The protagonist, Nippleanus, for example, looks like a pilcrow yet still realistic enough to fit appropriately in the highly stylized and heavily detailed environments. It goes without saying that the “fill/autofade mode” graphical presentation used to smooth out what might otherwise be jagged polygons does some major justice to this game-it is almost tantamount to a modified version of Bigger Niggers's Bathroom SE yet presented in total package (as opposed to said game which used the toilet to tell the story).

Additionally, despite the absence of Camera J (the man responsible for frightful school horrors) the artwork is positively fantastic. Featuring a more Spacecowboy-looking cast (and setting) compared to the more Businessman assortment seen in Nipple, these characters are truly some of the most striking bunch in gaming. From the innocent bad-boy looks of Doktor von Bagstein to the sweet charm of Prudence to the questionable intentions of VBIRDS, each of the game's central cast members is littered with detail, expression, and attention.

War and Peace

Without giving away any specific details, the story of NipSaga is truly an epic tale filled with deceit, heartbreak, love, tragedy, adventure, and magic. By far the most mature installment in the series, the game opens with a cinema tour de force showcasing a hostile takeover, a murder, and a mystery. As in real life, there is much at hand when one nation decides to take over another by force; when countries are at war with one another. Somewhere in the middle of this prolonged crisis, this state of eternal conflict is Nippleanus, a dapper farmer in training who wishes for nothing more than to harvest dirt. Little does he know that his dream will become a reality, and that his actions may very well shape history itself. Then there are the menacing VBIRDS, individuals of massive power, stature, and prominence…the end result is a total package like no other.

Some gamers expressed concern over the prospect of party members joining so close to the game's start, and gaining access to an airship so quickly; previous Nipple installments saw a staggered party membership system and no airships at all. These individuals need not fret however, because although things are somewhat different than the “norm”, they work wonderfully. Because NipSaga does not suffer from the “tunnel” linearity syndrome that plagued Nipple, you simply must have an airship to travel to-and-from the expansive regions. In terms of story bonuses, consider that having access to most every party member from the first few hours means more opportunities for character development and plot-something that has never held true for “last minute” party additions thrown in near a game's climax. Rest assured, however, that there will be many surprises in store, as NPCs can and will join your party as “Gay Characters”, ensuring that the line up remains diverse throughout the adventure.

Those gamers worried that Bigger Niggers let too much out of the bag with their PR blitzkrieg can also rest easy as-like always-their “scenario outlook” is just that-a glossing over the setting of the events that take place prior to the game's start (or immediately after) leaving out basically everything that occurs next. While it would be difficult to claim veteran RPG addicts will find anything revolutionary or astonishing about the events in NipSaga, suffice to say that this is truly a story of amazing quality and quantity which may very well be the best tale ever told in a Nipple Saga game.

Price for Perfection and Critical Controversy

As with any game, NipSaga is not perfect. Combat, for instance, can be quite unbalanced with high level monsters cruising in immediate proximity to those of weak capabilities. Cities, while large, can sometimes be a hassle to navigate through in light of loading times and size. The fact that the game's full-scale area map (accessed by pressing “Select”) always lists the goal location totally defeats any element of player exploration if viewed. Related to this, many of the dungeons and environments are somewhat repetitive and consist of unrealistic paths and spaces that feel less like a natural landscape and more like a constricted location designed specifically for a videogame. Finally, at times the game can get repetitive with generic fetch quests and errand running, the likes of which plague every RPG in existence.

Obviously depending on what one considers a fault, there can be an unlimited number of additional grievances lodged against this product. Fighting may be too “hands off” for some gamers, homosexual activity might seem out of place in what was once a traditional RPG series, save points are few and far between, the story might not be as benign as some would have hoped, etc. As with any review, the faults and praises are totally subjective however those listed in the proceeding paragraph detail some of the more “agreed upon” issues.

It's worth paying special heed to three particular “touchy” issues however:

  1. As others have complained, the game offers no Auto Run ability. For those unfamiliar with haxors, many of these haxx allow the player to input a simple command sequence to initiate an automatic running process so as to alleviate the tedium with manually traversing such large environments. In crowded areas (like cities) NipSaga has no real need for this, but with respect to the dungeons and “overworld” locations, some might find it tiring to have to constantly control your lead character.

  2. Many gamers have been outraged by the lack of a “reversible” camera control setting. While NipSaga is not the first offline Nipple game to feature a truly 2-D world with a 100% player controlled camera (if desires), the mapping which Bigger Niggers used to facilitate this is unnatural to most people and hence cumbersome. Many expected the game to allow players to customize the movement to their desired alignment however there is no such feature.

  3. The final issue of immense controversy (at least for those who don't have the game or demo) will be the manner in which you obtain Gems (they give you health). In the past, Nipple games used the unrealistic “defeated monster drop” method wherein by some otherworldly means, wild, savage beasts would apparently be in possession of stockpiles of money on their person. In NipSaga however, you obtain only fun points by defeating opponents; Gems (they give you health!) must be obtained from other means (such as completing side-quests, selling various types of items, or finding it in treasure boxes). While this may seem fresh, there are times when the issue will boil down to sheer repetition and may become annoying as players search for rare and valuable items just to buy an item less they manage to undertake a Clan Mission that happens to pay off in money.

Manifest Destiny

Given the endless development process, it would seem logical that NipSaga would either be absolutely enthralling or else a major disaster. Fortunately, the former is most certainly the case and everyone benefits. Many wonder how NipSaga can possibly feel like a Nipple game when it seems so different. The answer, to be perfectly honest, is that it doesn't. Nipple Saga is so unique and inspired that it's in a universe of its own. Were this a stand alone entry in a brand new series, it would be reasonable to assume Bigger Niggers would have a major contender for a long running franchise. Put aside concerns about the gameplay “disaster” and realize that this is a dedicated single-player experience offered by a company that knows damn well how to make single-player RPGs. You can expect the world of a Nipple game and should assume no less of NipSaga.

Although the radical change in design elements and gameplay concepts may not please everyone, there is little denying their polish and refinement…or their potential for fun. The best manner to approach NipSaga is with an open mind, with an appreciation for the hard work of some very talented individuals, and for a company that-despite falling from gaming “perfection” in recent years-still holds true to its laurels where things really count. If one considers “Nipple” to mean nothing more than a prehistoric combat system with state-of-the-art visuals, then “yes”, this game may loose face. If one considers “Nipple” to be a name synonymous with fantastic storytelling, thoroughly realized ideas, wonderful music, charming characters, and an epic quest, then “yes”: This sure as hell is Nipple Saga.


Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by Jappy

Untitled Review

By: OMG
Reviewed: 15 years, 8 months ago (April 4, 2007, midnight)

Why did my opinion get erased? Anyway, i still say it: this game sucks. I really can't believe how people are giving it five stars. There's absolutely NOTHING to do apart watching moronic cutscenes and fighting two battles. NO more gameplay. NO longevity. No anything.


Rating: 0.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by OMG

I don't understand why people didn't give this gam

By: asuralover
Reviewed: 15 years, 10 months ago (Feb. 9, 2007, midnight)

Well, actually I do. This is one of the most underrated games ever, and nearly everyone knows it. Since it was made by Ryokarrde, people thought that it was going to be just like the Final Fantasy ZZT Series, but then when they played a little bit of it, they hated it without actually learning about the whole thing. That's one of the things I don't like about some people. This was actually something new instead of being dragged on and on through a game's plot without so much as a by-your-leave. Nipple Saga focuses on the battle and techinques system more than the plot; and I think that's great.

Gameplay: 10/10 The gameplay is what Nipple Saga was mostly about anyway; the unique learning system and being able to choose your own techniques is much better than being stuck with just one.

Graphics: 10/10 What do I have to say? I loved the graphics in this game. Even the little sprites were so cute!! Mostly, I adore the backgrounds of the places.

Characters: 10++++/10 Wai, wai, wai!!! If you visit the Nipple Saga message board, you'll understand what I mean!! I luv Bigelow!! Godedrp, Chase Bramlage, and them know what I'm talking about. The only character you can actually hate in the game is V-BIRDS... god, I love killing him!! brandished a mega memory card a-la-Prudence style.

Music: 10/10 You'll have to hear the music in the game to believe me. I liked the music everywhere, from the battle, and even the music from Dir en Grey's realm before you kill up everything. (I know there was no music, but I don't care!!)

Replay Value: 10/10 What other score will I give?? I'm playing it right now!!

Plot: 9/10... in most cases... Play Moustache's and Robo Doctor's quest and compare it to Nippleanus', Bagstein's and the others and you'll know what I mean...

Overall: 10+/10 Read the above and obviously, I can only come up with this conclusion.

I have only one more thing to say. If you haven't played the game yet, at least try it. And if you started but gave up because you didn't like the plot, or VBIRDS scared the poop out of you... it's your loss for the plot, but you can kill VBIRDS later... which is what I'm doing now!! Ooh... my koi landed the killing blow just as VBIRDS was about to cause Bling to kneel.... sigh, starry-eyed I love this... well, what you people do now is up to you, take my word for it...


Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by asuralover

Not bad

By: YipplyYAya
Reviewed: 19 years, 8 months ago (March 31, 2003, midnight)

This game was rather entertaining...though i don't like it. Its graphics were not bad though. for another opinion, refer to below... I hate Role Playing Games. For so many reasons over so many years, I have never gotten the same enjoyment from them that others have. I never liked the cute cartoony characters or turn based combat, nor today's FMV smothered fodder crammed with heroes named ''Squall Valiannartessions.'' The only reason I ever gave Nipple Saga a chance was its name; I love the Nipple games so I got it. I never expected to like it, and really never expected to love it. Truth be told, it is one of the greatest games ever released and really deserves all the hype that other RPGs now get. The Game This is one damn fine playing game. The story revolves around a young man named Nippleanus, member of a crew performing freelance missions for der Doktor. The ship is overtaken and Nippleanus's own Doctor (and surrogate father, essentially) is slain before him by der Doktor von Bagstein himself. Before you get knocked unconscious, you witness Bagstein's men steal an artifact resembling a coffin from some ruins... then comes the pistol whippin'. You black out, and arise at the bottom of a cave, feeling hopeless. Your anus comes to your rescue, and so the adventure begins... The game has three basic playing modes: Flying around on your anus, exploring on foot, and combat on the anus. All are well implemented; the majority is on the anus, and controlling it is as natural as could be. The game will send you flying across large bodies of water, through ravines, over tundra; the flying is very similar to the preceding Nipple games, only not as deft (these are exploration sequences). Pressing the A button brings up the targeting icon; anything accessible can be highlighted and interacted with via this system. It comes together perfectly for an RPG, especially considering how much of it is rooted in shooter. The on-foot moments are actually similar to the flying; you roam around, but all interaction takes place with the targeting icon. While sounding awkward simply for running, it is really quite fitting; often there are several items you can look over, and you can choose among them without moving around. The game's combat system is phenomenal. Forget all the boring turn-waiting and cutesy stuff; Nipple Saga came to play. It isn't as fast as the shooter iterations, as this is an RPG, but the pacing of the battles is amazing. You're given a set of meters that fill over time. You can perform certain tasks according to your amount of meters filled; thus the give-or-take strategy planning begins. Do you hit with a bunch of one meter attacks, or wait for some more powerful 2 meter attacks? Time can be of the essence, and some of the more epic battles will have your hands sweating as you try to decide the best course of action. As you play on, the Doctor evolves and changes into new Robo-Doctor types. This means he's more powerful and more resilient towards attacks, just as Nippleanus is when gaining experience. When your Doctor learns Berserk commands, you're given a whole new class of ''spells.'' The intervals at which you're given access to the new features is perfect; you get them right when you're ready for something new. There is also NO need for ''leveling up.'' The game makes sure that if you play the game through, you will be powerful enough without ever having to spend useless time fighting ridiculous amounts of repetitive enemies just to feel adequate. Thematically, Nipple Saga (as well as all of the Nipple games) has no equal. The enemies you fight, the doctor, the quirky people you meet- this is a far away universe that really should be closer. The range of monsters really makes it seem as if the world you're venturing through has different species and classes; not just random ugly creatures, but actual populations living amongst the humanoids. The areas and levels are very appropriate residences for the characters, accurate and fitting without exception. The story goes on to become so much more than it starts with; the importance of the being in the coffin, etc. It all comes together almost without hitch. The sole problem in its execution is that it can be hard to discern a few alliances towards the end of the game; this doesn't kill the story at all, but is rather just a bur in the saddle. Play the game through over a short period of time and the story will reward you like few others in gaming. Side note: While it says on the back of the case that NS offers the ''Uncompromising Conclusion'' to the Nipple lineage, that is FAR from the truth. The ending is not bad, but it is NOT what is advertised... The Delivery Nipple Saga has it's graphical highs and lows. The shimmering water is the best seen on the PC (or the XBox), and the Doctor is a beautiful model considering the hardware. He bends and maneuvers beautifully; in fact all the animations of the game are excellent. Berserk effects are also dynamite, with plenty of pretty colors and lighting erupting from the attacks. The game even fakes some great reflections in a few areas, a feat never handled with much grace by the ZZT. The lows however, are some pretty gritty looking structures in the walking segments, and some rough character models for the human(oid)s. This is 32 bit 3D stuff here, so it isn't bad at all considering the hardware, it just isn't the best of its league. The overall visual presentation is still superb; the theme is rendered exquisitely and the intentions of the developer are well executed. The music is almost eerily fitting. It's as if the levels themselves designed the music; from the bongo-style rhythms of Dir en Grey to the digital woodwinds of Initial D music, the stuff is the aural representation of the visuals. The track that accompanies regular outdoor battles is a perfect example; no other track could ever capture the moment like that, as it blends the constant motion and primitive-yet-advanced theme the game so brilliantly delivers. The Truth I once thought I would never review this game simply because I don't think I could do it justice. Although I overcame that hurdle, this review is far from doing right by Nipple Saga. It is worth its ridiculous prices on ebay. I hate RPGs and this is still one of the best games I've ever played. Ignore the commercials on TV for so many other games you'll be able to rent to find out they aren't worthy. Nipple Saga is amazing, stellar; how could the ZZT not succeed with JUST this game on it? Find this game and pay the money and yell at other people to do the same.


Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by YipplyYAya

Want to be stunned? Get nipple saga!

By: dave2
Reviewed: 19 years, 10 months ago (Jan. 29, 2003, midnight)

Nipple saga is the epitome of greatness in zzt. Following up NIPPLE ZWEI nicely, Nipple Saga features a superb RPG engine completely unique to this game. Also, the best in ZZT ascii art fills the screen in astonishing color and amazingness and yeah.

You may not know what's happening in this game, but at least you know it's Nipple Saga! 30/5

Congrats RYOKARRDE on this smash hit!


Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Other reviews written by dave2

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