7 Lessons of Life I learnt from playing my favorite PS4 game, Nioh

William in Nioh

I love gaming and always appreciated the medium for telling a fine story. Games have always been an extension of books and movies. A step beyond where you get to step into the shoes of the protagonist and live the story. Back in mid of 2017, I got my Playstation 4 and I got into some of the best games of this decade. One of the first games I played on the PS4 was Nioh.

Nioh is pretty interesting in the fact that it is set in medieval Japan in the early 1600s, when the country was in midst of a civil war. You play as a Western samurai William Adams, who has come to Japan to find an enemy and has been enlisted to help fight off the Yokai (supernatural demons). With an interesting combat and a wide array of weapons and tools at your perusal, you will have to fight your way through enemies managing your health and stamina.

Nioh does provide you with a few hints in the start of the game but puts you in middle of the combat very soon and makes you learn about the mechanics of game by yourself. Interestingly, every lesson in Nioh comes with a price of time or failure. Each time you die you learn something new, whether it is a different weapon that you should use or a weakness that you can exploit. Playing this game, I found myself learning quite a few lessons that I could apply in my day to day life.

1. Take one enemy at a time

When traversing through the island, you face soldiers and yokai patrolling whom you have to take out. Sometimes, when attacking them in groups, it is easy to protect your front but when two or three enemies attack you at once, it is quite hard to defend. So, it is always a good point to take an enemy out one at a time. You can get them away from the group by throwing stones at them and getting them to come to you. Then, it becomes a 1 on 1 battle, which you can easily handle over a 1 on many.

We may find ourselves facing a big problem that require our attention that when we try to solve it becomes too much for us. We overload ourselves and just give up. We see the mountain of a problem and find it daunting. But what if we broke it down to parts so that we can solve one part at a time. As you solve and overcome each smaller hurdle, you get the push you need to solve the next part, take on the next enemy and move forward. You get charged and the momentum to move forward to the next task at hand.

2. Manage your stamina

William has a stamina bar along with his health bar which is very important to manage. Defending, dodging and attack takes away stamina. It is very important for you to keep an eye on your stamina bar and manage it. Heavy attacks take more stamina than light attacks but take more damage. If you are out of stamina, you will find yourself grasping for breath unable to attack or defend, open to any attacks. You may end up in a situation where you will have to deliver the final blow but you do not have the stamina for it and are killed instead.

We are provided with a number of productive hours each day that we can make use of as best as we can for work and family. Wasting our time and stamina on tasks that are not useful like browsing social media, gossiping, etc., we are basically reducing our own productivity. In managing our energy, we get to spend more time on enhancing our life and will find ourselves more satisfied.

3. Take 2 steps back and assess the situation

Nioh has wide variety of human and yokai enemies. Each enemy has a method of attack, that gives you an opening if you look for it. You can recognize the pattern and then place your well timed blow to knock your enemy off balance and finish him off. It is not by rushing into battle but by defending by studying the enemy that you can learn. Sometimes, it’s good to take 2 steps back to move 3 steps forward.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Aristotle

Patience helps us learn and improve. We are better prepared with time and ready to face challenges. Rushing into any situation may do us more harm than good. When stepping back and assessing the situation, we can prepare ourselves and be better equipped to face any challenge. Truly great things come out of patience.

4. Make best use of the resources at your disposal

Nioh provides you with a wide array of weapons: swords, axes, dual swords, spears and kusarigamas (a chain with a metal weight at the end). Each weapon comes with its strengths, some of it with elemental powers. Choosing the right weapon will give you an edge in battle. The same weapon cannot be used against all enemies. Choosing the right weapon can make a very daunting enemy easy to defeat.

Our mind is the best resource at our disposal and knowing our strengths and weaknesses will always help us be prepared for every situation. We can play to our strengths and use the help of others where we are weaker. Make the best use of ourselves and the resources that are at our disposal. This also includes the right use of tools and technology that can help speed up the process. The internet itself is one of the greatest resources that we have, from which we can leverage others’ experiences and make more informed decisions. It is in our hands to make best use of it.

5. Be aware

Whether being prepared for an enemy around the corner or finding secret shortcuts, awareness of surroundings is crucial. You may not have been managing our health very well and with one shot, by an enemy popping out of the corner, you are dead. Always being aware and conscious of your surroundings helps you get a drop on your enemies providing you with an advantage.

“Awareness means you live moment-to-moment, alert, conscious of yourself and conscious of all that is happening around you in a moment-to-moment response. You are like a mirror.” — Osho

Being aware and being in the moment will help us handle the complexities of life and take any problem head on. When you know about all the variables in an equation, it is easier to solve. Awareness in every situation is useful in solving our problems and appreciating each moment of our life.

6. Failures are steps towards success

Each level in Nioh ends with a boss battle. Wind, Water, Earth, Fire and Lightning are the elemental powers and each boss has an elemental power that is his greatest strength. With great power comes great weakness. If an enemy is strong with fire, you can use a water elemental weapon to defeat him easily.

It is up to you to figure out the elemental strength as going into the boss battle you will not know it. You may get annihilated in the first try or maybe even the 10th but once you figure out the boss’ weakness and his attack pattern you can go in with a plan to defeat him.

“Persistence is key. Satisfaction is the result.”

Failure is very important to success. With each failure, we can learn to be better and improve. We can come back stronger and try harder as now we have learnt from our fall. Every failure is a lesson and is a step closer to success.

7. Call for help when in need

Some levels in Nioh may overwhelm you if you are under-leveled or if you are not prepared. You can summon a visitor in the game by offering ochoko cups and together you can face the challenge. The first time I had played Nioh I found myself stuck at the end of first level facing my first boss. I had taken more than 20 tries and did not know how to deal with the boss. That is when I called my friend in my game to assist me with the boss. With his help, I was able to defeat the boss and also learn in the process. Later I was able to take on the same boss at a higher level.

“Having someone help you doesn’t mean you have failed. It just means you are not alone.”

There are some challenges that we set ourselves that consume too much of our time and are sometimes beyond our skill level. It is always good to know our limitation and ask for help. You may not be ready for the task today but when taking help, you can learn through the process.

Nioh is available for the PC as well now. Do check it out. This is my personal recommendation on a game that changed my life and not a promotion.

So, what do you think of these lessons. Did you find any of it useful? Please share your comments below.

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