I've played it for the first time a month ago, so I don't have nostalgia googles or anything like that. Yeah the graphics and the combat seemed really outdated (to the point it looked like a PS2 game) but fortunately, that isn't something negative for me.
I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the atmosphere, and I somewhat enjoyed the characters. Hell, NG+ made me feel like a piece of trash... I cannot remember a single game doing the same to the gamer. I even looked and read the whole Grimoire Nier after unlocking the ending D, because there's so much backstory that it's amazing (never played Drakengard BTW, so it was interesting seeing how both games were connected there). The short stories, the interviews, diaries, etc... I even enjoyed it as if it was the game itself.
And of course, it's probably one of the most depressing games I've ever played, there's just no happy ending, and the world itself is already screwed enough
Great story with a lot of originality, great gameplay with lots of variation, and some amazing music. Why did this game bomb?
...hahahahahahahaha ok, I really liked Nier(especially for the story and character) but to even say that Nier gameplay is "good", let along "great" is really pushing it. It's gameplay, is at best. Mediocre. so yeah.
I'm a gamer dang it, not a pc gamer or a console gamer, just a gamer.
Ah yes, Nier. One of my favorite games this generation, despite it sucking in most game related ways.
But to answer your question, it was a new IP by a team not many people heard of in a genre that wasn't too popular that scored pretty badly among pretty much all mainstream reviewers, who would have told people to buy the game.
So yeah, not too big a surprise it bombed, really. I myself didn't get it till like 2 years after it came out, for 15 dollars. Did you get it when it first released for full price?