Just spent a few hours this morning running Chalice dungeons with a friend...and for the life of me I do not understand why people hate them so much. If this was ALL the game had to offer, I'd think it was pretty cheap and repetitive. However, as what is essentially bonus/side content to an already beefy and well-worth-it game, I think it compliments what we have nicely.
Agreed. I don't think they're particularly good or bad - just meh - but when it's just bonus content it doesn't really matter. Like you say, if that was the entire game, it'd be a huge issue (part of the reason I'm currently not enjoying Nioh very much), but it isn't so I don't know why people criticise it so much.
Btw I took your advice and skipped over Sekiro for now and started Nioh instead, based on how well loved it seems to be on here. I can't say I agree with the praise it's been getting in this thread right now, 16 hours in. Enemy variety is on the low side and holy shit if I have to revisit that opening map one more time for a side mission I'm going to scream. Clearing the same level over, and over, and over, and over again (not an exaggeration, unfortunately) is not bloody fun, wtf. Talk about unnecessary padding of the game.
Side missions aren't essential of course, but I know if I don't do at least some of the side quests I'm going to fall behind in terms of levels (and despite what everyone in the 'get good' camp says about levels not being important in these games, for anyone who's not a speedrunner or wannabe pro they absolutely are).
Cut out the side missions and balance the game around original maps only and Nioh would be so, so much better.