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Ninety-Nine (99) Nights N3 XBox 360 Review - -
Ninety-Nine Nights N3
Reviewed by
Ash Pinch
Ninety-Nine Nights N3 XBox 360 Review There are some frustrations that come along with this title, as mentioned earlier but overall the positives of 99 Nights II will outweigh these for the gamer who enjoys this sub-genre, for others it may just be too much for them to overlook.

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 7.0
Sound 6.0
Value 9.0
Distributor: Mindscape
Review Date:
July 2011
Ash Pinch


Ninety-Nine (99) Nights

Konami are one of those developers that have managed to maintain a very Japanese feel with a lot of their titles, 99 Nights II (Ninety-Nine Nights II) is no different.  99 Nights II is a massive hack Ďní slash game where you, an apparent super soldier run around the battlefield slaying thousands upon thousands of rival armies, much in the same way to Dynasty Warriors.  The formula is simple, there is a lot that can go wrong with a game of this type, and 99 Nights II hits the mark with some aspects but unfortunately also has a few misses.

Firstly the story was a bit of a miss with me, it may appeal to some out there but I found it nothing more than an excuse to fights thousands of enemies.  The story revolves around the Lord of the Night terrorising the nations, and there is just one land left, Orphea to the North.  This is where you come in.  I donít want to give too much away but the story is more or less an excuse to fight massive waves of enemies.

You are by far the most powerful on the battlefield.

This title only really has the one mode, a story mode; this is where you get to follow the stories of five different warriors, each with slightly different fighting styles but ultimately donít feel much different to play from one another.  For those that really enjoy the story it will add a lot of depth to the world to have the events unfold from different perspectives.  Each character can be developed individually and earn their own experience points so you will not have shared experience and find some characters falling behind the others.  There is a huge amount of value in this title for those who love the genre, each of the five characters has seven missions each lasting approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and each can be upgraded and has their own individual and intertwining story.  There really is as much or as little game as each player wants.

Fortunately the game play works well in 99 Nights II, it is simplistic enough that anyone can pick it up but there is also a level of complexity for those who want to spend a lot of time playing the game.  There is the typical quick and weaker attack, and then a slower and more powerful attack, nothing new here.  These can be combined in any number of fluent combos that will help players in getting to that 3000 hit combo that is not as rare as it should be.  There are a number of spells that can also be used to aid in the larger battles, each character can have up to four of these and are linked to a face button when you hold the left bumper, and this system was easy to use.  There are helpful icons on the HUD to let you know when these are charged.  There is also an orb power gauge that has several stages and grants invincibility and more powerful strikes for a brief amount of time, much like was available in Dynasty Warriors.

There are some nice pre-rendered FMV sequences

There are some frustrations related to playing 99 Nights II, mainly the massive distances between saves and the lack of health potions.  These two factors can lead to some very frustrating moments, you can be running around for a long time with minimal health praying that you donít die; otherwise you can be sent back upwards of 20 minutes of game play.  This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if it happens a couple of times in the same spot.  This becomes especially annoying given the fact that if you decide to stop playing half way through a mission there is absolutely no way to save, this wouldnít be a problem if the missions didnít take at least 40 minutes, and even longer in the later stages.  I found myself not playing this a few times simply due to the time commitment that was involved; this is most evident in the later stages where you are likely to die at least once.  The missions can be pretty repetitive, it involves you destroying seals to unlock a door which generally takes you to a boss, this is the basic formula for every level.

Another incredibly frustrating aspect of 99 Nights II is the, fortunately brief platforming sections.  These are incredibly infuriating as it is very hard to judge distances and when to jump, these parts donít appear often and are very brief but when they do appear will halt progress with infuriating missed jumps.  Boss fights in 99 Nights II are also not very good, they feature at the conclusion of every level, they can be very frustrating and fall into the trap of using the same combo over and over until the health depletes, or spending lots of time waiting for a time when you can attack them again.

It is very evident that this game has its roots firmly in Japan, the difficulty on anything other than the easiest setting is anything other than forgiving, it wouldnít be such a problem if it werenít for the lack of saves.  I found myself playing on the easier setting just to avoid the frustrations involved in dying on this game.   The easy setting definitely allows for a much more casual gamer to enjoy this, but I fear that the lengthy missions may turn them away.  For the more serious gamer the increased difficulty settings certainly provide a good challenge.

Bosses can be downright confusing.

This title also features some very minor and simplistic RPG levelling, players are able to purchase skills, upgrade the characters and weapons.  It is a simple system that fits the style of game perfectly; an overly complex system may have put many hack Ďní slash gamers off a little bit, and most likely made the whole thing a little too complicated.

Everything is 99 Nights has a pretty outdated look to it for a new release title, the character models are very plain, you do get to cut them in half which is nice.  One saving grace of this title is the sheer volume of enemies that appear on screen at any one time and I did not come across any drops in frame rate at all during play time, which is rare and is an ideal substitute for more detailed character models.  The environments feature the same texture throughout the entire levels, this can cause some problems navigating the map, fortunately this has been countered by having a small may on the HUD for navigation.

There are a number of different characters to choose from.

The sound for 99 Nights II is pretty unremarkable, there are basic hack Ďní slash sounds with an average soundtrack playing in the background.  It is a bit disappointing that more effort wasnít put into the soundtrack, when you are running around an epic battle for at least an hour at a time some more dramatic music would have made a pretty big difference.  At the end of the day though, it is the game play that will draw players to this title.

For those out there that miss battling against waves and waves of samey enemies just like you use to be able to in Dynasty Warriors, this may be the perfect alternative.  There is a huge amount of value here for those that want it and game play that just works.  Chances are you already know if this sort of game appeals to you or not, for those that miss this genre of game, this is an excellent choice, offering highly variable levels of difficulty and a level of complexity for those that go searching for it.  There are some frustrations that come along with this title, as mentioned earlier but overall the positives of 99 Nights II will outweigh these for the gamer who enjoys this sub-genre, for others it may just be too much for them to overlook.


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