Why on earth did I think reviewing Ninety-Nine Nights II would be fun?! I must have been on something the day I accepted it because I never want to go through the torture of playing this game again. As you may have guessed already, there will be a lot of negative points in this review but I’ll try to squeeze in a few good ones here and there.
Ninety-Nine Nights II, developed by feelplus, is set in the holy land of Orphea which is being attacked by the Lord of the Night’s armies. To begin with you take on the role of Galen who stumbles upon a battle between these two kingdoms and decides to side with Orphea and help them rid their lands of the dark army. Later, you find four other companions, each with their own individual fighting style, who help you complete this task. Each character has their own set of missions which means you are only able to play one at a time but in some missions you will be supported by the other characters – to an extent.
The AI in N3 II is simply terrible. Most of the time your enemies just stand there waiting to be attacked and when they actually make the effort to come and attack you, most of them either miss or do very little damage. Sadly, your supportive characters are equally as stupid and spend most of their time standing at the back watching you fight the hordes of enemies but as they are so easy to defeat I guess this isn’t a problem. You are given a selection of different abilities to use such as charge attacks, front facing slashes and 360 degree earthquakes and they all hit around five times the length of your weapon so keeping enemies away is too easy. Fighting enemies feels very repetitive and after just a few missions I was beginning to get quite bored of the game as the tasks I was required to do in these missions were exactly the same just set in a different area. These were usually to smash crystals to opens doors, smash altars to open doors, kill enemies to open doors…you get the picture.
N3 II has a simple upgrade system in the menu before you start a mission which allows you to upgrade any weapon, accessory, spell, skill or your character using the red souls that you collect from enemies that have been defeated in battle or from chests you find throughout the missions. It is worth mentioning now that you are able to repeat any missions you have done to gain more of these souls, which makes collecting them easy once you have found a mission which has a few chests full of them. The skills I mentioned previously, that could hit further than your weapon is designed to, become so much stronger that the game just becomes easier and easier as you start upgrading them. Even though the core of the game is easy there are some parts which are not exactly hard but extremely frustrating.
The first boss battle had to be one of the most annoying fights I have ever had in a game to date. You were pitted against a giant monster in a small arena, with two summoning towers that would continuously spawn enemies until you destroyed the towers. The idea was to get rid of the towers as fast as possible so you could focus on killing the boss, without having a ton of annoying infantry around you but as the boss could hit you for a hefty amount of damage and from quite a distance. It was hard to focus on the towers without getting yourself killed quickly. I eventually killed the thing after dying a number of times, but it took a while with far too much blocking and dodging for what seemed a fast paced game prior the boss’s arrival.
Another annoying scenario I endured was at a spiral staircase in one of the later levels, which was being guarded by hundreds of flying creatures that shot fire at my character and forced him to fall from the sky to the ground, where another fire bolt would proceed to keep me pinned to the floor. I actually couldn’t get my character off the ground at one point and had to simply watch him perish. Highly frustrating!
N3 II doesn’t look half bad and the effects of skills and spells are actually quite impressive, but the rest of the game lets it down. I was also impressed at how many enemies they manage to have on screen with very little slowdown, at least having the game installed to the hard drive. The music is nice and fast which is what’s needed when fighting thousands of enemies but the voice acting and lip syncing drag it down once again. Not surprisingly, I never managed to play a game online as there was no one to play with and as the game doesn’t feature any local co-op I was left to suffer the torment of N3 II alone.
I said I was going to put a few good points in and I tried I really did but this game just doesn’t impress at all. Unless you have more money than sense I highly suggest you give this one a miss and go play something else.
- Skills and spells look good
- Poorly designed boss encounters
- Enemy AI is very bad
- No local co-op