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Ninety-Nine Nights

Score: 70%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Phantagram
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Like Dead Rising, the hundreds of on-screen enemies is what draws you to Ninety-Nine Nights (N3). Sure, Dynasty Warriors has been doing this for awhile, but N3 manages to do it without any tricks. Enemies donít miraculously pop-in from nowhere, nor are battlefields faded out in the distance. Instead, youíll see approaching enemies running towards you. Best of all, this is all done without a hitch in performance.

Battlefield and warrior alike look good, but not great. Battlefields have a claustrophobic feel. Even though some of the levels appear wide-open, your path is always clearly defined and painfully linear. While in motion, characters look good, but at the same time, they arenít that much more impressive looking than most of the bigger named Xbox titles.

Voice acting is above average, but not by much. Characters show little emotion when delivering lines. Some characters even manage to sound cold and bitter during the friendliest of conversations. Music isnít much better and, while it does sound cool, it is very repetitive.


Ninety-Nine Nights is the age-old tale of Light versus Dark told through Dynasty Warriors-style battles. You take the role of Inphyy, a Temple Knight, or Aspharr, a Blue Knight, and lead giant armies against orcs, goblins, and trolls. A majority of your in-game time is spent in endless battle with hundreds of on-screen enemies. You are also accompanied by a small army, though their participation in battle never really amounts to much of anything. Whereas you can often take out a full army of enemies, your armies will usually struggle when locked in battle with one or two small enemies.

N3 also adds an RPG element to the formula. The non-stop slaughter of enemies earns experience points. Accumulate enough and your character earns a level, granting a boost in performance as well as a few new combo attacks. While out in the field, you can also find items that give you a short boost to speed or power, or equipment that adds a more permanent boost.

Aside from an unforgiving save feature, N3ís cardinal sin is the lack of multiplayer. With Live being one of the 360ís core strengths, you really have to wonder why it wasnít given priority during development.


In truth, Ninety-Nine Nights isnít all that hard. As long as you can continue to mush buttons and keep your character pointed in the right direction, you should be fine. However, enemies will score some lucky hits, especially larger boss-type enemies. The lack of checkpoints or a save system makes these lucky hits more annoying than they should be. Regardless of where you are in a battle, if you die, youíre forced back to the beginning. This isnít much of a deal if you die early in a battle, but if youíre far in a battle (some can last up to 30 minutes) it is more than frustrating. And, just to add insult to injury, youíre forced to repeat the level without any of the stat boosts or equipment you had previously earned.

Game Mechanics:

Battles arenít necessarily exciting, nor are they overly complicated. X and Y are your standard weak and strong attacks and can be pressed in different combinations in order to unleash various combos. The more you mash the buttons, the longer the combo. Combos arenít all that hard to figure out. As you plow through enemies, youíll earn red orbs. Collect enough and youíll be able to use special attacks that cut down enemies even quicker. Using special attacks to kill enemies will also produce blue orbs which, like red orbs, fill up an ability bar. While red special attacks allow you to quickly plow through armies, blue attacks can level entire armies in one blow.

If youíre a fan of Dynasty Warriors, Ninety-Nine Nights might be worth a look. It doesnít bring many new elements to the genre, but if you like slashing down armies, it does a decent job of providing that thrill. If you donít count yourself among the Dynasty Warriors faithful, you might find N3 an amusing distractionÖ at least until you die.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Sony PlayStation 2 FlatOut 2 Sony PlayStation 2 Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories

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