It's night again... and again... and again...
Ninety-Nine Nights II is that one game you have in your collection that you pull out as a guilty pleasure. You know you shouldn't and your friends would probably give you shit if they saw you playing it. It's the type of game you hide with your porn collection never to be found and ruin your gamer cred. I am here to tell you, "It's okay. There are others out there like you."
[image1]The story starts with Calen, the stoic hero, screaming with black rage as his kingdom is torn asunder and his wife and daughter are slaughtered. He travels to Orphea, a not-to-distant kingdom to help fight against the Lord of Night and his never-ending waves of dark minions. While in the castle of Orphea, he meets all the other playable characters to defend the Orb of Light from being captured by the Lord of Night for ninety-nine nights. If they can make it to the end, the Lord of Night will die and they will save the world. But in the end, it's the same-old blah-blah "defenders of light" story.
The gameplay is a nice blend of action hack-and-slash RPG, though the emphasis is more on the action than the RPG part. The moves you can equip are from the standard hack and slash repertoire with a combination of accessories. The accessories act as way to equip and unequip special moves that help you whomp through foes. On top of your skills, you have orb spark moves that can be used after killing lots of foes, which works a lot like the Musou gauge in Dynasty Warriors.
So in short, you kill lots of enemies and complete map goals to gain experience. You then spend those experience points to build your hero, his weapons, and his accessories. Wash, rinse, and repeat, and you have a Dynasty Warriors game with quicker animations and lots of blood and gore.
[image2]As for sound, I turned the music off 15 minutes after hearing the same battle track for the umpteenth frickin' time. The English dialogue is atrocious and had me want to perforate my eardrum. The lip-syncing is that of a horribly dubbed martial arts film and is totally unacceptable. Please developers, if you cannot line up the gesticulations of the jaws with the English dubbing, then don't do it! Plain and simple. Also, the fact that you have to defeat the game to change the language dub is just dumb.
But as much as I bag on this game, it does have some redeeming values. The game fully earns its 'M'-rating, by making with the on-screen violence. Body parts fly out during the quick-paced action, keeping a good tempo while you face an onslaught of enemies. Sometimes the game offers a good challenge by sending a variety of enemies that require different tactics to defeat them, though the enemies they do send are repetitive and you will jack up all your techniques just to kill all the goddamn demon birds. And don't let me get started on the platforming in a hack-and-slash game.
All in all, this game has many glaring flaws, but it does a great job at when comes to the main task of "maim and destroy". For those of you that are looking for a fast-paced hack and slash, pick this one up. Just make sure that you are willing drop 60 clams for this baby if you are that desperate for truly mindless self-indulgence.