Ninety-Nine Nights II Hands-On
We check out the follow-up to Q Entertainment's massive-scale hack-and-slash game.
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Much like its predecessor, Ninety-Nine Nights II is an action game where the focus is on large-scale battles not unlike those found in the Dynasty Warriors games. But since the Ninety-Nine Nights franchise is fantasy-based, most of the enemies you'll encounter fall in line with that style as opposed to Dynasty Warriors' historical setting. The game appears to have five playable characters, each of which has a unique set of attack combinations. Additionally, from a brief clip we saw, there appear to be some quick-time events (where you press buttons based on the promp that appears onscreen) as well as some cooperative play with another human-controlled player--though you'll still have AI characters helping you out on the battlefield as well.
Who's Making This Game: FeelPlus.
What The Game Looks Like: Ninety-Nine Nights II looks pretty similar to its predecessor in terms of throwing dozens of characters on the screen at a single time. But overall, the characters and environments we've seen in the demo appear to be a little more detailed and grittier than those found in the original. It's also worth mentioning that the frame rate stays pretty solid even when the battles get especially hectic.
What There Is To Do: Kill hundreds of enemies.
How The Game Is Played: It's just as easy to jump into Ninety-Nine Nights II and start hacking away as it was to jump into the original game. Each character has three different attack buttons as well as buttons to jump and block. You can execute combinations by simply mixing attacks--some of which produce different results depending on the order you press them in. Each character also has a set of magic attacks that you can use only if you have enough magic stored in a meter located underneath your health bar. These special attacks are incredibly useful--maybe not so much when you're fighting normal foot soldiers, but rather when some of the tougher enemies march onto the screen, since these attacks generally have a wide damage radius. In the demo level we played, it's actually even more beneficial to use these special attacks when confronting poisonous spores littering the environment. If you try to just walk up and attack them, the poisonous gas from the spores drains your energy. But if you zip through with a special attack and take all of them out at once, you're less likely to lose energy. There are also some light puzzle elements in the game where you have to hit switches or move objects around in order to progress.
What We Say: If you like the original Ninety-Nine Nights, there's a pretty good chance that you'll enjoy the sequel since it doesn't seem to stray too far from the original formula. But we'll be interested to try out some of the co-op features as well as the massive boss battles to see if FeelPlus has thrown anything substantially new into the mix outside of new environments, characters, and attacks. Look for more on Ninety-Nine Nights II before its release in 2010.