Ninety-Nine Nights Impressions

We check out a demo of Tetsuya Mizuguchi's upcoming action game at Microsoft's pre-TGS press conference.


Ninety-Nine Nights

TGS 2005: One of only two games to get the full demonstration treatment at Microsoft's pre-Tokyo Game Show conference earlier today was Ninety-Nine Nights. The demo, which was played on stage by Phantagram CEO Sang Youn Lee, is the same one that's expected to be playable on one of around 80 Xbox 360 consoles on the TGS show floor tomorrow.

Ninety-Nine Nights will feature a number of playable characters with different abilities, and for the purposes of the demo, a female character with the power to attack using light was chosen. Other characters that we got to see during a beautifully rendered movie sequence were able to harness the powers of elements, such as water and fire, for their special attacks.

The level we saw in action tasked our heroine with clearing a battlefield populated by hundreds of enemy soldiers en route to a final confrontation with a large troll boss. Ninety-Nine Nights bears more than a passing resemblance to recent games from the Dynasty Warriors series at first glance, but its 360-powered visuals are vastly superior, and the combat in the game is far more stylish and acrobatic.

When she wasn't swinging her sword around and hacking down several enemies simultaneously, our heroine could invariably be seen leaping around collecting the red and blue souls of fallen enemies (which gravitated toward her after a couple of seconds) and even jumping onto the heads of enemies when she needed to get past them in a hurry to go help out a colleague or get to a chest. Two or three chests were dotted around the demo level, and the first of them contained a great-looking sword, which Sang Youn Lee equipped straight away via the game's pause menu.

Since we weren't able to get hands-on with Ninety-Nine Nights on this occasion, it was the game's visuals that impressed us the most. The huge battlefield was made to look even bigger than it actually was by the fact that characters in the distance were out of focus. And some of the "overattack" animations that became available when enough enemy souls had been collected were pretty spectacular. The most impressive, undoubtedly, was one that we saw performed toward the end of the demo and that was described as one of the most powerful in the game. As our heroine jumped up into the air, she remained there for a few seconds and was surrounded by blue beams of light that proceeded to target and kill every single enemy in the (very large) surrounding area. The light show was impressive, and seeing hundreds of enemies fall to the ground simultaneously (their bodies didn't look to be magically disappearing) made the whole thing feel incredibly satisfying--even though we weren't actually playing.

Ninety-Nine Nights is currently scheduled for release in Japan early next year. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game when we get our hands on it at the Tokyo Game Show.

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