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N3: Ninety-Nine Nights (Xbox 360) artwork

N3: Ninety-Nine Nights (Xbox 360) review


"As you fight off a rather small group of goblins with your infantry unit in the middle of a stream, you have this feeling something isn't right. It's too easy. Around that point, you suddenly get a short cutscene of a giant troll with his huge army of orcs charge down a hill towards your position. You quickly get rid of the goblins, and with your troops behind you, charge up the same hill to greet them midway. You know it's not gonna be an easy fight, because one of their orcs can easily ..."



As you fight off a rather small group of goblins with your infantry unit in the middle of a stream, you have this feeling something isn't right. It's too easy. Around that point, you suddenly get a short cutscene of a giant troll with his huge army of orcs charge down a hill towards your position. You quickly get rid of the goblins, and with your troops behind you, charge up the same hill to greet them midway. You know it's not gonna be an easy fight, because one of their orcs can easily take off a nice chunk of your health with just one hit. Add in the fact that you have two angry trolls running around the battlefield, knocking around anything that comes in their path, and you know you gotta play this carefully.

Then it happens... an army of lizard people appear from the west for a piece of the action. At this point, you're literally drowning in a sea of people who want you dead. The dramatic, intense, musical theme that sounded like it was working with you seconds ago now sounds like it's working against you as you deal with this nightmare. But you keep fighting, even as your infantry unit quickly dwindles to zero, you just keep fighting. If for some amazing reason you survived that massacre, you don't have time to rest, because you've been informed that ANOTHER army wants to rip you to shreds, and this one has two bosses... That's basically what Ninety-Nine Nights is all about, going from one engrossing battle to another, slaughtering the hell out of everyone, and hopefully, make it out alive.

You'll be doing this with various characters, each of whom have their own campaigns and will see the story unfold from their own perspectives. But you'll only be able to choose just one at the beginning, Inphyy, a stubborn, fierce member of the Temple Knights who pretty much wants to commit goblin genocide. However, later on in the game, you'll get access to other interesting characters, like Aspharr, Inphyy's reasonable stepbrother, Tyurru, a 12-year-old sorceress who's surprisingly powerful (I was amazed at how strong her basic, water attack was), and Klarrann, a priest who beats the crap out of his enemies with a giant "staff".

Now, while you'll have an army backing you up in most of these missions, you really shouldn't rely on them that much, since they actually don't do that much damage to the opposing army. They're helpful for keeping most of the enemy off your back, but other than that.... they're kinda stupid. There will be plenty of times that you'll see five or six of your infantry soldiers attempt to kill ONE small goblin, and even then, they'll have a hard time doing that. So, you pretty much have to learn your character's various combo attacks if you wanna stand a chance. But even that won't be enough, and that's where the special attacks come into play.

You won't be able to use these special attacks right away, however, you gotta work for them. By killing the enemy, you'll be able to consume the little, red orbs that fall out of them, which will slowly fill up your Orb Attack Gauge. Once filled, your character will be able to temporarily unleash strong Orb Attacks, like Inphyy's dash attack, where she zips around the battlefield slashing at her foes, and Klarrann's attack, where his staff doubles in size and can be swung at huge distances. But that's not all, you also have another special attack, one that's much stronger than the Orb Attack, called the Orb Spark.

You obtain it the same way you get the Orb Attack, except the orbs are blue, and you can only gather them during the Orb Attack. And once you have enough to use the Orb Spark, boy, they definitely put on a show for you. When you activate Myifee's (a manly mercenary) Orb Spark, you'll be treated to a cool sequence where up to a dozen meteors fall to earth and you literally see your enemies get flung into the sky in HUGE numbers. Another cool one is Aspharr's, where he'll be able to shoot a gigantic beam of light that clears a path right in front of him. Man, no matter how many times I use these attacks, I never get tired of seeing them.

Then there's..... actually, that's all there is to Ninety-Nine Nights. When all is said and done, it's basically a really simple manly brawler. If you were expecting this game to have some serious depth, look elsewhere, it's all mindless fun here. Sure, some of the bosses can be REALLY cheap, it's hard to regain your health at times, and the game can be finished in under a week, but there's just something about charging into a gigantic army and being able to own each and every one of them with a powerful attack that never seems to get old. Though, I do find it disturbing that the manliest men in this manly brawler happens to have the shortest campaigns. What's up with that?

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (December 08, 2006)

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