A return to the hack and slash with Ninety-Nine Nights II

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Within the first year of the launch of the Xbox 360, players who wanted a next-gen version of the hack and slash genre a la Dynasty Warriors didn’t really have many options. One title filling this void was the first Ninety-Nine Nights. A hack and slash through and through, N3 (and it was abbreviated to) had its fans, but it by and large disappeared out of the consciousness of the masses. And now it’s 2010, four years have passed and what has happened? A sequel has been announced, Konami is now publishing, and feelplus is now the developer. Fans of the original are going to at least recognize its existence, but should the rest of us?

At last night’s Konami Gamer’s Night, I was able to check the game out and see how things have changed. First of all, all of the themes from the original game are still the same, so the orcs and enemies are the same as before, and the fantasy medieval feeling is the same. However, those looking for a direct sequel to the original are going to be disappointed, as there is little retained from the original game making an appearance. Arguably, this is a restart for the franchise in an attempt to get some more people playing  the franchise. 

Also, expect five new characters to play, each of which have special abilities and all that jazz. They’ll be dealing with some epic plot that involves saving the world while killing millions of people at the same time. Graphically, the game is a bit better looking than the original, and it is also quite a bit faster, addressing some of the original complaints about the first title. However, this is a hack and slash, and there doesn’t look to be too much that will differentiate it from other hack and slash titles.

Thankfully, there is some neat new features. Online multiplayer is a new feature, with some co-op and versus modes. There are escort missions, a survival mode, and a points based race, among other modes.  I don’t know if this is going to be a ground breaking and amazing multiplayer offering, but it’s nice to see. As far as hack and slash titles goes, it looks like an offering that fans of the genre should be pleased to play. I don’t think that it is going to be a particularly revolutionary game, but there’s a good chance Ninety-Nine Nights II could be a solid game.


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