Ninety Nine Nights or N3 as it will be called from now on makes its return on the Xbox 360. Hack and Slash and fans of the first N3 would be cheering if this was a sequel that is worth the cheer. For those unfamiliar with N3, N3 is a hack and slash game where you can play as different characters within the same timeline. Each character has their own unique story and fighting style. Characters cross paths through the story and some even help you get through the stage. N3 2 tries to follow that same style and while it succeeds to follow it, it falls short on many levels.
N3 2 is one of those games where it has nothing to do with the first game but the developers decide to use the name and style as the first one. This is done by several developers including Square Enix's Final Fantasy Series. N3 2 plays just like the first one where as you go along you meet and unlock new characters. Each character has their own unique story and fighting style. As you progress through the game and earn orbs you will be able to level up your characters weapons as well as HP. Each has its own category and you will be doing a lot of fighting before your character is a decent fighter. You can equip several magic attacks at once activate them by pressing the LB and one of the 4 buttons on the 360 controller. These attacks come in handy when there's a horde of enemies surrounding you and even against boss fights. Collecting orbs isn't fun though as you will spend an entire level collecting about 8k, with each upgrade going up in price and it eventually gets to a point where you have to spend several hours collecting orbs just to get 1 upgrade point.
N3 2 is not challenging but it is difficult. That's not necessarily a good thing. What makes N3 2 difficult is the waves of enemies that are thrown at you and the little health that you get throughout the level. While dying or restarting the game will get you full health and leave you off at the last check point, it can get annoying if you keep dying often. Enemies are not hard to defeat and some are more annoying than others. But none are more annoying than the gold armor plated enemies which you can't throw back with an attack but they keep coming at you until you kill them. Defeating the Gold plated enemies can get annoying when there are archers shooting arrows at you or when there are a bunch of enemies coming after you. Boss battles don't get any easier and chances are you will not enjoy them. Boss battles are the same as fighting gold plated enemies where you can't throw them back but as an added bonus enemies keep coming and coming.
If the fighting doesn't make you lose interest the story will. The story is mediocre at best with mentions of lame names such as Lord of the Night and activate pedestals to keep enemies out of the kingdom. I'm not saying that the story sucks. I just think that they should have spent the extra time writing better names for some of the things that are said in the game. As for voice acting it isn't bad but there's definitely room for improvement.
AI is almost non-existent in this game. Besides the horde of enemies that are programmed to attack the characters by the numbers, your friendly AI just stands there waiting for something to happen. What that is exactly is unknown to me. Your friendly AI will just stand there with enemies surrounding them and won't do anything 75% of the time. Same goes for the enemies they just stand in front of them and do nothing most of the time.
N3 2 isn't the best looking game in the series and while it doesn't have to be the best looking 360 game out there they can at least make it look better than the first one. The only thing N3 2 has going for it are the massive levels which any game can accomplish these days. But with a very repetitive combat system and nothing to do but go from point A to point B N3 2 doesn't really have much to go for.
You would think a sequel will be better than the first game and at least move the series forward. N3 2 is one of those games that takes everything flips it and thinks it's moving forward. I love the firs N3 game and I was hoping N3 2 would improve on the first one but sadly it didn't. If you love the first one and you must play this game to get it out of your system rent it or borrow it from a friend. There isn't anything really memorable in this game that would make it become part of your collection.
Life Span: 6/10
Total Score: 52/100
-Donny De Leon