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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Microsoft
Developed By: Q Entertainment/ Phantagram
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: August 15th, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screenshots: Link

When you see Ninety-Nine Nights, you think to yourself intense action. Whatís funny about that is thatís what you mainly get out of this title. This title fallows in the footsteps of games like Dynasty Warriors and Kingdom Under Fire, but not their fullest extent. If you look beyond the flashy attacks and devastating combos, you will come to find out that this game leaves little to enjoyÖ unless you are an action nut.

The central storyline to NNN involves 7 different playable characters to choose from. Though it seems nice to be able to play with different characters who have different fighting styles, you will notice a lot of repetition. Each character has their own perspective of how the story unfolds, but only the perspective campaigns of Inphyy and Aspharr truly tell the tale of an epic struggle. At most, depending on the character you choose, there are only about six missions to embark on, leaving gamers either eager for more action, or bored with the high rate repetitiveness within the title. The story of NNN starts you out as Inphyy who is seeking vengeance for the death of her father. This is the theme that each character is wrapped up within. But from playing this title, you can tell that the idea of several characters and on central theme was poorly executed to plan. Not to mention that the voice acting was poorly constructed to supported the action within this title.

The controls within NNN are pretty straightforward. You have a dash maneuver, the ability to jump and block, and you also have two attack buttons. You can clear a path in any direction you want by simply pressing the attacks buttons in succession. As you play though the title, you character will gain experience, new moves, and become much stronger than before. This is good news when you want to crank out devastating combinations, but some of the combos leave you open to attacks from behind, and sometimes from the front (depending on the character you use). So the name of the game is short and quick attacks towards your enemies to keep you in a invincible like state. For every kill you perform, you receive a red orb, which charges up your super-attack meter. This is a good thing because when you unleash the power within the meter, you character goes into a rage-like state where he/she flies through enemies like nothing. And if by chance you are able to collect blue orbs while in this trance, then you can unleash the mother of all techniques, which will give you the ability to clear the screen of all enemies.

Along the battlefields, you will come across various item boosters to pick up. Most of them are just weapon upgrades. They may look different, but they perform the same techniques, just may be a bit stronger than the previous weapon. You will also come across item boosts that will increase your hit points, your defense, etc. But it all boilís down to your regimen. Before engaging in each battle, you will be able to select which troops accompany you; from archers, to swordsmen. You can decide whether they will engaged the enemy, or just stand back and let you do all the fighting. Once you decide if you are going at it alone, or with backup, you are still pretty much on your own. You will do most, if not all the killing, but if you do engage the enemy with back up, they prove to be a good distraction for you to come up from behind and deliver a few deathblows.

When you look at this game from an individual character stance, this title isnít long at all. The real meat of the title comes from playing with every single character, reaching level nine with each one, and completing the missions with an A ranking for each character. But a nice feature this title has is the ability to replay previous stages if you get your butt handed to you on a new level. This will also allow you to gain enough strength to go to that new level and fly though it with no problems at all.

When it comes to the graphical presentation, this is a beautiful title to look at in action. In the beginning, these grand battles look rather impressive and mind boggling, but when one too many monsters get on the screen, the game suffers from an unstable frame-rate issue. Most of the monsters you come across are the same. There are a few creatures here and there that are different, but you will ultimately go up against the same creatures over and over. And to make things worse, for far away enemies, they use a blur affect that puts a strain on the eyes. It makes you think you are seeing double, which can be frustration when trying to figure out how many monsters there are to do battle with.

The musical of NNN is one to rival some Hollywood blockbuster movies. Sound effects are on target and make you feel like you are really in the action yourself. But in the end, this game suffers from poor dialogue and voice-overs. I donít know what was going through their minds when they decided to use cheesy voice-overs, but they donít suit this title at all. If we were playing a Spongbob game, thatís different, but this is an epic action adventure, so the voices should be more fierce and aggressive. Seeing how the game utilizes a lot of voice-overs, this problem only hurts the overall feel and presentation of the title.

NNN started out as a concept with true potential, but that potential was poorly used, or not used at all. The game had several great ideas that just werenít followed through on, or fully developed. For action nuts, this title will suit you just fine. But for those gamers who are looking for depth, creativity, and a decent voice score, this isnít the title for you. Overall, Ninety-Nine Nights is a title for a select few.


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