Plot: What’s it about?
The world is once again in a dire situation, but the heroes of Ninety-Nine Nights II are on the job. The plot of your adventure tends to evolve dependent on which character is active, but the main crux is that the Lord of the Night is on a rampage. As you progress with each hero, you learn more about the storyline and see events from different viewpoints. Each hero also exposes their own unique arc, so you learn about your character, as well as their role in the larger picture. Ninety-Nine Nights II offers the same kind of visceral, outnumbered combat as the original, so its hundreds of enemies versus one hero. As you hew a path of blood and death, you unlock upgrade points for your character, weapon, and skills. This leads to the need to grind somewhat, which is sure to upset some and thrill others. Regardless, you are able to fine tune your character’s performance to make sure it meshes well with your own personal playstyle. Of course, the run, hack, slash style is sure to wear on some players, as the combat is repetitive, but such is the nature of this kind of game. The various upgrades help add some variety, as do the different characters and plethora of multi player mode options.
The multi player aspect is a nice addition, but I was disappointed somewhat. I was hoping to see a full co-op campaign option, but instead there is a special network mode. This allows you and a friend to traverse various challenges, all while earning points to upgrade your characters. And just like the story mode, you will need those upgrades, as higher levels of the network mode can crush your soul at times. Of the available network mode content, I had the most fun with the Maze option, which has you alternating between combat and light puzzle solving. So again, co-op campaign would have been optimal, but at least some effort has been put into the network mode. Ninety-Nine Nights II retains what fans enjoyed about the original and injects fresh blood with the network mode, as well as some additional game play polish. That said, I don’t think the potential base was expanded, which means if you didn’t like the original, you probably won’t like the sequel. But if you enjoyed Ninety-Nine Nights, then you’ll have a blast with Ninety-Nine Nights II.
Video: How does it look?
The visuals here are effective and then some. As you stand there with weapon poised, countless enemies running toward you, the rush is awesome. Despite the constant flow of hundreds of enemies around you, the engine runs smooth and rarely slows down whatsoever. This allows you to pull off combos without the concern of slowdown, which can throw off your timing and that can be brutal in this kind of game. The overall graphics are an improvement over the original, but don’t expect to see this nominated for visual design awards. I think it looks great and the style chosen works well, but this isn’t bleeding edge visual content.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio design is rock solid, with all the needed elements well handled. This means all the visceral slices, dices, and slashes sound as squishy as they should. The thunderous pounding during some skills is also impressive, as is the collective rabble of the enormous mass of enemies hell bent on your destruction. At the same time, the audio never dazzles or makes you take notice, which can be good, but also forgettable. Even so, the audio performs well and no problems arise, so I think fans will be satisfied with the soundtrack.
Supplements: What are the extras?