Stuff No One is Talking About: Ninety-Nine Nights 2
When Dynasty Warriors struck at the dawn of the PS2 generation, it was truly incredible. Koei, a company normally known for it’s overcomplicated strategy games, had suddenly crafted a fast-paced action title like no other and single handedly re-birthed the beat ’em up/hack n’ slash genre!
However, over time Dynasty Warriors began to stagnate. Competitors arose but many of them fell short of the Dynasty Warriors series with the closest competitor being Capcom’s Sengoku Basara/Devil Kings series and even that fell short.
Fast-forward to the dawn of this generation and the release of the first Dynasty Warriors-style game made exclusively for this generation: Ninety-Nine Nights or N3. A collaborative effort between Korean developer Phantagram and Japanese developer Q Entertainment. It boasted incredible graphics, rock solid combat, varied characters, beautiful battlefields, and more. Aside from it’s lack of split-screen co-op play, it actually managed to challenge Dynasty Warriors! Sadly though, it was strikingly incomplete with only a handful of characters and stages. It almost felt more like a demo than a complete game, but I definitely wanted more.
Fast-forward to now and the impending release of Ninety-Nine Nights 2:
Right away this trailer shows afew intriguing things. First of all, Dwingvatt the Goblin ninja and a personal favorite of mine, returns. Secondly, it shows that N3 II will have one thing I always wanted to see in a Dynasty Warriors-style title: gigantic screen filling bosses! I don’t know about you, but when you give me a guy capable of single handedly destroying an army of thousands, I kinda wanna see him go up against some kind of gigantic monster!
However, what’s also interesting is that Korean developer Phantagram is not involved at all with the title. It is being handled entirely in Japan by Q Entertainment and Feel Plus. It’s hard to tell if this is a good thing or not, but we shall see when it is released. Hopefully this will stop reviewers from whining about the lack of strategy elements.
That, right there, is the last question: Will reviewers give it a fair shake? While nothing can be certain until the final product is released, what is shown in that video looks like an incredible action game. Sadly though, the Dynasty Warriors series has become the Japanese equivalent of Madden and as such reviewers seem to take out their frustrations on the poor series. No matter how much better or worse a Dynasty Warriors-esque title is, it always gets the same review: “Dynasty Warriors clone. Repetitive button masher. Identical to the rest. 5/10”. Will Ninety-Nine Nights 2 be the one to break the cycle? One can only hope.