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Ninety-Nine Nights II Review

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Don't waste one on this turkey

★★★★

With the hero’s razor chains, outsized weapons and bulging muscles, your heart will skip a beat when you see the cover art for Ninety-Nine Nights II. It looks like a secret sequel to God Of War III. Yet while NNNII’s outrageous hacking’n’slashing has some similarities with Kratos’ sublime gorefests, this is the worst sort of mindless button-masher imaginable and 2010’s most excruciating adventure to date.

Like KOEI’s Dynasty Warriors slashathons, the action in NNNII boils down to fighting your way through overwhelming waves of enemies, hammering the attack buttons until your fingers blister and racking up unfeasible bodycounts. But while the violent action in Dynasty Warriors is punctuated by carefully scripted sequences that play on real historical events, and which do their best to establish characters you actually care about, shoddy voice acting, poor lip-syncing and a clichéd tale conspire to make NNNII a monotonous experience, and an adventure even the most bloodthirsty gamer will fail to finish.

As if the tedious plot framing the violence wasn’t bad enough, the core gameplay is appalling, with shallow combat that doesn’t evolve as the story unfolds, dumbass enemies that meander around the battlefields seemingly willing you to slaughter them, and a variety of controllable characters that behave exactly the same. And while the game is far from challenging – and you can cut your way through huge swathes of enemies with your eyes closed – cheap devices such as huge distances between save points, and enemy attacks which floor your hero and see them being repeatedly hammered as they try to stand up, mean you’ll have to play through large sections of the game again and again, but without any sense of satisfaction when you finally hack your way through a particularly tricky challenge.

Identikit enemies, underwhelming online multiplayer and frustrating boss fights also make Ninety-Nine Nights II a shocking piece of software, and the sort of game that should be sealed in a lead casket, shipped out to the middle of the Atlantic, and sunk to the bottom of the ocean for the good of all mankind.