Hello everyone. Just to bring you up to speed, I am still recovering from my foot surgery, and as much as I enjoy games, I would like a walk at the park instead. But nevertheless, I’m here playing on my recently repaired Xbox 360 and taking a tour of some of my favorite classic titles. This time, it is the too-long-to-type N3: Ninety-Nine Nights from 2006. N3 is an interesting take on the hack and slash genre. I like Dynasty Warriors, and N3 amped up the chaos quite a bit from that. It featured more enemies and a greater tactical feel.
Playing this title again in 2023 took some getting used to. The most jarring thing about it for me was the gameplay speed. N3 felt slow, especially after playing more recent warrior games like Fire Emblem Warriors and Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. I was expecting a sprint button to help get me through the decent sized maps, but none existed in a traditional sense. It also took some getting used to the classic controls.
I appreciated the dark fantasy vibe of it. The first character you use (Inphyy) viciously seeks revenge against the goblins who killed her father. Completing each character’s story unlocks one or two new characters until all seven different characters are revealed. Playing N3 made me wish Ninety-Nine Nights could get a remake. Even though Microsoft was trying to jump on the hack and slash bandwagon, the game had personality. It’s sad that N3 got lost to the sands of time while the inferior sequel was ported.
Editor’s Note: Check out our origional review of N3: Ninty-Nine Nights from way back in 2006.
The nuances of battle were the most difficult thing to grasp. The orb attacks (essentially the musou attack from Dynasty Warriors) do not affect most bosses. Usually these can be combo breakers or used to deal massive damage to a boss, but not here. In addition, you need to fight bosses using one-on-one combat. They have high life and deal massive damage. What makes it more difficult is that the one-on-one fight controls are sluggish and only tend to register one out of every seven hits you do. So that makes things tougher than they need to be.
The stories from the titles in this series also intertwine to form a really intricate overall plot. N3: Ninety-Nine Nights did a better job of building a narrative than even Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I also found the lore fascinating and would love to see this world developed into a JRPG, or even to have it redesigned as a territory control style title like Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. N3: Ninety-Nine Nights felt more enjoyable for me than numerous other franchises that feel more comfortable making things pretty over adding real heart.
Overall, it was very entertaining to give N3: Ninety-Nine Nights a fresh look for this column. For a while, it made me forget about the pain in my foot. I think that instead of judging classics by their idiosyncrasies, we should appreciate the things they did to try and expand the genre. If you have a working Xbox 360 and about ten dollars, do yourself a favor and give N3: Ninety-Nine Nights a try.