Review by BLATSPLAT

"Ninety Nine Nights of Annoyances"

I would like to begin by stating this is my first foray into the modern series of beat-em-ups. Having never played a game like Dynasty Warriors, but reflecting back on my days of Final Fight, I sought to rekindle my love for the series. Unfortunately this game did not provide me with the fires of enjoyment much more than those of frustration.

The graphics in this game are quite nice! The textures are rich, and character models are highly detailed! There are periods of extreme slowdown though, whenever there is a large amount of particles. Take for instance if you tear down a guard tower... the dust and debris that falls will bring the frames-per-second down significantly. Heaven help you if you ever do the Secret Character's ultimate attack... that felt like a good 10 seconds of slow animation for what should have only taken 4.

The music is quite nice in this game, especially the intro. There is a remix of a classical song on a couple levels, which is pretty cool. The music helps me keep pace and interest when I'm taking down massive swarms of enemies. The sound effects themselves are clear and crisp, but nothing that really makes me go "Ooh, that's cool!" The voice acting is pretty bad, much like a typical dubbed Japanimation movie... I wish they had given you an option to play with Japanese voices w/subtitles. Seriously, there's one scene where 2 of the characters just keep making odd sexual sounds to each other, when they are supposedly tired from running!

The gameplay is pretty fun. The way you are put against massive amounts of enemies in a large-scale battle makes it feel pretty epic. Characters can be equipped with different weapons and items to manipulate their stats. As you level up your character, you get to use more powerful moves against the droves of enemies before you. The combo system is fun, since I always feel like I need to top myself when I play a level. Finally when you're finished with a level, you're given a Rank, which gives you something to shoot for. I wish that they gave you more definitive guidelines for getting a higher rank though, short of "Get a higher combo, kill count, etc..." Another big negative is that the cutscenes really ruin the rhythm of the game by interrupting you in the middle of a battle, which always messes up your combos you're racking up. You better not use your ultimate attack right before one of these too, because you will lose that completely only to be returned to your player with all of those enemies still standing! Some levels have 6-10 cutscenes it seems, which drives me insane sometimes... especially when you can't skip them! Most can be skipped, but there are certain (long) ones that never can and it just gets frustrating when you're playing a level repeatedly to get a higher grade. The characters move a bit too slow for my taste too, considering how large some levels are.

The story is weak. This is not an RPG though, so if you look back at Final Fight or a game like that, you didn't play it for the story! This is definitely something that can be forgiven.

Overall, this is a decent beat-em-up. There is decent replay value if you want to level up your character, get new items, and get that S Rank... but there's no multiplayer at all to beat up crap with your buddies! If developers don't take notes on this game, I feel that the genre will end up too shallow for even me to try playing another game like it.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/27/07


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