Currently Playing: NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams (Wii)

Nights Journey Into Dreams

I was excited to hear about NiGHTs Journey Into Dreams ever since it was announced, but I did worry about its timing because the announcement did come when most of Sega’s games are not up to par with what they usually do. I had the chance to play the original NiGHTs into Dreams on the Sega Saturn, it was the time I totally ignored the very successful PlayStation but it was a moment I enjoyed games that stood out that were unnoticed by the masses.

The original NiGHTs was simple and fun, the music was very cheerful, the environments looked amazing and it really gave a sense of flying. It was the first game I really enjoyed using an analog stick. It was perfect since the controls of the game really needed precise 380 degrees of movement. It gave you a good feeling of flying.

I wondered if the new NiGHTs going to be a sequel of sorts or just a remake. A remake wouldn’t be so bad, I actually enjoyed the idea because I want more people to enjoy the game. Well, as it turned out, it was a remake but in a different fashion. They upgraded and added a lot of details. The original game was mysterious, you choose from 2 children and you find them trapped in a nightmare. You control them at the start of each level, and then you try to unleash NiGHTs and fly around to collect rings within a certain time limit. If you don’t reach the time limit you turn back into a child. You never know who NiGHTs was, and all you know that he or she is like helping or guiding you.

In the new version, you immediately start the same way, by choosing from 2 children and you control them in the dreamworld. As soon as you get into the game, you get to talk to NiGHTs and an Owl who explains everything to you. As a fan of the original game, the mystery that made me enjoy the original game seemed lost in this version. In this game, you are made to enter a door, which again you meet NiGHTs and you are confronted with enemies who traps NiGHTs. You are now here to rescue NiGHTs from a cage and release him or her to collect rings and attack your enemies. After some finishing a level you have to fight off the level boss. The old game finishes each level like that, in this version you are still given some missions and a real final boss at the end of each door.

The initial level design is fun to look at and it does remind you of the classic game, although I did have problems with the additional parts of the game. At times it felt unnecessary and it wasn’t as fun as just flying around, although I like the idea of making the game a bit longer since the original was very short to begin with. What I did like is that each new level has something to offer in an interesting way, one level you have to capture Nightopians, one level you have to fly through musical notes and more. I did enjoy a lot of parts of the game, I just didn’t enjoy some parts of it.

The owl that explains everything gets a bit irritating to listen to, it’s just good that you don’t have to listen to it every time. Hearing NiGHTs for the first time is also a bit awkward, since they mystery character seemed lost in translation from the original game. Although I like the music, it did remind me of the classic game at times. I’m not too fond of the music Dreams Dreams though, but it was interesting to listen to it in different versions, the version I liked is when Nightopians were trying to sing to it.

The graphics were subpar in terms of quality; you can always see that it could have been better. The pre-rendered cutscenes were very typical for Sega, but there were a lot more than the original game. What’s make this interesting is that there is an additional segment at the end if you get the real ending. The ingame graphics are not outstanding, it’s merely okay. The details were something you could have expected more of the Wii.

The controls are interesting, but you would actually prefer using a GameCube controller that keeping with the Wii Mote and a Nunchuk. You can can use the Wii Mote alone, but it doesn’t respond properly because you have to point where NiGHTs will fly around and the Wii Mote is not as accurate as you want it to be. Using the Wii Mote and Nunchuk gives a similar control with using the GameCube, but personally, it wasn’t as confortable as using the GameCube. The controls are not as what I expected, what I liked about the Sega Saturn 3D controller is that the 360 movement can be done perfectly which can also be worked out on most consoles these days, my problem with the Nunchuk and GameCube controller is that the analog stick have corners, which mildly locks it’s position for a split second. This makes some moves a bit difficult than the original Sega Saturn version. I also missed making interesting flying patterns, it made sense on the Saturn version since it gives more scores when you are able to perform them, this version though you are not given an opportunity to enjoy them. The controls are also slightly different, when using the GameCube controller, you have given some better advantage in playing around because of some additional controls that are not present when using Wii Mote and Nunchuk.

An additional part of the game is the use of an online mode, which can give you your own dreamworld. The more you play the game, the more things that happen in your world. The weather changes which depends on what it detects on the weather channel. I enjoyed playing around with it for a while, but I did have problems trying to get to another dream of other players, and from what I read online, it does have bugs which actually prevents me to enjoy the online feature.

Overall, the game is pretty fun, if it just kept the good parts. The bad parts are just really bad and you can’t look away. The graphics looks nice, but could have been better. The controls are not as fun to use as the old Saturn controller. The music is nice, but too kiddy at times. The game was make for kids in mind though, but I know a lot of older gamers still do wish for a good remake, since NiGHTs has been like an icon like Sonic but more mysterious. NiGHTs wasn’t justified properly in this game, but I still have to admit that I enjoyed playing it until the end.

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