NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams Preview for Wii

On: Wii
Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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The game uses the Wii's Forecast Channel to decide the in-game weather
The game uses the Wii's Forecast Channel to decide the in-game weather

The game uses the Wii's Forecast Channel to decide the in-game weather

It's funny how some things change and some things stay the same. A decade ago, when I was a little blighter terrorising the playgrounds of a South London secondary school, I'd have kicked you in the gut and stole your lunch money if you had dared suggest Mario and Sonic would one day be sharing more than a punch up.

How things change. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games on Nintendo Wii. Who'd have thought? And now, here I am, ambling along to the wonderfully reclusive Wii Flat in London's West End to get some hands on time with NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams - the SEGA made follow up to the Saturn original - on a Nintendo console. How do they say in French? Plus ca change or something like that.

The original NiGHTS into Dreams was released by SEGA waaaay back in 1996, a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, Oasis and Blur were scrapping over number ones and England had a decent football team. The game combined 2D and 3D elements to simulate dream-like flight - relaxing, gliding gameplay that found a cult following on SEGA's doomed 32-bit console.

Now, with SEGA's console-making days over and the Saturn deader than a dodo, the iconic Japanese developer has decided, finally, to make a follow up - and it just had to be on Wii.

Fanboys are delighted of course. NiGHTS was always more of a hardcore game. Question is - is the sequel so "casualfied" (yes I made it up) that it will alienate its loyal fanbase in favour of this new breed of Wii-owners?

The answer is linked to the way the game utilises the Wii's unique control system. As I sat down to play the game I thought to myself - if this doesn't work well with the Wii Remote this is going to be rubbish. Well, it doesn't work particularly well with the Wii Remote. But thankfully you can play with the Nunchuck's analogue instead. Phew.

Your NiGHT can take on various forms

Your NiGHT can take on various forms

Using the Wii Remote only, you fly through hoops, chase after key-holding birds and collect numerous collectibles with what is called Mindsight - a small circle which you control by pointing the Wii Remote at the screen. Your NiGHT glides towards wherever you point it. Point it too far away and your NiGHT will lose interest and stop flying around the course. Keep the guidance tight, however, and you can achieve loop the loops and other impressive flying manoeuvres.

Unfortunately, using the Wii Remote only just didn't feel right. I didn't feel like I was ever in complete control of proceedings. Whether this is down to the Wii's motion sensing technology or the game design I don't know. But what I do know is that I much preferred connecting the Nunchuck and caressing the analogue instead. I wondered if I was just being cack-handed. I sighed relief when I met the game's lead designer, the wonderfully diminutive Takashi Iizuka, who played with the Nunchuck too.

Tacked on Wii controls? I wouldn't go that far. There will be some of you who will play NiGHTS with the Wii Remote only. But, despite only having played through a few levels of the game, I'll stick my neck out and say most won't. It is perhaps revealing that the developer, Sonic Team, has made it possible to play NiGHTS with the Wii's Classic Controller or even a GameCube pad, if you don't fancy waving a wand about.

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Jenny's Avatar
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I have a question about Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts. Why is it not on the wii? I'm confused? But mostly I typed this for the Nights game and this is really 3D ish I is really cool but it still is not my favorite game.
Posted 15:13 on 23 August 2008

Game Stats

Release Date: 18/01/2008
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Platformer
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 10,789 7083
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