Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams

Sonic Team USA
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: Dec. 18, 2007
Systems: Wii
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: The world's foremost flying-dream-jester simulation

0:00 Despite having played the Saturn original many times at a Toys 'R' Us kiosk, I never understood the maniacal devotion some fans have for the game. This sequel puts the whole legacy at stake, in my mind.

A Big Ben-style clock tower appears over a highly fictionalized version of the London skyline. A boy sleeps soundly with a soccer ball in his arms. A girl in another flat does the same, albeit without a soccer ball. Twinkling stardust and the jester-like NiGHTS alights atop the clock tower. The title appears briefly, then NiGHTS is flying with seabirds a few inches above a river. Now he's reaching out to the boy in a deserted meadow. The girl's dreamworld is full of crystal, for some reason (Is she Shirley MacLane?). Jump cut to an evil-looking red jester, then more acrobatic flying cut scene, then the menu screen. Not bad, as intros go.

There are four potential control schemes: Remote, remote and Nunchuk, classic controller or GameCube controller. This is a worrisome sign to me. It seems as if they couldn't decide on one good control scheme, so they went for four mediocre ones.

I choose Will's dream first. He's practicing soccer on a dirty field with... his dad? It's unclear. Suddenly everything gets foggy. His dad (confirmed now by Will) is driving away in a car that turns into a plane. His soccer pals start laughing maniacally from a black void, then turn into wispy, red-eyed wraiths and chase Will. The poor boy is saved by a bright white light. Everything is suitably ethereal and dreamlike. Charming, really.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

1 comment:

Audrey said...

I'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog. I sent the link to my daughter. She'll love the reviews.