|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SEGA||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 18, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
June 14, 2007 - Who says the fans are never heard? At least, that is what we can say for the next few months. The voices of fans have revitalized the interest in a 1996 Sega Saturn game that has finally gotten a sequel. In fact, some would say that during Sega.com's recent poll in March asking which character or game would the fans like to see return, Nights won by a landslide.
Accumulating around 9800 votes, beating out other classics like Streets of Rage and Virtua Cop, Nights is the one the fans want really bad. Well, it looks like Sega is listening and we will soon have a new Nights game featuring our favorite purple clad jester looking guy performing aerobatic maneuvers to make Spider-Man jealous. What makes this news even more enticing is the fact that Nights: Journey of Dreams will be a Wii exclusive, thus allowing our heads to race around just how those controls are going to work out.
Unfortunately, there is not enough information really known about the game. For instance, we are unsure as to what the story will center around. We do, however, know that it will take place once more in Nightopia. Nights will once more be the character we control. This will undoubtedly make several fans of the series immensely happy. The lighthearted approach to the story will most likely be on the minds of the developers as they construct the meaning behind this installment. It has been suggested that Nights: Journey of Dreams will have a main subplot pertaining to the themes of hope and courage. Already, I can say that the message that should be delivered in the game will be great in a market filled with doom and gloom. It will, however, have enemies that we will face.
Taking place in the world of Nightopia, Nights will face down the inhabitants of the land of Nightmare by traveling to seven different worlds or levels. The inhabitants here are affectionately called Nightmarens. It will take all of Nights' skill to defeat them, and with this comes new gameplay mechanics. Before I get to the fact that the game is a Wii exclusive and what to expect because of that, there is one thing revealed about the actual gameplay that is of interest - masks. Those little things you either pass out from wearing during Halloween or use to hide yourself from everyone will play a part in the functionality of our hero. For example, a dragon mask will allow Nights to withstand strong winds, a dolphin mask will actually transform Nights into a dolphin for swimming purposes under water, and a rocket mask will assist Nights in traveling really fast at super speeds. This new mask feature in the game will expand and should increase the playability of Nights: Journey of Dreams.
There will also be some two-player modes available in the game. I hope that these modes will be available offline to further increase the playability of the game. Even though there have been rumblings of online capabilities, how these will function on the yet unproven online capabilities of the Wii remain up in the air. However, with all of these being the norm as far as gameplay options on games nowadays, there is one feature that is both intriguing and maybe a little gimmicky. Nights: Journey of Dreams will use the Forecast Channel in some way. The theory is that the weather in the game will change accordingly with the weather in your area. This could be an interesting idea for future developers to try to incorporate the Wii's additional channels. Who knows, in the future we could be seeing a crime game that plays off the news channel. If anyone takes that idea, I would like credit.
Information about controlling Nights and how the combat will work with the Wii seems to be guarded closer than the story. In fact, the only thing we really know about the controls is that we will have the option to control Nights with either the Wii-mote or its trusty sidekick, the Nunchuk. Other than that, everything is speculation. I would assume that there will be a form of flight simulator mechanic to the way the controls will work. If this is the case, Nights could become the first truly amazing flight simulator to hit the Wii. Again, we shall have to wait and see.
Fans across the globe are in a frenzied, passionate cry about the return of a beloved title that could have been washed down the drain with several Sega titles. Thankfully, their voices have been heard and the Nights and the world of Nightopia are returning to our screens. I could not be happier to see a game that appears to be providing the truest sense of a family game that all ages can play and enjoy. We might have an update after E3 in July, so be sure to check back during that hectic week to get all of our coverage.
CCC Project Coordinator