|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|
NiGHTS will have you travel through wonderful fantasy worlds, from the bubbly Aqua garden and lush Memory Forest to the colorful and amusing Lost Park or the mysterious Crystal Castle and shimmering Delight City. All of these environments look great, and some of them are especially well-detailed. If you remember the great classic Sonic games, you'll feel there's some sort of resemblance with the levels in this title. Of course it's nothing strange, considering it's a Sega game. Even NiGHTS looks somewhat like Sonic, although it's not really a hedgehog. It's more like the Joker in a card deck. The gameplay also feels like the speedy classic game, although the extreme speeds are replaced by flow and harmony. It's not a side-scrolling adventure like Sonic, but it feels like it many times due to the automatic camera orientation that leads you the right way.
The soundtrack seems familiar. I can't point at anything specific, but it's definitely as good or better as the music found in many feature films out there. It evokes fantasy, adventure, magic, mystery, tension, and more. You can hear a masterful orchestra playing all these harmonious melodies with a brilliant classical touch. If you couple this with the magical sound effects and the professional voice-acting, you'll agree with me in that NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams has a great, theatrical feel. The flow of the music along with the flow of the gameplay make a perfect couple in this title. Conversely, I have to say there were just a few times where dialogue repetition broke the charm; for some reason, not all of the dialogues are spoken - sometimes players will be delegated to read while the characters repeat expressions like "well," "wonderful," etc.
This game also offers multiplayer gameplay and, surprisingly, Nintendo Wi-Fi connectivity. If you wish to race against your friends or someone over the Internet, the game makes it quite easy. You can take a break from the story mode and visit the two-player mode, which adds depth to the formula. It's not like a whole new party game but it's still a nice addition, and the Wii needs more of that. Players will also have their own dream world stored into the "My Dream" section of the game. The Nightmarens and other objects they've trapped throughout the story mode will make up their "My Dream." It will be different for every player, and the game offers the ability to travel to other people's dreams or invite them to visit your own and even trade elements from it.
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is a quite solid title that will fill some homes with joy. However, one should know where to draw the line that defines their own taste. I find this title more attractive for families and young crowds, rather than full-fledged gamers who are over seventeen years old. The game is not very long though, and it brings to the Wii a fantasy worth living; if you can get past the "unskippable" cutscenes, are tolerant with childish-looking games, and enjoy platforming of the Sonic-kind, you should enjoy this adventure.
CCC Site Director