NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams

I bought it three days ago and I expect to get the secret ending today -_- Sheez. The in-game clock says just about four hours of playtime. That’s me finishing BOTH storylines and working on getting a C-rating or higher on just about all the courses. WHAT. I would have felt so ripped off if I had bought this at full price, but since it was second-hand I don’t feel quite as gypped. Still, that’s a disappointment.

Aside from that, the two main character kids look freakin’ creepy (I swear their eyes reflect the light effects like flat mirrors in some scenes) and especially Helen sounds like she’s stoned out of her mind when she talks. I wish I could just rip both of them right out of the story.

As I said, the story is way too short, which is a shame because I like what’s there. Needs moar Reala! Seriously, why are the main antagonist’s sidekicks always the coolest characters? Here’s a music video with clips of Reala, and a short bit towards the end where you watch part of a scene from the actual game where he (and stoner!Helen) talks. Apart from Helen, I can’t really complain about any of the voice actors. I read that some fans of the original game was disappointed that NiGHTS got a voice this time, but I think it fits him (her? It?) perfectly.

As you might guess if you look at that video I linked to, NiGHTS gets himself captured A LOT. The game is divided into missions, and 20% of them involves the kids getting the hero out of cages. Which I rather find amusing because I’m fond of stories where heroes have to be saved by their weaker sidekicks, but it gets a little silly after the third time. And since NiGHTS can’t get out of those cages without the help of one of the kids, it really raises the question of how he’s managed to stay free before.

Well, now I’ve babbled about the story enough.

Reviewers have complained about the handling issues of the controls. I used a classic controller and did just fine, so I think the best idea is to just toss the Wiimote and nunchuck aside and go with the classic or gamecube controller. Some of the boss fights are just nasty though, even if you’ll beat them with some practice. The fun thing about the bosses are that they are creative. As annoying as that was, it sure was different trying to bounce a round clown-thing upwards through a stretch of obstacles.

The game itself is in 3D, but when flying you’re actually following a track which you can only go forwards, backwards, up and down along. While you’re running around as one of the kids, it’s an open space but you can’t fly. I think it works fine. It’s a racing game for most of the time, and you’d just get totally lost if you weren’t following tracks. I found that the graphics, the detailed backgrounds, made me forget about that and gave a sense of complete freedom anyway, especially on the last chasing mission.

What I really love about the graphics are how colorful and playful they are. It’s a bit of an acid trip, but it’s bubbly, innocent and creative in a way I haven’t seen in a while. Just watch the intro - doesn’t it just make you smile?

The music… oh sheez the music. I love it. Many songs are remixes of the main theme, but I adore that one so it’s fine. You even get to “play” it in one of the missions, where you have to hit the notes along the track in tune with the background music. I could have done without the lyrics of the actual song because it’s near-painfully cliché, but the music itself is sweet. The other tunes get the job done nicely as well, the boss battles are frantic enough as is and the music complements them. AAAUGH.
I tend to just shrug off the music in most games unless it’s really something, and this is :3

Overall, good game, but could have been much, much longer. Getting A on all the courses is a good challenge, but I would still have liked to see more content. I know it’s not for everyone, but I found myself really drawn in.

Wait… the main dude’s name is NiGHTS? Are you joking? FAIL.

You get used to it XD The lord of nightmares is named Wizeman, which I found even sillier. It sounds as if I’m fighting an old, bearded professor.

I’ve had this sitting still-wrapped since July, I think. I must be waiting 'til winter when I need bright, colorful things to cheer up the longer nights.

When you do, start with Helen’s story. I didn’t, and I felt as if I was missing out on some finer details because of it in the first playthrough. They explain things better to Helen than to Will.

I picked it up for 20 bucks, have been rationing out playing the game for a few weeks. Only just completed the first worlds with both kids.

But yeah, jesus, Helen looks and sounds fucking terrifying.

It’s a pity the game is so short. Perhaps I’ll (try to) get it second hand.

See, I don’t like the fact that there’s an express story there at all. I don’t like the voice acting. I don’t like the various mission types, namely the kids wandering around in mazes and the type where NiGHTS changes into a different form for the entire mission.

The music is excellent. The graphics retain the feel of the original in that it’s nothing but bright colors. I think the dizzying effect of the first one was lost in part because the camera is placed farther away from NiGHTS. I seriously made both Kagon and my mother sick on separate occasions when they watched me play the original; that just wouldn’t happen with the sequel. I liked that Will’s first boss and Helen’s first boss were both homages to Eliot’s and Clara’s first bosses from the original NiGHTS.

But yes, the story I hated at first and have come to tolerate its existence. I think I hate it more for the fact that there means there’s voice acting. The first NiGHTS worked in part because there was no story connecting the game. There was a brief little backstory nightmare given for Eliot and Clara, and that was it. It told you what they were afraid of, and the rest of the game was NiGHTS flying around all nimbly bimbly like, helping them gain courage. You could infer that Wizeman and company were the ones causing the nightmares, but it wasn’t quite the evil overlord that Journey of Dreams has.

In a dream I can see, that you’re not far away…
(That song comes from the original, Weilla. Sonic Team is notorious for having like 30 different versions of it floating around on various original and arranged soundtracks.)

Fly, Plaything, fly. You’re not ready.