NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams

aka: NiGHTS: Hoshi Furu Yoru no Monogatari
Moby ID: 31744
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Description official description

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is a sequel to the 1996 Saturn title NiGHTS into Dreams... Like the original game, Journey of Dreams tells the story of the dream world of Nightopia which is being threatened by nightmare creatures called Nightmaren. The game introduces two children, William and Helen, and in their dreams the game takes place. The player controls the children and also Nights, a Nightmaren that turned against his creator in the previous game, and must protect the children's dreams from the Nightmaren.

The game begins with choosing a dreamer to play (William or Helen) and one of the seven worlds. The player can initially roam the world as the dreamer until he merges with Nights. Once Nights is controlled, the game turns to the traditional gameplay of gliding and spiraling through loops and collecting orbs and Dreamdrops.

During the game the player can obtain Persona Masks used to transform Nights into various animals and vehicles like a dragon, a dolphin, a rocket and a boat. These masks assist the player in reaching areas not accessible otherwise.

The game uses the Forecast Channel on the Wii to change the in-game weather conditions according to the weather at the geographic location of the player in the real world. That feature also comes to use in My Dream, a sandbox environment used to raise Nightmaren and other various creatures of Nightopia.

The game has four controls schemes: the Wii Remote, the Wii Remote with the Nunchuk, the GameCube controller and the Classic Controller. Players can keep track of their global ranking in an online scoreboard as the game informs the player of his global rank when playing.

Spellings

  • ナイツ 〜星降る夜の物語〜 - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (Wii version)

345 People (328 developers, 17 thanks) · View all

Lead Music Composer
Music Composers & Arrangers
Sound Effects
Supervising Sound Editor
Sound Editors
'Dreams Dreams'
'Dreams Dreams: Sweet Snow'
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 66% (based on 46 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 2 reviews)

Strange, but awesome!

The Good
I'd heard lots of amazing things about the first Nights Into Dreams, and I thought I really would like to try this game. After buying it, I kept thinking about Sonic. Since lots of people say, "Nights is only Sonic flying" I just thought I'd wasted my parents' money.

However, I knew it would be nothing like Sonic! So I put the disc into my Wii console and started playing Helen's story. I just think this game is so awesome. The gameplay is very challenging, so I use my GameCube controller for now, but I'll be using my Wii remote very soon!

Since I have a lot of nightmares, I just think about Nights.

The Bad
Nothing. Players should use the GameCube controller or Classical controller if it's your first time playing the game.

The Bottom Line
An awesome game! Everyone would love this!

Wii · by SteamTheCat (5) · 2008

Do You Dream in Colour?

The Good
Beautifully rendered cut-scenes welcome players to this game. Through them, we are introduced to a modern London-type city as well as the two protagonists of the game: a boy named Will, and a girl named Helen. They are both symbols of innocence, yet each has their own personal problems with which to deal with. Will has a major (and unhealthy?) attachment to his father, while Helen has a conflict between spending time with friends or her violinist mother. There is an attempt to weave these personal conflicts into the story and game-play, and we are taken on a journey the long-way-‘round to resolve them. Does it sound odd? Well wait, it gets stranger still.

As the prologue winds-up, we are plopped into the “Dream Gate” – a modern gaming convention. This is the master stage-select area of the game. A flowing fountain in the middle of a classic courtyard is surrounded by a handful of ornamental wooden doors. These represent the opening to each zone or area in the game. It’s like the Observatory in Super Mario Galaxy, and is similar to countless other games out there. As Helen or Will, you can mess about in this halfway-world collecting chips or exploring the scenery. But this area revealed a short-coming for me in the shape of the controls for Will/Helen. They feel “light” to touch, and jump unrealistically with mid-air direction change that would make Megaman jealous.

The Bad
Disappointingly, a silly and decidedly poorly rendered owl character is the voice of reason in this title. He greats your selected character and attempts to give you a run-down on the dream-world in which you have found yourself, (even though his knowledge is far from complete). I am always let-down when these sorts of characters are used because they too are a convention, all the way down to the silly round glasses and dry, pompous English characterisation. I wonder what a bumbling, foolish and reckless owl character would come across like! Besides, after playing quality titles such as Super Mario Galaxy, you notice how inexpertly this owl has been constructed. But enough about the damn bird…

Helen or Will “dualize” in order to become one with “NiGHTS”. And just what does that mean? Well, in the “dream world”, you need to become and control this character in order to fulfil the various missions presented to you. So who is NiGHTS? It is a flying, acrobatic, androgynous, British jester with skin-tight purple garb and eyeballs as large as apples, that’s who. It flies about the place in order to protect the Nightopians from the Nightmarens (obviously!). Just why they need Will or Helen’s help is something I never quite picked up on, but nevertheless you’re in way over your head before you know it.

Once you’ve become NiGHTS, you can fly about the place by either aiming with the Wii remote on-screen, or by using the stick on the nunchuk controller. Most people seem to prefer the latter method due to the non-responsiveness of the former, (this seems to be the current trend for Wii titles!). It is shown side-on and it is the player’s job to line it up with the inexhaustible supply of “rings” and “blue chips” that are thrown at you. Flying thorough and collecting these things quickly allows you to gain combo scores or “links” as they’re called in this game. And that’s about the size of the game-play – you are either flying cleverly, speedily or accurately in order to fulfil whatever goal it is that they’ve given you at the moment. Once this goal is met, you are given grading – this is on a scale between an E, (the lowest) to an A, (the highest). This gives the game some replay value, and also a kind of grading reminiscent of school reports marked by an authoritative teacher.

The difference in quality between the cut-scenes and the in-game presentation is vast. The cut-scenes are some of the best I’ve seen in terms of their fluidity, colour and movement. The in-game graphics are really unmemorable – with disturbing amounts of bright colours and unclear scale and perspective. Sure, you’re not required to perform anything too tricky when playing as NiGHTS, but it seems unfair when you come to a complete stop before you’re even given a chance to react. Luckily, it achieves its high speed fairly quickly, and most interruptions can be overcome reasonably. We visit forests, ruins, cities, a Broadway district and others, but you’re always doing similar things it seems. Sure, you have a few sojourns as a white-water raft (don’t ask) or as Will or Helen themselves, but it somehow feels like it’s missing something to me – as if the level design wants you to rush past in case you notice that the world itself is a sham.

There was much talk of the game holding a magical quality, an experience never duplicated by anything since the original NiGHTS game. Perhaps I’m less sensitive to this sense of wonder and other-worldliness, but this game seemed to be rather a routine adventure for me. Sure, the subject matter is fairly original (for a video-game anyway), but it seems restricted by its own kooky logic. A “real” world and a “dream” world that are normally separated seems simple enough, but somewhere in there it all gets complicated and before you know it, you’re a dragon flying through rings in order to defeat a giant bodiless, faceless robed monstrosity with the voice of Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. It seems eccentric and magical on paper, but it seems kind of pretentious in practice.

NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams requires players to defeat bosses throughout the adventure as well. These things are (again) very unusual characterisations, and are usually brought down with a particular technique that NiGHTS allows. They range from magical chameleons to strange stems bearing evil cat-heads. NiGHTS is fairly defenceless, yet it still manages to take these guys down with the “paraloop” technique (a loop-to-loop), or a strange method where it grabs with both hands and then boosts into whatever it may be you’re holding. I suppose the bosses themselves are imaginative, but they really just appear at the end of a line of missions, as if the developers themselves had given up on giving them context or meaning. Where did they come from, why are they here now, what do they want? Much of this title is inexplicable.

About halfway through this title that sense of “I’ve seen this before” occurred to me. I then realised that this game is the Peter Pan story/myth in disguise (in this case it’s louder clothing). We have a mystical, youthful character with the ability to fly who captures the hearts and hopes of neglected children. NiGHTS gives them hope, responsibility and self-esteem in order to resolve their personal problems. It is a rite-of-passage story, decorated with magical décor in order to charm and enchant its protagonists.

The Bottom Line
But apart from that, it is only a so-so experience for a gamer. Sure, it can be satisfying linking up all of those rings and chips, but I couldn’t help but feel that it was a little pointless, and I found NiGHTS the character fairly shallow and one-dimensional. I expected her to be more mischievous and reckless, rather than the clean-cut responsible figure it turned out to be. The bright pink jester outfit with a twist is a misrepresentation – I think NiGHTS should be dressed like a school-teacher or librarian!

Wii · by So Hai (261) · 2009

Discussion

Subject By Date
A really magical and amazing game. Black_Rose (33) Feb 1, 2008

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Solid Flamingo.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Rik Hideto.

Game added December 25, 2007. Last modified September 18, 2023.