It's time for a collective "Uh-oh!" We've been hoping against hope that NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
would be the game to bring Sega
back from their current ruinous state to, well, where they were 11 years ago when the first NiGHTS
came out. Back then they were a perfect counterpart to Nintendo, with NiGHTS
exploring the move to 3D in a completely different way from Nintendo's Mario 64.
It was fresh, exciting, and infinitely replayable.
So when Sega revealed
the new NiGHTS
on the Wii, we thought the timing was right for a brilliant return to form from Sonic Team, complete with another exciting new controller with which to tool around some ring-filled fantasy lands. Did it turn out like we dreamed? It appears not. At best, it looks like "a pretty good game" -- not quite the Sega renaissance we'd hoped. At least it's not Sonic the Hedgehog
Nintendo Power -- 90%: Nintendo Power shows a secret love for classic Sega -- who knew? "Like the first game, Journey of Dreams
does have its share of flaws -- some of the voice acting is questioniable, the on-foot levels are a bit dull, and the motion controls disappoint (steering NiGHTS with the analog stick works much better) -- but the whole is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. This was obviously a labor of love for the development team--something that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of typical game design."GameSpot -- 75%
: GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd makes the game sound fairly cozy for old NiGHTS
players and gorgeously dreamlike for new ones: "Once you get settled in with your preferred controls, you'll find Journey of Dreams
is an often joyous experience. You'll soar through some lush, colorful dream worlds, from a fragile land of glass to a Broadway-inspired neon utopia. You will often interact with elements of these worlds in clever ways, such as bumping into huge floating billiard balls or having to watch your reflection in the mirror to collect blue chips and fly through rings."1UP -- 70%
: Shane Bettenhausen found that the game's often-slavish devotion to 1996-era design ideals may have kept the game faithful, but it also brought along some unwelcome decisions: "Likewise, poor design choices and a ticking clock conspire to create some of the most confusing boss encounters in recent memory. After blazing through three flight stages you're given only one shot at felling a massive opponent -- if you don't clue into how to damage its tricky weak spot within the strict time limit, look forward to doing it all over again."
We tend to find our personal all-time classics in the mid-70s "good" territory, plus
we're blindly devoted
to the ideal of a real Sega, so we're just going to wait and see for our own playthrough. It's clear that NiGHTS
isn't the smash hit we hoped for, though.