Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Reminds me of NiGHTS....strangely enough..."
Play Station games have a tendency to come around with a game that looks as though it is geared for kids and made for adults with 40 Winks being the first example of this to really come about. Taking control of a boy who can do things in his dreams, you run through several stages of action and adventure that really looks and feels like one of the Crash Bandicoot games that have made a name for themselves on the PS! There aren’t any body parts and no blood, with a sound track that is geared to be a bit on the cute side and really gives the feeling that the game is geared for kids and kids alone. The adventure itself isn’t a bad one and the game really is quite enjoyable once you’ve fallen into it, but it doesn’t quite make it anything more than an above average platform game.
The story is more or less a ''fairy-tale'' type of story involving a kid who fights monsters in his dreams. This may seem interesting, but from the start, you'll see that the game is definitely geared towards younger players. Your goal is to try and escape six different dream worlds, as well as collect these little Z's throughout each stage. The enemies you face are easy to move around and figure out to defeat! Replay value is strictly limited to what you can find on your second time through, which is whatever you may have missed the first time. Again, the story might make you cringe a bit, but the actual gaming is pretty addicting, and it'll keep you riveted for a while. Expert platform gamers will find that the game centers more on exploration and moving than it does actually getting down and battling. This isn’t to say that the game can’t be challenging, because some of the battles that you face off against really are worthy of more adult-geared action games! The challenge really lies in collecting the Z’s that will allow you entry into the next dream world and one step towards your ultimate goal.
You can attack in different ways that allow you take out whatever happens to be in your way, and with some of the boss characters, you’ll have to develop your own strategy that is both simple to use but hard as hell to figure out. Again, this is another instance where the obvious isn’t seen by older gamers, but a five-year-old could pick up the control pad and start playing without a problem! Misbalance in the challenge is what will throw some gamers and annoy others. At one point, you may find the game to be way easy but then turn around and can’t figure out where to go or what to do next. Both a blessing and a curse in all respects.
A little loose and twitchy, you can find yourself in mid-action only to have the control be slow to respond. This isn't a bad thing mind you, but it can and will frustrate older gamers. Younger gamers will find the control relatively easy to use, and most of the action is done with a few simple button presses. Now veteran gamers will probably find that the control is a little too loose for their liking like I did. When jumping from place to place and even taking on some of the enemies when I wanted to, I found that controlling the little guy took plenty of patience and practice! I’m starting to think that games like this are like child proof caps, only a kid can get the damned thing off and do it without throwing the controller down when they fail. Those who have played games such as NiGHT’s will really find that this control setup and that one are strangely similar and will fall into the control setup without a problem.
40 Winks offers some stunning visuals for an action/platform game, going the way of Crash Bandicoot and Sonic game in terms of camera display. Well-designed worlds and two interesting characters make this game fun to look at. Special effects range from slightly there to brightly flaring across the screen. Not a bad attempt here, but you won't find blood or guts; the visuals are truly aimed at kids! However, this won’t deter any gamer from actually picking up the game and playing through regardless of the visuals that you’ll have to look at. The story is pretty well unfolded through the visual story as you play and the stages are very well done with a different theme that seems to permeate each of the dream worlds that you travel through.
The audio here is first rate stuff. Giving you some interesting music to listen to, it can be almost hypnotic at times, and at other times, and can get a little annoying. Again, it is a game aimed at younger audiences, so don't expect to hear White Zombie or DMX come blaring through your stereo speakers. All in all the level music as well as the sound effects that you find here are worth listening to for a while, and you'll find that they all mesh together with some beautiful melodies! The sound effects have a typical sound to them that range from thuds to strange tinkling sounds. All in all, it does come together without pause and you’ll see that the game doesn’t offer much, but what it does offer it comes through with.
While the control is a little off, and the game is geared for younger players, 40 winks offers up a decently solid platform game for gamers of all ages. Anyone looking for a rough and tough action game, you might want to look some place else. Wonderful visuals and great music, coupled with addicting gameplay make 40 winks worth at least a rental. The lack of challenge in certain parts of the game will really throw most veteran gamers for a loop when they see what it is that they are playing and how fast they made it through! For gamers with younger siblings who play games, it's worth a purchase.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/08/01, Updated 11/23/01
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