Review by Gamerboy1102
"No Nightmares Here!"
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams' (which I'm going to refer to as N:JoD from now on) storyline is based on family and friendship. Will looks up to his father and wants to be like him, while Helen used to spend all her time with her mom and now she spends too much time with her friends. When the two have Nightmares, the Nightmarens come and take all their Ideya except the Red Ideya of Courage, and you tutor, Owl, and NiGHTS inform you of an evil ruler named Wizeman. The two soon learn to either be more independent or spend more time with their family as they progress through the worlds, finding their purity, intelligence, hope, and growth in the form of Ideyas. As the game ends, the two protagonists realize what they must do and save Helen (in Will's case) and NiGHTS from Wizeman.
In N:JoD, the player each explores three unique worlds (excluding My Dream) ranging from the dazzling Crystal Castle to the serene Pure Valley. As Will and Helen, the character can only attack enemies with blue chips, but when dualized with NiGHTS, you can do much more. NiGHTS flies in the sky, Drill Dashes, and puts on Persona Masks, letting her explore the watery depths as a Dolphin, to traveling at the speed of light as a Rocket. The first mission of each stage is to save NiGHTS from the NiGHTS capture by catching up to a Goodle riding on a large bird, and steal the key to the NiGHTS capture three times, and then facing that stage's boss.The next three levels range from chasing an Octopus-like creature named Octopaw and creating Links, to guiding the other Visitor (Will or Helen) through the level back to the door. The final mission of each stage is to defeat the boss in the first mission, but in a stronger form. While the controls can be a bit difficult and glitchy at times, as well as the levels being a bit repetitive, I found that I kept going back for more because I loved it.
I have mixed feelings about the graphics. There are some places with amazing graphics (ex. Prologues, Crystal Castle, etc.) but there are places where the graphics can get pretty bad or just look plain old weird (ex. entering a world, the completed dream fountain, etc.) Persona Mask NiGHTS, Reala, and many others look amazing while creatures like Nightopians and Owl seem a bit rushed. Another tiny note is that, if you dive into the frozen lake on Crystal Castle as NiGHTS, sometimes the underwater mirror world can be a bit confusing, and places just don't seem to be in the right location- nor is it a mirror image, just upside down. But, overall the graphics were good, but some parts needed work.
Sound and Voices
I thought every voice fit, from the devious Nightmaren Reala to the innocent Helen, except for one person- NiGHTS. I thought the voice actor did a great job, but it's the fact that NiGHTS looks like a girl, now sounds like a girl, but Owl keeps referring to NiGHTS as a he and it's starting to drive me NUTS! The voices actors for the characters were perfect but sometimes the voice actors sounded a little bit fake, like when they have odd pauses in the middle of cut-scenes. Overall, though, I LOVED the voices and sounds, even the Persona Mask SFX and the Drill Dash SFX.
This is the game's greatest downfalls. While My Dream is fun to decorate, the actual interaction with Nightopians and other players is VERY limited. You can only pick up, feed, and breed (kinda) them and they don't do very much at all. And for other players, you can only use signs and most people would have no clue what you mean. I found the link with the Forecast Channel to be creative at first glance, and then useless when I tried to use it. I made sure I have done all the required things for the connection to work, but it just says it fails to receive data from Forecast Channel, making it useless, though some people don't have this problem. Unfortunately, my My Dream segment is forced to get a low score.
N:JoD did a great job with Replay Value! The two secret endings, final ideya, 2nd Reala Battle, different Wizeman battle, unlockable rooms (ex. Audio room, Sketchbook), Dream Drops, and My Dream make you want to unlock everything and you'll be hooked for a while. There is only one down side- I was able to unlock EVERYTHING in a day and a half, making the tasks fairly easy. But still, Sonic Team did an amazing job and deserve a round off applause.
Total Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/08
Game Release: NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (US, 12/18/07)
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