In a medium so focused on control, it’s refreshing to play a game that makes you feel so free.
Nights: Journey of Dreams proves itself a true successor in this way, and despite working in a 2-D gameplay plane, flying is liberating. Sweeping through the sky as you deftly manoeuvre, surmounting each hurdle and meeting every challenge, is an experience of graceful serenity.
This makes it so dispiriting to see the game tethered to mediocrity by some awful platforming sections– periods of numbing banality– and an inconsistency that sees the game jump from moments of impressive design flair to testing lows.
As if the extremes of flying glory and platforming shame weren’t enough of an example, there are many designed elements of this game that can substitute as a demonstration. Visually, there’s a general level of quality, a pleasingly bold style, but this is infrequently exploited and instead we’re left with several unremarkable regions which clash with the game’s oddball personality.
Nights herself (himself, maybe?) is rather less magnetic since discarding her aloof persona on the Wii. What seems to be an overly enthusiastic voice performance is damaging during the many cut scenes of the game, and this is true of all the characters’ voices.
If you’re looking to enjoy this game, then refrain from using the remote, because it’s ruinously difficult to employ. Switching to the classic controller or adding the Nunchuk is a relief, unlocking old memories as you are freed into a flight both smooth and accurate.
The non-flying sections are the gameplay’s clear sour note. It’s hard work to find any similar off-note in the high-quality collection of updated Nights into Dreams tracks and a set of originally produced themes.
This music’s key to what make’s Nights curiously stand apart: it nearly strikes me as gaming’s equivalent of a great children’s’ tale. This is rooted, though, in an innocent nature and a spirited, youthful world. New audiences may struggle to adapt to what’s a staunchly retro style of play.
To experience Nights’ roaming flight once again is a joy. Sega has produced a enjoyable and suitable tribute to a gaming great. Unfortunately, with such an amount of unwelcome elaboration it doesn’t embellish the series in a way that would truly be a dream.
What does this score mean? Check out our review scoring breakdown.