For a decade now I've heard people praising Sega's NiGHTS for the Sega Saturn, and seeing as how I was exclusively a Nintendo booster during the original console wars, I never had the chance to see what all the fuss was about (a friend during those years was the Sega booster, so between the two of us we had access to all the best games, however he switched gears to Nintendo after the great 32X debacle; but I digress...). Now my review of the sequel, NiGHTS: Journey Of Dreams for the Nintendo Wii, has been published over at AMN.
This new NiGHTS seems to have been designed with fans of the original Sega Saturn game in mind, and while that's a definite plus for longtime NiGHTS boosters, those of us who only just now stepped into the dream world run the risk of being left on the curb. A questionably-voiced introduction explains the basics of NiGHTS and his world, but there's little information presented on why NiGHTS needs to complete the missions assigned to him and his dreaming partner. One particular mission very early in the game left us stumped for far too long because the game did not adequately explain the task to be completed. Instead it gave a rushed Warioware-like order and then started the ticking clock. Original NiGHTS fans most likely know just what to do at this point, but newbies are nearly assured to suffer from confusion and frustration.
When the opportunity to review the new NiGHTS came up I jumped at the chance, largely because the gameplay intrigued me, but also because I thought there was value in a non-NiGHTS devotee taking a crack at the review. It would be all too easy for someone who waited this long for a proper NiGHTS sequel to gush all over the place (this is the same reason why if Mother 3 ever gets a North American release you should be wary of reviews written by longtime Earthbound fans (including me!)). In the end, NiGHTS didn't do much for me, although I'm glad that I played it. Now I can check that box on my list of popular games and gameplay styles that I missed back in the old days.