Calling NiGHTS a hit with the hardcore gaming fraternity is akin to saying that Scarlett Johansson is a little bit hot. The Saturn original is regularly mentioned on forums as one of the very best games of all time.
And with good reason too. It’s flowing, air based, score obsessed, brand of gaming has proven to delight everyone who gives it a try. Seriously, consider yourselves urged to pick up a Saturn and a copy of NiGHTS and see for yourself.
Finally, Sega have heard our cries, and given NiGHTS a true sequel. And considering the original was so great thanks to the analogue control, the fit to the Wii Remote seems absolutely spot-on. What on earth could go wrong?
Well, it has gone wrong. Unlike the likes of Super Mario Galaxy that has updated an age-old formula to offer up a stunning experience, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams has gone down that dodgy route we’d all hoped it would avoid.
Yup, Sega, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that the gorgeous stylish flying of old simply isn’t enough. So, they’ve decided to shoehorn not only some tedious on-foot sections, but the most shockingly bad cutscenes that have ever been created.
Taking the cutscenes first off, the NiGHTS of old starred an inherently cool character. Before he/she was a stylish, and most importantly, mute character that you could turn into whoever you wanted them to be (in your head I mean). NiGHTS didn’t possess some kind of daft character creation mode.
This time, numerous cutscenes starring the aforementioned central character and a pair of cringe-worthy children are the order of the day. Hearing horrendously dull phrases – that are completely un-skippable too - repeated in some ridiculously high-pitched voice for minutes on end almost tempts you to toss your Wii Remote straight through the TV.
Next: the on-foot platforming sections. Every now and again it seems that Sega have decided we need a break to the flowing goodness, and supplant it with a tediously slow wander through a dull maze, each one about as exciting as watching an old video of paint drying, that you can't fast-forward.
Thankfully the traditional NiGHTS action is included by the bucket load. Floating and pirouetting through the air, circling around coins to collect, and bashing into foes to steal a required key, is an absolute riot.
Again NiGHTS is firmly on rails. And while that might seem a horrendous choice for newcomers to the game, it allows you to concentrate on floating through the air and have lots of fun while doing it. Surprisingly, however, it’s the Wii Remote that proves the least fun, with the Classic controller’s system providing the most fun.
The stunning visuals of old have been updated with aplomb, and NiGHTS is a stunning title to ogle. The bright and colourful landscapes you’ll flow around are an absolute joy to behold and a real plus point for the console.
Boss battles can be incredibly difficult at times, just like before. Saying that, to play through from start to finish will take a mere handful of hours. But while it lasts, if you discount the platforming sections, it is sheer brilliance to play.
For long-term fans, NiGHTS is hit and miss. While the same gameplay of old is here – though less reliant on constant upping of your score this time – the introduction of an astonishingly ridiculous story, and some dull platforming sections will turn you right off.
For gamers eager for something that will make you smile your broadest smile - and you’ve already completed Super Mario Galaxy - then you could do a lot worse than a trip to the brightly lit NiGHTS.