Nights: Journey of Dreams (trademarked NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams) is a video game for the Wii console. It is the sequel to the 1996 Sega Saturn title Nights into Dreams.... It is the fourth and last game developed by Sega Studio USA, with Takashi Iizuka, the head of the US branch and one of the designers of the original, as producer, director, and lead game designer. Like the original, the game is set in the dream world of Nightopia, which is under threat from nightmare beings called Nightmaren, and the gameplay is based around the flight of a jester-like rebel Nightmaren named Nights.
Like the original game, Nights: Journey of Dreams
is set in the dream world of Nightopia, which is under threat from nightmare-like beings called Nightmaren. William Taylor and Helen Cartwright are the two new chosen dreamers. Will is an aspiring soccer
player, while Helen is a prodigy violinist
. They're both from a fictional city similar to London
called Bellbridge. Both children are close to their respective parents, Helen her mother and Will his father. However, the closeness between them has changed over the years; Helen has chosen to spend more time with her friends than with her mother practicing the violin, while Will's father is transferred to another city for work and leaves his son by himself. Both children suffer individual nightmares and come under attack by the Nightmaren, who chase them into the world of Nightopia. There, the two children separately meet the wise Owl and the playful dream jester NiGHTS; who has the ability to "dualize" with the children, allowing them to share NiGHTS' body and fly through the skies. Learning that the wicked Wizeman is plotting to take over the dream world and then emerge into the real world, the children and NiGHTS resolve to stop Wizeman, but face hindrance from the Nightmaren he commands; in particularly from NiGHTS' former comrade Reala.
The children's stories are unique, though they share a similar structure at some points and some of the same cut scenes appear in both stories. They both converge into each other at certain points, allowing Will and Helen to meet in their dream worlds and help each other; though Owl states that normally this shouldn't be possible. The story reaches its climax as a stairway appears at the Dream Gate and Helen and NiGHTS ascend, only to be trapped by Wizeman himself and pulled into darkness. Will arrives too late and dives in after them, arriving in the night skies above Bellbridge, where he finds that he now has the ability to fly on his own without NiGHTS. He rescues Helen, who had broken away from Wizeman but lost her Red Ideya in the process which Will returns to her, and the two head off to save NiGHTS who has been imprisoned at the top of Bellbridge's clock tower. Reala shows up to stop their efforts and accepts NiGHTS' challenge to one final showdown between them. Defeating him, the trio prepare to face Wizeman and NiGHTS dualizes with both the children. Will-NiGHTS and Helen-NiGHTS defeat Wizeman, who assures them that as long as human beings fear, he will never truly be gone. The next day, the children separately accomplish their goals; Helen plays onstage with her mother at a recital to a thunderous applause, while Will scores the winning goal for his soccer team after seeing that his father came back to see him.
In the secret ending, Helen plays "Dreams Dreams" on the violin for her mother at an outdoor stage, while Will celebrates with his friends and father after the game on the street above. He loses the ball and goes after it, only to come upon Helen playing the song. The lights suffer a temporary blackout and when they turn back on, Helen sees Will extending a friendly hand to her. Recognizing each other from their adventures in Nightopia, the two reach for each other as it begins to snow, to which they can only laugh. The final scene is of either child sleeping in their room at home as the camera pulls back towards Bellbridge clock tower, where NiGHTS is watching peacefully over the city.
- Nights: the game's main protagonist, whom Helen and William befriend.
- Helen Cartwright: one of the dreamers, in whose dreams the game takes place.
- William Taylor: one of the dreamers, in whose dreams the game takes place.
- Wizeman the Wicked: the game's main antagonist and the creator of Girania, Queen Bella, Donbalon, Bomamba, Chamelan and Cerberus as well as many other minor Nightmaren.
- Reala: Wizeman's chief henchman, appointed commander of the Nightmaren, and Nights' rival. Reala is wearing a gold eyeplate called a "persona" that is based on the Mardi Gras cat's eye mask.
- Owl: the player's tutor.
Much like in the first game, the primary means of gameplay in this game is to glide, spiral and loop through a variety of worlds, blasting through rings and gathering orbs. Special power ups can transform Nights' form into a dolphin, a dragon, or a rocket, to reach areas not accessible otherwise. There are also platform stages where the player controls one of the children. There is a variety of gameplay styles, and Nights is not playable in every level.
The game features four different control options, featuring the Wii Remote as a standalone controller, the Wii Remote in combination with the Nunchuk, the Nintendo GameCube controller and the Classic Controller.
The player starts by choosing one of two dreamers, the game's main characters, and from a central hub area called the Dream Gate, they choose one of seven worlds they wish to play. When a player first enters a new world, they are automatically given the world's first mission. After successfully completing this mission and beating the world's boss, more missions are opened up, which can now be chosen when the player again enters this world.
When a world has been chosen, the player starts out as one of the dreamers. While the game's main objective is playing with Nights, the dreamers can also explore the world, albeit with only a limited amount of time. By opening up treasure chests, players can extend the time with a dreamer. When the player wants to start playing the level with Nights, they need to find him/her, and climb into Nights' cage, causing the dreamer to merge with Nights.
The gameplay involves the use of "persona masks" that transform Nights and give it new abilities. With some of the persona masks, Nights is able to transform into the mask's form with the dreamer, while some are used without the dreamer.
Nights: Journey of Dreams
has two multiplayer modes: Battle Mode and Speed Mode. The Speed mode is playable online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
The Speed mode can be played through three modes:
- Nearby Friend with another player on the same console.
- With a Friend Far Away for online play with friends.
- Random Character in the World for a random challenge online with anyone in the world.
The game also keeps track of high scores in the single player levels and publishes them via an online scoreboard. When the player selects one of the two stories and checks their record list, the player can choose to update their scores and show their online rank.
From Nights into Dreams...
, the Artificial Life (A-Life) feature returns in Nights: Journey of Dreams
, also known as "My Dream". This is a feature where the player can capture, raise and combine the inhabitants of the world of Nightopia and Nightmaren in their self-developed sandbox
The Nightopians outside of the My Dream world act with similar artificial intelligence as they did in the first game: they will follow the children if they are fed blue chips, and they will panic if Nightmarens, besides Nights, are nearby. In addition to this, in the Nightopias, one can make a creation called a Mepian if they somehow manage to make a Nightmaren make physical contact with a Nightopian, just like in the previous game. The game uses features from the Forecast Channel on the Wii, changing the in-game weather conditions according to real-world's weather conditions in the My Dream world. There will also be special content made available during special days, such as the holiday season.
Takashi Iizuka first started working on Nights 2
in November 2005, after Shadow the Hedgehog
was shipped. In May 2006 the actual development started.
Demand for a sequel to Nights into Dreams...
has been strong for many years. A game with the working title Air Nights
was in development to use a tilt sensor in the Saturn analog pad, and development later moved to the Dreamcast
for a time, but eventually the project was discontinued and ended up being a mere prototype for the motion-sensing technology that was later used in Sonic Team's Samba De Amigo
According to the game's original producer and main programmer of Nights, Yuji Naka:
I know a lot of people love it and want us to make a sequel, but for us it's a really important game. Like the way Spielberg likes E.T. so much he won't remake it, I don't want to make another Nights.
In an interview in the November 2003 edition of Edge
, he was asked whether he would like to develop another Nights
I see Nights as a license. When dealing with such a license from the past it is quite a lot of work, but I would like to use Nights to reinforce Sega's identity, yes.
In April 2006 the Japanese game magazine Famitsu
published a rumour implying that a Nights
sequel was in development for the Wii. Rumours regarding a Wii version continued to appear during 2006.
Spring 2007 confirmation
In March 2007, Sega.com ran a poll titled "Which Sega game/character would you like to see return?" featuring Nights
as one of the options (along with Streets of Rage
, Samba de Amigo
, Virtua Cop
Around the same time as the poll, Official Nintendo Magazine stated that an upcoming game for the Wii would be revealed in its May 2007 issue. It printed the words "a classic game makes a long overdue return" underneath an image of a constellation in the shape of the Nights logo.
This caused further speculation on the future of the franchise however, the issue's proximity to April Fools' Day left the validity of the report in question. Official Nintendo Magazine stated that the teaser was valid, but also made clear they never stated it was a Nights sequel.
On the cover of the April 2007 issue of Swedish magazine Gamereactor, a mildly redesigned Nights is shown, along with the text "Sega's dreamdemon returns. The cover has since been replaced with an outline of Nights, with 'GameReactor commenting that Sega had contacted them about it.
In the April issue of the Portuguese magazine Maxi Consolas, the first images of the game were published, finally confirming the existence of a new Nights game for the Wii. Scans of the article were posted onto Jeux-France The article reports that Sega will officially announce the game in early April.
In April 2007, Famitsu announced the name Nights: Journey of Dreams.
- Naofumi Hataya, one of the composers from the original game, helped produce the sequel's music as the sound director.
- Being aware of the heavy American influence in the latest Sonic the Hedgehog-games, Iizuka and his team chose for a distinctive European influence in the game, with the Big Ben-like tower and the "British accent."
- Takashi Iizuka initially thought of having the game take advantage of a completely free-roaming 3D flight system, however it didn't turn out to be as fun.
- 26 Sonic Team staff members have been involved in the game. Despite the game having some of the core members from the original game, the entire team from Shadow the Hedgehog worked on this game. While the game was developed in San Francisco, the music and CGI movie production were made in Japan.
- Although there are a number of returning characters, Journey of Dreams is a stand-alone sequel to Nights into Dreams..., not a remake.
Overall reviews have been mixed, averaging at around 74%. Nintendo Power
, reviewing the game in their January 2008 issue, gave the game a 9 out of 10, saying "Director Takashi Iizuka and his team have hit one out of the park, delivering a follow-up in every way worthy of its legendary predecessor." Electronic Gaming Monthly
also reviewed the game in their January 2008 issue, giving the game a 7.0, 7.5, and 7.0, averaging out to a score of 7.2/10. They praised the game for its appealing art style, pleasant soundtrack, and its faithfulness to the original game, but criticized it for the 3D platforming segments, confusing boss battles, and saying the Wii remote controls don't work nearly as well as the standard control scheme. IGN scored the game a 6.5/10, saying it was only for die hard fans of the original. GameSpot
scored the game a 7.5/10, and Game Zone gave it 8/10. Famitsu
gave the game an overall score of 29 out of 40, praising it for its heartwarming story and good replay value, but criticizing sometimes bothersome controls.
pt: Nights: Journey of Dreams