Brings back the old NiGHTS nostalgia, but sadly it's not the same...
Joker_Wylde wrote this review on .
Fortunately the controls are an absolute joy. There are several control methods, but the only one I used lots was the nunchuck method. Like the analogue controller, the nunchuck directs movement, and the remote makes you spin etc. It can also be waved in different directions to perform the acrobatics. Its so nice to finally have a game that uses the Wiimote to full effect. Even if you hate this game, its almost worth getting just to see how all the other Wii games should be controlled.
The Level design is fairly typical Sega, with many levels being similar to NiGHTS and other Sonic games. The game play principle is almost the same, the levels are timed, and you have to fly round a track to break the cage, but this time you are chasing a bird with a key, and your score seems to be based solely on how quickly you complete the level. I think that's a shame, its not the same as perfecting your route round the level and leaving it to the last second to complete the it. Still, the bosses are very good, and most are reminiscent of the one s in the last game. I liked the chameleon best, although his battle was hard. Some of the "fun" levels weren't at all, Helen has to regain her confidence to play an instrument, and you basically circle a concert stage playing the abhorrent Dreams Dreams. Its unbelievably difficult, you have to fly at a constant speed, and if you miss 5 notes that's it! Night over, start again... that's not how you encourage a child to practice! Bad NiGHTS, be more supportive.
The level variety has improved, and you range from circuit levels, to 3D maze levels, and the A life section seems to be much more interactive. I didn't buy into it much last time. I liked the Chaos, but the Nightopians were a bit freaky for me. Bald little singing babies, they looked a bit like coneheads and screamed if you paralooped too close to them. In this game, thats how you get them into your sandbox world, although after that I don't know what you do with them. There is also a teardrop collection game, but again its purpose passes me by somewhat.
The story I could take or leave in this game. Constraints in the last one meant they avoided lengthy storyline expansions, but they have totally gone to town over this one. It reminds me of a review of Sonic Adventure years ago, "we spent 10 years waiting for him to speak, now we can't make him shut up fast enough". I was also mildly amused to see that they got the girl back to sing the song from the original over the credits, although by now she must be a woman, and hopefully has actually learned to sing. I see they didn't get the boy back... For some inexplicable reason they thought it was complicated enough to need a tutor character, an owl. He pops up all the time, and is rarely helpful. He has more excruciating dialog than any of the others, and provides moral judgment on these poor children when they find out NiGHTs is a Nightmaren. Was he one in the last game? Does it even matter? And all that rubbish about the Idea, and their quest to get on with their parents...although its not like they wouldn't have put it in the last game if they'd have been able to.
I haven't delved into any of the online or multiplayer aspects of this game, and I suspect there is a lot more to it that I am aware of. They have taken away some of the charm of the original, but overall I think the game is a better one in terms of playability, variety and difficulty. The stories intertwine more, even if I have grown more cynical in my appreciation of them. There aren't as many interesting quirks, but then they rarely make for a critical success, so I understand when these things are axed in favour of attempted mainstream success. They struck gold on the controls, and if you can put up with what feels like hours of tedious badly voiced dialog you'll love it as much as the first, if only because you get to play it for longer. It will never be a collectors item like the first, but I think its got a lot more going for it, even if sadly it has a lot less at the same time.