Re-evaluating Nights Journey of Dreams


#1

Okay, aside from the story; lets talk about: gameplay, design and music. Now compare this to the original.

I feel when this is done, Nights Journey of Dreams is just as good if not full of more variety than Nights into Dreams.

The music was done very well (by the original composer) and I can’t see anything wrong with it. We were talking about how music needs to be organic to complement the game design; well this is a good example.

The stages were just as imaginative ranging from: crystal palaces where Nights could grow large, deserts full of casinos and pool balls flying around, to musical jungles where Nights could fly through giant flowers, turning the entire level into night.

Aside from normal flying levels, you had side objectives. While this might not have added anything substantial or complemented the flying levels in the best of ways; it gave you a bit more variety. I actually liked the platforming sections/stages with Will and Helen.

The bosses were very fun: having to pull and push on a stage with Nights turning the enemies into balls you then had to get inside corresponding holes, trying to locate Chamelan hidden among playing cards, destroying platforms trying to get Queen Bella to fall in lava…ect…

But I know the game isn’t perfect, so:

Cons:

-Analog control isn’t very precise (and that’s a must for Nights)
-Weak Story maybe revealing too much about Nights character?
-Game is too short due to a rush to get it out for the holiday season


#2

Also, these are the original Nights into Dreams developers who worked on Nights Journey of Dreams:

Takashi Iizuka (Supervisor of Nights into Dreams) (Director, Producer Nights Journey of Dreams)

Kazuyuki Hoshino (Character Designer Nights into Dreams) (Art Director, Lead Character Designer Nights Journey of Dreams)

Nobuhiko Honda (CG Movie Artist Nights into Dreams) (Character Designer Nights Journey of Dreams)

Tomoko Sasaki (Lyrics Nights into Dreams) (Compose & Arrange Christmas Nights) (Lead Music Composer Nights Journey of Dreams)

Naofumi Hataya (Compose and Arrange Nights into Dreams) (Music Composer Nights Journey of Dreams)

Fumie Kumatani (Sound Effects Nights into Dreams) (Music Composer Nights Journey of Dreams)


#3

Y’know, I quite enjoyed NJoD. And NiD. I even re-bought NiD when it was cheap for the PS3 (shame that Christmas NiGHTS doesn’t work properly).

NJoD does have quite a lot that NiD doesn’t - different objectives and styles of play. I didn’t mind the platforming parts of NJoD, which NiD glosses over completely. In Christmas NiGHTS I used to love playing as Sonic, and NJoD allows me more platforming action in this world.

NJoD has one MAJOR pitfall though - that, when flying in normal stages, you can’t keep going after you’ve got the key. You can’t do multiple laps to push your score further, which is something I always loved about the original - trying to get combos, keep them going and rushing back to the start point when time was getting short. I’d try not to keep any seconds left, often making it back with a single second left. Unfortunately this is cut from NJoD.

Which is, I think, because they couldn’t build the traditional platforming engine around it well enough. The kids, on their own, can do some platforming, but only in a small area near the cage. They can’t leave this area (except in the platforming levels themselves, which are also restricted) and go jumping around the level, as they did in NiD. In NiD, if NiGHTS ran out of time, the kids would resume play which was fine, as the entire level could be played as the kids (admittedly it wasn’t any good though). Here, I think they were striving for a higher quality and couldn’t maintain it as the kids, so had to curtail it.

I will have to revisit NJoD at some point - I’ve now got a Wii U set up, but unfortunately even though I used the GC controller for it, I can’t play it on the GamePad. Bit of an annoyance as it would work fine on there, but hey ho.


#4

If you ran out of time in NJoD why not just teleport you to the end? They still could have made it work without having to fall down to the ground as the kids…

Anyway, I had heard NJoD was supposed to be much larger is scope. More levels would have been amazing! I really hope we get Nights 3.


#5

Djmcbell using the Wii-U, you can still play the game with the classic controller. It plugs into your Wii-mote. It’s the best alternative to the CG controller and much better than the Wii/Nunchcuk set-up. It should be pretty cheap I’d imagine as well. :anjou_happy:


#6

I’ve no problem using a nunchuk/wiimote combo (the wiimote on its own though was atrocious for this game - point NiGHTS in a direction and he’ll sod off chin-first into a cliff) - just annoying that, in games which allow the GC pad to be used, they didn’t map controls to the GamePad. But then I’ve read articles which describe the difficulties, but those would only be with games which do utilise the motion sensing abilities of the Wii (such as Mario Galaxy’s spinning, aiming, ball-rolling etc).

Now, would I want a NiGHTS 3? I don’t know. I do want to play NJoD again at some point, but I think it felt a lot slower and more restricted than the original. I don’t think a NiGHTS 3 would sell (I don’t know how much NJoD sold but can’t imagine it was much) so I think a third outing would be best left to digital only, and would hopefully have more levels.

EDIT - another issue with using the Wii controls - my Wiimotes barely retain a charge! Got a charging station which, after a while, did naff all. Should probably get another at some point.


#7

Yeah the pointing controls where very sporadic and not accurate at all… The game is best played with the CG or classic controller. I remember pointing at the screen going forwards and Nights just flew backwards for no reason…

Also, just get regular rechargeable batteries along with a charging station. That’s what I’ve been using for years and I get hours of playtime!


#8

The regular NiGHTS stages in Journey of Dreams were fun, although as @djmcbell said, the inability to keep going after you obtain the key was a major weakness for fans of the original’s score based nature.

The various other modes felt contrived, and slowed the pace of the game. It’s similar to how Dreamcast and PS2 era Sonic games forced you to play as Sonic’s friends, when players really just wanted to play as Sonic. Not surprising, considering that Journey of Dreams was from the same developer. I see these extra modes as a gameplay lengthening scheme designed to make the game last longer. If there’s a NiGHTS 3, I think it should be a cheaper, digital only game similar to NiGHTS into Dreams in length so that players don’t expect a long game (which would likely result in filler content).


#9

I really hope Nights 3 is a bit longer. I think the original Nights is just a bit too short; although ecceptable considering the limits of the Saturn.


#10

I’d like to see a greater number of regular NiGHTS levels if another game is made. The main problem is you’d still need someone to create all of those extra levels, which could become costly. The Saturn was limited in some technical ways relating to length sure - writing the game in assembly code would be slower for the programmer than, say, creating a NiGHTS game in Unity or UE4 today. And there would have been storage limitations (but easily overcome with additional CDs). But the major barrier is that if you want a greater scope, you need a larger budget. I’d be happy with a cheaper but similar sized game to NiGHTS into Dreams released as a digital only title (like Sonic 4, but of higher quality).


#11

As long as the game is made by original key Nights into Dreams developers that would be great! I don’t think I would want fresh devs making the game. Hopefully we’ll get one last Nights game. It would be a shame if NJoD was the last game in the series…


#12

I just revisited the game again. I have to say: the analog controls are unacceptable! The controls are a vital, essential part of the entire game! How did they mess this up so bad? I always have to struggle to keep Nights in any one direction. Staying on course, through the rings is almost impossible, unless you are fiddling your thumb like a surgeon.

The GameCube controller helps just a little bit, otherwise, you fly all over the place unable to stay in any controlled, precise, direction. I still love this game but it’s bitter sweet for me…Whoever programed the analog controls should have been fired…


#13

I’m so glad I never picked up this game. As much as I yearned for another NiGHTS I knew it couldn’t live up to the originals. It’s silly but in a way I think it would’ve soured the series a little.


#14

Ironically, I like this game better than the original. I just can’t believe they couldn’t get the analog directional control right (something that should be easy to do by now…right?)

Otherwise, I think the stages and bosses are just as, if not more, imaginative than the first Nights. My only problem is like many others have said: not being able to keep flying through the courses over and over again for a better score. And, while many people didn’t like the side missions, they didn’t bother me and added some more variety.


#15

I definitely prefer the original NiGHTS into Dreams. But I can’t help but feel that the criticism of this game was over blown. NiGHTS is such a cult classic, expectations were always going to be tough to beat. As far a sequels go, Journey of Dreams is more of a Sonic Adventure than a Sonic 2006.