A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game has mild fantasy violence. Attacks consist of either flying fast through an enemy or flying a complete loop around them to capture them. None of the attacks look overly physical or gruesome. If you avoid using the Wii remote and switch to a classic controller, this game is best enjoyed by younger players since it's a pretty easy game to learn.
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What's it about?
The last time the NiGHTS franchise mesmerized gamers, developer Sega was still in the console business. Now, 12 years later, it reappears on the Nintendo Wii in NiGHTS: JOURNEY OF DREAMS. This time, however, the voyage into the dreamworld is a colossal nightmare.NiGHTS' tale centers around a pair of 12-year-olds, Will and Helen, who suffer from nightmares. They find NiGHTS, a high-flying jester character, who can guide them in the dream realm Nightopia. Will and Helen learn they must battle the ruler of nightmares, Wizeman, to restore their dreams.
After choosing to play as either Will or Helen, you'll enter the warm, soothing Dream Gate to choose your mission. Once you enter each level, you're reawakened with vibrant landscapes and an upbeat soundtrack. All challenges consist of a race to beat the clock. Whether you're capturing creatures or gathering items, you must do so before time runs out. Most of the time you control the character of NiGHTS as he flies through levels, performing loops and quick dashes to knock out foes.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately, the game's exploration is ruined on a horrible control scheme. Motion controls are rarely implemented. NiGHTS flies by following a light called the Mindsight, which you'll control with the Wii remote. The experience is incredibly awkward. To make it work, every move must be conducted at a slow pace, which isn't good on timed levels. When you attach the nunchuk, motion controls are tossed out the window as movement shifts to the analog stick. Controls can grow so frustrating that you may opt for the Wii's classic controller to make the game palatable.
Developers do a solid job of varying levels, but most of them present little to no challenge when using a classic controller. The two-player mode is slightly more intriguing. You can challenge an opponent to either a race or one-on-one duel. But since the Wii remote controls are so problematic, this option is only fun for a short time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dreams, and the types of dreams you have. Have you experienced dreams so vivid they felt real? What kinds of dreams do you commonly have? This game does little to incorporate the Wii's motion controls. How big a factor should motion controls play in Wii titles?
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