Brimming with potential, but it was nowhere to be found.
The original NiGHTS game was supposedly a great, but sadly overlooked, game. I have never played it before, but the new sequel, Journey of Dreams, caught my attention because its immersive graphics and seemingly breathtaking flying gameplay. Well, sadly, this game should live up to no one's expectations.
What is perhaps Journey of Dreams' only strong point is its graphics and music. The graphics are pretty immersive and are truly beautiful during most of the gameplay. The music is very good and nice as well. It seems like it would be enough to pull you completely into the game, but that isn't the case. Where the game excels in graphics and music it lacks in its gameplay and story.
The gameplay should be really cool, right? Seriously, who wouldn't enjoy a bit of awesome flying around beautifully animated worlds? It's too bad that the flying isn't nearly as good as it could, and should, be. It all takes place on unclear set courses and is pretty confusing until you get used to it. I think it would have been much better if it was more free-roaming, that would have really been cool. The missions are pretty repetitive as well. You pretty much do the same three missions in each of the game's dream worlds plus two different ones. The missions feel pretty pointless, too. For some reason, every time you enter a new world, NiGHTS get captured and put in a cage and you have to free him and then open three empty cages by chasing a bird down for the keys...? WHAT'S THE POINT HERE?!? Otherwise, you fly through rings and save the stupid Nightopians over and over until you reach the game's end, which comes alarmingly quickly. All the missions have to be completed in a certain time limit as well, which is VERY annoying because there's very rarely any imminent danger or anyting.
The story is pretty dumb too, and isn't helped along at all by the stupid, pointless, cheesey dialogue. Speaking of the dialogue, there's TOO MUCH OF IT! By the time you've been listening to cheesey voices hold pointless conversations for a good 3 minutes or so between each mission, you get tired of the game itself. This is definitely the game's largest downfall, and I got tired of the game quickly as a result of it.
So NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is a very, very disappointing game. I'm sad that the game's full potential wasn't taken advantage of, and I'm also sad that this graphical spectacular couldn't have been better. I think this series should either just be finished or have something seriously better done with it. It's hard to give this game such a bad score, but I guess my expectaions were just way too high.
(this does not necessarily affect the overall score)