Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

My Starry Night (WiiWare) Review

Review for My Starry Night on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

To say that Japan-based company Hudson Soft has been one of Nintendo's biggest online-library contributors would not be an exaggeration by any stretch of the imagination. First becoming a developer on the humble Famicom, and famous for bringing the world the multiplayer mayhem of the Bomberman series, Hudson have until recently been the proprietors of the Mario Party series, before decideding to focus more on the download space. Virtual Console has seen a sizeable number of their games, most notably within the Turbografx section, a machine Hudson originally contributed to the making of. Since WiiWare's conception, they have been one of the strongest contributors of all with a wide range of titles. My Starry Night is one such example, but will it leave you feeling like a star, or like you’ve seen too many?

My Starry Night isn't really a game as such; there aren't any cliché silver-haired villains to battle, damsels to rescue, or tasks to beat. In fact, the only winning situation offered here is what you take away with you in knowledge, as My Starry Night fits the edutainment category best. Hudson have created a compact, but full to bursting, interactive encyclopaedia of planetary and observatory imagery and history.

Via its three main modes, My Starry Night takes the watcher through guided tours of the constellations of the night sky, providing a look at where exactly they are positioned, how they are grouped, and how they fit into Greek lore. It doesn't offer up flashy effects, instead using a more streamlined presentation to show its vast content in a controlled and sleepy manner.

Observation Mode provides a similar feel to the rotatable globe in the Wii's Weather Channel; with Remote in hand, users point and guide the cursor hand to see each constellation, with full 360 degrees rotation available. Each one is represented both by the line of stars, and the imagery associated with its name, and each has a detailed page depicting its positioning and mythology origins; to see and study all of them would take even the fastest reader a considerable amount of time, and even for those with less of an interest, Observation Mode offers a vast space of customisation. You can change the fixed view positioning of the constellations to a main city of your choosing, to better fit what you'd see looking up yourself. A search function lets you instantly find a cluster of stars or a planet you know the name of, and the ‘+’ button switches viewing modes to show certain stars and images better. You can switch on viewable nebulae and an array of shooting stars, and even alter the in-game clock to show the sky of years past or future, or sync it with the Wii's clock instead. These and many other customisable features ensure a personalised viewing experience, be it for reference, study, or even relaxation, the latter being especially proficient when listening to the game's music. Calming, serene tones are the name of the non-game in My Starry Night, with lots of changeable melodies throughout, each as varied as the last.

Screenshot for My Starry Night on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The second mode is Planetarium, and this is where viewers can go through a guided tour of the night sky in a number of ways. You can learn about the Greek mythology of Perseus, or Heracles/Hercules. You can find out more about your own star sign with the Zodiac guides, handily narrated, with each one referenced, pointed to and addressed with a controlled and calming voice guiding the text. The Constellations and Countries section shows the sky differences between time periods and cultural beliefs, with another useful narrated tour in-between. Finally, the planetary and star cluster systems are given more insight with the Appeal of Space section. All these tours are quite insightful, and despite going along at a modest pace between each chunk of writing, can be paused at any time for slower readers.

The last main option, and perhaps the most useful reference point of all, is the Celestial Guidebook, where all the information seen in the other two main modes is gathered. A grouped section featuring all of the terms used in My Starry Night, or a master search function to shift through them all at lightning pace, are highly useful tools for info reminders, or looking up terminology of newly-learnt constellations. Presentation of this mode is rather basic, but with quick links to the more visually-pleasing Observation Mode, and with effective use of clearly-printed category text, the minimalistic view is made the most of.

If you aren't already into astronomy or Greek mythology, My Starry Night won't be the experience to change your mind. Yet, for those open to new ideas, and with 500 Wii points burning a hole in their account pocket, it is a worthy choice if you’ve ever felt like learning more about those balls of fire in the sky.

Screenshot for My Starry Night on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Virtually none. More of an interactive sideshow than anything else, but with a vast databank of knowledge, and tight, reliable and simple controls to see it all with.

Graphics

Crystal-clear and highly detailed; far from a polygon-pusher, but for an edutainment title the visuals tick all the necessary boxes.

Sound

Calming and serene melodies (and plenty of them) accompany the stargazing, with a highly competent narrator voicing some segments.

Value

Jam-packed with illustrations, references, and history lessons, but those without an interest in astronomy and mythology need not apply.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Another arrow straight into WiiWare's versatile quiver, My Starry Night delivers in educational value and saves a great deal over regular stargazing equipment just 500 points, with almost as equally proficient a result. Game-seekers, however, would be best off searching the rest of Hudson's catalogue.

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12.12.2010

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Also known as

My Planetarium

Developer

Hudson

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Educational

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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Wow, that sound like a nice addition, to anyone. From like what was said in the review, but also people who are into the stars.

When all is bad don't look for a easy way out. Because you wont know what to do once your out

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