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Old 02-06-2003, 03:53 PM   #63
Icarus4578
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
I hear the secrets that you keep

NiGHTS ~ Into Dreams... - Sega Saturn - Rating 8
When E3 '96 came around there were three major titles that were vying for game of the year ~ Crash Bandicoot for PS (which is a dull Mario-wannabe; let's face the facts), Mario 64 for N64 (which won game of the year everywhere I looked), and the third (and severely underrated) NiGHTS ~ Into Dreams for Saturn. Created by Yuji Naka and Sonic Team, it was also the first Saturn game to make use of the Saturn analog controller created specifically for this game, in response to Nintendo's Space World showing of N64 and Mario no doubt. You can still use the regular D-pad if you prefer. Although the game is in full 3D, most of the game is played in 2D. It remains a fun and unique gaming experience that sadly never got the sequel it deserved.
There are two characters you select from, Claris and Elliot. They are having nightmares and in order to rid themselves of them, they call upon Nights, a mystical dream entity. The stages are unique to each of the kids, so you'll have to go through both to see everything (although neither of their dreams lasts long). The object is to fly through the stages and rack up tremendous scores by flying through as many loops in succession as possible and other such means, and you can collect items and defeat enemies (by making a 360 magic loop which, if an enemy is within or near it upon completion, destroys the enemy). But defeating enemies makes up a full 2% or so of the game's activities, except for the boss fights. Speaking of bosses, NiGHTS has some of the most unique boss encounters to ever be found in gaming, featuring some of the most wild designs I've seen. The game is built on fun factor and replay by timing you, scoring points by doing stunts and so forth and grading your performance on each stage, so that you try and do better than before. The controls are flawless after the first few minutes with it as it should be with a game with such a strong emphasis on flight and fluidity. It is certainly among the best 32-bit graphical achievements, featuring extremely colorful textures and beautiful scenery, though the textures aren't that smooth by today's standards, but you're playing a game to have fun so who cares?
The music is very well done as expected from Sonic Team, though these days they've lacked that special something that is so apparent in games like Shining Force, Sonic and of course NiGHTS. What makes this soundtrack so unique is that the arrangements change depending on how happy, sad or angry you make these cone-headed small creatures called Nightopians in the stages. So you can enter an area and hear the song in one form, and then upon re-entering the stage it can sound entirely different. In fact, if you got Christmas NiGHTS (like all smart people have including myself) there's a section in it where you can arrange every single song in NiGHTS to your liking (an amazingly cool feature). However, you have to have the original NiGHTS in the Saturn's RAM in order to do this.
NiGHTS is a fun-filled game with lots of replay. It is unique, bizarre, beautiful, challenging (mostly a self-created challenge) and should be in your Saturn library. Too bad games these days don't have half the charm and originality of this. It would sure be nice to have a sequel for GC where it would fit in nicely. It sure is a 360 degree turn from something like Blinx, which just wasn't that good.

Here's a site that explains the game in better detail ~ http://www.csoon.com/issue19/nights.htm

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-15-2005 at 10:12 AM.
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