View Single Post
Old 12-21-2007, 04:32 AM   #1387
Joe Redifer
Joe Redifer's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
NiGHTS - Into Dreams
Sega Saturn

The game was sold both with and
without the analog controller.

I paid $69.95 at Electronics Boutique the day this game was released. It came with the fancy new analog controller for the world-beloved Sega Saturn video game system. Also in the package was an extremely overhyped game. After all of these years, I still have no clue what this game is about or what the hell is going on. Lots of people talk about it like it was one of the best games for the Saturn, or perhaps even of all time. Sure, the guy who programmed and designed this may be responsible for the legendary Super Thunder Blade on the Sega Genesis, but can he repeat that kind of success here? Unfortunately, he tries.

Fly around in a boring, predetermined path with next to no enemies.

Story: 1/10
I don't think this game has much of a story. At the beginning of a stage you start out as a freakin' child. Literally 1 second later you are molested by a bunch of pixely things and then they drop you. All of this happens for NO REASON WHATSOEVER! Then you walk another 5 or 10 feet and turn into NiGHTS. Suddenly you are able to fly around. I've never had any dreams like this, nor would I want to. You will find yourself hating all of the characters in this game after about 5 minutes.

NiGHTS flies into a building to see if any fun is inside. He finds nothing.

Graphics: 7/10
The polygon graphics are fairly good for the Saturn, and they move at a good frame rate (for the day). They have tons of color and do all sorts of warping effects on purpose unlike the Playstation which warped polygons simply because its hardware was ass. There are even a few transparencies that look nice. But like 94.8% of games that used polygons back in that era, the visuals have not aged well at all. There is also a ton of pop-up/draw in. The game runs in 16:9 and 240p.

The only part of the game which can actually be called "3D" is when you are
walking around as the little dipshit boy or the little bitch girl. The
only thing you can really do in this mode is walk back to the start.

Sound: 9/10
This is really where the game shines, and probably the reason why people think they enjoy playing it. Most of the music is outstanding. There are a couple of lame tunes, but the majority of it is extremely catchy and produced by the Saturn sound chips. There are a few tracks that are played directly off of the CD including a really lame song. The sound effects are pretty good, though there are some normalization issues here and there such as a horrible-sounding "bird chirp" that is far too loud compared to everything else that is going on, as is the train in Frozen Bell. If the clock runs out of time, NiGHTS says something really weird ("Athena"?) before he turns back into the little kid. Overall, the music is the best part of the entire experience.

Sometimes you'll travel "into the screen" such as this underwater scene.
You might as well let go of the controller here. It's nearly useless.

Gameplay: 5/10
The game consists of flying around, collecting blue orbs, taking them to a collection pod and flying through rings. Then you fight a boss. Once you beat the boss, you are sent back to the title screen. That's it! You can try to go for better scores and faster times, but that doesn't add any replayability to an already dull game. And dull it is, as there isn't much to do and you aren't really allowed to explore. The game encourages you to go as fast as possible, so you'd be penalized for exploring even if you could. The game is on rails for 95% of the time, so any exploration is limited to up and down. Your score will increase with the more "links" you get (rings you locate and fly through, etc), but that takes time, so you'll get a low grade no matter what you do just like I did in high school. The boss fights are fairly cool for the most part, though not extraordinarily memorable. You can play with a regular controller or the brand new analog controller, but there isn't much difference in the actual control except your thumb will get fatigued when using the digital pad since you just keep doing loop after loop after loop. The control cannot be described as "good" in either form and the game gets boring after about 10 minutes, maybe 15.

The polygon cleavage and bunny ears on this boss sold over 20,000
copies of the game alone. Hell, that's why I bought it!

Wrap up:
Since the Wii sequel was just released and most feel that it was mediocre at best, I thought I'd take another look at the Saturn original to remind people that NiGHTS is a franchise designed around mediocrity. It certainly is overrated, though it is worth a quick play every 2 or 3 years. I can see why many at Sega did not want to bring NiGHTS back. And why is the name in ALL CAPS except for the letter "i"? Pisses me off. I am a huge Sega fanboy, and this just doesn't cut it.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote