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Thread: NiGHTS Into Dreams

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Saturn NiGHTS Into Dreams

    Sonic Team deviated from its work on Sega's mascot to create a truly original and breathtaking adventure. NiGHTS Into Dreams was a wonderful and captivating title that took elements of different genres and molded them into something unique. It overflows with that classic Sonic Team charm, and every Saturn owners needs to own a copy. Read the full review for all the details.

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    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    This is a game that always puts a smile on my face and I'm glad that Yuji et al decided for something new and unquestionably bold and unique, instead of playing it safe with a new 3D Sonic game.

    It's definitely an Arcade game at heart, with an incredible amount of care poured into it's fantastical setting, design and audiovisual aspects.

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    Outrunner segarule's Avatar
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    This game completely blowed my mind in back days. I loved the soft museu song and the stage the polygon ´´knead´´.
    "I wanted to create something that the Famicom wouldn’t have been able to do..." (Kotaro Hayashida)

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    Excellent review, and that ending is spot on. I love NiGHTS, but it couldn't have been a worse game for Sega to push to save the Saturn. While everyone is chasing after 3-D worlds and free movement, here's this 2-D limited gameplay. Everyone's going gritty and dark? Here's a brightly colored unisex jester. CD-ROMs pushing for lengthy adventures which take hours to beat? Let's do seven short stages which can be completed in a few minutes. Nothing was gonna save the Saturn by the time NiGHTS was released, but it was so not the game for the time.

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    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    I remember seeing NiGHTS back when I was a little kid. I got glued to the screen, it was such a strange and mesmerising game.

    I but I also totally agree on "wrong game at the wrong time". What was Sega thinking?
    The streak of bad decisions up to the dreamcast is mind boggling. They look like victims of some voodoo curse incapable of doing anything right.
    This thread needs more... ENGINEERS

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    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    One day we will be able to discuss Saturn games without spiraling down into a pit-hole of "what-could-have-saved-the-saturn-sega's-management-is-stupid" theories, hypothesis and researches.

    I believe.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    I've just never gotten this game. It's ridiculously overrated to me. Played it a few times, but always end up calling quits after a while. Flying around through hoops just doesn't do much for me. Dull gameplay with pretty colors and graphics.

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    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Saturn

    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    One day we will be able to discuss Saturn games without spiraling down into a pit-hole of "what-could-have-saved-the-saturn-sega's-management-is-stupid" theories, hypothesis and researches.

    I believe.
    Never!! It's the system's much too late flagship title. I think NiGHTS' system expectations warrant some discussion for sure, and recognizing a game's place in history doesn't exclude discussions and judgment of the game itself. Anyway, if you want a take on the game...

    Personally, I've found my view of the game has shifted a bit over the years. The soundtrack is one of if not the best I've experience, but I don't think the game has held up as well as I had hoped. The gameplay is just awkward once you understand everything you need to do to max out your score, first by wandering around collecting orbs before changing into NiGHTS, then looping and linking as much as you can before the timer runs out. The tricks NiGHTS can do in air aren't well developed, and the bosses don't quite live up to their amazing designs. Enemies are largely an afterthought, too, and you never get much of a chance to really appreciate the worlds and all the effort which went into their creation while actually playing the game.

    I'm really not sure what I think of NiGHTS anymore. I listen to the music all the time, and I still enjoy playing it. That was our game if you were a Saturn fan, and the surprise release of ("free!") Christmas NiGHTS made it even more magical. There's so much to appreciate about the title, but can't look at it the same way I did 20 years ago. It's not that NiGHTS has fallen off the map, just the pedestal where I had it for so long.

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    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin View Post
    Personally, I've found my view of the game has shifted a bit over the years. The soundtrack is one of if not the best I've experience, but I don't think the game has held up as well as I had hoped. The gameplay is just awkward once you understand everything you need to do to max out your score, first by wandering around collecting orbs before changing into NiGHTS, then looping and linking as much as you can before the timer runs out. The tricks NiGHTS can do in air aren't well developed, and the bosses don't quite live up to their amazing designs. Enemies are largely an afterthought, too, and you never get much of a chance to really appreciate the worlds and all the effort which went into their creation while actually playing the game.

    I'm really not sure what I think of NiGHTS anymore. I listen to the music all the time, and I still enjoy playing it. That was our game if you were a Saturn fan, and the surprise release of ("free!") Christmas NiGHTS made it even more magical. There's so much to appreciate about the title, but can't look at it the same way I did 20 years ago. It's not that NiGHTS has fallen off the map, just the pedestal where I had it for so long.
    Ah, now we're talking

    Generally speaking, I tend to agree with you. In a matter of fact, I might go even further and state that most of the flagship *3D* titles of that generation ( excluding arcade games like vs. fighters and racing ) aren't exactly truly great games, not in the way that most of the public and media perceives them at least.
    The know-how to make a platformer or an action game properly work in 3D wasn't going to developed overnight and the technological limitations of those consoles obviously didn't help as well.

    It's just like that, time and context in which these games were released helps us to understand the "whys", "wheres" and so on - like, say, why the fuck is the first Crash Bandicoot considered a classic ?

    But here's the thing, despite all that I think that Nights is a quite a good game ( although I should add that it's been a few years since I last played the game, so I'm not in the best position to judge right now. ) because of the whole package, it's uniqueness and despite it's flaws. That's what characterizes a good or a great game to me.

    I'm currently playing through Ninja Gaiden (NES) and I've seem people haphazardly tossing these hyperbole around - "flawless" or "best side scrolling action game" which I found quite amusing and rather infantile.
    I think it's a great game and one that exceeds in what it sets out to do despite the fact that boss battles are mostly filler and badly designed; it has enemies reappear endlessly if you move an inch back to the screen etc.

    But it has that something, just like Nights - even though both of them might not appeal to everyone, which is understandable.

    And if Nights is dull because you just fly around and 'stuff', then every arcade game is dull as well since you're basically flying or running around going "pew-pew" or "pow-pow" against every enemy that appears on the screen.
    With pretty colors and graphics, of course

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    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    When I actually had a Saturn BITD this was not a game I got to try out. The first time I played NiGHTS was the import-only PS2 version - it has a Saturn mode and a remix mode with updated PS2 textures which look quite nice, but I'm left to judge the game having to use the Dualshock 2 rather than the 3D controller as is probably ideal.

    Unfortunately I was in two minds about the actual game anyway. There's just something about it that doesn't click with me, and I think it's got to do with the characters/setting etc more than anything, I dunno. I just don't like it. I enjoyed learning the game initially but my interest sort of tapered off after a week or two.

    It's certainly unique and I understand the love it gets, but yeah, not for me.

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    Hard Road! ESWAT Veteran Barone's Avatar
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    NiGHTS Into Dreams... has a very interesting concept but I think the Saturn hardware limitations hurt it badly. The final product ended up being quite anachronic IMO.

    The depth sensation is seriously compromised by the copious amount of draw in; which also seems to be the best explanation for the limited view and movement of the camera.
    Most of the time I feel like I'm flying inside a torus despite the acrobatic moves which scream for freedom.
    The physics model is not bad for the time but mediocre for the kind of gameplay it was trying to push.

    The lack of proper lighting is criminal because it makes everything being displayed with similar exposure; denying you the desired visual separation.
    The underwater segments are anything but credible and a major regression when compared to 2D games such as Sonic and Ristar.
    The lack of transparencies and the low quality textures are just additional blows.
    For a comparison, I think PS1's Pandemonium has inferior art direction but its visuals end up looking much smoother due to the Saturn's limitations.

    The music is awesome but the sound effects are very primitive for the most part, with little to no spatial awareness.

    It could've been truly awesome but the execution of it on the Saturn ended up creating a game with very limited and repetitive gameplay rather than the mind-blowing experience which was advertised.

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    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    In a matter of fact, I might go even further and state that most of the flagship *3D* titles of that generation ( excluding arcade games like vs. fighters and racing ) aren't exactly truly great games, not in the way that most of the public and media perceives them at least.
    The know-how to make a platformer or an action game properly work in 3D wasn't going to developed overnight and the technological limitations of those consoles obviously didn't help as well.
    This is definitely true, and there's nothing wrong with that. Technology and knowledge can drive games to improve to the point where earlier efforts play and certainly look inferior, even though they were at the time considered "great" games. I see some people say that an opinion of a game should not change over time -- that a "great" game is always "great" -- but I disagree with that. VF2 was amazing and the best 32-bit 3-D fighting game for sure, but even then you knew the floaty jumps were wrong and attempting to address an issue AM2 hadn't figured out yet. It just cannot compare to VF4 or VF5; it's time has passed. Playing it now, the lack of options against a blocking opponent bother me, too. I've seen the latter VFs fix that problem, so going back and being forced to tolerate it now bothers me in ways it did not back when the game first came out.

    It wasn't until late in the 16-bit era and onward where I feel like 2-D design had hit its stride, where the hardware no longer was a terrible bottleneck for developers, and designers had little problem doing exactly what they wanted with a game. I don't think 3-D games really came of age until the last console generation: PSX for testing the waters, PS2 for honing in on what works, and PS3 for actually making it happen. Of course, we all saw what happened when Sega took another stab at NiGHTS, so it would be silly to infer that newer games are inherently better. I'd say it failed due to Sega trying to address the game's length issues with unwanted filler and expanding on the story and characters in ways which offended the game's fanbase. It's too bad, too, because I do think Journey of Dreams was the last we'll see of NiGHTS, and all it did for me was help ruin my memories of what was a treasured and special game and character. I know that's stupid, but it's true.

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    IMO Night's biggest sin is its length.

    It is fantastic however.

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    About ten years ago, if you asked me what my favorite game was, I would have told you NiGHTS into Dreams. The blend of cool environments, good music, and zone-out gameplay was a lot of fun.

    But looking back and picking it up to play after a long time, I realize how clunky the game is. The titular character is odd...recognizable yet indescribable. The gameplay is fun, but some parts are downright clunky and the pacing of the game goes to crap if you get hit or run out of time. You dont really know what youre collecting, or why. Unlike Super Mario 64 or Crash Bandicoot, NiGHTS isnt linear, rather a long high score competiton for the player against themselves, in the era when high scores were going out of fashion. The levels are so non-linear that its hard to really know what to do. Theres also a loop thats way too long in the Rocky Mountain level that leaves players confused. And the game is just way too short.

    The plot and the setting of the game are too esoteric and Japanese for American audiences. Most of the "lore" of NiGHTS isn't really described in the game. You know it's a lucid dreamworld, but you don't know what you're doing or why. What is the setting? Gaining courage for the player character through taking control of a flying jester and collecting blue orbs?

    The creative boss fights is where NiGHTS really shines as a game. they're creative, difficult to get the best time on, but fairly easy to figure out. they're extremely replayable. Sadly there's only a few of them.

    Overall, NiGHTS is a great hidden gem from Sonic Team, and its aged much better than Sonic Teams other development for the Saturn, Burning Rangers. But the mass appeal of the game is not there for those who don't want to take time to invest in figuring out its esoteric premise. Its ideals are simply not anything based enough in Western Thought to draw people in, and the gameplay takes some time to figure out.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!
    Quote Originally Posted by llj View Post
    Count me as someone who never liked the Turbo/Hyper Fighting iterations of Street Fighter 2. The speed ups always struck me as too "Benny Hill".


    Feedback Thread: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthr...ack&highlight=

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    ^Very well said, the "why am I doing this" factor is the biggest obstacle.

    Years ago, I played it like a story game. After getting Ds and Fs on most of the stages, it wouldn't let me progress to the final stage. I had no idea what I did wrong, or how to get higher scores. The manual did not help at all (do a paraloop for higher scores!). I eventually looked it up online and realized that you could loop around after the first run to collect stuff. I think (hope) that it wasn't only me who didn't know that.

    Some tips on how to actually play the game would've been very welcome. I'm not sure why they weren't there. Burning Rangers had it, Sonic Adventure had it, even the Genesis Sonics kind of had it in the manual and if you didn't get all the chaos emeralds Robotnik would taunt you.

    I also agree with having more of the lore in game. They clearly did a bunch of research (such as on Jung's anima and animus), but without context it's just lost.

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