So...what do we have here?

NiGHTS: Into Dreams [Action Game]

NiGHTS: Into Dreams

U.S. Game Front

Sega and their advertising...

The 3D Control Pad For The
Sega Saturn Was Okay, But
It Wasn't As Smooth As
The Dual Analog Controller
For The PS. Maybe It's Just Me.


Elliot And Claris Can Enjoy
Christmas Thanks To This
Novelty Item!

-General Information-
Version: U.S.
Year: 1996
Publisher: Sega
Developer(s) and Others: Sonic Team
ESRB Rating: Kids to Adults
# of Players: 1 or 2
# of Save Blocks: 197 blocks for "A-Life", 30 blocks for regular data
# of Discs: 1
Estimated Market Value as of 10/28/2007: $15 - $?? (USD)
Other Info: Do not look for this game on eBay right now (unless you can win a cheap bid) as prices have become higher and more unpredictable than normal. The game is ordinarily pretty cheap. Its price is changing in a similar fashion as Silent Hill did when the movie came out, as well as Final Fantasy 7 when FF7: Advent Children came out. The price may have to do with the Wii title, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams.

NiGHTS: Into is a game so wonderful that it is difficult to express with mere words. No amount of screenshots or fancy poetic devices can accurately express this game in the way it so richly deserves. Listening to MP3s and OSTs and watching Youtube videos aren't even enough to grasp what it is that NiGHTS truly is. NiGHTS is hardly a game at all, but an "experience", and one such as myself who is just another "Average Joe" can't really tell you about this game anymore than anyone else has years prior, but here I am. I'm going to sing my praises and reminiscence about this game all the while, and I only hope you can share my sentiment or at the very least, respect my opinion.

When I was a wee lad (well, a younger lad), I was given a difficult gaming decision: To choose between getting a Sega Saturn for Christmas or a Sony Playstation. Well, needless to say, I wanted a Playstation but as fate would have it, my parents couldn't afford one, so they got me a Sega Saturn with the three game bundle set (which had Daytona USA, Virtua Cop, and Virtua Fighter 2). While I was initially very disappointed, I quickly got over it when I played the awesomeness that was VF2. Still, money was tight and I didn't get any new Saturn games for a while, so it eventually collected dust. However, one day, I was just watching T.V. when I saw a commercial...for a Sega Saturn game called NiGHTS: Into Dreams. It looked wonderful at the time, but beyond mere understanding or comprehension, I had a burning desire to play THIS GAME. I can't even explain it well today, but I just HAD to have it. I eventually got a copy by pawning some of my old games, dusted off the Saturn, and popped the game in...

It was an unforgettable experience; The lights, the sounds (ESPECIALLY the sounds), the boundless world of the Nightopians and Nightmarens, the internal struggles of two promising youths, and the soul of the game...all of these things made NiGHTS more than just a game to me. Once I looked past the colorful graphics, the simplistic (yet innovative) gameplay, and the straightlaced story, I didn't just see a brilliant end to a brilliant game, I saw a part of myself in this game, and I'm sure many people who have played this game feel the same way. I remember when I was their age, struggling to forge an identity and constantly at war with my inner demons, but like the the two children united by NiGHTS, the savior of dreams, I have beaten most of my battles and have come out on top with my head intact.

NiGHTS looked very good for a game back in 1996 (though 3D doesn't age very well). The settings and the imagination far outweigh the jaggy 3D models or semi-decent FMVs that they would have even by todays standards. Everything is easily distinguishable...the cute Nightopians...the somewhat less cute Nightmarens, Claris and Elliot (the girl and boy that this game centers around), even the vicious clock that attempts to wake you up and end your game. Next, while NiGHTS is a 3D game, it plays like a 2D game at its core. Each character must reach out and touch NiGHTS in order to set the level into motion. NiGHTS then flies through the sky collecting blue orbs to break open cages that house stolen "Ideya", which is the source of energy and personality in the dream world. You must retrieve them in order to get rid of the children's nightmares and put their dreams back into a state of order. An evil being by the name of Wizeman the Wicked needs the Ideya to rule not only the world of dreams, but the real world, but Claris and Elliot possess the "Red Ideya of Courage", which is the only one Wizeman can't steal.

As you clear up one level, you gain access to another (if you've scored a high enough ranking) and you can do cool aerial tricks and other things to get more points and improve your score. This game even has a 2-player versus mode as well as what is called the "A-Life" system, which lets you make and "breed" Nightopians and Nightmarens to create new Nightopians and mixed species, which is also very cool. This feature predates Sonic Adventures "Chao raising" idea, and most likely where Sonic Adventure got the concept from. The game is even cooler if you can ever get a copy of "Christmas NiGHTS", a special expansion version of sorts to NiGHTS: Into Dreams, so I can't really argue the length of the game when there is much to do, though the initial run is admittedly short.

Lastly, I have the sound. I normally don't save the sound/audio for last, but NiGHTS is one of the exceptions. The music is perhaps the most memorable part of NiGHTS, as the composition is simply breathtaking. Every tune fits the levels and situations to a tee, and the select musical songs between N:ID and CN are perhaps unforgettable. The sound effects are mostly average, but given everything else that's good with NiGHTS, I certainly won't complain. I think the music in this game will be etched into my mind until I grow old (which I'll then just fight the onset of Alzheimer's).

Is NiGHTS a masterpiece? Possibly, but I don't like to think of anything as being written in stone. All I know is that this game was one of the reasons to own a Sega Saturn, one of the reasons to be proud of my Sega Saturn, and one of the reasons I still play my Sega Saturn till this day. While there are a lot of good games out there these days, I still look back on games like NiGHTS and utter: "They don't make them like they used to."

- Written by Bel Cain The Eternal -

Game Screenshots

Sonic Team, creators of Sonic the Hedgehog Title Screen Let your beautiful voice be heard little girl! Elliot = MAD CRAZY BASKETBALL SKILLZ! Truly beautiful... I love the music on this boss so much...

This review has 38 extra images.

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