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Nights into Dreams (Classic Game)

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Saturn. Nights into Dreams..., commonly referred to as Nights or NiD, is a video game released by Sega in 1996 for the Sega Saturn video game system. The game's story follows two children entering a dream world. They are aided by a being called Nights. Nights was developed by Sonic Team, with Yuji Naka as producer and lead programmer, and Naoto Oshima as director and designer of the titular character. The developers' intention was to make the sensation of flight the central gameplay element, achieved through 3D graphics and a combination of both 2D and 3D gameplay.

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    4 Reviews
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      12.11.2010 14:18
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      A great game

      After playing the same disc of Nights into Dreams that came with my Sega Saturn, I was hooked and had to purcahse the full copy. This is one of the most different games that I have ever played, and I'm not even sure what genre I would put it under. In this game, there are two playable characters, Elliott and Claire. There stories start seperate from each other, but in the end, their dreams come together in a really nice ending.

      In this game, you fly around, collect orbs, transform into the NIGHTS character, complete tricks, destroy enemies, and make it through loops to get to the next level. The more points you score, but better of a grade you get. You get 4 or 5 grades per level, and they average out to equal your total score for the board. At the end of each board there is a final boss, some are easy, and some are pretty tough.

      This game really has very stunning visual graphics at the time of the release. All of the different worlds are very appealing for a Sega Saturn game.

      The gameplay is really fun, because it is a challenege to see how many points you can get to achieve the highest grade on all of the boards. It doesn't take too long to get used to the controls, and once you master them, you'll be getting the top grade all the time!

      Overall, it's a great game, but its replay value is pretty limited. There isn't much of a plot to it, and the game can be beaten rather quickly. Still, it's a real fun game and I would suggest giving it a try!

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      01.09.2009 21:19

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      LEGENDARY!!!

      A glorious game created for the Sega Saturn, you could say this was the game that replaced the next Sonic adventure on this system, but this been made a gem which made up for that so well. Sonic Team, the creators behind Sonic bring you a magical adventure featuring a flying purple jester, and help two kids defeat figments of their night-mares. They fly along with Nights (the Jester) into the most beautiful looking worlds to ever grace a video-game, they go through 4 stages (Mares) in each world, they dash, and fly and collect orbs needed to pass through each gate to the next level, also whilst flying through hoops to make it more fun and gain extra points, and ranks at the end of each world, you could say this has an element of the SNES game pliotwings in it which is quite cool.This was one of the first games ever to use 3d analog controls, the game was released alongside the first analog video game control pad (even before the PlayStation's analog Dual Shock controller) which really made this game stand out from anything else currently available in that era, and was worth the extra money to buy.Bosses are fantastic to battle against, they are all very different in look, and in difficulty from each other, they even have different level designs to accompany their strategy to defeat you, and i assure you each of those are a joy to play.Storylines come in short videos when you start with each of the two kids you select, they both go through 3 worlds each.The replay value of this game is fabulous, and to be honest this is one excellent game of it's kind, a flying-platformer, not many of these are about, which makes this game gold label unique.If you haven't got a Saturn, buy one now ALONG WITH THIS GAME!

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      15.06.2009 12:18
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      Fantastic fun

      Despite the appeal of other desires like immense riches, good health, time travel or carnal pleasures amongst many others, I'm sure nearly all of us have idly daydreamed of taking to the skies like Peter Pan at one point or another. Sonic Team's 1996 Saturn game, NiGTS, set out to allow the player to recreate those gravity-defying exploits at an exhilarating speed in a dream-land even more magical than Neverland.

      Of course, such an unrealistic premise requires some justification. However, Sonic Team managed to abdicate all logical obligations with the masterstroke of setting the game in the wildly imaginative dream-land of Nightopia. Despite the game's arcade stylings, there's a slightly more involved plot than may be expected. It's a short and sweet story of how two 14yr olds overcome their individual confidence issues, their fears manifested by the world threatening plot of a zany villain resident in the world of dreams. Wizeman the Wicked's sinister plot to gather dream energy, and Claris and Eliot's alliance with the enigmatic, androgynous flying jester, NiGHTS, (only made possible due to their possession of the red dream energy of courage...obviously) sounds trite - and it is. It gives a motivation to the gameplay, but somehow makes the game overall a much more satisfying, moving experience than it has any right to be.

      Reality already ignored altogether; Sonic team took the opportunity to create a resplendent, magical world that puts Disneyland to shame. The vibrant art style is hampered by the 3-D processing limitations of the Saturn, but it mostly transcends the inferior hardware and is a much more bearable experience than many of it's contemporaries. The speed at which the player swoops through the stages shifts attention away from the graphical blemishes, the dazzling, detailed backgrounds look fine when they whizz by. The marvellous art direction does the game's graphics a lot of favours, but all excuses aside, the Saturn was not made with 3-D gaming in mind. No amount of sterling art design on the part of the developers can compensate for that. There's also a few incredibly pixelated, anime style FMVs which, while providing some remarkably effective emotive storytelling, are still very lacking compared when compared even to PsOne FMVs.

      On the other hand, most of the gameplay still feels incredibly fresh and involving. Arial movement is responsive and satisfying; watching the soaring figures smoothly acting on your commands, leaving a trail of stars behind them is an incredible experience. Controlling them with the analogue stick is a joy, although it is still enjoyable with just a D-Pad.

      Each character has an individual campaign made up of 3 unique levels, culminating in an identical end level. When the character lands in a dream-stage, they are robbed of all their dream energy except for the red kind denoting courage. The player is guided by an arrow above their head to an Ideya Palace where the titular jester, NiGHTS, is trapped. After merging with him, the player is free to set about recovering the orbs from Ideya Captures. Each dream is split into 4 sub-levels called 'Mares" which are cyclical paths you fly along in a 2-D plane through the 3-D environments. The player has a set amount of time (usually two minutes) to destroy the Ideya Capture holding the energy orb (one present in every Mare) and return it to the Ideya Palace, a points bonus given dependant on how quickly the Capture is destroyed. 20 of the blue chips spread around the Mare are required to overload to Capture and allow NiGHTS to retrieve the orb, but as all collectables regenerate, it's easy enough to get that amount on one or two passes. Item gathering is simple, you can just blunder into them in the usual platform style, or loop around them and you automatically capture anything caught in the arc. When the orb has been recovered, blue chips turn to gold and are worth more points, and the amount of them gathered is what your level grading is based on. I found that a rather puzzling choice, as I'd prefer for the final points tally to correspond to the final grade, rather than the amassing of a single item. It encourages the speedy recovery of the orb, possibly making it easier for players overall. After getting the orb, players are free to concentrate on gaining more points by swooping through the many hoops, collecting stars, performing tricks after triggering power-rings and defeating enemies, getting even more points if these activities are done in quick succession in a "chain". Going through hoops also charges NiGHTS' drill attack which is used for an extra burst of speed and dispatching enemies.

      If time runs out before the orb is returned to the palace, the player returns to human form and plummets to the ground, scattering any collected chips on impact. This prompts a mad scramble for items before they fade away, the threatening pursuit of a surreal floating alarm clock making it even more frantic as you try to avoid being pulled out of the dream. The ground sections are certainly the worst part of the game, movement is stripped of the balletic grace of the aerial sections, and the graphics suffer when they aren't whizzing by at speed. There's scope for exploration, but it's not particularly rewarding. Fortunately, if you're good at the game, you should be able to avoid these sections completely (except for the few yards you're required to walk to merge with NiGHTS at the beginning of each dream).

      The end of level bosses inhabit rather murky (but garish) conveniently enclosed arenas, sharing the same looping layout as a conventional Mare. Despite the time limit, and the usual five second deduction for every hit taken, they're extremely easy once their basic behavioural patterns are worked out. However, since there are no checkpoints between Mares, if the boss is not beaten within the time limit the player is forced to restart the entire level. Checkpoints between Mares in general could have been a welcome feature; I never found replaying the same sections to be a big problem as the basic act of play was so enjoyable, but it's an understandable complaint.

      The music plays a huge part in setting the mood of the game. The sound effects are fittingly whimsical, but it's the soundtrack that you want to know about right? Each level has looping, high tempo, immaculately harmonious, yet slightly frantic songs playing throughout. Boss music tends to not be quite as memorable, but shares the similar driven, jangling style. The soundtrack leaves an indelible mark in your memory, but not a fixed one, as the game remixes the music on subsequent play-throughs. A smart move on Sonic Team's part, as the variation made sure the music didn't become too repetitive.

      The incredible incorporation of the game's theme in the last level was a standout moment for me that gave that entire level an emotional resonance. Unfortunately the actual theme, when played in the ending credits was sung by some rather grating child singers which ruined it for me somewhat. I don't know if the adult version only plays if you get straight A level grades (which I didn't), but the child version was the only version on the disc when I tried using it as an audio CD. The poor singers significantly detracted from a magnificent backing arrangement.

      One of the few great games on the Saturn, it sadly never really had the influence it should have. Pioneering the Chao system used in later Sonic games isn't a fitting legacy for this game's genuis. It's an utterly awe-inspiring arcade experience equally suited to those looking for a breezy glide through nocturnal plains, or those who just want to rack up their score so they can post their run through on Youtube. Of course, if you have the means to play this game, you probably already have several times. And the apparently sub-par recent Wii instalment doesn't touch the same heights that the original reached. These things make a recommendation rather hard in the absence of any adequate substitute. However, I'm happy for this to be less a consumer review, and more a eulogy to the former brilliance of a once great developer.

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        02.07.2007 04:53
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        Old school classic that rocks even to todays standards.

        A Sega masterpiece, this is one of the best and most original games out there to date. Created in the year 1996, Sega released an amazing game named Nights Into Dreams, its amazing graphics and outstanding game play shocked the world and thus, Sega became well known and the Sega Saturn which inspired them to make a Christmas treat in the Sega Saturn monthly magazine, Christmas Nights, which had loads of presents for you to unlock, and thus was a present itself. Nights Into Dreams, a famous Sega Saturn game, and deemed one of the best games of all time and is truly a magical and inspirational game that will bring enjoyment to everyone that has a go at it.

        Nights Into Dreams is a platform game, instead or running around, you're mainly flying instead and collecting orbs to smash open the magical globe that holds the mystical magic gems. You can play as either Claris or Eliot, with their own unique story line each; you will venture through over five levels per character, including having to face the evil dark lord Wizeman. In a dream, that suddenly becomes a fearful nightmare, will you be able to fight to save Nightopia? Discover the true magic inside your souls as you fly through many levels, fight giant monstrous bosses and face your worst nightmares and take down the evil Wizeman and bring peace back to the land of Nightopia.

        At the beginning of each level, you will have all of the magical gems, and you get attacked by small monsters, and they fly away with the orbs. Then you move onto where you merge with Nights, and take to the air, to try and recover the lost gems. You go a certain route constantly per each gem, so you go one way, you get the magical gem, and then you end up going around another route. You can gain the gems by collecting blue orbs, which are floating around in the air; you can get them by flying to them. You need to acquire around twenty blue orbs, so you can use your power to destroy the mystical prison that it gets trapped in. At the end of each level, you get ranked on how well you do from A - F (A being best) and then you will have to face a despicable being that works under the evil tyranny of Wizeman. When you merge with Nights, watch out because you have a certain time limit to get each orb, or you run out of power, and go back to your normal self, and have to end up going back to the podium where Nights is, but watch out, when your on foot, you have a giant clock chasing after you, want to beam you up so then it becomes game over, so watch out.

        What is Nights? Is he, or she, or it a spirit? But whoever Nights is, Nights is the only one that can take on Wizeman and defeat its replica Reala, and acquire the magical orbs to have the power to defeat them. Also in the levels, you get to collect stars which increase your rank at the end of the level, so if you see them, best to get them also. While you're flying, you're able to do stunts in mid air, like summersaults, and other dodging type maneuvers which can increase your end score. There are hoops for you to fly through in all of the levels, the more you fly through at once, the better your multiplier becomes, and the better your score gets, you can also increase your multiplier by collecting the blue orbs and stars. You're not alone when you're flying though, you have enemies that may need to be defeated, or they will hit you and slow you down and steal some of your orbs, so be aware.

        This 3D plat former could blow Sonic the Hedgehog out of the water, and become the better game. Nights Into Dreams has so much for you to do, you will come back to play it over and over again. The only downfall for Nights is that the two player mode. Where you get to fight each other, one on one in a battle royal. One of you gets to be Nights, the other Reala, and you duke it out, and whoever becomes victorious will become the victor and win. But the lack of things you are able to do, all it is, is either fly forwards, or backwards, and an attack button, that's about it, but it can be fun now and then I suppose.

        The game is very enjoyable, hours of fun packed into this small game, shame it is a short game, you could complete it in around 2 - 3 hours, but it has great playback, which makes it a decent game. The thing I like about it is depending of the time of year (your Sega Saturn console is set in) the menu changes to suit that time of year, so say its Christmas, then you will see Nights on the menu in a Christmas outfit, then in summer would be the normal purple costume. It's a game that you will want to have more of, which would have been good if they had more levels, and scrapped the two players, and then this would be the perfect game. The game is very addictive, the looks of it and the playability will draw you back for more, and every time you play could be different, because of the rankings.

        The game is one of the most original games out there, which makes this worth having a look at, everyone will love this game. The graphics a very good, in its day the graphics were quite top notch, the beautiful environment you were able to fly around in, the 3D looks, the style of game play, makes this a lovely game to look at. The background music is very cheerful, a happy game to play, unique song per level, and all are very good for this game. The sound effects are amazing, the noises of Nights flying, the collecting of the orbs chimes, just makes this game truly amazing. The game can be quite difficult, as the controls are hard to get use to, even for pros, it is still quite awkward to use, but the game is worth it, but can be quite difficult at start other then the awkward controls. You had to get a new 3D control pad especially for this game, but you normally would get it free, but should be quite cheap nowadays anyway.

        This is a lovely game, you could probably find this game for around £5 - £10 if you are lucky finding it, I don't remember how much we paid for this, but it was years ago. I really enjoyed this game, its beautiful graphics, colourful atmosphere, and all-round decent playability makes this an almost perfect game and every gamer should have this in their collection. I give this game 5 star * * * * *, as it may be old, but it is defiantly better the most of the newer games out up to date. I recommend this game to everyone that loves games.

        AGE - 3+
        PLAYERS - 1 - 2 Players
        CREATORS - Sega
        PRESENTED BY - Sonic Team
        CONSOLE - Sega Saturn
        RELEASED - 31/08/1996

        THIS GAME IS

        A Masterpiece
        Wonderful
        Great To Look At

        THIS GAME IS NOT

        A Crappy Old Game
        Very Long
        Repetitive

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