Retro Revolution: From Day to NiGHTS
Posted on Friday, July 6 @ 14:31:56 PST by KevinS
Back in 1996, during the war between Sega and Sony for platform supremacy, Sonic Team had a surprise up their sleeve: NiGHTS into Dreams...—a two-dimensional… dream simulator? It's been out for 16 years now, and I still don't know just what to call it as far as genre. It's a rare, one-of-a-kind title simply on that front.
There are forums dedicated to talking about the game—or what gender the main character Nights is—and July 5th makes it official that they can sleep peacefully and happily. Their dreamy savior is being re-released in high definition, and everything is right with the world. And I'll be the first one to admit, I'm extremely happy that it's coming out. I don't own a Wii, so I missed out on the Wii sequel—which I hear is a good thing—but I do have a 360 and PS3, and I will be downloading one of the greatest titles released in an era of gaming known for amazing, genre-changing success stories, like Goldeneye 007, Final Fantasy VII, and Bug!.
So how has it become such a beloved title? Why is it given the same high regard as titles like Earthbound and Kid Icarus, those games that everyone seems to think deserves major recognition but have fallen somewhat to the side of the gaming super highway? To put things bluntly, NiD did something that few other games could ever hope to, and did it with a control pad: It gave us the ability to fly. While that sounds simple and almost cliché, that's exactly what it did.
In the game you take on the role of a young boy or girl, stuck in a dreamland and attacked by Nightmares, physical embodiments of their fears in the real world. They summon the power of Nights, and Nights helps them to power through their fears. It's not just a story of being able to fly—it's a journey of empowerment. Combine that with some amazingly beautiful terrain (and not just for the hardware limitations of the Saturn) and a floaty feeling of that in-betweeny place where things are no longer reality and not quite dreamland.
It's a bit hard to describe, really… but with the game coming out soon for PSN, XBLA and PC, we can all rediscover what it's like to have an imaginary friend. Who can fly. And spin around and around and around and never vomit into the colorful landscape. Just thinking about it makes me want to plug in my Saturn again.
What are your memories of the original Saturn title? Did you play the Wii sequel? Or, if you disliked/hated it the first time around, why did you?
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