Dare to Dream. . .
The world of dreams, Nightopia, is in danger. The evil Wizeman the Wicked and Nightmaren are trying to steal all the dream energy and enter reality (Anyone see Twice Upon a Time?). The only thing standing in his way are two children, Elliot and Claris. Both kids have recently experienced a personal crisis (at such a young age, too) and are in need of a confidence booster. They both possess the one type of dream energy that the Wizeman cannot steal, that of bravery. Claris and Elliot can’t save Nightopia on their own, they need the help of Nights, a mysterious creature that flies through Nightopia free as a bird. Only when one of the children bond with Nights can the Nightmaren be defeated and Nightopia be saved.
From the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog, Nights is the latest effort by Sega to recover some of the ground lost to Sony in the great Video Game War. In a word, Nights is amazing. Featuring a new analog controller, Nights features the smoothest control of any game I’ve ever played. With polygonal graphics and a cool soundtrack, Nights integrates the best qualities of the next generation machines. Every time people think they’ve seen what the Sega Saturn has to offer, out comes a game that blows everything out of the water.
The graphics are breathtaking; you’ve never seen anything like this before. The speed at which the polygons have to be rendered is truly awe-inspiring. When on the ground, Nights has an amazing 3D landscape on which you can jump and run. In the air, the interface in undescribable. In the normal view, you can only move side to side and up and down, but there is still the 3D aspect of the game. As you move, there are different tracks you can take that change the viewpoint. There is a top down view which offers an excellent view of the polygonal landscape. Also, there is a behind the back view (like the half pipe in Sonic) that moves you quickly through the surrounding areas.
The music and sound effects are that of a dream world. Many of the sound effects seem identical to those of Sonic, but are still fitting to the new setting. The music fits every seen to a tee. When Nights is fighting one of the level bosses that happens to be a fat women, there is opera being played in the background. When you are facing an evil joker, maniacal laughter fills the room. The music, though not as excellent as some games, is certainly enough for the amazing Nights.
The gameplay is really where Nights outshines the competition. A new analog controller is packaged along with the game to provide the smooth control needed to truly experience all that Nights has to offer. This new controller allows you to do smooth flips and aerial acrobatics on your first time playing. The speed at which you are able to travel and turn is dizzying. This game never skips a beat; there is never any pause during gameplay for loading. Even the load time at the start is minimal. Who needs cartridges that cost an arm and a leg?
Nights is the first game that we have considered giving an A+ to. The only reason that Nights did not receive this elusive reward is that some folks may not be able to get used to the speed of the game. If you had a hard time controlling Sonic, the dizzying pace and extra control of Nights may just drive you up a wall. This is not to say that Nights is impossible to control, but it may take some time before you are able to maneuver. What looks like a daunting task merely takes practice to become a master.
Nights is a must have for any Saturn owner. Even if you personally don’t like the game, buy it just to show off to Playstation owners. The new analog controller is a welcome edition to the Saturn and will undoubtedly be used more in the future. With games like Nights, Virtua Fighter 2, and Panzar Dragoon Zwei, it appears as though Sega is finally showing the true power of their home system.