Sunday 18 September 2022

NiGHTS Into Remaster - Virtua Dreams Return


Bow to the allmighty game that put the Sega Saturn on the map from day one! This is the one that drew me personally to the system itself. It was the first game I ever bought for the system and it was the first game I ever beat on the Saturn. It was a lot of firsts and there is a very good reason for that. Two processors used, imaginative gameplay and some of the brightest colors that you can admire without going blind. The story is very thoughtful while also being in the background. You can play it without knowing the plot and be perfectly content. The game is beautiful and we are fortunate to be in a reality where it exists.

Then, at the end of 2012, it was remade! That's right, if you have an XBox Live, Playstation Network or Steam account, you can get a remastered version of this game right now! Not only does it improve the graphics, but it also includes the original Sega Saturn graphics? Is this an instant recommendation? Why, yes it is! It may have had very little fanfare and barely been advertised at all, but it came back with brand new tricks! 

This is a love letter to not only the original game, but it is also a thank you letter to all of those who created the game in the first place. The graphics are cleaned up, polished and florish in a brand new bright and shiny landscape. It looks really beautiful and the controls are still just as smooth as the first day. It's also just as challenging as the first day. 

Now, here's the kicker though. As beautiful as the game came out, it still doesn't capture the feel of the first game. I know, I sound like a broken record at this point and I get why this same old song keeps singing and annoying people. This is the same thing I said about Virtua Fighter Remix and Daytona Championship Circuit and I'm sure this won't come as a surprise, but I can't help but feel it. The thing is, when you see Nights flying through the air, he looks so detached in the HD edition. 

It's not at all a bad port of the game, nor is it a bad coat of paint over the game itself. It simply can't replace the Sega Saturn's original graphics for the game. These new graphics look out of place by comparison. As said before, this is not a bad remaster at all. In fact, it's beautiful for several reasons, but it also includes the unlockable game of Christmas Nights Into Dreams! How awesome is that?! You just need to get through the entire game with A ranks on every level! Good luck with that!

The game itself isn't perfect. In fact, sometimes, it is a judgy game for people who put tons of work into collecting the blue bubbles and doing so as fast as possible only to get a D or E ranking. This game can be so unforgiving, especially when you get the orb, transform back into a little kid, and have to dodge the alarm clock on foot while also returning the orb to the gazebo. Sometimes, things just happen, but who cares! You get an F! DO BETTER!

Since my last review of NiGHTS Into Dreams I have run into quite a few reviews of the game and I have to say, people don't feel the magic in this age of gaming. There were so many old school gamers that love this game but this generation doesn't seem to have the same appreciation because flying in a 3D area in such a way just isn't as impressive as it use to be. Well, all I can do is shrug my shoulders. I don't care how many high flying NiGHTS clones there are now, none of them reach the surrealistic beauty of this artful game. 

The effort and the creativity that was shoved into this game should have been a failure. With such experimental game mechanics, strange imagery, outlandish character designs and all around complexity of the Sega Saturn's platform for development, this game should have been a flop. Somehow, Sonic Team made it happen and created one of the greatest titles on the Saturn. Nights herself became an icon for the system and is still considered one of the most beautiful characters to ever come out of gaming. There are so many systems, so many random items and so many easles that have been graced with her design and Nights Into Dreams still has a very active fanbase that thrives today! If you do not own a Saturn and still want to play this game, well, consider this an advertisement and an invitation to try it. Do not pass up the opportunity even if you have the slightest inkling to do so. Tell them I sent you. Wait, no, don't do that. Dream of blue water. 

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