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NiGHTS Into Dreams Review

Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega
Release Date: August 31, 1996 Also On: None

NiGHTS Into Dreams is quite possibly the single most fun that I have had on the Saturn so far. Flying around the screen, you collect orbs, drop them off in what looks like a jellyfish of sorts, then move on to the next level. You’ll play these horizontal flying levels until you reach a boss, the most challenge that you’ll get out of the game.

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Right when you pop the game in you’ll notice that it’s easy to adjust to, play a quick level, and even finish the game in a night. You play as two characters: Claris and Elliot, both of which have nightmares. In each level you will start as either character, depending on who you selected, then transform into the purple character on the cover.

A temple is where you swap personalities. The game goes from 3D free roaming with jagged scenery to 2D side-scrolling flying. You lap around the course in a bid to collect the orbs needed to destroy the jellyfish-like creature. Once the creature is destroyed, you must return to the temple, where you move on to the next level. Each world has four levels, and once completed, you encounter a boss.

You will start off with only two worlds to play, one with Claris and the other with Elliot. Once you beat a world, the next world becomes unlocked. Your system is supposed to save the data, allowing you to return to worlds that were unlocked, after switching off the system.

You can make a clean grab for all of the orbs by going around the course just once, most of the time. Some orbs will require you to create a “vortex� of sorts, a suction that more or less floats them to your character.

This game is made for tracking high scores. For the time, this would have been a great game to have an online scoreboard, to compare scores with people around the world, but no feature of this sort was available at the time. A link system helps you rack up points by going through rings in succession.

I’m not sure why the 3D environments were added. There is no free-roaming purpose, other than to run back to the temple, if you run out of time. The 2D flying is entertaining for hours at a time, or in short bursts, it doesn’t really matter. A world could be beaten in a matter of ten to twenty minutes, so if you’re on the way out the door, it is possible to get in a quick game before you depart. This is easily the most satisfying experience on the Sega Saturn.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 9.6
Written by Kyle Review Guide