Monday, October 30, 2017

NIGHTS into dreams...for Sega Saturn (1996)

Original printed ad featured in volume 4 issue 9 of Gamefan magazine.


The best 3D game that does not a feature a Mario character


Few games have been so well-received as “NIGHTS”, released by Sega for the Saturn in 1996, just when 3D was starting to dominate the video game market. Nintendo had of course Mario 64 and Sony’s Playstation was starting to gain ground with the 3D crowd, but the majority of titles that featured this graphical style were horrible. NIGHTS changed that forever. Of course 2D was still very popular and the SNES was still going strong (Yoshi’s Island was released in 1995; Super Mario RPG in 1996).





But NIGHTS also introduced a new controller to better overall gameplay. It was called the “3D control pad” and is basically the predecesor to the controller used with the Dreamcast. Arguably, the first one was better built and was much more comfortable. Collectors need be wary. The 3D pad was not compatible with every Sega Saturn game. An extended list of compatible games can be seen here, as well as a list of games that were created with 3D pad in mind.


The 3D controller featured an analog stick like the one used by Nintendo, which made NIGHTS a technical marvel and featured showcase for Sega’s machine. Even today, ported over to the PS2, PS3 and other consoles, it looks great and plays beautifully.

The story is interesting to say the least, combining the influences of Sigmund Freud’s and Carl Jung’s writings on the unconscious. But instead of taking the easy route and delving into a nightmarish world of violence, NIGHT lives in a colorful, dramatic and butter-smooth realm of constant flying and advancing in a rails-type shooter. It is certainly unique and blew everyone away when it was released to CRT tvs back in the 90s. Gamers had never seen something quite like this ever, not even in Mario 64 or the Pilot Wings series. About this time, the closest game for Sony’s Playstation was Jumping Flash! (1995), but the feel of that game was completely different to NIGHTS.


Now the printed material for the game was everywhere. So much so that I have delayed the posting of the material. I’ll update this entry from time to time, placing other printed ads in this same page. The game was heavily promoted in EGM, GamePro and of course Gamefan, as you can see here. Some had an enormous amount of text and lots of pictures, while others just one simple phrase and a white background. An elegant solution for such a radical game. 

NIGHTS into dreams...for Sega Saturn print ad copy

Prepare to fly.



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