Christmas NiGHTS (Saturn) review
"Nights soars past lavishly decorated Christmas trees, cute Nightopian creatures wear bright red Santa suits, and candy canes sprout from the snow-covered earth. By reading the Saturn's internal clock, Christmas Nights adjusts the game's internal events to correspond with every holiday season."
Every reviewer has a heartwarming Christmas story. Here's mine.
Warning: This touching holiday tale is intended for readers age 18 and older.
On Christmas Eve in the year nineteen ninety-six, I turned out the fires and, to my surprise, a fat fucking elf fell down through the flue. I exub'rantly cried with wide yaoi eyes, "Mister Santa Claus! Please let me sleep with you!"
"Perhaps in two years, my sixteen-year-old ho ho ho!"
With a wink of his eye and a tweak of my cheek, he dropped a small package in my red silken sock. I ran to the mantle to sneak a quick peek; he ran to the bedroom to slip Granny some sweet Saint Nick cock.
"Wow! Christmas Nights! Just what I always wanted!"
Through Granny's soft moans and Santa's gruff cries of "Blitzen!", I lovingly cradled my darling new treasure. I lay the disc with such care in my bulky black Saturn, not the least bit prepared for the impending pleasure.
I hope you enjoyed my awesome Christmas poem. As much as that one hundred percent true story rules, Christmas Nights rules that much more. Except for the introduction. Christmas Nights' prologue, a well-intentioned tale of holiday discontent, comes across as mind-numbingly dull due to the emotionless female narration that speaks. kind of. like. this. Don't be concerned; the actual game has nothing to do with the tacked-on opening story.
Christmas Nights' tale started back in 1996, when the intrepid elves at Sonic Team crafted an amazing adventure called NiGHTS Into Dreams. Still searching for a Saturn mascot (since they couldn't be bothered to finish Sonic X-treme), Sega latched onto Nights and proclaimed it the greatest 3D adventure of all time... even though it's really more like a sidescrolling racer. Despite the two being nothing alike, everyone compared Nights to Mario 64 and naturally crowned the actual 3D platformer as king. Everyone then proceeded to wag unforgiving fingers in Sega's general direction.
Sonic Team was so demoralized by this crushing defeat that they went on to design formulaic 3D platformers starring boys with rooster heads.
But before that dark day in gaming, back when the light of artistic pride still shined deep within Sonic Team's soul, they released a short wintry demo that could easily be considered a true gaming gift.
Containing the full version's Spring Valley world, Christmas Nights throws not just one but six or seven unique spins on the original adventure. Players still control either Claris or Elliot, the charming lord of darkness "Nights" still possesses their bodies, and players still race through four scenic courses in the Spring Valley zone, trying to acquire as many points as possible before time runs out.
But this disc is for Christmas, and so the lush Spring Valley has turned white with the winter. Nights soars past lavishly decorated trees, cute Nightopian creatures wear bright red suits, and candy canes sprout from the snow-covered earth. By reading the Saturn's internal clock, Christmas Nights adjusts its own background events to correspond with each holiday season. Whether it's pink diamonds falling like snow on Valentine's Day, or New Year's streamers exploding into the sky, this game exudes infectious holiday mirth. Sonic Team even plays a sneaky trick on April Fool's Day!
Even though the disc works all year 'round, Christmas remains the most special time of year. Maybe it's watching Santa's sleigh fly through the midnight sky on Christmas Eve, or maybe it's the rambunctious holiday music (a mix of Jingle Bells and Joy to the World)...
HAHA, JUST KIDDING. Christmas is special because of all the presents, and Christmas Nights is no exception. Each time you play the game, you're offered a variety of gifts, such as art galleries, karaoke machines, and even a "Sonic the Hedgehog Into Dreams" game where you get to throw a giant, bouncing Dr. Robotnik through stained glass walls. It's a 3D blast!
I could explain the other intricacies of Christmas Nights, such as its mood-changing Nightopian populace and link-scoring system, but let's face facts: this is just a short demo. Although it's fun to play, there's not enough time to put such knowledge to challenging use. Save the record-setting for the full game; what Christmas Nights provides is an easily accessible and absolutely enchanting way to remind yourself ever so briefly of what once made Sega, Sonic Team, and NiGHTS Into Dreams so special.
Staff review by Zigfried (December 25, 2005)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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