Christmas NiGHTS (Saturn) review
"When you begin Christmas NiGHTS, you realize there's only one dream to play in, Spring Valley. That's nothing compared to the original title's seven dreams, and you assume you'll finish this game in a matter of minutes, living up to being a sampler. Shockingly, that's not the case, and it actually ends up being better than its predecessor. "
When you begin Christmas NiGHTS, you realize there's only one dream to play in, Spring Valley. That's nothing compared to the original title's seven dreams, and you assume you'll finish this game in a matter of minutes, living up to being a sampler. Shockingly, that's not the case, and it actually ends up being better than its predecessor.
It may not be noticeable at first, but a lot of care went into this "sampler". Depending on what date you first played this disc, you probably don't see what the big deal is. Upon entering the presents options, however, you see a screen filled with 23 unopened presents. There's only one present you can pick, the one in the lower right corner, titled Christmas NiGHTS. You choose it not expecting much, but lo and behold, you get much more than you were hoping for.
Being thrown back to the title screen, you see everything has gone through a makeover. Curiouser and curiouser, you re-enter Spring Valley to see if anything else went through a change. Within seconds, you witness falling snow, upside-down Christmas trees, loops decked out like wreaths, and various other Christmas decor transforming the valley into a winter wonderland. It's a sight to see as you take flight with NiGHTS, who's now dressed mostly in red and white colors, and play through the dream while listening to a catchy Christmas tune. Even the giant, dragon-esque boss, Gillwing, partakes in the festivities by donning bright colors and filling its stage with Christmas presents.
The fun doesn't stop there for this so-called sampler, as you'll play a minigame after the boss fight. Here, amongst the boxes marked with question marks, you need to pick matching pictures from them. Getting ones right with your five tries, you'll be rewarded with a various range of presents. One of the first gifts you receive is a karaoke mode where you'll get to sing along to Dreams Dreams... Oh, come on, you know you always wanted to know all the words to that song! Shoot, it's not even the version with the kids singing, which is a plus (there's also an a cappella version that plays during the credits that's really good). You'll also get an assortment of nice-looking pictures to view, ranging from art for the game and even its merchandise. I so want that NiGHTS plush doll.
With the ability to get these presents through completing Spring Valley over and over again, you'll sure be playing CN for quite awhile. And why wouldn't you when you keep getting gifts like playing as Sonic the friggin Hedgehog? Granted, he runs like he's fighting quicksand, and his screwy camera made it the most dizzying experience I've had in a NiGHTS game, but it's the thought that counts. To top it off, you get to fight a big, bouncing Robotnik (basically a remodeled Puffy, minus the breasts), and throw him all over the place.
Finally, not leaving a stone unturned, Sonic Team used the Saturn's internal clock to bring out special occasions. If you set the clock to January 1st, you'll be treated to a specialized title screen, and the kids, Elliot and Claris, will be formally dressed up for the New Year. The first of April will bring you another surprise in the form of a villain who you get to control in place of NiGHTS. It's this and the various other touches in Christmas NiGHTS that just really make it a joy to play. Of course, it would have been great if you could play a full-blown version of this title, but you can't have everything.
Good luck finding this "free" game at a reasonable price, though.
Community review by pickhut (July 16, 2007)
These Dragon taglines are too easy.
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