Review: NiGHTS HD

Fans have been waiting for 16 years, but finally the wait is over. We have NiGHTS HD. SEGA have not just given us the classic NiGHTS games, but we also get Christmas NiGHTS thrown in as a bonus. So how does the game play after all these years? How good a job did SEGA do? Some of us have bad memories of past SEGA ports such as Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi to name a few. Messing up NiGHTS could potentially ruin a lot of peoples memories. With the download file weighing in at a whopping 2GB, I expect big things.

Good points:

  • Graphics are lovingly updated to smooth out the jagged edges and generally brighten up the whole experience. No levels have been modified, instead been left how you remember them.
  • The original music is in there, not all the tracks but all the important ones, it may only be die-hards who notice which are missing to be honest.
  • We now have leaderboards, time to prove who really is the best.
  • Controls are good, they do the job as you would expect and honestly, it feels a lot better than it did on the PS2 version. The Saturn version? It’s arguable, I suspect the new HD version may be slightly inferior, and I mean slightly, over the old school Saturn beast of a pad.
  • Christmas NiGHTS is in there and still looks and sounds amazing. And to think the Saturn game was given away for free on a magazine! It’d never happen these days!
  • The FMV have had a touch up aswel giving us a much better looking set of videos explaining the story of the game.
  • Nightopian collection has again made it into the game. Nightopians are the small flying creatures you see usuallly with a smile following you around. You find them in level by breaking open the eggs you see lying around.
  • We have a presents section, this is where you can go to see replays of the FMV, concept art, sound test and a behind the scenes look at how NiGHTS came about.
  • Saturn mode is present, this allows you to play the game in its original form before all the surgery. To be honest it still looks just as sexy as it always has. Your save is used for both versions of the game so feel free to chop and change.

Bad points:

  • After completing a level the game will save, well this takes quite a while to be honest and it can really slow a session down
  • Had a few issues with bosses where I fell through them and died, but this was very rare
  • The campaign is very short but true fans already know this, this is more a heads up for new players. And to them I say this game is an experience more than anything else, enjoy it
  • Christmas NiGHTS needs to be unlocked and can only be done once both stories have been completed
  • Nightopian collection is the same deal, only unlocks once both stories and Christmas NiGHTS has been bested

The next section of bad points are aimed more at the old school die-hard massive. The people that know the original inside out. Please, if you’re new to the series don’t let the next section put you off in any way. At the end of the day the game is still one of the best game released and a true top title in SEGA’s catalogue.

Bad points for the fans of the original:

  • It’s Christmas NiGHTS, but not as we know it. It’s been shortened right down, giving us just one level with both characters. Gone are the presents match a pair to win a prize mini game, yes, this includes the sonic level and character unlocks and seeing Eggman dressed up as Santa.
  • The link attack/time trials are also sadly missing. This is a huge shame as with online leaderboards added, this could have been a huge hit and added a lot of replayability.
  • Time/Calendar related events seem to have been missed out aswel, no longer will we get little pumpkins in the background during October, no more weather changes or fireworks at New Year’s. It’s little things like this that really added that something different to the game.

In summary SEGA have done a good job, the game is still fun to play and looks so good. The new features and updates really make the screen pop with excitement. If you’re new to it all then please try it out. Old school fans will just love having this classic on their hard drive ready to go whenever. All I hope for now is Burning Ranger to get an HD remake, let the petition begin!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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