The whole “Sony-killed-Sega” topic is a sensitive subject for old-school Sega fans. Sure, Sega had plenty of self-inflicted wounds, but in the back of every Sega junky’s mind is the fact the Sega rushed the Saturn to market to preempt the Playstation and the PS2 hype made the Dreamcast’s phenomenal head-start fizzle out quicker than it should have.
Sega Saturn owners are also especially proud of the fact that the 32-bit powerhouse was home to a number of unique games that never showed up elsewhere such as Panzer Dragoon Saga, Guardian Heroes, and NiGHTS into Dreams. NiGHTS holds an especially soft spot in many Saturn veteran’s hearts as it was the closest thing we ever got to a real 32-bit Sonic the Hedgehog game and one of Sonic Team‘s last great games of that genre.
It has been seven years since Sega left the hardware business to publish their games for other platforms. We’ve seen countless Sonic games on the Gamecube, XBox, and PS2, so you think that, by now, bringing NiGHTS to the PS2 would be no big deal. But there are still a handful of Sega fans that feel that the world has turned upside down now that the original NiGHTS into Dreams is running on the PS2. Not only does it sting a bit to see it on the nemesis Sony hardware, but it decreases some of the magical allure that the Saturn had in this former exclusive.
Now I’m not a Sony fan by any means, but I’m personally in the camp that says its a good thing to bring classics to new hardware as it keeps them alive, makes them more accessible, and gives them the modern conveniences of things like wireless controllers and quicker load times. (However, the old Sega fanboy in me does feel a little itch of resentment)
I don’t care if you are the most hardcore of Sega fanboys or not, seeing the fresh PS2 port of NiGHTS is enough to get your saliva glands cranking. As great as the Saturn original was, it was still a little rough around the edges in some parts of the graphics. As the video below shows, the PS2 version looks true to the original only with every little inch polished to a smooth and shiny finish.
In case you are wondering about all the specifics of the port and how it compares with the original version, here is what Mozgus (who captured the video above) has concluded so far:
“Yes the game isn’t a true remake. [However,] Nothing seems to be altered in anyway that affects gameplay. Just new textures, models, effects, and texture filtering… I’ve tried the Sega Saturn mode as well, and I think it’s still slightly enhanced in terms of frame rate and maybe draw distance. It just feels like the remake mode, but with all the old assets and low resolution. You can actually see your TV switch resolutions… There is alternate music on the stages [like in the original Saturn game]. All the music in the game is in ADX at 48kHz. There are 218 tracks. Each stage has somewhere between 20-28 tracks… So far however, I’ll safely say that this is better than the Saturn original. Also it’s very easy on English speakers. Only the save screen and the hint screens are in Japanese so far.”
Yes, there may be a twinge of sadness knowing that your Saturn version of NiGHTS into Dreams is all but obsolete, but at least you know that this wonderful game may now be experienced my more lucky souls out there. And don’t forget: you still will be able to play the original on your beloved Saturn. And as the ever-so-blunt Mozgus said to those that are bitterly waxing nostalgic, “The hardware doesn’t matter. This version has been improved quite a lot, without having many flaws. This is more than you can expect from Sega these days. If people out there want a Saturn for whatever reason, they’ll buy one. Don’t try to stuff it down their throats. Multi-platform games are always a good thing as long as the overall product doesn’t suffer from it.” Well said, Mozgus. Well said.