Would NiGHTS Into Dreams Work On The 3DS?

Many of you reading this will already be all too familiar with the wonderful vintage Sega game NiGHTS into Dreams. For those of you who aren’t ; NiGHTS is a platformer that was originally released on the Sega Saturn and recently re-released on Xbox Live and Playstation Network. Developed by the same team that created the original Sonic games, this critically acclaimed title had you controlling a purple flying jester through five luscious 2.5D levels.


HelenBaby thinks the vintage Sega platformer would work well on a handheld

HelenBaby thinks the vintage Sega platformer would work well on a handheld


On a personal note I have an Xbox 360, with NiGHTS downloaded to it naturally, but never play it anymore as I just downright prefer playing on my 3DS. But NiGHTS is also one of the few reasons stopping me from selling my 360. I recently wondered how great it would be if I could access my beloved NiGHTS on my favoured console… And that is what inspired me to write this piece. This article will examine the validity of this proposition.

For a start, if NiD were to come to the 3DS it certainly wouldn’t be the franchise’s first appearance on a Nintendo console. Indeed the Wii played host to the game’s sequel ; the equally riveting, if more challenging NiGHTS : Journey of Dreams (which I reviewed for Sega Driven years ago. You can view this here). Then there are all the Sonic game cameos. NiGHTS cameos on Nintendo formats include, but are not limited to Sonic Pinball Party (Gameboy Advance), Sonic Adventure DX (Gamecube) and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Wii and DS). Indeed there was even a NiGHTS into Dreams Score Attack minigame you could download from the Gamecube version of Phantasy Star Online. More recently the characters and themes of NiD were featured in the Sonic Lost World Special Edition for Wii U, where a downloadable DLC pack called Nightmare Zone brings the game’s bosses to the Lost World universe. So, as we can see, the NiGHTS franchise is very much at home on Nintendo consoles.


A mock-up of what the box-art might look like if NiD was released on the 3DS...

A mock-up of what the box-art might look like if NiD was released on the 3DS…


My next point is the fact that the pick-up-and-play aspect of NiGHTS, coupled with the game’s shortness (with longevity bestowed in the form of score chasing) are aspects that, I feel, would lend themselves well to handheld gaming. Despite the fact that it’s aged remarkably well (perhaps because of its speed) NiGHTS is still a product of its time (it was released in 1996). Added to the fact there aren’t many levels ; levels are relatively short, making the game perfect for short stints, such as bus rides.

The final point is about controls. This is the one thing that actually makes me apprehensive about the prospect of a NiD port on 3DS. On one hand there are more than enough buttons on the 3DS to accommodate the various moves, such as speed up and the game’s signature acrobatics. But the one part of the 3DS’s control system which I would be concerned about (massively concerned about actually) is the analogue stick. NiD features a LOT of rapid spinning around, and I don’t think the 3DS’ analogue stick could handle that kind of use, being a little on the delicate side.


Pic of NiGHTS Helen coloured in using Colors 3D

Pic of NiGHTS Helen coloured in using Colors 3D


In conclusion NiD would feel well-suited to the design and character of the Nintendo 3DS. It’s colours, characters and other various delights would no doubt be warmly welcomed by a playerbase that simply devours such games, and I think few NiGHTS players would argue that it would be awesome to play the title on a handheld. The analogue stick worry is an important point which would need to be tackled in some way, but I’ll still keep the prospect of a NiD 3DS port among my Dreams Dreams

  • segamac says:

    Good article. Hope they do make a NIGHTS for the 3DS, SEGA need to know that they can’t just rely on Sonic alone

    • helenbaby says:

      Agreed. I think they’re learning though! Look at how much they plug into the all-encompassing Superstars/AllStars series. Sure SumoDigital develop those games, but they do so on Sega’s behalf, and during the course of those projects Sega send many of their best soldiers!
      AfterBurner was also recently released on formats, and I know they haven’t forgotten Yakuza or Panzer Dragoon! Don’t loose faith <3

  • Cyburn says:

    Good point, Sonic is a great character just don’t shoehorn him in every SEGA game.

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