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Sega Deals: NiGHTS: JoD, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity price drops

Source: seganerds.com

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With all the great games Sega’s been throwing at us this month, we don’t know if anyone has enough cash left in their wallets to afford much else, but there are a couple deals to be had if you can spare a bit more change.

Gamestop is currently offering NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams for $30 brand new. Add the coupon code FREESHIPALL, and you get free shipping on top of the $10 price cut.

If you already own NiGHTS: JoD, Amazon is selling Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity on both the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 2 for $30 and $25, respectively.

This is probably the cheapest we’ll see either of these titles for the foreseeable future, so if they’re of interest to you, you should hop on them now.

[Via CAG]

New Years Nerdaway – Winners!

Source: seganerds.com

Winners!

Its been like 2 weeks since the contest finished – and I’m the douche who forgot to post up the results sooner.  I hold my hands up – Im sorry.

But fret no more, here are thewinners of the great prizes!

2x Runners Up: Christmas NiGHTS

Xmas NiGHTS

Question: No question, just had to enter the contest and be picked randomly!

Winners: Emmett the Crab and Will Thoraldson

Bundle 4: Handheld Games

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Question: What is the name of the lead female character in Sonic Rush?

Answer: Blaze the Cat (or just Blaze)

Winner: Alex Marsh

Bundle 3: PC Games

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Question: Which division of Sega develops the Total War series?

Answer: The Creative Assembly (or just Creative Assembly)

Winner: Kogen

Bundle 2: Xbox 360 Games

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Question: What major feature do the Xbox 360 versions of Virtua Fighter 5 and Virtua Tennis 3 have, that the PS3 versions do not?

Answer: Online Play (or Online Features)

Winner: Samuel Evans

Bundle 1: Saturn Games

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Question: How many Panzer Dragoon games were released on the Sega Saturn?

Answer: Three (Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga)

Winner: Diogo Rato aka “Charmed699

So congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered.  We had well over 100 entries!

For the winners, if you would still like to receive your prizes (which I assume you do!), could you please Email (graham@seganerds.com) or PM me (via the Forums) your addresses, so I can ship your goodies out to you.

Thanks again to everyone who entered.  I think this was a pretty big success, and hopefully it will mean more contests like this to come in the future…. (not sure how often though - it was pretty expensive!)

Sega officially reveals NiGHTS: JOD bonus content

Source: seganerds.com

20071203jodbox.jpgA few days ago, word slipped out revealing the bonus events in NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams My Dream portion of the game. Today, Sega officially revealed that NiGHTS: JOD owners can expect special events each month that includes seasonal decorations and more.

The My Dream mode is an online virtual world that allows gamers “to create their own dream world using elements from the NiGHTS world,” according to Sega.

We here at Sega Nerds think this is an excellent way for Sega to extend the life of NiGHTS: JOD and will be sure to pop in each and every month to check out the events. Read on to see the full calender of events.

January: New Years fireworks are set off at 12 midnight on January 1st and the Nightopians will celebrate New Years. (Fireworks are set off once every hour?

February: Chinese New Year. During February, you will see Nightopians holding a big dragon and throwing firecrackers.

March: Carnival. During March, you will see many Nightopians wearing festive masks.

April: Flamenco. During April, you will see Nightopians wearing a rose.

May: Boys’ Festival. In May, carp streamers appear in My Dream .

June: June Bride. During June, you will see Nightopians with a bouquet or a flower basket.

July: Bull-Running Festival. In this month you will see Nightopians wearing bull armor as well as Nightopians holding red capes.

August: Music Festival. During August, you will see Nightopians performing using various instruments.

September: Moon Viewing. In September, you will see Nightopians holding a full moon paper fan.

October: Halloween. Towards in the end of October, you will see Nightopians will be wearing witch costumes and holding pumpkin lanterns.

November: Thanksgiving. During November, you will see Nightopians holding autumn leaves or fruits.

December: Christmas. In the month of December, you will see a Christmas tree and Nightopians dressed up as Santa Claus. You will also see Nightopians holding a cake, wearing a tricorn, or letting off firecrackers.

December 24-25: Holiday Carols. On Dec. 24th to 25th, the song of Nightopian changes to something more Christmas-like. The sound of the music box also changes.

Published on February 5th, 2008 under , ,

Nights: Journey of Dreams video review (Wii)

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Journey of Dreams for WiiNights: Journey of Dreams (released in America on December 18th 2007 and in Europe on January 25th 2008) is the follow-up to the classic Sega Saturn game called Nights: Into Dreams, considered by many to be a cult classic and a game that was developed by Sonic Team and produced and programmed by Yuji Naka (who was lead programmer), the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog. The newest entry in that classic series is built for play with the innovative Wii Remote to allow gamers to experience a heightened sense of gliding, spiraling, and looping through a variety of mystical dream worlds packed with high-flying adventure.

As a fantasy jester called NiGHTS, players will fly through Nightopia, a rich and vibrant world where dreams come to life. Players must find inventive ways to confront the “Nightmarens” from the neighboring dark world of Nightmare using amazing acrobatic skills, freedom of flight, and other special abilities to protect Nightopia. NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is an adventure filled with courage, hope and inspiration as well as some beautiful, dreamy visuals.

So does Nights: Journey of Dreams live up to the name of the Saturn classic? Does it do the Nights brand justice? And most of all, is the game any good? Watch the Nights: Journey of Dreams video review to find out.

Story: 7.5
Design: 7.0
Gameplay: 6.5
Presentation: 7.0
Overall: 7.0

New Years Nerdaway – 1 week remaining!

Source: seganerds.com

New Years Contest 1 Week

Just over a week ago, we announced the New Years Nerdaway, our special giveaway for the start of 2008.  Featuring 4 great bundles of gaming goodness.

So far we have been inundated with scores of entries, but the contest is not yet over. No sir!

The closing date for the contest is on January 31st 2008.  Which, at the time of posting this article, leaves anyone who has not yet entered, with exactly 1 week (7 days) left, to try and win these fantastic prizes.

For full details, follow this link.

Finally! The New Years Nerdaway!

Source: seganerds.com

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Finally it is here! Apologies we had planned to hold it sooner, but… well I won’t fob you off with any excuses, it was held off, it’s here now.  That is what matters!

Previously we had teased you with the outline of prizes we had on offer, and now I give you the rules, regulations and (most importantly) the questions, with which you will need to win.

Rules:  We have 4 seperate bundles of prizes to give away.  Each bundle has a question to go with it.  All you need do is choose which of the prizes bundles you would like to try and win, and answer the corresponding question, and then send your answer(s) to us (contact info coming up).

You can enter to win as many of the bundles you want to, however, we will pick the winners for each bundle in order (starting with 4, ending with 1), and should your name be chosen for Bundle 4, you will not be eligeble for any of the other bundles.

So if you really want to win Bundle 1, it could be wise not to enter for all 4 bundles, in case you ‘accidentally’ win a different bundle.  But, then again, if you just want to win some Sega gaming goodies, then go ahead and enter for all the bundles!

The full list of prizes and questions coming up after the jump.

Bundle 4:  Handheld Bundle

Bundle 4

What we have here is a selection of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP titles.

DS: Super Monkey Ball DS, Sonic Rush and Touch Darts (with limited edition stylus)

PSP: Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars, Sega Megadrive Collection and CRUSH

Bundle 3: PC Bundle

Bundle 3

House of the Dead III, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Sonic Adventure DX and Total War: Eras (Collectors edition boxset with; Shogun: Total War & Mongol Invasion Expansion Pack, Medieval: Total War & Viking Invasion Expansion Pack, Rome: Total War & Barbarian Invasion and Alexander Expansion Packs, plus more)

Bundle 2: Xbox 360 Bundle

Bundle 2

Five Xbox 360 games; Chrome Hounds, Full Auto, Condemned, Virtua Tennis 3 and Virtua Fighter 5

Bundle 1: Saturn Bundle

Bundle 1

Three fantastic Saturn classics.  Enemy Zero, Christmas NiGHTS and Panzer Dragoon Saga.  Plus a NiGHTS Journey of Dreams poster, signed by Iizuka-san, the game’s creator (not shown in picture).  And a Xbox 360 controller.

You may be wondering what the Xbox 360 controller is for?  Well, I have to warn you that the three Saturn titles are from Japan, so you will need either a Japanese Saturn, a Convertor cartridge or a Saturn emulator. 

We suggest using a Saturn emulator, in particular SSF.  This allows you to play all region Saturn games on your PC, and the Xbox 360 controller works with SSF allowing you to play these Saturn games with ease.  (See we do care).

Questions

Bundle 4 - Handheld Question:  What is the name of the lead female character in Sonic Rush?

Bundle 3 – PC Question: Which division of Sega develops the Total War series?

Bundle 2 – Xbox 360 Question: What major feature do the Xbox 360 versions of Virtua Fighter 5 and Virtua Tennis 3 have, that the PS3 versions do not?

Bundle 1 – Saturn Question: How many Panzer Dragoon games were released on the Sega Saturn?

So there we are, the full list of questions and prizes on offer for you.  I, perhaps, should add that there are no trick questions here and anyone interested in gaming should be able to answer them with ease.  However, if you cannot, there is always Wikipedia and hundreds of search engines to help aide you. (Really it cannot be more easy!)

How to Enter

To enter the contest all you need do is sign up to be a member here at Sega Nerds (don’t worry it is free) and then PM me  (G) in the forums, with your answers.

Or you can also email me - graham@seganerds.com - giving the email header as “New Years Nerdaway” and then the answers to the questions of the prizes you want to win. )

Simple eh?  Any questions, feel free to either PM me or just leave a comment at the end of this post.

 Good luck everyone!

[Update:] Whoops!  I forgot to add.  The closing date for the contest will be on the 31st January 2008.  So that is a little over 2 weeks away. 

Any entries after this date, will not be counted.  We shall then randomly draw the names for each winner and post them on the site the following week.

Thanks, in advance, to everyone who enters.

~G~

Sega confirms UK release dates

Source: seganerds.com

Nights Wii

Sega has set out several release dates for upcoming games, in Q1 2008.

On the cards is NiGHTS Journey of Dreams, for the Wii (Finally!).  Which is now set for a January 18th release, although several online stores, including GAME, still date it for release on the 25th.  Also set for January 18th is Ghost Squad.

Yet Universe at War: Earth Assualt, has been pushed forward slightly, to a January 25th release, which is actually in place of PSU expansion, Ambition of Illuminus (originally scheduled for 25th), which is now confirmed for a week later.

Released on Febuary 8th, we should see the highly anticipated The Club, plus the DS version of Mario and Sonic Olympics.

Bad news is that Condemned 2: Bloodshot, has been pushed back by two weeks, originally set for a Febuary release, it is now due on March 14th.  Also the game has undergone a slight name change, and the subtitle, “Bloodshot,” has been removed.

PS2 and Wii racer Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity follows on the 22nd, and February 28th sees Bleach hit Wii and DS.

Dated for March 28th, we have Viking Battle for Asgard, and also Sega SuperStars Tennis.

[Source: GamespotUK]

Future NiGHTS games to remain Wii exclusive?

Source: seganerds.com

Nights

In a recent interview with German site, G-Wie-Gorilla, Takashi Iizuka (the man behind NiGHTS), has let slip that any future NiGHTSgames will most likely be kept on the Wii.

Iizuka-san believes that the Wii was, and is still, the correct choice of platform for our androgynous flying friend.

“When we decided to finally make a sequel to NiGHTS, we didn’t know which console it would be for,” he recalled. “We only decided later on that we would develop the game for the Wii. But I think it was a good choice – should we make another instalment, we would make it for the Wii.”

Well that could worry some Sega fans, who feel that the Wii was not the right choice of platform for the game, (personally I like the Wii outing), and many were hoping that Sega has a Xbox 360 and/or PS3 NiGHTS title in the works.  But it seems that Iizuka-san has quashed any such dreams.

Of course, this information is only a concern if Sega does decided to make another NiGHTS game.  It took a good 11 years to make the first sequel, most likely by the next one comes out, we will be on the Wii 2 – which has us controlling games with thought power alone.  Either that or the space-ants will have taken over.

To check out the full interview, click here. Be warned it is all in Deutsch ;)

[Source: G-Wie-Gorilla Via Aussie-Nintendo]

Published on January 1st, 2008 under , , , , ,

Sega Nerds New Years nerdaway

Source: seganerds.com

New Years Prizes

That’s right my fine nerdians, we here at Sega Nerds, want you to kick start your new year with a bang!

Which is why we are going to be giving away a butt load of Sega games, for your enjoyment.

Our New Years contest will see 4 lucky winners, walking away with a bundle of goodies, plus 2 runners-up prizes to be had.  That’s 6 winners overall!

What you see in the picture above, is the entire goodie bag, but those prizes will be split down into 4 seperate (but very good) prize bundles, which go as follows;

  • Bundle 4: Hand-held – a selection of DS and PSP games.
  • Bundle 3: Sega PC games.
  • Bundle 2: Xbox 360 games.
  • Bundle 1: Saturn games, plus a signed (by Iizuka-san) NiGHTs Journey of Dreams poster.

We shall be starting the contest very soon, when we shall give you the full details of how to win these prizes!

Happy New Year everyone!

Review: NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams

Source: seganerds.com

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NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is not a terrible game.

Conceptually, it’s got a lot of promise! Flying around, doing loops, having fun – who can’t get behind that, right? Where Journey of Dreams gets bogged down is in everything that’s not flying around, doing loops and having fun. And there’s a lot of it.

But let’s touch on the flying first! JoD shares a basic control scheme and concept with its predecessor, but somewhere along the line during production, a series of decisions was made that ended up somewhat crippling the gameplay. First, there’s the level design.

While excellent in some places, quite often awkwardly placed tree branches and the like will make for irksome obstructions. They might not be as annoying if they weren’t placed in areas that require deft directional work and a good look at where NiGHTS is on the screen, but they are.

Speaking of directing our hero, there are four different options when it comes to controlling NiGHTS. Hopefully you’ve still got a Gamecube controller lying around, because it’s by far the most enjoyable. However, there’s a surprising problem with all the joystick options (Classic, GC, and nunchuck+wiimote combination): the eight corners into which the stick will traditionally slide when pressed in one of the cardinal (and semi-cardinal) directions.

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While nothing will replicate exactly the Saturn 3D pad that came with the original NiGHTS, both the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers would’ve been far better choices as far as traditional control is concerned. This is because they (like the 3D pad) have circular surroundings for their analog pads, which make it much easier to make exacting, on the fly directional changes mid-flight than the cornered Nintendo pads allow. This may sound like nitpicking, but in practice it makes a surprising amount of difference.

As far as strictly wiimote control goes, to put it delicately: don’t use it. It’s awkward, glitchy, and makes smaller paraloops (circles that you can fly to take out enemies and gather blue spheres) practically impossible.

Then there’s the camera.

Placed slightly behind NiGHTS instead of directly at the jester’s side, the position of the camera causes a disconnect between the direction pushed on the analog and the direction of movement. It never really goes away thanks to the fact that the camera will occasionally shift a little bit forward toward the more traditional viewpoint, then back behind NiGHTS.

The view works well with the wiimote control, though, and upon closer inspection the game actually seems to be designed largely around this unfortunate control scheme.

Graphics! There’s not really much to say about JoD’s graphics, other than that they don’t even approach those seen in Sonic and the Secret Rings. Actually, the PS2 remake of the original NiGHTS is looking better than Journey of Dreams. Ouch.

Taking into consideration the impressive heights reached since then (see: Mario Galaxy) it’s hard to excuse the shoddy looking characters and dead, lifeless eyes (and freakishly long necks) of the game’s young protagonists. Stylistically, JoD is a mixed bag, and while art design is excellent in some places, others look uninspired and dull.

I’ve reserved a special place for the owl character whose name I have refused to commit to memory. He not only looks awful, but is completely unnecessary as far as the story is concerned. Plus, he’s completely and utterly annoying in every way imaginable. If he shows up, go make a sandwich. He’ll probably be done blathering by the time you’ve finished eating.

The story is generally a pain to listen/sit through, and lacks the restraint and subtlety of the original (which showed an elegant minimalism for its time). There’s also a lot of it - sometimes a level will start, show a long cutscene, then boot you out to the hub world. You’ll then have to enter the level again before starting the mission.

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But enough about real levels and flight! Like every Sonic Team game since 1999, Journey of Dreams takes the simple, enjoyable formula of the original and pads it out with a bunch of mediocre segments based around alternate gameplay styles.

Instead of actual levels, many of the game’s missions will have you going for odd objectives. An early example of this is paralooping a bunch of Nightopians (the dream world’s frighteningly low-poly inhabitants) before they’re sucked into a black hole. Par for the game’s course, this is preceded by a 2-minute cutscene about how Will has abandonment issues.

Bosses follow the more traditional levels of the game, but also get an additional, extended fight at the end of each area’s mission list. Those based on the original game’s bosses are less intuitive and badly designed, and original encounters are confusing and generally un-fun.

Then there’s the platforming levels. They’re mediocre and boring in the extreme, and the exact opposite of the free-flying experience one would expect from a NiGHTS game. Again, in light of other excellent platformers on the Wii (cougcoughGalaxycoughcough) they only serve to highlight the lack of thought that went into some of the game’s segments.

Another segment that feels particularly tacked-on is the My Dream feature, which feels like a budget version of the Chao raising found in the Sonic Adventure series.

Low detail models make the Nightopians you raise in My Dream look like cancer babies, and the actual point of the mode is vague and hard to work out. Visiting with fellow JoD owners is a muddled affair thanks to the symbol chat system, and nightmaren you paraloop in levels show up in the garden, threatening to eat your little ‘Pians unless you knock them out.

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The most promising addition comes in the form of persona masks. While the dolphin mask doesn’t bring anything new to the table (the ability to ‘fly’ underwater debuted in the first game), the dragon and rocket masks are genuinely fun to use, though largely underutilized in the main game.

The game’s excellent score also deserves a nod. When things click, however rare, the accompanying music always serves to heighten the fun.

Possibly the saddest part of the entire game is the fundamental changes made to the original’s high-score oriented gameplay. In the first NiGHTS players collected blue chips and deposited them in an Ideya, a fancy way of establishing a nonrestrictive endpoint in a level. Once enough blue chips were put into the Ideya, it would collapse, and the game would change into a high score run.

Players would circle the route they were on, flying through loops and collecting now gold (worth twice as much as blue) chips in quick succession to string together ‘links’ for scores that rocketed ever higher as skill and flow naturally increased with playtime.

It was basically a time attack, but it was amazing in that it was actually enjoyable. The higher the score, the more fun one had. It was at once both a huge leap forward in design and a throwback to the days of the arcade, where high score was king.

Journey of Dreams abandons this principal, and has you chasing birds for a key to go from route to route in a level. Once a key is obtained one has to proceed to the next bird chase thanks to a large chain that stops NiGHTS from flying multiple runs of any one course.

In essence this kills the intent of the original game – a baffling design choice made especially disheartening whenever the level design shines brightest, warranting an immediate (and impossible) second fly-through.

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams isn’t all bad! Unfortunately it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as the original, and hard to justify as a purchase when looking at other excellent titles available this holiday season. Perhaps best as a bargain purchase, or received as a Christmas gift, the overall quality of JoD makes it hard to justify a $50 price tag.

Score: 6/10

To ask more about the game or compare impressions, post below in the comments section! To talk about why I’m wrong (and clearly I am!), go to the forums where a very special thread awaits your seething hate.

Published on December 22nd, 2007 under , , , ,

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