There are marketing gimmicks (like all of those money back rebates and trade-in deals), but then there's Christmas NiGHTS. This is a demo that was released in various ways around the world, it's really nothing more than an add on to one of the Saturn's most unique offerings. Christmas NiGHTS isn't very big or deep, but there's no question in my mind that it would be worth subscribing to Next Generation (the magazine this promo disc came here in the United States) for however long was needed in order to play this remarkable title.
Unlike most freebies, Christmas NiGHTS isn't really a game, since it's a package of extra features and other goodies. The two levels in the game are straight out of the original NiGHTS into Dreams, but each is spruced up with Christmas garb -- snow, ornaments, lights, etc. Depending on what time you play, what part of year, heck, even what day you play, you always have something new to see. The game isn't difficult, but perhaps that's not the point. You do have to complete the game several times if you want to open all the gifts (including pictures, karaoke, and much, much more).
But it's hard to get past how cool the game is year round. In the winter months there is often a solar eclipse at 3:00 am. There are hearts on February 15th, eggs on Easter ... really, it should have been called HOLIDAY NiGHTS. Plus cameos by several other Sonic Team character makes this one great package for anybody even remotely interested in their games. There is no doubt about it; this game is packed with Christmas-y goodness.
It's also rare. It mentions everywhere through out the game (from the box to the front screen to the end) that this is a limited edition product. It was packaged with issue #25 (January 1997) of Next Generation magazine (as well as several other Image Publishing released in January 1997). If you can find it then do what you can to open up a truly inspired gift of the season. Is it better than the original? No ... but it certainly is better than most things you get for free, which isn't saying a whole lot. Don't miss out on Christmas NiGHTS, it's easily one of the best games on the Sega Saturn.