IGN's Levi Buchanan has written a feature questioning the significance of Sega's NiGHTS, both on the Saturn in 1997 and on the Wii now. The feature suggests that NiGHTS may not be as important as Sega fans think it is (but what could be?) because it wasn't really 3D and, more importantly, not that many people played it compared to the hits on the Saturn's contemporaries.
Both of these points are unfortunately true. With the exception of the included analog controller, NiGHTS didn't really influence future games that much (we went full-3D). And if Sega's hoping to sell this game on its nostalgia value alone, they will be disappointed. The kinds of numbers that made for a hit Saturn game probably wouldn't translate into a hit Wii game. Neither of these points necessarily mean that NiGHTS doesn't matter. It does, because it was a really great game. And that's what we expect from the sequel as well. We're content for NiGHTS just to be a really great game while the Marios and such get lauded as watershed gaming events. We'd all be happier, of course, if it was a real hit rather than a niche game.
The problem outlined in the article is that Sonic Team needs to satisfy the people who have been waiting eleven years for a sequel, while also delivering something that will intrigue new players. Where our opinions differ is that Buchanan seems to think that the classic NiGHTS gameplay is insufficient for a game in 2007, while we think it's great and could go far with enough visual sprucing up and advertising help.