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The Saturn Appreciation Thread

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I've had a long love affair with Sega's Saturn and it was my console of choice during the period of its release.

I made a friend through my cousin who regularly imported games from Japan, and he soon made me realise that Sega's console was flourishing in its home of origin and quickly put me on to numerous games that I would have otherwise missed. Then, around 14-15 years ago someone on Shmups.com sold their This Is Cool saturn with 28 shooters, including Radiant Silvergun, Hyper Duel, Battle Garegga, Salamander Collection, Thunderforce V, Batsugan, all the Parodius games and so on. Needless to say I jumped at the chance and it formed the backbone of my collection for some time. I've kept a few Pal games over the years like Athelete Kings, Nights, Guardian Heroes and a few others, but I'm more interested in the import side of the machine.

 

I got bored as I often do and sold off a few of the games I didn't like as much (Gunbird, Guardian Force, Cotton 2) but I kept the killers like Hyper Duel and a recent purchase of a PVM has reignited my love for the console. So let's hear it for Sega's underdog, the powerhouse 2D console that had some incredible arcade ports, lots of amazing shooters and a fair few nifty RPGs. I've been picking up a few games again and anything I make at this year's London Games Market is going to go towards picking up a few shooters that I do regret selling (thankfully I have a Mame cabinet which eases the pain somewhat now).

 

Any other fans of Sega's 32-bit console here? I bet there are.

 

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Does this week hold some personal significance when it comes to discussing the sega saturn? I only ask because 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, SeanR said:

Does this week hold some personal significance when it comes to discussing the sega saturn? I only ask because 

 

 

No. Strider has a new PVM so he likes games again. That's all. :lol:

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When I came back to gaming after a brief haitus around my late teens it was via a second hand Sega Saturn picked up for a tenner. The first game I picked up was Daytona. It was pretty bad but coming from a SNES it was awesome!!!!

 

this was around the Saturn death throes so I got a few other bits cheapish, panzer zwei, Darius 2, fighters megamix. I think I pretty much had every one of the big hitters eventually but selling them off after a while. 

 

I think i even gave gave my region switched machine to @dumpster. He did tip me off about a copy of panzer dragon saga for £15 in the little game shop in morecambe seafront in return. I found it a bit meh to be honest. Very tempted to get another pretty much just for Sega Rally. Still to be beaten. 

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3 minutes ago, acidbearboy said:

How do the Saturn conversions compare to their arcade counterparts? Some games, such as Hyper Duel, are really expensive. 

 

ST-V games are quite good... ;)

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1 hour ago, acidbearboy said:

How do the Saturn conversions compare to their arcade counterparts? Some games, such as Hyper Duel, are really expensive. 

Better. It has a new mode with enhanced graphics and a lock on for your robot.

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28 minutes ago, strider said:

 

 

Better. It has a new mode with enhanced graphics and a lock on for your robot.

This is the sort of thing I mean. Extra content to justify the cost vs playing via MAME. I know several shmups had Saturn exclusive modes. Are there any to avoid? Likewise, some games are cheaper on other platforms. I sold Elevator Action Returns 2 because it was worth good money and I also had it on Taito Legends for PS2. Likewise, Night Striker was worth quite a fair bit more on Saturn than on PS1 - and I couldn't really notice any difference in the ports. I feel like this sort of thing is of greater importance as time goes on. Lots of arcade ports were great at the time, particularly as the original version was not available in the home. But now with MAME, we can experience the original at home and for free, so the console versions need to offer something extra.

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I really like the Saturn. It has a lot of great 2D games and a few 'special' 3D titles - almost exclusively from Sega themselves. I remember my Dad buying a PAL console when it was dying a death - can't recall him owning another console before that, or since. He bought it to play Sega Rally. It came with some other games, the only ones I remember are Tomb Raider and Christmas Nights. Plus a demo disc with Baku Baku and Panzer Dragoon Zwei. I ended up buying my own console a while later and the full version of Nights. Other PAL titles I remember owning were Die Hard Arcade, Fighters Megamix, Manx TT, Panzer 1 & 2, Sega Worldwide Soccer, Shining The Holy Ark, Steep Slope Sliders. These days I have a Japanese Saturn (white) and only Japanese games - they had a much broader selection than we got in Europe. Still have quite a few I've bought but yet to play actually. Need more time!!

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2 hours ago, acidbearboy said:

These days I have a Japanese Saturn (white) and only Japanese games - they had a much broader selection than we got in Europe. Still have quite a few I've bought but yet to play actually. Need more time!!

The only annoying thing here is certain Japanese games don't work. I think OutRun is one if I remember.

I do love all the Saturn variants. Not enough to collect them all mind :P

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I literally yesterday spent an obscene amount of money buying Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru.

I don’t normally get caught up in buying expensive retro games but something got me obsessed with tracking that game down.

 

I’ve had a number of sell offs over the years but my Saturn stuff has always survived the cut.

 

One year I sold at NERG and someone actually commented on the fact. He said something like “There something missing here...SF, MD, Neo Geo, PS1, DC, PS2....where’s the Saturn stuff?”

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2 hours ago, Goemon said:

I literally yesterday spent an obscene amount of money buying Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru.

I don’t normally get caught up in buying expensive retro games but something got me obsessed with tracking that game down.

 

 

You are in for a treat. It’s a little clunky in its controls but it’s fantastic fun with some imaginative bosses and brilliant set pieces.

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The Sega Saturn is my favourite console too, I'm really surprised there isn't an existing appreciation thread.I still have it with my favourite games, Sega Rally, NiGHTS (with the 3D controller), Virtua Fighter 2, and Shining the Holy Ark. My only regret is selling some other games I loved, namely Virtual On and Panzer Dragoon Saga (sold for £15, what was I thinking?!)

 

What would be the best way to hook it up to a modern tv? I fancy getting it out again.

 

 

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I had a PAL Saturn which I bought around 1996, because Nintendo's new machine was ages off and there was no way that Sony thing was going to be anything more than an interactive CD throw-away....

 

I've gotten into the Japanese side of Saturn related things or recent and have two Jap Saturns and quite a few of the classic games. You can get sealed copies of common stuff really easily for £10-£15!

 

13 minutes ago, Purin said:

The Sega Saturn is my favourite console too, I'm really surprised there isn't an existing appreciation thread.I still have it with my favourite games, Sega Rally, NiGHTS (with the 3D controller), Virtua Fighter 2, and Shining the Holy Ark. My only regret is selling some other games I loved, namely Virtual On and Panzer Dragoon Saga (sold for £15, what was I thinking?!)

 

What would be the best way to hook it up to a modern tv? I fancy getting it out again.

 

 

 

Don't. Get a CRT. Seriously. 

Loads of Saturn games switch constantly from 240p to 480i making them almost unplayable using a scaler like the OSSC or Framemeister. 

So you can either use a crap scaler, or your TV's scaler which will probably attempt to de-interlace constantly and add multiple frames of lag, or use a fancy scaler that needs time to switch video processing modes. 

 

Saturn needs a CRT. 

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3 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

I had a PAL Saturn which I bought around 1996, because Nintendo's new machine was ages off and there was no way that Sony thing was going to be anything more than an interactive CD throw-away....

 

I've gotten into the Japanese side of Saturn related things or recent and have two Jap Saturns and quite a few of the classic games. You can get sealed copies of common stuff really easily for £10-£15!

 

 

Don't. Get a CRT. Seriously. 

Loads of Saturn games switch constantly from 240p to 480i making them almost unplayable using a scaler like the OSSC or Framemeister. 

So you can either use a crap scaler, or your TV's scaler which will probably attempt to de-interlace constantly and add multiple frames of lag, or use a fancy scaler that needs time to switch video processing modes. 

 

Saturn needs a CRT. 

 

I've got a 20" Sony in the shed. It's a fucker to move but I guess I'll have to :D

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I was a bit of a Sega nut as a kid, so chose a Saturn at the time over a PlayStation, and I've never really regretted that decision. Most of the PlayStation games I really wanted came to the Saturn anyway (albeit usually with slightly inferior ports, such as Wipeout, Wipeout 2097 and Resident Evil). It's probably the console I have the fondest memories of and I still have mine at home for when I occasionally want a play. I even bought an Action Replay to allow me to play stuff from any region and modded it with a 50Hz/60Hz switch and chip to allow me to play CD+Rs on it (the next best thing to having a Saturn Everdrive I guess).

 

It's just a shame I no longer have a CRT for my light gun games... I'm one of the few that actually really liked the port of House Of The Dead (I mean, it's janky as all fuck and looks terrible, but the actual game is pretty solid).

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The Saturn was and still is a totally brilliant console. Despite the messy hardware and the commonly held belief that "it couldn't do 3D" it was my system of choice during that generation.

 

I bought mine purely for Daytona USA and despite the short comings it was a brilliant, brilliant conversion and arguably the best home port until the eventual digital releases in recent years. Just something about the handling was so right.

 

The thing with the Saturn was there were so many brilliant games, especially if you leant heavily into imports from Japan. I suspect the reason it was relatively so much more successful in Japan than elsewhere was that they embraced the 2D strengths rather than thinking anything not 3D was "old" Helped that Virtua Fighter was a phenomenon there of course.

 

so many great gaming moments from swooping over the oceans in Panzer Dragoon to gliding through the shady forests taking on the boss and then exploring the cool, dank, water laden caves in the sequel, Sega Rally just being one of the ultimate home conversions of all time, relentlessly causing you to ply Time Attack to shave just one more hundredth of a second off your best time - truly you became one with the car in that game and knew every nuance of the track and the gear shifts

 

10 player Bomberman was also a truly seminal gaming moment. Exhumed inspired level design. The disappointment of Daytona CCE (handling was off), the magnificence of Gun Griffon, hitting enemies so hard in Fighting Vioers that their armour came off or they catapulted out of the ring (PepsiMan!)

 

Athlete Kings/Decathlete being just brilliant. The RPG's! Shining Wisdom, Shining the Holy Ark, Story of Thor 2 and Mystaria just for starters. Not to mention Panzer Dragoon Saga! Stuff like Shining Force 3 and Dragon Force. Plying through all the parallels of Dark Saviour

 

Playing hours of Sega Worldwide Soccer 97 (for a while the best football game of its generation) and having to ban the long shot/lob from the halfway line goalie parry to striker inevitable goal from 2 player games. Marvelling at the astonishing commentary in World League Soccer.

 

Discovering more obscure classics like Bulk Slash, Necronomicon Digital Pinball, Savaki and others. Playing stuff like D-Xhird purely for the stage graphics.

 

 The amazing music of Touring Car (sampling Martin Luthor King's "I've been up the Mountain" speech!). The even more amazing music of Sonic R (T J Davis and Richard Jacques for the win)

 

Children of the Atom! The Alpha/Zero ports, the SNK ports, Darkstalkers, X-Men vs Streetfighter with practically zero load times, Marvel vs Streetfighter. Cyber boys. The amazing port of Capcom's D&D games. Groove On Fight, Astra Superstars and more

 

The shooters! Man the shooters - so many classics from the obvious like RSG to the more obscure like The Game Paradise. The retro ports like Outrun, Space Harrier, Powerdrift, Galaxy Force, Salamander Pack, ThunderForce Gold 1 & 2, the MsX Collection, Mickey & Donald. Daisenkusen, Pu Ri Lu Ra and others. Capcom Generations. Sonic Jam with it's magical glimpse at a 3D Sonic and so much bonus material.

 

Virtua Cop, Virtua Cop 2 and House of the Dead. Amazing conversions (despite the obvious roughness of the last one) and brilliantly playable even now.

 

The late, late releases (Final Fight Revenge, Magical Knight RayEarth)

 

the "impossible" double whammy of Duke Nukem and Quake. As students playing Death Tanks Zwei way, way too much (Hey kids it's a blitz round!)

 

The phenomenal port of Dead or Alive!

 

The amazing gameplay of Guardian Heroes. The frustration at what should have been an amazing port of Symphony of the Night was so badly handled 

 

and then there was NiGHTS. Such a misunderstood game. I myself didn't get it initially. Then I played Christmas NiGHTS (one of the best giveaways ever) and it clicked. Suddenly it all made sense and you were transported to a digital dreamscape. An amazing ethereal game.

 

Speaking of which the Official Magazine. Brilliantly written and fostered a "us against the world" One issue didn't even review a PAL game as none were released by the quality never slipped.

 

was the system perfect - of course not - it was deeply flawed and must have been a nightmare to code for. However despite this it delivered so many gems that criminally few people got to play. 

 

I had mine (and still have it) as a student and my flat mates had the PlayStation and N64 so we had the best of all worlds. It's telling that Death Tanks Zwei was probably our most played multiplayer game and the Time Attack on Sega Rally probably the most played single player experience in the house.

 

in some ways its lack of presence and success made the occasional gems feel all the more special. The PlayStation shelves were flooded every week with new titles, the monthly demo disk would offer up to 10 playable demos. The Saturn might get one or two releases and the demo disks were infrequent at best. However it gave the games a chamce

to breathe - they weren't suffocated by the volume of releases.

 

Ironically some of the top tier games have aged arguably better than their competitors of the era and due to the strength of the 2D stuff this has aged even more gracefully. 

 

A loveable underdog that succeeded despite all of all of its flaws would probably be fair. It is interesting to speculate how successful it might have been if it's only competition had been the N64 (I.e. Cartridge based system released several years later) 

 

A special shout out to the second revision of control pad (the Japanese design) truly one of the greatest controllers to grace any system.

 

one of my favourite systems and libraries of all time (so glad I got all the games I wanted for the system back in the day and held onto them  as looking at the prices now is terrifying) and so much more to say but this stream of consciousness will have to do for now

 

Game Over Yeah!

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3 hours ago, Purin said:

 

I've got a 20" Sony in the shed. It's a fucker to move but I guess I'll have to :D

 

I heartly recommend. And even though the UK got shafted with 50Hz, at least we have an abundance of RGB capable 60 Hz consumer CRT's! 

It'll look awesome! 

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One of my favourite RPGs from that era was Shining Wisdom. I seem to recall it got fairly poor reviews as it was regarded as a dated Zelda clone, but I have fond memories of completing it while being off school with the flu, wrapped up in a blanket with a bottle of Lucozade for company. It’s pretty pricy these days so I don’t think I’ll be picking it up again sadly.

 

Another game I loved but no longer own is Soukyugurentai... quite possibly my favourite vertical shooter of all time. I have the PlayStation version on my PS Classic, but it’s not a patch on the Saturn version as it’s missing some nice graphical effects. 

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8 minutes ago, Jei said:

Shameless plug but I still have a few jap Saturn’s for sale people ;)

 

I’m very tempted by a white one, but the wife would kill me! 

 

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Definitely love the Saturn. Can't remember why we originally got one, but spent countless amazing hours with the likes of Guardian Heroes, Sonic R, Virtua Cop 1 & 2, Saturn Bomberman, Fighters Megamix and, of course, the amazing Daytona. Probably my favourite gem from the system from back then was Steep Slope Sliders - off-beat and more 'realistic' than the ridiculousness that Cool Boarders had become.

 

We ended up going pretty all-in on it - we had I think 8 pads in the end, mostly the clear Japanese ones, a couple of multi-taps, a couple of light guns and so forth. The crowning moment, perhaps, was when I spent around £60 on Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter on import for my brother one Christmas, only to realise we would need to mod our Saturn for it to work. So off it went to CeX, and once it arrived back we discovered it was truly worth it - absolutely amazing having such an arcade-perfect game in the comfort of our own home, the PSX version completely paled in comparison.

 

Still have that same modded Saturn, and it's still going, although it does tend to overheat (?) and stop loading games at some point. We did own some of the now-rarer stuff such as Shining Force 3, which unfortunately mostly got traded away, though I still do have a copy of Burning Rangers (go!)

 

Great system, shame it was such a challenge to develop for.

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Steep Slope Sliders was ace. 3, 2, 1, Now. The controls just felt right and you got a definite feeling of being on snow (or ice) maybe due to the amazing sound? The Asteroid half pipe was all sorts of amazing and I played Steep Slope Shooter far more than it probably merited.

 

Actually that reminds me (for no obvious reason) of getting Princess Crown on import and muddling through purely because of the amazing graphics and animation.

 

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1 hour ago, StoooTube said:

 

I’m very tempted by a white one, but the wife would kill me! 

 

 

I've got the Saturn and the MegaDrive on my roadmap for 2020. I need to secure an AES this year before the prices go up and the condition of the consoles go down.

I should never have sold up in the first place.

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If anyone wants to sell a pal copy of burning rangers and dragon force then do get in touch.

i sold them to someone on here and I now want to play them :lol:

my pvm Of two weeks has just broke and I need cheering up.

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I’ve got a modded Pal Saturn and I have to admit it’s the least played of my systems. There were definitely some great games on the Saturn, but I often feel that either the games themselves were too early in the move to 3D, suffering from the developers still working out how to make 3D work (Burning Rangers, Nights I hate to say aren’t all that good now), were improved by later releases on later systems (Marvel v Capcom, Nightstalkers, Virtua Fighter, Daytona, Guardian Heroes) or were superseded by better games (most of the shoot em ups IMHO were better on the Dreamcast ). 

 

There are some interesting games, like Shinrei Jusatsushi Tarōmaru which either didn’t get updated or re-released and there were fun first person shooters that still kept the simple design approach of Doom (Alien Trilogy, Exhumed, Duke Nukem 3D). It would be interesting to have a list of those sorts of games and it would probably make me return to the Saturn knowing that those games were only available on the Saturn. 

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I loved my Saturn. Though I did trade my Snes with about 15 games in order to get one. Bad move. 

 

Is there a decent way to emulate the Saturn yet? I'd like a retropi type solution ideally. 

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