Ah, the Saturn. It seems just like yesterday when I was having yet another bash through Guardian Heroes. Oh wait, it was yesterday. Yep, I still play my Saturn on a regular basis. I’m one of them guys that used to buy into every first party Sega game and praise it to the high heavens telling everybody about its cult status. Unfortunately the stupid general public – yes I’m pointing at you – didn’t support it enough and it died a painful death. So on this very day, for no reason at all, I’m going to explain why this console is superior to the wagglefest we’re stuck with today.
DIE HARD ARCADE
Creating a good game based on a film is so rare these days. Back in the day they were coming out left, right and centre, hitting you square in the face with their goodness. If somebody described Die Hard Arcade to you as a 3D, side scrolling beat ‘em up with a few quick time events thrown in, it wouldn’t motivate you to get off your fat arse and buy the bloody thing. But with DHA, it just worked.
SHINING FORCE III
Forget about Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem or that other one that everybody talks about, this is the daddy of turn based strategic game play. Not much changed from the previous titles but that’s a good thing. Sega don’t like to mess with the formula. This game didn’t need any tacked on gimmick like a water gun or talking boat. It stuck to it’s guns and delivered yet another compelling story full of charming characters that you actually cared about.
Ten player Bomberman. Enough said. NEXT!
Right, Sega, why!? Why did you release the only sequel to one of my favorite strategy games ever exclusively in Japan? Are we westerners too stupid to “get” it? Ugh, anyway this was another Strategy/RPG game released on the Saturn that distinctively felt like a Sega game. Giving you command of hundreds of troops ranging from your common soldiers to mythical dragons, you get to watch with glee as both army’s mash together in an epic pile up.
I remember when I paid a visit to my friends house and watched him play Guardian Heroes for the first time in awe. I would’ve gladly watched him play for another few hours or days until my stupid brain noticed that co-op play was available. Stupid brain. You’d be mistaken for thinking that this was a mindless, button mashing beat ‘em up. Using the Streets of Rage template, GH was full to the brim with colourful backdrops, contrasting characters, branching story lines, RPG style levelling up and a skeleton brandishing golden armour and a sword that would fit the company of Soul Calibur.
Gentlemen, start your engines. If you decided to cut Daytona with a knife it would bleed arcade. Everything about it reminds me of sharing sweaty joysticks with fellow sweaty nerds at the local arcade. Pleasant memories. Even though it was shockingly hard to get first place on the oval track, it didn’t lack in the fun department.
PANZER DRAGOON SAGA
If you mention the Saturn to any fan, you’ll find yourself instantly deafened by their loud screeches about how good Panzer Dragoon Saga was. He’s (never a she, she people don’t like the Saturn) right though. It’s a classic that should be inducted into the Oxford English dictionary under the word biblical. The on-rails shooter genre never really grabs my attention for long enough nor does it excite me but this game is an exception. Rez says thank you.
What the? Have I just glued two bricks together and repeatedly bashed them against my skull until I’m so much like a vegetable, I become obsessed with Johnny Depp and listen to R’nB music? No I’ve not turned into a moron, I actually think this game is fun. Nothing more. Maybe I was fooled into liking it because it has the Sonic brand slapped onto it before the series turned sour. Vocal soundtrack, bad, interesting track layouts and gorgeous visuals, good.
AND FINALLY… SEGATA SANSHIRO
One of the most insane yet hilarious characters to be ever created on Gods green Earth. For anybody unlucky enough not to know what I’m talking about, Segata was used to advertise the Saturn in Japan. How does he promote the console? By harshly punishing anybody who doesn’t own one like some sort of evil dictator. From throwing you until you explode to his eventual death by jumping onto a rocket aimed at Sega headquarters and deflecting it into outer space, it was a stroke, nay, a punch to the face of genius.