Retro Video Gamer

Retro Console Gaming => Sega Chat => Topic started by: zapiy on August 31, 2015, 17:10:28 PM

Title: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on August 31, 2015, 17:10:28 PM
Continuing my theme of threads for underappreciated games, this one is for the Sega Saturn

I will start with Astal

http://youtu.be/gD5XaRMShKo (http://youtu.be/gD5XaRMShKo)

There must be loads of games that never get appreciated like they should so whats yours.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 03, 2015, 21:28:23 PM
The Saturn has to be the no. 1 console for this, because so many great games were JP only.  The problem is that almost none of them have been translated.  I'll just go with a couple of picks that are playable without a translation that don't normally make hidden gems lists for this console.

Astra Superstars - One of the best fighting games out there, it has fun characters that are all parodies of characters in other games.  It's beautiful to look at and has a great OST, too.

Super Tempo - Sequel to the Genesis platformer, it's JP only but playable.  It has a great OST and really beautiful sprites, it really shows off the 2D capability of the Saturn.

Street Fighter Zero 3 - I actually prefer the Saturn port of this one to the Dreamcast version, it's my favorite port of the Zero/Alpha games.

Cyber Speedway - A really underrated racer that feels like an F-Zero rip off, it has a great OST. 
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on September 03, 2015, 23:23:23 PM
I know very little about the Saturn.  I don't recall even seeing anything about it when it was launched (probably because I was too busy with post-graduate training at the time).  I do see games for it at retro shops but not too often.  Astal looks very interesting. 
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 03, 2015, 23:31:50 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
I know very little about the Saturn.  I don't recall even seeing anything about it when it was launched (probably because I was too busy with post-graduate training at the time).
Talking about this is a great way to start fights between Sega fans, but I wanted to pick up on this.  I'd say that was equally due to bad marketing on Sega's part as it was your being busy, the launch of that console was completely botched.  Basically, Sega was run as a multi-headed hydra with the Japanese, U.S. and U.K./European offices all being on different pages.  The MD, CD add on and 32x were all not particularly successful in Japan and the 32x bombed in the U.S. as well.  Sega pushed up the launch of the console, which meant it had few games for the first six months and little advertising.  Killing the 32x so early with shelves full of them angered U.S. retailers also, many of whom stopped selling Sega consoles altogether.

Here's a video that goes in depth:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqx9Liby_uU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqx9Liby_uU)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on September 04, 2015, 00:15:06 AM
Hmm, very interesting.  Talk about a FUBAR'd launch!  I can honestly say that I do not remember ever watching any of those weird commercials either.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on September 05, 2015, 14:59:41 PM
Ben is probably correct that the Saturn had sooo many great Jap only releases its a shame most of us will never get to play them.. Having said that so of those games are also very weird lol.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on September 05, 2015, 15:04:29 PM
I guess there is no way to boot the system to play those games in non-Japanese consoles.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on September 05, 2015, 15:07:30 PM
No booting that I am aware of fella, obviously there is a bios hack but you need to open the system for that.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on September 05, 2015, 15:11:43 PM
Since it has a CD drive, I was thinking that maybe something like what is done with the Dreamcast. 
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on September 05, 2015, 15:13:17 PM
Be interested to see if that's the case myself. I remember searching for info on something like that a while back and could find nothing.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 05, 2015, 17:48:56 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
I guess there is no way to boot the system to play those games in non-Japanese consoles.
Actually, there is a really cheap and easy solution as long as you own the actual games (not CD-Rs like with the Dreamcast).  The Action Replay 4M Plus will make your console region free and let it boot JP games.  There are a couple of games that don't play well with it, Panzer Dragon Saga being one, but if you google there are Action Replay codes that will make them play nicely with it.  It works as a memory card, 4M expansion cart for games that use one, cheat device and lets your console boot JP region games.  Here's the one you want: http://www.amazon.com/Action-Replay-4M- ... XTYS0WWQ23 (http://www.amazon.com/Action-Replay-4M-Plus-enhancement-sega/dp/B008FPMBNG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441471675&sr=8-1&keywords=action+replay+plus&pebp=1441471679138&perid=1AFPWP64XQXTYS0WWQ23)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on September 05, 2015, 17:54:32 PM
Ah, cool.  Figured there'd be a solution.  ;)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on September 06, 2015, 10:10:39 AM
Yeah, how did i forget considering i started this thread here lol http://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/http:/ ... ic.php?t=3 (http://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/http://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Isgoed on September 06, 2015, 13:40:06 PM
That Astal game looks beautiful!

Nicely drawn 2d-games with great music never get old imo.

Unfortunately I've never owned a Sega Saturn and probably never will, as I have to many systems already which includes PS1 that also has very nice 2D-games.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 06, 2015, 18:39:06 PM
The thing about the Saturn, isgoed, is that it is really a console for the 2D enthusiast.  I tried to pick a mix of 2D/3D with those four games, but the truth is that 2D platformers, shmups and fighters is where this console shines.  It is right up there with the AES/MVS/Neo Geo CD in that regard.  I don't know that it's worth investing in unless you are a diehard fan of those genres, or have a good enough grasp of Japanese to play the JRPG library as well.  It also has a decent number of exclusive racers if you're a fan of those, Manx TT Superbike is another underrated arcade port.

I dug around on Youtube, I wanted to post a couple of videos from those games:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Cr8HP9EnQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Cr8HP9EnQ)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWyBa7x1fjU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWyBa7x1fjU)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg-mRgsYTIo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg-mRgsYTIo)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Isgoed on September 08, 2015, 20:24:48 PM
Haha, no my Japanese isn't that good!

Manx TT also looks good yes, it seems to be like a typical Sega game with bright arcade-like graphics.
I've also looked at the prices of Sega Saturns, and they seem to be pricey, but I will keep it in mind though.

I also have a Dreamcast, so that will be my substitute for a Saturn atm :)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Greyfox on September 08, 2015, 20:31:05 PM
Great to read about these games, as with [member=5476]Saturn[/member] 's post on the Sega Saturn emulator, this thread will sort the trash from the gold. So having a look through shortly, thanks forthat :113:
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 08, 2015, 22:55:40 PM
I have posted some lists in the past for people getting into the Saturn, I thought I'd put them in spoilers here so they're all in one place and organized.

Japanese games that are playable in English:
Spoiler: show


Lists by genre I made awhile back:
Spoiler: show


A top value list of good, but cheap games for the Saturn beginner:
Spoiler: show

After Burner II - Nearly arcade perfect.
Sky Target - A 3D version of After Burner.
Alien Trilogy - Fun shooter and nice homage if you're a fan of the films.
X-Men - Children of the Atom - Different enough from X-Men vs. Street Fighter to be worth a purchase.
Space Harrier - Another arcade perfect port, just get the JP version for the cheaper price.
Sonic 3D Blast - I think in hindsight, this was a solid game, just not a traditional "Sonic" game.
Pandemonium - Underrated platformer.
Last Bronx - Excellent weapon fighter.
The Horde - Notorious for the Kirk Cameron scenes, it's actually not a terrible game.
Clockwork Knight - Another underrated platformer.
Earthworm Jim 2 - My favorite version of this one.
Torico/Lunacy - Underrated Puzzle/FMV game by Atlus.
Manx TT Superbike - Underrated arcade racer.
Mr. Bones - Worth playing for the Montrose soundtrack alone.
Sega Touring Car Championship - Very underrated racer.
Skeleton Warriors - Based on the cartoon, similar to Shinobi.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo - Still my favorite version of this one.
WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game - Actually an underrated fighter (yes, it's a fighter) based on the WWF.
Soviet Strike - Excellent helicopter shooter.
Bug! - Underrated Platformer.
Bug Too! - Another underrated platformer.
Cyber Speedway - Underrated racer with a great soundtrack.


Metal Jesus has done some good videos, too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7_OrMcBEe4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7_OrMcBEe4)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFeqlbn73dI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFeqlbn73dI)

EDIT:  One final note needs to be mentioned.  Princess Crown is really only playable if you use a GameFAQs guide, but it is easily playable with one.  The dialogue from the game has even been translated, the fact that it's so difficult to dump text from a Saturn game is probably why it still hasn't been translated as an iso.  Here's a link to the best translation + walkthrough.  http://web.archive.org/web/200803041714 ... ation.html (http://web.archive.org/web/20080304171404/http://www.andriasang.com/princesscrown/pcrown/translation.html)

I also updated those lists from the Saturn thread, I added Silhouette Mirage to the imports and Sky Target to the value games.  If you're going to bookmark any of these pages for reference, this thread is the one to go with.  I also went back through and noted games that had PAL releases, if any UK posters catch some more i missed I'd appreciate it.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Isgoed on September 09, 2015, 19:21:45 PM
Very informational post, Ben :113:
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 09, 2015, 20:06:51 PM
Thanks Isgoed, hopefully more people will check out the Saturn as info on these games has spread.  Since I made that import list, most of the games have had videos posted on Youtube and are easy to research.  For a long time, you just had to own and play those games to even know what they were.  Just to give you an example, CNet once wrote a ridiculous article naming it the worst console of all time - http://www.cnet.com/news/why-the-saturn ... -all-time/ (http://www.cnet.com/news/why-the-saturn-was-the-worst-major-console-of-all-time/)

A few more things to note, that import list and value list are both on topic.  You might wonder why I left off the majority of SNK and Capcom games as playable imports, that's because those aren't really under-appreciated at all, they normally take the top import/playable in English lists for the Saturn.  That's not an exhaustive list of playable imports, just a list of ones you don't normally see mentioned, and most of the value games fall into that also.  I also corrected one other thing, I listed D&D Collection as oppposed to Tower Of Doom.  When I made the list originally, I copied + pasted together from a few different shorter lists I'd made in the past and one of them referred to that game specifically, not the whole disc.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on September 11, 2015, 00:30:18 AM
Great info Ben, the Saturn really is a gem and should get some more love.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: onthinice on September 11, 2015, 02:48:27 AM
I remember the Saturn did not fly with Sega sports fans as Madden Football kept getting pushed back. When Madden did arrive it was actually a very solid game but to little to late.

I always wanted to play Lunar for the Saturn. I enjoyed the Sega CD version. Not sure it was ever released outside of Japan for the Saturn.

I have played the Horde on the 3DO and it is a good game worth checking out for the Saturn.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ben on September 11, 2015, 06:16:09 AM
Thanks zapiy, I think history is slowly coming back around on its side much more now, as gamers appreciate 2D again since the 3D craze of the 32 bit era has worn off. 

onthinice, you are correct about Lunar.  The best version of Lunar is the MPEG Edition for the Saturn that uses the MPEG card add on, but it's one of the great JRPGs that never saw U.S. or UK release unfortunately.  Check out how good the opening looks with that card:
Spoiler: show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE33yYkKui8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE33yYkKui8)


One thing I forgot to point out for any U.S. gamers, you want to buy the PAL version of Torico as a value game, NOT the U.S. version as a value game.  The U.S. version is one of the more expensive games and will run you $200 or so, but the Pal and JP versions are very cheap.  It was called Lunacy in the U.S. and Torico in other markets, that's why I listed both names.

I was digging around Youtube and saw that Classic Game Room has done some great reviews for many of the imports I listed, this one for Cyberbots in particular is well done:
Spoiler: show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKq51DDMu6g (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKq51DDMu6g)


I also remembered one more shmup that I should have had on the import list, Steam Hearts.  It makes top shmup lists for the TG16 a lot of the time, but the Saturn port is far superior to it.  Here's a good video on that:
Spoiler: show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_W1CIIRA8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_W1CIIRA8)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on September 20, 2015, 21:10:18 PM
Some cracking games, they really are..

Been thinking of getting my Saturn out again. :113:
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: davyk on March 30, 2016, 20:34:27 PM
For puzzle game fans, Baku Baku has to be the most under-rated game in the genre.

It doesn't actually look like much and it appears to be just a variant on Puzzle Fighter (you match food types to animals instead of coloured gems). It still looks great and has aged rather well thanks its use of well designed and subtly used 3D but more importantly than that there is just something deep within the game code that makes it a brilliant 2 player versus game. It somehow manages to be far more entertaining than it should be. Matches can swing back and forth yet don't last too long - probably thanks to how it doles out food and animal tokens to players (yet it is completely fair - both players get the same sequence dealt to them). The ratio of food to animal symbols can be tweaked and an extra animal and food can be added but just the default settings provide a brilliantly entertaining game.

It was apparently an arcade game and the Saturn port lets you choose between the jolly original soundtrack or an excellent console version arrangement.

It got an optimised PAL release (it runs full screen) though for some reason a versus league mode which tracks several players in a series of versus matches (saved to the backup memory if desired) remains untranslated and hidden - though it can easily be unlocked with a key sequence, is easy to use even with the JPN menus and supports the Western alphabet for name entry (see gamefaqs on how to unlock it).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMzVGK0V5Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMzVGK0V5Y)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on March 30, 2016, 22:43:08 PM
That looks like a fun puzzle game.  Quite an interesting take on the "Tetris" concept while adding some unique gameplay.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on April 22, 2016, 00:30:58 AM
Any mention of Galactic Attack?
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: davyk on April 23, 2016, 11:23:13 AM
Quote from: "zapiy"
Any mention of Galactic Attack?

No. For the very simple reason that I didn't think it was under appreciated.

It is a masterpiece of level design and represents the pinnacle of old school shmups (i.e. pre bullet hell). It was ranked No.8 in the all time best games ever poll for 2015-16 at shmups.com

http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56559 (http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56559)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on April 24, 2016, 06:28:41 AM
Good point but I still feel its a shmup that gets lets discussion or mentions than many of its counter parts.. In the Shmup community its loved but outside that it appears underappreciated to me at least.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: davyk on April 24, 2016, 10:50:01 AM
Fair enough. I stumbled upon it by accident when I first got a Saturn. Had never heard of Galactic Attack but then the naming mess that game has may have something to do with it.

Once I got a Japanese Saturn I just had to get the JPN version of it. (Don't like using the AR unless I have to). Playing it in TATE mode is amazing - well worth the effort of rotating my CRT!
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on April 26, 2016, 17:57:27 PM
I have to agree, the name is a proper mistake for such a great game..
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ryuhi on May 18, 2018, 23:46:02 PM
I had the chance to play Final fight revenge on a retron 5. Half decent game. Shame it did not get out of Japan though. it came out late in the saturns life so maybe if it was on a different console it would have done better.
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: TrekMD on May 18, 2018, 23:58:34 PM
Yeah, there are many games that were never exported from Japan that are quite good. 
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Shadowrunner on May 19, 2018, 16:14:39 PM
I had the chance to play Final fight revenge on a retron 5. Half decent game. Shame it did not get out of Japan though. it came out late in the saturns life so maybe if it was on a different console it would have done better.

Hold up, Sega Saturn games on a Retron 5? How does that work?
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Ryuhi on May 21, 2018, 08:27:10 AM
Sorry got a bit mixed up there. His Windows computer and retron are connected to the same TV. He just used an emulator on his windows. Sorry feel like a bit of an eejit now :/
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Shadowrunner on May 21, 2018, 15:31:20 PM
Lol Don't worry about it. I was thinking maybe the Retron 5 did more than I thought it did!
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: davyk on October 28, 2019, 11:33:16 AM
Bumpity Bump.

Saturn got a truly excellent port of Athlete Kings (aka Decathlete in JP)

It's a button basher in the tradition of Konami's Track & Field but it's got 10 events with a Decathlon mode and arcade mode (it was a Sega arcade release too). It got a follow up on Dreamcast and PS2 but the Saturn version is the best. Superb in 2 player mode. There's a sequel called Winter Heat which supports up to 4 players.

Here's me doing a playthrough of Decathlon mode.  The character I pick is a tribute to Daley Thompson; double Olympic champion.  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNc3ANytipA
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: davyk on October 28, 2019, 11:36:08 AM


And here's a video of me playing the JP version with the JP-exclusive hidden character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAQVwXzjko4
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: Shadowrunner on October 29, 2019, 03:26:20 AM
I got the Japanese version a little while ago but I haven't tried it yet. Looks like I should. :)
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: zapiy on October 29, 2019, 21:11:06 PM
Great shout, I remember playing this a lot when I first picked it up.

Not sure the 3D graphics have stood the test of time though??
Title: Re: Underappreciated Sega Saturn Games
Post by: yuichka on December 27, 2019, 13:17:17 PM
Princess Crown of course. It's one of the best hidden gem that I've seen on saturn. I fell in love this game by first impression. It's such beauty, interesting, cute and superior stylish that I tried to play it in JAP used a video guide... Well, it wasn't last so long just hopelessness.
I would pay full price for Eng remaster for PS4/PS3. Unfortunately PSP ver. didn't translated too, fans are still working on it and all the hopes on ones. Happiness that we have "spiritual heirs" of Princess Crown like Dragon's Crown or Odin Sphere. Nowadays this kind of games almost aren't produce. So glory for the Atlus!