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NSFW Games NeoGAF Official SEGA SATURN Community

thiagosimoes

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Gameplay is a bit more debatable, but purely in terms of visuals, it stomps all over FIFA and every other Saturn soccer title save Go Go Goal. But that's a topic for a future post.

I completely agree. WLS98 is fantastic, no question about it. J. League Pro Soccer Club Wo Tsukurou! 2 also looks great, but it's not a football simulation game, unfortunately.
 
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And...here...we...go...

Silicon Dreams' World League Soccer 98, a PAL region exclusive that was published on May 1998 on PC, Sony Playstation and, of course, Sega Saturn, the platform for which this videogame was made. It's absolutely breathtaking, gorgeous, adorable in all the ways you could ever want. Is this the best soccer title on the console? Quite possibly, although Worldwide Soccer 98, World Cup France 98, J-League Striker, Go Go Goal and FIFA 98 would kindly disagree. But for sheer spectacle and technical performance, there is no question who holds the crown. It's WLS98 all the way.

Sega Saturn Magazine UK were easily the biggest fans, writing several preview articles and publishing a rave 94% review in their June 1998 issue. I couldn't find any mention of this title in American videogame magazines, which is understandable as Saturn was dead and buried by that point in time, and all attention was focused on Playstation, Nintendo 64 and the upcoming Sega Dreamcast. I doubt any of them even knew this one existed. Such was the fate of several Saturn PAL exclusives.

What else is there to say? Everybody should own a copy of this game. Copies are becoming increasingly rare, so be patient and expect to spend $60. Tracking down a backup copy is probably your best option for now.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
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545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com














T&E Soft continues their series of golf simulations with The Masters. If you're a fan of Pebble Beach Golf Links, well, here's another course to play. This videogame features the same graphics engine, audio effects and gameplay elements. Even the menus are identical, which is useful for those of you who don't read Japanese. There is one new golfer and caddy, and Craig "The Walrus" Stadler is not present, but beyond that, it's the exact same trip. And that can only be a good thing.

This one is fairly easy to pick up. I found my copy on Ebay for seven dollars, which is always great.
 

cireza

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And...here...we...go...

Silicon Dreams' World League Soccer 98, a PAL region exclusive that was published on May 1998 on PC, Sony Playstation and, of course, Sega Saturn, the platform for which this videogame was made. It's absolutely breathtaking, gorgeous, adorable in all the ways you could ever want. Is this the best soccer title on the console? Quite possibly, although Worldwide Soccer 98, World Cup France 98, J-League Striker, Go Go Goal and FIFA 98 would kindly disagree. But for sheer spectacle and technical performance, there is no question who holds the crown. It's WLS98 all the way.

Sega Saturn Magazine UK were easily the biggest fans, writing several preview articles and publishing a rave 94% review in their June 1998 issue. I couldn't find any mention of this title in American videogame magazines, which is understandable as Saturn was dead and buried by that point in time, and all attention was focused on Playstation, Nintendo 64 and the upcoming Sega Dreamcast. I doubt any of them even knew this one existed. Such was the fate of several Saturn PAL exclusives.

What else is there to say? Everybody should own a copy of this game. Copies are becoming increasingly rare, so be patient and expect to spend $60. Tracking down a backup copy is probably your best option for now.
I used to own this game and thought it was the best soccer game on the console. It looked really good and played well.
 
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thiagosimoes

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In my quest for all things Tactics Ogre related, I found a review for the Saturn version by German magazine Next Level. It's the only non-Japanese review I could find so far.

Original text: In Japan erschien die Fortsetzung des Super-Nintendo-Erfolgs Ogre Battle bereits im vergangenen Jahr. Bezaubernde Grafik, eine tiefgründige Storylind und hohe Anforderungen an die taktischen Fähigkeiten des Spielers machten das Spiel in Nippon zu einem grossen Erfolg. In Tactics Ogre gibt es Einheiten der verschiedensten Rassen, für Abwechslung diesbezüglich ist mehr als gesorgt. Um aus Schlachten siegreich hervozugehen, ist es sehr wichtig, stets über die Eigenschaften und Zustände aller Einheiten informiert zu sein. Zudem ist die sinnvolle Ausnutzung der topografischen Verhältnisse auf den Kampfschauplätzen von grösster Wichtigkeit. Ein Release in den Vereinigten Staaten oder gar hierzulande ist nicht geplant. Interessierte Saturn-User müssen daher mit der japanischen Import-Fassung Vorlieb nehmen. Nach einer gewissen Einspielzeit stellen die umfangreichen Menüs keine grössere Schwierigkeit mehr dar.

Google translated version: In Japan, the sequel to the Super Nintendo success Ogre Battle appeared last year. Enchanting graphics, a profound storyline and high demands on the tactical skills of the player made the game in Nippon a great success. In Tactics Ogre there are units of different races, there is more than enough variety in this regard. In order to emerge victorious from battles, it is very important to always be informed about the properties and conditions of all units. In addition, the sensible use of the topographical conditions on the battlefields is of the greatest importance. A release in the United States or in Germany is not planned. Interested Saturn users must therefore be content with the Japanese import version. After a certain break-in period, the extensive menus are no longer a major problem.



 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
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www.dtm-arts.com












A few new iPhone Xr photos of Tecmo's J-League Go Go Goal running on Sega Saturn. This remains one of the great unsung showpiece games for the system, offering 480 resolution and 60 frames per second, with fully polygon players and stadiums with VDP2 planes for the ground. It looks absolutely astonishing in action, and I honestly don't know how Tecmo pulled this off. This is one of those videogames where you let the computer play itself just so you can sit back and watch.

Of course, this isn't a perfect soccer game by any stretch. The character models are very large but have an oddly angular shape to them. Their shorts also don't seem to fit right--doesn't it look like the players are wearing diapers? The animation is fluid and smooth, but not motion captured, and if you're accustomed to playing FIFA 98, you'll notice an immediate difference.

In truth, Go Go Goal is an old-school arcade soccer game, based on pure speed and adrenaline and simplicity above all else. Your offensive moves are limited to sprints, passes, lobs and shots on goal, along with bicycle kicks, headers and an alley-oop where they kick the ball from behind over their head. Defensive moves are limited to stomp tacking and slides, the latter often resulting in penalties. The speed of this game encourages brutal attacks as often as possible, and there are even moments where you can knock down goalies or your own players. You can set formations to the X-Y-Z buttons for changes on the fly, and the analog 3D Controller is supported, which is always great to see.

The computer opponents, as you probably know, are absolutely brutal and relentless, and you have to fight like mad not to be completely overrun within moments. In that sense, this videogame is the polar opposite of FIFA 98, where this time it's you getting dunked with five goals in a row. Fortunately, with patience and practice, you'll learn how to set up cross shots and defeat the stubbornly tough goalies.

Gameplay modes are limited to exhibition match and season mode, all based on Japan's J-League. There is no shootout mode, practice drills or player edits. Multiplayer is probably where most of the fun lies, offering up to four players with a variety of options,

This really should have been an arcade game. I can totally see this appearing on the ST-V Titan board. It's perfect for short bursts and casual get-togethers with friends, especially when you want to show off your Sega Saturn. I do wish there was more depth of gameplay and features, and you can only imagine what could be if EA was given this graphics engine to build a FIFA title from scratch.

Physical copies are becoming rare, but prices are still hovering in the $20 range. You really ought to pick up a copy while you still can, before the supply dries up and prices shoot through the moon. I've boasted about Go Go Goal a couple times in the past, but it bears repeating: this is one of the definitive "show off" games for your Saturn. If you want to silence the "Can't Doo Three Critics," then here is your Exhibit A.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
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545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com
















Here are photos of the CD case and booklet for T&E Soft's golf simulation The Masters on Sega Saturn. If you enjoyed Pebble Beach Golf Links, then you already know what to expect. This is the exact same thing, only with a change of location, the addition of a new golfer and caddy, and the omission of Craig "The Walrus" Stadler.

This is a very cheap videogame to pick up and one that sports fans will enjoy. If you're a fan of T&E Soft, this is a definite must-own, as they really were on a tear during Generation Five. I really do miss these guys. This industry and its endless obsession with technology has buried so many great software studios and gifted artists. Do we really need 8K resolution and 10-million polygon models for a golf sim? Aren't these digitized players just as good? Don't you feel the slightest twinge of nostalgia for these pixelated trees and crowds? C'mon, be honest. You definitely miss the memorable elevator music.

In any case, here's a look at the manual, which is in color and includes full descriptions of all the gameplay elements. Why the Western manuals couldn't be this nice and useful remains a mystery for the ages.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com










Two new additions to my Sega Saturn library arrived today. The first is Mobile Suit Gundam, released in 1995 by Bandai. This is a side-scrolling "2.5D" shoot-em-up that recreates scenes and events from the popular TV series. It looks very nice, features pre-rendered CG ala Donkey Kong Country and includes numerous anime FMV scenes. It made for a solid first-wave title for the new system and became a hit in Japan. The game was eventually released on Sega's Saturn Collection ("Satakore") and spawned a sequel that, to my eyes at least, looks and plays nearly identical. There were also a host of Gundam titles on the console, including Strategy-RPGs and an excellent trilogy of first-person action-shooters.

I haven't had time to sit down and play this one. It was well received in its home country, although the gameplay is strictly 16-bit, and probably appeals most to fans of the TV/movie franchise more than anything. Thankfully for collectors, copies are extremely cheap and you should be able to find one for under ten dollars. It's another quality Saturn import that remains under most gamers' radar screens and is definitely worth a look.

Here are a few sloppy photos of the CD cover and booklet. As always, the Japanese manual comes with full color illustrations and artwork that just looks sumptuous. This is probably my number one reason for collecting Japanese Saturn games in the first place. It's just so much fun to look at all the pages. Why Sega of America couldn't be bothered to put in the effort, I don't know. Well, that's not really true. I hold the belief that SoA boss Tom Kalinske wanted nothing to do with Saturn and did everything in his power to passively-agressively kill the console in its crib*, and those cheap, crummy monochrome US manuals are but one example. It's a pity because this manual design would have helped to sell Saturns.

(*Note: I would certainly hope that Kalinske tried to bury the Saturn in 1995, because if he was honestly trying his best, then Heaven Help Us. But nobody could be that grossly incompetent, especially an executive who used to run Mattel and sell Barbies. But that's a long story for another time.)
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com










The second new addition to my Saturn library is Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story I: Blue Terror. This is one that I'm really excited to sit down and play, as it's the first of a trilogy of excellent first-person mech shooters that are packed with exciting battles, excursions into military bases, clashes with giant robots and gigantic explosions, all showcasing the Sega Saturn's 3D (Polygon/VDP2) powers to their fullest.

This first game was released in Japan on September 20, 1996. The second episode, titled Side Story II: Heir to the Blue, was released on December 6, 1996, and the third episode, titled Side Story III: The Condemned, was released on March 7, 1997. A box set featuring the entire trilogy was released on August 29, 1997, under the title The Blue Destiny. Each individual episode can be found easily (expect to pay between eight and twenty dollars), but the complete box set is very rare and frightfully expensive. Expect to spend hundreds for those bragging rights...and, no, you don't really get anything special. In this critic's humble opinion, the separate episode discs look much better and are far more affordable.

Anyway, here is a look at the cover and manual. The CD booklet uses thick cardboard with the manual glued to the inside. It's very sturdy and holds up very nicely. Indeed, I kinda wish CDs followed this packaging design instead of those cheap, flimsy plastic cases. But that would have meant spending more than fifty cents on packaging, which would have meant the company execs wouldn't have been able to afford that extra yacht for their trophy wives and girlfriends on the side. This concludes today's episode of "Why We Can't Have Nice Things."

In any case, take a look at these terrific color illustrations and page designs. Everything just pops off the page and you feel genuine excitement to play. The cover illustration is excellent and all three feature similar yet different artwork. Note how the extra horizontal space allows the illustration to shine while the gold Sega Saturn logo sits to the side, where the plastic CD hinge would normally go. And can we also have a round of applause for the Japanese Sega Saturn logo? It looks magnificent. The US balloon font logo can go jump in a lake.

An obvious question for Western Saturn fans: why wasn't the Gundam Side Story Trilogy brought to the US and PAL territories? Perhaps the Gundam name was still too obscure in the mid-1990s, or perhaps anime (or "Japanimation," as it still being called) was either too niche or too scary for mainstream audiences. It's certainly true that videogames during this time were routinely scrubbed of any overt anime or manga design influences. Just take a look at Strider and Gunstar Heroes on Sega Genesis for two examples.

But then an interesting thought occurred to me, and I'm left wondering why nobody else at the time had thought of it: what about Transformers? The robot on the cover of Side Story I looks a lot like Optimus Prime. Couldn't a US software publisher simply pick up the rights to the game and the Transformers license and then reconfigure the art assets to fit into that universe? The Sega Saturn was still viable (well, sort of) in the second half of 1996. An exclusive trilogy of first-person action games where you play as Optimus Prime and beat up Decepticons? How could that not be a huge hit? Who would turn their noses at that?

Sega Saturn in the West desperately needed hit videogames that could prove the console could compete in the 3D polygon arena against Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64. Gundam Side Story does just that. Regardless of licensing or branding, these could have become popular videogames that turned heads. Yet nothing happened. Either nobody was aware, or nobody cared. Very strange, and very unfortunate for the increasingly frustrated Saturn fans who sat by helplessly as their console was quickly kicked to the sidelines of what was quickly becoming a Sony-Nintendo war.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
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I saw this article while researching reviews for Core's tank shoot-em-up Shellshock, and once again I find myself asking loudly to no one in particular, "Why did Edge/Next Generation have such a grudge against Sega? Did Yu Suzuki drive over the publisher's dog? These guys definitely had an axe to grind when it came to Saturn, particularly in 1995 and 1996. This article in question is a work of pure speculative fiction, proposing that the newly-formed SegaSoft would be used to publish software on Sony Playstation. The headline says it all: "Sega to Publish Games on Playstation," along with the tagline, "Yes, it's true."

Well, no, it was never true. Sega did not publish anything on the original Playstation, and anybody who tried to tell you otherwise at the time was either huffing paint fumes or planning to slip you a Mickey and steal your wallet. The article never cites any sources for such a claim, and indeed quotes officials who state flatly that, no, Sega was not moving to PSX. There is no foundation for anything at all. But it makes for a killer headline, doesn't it? This only goes to show you that "clickbait" was a reality in the pre-internet social media world, and was just as pernicious.

Now why would this magazine write such a thing? What was the point? Were they simply putting their thumbs on the scales for Sony or against Sega? Did they hear some juicy gossip and ran with it before getting the facts straight? Were they trying to create a controversy for its own sake? What's the deal?

It's very interesting to note that during this time, Next Generation is also pushing hard on the idea that Sega should simply exit the hardware market entirely and become a third-party software developer. The question is raised in another article in this same issue, as well as an interview with Sega of America chief Tom Kalinske in a previous issue. Again, there was no basis for such a claim, only the need to push a meme.

Sega Saturn only sold two million hardware units in North America. Do you think articles like this from videogame magazines had an impact on that? Do you think the endless talk of Sega 1) dropping Saturn in favor of a new console, 2) publishing software on rival consoles, and 3) quitting the hardware business completely dampened gamers' interest? How badly did all that negative talk hurt sales? I don't have definitive answers to these questions, but I do know from my own experience that I was feeling very uneasy towards Sega and Saturn in those days. I didn't even buy Nights: Into Dreams when it came out, mostly because Next Generation gave it such a dodgy preview (also in this same issue, funny enough). It wasn't until I found a copy of Christmas Nights on sale at a local Blockbuster in late 1997 for five dollars that I decided to give it a chance, and finally became hooked. I'll bet you hard money I wasn't the only one holding back.

Honestly, I have no idea why Tom Kalinske didn't break somebody's arms over this article. If you pulled this stunt on Jack Tramiel, hoo boy. Have you ever seen an episode of The Sopranos? Yeah, it would be something very much like that.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


I spent a little time yesterday playing through the first mission in Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story 1, and absolutely loved every minute. I remember seeing this videogame at retro store in Uptown Minneapolis, and I've been kicking myself for years for not grabbing it (along with every other Saturn import game on the rack). This is definitely one to show off your Saturn to all your friends.

It's probably best to understand that the Gundam Side Story trilogy is actually one videogame broken into three parts. If you go in with that understanding, then you won't feel upset when you learn Episode 1 contains only five stages. They vary from seek-and-destroy missions to defending buildings from invaders to long and highly challenging boss fights. Everything is presented in a very dramatic, cinematic style that includes in-game cut scenes and a lengthy introduction that sets the pace for the epic. You will come away wanting to tear into the next episode as quickly as possible.

Controls are very simple: movement with the d-pad, shoulder buttons to rotate, press A to jump, hold A to hover for a short time, press B to fire rockets, hold B to fire machine guns. You can dash in any direction with a quick double-tap, and if you follow a forward dash with a quick tab backwards, you will slash your "laser sword" (that totally wasn't stolen from any famous sci-fi movies) for maximum damage. Pressing the C button activates the lock-on, which is identical in every way to the Z-lock on Zelda Ocarina (enough to make me wonder if Nintendo actually stole it from these guys). This enables you to focus your firepower on an enemy mech and circle strafe while dodging incoming attacks. The pacing is blazing fast, pure arcade action with explosions, munitions and fireballs hurling in every direction, never a hint of slowdown or hiccups.

The first mission involves attacking an enemy military base to destroy a number of mechs, but I always find myself so easily distracted by the fun of just smashing everything in sight. Burning barracks, destroying tanks, smashing towers, leaving nothing but a trail of devastation in my wake. I'm always curious to see just how interactive my world is, and I will freely admit that I enjoy any videogame that just lets me break anything I want. This is a bad habit that goes all the way back to Star Raiders on the Atari 8-bit, when I discovered that I could blow up my own star bases and fueling droids just for kicks. Any who wouldn't want to do that? You can defeat the Zylons and get promoted to "Garbage Scow Captain" all in one fell swoop. How awesome is that?

The feel and pacing of this game reminds me a lot of Virtual On. It's very streamlined and immediate and focused. Game Arts' Gungriffon series, which I absolutely adore, carries more weight and heft in its bones, and you feel like you're driving a 50-ton robot through forests and deserts. The robots in Gundam Side Story and light and nimble on their feet, gliding and dashing with the ease of a ballet dancer. It's like eating a lemon meringue pie that glows in your heart for hours, or kissing the girl of your dreams under the moonlight and letting hours melt away.

I have no idea why the Gundam Side Story Trilogy remains so obscure among classic gamers today. Even Saturn diehards hardly know it exists. You can't even find a GameFAQs page for them. The plus side, of course, is that you can buy used copies for very little money. I paid four dollars for this game and another four on shipping. Episode 2 costs around the same and Episode 3 costs around twenty. You need to get in on this while the getting's cheap, before the Ebay sellers get wise and jack the prices through the roof.
 
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nush

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Well, no, it was never true. Sega did not publish anything on the original Playstation, and anybody who tried to tell you otherwise at the time was either huffing paint fumes or planning to slip you a Mickey and steal your wallet. The article never cites any sources for such a claim, and indeed quotes officials who state flatly that, no, Sega was not moving to PSX. There is no foundation for anything at all. But it makes for a killer headline, doesn't it? This only goes to show you that "clickbait" was a reality in the pre-internet social media world, and was just as pernicious.

Interesting... may I direct you to my topic covering an internal document from Sega Europe from 1997. I'd also note that at the time (1996) Next Generation cribbed a lot of it's content from it's British sister magazine Edge.

 
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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
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While updating my Sega Saturn spreadsheet database (currently at 342 games, including 42 retail discs), I came across an RPG that I never remembered playing. It's called Bouken Katsugeki Mono Mono and was published by Shoeisha in Japan in July, 1997. I decided to pop in the disc and play around for a few minutes to see what it was like, and it looks like a lot of fun.

This is a standard RPG with very colorful graphics, extensive voice acting for all dialog and a long introduction with impressive illustrations. It visual design is very 16-bit, but with a greater amount of polish and smoothness on the color palette, and it all looks very nice. There are the usual long-winded dialog scenes, roaming through towns to purchase supplies, weapons and armor, and underground dungeons to explore. The combat scenes are real-time and you tap forwards or backwards, press A to swing your sword and B to block incoming attacks. It takes a moment to get used to things, but quickly becomes second nature.

I haven't explored much further than the first ten minutes, so I cannot comment beyond that. What I've seen so far looks good and I think fans of the genre will have a good time. Everything is in Japanese, however, so that may be a barrier for some, and the highly obscure nature of this title means that a fan translation is highly unlikely. Retail copies are also extremely rare, having only found two on Ebay. Thankfully, the prices are very low, so if anyone is interested in picking up a copy, now's the time. I would have already bought one myself, but I just bought another stack of Saturn games and I need to let my credit card rest.

I could only find a single Youtube video of the intro, so I made sure to snap a few quick photos off my 13-inch Sony Trinitron. This game was reviewed in the August 1997 issue of Sega Saturn Magazine JP, who awarded it a 7-7-5.
 
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Sega did not publish anything on the original Playstation, and anybody who tried to tell you otherwise at the time was either huffing paint fumes or planning to slip you a Mickey and steal your wallet.
They published one game for the Playstation but it was in 2003 and it was some random Deformed Idol game. (I know it's not at the time, but it's pretty interesting to discover they did release something on a Competitors Console)

It's called MiniMoni: Shaker and Tambourine! Dapyon!



Just a random thing you'd like to see. :)
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Sup, my fellow Saturn enthusiasts! I have a slightly amusing story to tell, followed by a couple of questions.

So, I noticed my Saturn (that I originally bought way back in 1997, used; the box still has a giant "$100" writing on it with permanent marker) had started having issues with reading discs. Even though I could've done the job myself (I've done this sort of thing before, and you could find a lens reader on Amazon for like $25), I ended up taking it to my local retro shop because it was gonna be faster and actually overall cheaper. In the process, I thought, why not just get the Saturn region-modded as well. (The kind where you end up with a physical switch that you can flick to change between JPN and US regions). Brought the console home, was all excited. Played a couple of games, OK, lens reader is good. Went to play X-Men vs Street Fighter...

.... sadness. So X-Men vs Street Fighter requires the 4MB cart, and it seems my Saturn's cart reader is not working correctly. Of course, having quick access to the internet, I started reading that: (a) the Saturn's cart slot is notoriously wonky; (b) unlike the lens reader, there's no real permanent replacement/fix for the cart slot. Pins can get bent, original soldering can be prone to wear, dirt/dust/etc can accumulate there, and any number of issues. But I found that if I pushed my cart forward (there's space in there where you can wiggle the cart backwards and forwards a little bit), then it would work. So I thought, OK, I may just settle for a ghetto solution where I keep my cart there permanently, with a couple of gift cards wedged in there so that the cart itself is always being "pushed forward" (LMAO...).

Anyway, of course I can just say, fuck it, and buy a different Saturn and just sell this one. But nah, this Saturn and I have been through some good times together. I'm gonna keep it until the day it truly dies. As a prefix to my questions, keep in mind that not only is this particular Saturn of some sentimental value to me; The King of Fighters '95 is also a game I must play, and, unlike the generic 1MB and 4MB carts that came later, that game (for some fuckin' reason) has its own custom 1MB cart:

(1) I have an Action Replay combo cart (1MB, 4MB, memory card, the fuckin' thing can probably do cartwheels too), but the one thing it does not do is play KoF 95. Is there some super version of the Action Replay cart that does everything? (Memory Card, Generic 1MB, 4MB, and KoF 95). Maybe not, but even Mednafen Saturn emulator has "cart" options, and it's even auto-detected! So if an emulator can do it, I can't see why there wouldn't be a cart out there that would do it.

(2) Is there anything I can do myself to try to "repair" the cart slot? Short of soldering, of course, because... well, screw that. By the time I buy soldering equipment, open the thing up, and go through all the motions, I could just buy a second Saturn with a good cart slot, and keep this one to play games that don't require carts.

Anyway, that's it for now. Not only have I read that the Saturn's cart slot is wobbly, but now that I think about it, I guess Sega missed an opportunity for backwards compatibility? Imagine if I could play my Genesis games on the Saturn...

Cheers!
 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
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Chicago, IL
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I finally managed to secure another copy of Resident Evil (my old backup copy died a couple years ago), and it's such a rush to be able to play this horror classic once again. I snapped a few quick photos this morning and played as far as the first save point. I'll definitely be returning once I have the time to sit down and kill a couple hours.

Saturn RE was released in late 1997, well over a year after it caused a sensation on Sony Playstation, and the universal consensus at the time, as always, was that this was the weaker version of the game, owing to the mesh transparencies that most kids never actually saw (since they were playing with RF or Composite) and the lack of gouraud shading on the character models. It all seems so small in retrospect, owing more to the adolescent groupthink that was common to the videogame scene. Personally, I think the characters look perfectly fine as they are. Their arms look like normal arms and not disjointed limbs stapled on top of one another. I will also freely admit that I prefer the look of quads and Saturn's squarish, chunky designs in particular. At this point in time, when players are enjoying Playstation 5 and Xbox 4, machines that are a million times more powerful than what existed 25 years ago, it all seems so pointless to nitpick over such things.

As far as I'm concerned, the PSX and Saturn versions of Resident Evil are equally good, and any visual differences are due to the "look" and style of each respective console, and that now-classic style retains a certain amount of charm that cannot be denied. Even the hilariously bad voice acting and live-action movie scenes, practically screaming out for an MST3K screening, cannot help but smile. The jump scares might not have the same impact as they once did, but it's still very entertaining to see that dog jumping out the window, and remembering just how scared you were the first time that happened to you. Who knows? We might not have had Minecraft Creepers if not for that zombie dog.

Nextech was the studio responsible for this Saturn translation, and they were bought out by Sega in the summer of 1997. I think they did an excellent job, and they clearly had enormous assistance from Capcom and Sega, two companies that have a long and fruitful friendship. That partnership would lead to the Dreamcast masterwork Resident Evil: Code Veronica, which was the last of the "classic" games in the series before Resident Evil 4 radically changed everything. I must admit that I do miss the old tank controls sometimes, the fumbling around for those elusive printer ribbons (which enable you to save your game), the tension between spending precious ammunition on monsters and running for your life, the sense of dread that something just might pop out at you at any second (thanks once again to that zombie dog).

It's fun to take a look back at where this hallowed franchise began, and marvel at just how far we've come. Resident Evil is a true classic in every sense of the word.
 

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
4,146
1,176
685












I finally managed to secure another copy of Resident Evil (my old backup copy died a couple years ago), and it's such a rush to be able to play this horror classic once again. I snapped a few quick photos this morning and played as far as the first save point. I'll definitely be returning once I have the time to sit down and kill a couple hours.

Saturn RE was released in late 1997, well over a year after it caused a sensation on Sony Playstation, and the universal consensus at the time, as always, was that this was the weaker version of the game, owing to the mesh transparencies that most kids never actually saw (since they were playing with RF or Composite) and the lack of gouraud shading on the character models. It all seems so small in retrospect, owing more to the adolescent groupthink that was common to the videogame scene. Personally, I think the characters look perfectly fine as they are. Their arms look like normal arms and not disjointed limbs stapled on top of one another. I will also freely admit that I prefer the look of quads and Saturn's squarish, chunky designs in particular. At this point in time, when players are enjoying Playstation 5 and Xbox 4, machines that are a million times more powerful than what existed 25 years ago, it all seems so pointless to nitpick over such things.

As far as I'm concerned, the PSX and Saturn versions of Resident Evil are equally good, and any visual differences are due to the "look" and style of each respective console, and that now-classic style retains a certain amount of charm that cannot be denied. Even the hilariously bad voice acting and live-action movie scenes, practically screaming out for an MST3K screening, cannot help but smile. The jump scares might not have the same impact as they once did, but it's still very entertaining to see that dog jumping out the window, and remembering just how scared you were the first time that happened to you. Who knows? We might not have had Minecraft Creepers if not for that zombie dog.

Nextech was the studio responsible for this Saturn translation, and they were bought out by Sega in the summer of 1997. I think they did an excellent job, and they clearly had enormous assistance from Capcom and Sega, two companies that have a long and fruitful friendship. That partnership would lead to the Dreamcast masterwork Resident Evil: Code Veronica, which was the last of the "classic" games in the series before Resident Evil 4 radically changed everything. I must admit that I do miss the old tank controls sometimes, the fumbling around for those elusive printer ribbons (which enable you to save your game), the tension between spending precious ammunition on monsters and running for your life, the sense of dread that something just might pop out at you at any second (thanks once again to that zombie dog).

It's fun to take a look back at where this hallowed franchise began, and marvel at just how far we've come. Resident Evil is a true classic in every sense of the word.
fart town usa fart town usa get in here!! :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com












I recently saw a copy of Jaleco's Bases Loaded 96: Double Header at an Exchange store in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, and was very curious to see if it was any good. The game was selling for $25, which is a bit too rich for my blood--especially when I own the spectacular World Series Baseball 98--but somebody ended up buying, so it must have some fans. Everybody loves someone, as the saying goes.

The Bases Loaded series is best remembered on the NES, where it was among the best baseball videogames of the era. It then continued to the Super NES and retained the classic arcade feel, yet never quite made the same impact. This seventh and final entry in the series was released on Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn in late 1995, where it quickly found itself outpaced and outdated by more modern renditions of the sport.

Today's retro gamers, I think, would be much more receptive to a videogame such as this. They're not looking for a comprehensive simulation or a game that requires a long-term investment. They just want to pop in the disc and play a friendly game every now and then. In that regard, I think Bases Loaded works pretty well. It plays very much like an arcade sports game from 1985, and if you go in with that mindset, I think you'll have a very good time.

You choose from 30 teams across two leagues of three divisions each. There is no official MLB license, but all of the cities are present so that fans won't feel left out. There is a Players' Association license, which means over 700 real players are included in the game. Gameplay options include exhibition play, season and tournament, as well as a trading option to customize your favorite teams. Baseball stadiums are modeled similarly to their real-life counterparts, with the usual changes needed to keep lawyers at bay, and this includes the usual mix of indoor and outdoor fields.

The visual design is highly saturated, almost overflowing with colors. The batter/pitcher interface features pre-rendered CG models that are drawn in that abstract geometric style that was common to computer animation in the 1980s, all bulbous spheres and doll parts, and it only adds to the retro charm. They animate smoothly and perform their actions easily and I never feel like I'm watching a series of canned movements. It's an interesting design choice that contrasts against the more common use of digitized player sprites, and while it must have feel embarrassingly dated in 1995, it feels fresh and charming today. If anything, it is the flat-toned digitized look that has gone painfully out of style.

When the field is in play, players are drawn as 2D sprites straight out of the 16-bit era, and they do a good job of running and throwing when told. There could probably be a few more animation frames, but the key drawings work and that's the important thing. One interesting contrast between the Playstation and Saturn versions of this game is the viewing angle. The PSX Bases Loaded uses a high-angled overhead view, reminiscent of classic games like RBI Baseball that depict tiny players at a distance. Saturn Bases Loaded places its camera much closer to the ground, and makes dynamic pans to follow the action. This makes for a more "modern" look, but also results in players looking larger and more pixelated. Personally, I prefer the Saturn approach, but both are useful and it's very interesting to see such a key difference between the two consoles.

A special note should be written for the audio, which includes a rich, echoey stadium sound filled with crowds and richly toned organs. I don't recall many baseball videogames where the stadiums themselves feel so alive, and it adds a sense of presence to the experience. It's enough to make me reach for my Shirley Scott jazz records and whip up a batch of popcorn.

Beyond this, there isn't much to say. The gameplay is identical to nearly every baseball videogame ever made, which means that players will almost immediately dive into the action and enjoy themselves. There aren't any depths or strategies to plumb, only throw ball, hit ball, catch runner before he reaches the next base. Bases Loaded 96 holds onto its NES roots for dear life, and while this must have frustrated more serious sports fans at the time, I find myself thoroughly enjoying it today as the retro game it truly is. Among baseball games on the Saturn software library, its closest peers are Konami's Bottom of the Ninth and, of course, their Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu series, which is probably the best of the bunch.
 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Sega Lord X has created this terrific video overview of Sega Saturn videogames that use the ROM and RAM cartridges. As always, his love and devotion to Sega will keep you glued to the screen until the very end. I'm also impressed with the picture quality from his gameplay clips, which appears almost ripped off your television screen. Great work as always!
 
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bishopcruz

Member
Dec 6, 2006
3,752
239
1,375
Miami, FL
















Here are photos of the CD case and booklet for T&E Soft's golf simulation The Masters on Sega Saturn. If you enjoyed Pebble Beach Golf Links, then you already know what to expect. This is the exact same thing, only with a change of location, the addition of a new golfer and caddy, and the omission of Craig "The Walrus" Stadler.

This is a very cheap videogame to pick up and one that sports fans will enjoy. If you're a fan of T&E Soft, this is a definite must-own, as they really were on a tear during Generation Five. I really do miss these guys. This industry and its endless obsession with technology has buried so many great software studios and gifted artists. Do we really need 8K resolution and 10-million polygon models for a golf sim? Aren't these digitized players just as good? Don't you feel the slightest twinge of nostalgia for these pixelated trees and crowds? C'mon, be honest. You definitely miss the memorable elevator music.

In any case, here's a look at the manual, which is in color and includes full descriptions of all the gameplay elements. Why the Western manuals couldn't be this nice and useful remains a mystery for the ages.
Huh, have actually had this for years as it came in a bundle when I bought my glorious grey model 1 Saturn. Never bothered giving it a try, might do so now.
 
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fart town usa

Member
May 31, 2009
3,692
2,867
1,235
www.youtube.com












I finally managed to secure another copy of Resident Evil (my old backup copy died a couple years ago), and it's such a rush to be able to play this horror classic once again. I snapped a few quick photos this morning and played as far as the first save point. I'll definitely be returning once I have the time to sit down and kill a couple hours.

Saturn RE was released in late 1997, well over a year after it caused a sensation on Sony Playstation, and the universal consensus at the time, as always, was that this was the weaker version of the game, owing to the mesh transparencies that most kids never actually saw (since they were playing with RF or Composite) and the lack of gouraud shading on the character models. It all seems so small in retrospect, owing more to the adolescent groupthink that was common to the videogame scene. Personally, I think the characters look perfectly fine as they are. Their arms look like normal arms and not disjointed limbs stapled on top of one another. I will also freely admit that I prefer the look of quads and Saturn's squarish, chunky designs in particular. At this point in time, when players are enjoying Playstation 5 and Xbox 4, machines that are a million times more powerful than what existed 25 years ago, it all seems so pointless to nitpick over such things.

As far as I'm concerned, the PSX and Saturn versions of Resident Evil are equally good, and any visual differences are due to the "look" and style of each respective console, and that now-classic style retains a certain amount of charm that cannot be denied. Even the hilariously bad voice acting and live-action movie scenes, practically screaming out for an MST3K screening, cannot help but smile. The jump scares might not have the same impact as they once did, but it's still very entertaining to see that dog jumping out the window, and remembering just how scared you were the first time that happened to you. Who knows? We might not have had Minecraft Creepers if not for that zombie dog.

Nextech was the studio responsible for this Saturn translation, and they were bought out by Sega in the summer of 1997. I think they did an excellent job, and they clearly had enormous assistance from Capcom and Sega, two companies that have a long and fruitful friendship. That partnership would lead to the Dreamcast masterwork Resident Evil: Code Veronica, which was the last of the "classic" games in the series before Resident Evil 4 radically changed everything. I must admit that I do miss the old tank controls sometimes, the fumbling around for those elusive printer ribbons (which enable you to save your game), the tension between spending precious ammunition on monsters and running for your life, the sense of dread that something just might pop out at you at any second (thanks once again to that zombie dog).

It's fun to take a look back at where this hallowed franchise began, and marvel at just how far we've come. Resident Evil is a true classic in every sense of the word.

lol, thanks for looking out.

RE on the Saturn is great! I have the Japanese and NA version. I do like the added details to the zombies (more blood on lab coats) but I think it's clear that the character models, particularly their faces, look infinitely better on the PSX.

Funny thing about the Saturn version is that the video that plays during the end credits is directly ripped from the PSX version. It's obvious when you see the character models in it. Not talking about the end video itself, but the gameplay footage that plays during the credits.

DT MEDIA DT MEDIA , how much did this copy cost you?
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


I just found a new Youtube video of the masterful Wipeout XL on Sega Saturn. The video quality is superb and very sharp, so you'll be able to really take in the details and see just how good this conversion plays. This was released only in Japan and in PAL regions under the name WipeOut 2097, and both versions are increasingly rare and difficult to find. Expect to spend at least a hundred dollars for the NTSC edition.

Australian software studio Tantalus (Wipeout, Manx TT Superbike, House of the Dead) were responsible for this Saturn translation of the Sony Playstation classic (my personal favorite for that console), using the Manx TT engine to better take advantage of the Saturn hardware, and you can clearly see how it improves upon the original Wipeout. The sense of speed is there, all the wonderful visual details are present and that brilliant color design just pops off the screen. The PSX transparency effects are recreated via mesh patterns, as we would expect, and the fantastic electronica soundtrack featuring a host of Sony-published bands, has largely been replaced by the studio's in-house maestro Cold Storage. He does a great job, but it's unfair to expect him to compete with the likes of Chemical Brothers, Future Sound of London and Photek. I think there was an early Daft Punk track in there as well.

Seriously, you ought to track down the Wipeout XL soundtrack CD. It's a terrific time capsule of the era and still kicks. In fact, you should do one better and find the out-of-print vinyl LP edition.

Wipeout XL absolutely kicks. The sense of speed is fantastic, the vehicle handling is smooth as butter, the futuristic designs are brilliant and always packed with details, the track designs play like roller coasters from the 30th Century. It's all so bloody brilliant and I'm sitting here champing at the bit for my tax returns to arrive so that I can grab a copy of the Saturn version at long last. This might be the best racing game on the console.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
4,146
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DT MEDIA DT MEDIA , how much did this copy cost you?
Fantastic question.

Biohazard on Saturn can be had for a decent/even cheap price.

Resident Evil, on the other hand... Is very expensive these days. Like, prohibitively so. and that's if you can even find it; I just looked on eBay and there are only a small handful of copies of RE1 at the moment.
 
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fart town usa

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May 31, 2009
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Fantastic question.

Biohazard on Saturn can be had for a decent/even cheap price.

Resident Evil, on the other hand... Is very expensive these days. Like, prohibitively so. and that's if you can even find it; I just looked on eBay and there are only a small handful of copies of RE1 at the moment.
Right, I just looked, $200+. Honestly, to me it's not worth that unless you're a collector or rabid RE fan. I think I got mine for under $50 but that was almost a decade ago at this point. Great port but I think the better option is to just get BIOHAZARD and a Pro-Action Replay Cart to make your system region free. Could probably get both for under $60. My only issue with BIOHAZARD is that there's auto-aim. I can't remember if the US Saturn version has auto-aim. For me, the definitive version will always be the PSX OG 96 because of a lack of auto-aim, really adds to the experience IMO, especially when Hunters enter the scene, lol. I still get anxious as hell with Hunters around and I've probably played through the game 100+ times. I'm probably repeating myself but man, OG RE is my GOAT. It's just flawless in every way IMO.
 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com
Right, I just looked, $200+. Honestly, to me it's not worth that unless you're a collector or rabid RE fan. I think I got mine for under $50 but that was almost a decade ago at this point. Great port but I think the better option is to just get BIOHAZARD and a Pro-Action Replay Cart to make your system region free. Could probably get both for under $60. My only issue with BIOHAZARD is that there's auto-aim. I can't remember if the US Saturn version has auto-aim. For me, the definitive version will always be the PSX OG 96 because of a lack of auto-aim, really adds to the experience IMO, especially when Hunters enter the scene, lol. I still get anxious as hell with Hunters around and I've probably played through the game 100+ times. I'm probably repeating myself but man, OG RE is my GOAT. It's just flawless in every way IMO.


Yes, the prices on Saturn Resident Evil have shot through the roof. Just checking on Ebay now, I see that only a handful of copies are available, and prices range from $200 to over a thousand (one greedy seller is trying his hand at $8K). JP copies of Biohazard are far cheaper, starting at the $30 range, and this version does include the English voiceovers, but with Japanese subtitles as well as Japanese text for all items and descriptions. If you're already familiar with the game, then this won't be an issue for you. Otherwise, there's always the option of, cough, hack, backupdisc, ahem, excuse me.

I found a YouTube playthrough of the JP Biohazard, so take a look and enjoy:


 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com

















Wipeout XL Screenshot Extravaganza

I went back to the previous Wipeout XL gameplay video to capture a number of screenshots and things got a little out of hand. But I wanted to show off how great this videogame looks and plays, and it remains among the most obscure of all major Sega Saturn titles, especially the NTSC Japanese release. If you've ever seen or read anything about this, it was most likely the PAL Wipeout 2097, which still looks great but appears to run a touch slower.

It really is a shame this title was never picked up for a US release. It's arguably the best of all the Playstation ports to the Saturn, and while that's obviously not saying very much--we're talking about a pile of wreckage that includes Lemmings 3D, Destruction Derby, Assault Rigs and Krazy Ivan--this is still a standout videogame and one of the true classics of the era. Sega of America would have been wise to publish this instead of, oh, let's just say Touring Car Championship, a shambling mess of a racing videogame that nevertheless has an absolutely terrifying sense of speed. Wipeout XL has the blazing speed and actually looks good while doing it.

I must once again state for the record that I have yet to play Saturn Wipeout XL, but I do intend to finally secure an import copy very soon. Prices for the JP disc begin at the $100-$125 range and quickly climb from there, and those prices show no sign of coming down anytime soon. Is it worth that kind of money, especially when the Playstation original can be found for $30? It depends on how dedicated a fan you are of the series and how eager you are to score a true gem for your Saturn. Personally, yes, I think it's definitely worth the price, particularly when backup copies don't appear to be an option.

Now as to the differences between PSX Wipeout XL and the Saturn translation. The content between the two is identical, including track designs, vehicles, weapons and sound effects. One notable difference is the lack of licensed techno music, which features an all-star collection that includes The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Future Sound of London, Photek, Underworld, Fluke, Orbital, Leftfield, Source Direct and one of the first recordings by Daft Punk (we're talking pre-robot era). The soundtrack CD is a masterwork of the genre and essential for all music lovers, and its inclusion was a bold step forward for videogames. It's a perfect example of Sony flexing their muscles.

The Saturn soundtrack, meanwhile, was handled exclusively by Psygnosis composer Tim Wright, aka Cold Storage. He does a magnificent job filling in the gaps with his own beats and rhythms, and if you're a dedicated enough fan of the genre, you might want to score this version of Wipeout just for his songs. But he's not on the same level as all those killer bands, and it's a bit unfair to expect him to hit that level.

So that's one key difference between Sony and Sega Wipeout, and it's largely expected. The second, also expected, are the transparencies, which appear smooth and clear on Playstation, while the Saturn relies on the old dithered mesh effect. Fortunately, the same art assets are used, such as aircraft exhaust, photon torpedoes and explosions, so that's nice. I remember the original Wipeout on Saturn changed some of the weapons entirely and that felt a bit cheap. Here, everything stands as it should. I am looking forward to seeing how it all looks on my Trinition TV with the composite cables.

Oh, and were you aware that mesh transparencies are now an official style and used by videogame designers? You can see them in Super Mario Odyssey and Balan Wonderland, just to name two. Isn't that wild? I have no idea how that happened, but it now means that the issue is officially laid to rest, and everybody can stop whining about how Sega Saturn always does everything with those damned mesh patterns. It's over. Stop whining or use composite cables.

Finally, there's one more potential difference between the two Wipeouts: frame rate. I had read previously that Saturn Wipeout XL runs at a lower frame rate, somewhere around 20 frames-per-second, while the PSX version runs at a solid 30 fps. Watching two YouTube gameplay videos for reference proved inconclusive, as the compressed videos and uncertain video sources make any direct comparisons impossible. I thought that the Saturn version appeared to be slightly choppier than the PSX version, but the speed on both are identical. I even compared the racing times and both were coming through the same. We'll find out once I finally score that import disc.

Once thing I can confirm, based on these YouTube videos, is that Saturn Wipeout XL runs more smoothly than the original Wipeout, which is an excellent conversion but clearly runs at a lower frame rate and lower resolution on textures (billboards were impossible to read), and that sensational sense of speed is still very present.

Anyway, that's the latest report for now. I'll return with more once I have the Japanese disc in my hands, which hopefully will be very soon.


Update (3/27): I just wanted to make one additional point: Saturn Wipepout XL is compatible with the 3D Controller (called the Multi Controller in Japan) and the Racing Wheel, which is a very welcome surprise. The PSX original uses only digital controls. Now I really can't wait to play this game and see how analog steering changes things. I'd expect something on par with the sublime Wipeout 64 on Nintendo 64, but we'll see.
 
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SpiceRacz

Member
Feb 27, 2017
2,214
4,141
580
Hazuki Dojo












I finally managed to secure another copy of Resident Evil (my old backup copy died a couple years ago), and it's such a rush to be able to play this horror classic once again. I snapped a few quick photos this morning and played as far as the first save point. I'll definitely be returning once I have the time to sit down and kill a couple hours.

Saturn RE was released in late 1997, well over a year after it caused a sensation on Sony Playstation, and the universal consensus at the time, as always, was that this was the weaker version of the game, owing to the mesh transparencies that most kids never actually saw (since they were playing with RF or Composite) and the lack of gouraud shading on the character models. It all seems so small in retrospect, owing more to the adolescent groupthink that was common to the videogame scene. Personally, I think the characters look perfectly fine as they are. Their arms look like normal arms and not disjointed limbs stapled on top of one another. I will also freely admit that I prefer the look of quads and Saturn's squarish, chunky designs in particular. At this point in time, when players are enjoying Playstation 5 and Xbox 4, machines that are a million times more powerful than what existed 25 years ago, it all seems so pointless to nitpick over such things.

As far as I'm concerned, the PSX and Saturn versions of Resident Evil are equally good, and any visual differences are due to the "look" and style of each respective console, and that now-classic style retains a certain amount of charm that cannot be denied. Even the hilariously bad voice acting and live-action movie scenes, practically screaming out for an MST3K screening, cannot help but smile. The jump scares might not have the same impact as they once did, but it's still very entertaining to see that dog jumping out the window, and remembering just how scared you were the first time that happened to you. Who knows? We might not have had Minecraft Creepers if not for that zombie dog.

Nextech was the studio responsible for this Saturn translation, and they were bought out by Sega in the summer of 1997. I think they did an excellent job, and they clearly had enormous assistance from Capcom and Sega, two companies that have a long and fruitful friendship. That partnership would lead to the Dreamcast masterwork Resident Evil: Code Veronica, which was the last of the "classic" games in the series before Resident Evil 4 radically changed everything. I must admit that I do miss the old tank controls sometimes, the fumbling around for those elusive printer ribbons (which enable you to save your game), the tension between spending precious ammunition on monsters and running for your life, the sense of dread that something just might pop out at you at any second (thanks once again to that zombie dog).

It's fun to take a look back at where this hallowed franchise began, and marvel at just how far we've come. Resident Evil is a true classic in every sense of the word.

Really impressive port. I picked up a copy around 2000, I think. My Saturn battery must have been dead or something, but I remember not being able to save. I tried to run through the game in one sitting and died at that fucking snake and had to start over.

Also, Saturn version had better cover art:

 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com






Switch Retro Gaming recently uploaded a gameplay video of Madden NFL 98 on Sega Saturn, showing off one of the many fantasy stadiums in the game. This one features a Wild West theme and really looks terrific with old saloons and houses along the sidelines and cacti along the ends. It reminds me of how much I love Saturn's quad graphics, rich color palette with just a hint of roughness and grit. Yes, everybody and their uncle was obsessed with smoothness and filtering at the time, but personally, I think they were nuts.

Here's the video in question. As always, I highly recommend Madden 98 for all Saturn fans, as it easily stands as the system's finest football title. In fact, I think this one holds up very nicely despite its age. The gameplay is as solid as you would expect, and the 2D character sprites are surprisingly impressive. This was the final year before EA switched to polygon models, so it stands as the end of an era.


 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com






I couldn't resist the chance to take a few new screenshots of Tecmo's J.League Go Go Goal, so here we go. The 60fps speed of this game is absolutely a thing to behold, and I honestly don't know how the programmers pulled off that feat. Or, perhaps I should be more honest and ask why Western soccer programmers were so awful and lazy.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Another great looking 3D videogame for Saturn, Pro Yakyuu Team mo Tsukurou, or "Let's Make a Pro Baseball Team." Released in 1998, this is a sports management simulation where you build a baseball team and have them compete in the professional leagues. You never directly control the players but watch matches play out on their own, with occasional nudging or coaching advice.

Everything looks terrific with solid polygon visuals and a very strong cutesy style that Sega employed so rarely. They did cute very well, but this is usually the sort of thing you'd expect from Nintendo. It's a great showpiece for the system, even if you don't read any Japanese.

As with the "Let's Make a Soccer Team" franchise, I really wish this was imported to the States, and that the graphics engine was used for a playable sports title. This could have been Sega's answer to Konami's cutesy baseball franchise.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Takara's Choro Q Park never receives enough love and affection from Sega Saturn fans, and that's something that really needs to change. It's an adorably cute racer that will draw inevitable comparisons to Mario Kart, but it has its own unique sense of style. There are a wide variety of courses across a variety of environments and a large supply of cars to collect and race, the 3D polygon environments are solid and there are lots of little cartoon effects that add to the charm.

This video does a very good job showcasing what the game has to offer, both in terms of vehicles and courses. As all the text is in Japanese, it may be tricky for Western players to get started, but once you learn how to apply for a driver's license and pass your initial tests, you can begin racing and buying Penny Racers in no time. There is also a 2-player split-screen mode, but obviously what's sorely missing is 4-player and I wonder why the developers didn't include that. Perhaps they weren't confident enough to push the Saturn hardware far enough, and as that's something the system never saw during its commercial lifetime, there may be some truth to that.

Then again, the upcoming indie project Hellslave features 4P multiplayer, so it was definitely something the console could do. Oh, well. N64 just made that sort of thing look so incredibly easy, and that's to Nintendo's credit. Even the mighty "can do perfect 3D graphics except for all the glitches we never talk about" Sony Playstation rarely attempted that feat.

In any case, here's a really fun racing title for your Saturn that hardly anybody seems to know about. You can find JP copies on Ebay for $30, but I suspect the prices could jump suddenly if the influential YouTube channels start drawing attention, so you should probably get in while the getting's cheap.
 
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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com



I wanted to show off my recent Sega Saturn acquisitions, so here is everything that I've purchased so far this year. I don't often buy retail discs, but every once in a great while, I go on a spending spree, and I have been specifically aiming my sights at sports games and anything that's ten dollars or less.

From the boxed games, The Need For Speed is the most recent. I picked that one up after trading in a bunch of older game controllers to The Exchange, Chicago's main retro games-movies-music chain. They also had Impact Racing and Double Header 96 in stock for $20-$25 each. Jaleco's baseball title was quickly sold a week later, and if you check Ebay prices, you'll realize how much of a bargain it was.

Before that, we have the two Mobile Suit Gundam games. Side Story Episode 1 is a terrific showpiece for Sega Saturn's 3D superpowers, and plays very much like a much faster, more intense cousin to Gungriffon, a lot closer to Virtual On in its robot combat. Also, you get to blow up anything on the screen, which is enormously fun and distracting for someone like me.

Next up are three sports games: The Masters, another T&E Soft golf sim ala Pebble Beach Golf Links (minus Craig Stadler, unfortunately), J.League Jiyykou Honoo no Striker, Konami's arcade-oriented entry in their long-running soccer franchise, and released only a few months before their groundbreaking Pro Evolution Soccer on Playstation, and World Cup France 98: Road to Win, Sega's final installment in their excellent soccer franchise, one that finally introduces analog control and adds some nice refinements to the graphics like rain pattering on the ground. It's not merely a re-skinned Worldwide Soccer 98, and the developers should be commended for that. It's a pity the franchise was retired after this.

The second photo shows my disc-only games. If you're collecting Sega Saturn games, this is a very cost-effective way to build your software library. Each of these games cost as little as five dollars or less, plus shipping. The fully boxed editions would cost at least 2-4 times more and are often harder to find in good condition.

Andretti Racing is the most recent arrival. It's certainly not an attractive videogame, all grey tones and muted color palettes, rough textures and barely-acceptable frame rates. Yet the gameplay is very compelling and you can find yourself getting dragged into one more race, then one more, then one more. Compared to its Playstation cousin, the draw distance on this one is shorter and the frame rate might be a touch choppier, but any differences between the two are so minuscule to modern eyes that they might as well not exist. Both versions are equally grungy, sloppy and fun to play.

FIFA 98 has the excellent gameplay and character animation that is unmatched for its era, and goodness knows how EA could afford to license every soccer team on the planet. Yet everything looks rough and unfinished, as though the game wasn't fully completed. I do like the player models, but they are definitely on the chunky, blocky side, even by Saturn quad-polygon standards. The frame rate is also a bit choppy, which won't be an issue once you're playing, but if you look at any of the Japanese soccer games for the system, you'll give yourself a headache from anger. PSX and N64 fans will point their fingers and laugh while celebrating their perfect versions of FIFA, but don't let that bother you. Saturn FIFA is still sings. That said...c'mon, EA. Show Saturn a little more respect.

What's to say about Madden NFL 98? It's Madden, and one of the better ones, at that. This was the final entry in the franchise to appear on a Sega console, as well as the final one to use 2D player sprites. Compared to the rather rough-looking poly models of the next few Maddens on PSX and N64, I think EA should have stuck with the sprites until Generation Six. But that's just me. The Saturn version looks and plays great, the equal to its Playstation cousin, although I don't know why VDP1 mesh transparencies were used for the menu displays instead of VDP2. Perhaps all the football players consumed all the available memory? Who knows?

NHL Powerplay 96 and its direct sequel, NHL All-Star Hockey 98 are two solid hockey sims that easily better EA's somewhat sloppy NHL franchise during this era. Between the two, I think the 96 edition looks cleaner and a touch smoother, while the 98 edition features more advanced computer AI. They're both fantastic and I really wish Sega had bought out Radical Entertainment along with Visual Concepts. This had the makings of a great hockey franchise and it was killed outright. Fortunately, a number of people from the studio went on to create NHL2K on Dreamcast, so if you're looking for a spiritual sequel to Powerplay, there ya go.

Pebble Beach Golf Links? It's got Walrus and giant pixelated trees and the best elevator music you've ever heard. Somewhere out in the world, Bob Jones is feeling very envious and wishes he could record a '70s smooth jazz album that was half as good. Maybe he and T&E's music composer should get together and jam.
 

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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com












Yay! My copy of Wipeout XL for Sega Saturn arrived today. The disc was still in its original plastic wrap, never used or opened. Here are some photos of the front and back CD cover and pages from the booklet. Everything looks so stylish.

You'll note that this game supports both the Saturn racing wheel and 3D controller. That's a very nice surprise and will give Saturn owners something to boasts about, as the Playstation original only offers digital controls. I haven't played yet as I've been too busy today, but I'm eager to see how the analog steering compares to the excellent Wipeout 64.

I am honestly surprised that this title was never published in the US. I would have to assume that Sega of America just felt burned out after several attempts to port over PSX games to prove the Saturn was more powerful, only to have those comparisons blow up in their face. I mean, c'mon, Toshinden Remix was just terrible, bloody awful. Who were they kidding? Still, the real problem was that those PSX-Saturn ports happened too early, before software developers had a proper understanding of the hardware. The console had it pretty rough in 1995, but by 1996 and 1997, software had dramatically improved to the point where most multi-platform games were essentially identical (with Saturn gaining the upper hand a fair number of times). Wipeout XL is a perfect illustration of this.

Honestly, if I were in charge of SoA, I would have published Wipeout XL and left Touring Car Championship to rot in Japan (or, better yet, never published at all). There's no question which is the better videogame.

As always, kudos to the designers who put together this CD booklet. I always love these full-color illustrations and photos. Everything just pops and you wanna hurry up to your Saturn and play as quickly as possible. Compare that to the drab, useless, monochrome booklets published in the US for those gigantic plastic cases. Yuck. That's half the reason why I tend to go disc-only for US Saturn games. I don't want to deal with those bulky cases and manuals. Gimmie the Japanese jewel cases over that any day.
 

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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Sega Saturn 3D Showcase, Part Three is now available for reading. As with the previous two parts, everything has been rewritten and expanded from the original NeoGAF post, so it's well worth reading and sharing with everyone you know.

Only one more episode in this series to go! I just have to capture some screenshots and then begin the writing, which always takes far longer than I would like. After that, I'll have to shake things up with some music or movie reviews, I think.
 
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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com














Here are some new screenshots of Wipeout XL on Sega Saturn, running on my 13-inch Sony Trinitron w/composite cables and using the iPhone Xr.

Now that I've had some time to play, what do I think? I love it! It's fantastic! Tantalus really did a spectacular job with this Playstation translation, utilizing their Manx TT engine to great effect. It's a much better conversion than the original Wipeout and is easily the best PSX port on Saturn.

The analog control is a great improvement and works brilliantly. The original digital controls are still excellent and veteran players will be fine with that, but there's a subtle depth to the steering that only comes alive with analog. Now I really wish I had an arcade racing wheel.

There are a few minor differences here and there. The opening CG movie runs in a lower resolution than on Playstation, with a lot of color dithering and reduced palette. Compressed video is one area where Sony has a clear and dominant advantage, so there's no surprise there. The loading screen is different on Saturn but it's easier to read and I prefer it over the PSX loading screen. Transparency effects come through nicely on Saturn via the mesh effect, but even with composite cables one can notice a certain watered-down effect. All of the visual effects are there, but lacking a bit of luminosity and shimmer. Still, we're really nitpicking here. Most people will never notice.

One unanswered question is speed and frame rate. I must admit that I don't have a physical Playstation and Wipeout XL to directly compare, so I've had to rely on YouTube videos. Caveat emptor times ten. One gameplay video compared the PAL versions of the game on both systems, and in this instance, the Saturn version was notably slower and choppier, closer to 20fps instead of 30fps. However, other gameplay videos show the Saturn version running faster and more smoothly. My own experience with my retail disc confirms this.

I do strongly suspect both versions are running at slightly different frame rates, but without actual measurements, anything further would be speculation. Heck, I wouldn't even be surprised if PSX Wipeout XL is running slightly fast. There are times where it feels like the action is being sped forward slightly. There are other times where both versions appear to flow at the same speed. Somebody ought to ask Digital Foundry to do an episode on this videogame.

Other than that, honestly, it's all small potatoes. Wipeout XL is thrillingly, blazingly fast, packed with exciting roller coaster track designs, offers some very impressive weapons that actually turn the tide of races (the weapons in the first Wipeout were pretty much useless), and everything is challenging enough to keep you on your toes. It's going to take a lot of practice to win gold medals on the first six tracks and unlock the seventh, much less the more advanced (and faster) circuits. It's a masterpiece of design from top to bottom, still my all-time favorite Sony Playstation videogame, and easily earns a place in my Saturn Top Five.

Now the all-important question: How do you get to play it? Only one answer is available: you'll have to purchase the JP import. That's a bit unfair as copies are currently selling for over a hundred dollars, and that price hasn't budged in years. Backup copies don't appear to work, and it's quite possible that the disc uses a dual-layer copy protection that only appeared on a handful of Sega Saturn titles. The original Wipeout was one of those. Another option is the PAL Wipeout 2097, but as I've stated earlier, this version seems to run a bit more slowly. This could be a misperception, but could also be an issue with 50/60 hertz differences or lack of PAL optimization, which wasn't done on many Saturn discs.

If you're a Saturn fan, the JP disc is the one to get. Start saving your pennies.
 
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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Here is a terrific showpiece for Sega Saturn: Pro Yakyuu Greatest Nine 98: Summer Action. This is the direct sequel to World Series Baseball 98 and is the final installment in the franchise, released in August 1998. With the shift towards the Dreamcast, Sega reshuffled its internal software studios into a collective of semi-independent studios, and the teams behind WSB and Worldwide Soccer were scattered around to the new studios.

What new features are available in Summer Action? Two important additions: widescreen display and fully 3D stadiums. Let me explain that last one. Here's a screenshot of the batter/pitcher screen from WSB 98 to demonstrate.




Notice anything that's unusual? You are not looking at a 3D baseball stadium. The entire background is a flat 2D image. The only polygons on display are the baseball players. When the ball is hit, the screen switches to "stadium view" where you see everything drawn in 3D, but if you notice closely, the player models are drawn with fewer polygons.

Summer Action brings everything into the 3D stadium view. This addition is prominently displayed on the back of the CD case, in fact. Watching the video, you can also see how the player models have been given more polygons and the fielders especially look better.

As with World Cup France 98: Road to Win, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that Sega didn't sit on their butts and churn out a lazy sequel, but put real work into these games, adding features and refining the graphics to perfection. Heck, this was only three months before the launch of Dreamcast in Japan. That's dedication.

You can find copies of Summer Action on eBay for $20, give or take. It's highly recommended, since WSB98 is the greatest baseball videogame ever made, which makes this the second-greatest baseball videogame ever made. Now, if only Major League teams and players were included along with the Japanese leagues...oh, well.
 
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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Here is a complete playthrough of Willy Wombat, a 1997 3D platformer created by Westone (Wonder Boy, Monster World) and published by Hudson Soft. The character designs and illustration were created by Susumu Mastushita Company. If you've ever seen a cover of Famitsu, you'll immediately recognize the artwork. Gameplay is very good, if a bit repetitive, and the visual design is quite excellent. Today's retro-minded gamers will enjoy this a lot more than the polygon-obsessed kids of the '90s, and I think that only helps this game in the long run. It received a lukewarm reception in Japan at best, but seems perfectly poised for cult status among the diehard fans.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com
Fellow Saturners, do we have any news on the PRINCESS CROWN translation that is supposedly in the works?

The person who was supposedly working on the project hasn't been heard from in over a year. It's hard to say whether anything is happening at this point or what became of him. We've heard nothing. Honestly, I wouldn't count on anything happening until Princess Crown is picked up by one of the more reputable translation teams.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com






My newest Saturn game arrived in the mail today: NFL Quarterback Club 96. This football game was published by Acclaim, developed by Iguana Entertainment and was published in 1995. Like most gamers, I never laid a hand on this because, well, anything that wasn't Madden wasn't any good. What a silly notion. I only played for a few minutes, just long enough for a couple offensive runs and a few screenshots, but I came away impressed. This is actually pretty good and I really wish that I had played it back in '95 when I was starved for good Saturn games (turns out I was starving myself for no good reason).

The presentation is very nice, there are lots of gameplay options to keep you occupied for ages, the stadiums and digitized players look very good by 1995 standards. It's all very solid and makes for a nice early demonstration of a "next generation" sports game and makes for a worthy competitor to Sony's NFL Gameday on Playstation. That's very good, since Sega of America, for reasons that remain completely unknown, refused to publish a Sega Sports NFL game that year, so Saturn owners had one good option.

The Quarterback Club series is probably best known on Nintendo 64, where it became the top football franchise and gave Madden a serious run for its money. It's unfortunate that the franchise never continued past Generation Five, because they had a very solid foundation and should have been allowed to grow and build. Can you imagine a world where there were still six major NFL football series on the main consoles? We had Sega, Sony, Microsoft, Acclaim, Tecmo, and EA all competing with one another, and all of them putting out really great videogames. Today, of course, it's just Madden and nothing else, and it royally sucks. Really, when was the last time anybody got excited over a new Madden? When was the last time EA even bothered to make the effort? Oh, probably around the time they killed off NFL 2K5, joined the dark side and became evil Sith Lords.

Anyway, back to Quarterback Club 96 on the Saturn. It's very good, based on what I played. The computer AI is brutally tough and I couldn't complete a single pass, but I'm like that on every football franchise except NFL 2K1/2K2 on Dreamcast. I did much better on defense, stopping the Packers from scoring an easy touchdown. One nice feature is the inclusion of icons under your receivers that show you when they're open. It's very helpful when things get hectic and I'm surprised that EA didn't steal it years ago.

This game is dirt cheap, just about the cheapest Saturn game you can find today. I think I paid around five bucks for the disc. I also have Quarterback Club 97 on the way, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Iguana improved things for that sequel. It's always good to find another quality sports game for my favorite console.
 
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GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com



After playing Wipeout XL on Saturn for a couple days, I decided to pop in the original Wipeout to see if any comparisons could be made. I'm a great fan of the original and it's one of my favorites on the system. The idea was to simply play a couple races and take some photos, but I ended up racing an entire campaign and graduated to the rapier class on my first go. Like learning to ride a bicycle, you never really forget once you get rolling.

I can testify that Wipeout is running at a lower frame rate than Wipeout XL. That's very evident after playing for just a few seconds. It's only really a problem on the sixth arctic course, which is laden with hairpin turns and sharp corners that punish leadfoots, but the rest of the time I barely even noticed. Tantalus did a superb job in translating the feel of the game from the Playstation, even when visual compromises had to be made.

I had assumed this game ran at 20fps, but there are times when I wonder if it's even lower, maybe at 15fps. The sense of speed never wavers, but there is a choppiness at times, as though animation frames were missing. Everything runs so much smoother on Wipeout XL, which carries far more confident presence and greater sense of weight and mass to its vehicles and environments. I'm still not sure what frame rate is running, but it's clearly an improvement over the original, all while the screen is crowded with more complex locations and on-screen objects. The programmers really did an excellent job all around.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com


Remember when I wrote that Sega Saturn has an almost limitless supply of hidden gems? Well, here's another one you've never knew about until now: Murakoshi Seikai no Bakuchou Nippon Rettou (村越正海の爆釣日本列島). This is a fishing game developed by A-Wave and published by Victor Interactive in 1998, and it looks fantastic. We have those wonderful VDP2 rippling water effects as seen in Grandia and the Panzer Dragoon trilogy, some terrific character modeling of the fishermen and 3D polygon models of the fish. Presentation is superb and if you enjoyed the Seabass Fishing series, you'll definitely flip for this one.

I only saw this while researching Dungeon Master Nexus and simply looked at what other games Victor published on Saturn. Surprise!

This game scored an 8-8-7 in Sega Saturn Magazine JP, so that's very good to hear. Checking on eBay shows that this is an extremely rare title, a single copy was found for $44.99.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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I have received my Saturn ALL-IN-ONE cartridge and it works perfectly well. This is a Pseudo Saturn with a switch, allowing to choose between 4 Meg RAM, 1 Meg RAM or Memory Cartridge, as well as all the current functions of the Pseudo Saturn (playing burnt game).

This is a must have, as I can finally do everything with a single cartridge. No need to change anything, which is a good point as the cartridge port is quite fragile on Saturn, so you should not swap too often.

I actually emailed a prominent dude on eBay that has sold a lot of these and is very knowledgeable; and, at least based on his response, the bolded is not quite true (unless you got a really fancy one, or one that I'm not aware of; that's entirely possible).

His response (I'm paraphrasing a bit):
"Yes, this Pseudo Saturn Kai is mainly for playing backups. The RAM capability is spotty; your Saturn may not detect it at all. And when you flash the cart to Pseudo, you absolutely LOSE the ability to save." (He was responding to a direct question from me about saving issues since I had read it in a different listing on eBay).

So my takeaway is that it's mostly for playing backups. The 1MB/4MB may not work, and you absolutely get no save capability, as confirmed by multiple eBay listings. (I haven't done independent verification though).

So this is where I'm at:
- I own two Saturns now
- Saturn (US): Actually I did the whole "rubbing alcohol" trick on the Action Replay cart I've owned since forever, and it worked. And heaven as my witness I'm never taking that cart out of that slot ever again, LOL.
- Saturn (JP): My copy of X-Men vs Street Fighter comes with an official Saturn 4MB cart*, so I tried that one first. After also doing the alcohol trick on it, it worked, and I tested 4MB games (X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Vampire Savior) as well as 1MB games (Marvel Super Heroes, Metal Slug) and everything worked. The official 4MB cart only ever does that (it doesn't save), but it does support backwards compatibility with most (not all) 1MB games. After that, I tried my copy of KoF 95, and it worked -- so currently my JP Saturn is, quite literally, a King of Fighters '95 machine :messenger_tears_of_joy:


* As far as I'm aware, X-Men vs Street Fighter was the only 4MB game that was ALWAYS packaged with a 4MB cart; I'm not aware of stand-alone versions. As far as I'm also aware, practically every other Saturn game after that released primarily as a stand-alone version; for those games, they also sold "boxed" version with a 4MB cart in it, but that version was usually more expensive for obvious reasons.
 

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
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A quick anecdote about my JP Saturn:

It's the second iteration of the first model Japanese version (HST-3210, to be exact). It's a gray console with the blue/purple ovals. I'm not sure if all of those particular model Saturns suffered from this, but seems likely; just like many Super Nintendo consoles, this first version of the Saturn was made with a plastic that was prone to yellowing.

The eBay store dude was actually pretty understandable and really nice, and we worked well together. But he didn't mention a few key issues with the Saturn, which I got surprised with when I received it:
- Like I said, it was slightly yellowed. The picture on his listing still showed the console as gray-ish, or at least a lot more gray than the console I got. But it's not unpleasant to the eyes (compared to the horrible "piss" dark yellow that a lot of Super Nintendo consoles would get).
- The cartridge slot was finnicky so I had to mess with it to get it fully working. After my experiences with my US Saturn, I think a good cartridge slot was the #1 reason I bought a second Saturn.
- Battery was completely dead so I had to order CR-2032 batteries from Amazon and replace it. (It's the little round battery at the back of the console; you know it's wasted when, every time you turn on the Saturn, you keep getting prompted to enter the date and time. Also your Saturn won't hold any game saves in its local memory at all.)
- The console was DIRTY, man. Out of anything I've ever gotten from Japan, this was the dirtiest product I've ever received (again, very different from the pictures in the listing). So I put my sanitizing wipes to work, and then some. Cleaned it so well I could practically eat off of it now, LOL.

So his post was initially greatly mis-advertised. (It was advertised as "working with no issues.") And I still gave the dude positive feedback because he explained what the mix up was, was very apologetic and reasonable, and super responsive. Dude was a standup guy, somebody on his staff likely fucked up on the actual Saturn to ship. We worked out a mutually agreeable solution, and, based on the original cost of the console, his partial refund to me, and what I imagine are shipping costs from Japan, I more or less practically got the console for free.

I'll end the anecdote with this: Splash screen of JP Saturn >>>>>> Splash screen of US Saturn.
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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I actually emailed a prominent dude on eBay that has sold a lot of these and is very knowledgeable; and, at least based on his response, the bolded is not quite true (unless you got a really fancy one, or one that I'm not aware of; that's entirely possible).

His response (I'm paraphrasing a bit):
"Yes, this Pseudo Saturn Kai is mainly for playing backups. The RAM capability is spotty; your Saturn may not detect it at all. And when you flash the cart to Pseudo, you absolutely LOSE the ability to save." (He was responding to a direct question from me about saving issues since I had read it in a different listing on eBay).

So my takeaway is that it's mostly for playing backups. The 1MB/4MB may not work, and you absolutely get no save capability, as confirmed by multiple eBay listings. (I haven't done independent verification though).

So this is where I'm at:
- I own two Saturns now
- Saturn (US): Actually I did the whole "rubbing alcohol" trick on the Action Replay cart I've owned since forever, and it worked. And heaven as my witness I'm never taking that cart out of that slot ever again, LOL.
- Saturn (JP): My copy of X-Men vs Street Fighter comes with an official Saturn 4MB cart*, so I tried that one first. After also doing the alcohol trick on it, it worked, and I tested 4MB games (X-Men vs Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Vampire Savior) as well as 1MB games (Marvel Super Heroes, Metal Slug) and everything worked. The official 4MB cart only ever does that (it doesn't save), but it does support backwards compatibility with most (not all) 1MB games. After that, I tried my copy of KoF 95, and it worked -- so currently my JP Saturn is, quite literally, a King of Fighters '95 machine :messenger_tears_of_joy:


* As far as I'm aware, X-Men vs Street Fighter was the only 4MB game that was ALWAYS packaged with a 4MB cart; I'm not aware of stand-alone versions. As far as I'm also aware, practically every other Saturn game after that released primarily as a stand-alone version; for those games, they also sold "boxed" version with a 4MB cart in it, but that version was usually more expensive for obvious reasons.
My cartridge works. There is a switch to select between Memory Cartridge, 1 MB Ram or 4MB Ram.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com
I must confess that I still don't have the latest version of the Pseudo Saturn Kai, which is supposed to offer all the features of the Pro Action Replay--RAM upgrade carts, region override, memory backup, cheat codes--plus the ability to play backup discs without the need for a mod chip. It is possible that there may still be software bugs that need to be stamped out in a future revision, or that the save features have yet to be resolved. Because of this, I still endorse the PAR cartridge plus a Phantom mod chip for your Saturn. As always, be careful about performing the "disc swap" trick on your Saturn. My current JP model 2 Saturn has been working steady for almost a decade without any problems, but a previous US model 1 Saturn suffered disc drive failure. Perhaps this was due to excessive disc swapping or perhaps it was another unrelated issue, I could not say. But we always have to be careful when using any consumer electronics that are 20+ years old. Let's not get started on my 1981 Sony Biotracer turntable...

One of these days, I will purchase the latest version of the Pseudo Saturn cart to test it out and see how it works. It's just that life gets in the way and if Baby Shark needs anything, the money goes to her first. Toys for Father are absolutely dead last.

BTW, the cheat codes on the Pro Action Replay are actually vital if you're playing the US Panzer Dragoon Saga on a Japanese Saturn. For whatever reason, Western discs won't play on those consoles unless you input a cheat code via the PAR. I posted this code at the beginning of the Sega Saturn Community forum for everybody's use.
 

InfiniteCombo

Member
Jan 26, 2014
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My cartridge works. There is a switch to select between Memory Cartridge, 1 MB Ram or 4MB Ram.
Is your cartridge a particular brand? Where did you get it from? How much did it cost, roughly? I mean, I'm glad your cartridge works, but... a couple of helpful details wouldn't hurt, dude :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I still endorse the PAR cartridge plus a Phantom mod chip for your Saturn. As always, be careful about performing the "disc swap" trick on your Saturn. My current JP model 2 Saturn has been working steady for almost a decade without any problems, but a previous US model 1 Saturn suffered disc drive failure. Perhaps this was due to excessive disc swapping or perhaps it was another unrelated issue, I could not say. But we always have to be careful when using any consumer electronics that are 20+ years old. Let's not get started on my 1981 Sony Biotracer turntable...
Thanks for the tip dude, appreciate it. But in general, I'm skeptical of anything that involves swapping of any form (whether disc or cartridge swapping, especially knowing how sensitive both the lens reader and the cart slot are in the Saturn).

Related to disc swapping -- back when I was a kid, I eventually wrecked our family PS1 by swapping so much. (In those days, to play imports, you'd insert the US disc, wait for the "PS" splash screen, then quickly swap out to the JP disc) .

Anyway, my Pro Action Replay works beautifully on my US Saturn, so I'm not rushing to get anything right away. But my "dream" (silly as it may be) is to have a TRULY all-in-one cart:
- 1MB RAM
- 4MB RAM
- Memory card
- Backups
- King of Fighters '95 special 1MB RAM

I know that last one is nigh-impossible, but a man can dream... Although, there is a patched version of KoF '95 that is "faked out" to register with the generic 4MB RAM. So theoretically, a cart that provides a 4MB RAM service, and plays backups, can play the patched backup of KoF '95, removing the need for the special KoF '95 cart.

TL;DR, I want my Saturn unicorn cart, damnit! LOL....
 
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DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Jan 7, 2018
978
1,602
545
Chicago, IL
www.dtm-arts.com




Sega Saturn 3D Showcase, Part Four

The fourth and final installment of my series at impressive 3D videogames for Sega Saturn is now published and online. Over 120 titles have been highlighted, which is a far greater number than I ever planned to write about. This was one of those topics where I thought I would cite a dozen examples, only to find the whole saga running away from me. The craziest thing is knowing that I could add still more games to the list. I could easily make a fifth episode if properly motivated, but I think four is more than enough.

Anyway, enjoy the final episode.