Author Topic: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn  (Read 1064 times)

Warmsignal

25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« on: December 20, 2019, 09:47:58 pm »
Well, technically this happened back on November the 22nd, when the Saturn was launched in Japan in 1994. But better late than never.

What were your memories of this console, and what do you think of it today? What are some of your favorite games?

As for me, it ranks as one of the biggest curiosities from my childhood. I only ever heard of this console mentioned in passing back in the day, nobody that I knew owned one. I had never even laid eyes on one by the time it was retired. Frankly I was too absorbed into the SNES, and later the N64 to pay much of any mind. By late 1998, when I was first contemplating another console purchase I was interested in the idea of a PlayStation, or possibly as SEGA Saturn. I knew very little about either. Everyone reassured me that I should go with the PlayStation, so in 1999 the PS it was. By then, I probably didn't have much of a choice anyway. It wasn't until the retirement of the Dreamcast, that I began to delve into finding out exactly what the Saturn was.

My initial experience in buying one off of eBay in 2002 was not impressive, at the time. Even then, I struggled to find any games, or at reasonable prices. I didn't know what to make of the meager selection I had then. I took me many years even after getting heavy into game collecting, to realize that the Saturn was in fact, a great console. It's one that has risen in the ranks for me a lot over the past few years.

For the longest time, I wrestled with the fact that Saturn wasn't/isn't another console conceived to follow in the footsteps of something like an N64, or a PS1. But in fact, it was/is intended to be something other than that. It was designed to excel at sprite based games, and to simulate SEGA's arcade-like game experience on a home console. It just so happens that the end product was modified to accommodate for the industry's big push for 3D and polygon based adventures. In my opinion, it does both well.

It's easy to ruminate over the could-have-been's of this console, but I've come to appreciate what actually is. Even though the domestic library is modest, a lot like the N64, there's a lot of great games if you are a fan of late release sprite based games, and early polygon type games. The Saturn has a lot of really solid platformers, shooters, fighting games, and even racers. Nights Into Dreams, Panzer Dragoon, Clockwork Knight, Darius Gaiden, Alien Trilogy, Last Bronx, Fighting Vipers, Night Warriors, SEGA Rally, Daytona USA, and the list goes on. Then there's lots of deeper cuts like Virtua Racing, Diehard Arcade, Virtual On, High Velocity, Dark Savior, Guardian Heroes, and of course the excellent Saturn Bomberman. There are so many great games for the system if you are willing to give it a shot, and that's not even accounting for the imports.

Sadly, it's become one of the most "collectible" consoles of all time in the past couple of decades. Perhaps more collected than actually played. Many people seem to collect full-sets for the system, despite not being Saturn diehard fans. The cost of admission has become far too high for many at this point, which is a shame. Without any doubt, it remains IMO the most underrated "failed" console of all time and certainly ranks within my top 10 favorite consoles.

ferraroso

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2019, 12:06:52 am »
I remember this guy in the neighborhood, Roberto, who bought a Japanese Saturn back in early 1995. Even though he was much older than us, we used to go to his place almost on a daily basis to see him playing Sakura Taisen and, once in a while, he would allow us to play some Capcom or SNK fighting games with him.
In 1996 he moved away from the town and shortly after that I got my PlayStation, but as a devoted Sega fan (and Nintendo hater), I vowed to myself that I'd own a Saturn someday.

I got my first Saturn console almost 20 years after that, when I moved to Japan and I've been in love with it ever since! Even though the Master System continues to be my favorite console ever and I have to admit that the PS1's library has much more plurality in its titles, the Saturn is easily my favorite console to collect for due mostly by the low price of its games around here and the huge quantity of obscure releases that I didn't know existed and I keep finding once in a while.

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2019, 01:07:47 am »
Two of my closest friends growing up each had one and playing their Saturns was probably my favorite thing to do at their houses. I had an N64 during that time and loved it, but as a kid what you don't have always seems way cooler. I grew up wanting a Saturn so badly, but would own one until the early 2000s when I was in high school. I bought one for like $20 from an independent game store along with Daytona USA, Nights, and Virtua Fighter 2, all games I used to play as a kid. The console brings back a flood of nostalgia for me unlike many other retro consoles and/or games.


Fun fact, the Saturn was also the first game console I ever started collecting for in 2008, but gave up on it due to how expensive it had already become at that point. Still, I collected a lot of imports over the years, and earlier this year I started collecting US Saturn again.


But here are some of my favorite titles


Radiant Silvergun
Layer Section
Dodonpachi
Battle Garegga
Night into Dreams
Virtua Fighter 1 and 2
Virtua Cop 1 and 2
Diehard Arcade
Daytona USA

sworddude

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2019, 07:01:20 am »
maybe the western library aint to big. it's only 200 300 titles. more easy to complete I'd guess.

japanese library on the other hand is over 1000

also majority of the good titles for saturn are in japan unlike other retro consoles in wich we usually still got the majority of the good stuff. it's not even a close contest for saturn over here quite a shame really.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 07:09:06 am by sworddude »
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Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2019, 07:33:18 am »
I wanted a Saturn badly as a kid. I even had plans to buy one with my Christmas money one year: They were doing a promotion where if you bought a Saturn, you got 3 games with it (Virtua Fighter 2/Virtua Cop/Daytona USA). These were not games I really wanted- I wanted Nights, Astal, Guardian Heroes, etc. But I was supposed to get a Christmas Nights demo with a magazine I subscribed to, so I figured that & the pack-ins could occupy me until Easter when I could get another game. Then the magazine showed up- torn cover, no demo. I was so upset I didn't buy the system at all. Probably for the best, as the PlayStation I got for Christmas a couple years later helped me make friends in high school. That desire for a Saturn never really went away, but by the time I could try and buy my own it was already getting expensive.

Much like ferraroso, it was about 20 years later when I finally got my Saturn. I'd just wrapped up my summer conventions, but pickings were light & I had enough leftover money to actually afford some Saturn stuff. I love that thing- I don't often add to the collection since the games are so expensive. In a way, I like that better- the collection is ultimately very curated since I have to be so picky about what to buy. I get a little giddy whenever I turn it on- it was a long time coming to have, so that startup jingle is always exciting.

And becuase it's always relevant when Saturn comes up:

https://youtu.be/gc3AK8k90xw
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 07:35:10 am by hoshichiri »

sworddude

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2019, 08:09:58 am »
it's kinda insane actually japan advertised it pretty well

Also the succes that was sega genesis in the west did very poor in japan with less than 4million units sold

Kinda hard to imagine that saturn had bigger succes over there than genesis considering it was sega's most succesfull console yet in its place of origins genesis failed hard but in the west it was well liked.

also considering that there where roughly 9 million saturn consoles sold pretty much all consoles stayed in japan only.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 08:15:16 am by sworddude »
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Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2019, 12:43:16 pm »

also majority of the good titles for saturn are in japan unlike other retro consoles in wich we usually still got the majority of the good stuff. it's not even a close contest for saturn over here quite a shame really.


This is a big reason why I jumped into Japanese Saturn games before US Saturn games. There are a ton of great games only Japan got on the Saturn, and even in regards to the games we did get, their Japanese counterparts are usually way cheaper. Of course this is problematic with RPGs since they are so heavily text based, but games like Guardian Heroes, Diehard Arcade (aka Dynamite Deka), Shinobi Legions, and many other are at least half the price in Japanese.

Warmsignal

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2019, 04:21:00 pm »
I’ve been fairly active collecting for the system for about 10 years now. I’ve stuck it out with the high prices and feel it’s worth it in the end. I’ve never been keen on collecting imports for anything where a domestic version is available.

I recently acquired Saturn Bomberman which was wildly expensive, but also one of the best Bomberman games I’ve played. I have decided that I will in fact, attempt to acquire a PDS in the near future by selling off some things and coming up with the money. There are a few other heavy hitters on my list as well still yet as well as some more affordable ones too.

 As crazy as it sounds, I would kind of like to trade my copy of In The Hunt for PlayStation for the Saturn version, Even though it’s regarded as a botched port, I just like the Saturn color palette better than PlayStation.

I might eventually look into some of the import games, Which I still know relatively little about aside from Bomberman Fight which would most likely be my first choice.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 04:23:08 pm by Warmsignal »

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2019, 07:24:27 pm »
I had a Sega Saturn once and shared my story on here a few times. I picked up used mint condition one with all the hookups and controller with 2 games. by trading in some of my things I was not using into a remote location resale shop in the middle of nowhere almost. I had the thing for about a year till my only PlayStation 2 console at that time broke. I ended up trading my Sega Saturn and 2 games into a flea market vendor. Who proudly took it, and gave me a Working PlayStation 2 as a trade in. I had Daytona USA and Virtua Fighter 2. It was ok I thought. but since I had a lot more PlayStation 2 games than Saturn games, and I don't have a lot of money. I traded mine in.

It's kinda strange that everywhere I go in my local area today that sells retro video games, the stores have everything I mean everything except Sega Saturn video games. I honestly think that their might be more Sega Saturn consoles for sale than any games in my area for it. dead nothing  A console is not good without any games.

of course I could have gone online and maybe got more games for my Saturn, but it didn't interest me. I live in the west and I don't like to import Japanese language games, I don't know Japanese. Most 5th generation games I want to play are also on the Sony PlayStation 1 and the Nintendo 64

As for the Sega Saturn games, themselves I haven't really looked into whats available for that console. Just believe that a lot of Sega Saturn games may have disc rot from what I heard about the quality of the discs of the Sega Saturn.

(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

Warmsignal

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2019, 10:28:03 pm »
It's kinda strange that everywhere I go in my local area today that sells retro video games, the stores have everything I mean everything except Sega Saturn video games. I honestly think that their might be more Sega Saturn consoles for sale than any games in my area for it. dead nothing  A console is not good without any games.

This is true. Because the majority of the games had a very low attachment ratio to actual systems sold, in other words, most Saturn owners didn't buy very much. With roughly 2 million owners, the highest selling games were in the 200,000 range, and that was only a select few titles. I would estimate that most titles were between 25,000 - 50,000 copies, which makes them pretty scarce.

kashell

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2019, 10:35:30 pm »
I'm another one that didn't hop on the Saturn bandwagon until many years later. Growing up, we were a PlayStation and N64 family.

But, there was always a lot of curiosity with the console. I remember seeing a full page add for Albert Odyssey and thinking it to be one of the best games ever, only to be disappointed by it being on the Saturn. (I got my own copy years later - great game). Situations like that were rare, but still. I'm glad I finally got one. It's a great console.

Favorite games include the above mentioned AO, Shining the Holy Ark, Magic Knight Rayearth and, of course, Panzer Dragoon Saga.
www.kashelltriumph.com
If you make me your enemy, you make the world your enemy.
                            

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2019, 12:16:39 am »
Grew up with Playstation, N64 and Dreamcast for the most part so the Saturn eluded me my entire childhood.  Don't think I knew a single kid who owned one.  I have greatly enjoyed exploring its vast library as an adult.  Dragonforce is incredible.  I also love Die Hard Arcade, Mr. Bones, Astal, Clockwork Knight, Virtua Cop, House of the Dead, Saturn Bomberman and Powerslave along with many other titles.  I have a few Japanese titles and plan to start exploring that further once I track down the last few titles I want from the NA library.

sworddude

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2019, 06:00:27 am »
It's kinda strange that everywhere I go in my local area today that sells retro video games, the stores have everything I mean everything except Sega Saturn video games. I honestly think that their might be more Sega Saturn consoles for sale than any games in my area for it. dead nothing  A console is not good without any games.

This is true. Because the majority of the games had a very low attachment ratio to actual systems sold, in other words, most Saturn owners didn't buy very much. With roughly 2 million owners, the highest selling games were in the 200,000 range, and that was only a select few titles. I would estimate that most titles were between 25,000 - 50,000 copies, which makes them pretty scarce.

I'm fairly sure both the 32x and sega cd sold allot less than sega saturn. Those libraries are even worse, heck even the japanese library aint going to save those. yes there are good games but the library is rather small. those consoles flopped allot more than the saturn.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 06:02:08 am by sworddude »
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undertakerprime

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2019, 09:07:23 am »
I didn’t initially have interest in a Saturn, but when I saw it in Toys R Us, heavily discounted because it was near the end of its retail life, I decided to give it a try. I mainly wanted it for the more arcade-accurate fighting games like Night Warriors or Marvel Super Heroes; other games like Shinobi Legions or Daytona USA didn’t get played much. Fighters Megamix I literally played once and never again.

But then...I discovered the world of imports. I think it was a Babbage’s that actually had the Japanese version of X-Men vs SF with the 4 meg RAM cart. I got another cartridge that allowed me to play import games, and suddenly I was playing my Saturn all the time. I got King of Fighters ‘97, MSH vs SF, and my favorite fighting game ever, Vampire Savior. Definitely worth the investment, especially considering how nerfed the PS1 ports were.

stealthrush

Re: 25th anniversary of SEGA Saturn
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2019, 08:22:36 pm »
Some of my most fond memories are with SEGA's 32-bit powerhouse Saturn!

Without re-hashing previous posts replies on the subject..

I would defend reputation of bringing sub-par ports of software back in the day recommending the awesome exclusive games that were available on the system instead. It was the first system I was hyped-up for after playing plenty of SEGA arcade games growing up and reading previews in magazines. Despite my local rental store only offering a handful of Saturn games, I enjoyed using the system to play Audio-CD around the house.

Eventually would own a PlayStation in 1997 - It would be a few years later 2002 I would start modding, ripping, burning Saturn games (preferably imports) re-igniting my passion for the system again. The only other time I was as hyped for a release was SEGA's Dreamcast North American launch on September 9, 1999.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 08:26:32 pm by stealthrush »