Saturday, March 11, 2017

Experiencing Sega Saturn

Although it did a lot of things wrong from it's launch in May 1995 to its death in 1998, the Sega Saturn is one of the most high regarded systems today due to the library it had, especially in Japan. Like millions of others, I never owned one. I was too busy playing Genesis and eventually PlayStation. Probably nobody I knew outside of family had one. The funny thing is my only times before finding one in 2015 were as a kid and in college.

My memory is a little fuzzy on playing the system as a kid. I want to say it was around the spring or summer of 98. My family went to visit my older sister and her boyfriend. It was one of those visits that was being there for a few hours. One of the things they had was a Saturn and it would be the first time I ever played it. They didn't have too many titles. There was Mortal Kombat, College Slam, Daytona USA and a few others. My eye was set on Sonic 3D Blast, which I had for the Genesis for a year and half at the time. I remember getting pretty far and making it about halfway through the game. I might have also played Daytona and Mortal Kombat (Ultimate 3 to be exact), and that was really the only time I tried the system as a kid. Visits after that, I think they wound up getting a PlayStation, which my family had for half a year.

I then went to college in 2010. Like most people, you meet new ones and you get acquainted with them. My first college had a game club and within the first two months, they were planning on a convention of their own on a Saturday. To keep people occupied when they were waiting on tournaments on PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360, a few others including myself brought up older systems. I brought up my Sega Genesis and SNES. Another brought PS2 and to my surprise, Sega Saturn. Unfortunately, the thing is Saturn is probably the last thing people remember when it comes to the big mainstream companies.

Because of that, I was the only one that really played the Saturn. The friend that brought it played it a few times and with that, he didn't bring it up the next year. One game that intrigued me was Die Hard Trilogy. The action felt very frantic and controlling John McClane was a breeze. Only thing I didn't really care for was Vengeance and its driving. Nevertheless I loved it and I would a year later buy the PlayStation version. I wound up playing Daytona USA a few times and playing real well. A game that got me curious was Black Fire. A helicopter game developed by NovaLogic, I had a little difficulty figuring out what to do. I probably played it for 10 minutes and then stopped.

After that, I didn't play Saturn again until 2015. Going through a yard sale vendor, a person was selling various game systems, accessories and controllers. Unlike the ones you find on Ebay, this was pretty cheap and getting one with a Model 1 Genesis really made it worth while. I've picked up almost 20 games. Some of the notables are Sega Rally, Daytona USA, Gex, Panzer Dragoon, and Dragon Force. I do think it is one of the more underrated systems. The main controllers are good and I feel comfortable when I play each game.

That being said, I would be careful with how much you spend on the system. A number of their heavy hitters cost quite a bit of money. Some of which is near or above 100 dollars. Unless you got a trust fund or are very rich, take a bit of caution when going after them online. If you can find a Saturn, you're in for a treat with a library that has that Sega flair and brings out the strength of being a 2D powerhouse. Happy hunting.

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