Archive for Saturn

Re-Thought: Dynamite Deka

Posted in Gaming Rant with tags , , , , , , on May 10, 2009 by reasonjp

There are a couple of interesting problems that come up when writing  reviews of older games. Firstly, it makes the whole blog seem like a retro blog which Gaijingamers isn’t. Certainly this writer is pushing out retrospectives because 99 percent of Japanese developer output in 2009 is arguably even more generic rubbish than western games (prove me wrong, Japanese devs! Or just hurry up and release Dead Rising 2). Secondly there’s the nostalgia factor getting in the way of everything. Rose tinted specs often disguise the fact that the game you’re eulogising is in fact A Bit Crap, and really hasn’t aged well at all.

There are an elite few games that actually get better with age, and Dynamite Deka is one of them.

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The Good, The Bad and The… は?!Saturn Edition (2/2)

Posted in Gaming Rant with tags , , , , on February 21, 2009 by reasonjp

After looking at the system itself, as well as the pick of its software crop over the last couple of weeks, it’s time to bring Gaijin Gamer’s look at the Sega Saturn to an end. Last being least, what we have here are some of the stranger titles on the console, but first, the worst..

THE BAD

NFL Quarterback Club ’96 (and various other mid 90s sports games) (Acclaim [1995] availability: fairly common Price: around 50 Yen)

As has previously been noted, it was difficult for third party content providers to get a foothold on the Saturn platform. Dismal management and communication from Sega in the west and a notoriously hard system to develop for gave many software houses a hard time. Still, some softcos believed that Sega’s name power would ensure the Saturn victory in the console war. Among them was Iguana, with their owners, Acclaim, being famed at the time for farming out their franchises to as many different platforms as possible. While Iguana would become famous for producing technical marvels on the N64, this Saturn effort is nothing approaching marvellous.

With the dawn of the 32 bit generation came a trend for sports games to have 3D graphics. It seems however, that Iguana didn’t have a functional 3D engine working at the time of QBC’s release, which lead to the halfway house option of garish 2D sprites on a 3D plane, the end result looking somewhat like Madden meets the Atari 2600.

Graphics that were a long way short of the ‘next gen’ (at the time) mark weren’t the only problems. Perhaps it’s just my ineptness but the perspective makes passing plays next to impossible, even on the easiest setting. Also, it seems the game is intent on doing prodigious amounts of shouting at you, the player, it’s CD audio being used for referees yelling ‘PENALTY’ and quarterbacks saying the same sequence of numbers and ‘hut hut’ that they had in games for years, but, LOUDER. MUCH LOUDER. Even the menus shouted so loudly the main menu only has room for two options- SIMULATE and PLAY- in giant 80 point text.

The quarterback instructed his team mates not to turn sideways lest he be unable to see them to pass the ball.

The quarterback instructed his team mates not to turn sideways lest he be unable to see them to pass the ball.

 

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The Good, The Bad and The…は?Saturn Edition (1/2)

Posted in Gaming Rant, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2009 by reasonjp
Last week, I offered a brief retrospective on the Sega Saturn.  A much maligned bit of hardware, it nevertheless had its fair share of great games. It’s these we look at today, alongside what not to get and what will leave you scratching your head in mild confusion (or appreciation at unexpected innovations).
 THE GOOD

A tough category to pick out only a small handful of titles. The Saturn is most famous for 2D shmups and beat em ups, but there are notable inclusions in other genres too.  Affordability is an important factor here, so Radiant Silvergun and Panzer Dragoon Saga, which both sell at over 20,000 Yen, can be covered by more hardcore collectors. 

Did you know, its not actually made of silver? Traders and shops dont, given the price.
Did you know, it’s not actually made of silver? Traders and shops don’t, given the price.

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The Island of Lost Games No.1- Sega Saturn

Posted in Gaming Rant, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 8, 2009 by reasonjp

Once upon a time, Sega released a console that didn’t really catch on at retail thanks to more powerful opposition, and was hamstrung by poor promotion and management choices. The machine, however, would have the most rabid fans of any games console, rallying to its defense at any opportunity and championing its catalogue of underrated titles.

That console was the Dreamcast, and won’t be covered today.  The Saturn, however, is something I consider more deserving of  ‘championing the underdogs’ status. Continue reading