Published on February 15th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Underrated Sega Saturn Gems
The Sega Saturn was a vastly under-appreciated system in my eyes. The 32-bit wars were a fun time for gamers, but the Sony PlayStation really established itself as the winner. That’s not to say the Saturn didn’t have an excellent library though, because it did. Beneath all the well known games lie a few gems that you hardly hear people talk about, which is a shame. Hopefully after reading this you will dust off your Saturn and hit eBay up for a few of this titles. Now onto the list…
What’s this? Resident Evil was a huge hit on the PlayStation, why would anyone want to play the Saturn version? Surprisingly, this version sports a better color palette, exclusive costumes, exclusive enemies and an exclusive game mode. ‘Battle Mode’ has the player going through areas of the main game and defeating enemies in a timely manner. In ‘Battle Mode’ you will come across the exclusive enemies. When Wesker gets slashed by the Tyrant while playing as Chris, you will now encounter TWO Tyrants! The main game is still here too, which makes it worth a run through for fans of survival horror, or those who haven’t played the original Resident Evil in a while and would like a trip down memory lane.
Die Hard Arcade
The 32-bit era was big on replicating the “arcade experience” at home, and I always felt the Saturn was better at that. Die Hard Arcade is an example of that. Fast playing and fluid, Die Hard Arcade was a joy to play. The graphics still hold up today, and the game play is very addictive. ‘Quick Time Events’ are also featured in this game, which was one of the earlier times it had been implemented in a game. The game itself might be a little short, but the frantic and smooth game play makes it a joy to romp through several times, especially with a friend.
X-Men: Children of the Atom
The Saturn had a distinct advantage on the PlayStation for ‘2-D’ games, and X-Men: Children of the Atom was a great example of this. Nearly unplayable on the PlayStation, the Saturn version was a masterpiece and true to the arcade version. No slowdown was anywhere to be found, the colors were bright and vibrant, and the control was responsive and fluid. The Saturn’s 6-button control pad was extra useful in these fighters because it allowed you to easily trigger your ‘Weak’, ‘Middle’, and ‘Strong’ attacks. ‘2-D’ fighters were plentiful on the Saturn as well, with many versions of Street Fighter available to choose from.
Japanese imports are playable with an ‘Action Replay’, and this game shouldn’t be missed. Only released in Japan and Europe, Deep Fear is an amazing survival-horror game in vein of Resident Evil, right down to the cheap voice acting. The game takes place underwater in a Navel Fueling and Research facility. The PAL version is expensive and hard to come by, but the JP version is rather inexpensive. Most of the menus are in English, and all the voice acting is done in English as well, which makes it very import friendly. One of the last games released on the Saturn, Deep Fear is an excellent survival-horror game that shouldn’t be missed by any fans of the genre.
When Enemy Zero first came out, it was truly a game unlike any other. Spanning four discs, this heavily story-driven adventure was hard to classify. You wake up from a sleeping chamber on-board a spacecraft, and immediately you notice something is wrong. While in rooms, you search your surrondings in a point-and-click style. Search for clues, look for keys, examine your dead and mutilated comrades for items, it plays better then it sounds. While navigating from room to room, you assume a ‘first-person view’ and shoot aliens. Did I mention they are invisible and the only way you can track them is by a beeping sound that goes faster and faster when you draw close? Yeah, it’s nerve wracking and terrifying. Although by today’s standards it might feel and look dated, it’s still a blast to play through.
Those are some of my favorite Saturn titles that I feel are underrated. Agree? Disagree? Be sure to leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts, and if you feel I missed a game.