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Sega Saturn 20th Anniversary in Japan


Riven
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The Saturn is a fantastic console with loads of great games, but none of those titles are system sellers to match the likes of Ridge Racer, Final Fantasy VII, Mario 64 or Ocarina Of Time. Sega needed a big Sonic title to get the Saturn into people's homes, THEN they could have been pleasantly surprised by all the new IP.

We can all thank Douche-i Naka for no Sonic Xtreme. :(

In a way, as if mishaps like the 32X wasn't enough, Naka hit a hard nail in SEGA's coffin.

In retrospect it may have not helped buckets with the likes of Mario 64 and all the stuff Playstation started building into, but even I knew Saturn had no proper Sonic, anything else I saw of the Saturn didn't look interesting outside of NiGHTS and I think BUGS or whatever it's called that was always demo'd at stores.

Now that I know 80% of the library stayed in Japan, I think I know why most stuff I saw didn't look too great.

Well, that and the £400 price or whatever it was. It really needed a killer app (for the kids) for that price in the west.

In retrospect now knowing all the software Saturn has, it looks amazing/the wealth of software could have blown people away at the time had we gotten more of what Japan had.

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The Saturn is a fantastic console with loads of great games, but none of those titles are system sellers to match the likes of Ridge Racer, Final Fantasy VII, Mario 64 or Ocarina Of Time. Sega needed a big Sonic title to get the Saturn into people's homes, THEN they could have been pleasantly surprised by all the new IP.

I whole heartedly disagree. Nights is as good as Mario 64 and Panzer Dragoon Saga was a match for Zelda and Final Fantasy. They may not have been as established as those on rival consoles but they were just as good. Guardian Heroes and Saturn Bomberman are pure awesome and were arguably the best multi player games of the generation.

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I'm not saying they weren't as good, but they weren't familiar names or system sellers. I got a PS1 to play FFVII and a N64 for Zelda. I loved Nights, but only after my dad had bought a Saturn out of the bargain bin to play Sega Rally. I was lucky it came with the Xmas Nights disc and a demo of Panzer Dragoon Zwei (the awesome forest level), else I'd probably have never played either, as none of my friends had a Saturn.

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I've played Virtua Fighter 2; I know what Nights, Bomberman and Fighters Megamix are; the rest I couldn't even tell you what genre they are.

Again, maybe that was part of the Saturn's problem? Not mainstream enough?

If anything the Saturn was more mainstream with its great arcade games, however the mainstream gamers don't buy what's good, they buy what they are told as we all know with the Wii.

Kudos to Sony in that respect they entered the industry with experience from working with Nintendo and a lot of money, they saw to win the industry and they did that with a excellent marketing campaign and undercutting their competitor. Added to that they went out of their way to help and encourage developers to work with them.

As a result they cleaned up the market. Helped by the fact that Sega and Nintendo were incredibly arrogant by this point and believed they could quickly crush Sony's first console, how wrong they where.

The joke being that Sony themselves repeated all the same mistakes as Sega for the PS3. The consoles are the mirror of one another, PS3 saving grace being the much larger market Sony could afford to lose and the fact that the Japanese don't buy USA made consoles, mind you the xbox brand name translating to the "wrong box" in Japan doesn't help either.

Don't really understand the weak system seller argument, any game can be a system seller it's just how you market it!

Ridge Racer was always seen as a poor man's Daytona USA in the Arcades and RR plays like crap these days compared to Daytona,. Namco however did an excellent first port of it compared to AM2's rushed port of Daytona USA and it did help sales of the console. As when you show two games side by side if one looks s### you'll more likely to buy the other.

As for FF7 it suffers from “My first RPG syndrome” sure it's good game but it had a lot of problems being one of Square's first 32bit games. As a result it was one of the weaker outing in the Final Fantasy series at that point with it being worse than FF4, 5 & 6. Sure it was better than FF8, but FF9 is by far the best outing on the PlayStation. That in mind a weak FF game at that point was still a very good game just not a great one when compared to the huge number of RPGs that where released on the SNES in Japan. One good thing FF7 did do was bring an end to Nintendo's lies that RPGs didn't sell well in Europe.

Shining Force III & Panzer Dragoon Saga both feature vastly better story telling, than any other 32bit RPG. Both feature very complex story and neither ends on a happy note which makes a serious change from the always happy ending of the FF series. Both where system sellers but arrived far to late to help the Saturn as it was on death's door by that point.

God, I remember arguing that Sega Touring Car Championship was going to be as good as TOCA and Gran Turismo. :facepalm:

You would be on the losing side with that one, STCC is far from Sega's Racing finest hour.

Now enough chatter time for some Dragon Force:

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Ridge Racer was always seen as a poor man's Daytona USA in the Arcades and RR plays like crap these days compared to Daytona,. Namco however did an excellent first port of it compared to AM2's rushed port of Daytona USA and it did help sales of the console. As when you show two games side by side if one looks s### you'll more likely to buy the other.

I would not say either play like crap but both games do have odd handling in comparison to the driving games we're used to these days, each with a drift mechanic that has to be learned before you can use it. Even then, the physics make no logical sense! Although if push came to shove, I enjoy the feeling of driving better in Ridge Racer.

Still doesn't make me love Ridge Racer or Daytona USA less. :wub:

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Desert time attack, unlimited laps shaving thousandths of a second off the record. Sega Rally was just amazing.

Sega Rally 1's timekeeping only went down to hundredths of a second! :quote:

But yes. Yes it was amazing. I still count it as probably my all-time favourite racing game. We've just passed the 20th anniversary of the arcade version's Japanese release! :o

Remember that "Hyper Cars" cheat mode that was said to be activated by pressing X+C on the arcade mode car select screen? That added an extra "Standard/Special" filter to the time attack records screen, but as far as I could perceive, it never made any difference at all to the cars.

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I didn't own a Saturn until later on but my best mate at school got one from Dixons on finance, he had everything from launch - i mean everything, every game and accessory so i got a good old go on it, he carried on buying pretty much every game as he was working while we were at college etc!

I remember thinking VF was amazing but there was loads of dross like bugs life, Daytona was fun but looked pretty awful but the second wave stuff looked much better - for me it was Nintendo and as it turns out Sony that got my money but i did have plenty of fun on his saturn.

The best bit was that back in the day financing was done differently involving forms and phone calls and for what ever reason the shop didn't phone it through at the time and said it would go through so no worries - what they seemingly missed was that he wasn't 18 :o Dixons asked him to come in as there was a problem so off we went and they basically said bring it back or pay in cash - we pointed out that having already got a receipt it was there issue, he was happy to pay the monthly fee as agreed...

Jammy bastard got it all free!

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I had a Saturn back in the day and being a Saturn owner at school while everyone else had Playstations wasn't the best fun!

That said I did have a great year with it, likewise i bought SSM religiously every month and used to love looking at games like Metal Slug that we'd never get to play. Wondering why the King Of Fighters '95 was being released in 1997 and things like that. good times.

To be fair the Saturn purchase was justified for Sega Rally, Exhumed (god i loved that game), Fighters Megamix and Christmas Nights.

Sadly I turned it on one day and a load of smoke bellowed out, my dad took it back to special reserve and they refunded it in full as they no longer stocked them , £120 was a lot of cash for a 13 year old so i put the money towards a Playstation and bought Resident Evil 2 a couple of weeks later on release so it didn't turn out to bad in the end. Having to choose between a Playstation for Resident Evil 2 or an N64 for Goldeneye was perhaps the first 'tough decision' in life I can remember!

I bought a white japanese model around 2002 off ebay and a 4mb ram cart and used it exclusively for fighters and it was one of the best purchases I'd ever made. King of Fighters '96, Real Bout Fatal Fury and those massive sprites, Metal Slug, Xmen VS Streetfighters, Fighters Megamix at 60hz, Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold and the Official Saturn pad...fucking brilliant.

Sold it on to fund my Dreamcast importing phase which to be fair was even better. Garou MOTW, Capcom Vs SNK, King of Fighters Evolution, Street Fighter III...great times that was

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  • 4 months later...

The Guardian has 2 articles on the Saturn as it's the 20th anniversary of the US launch -

1 about the US launch -

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/14/sega-saturn-how-one-decision-destroyed-playstations-greatest-rival

Twenty years ago this week, at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, the head of Sega of America accidentally killed the company’s Saturn video game console.

Tom Kalinske was in a bind. He knew that Sony was readying its new PlayStation machine for an autumn launch in the US (both the Saturn and the PlayStation had already been released in Japan at this point), and the hype was building. The creator of the Walkman, the portable music device that revolutionised the music industry, was coming after games. And it was serious...

& 1 about how to buy a Saturn & games -

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/15/sega-saturn-how-to-buy

It was this week 20 years ago that Sega launched its Saturn console in the US, bringing forward the date by several months to beat the original PlayStation to market. Starved of software support and with only a few retailers on board, the ploy failed, and Sony’s machine marched to victory.

But the Saturn was a really interesting console, with dozens of great games that still hold up today. Occasionally, they turn up as digital downloads on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, but the best way to experience them is on the original machine – as long as you have some space under your TV...

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There nice reads and it's good to see a news site cover the old saturn. I had to cringe when I read this line however: The Saturn may have failed, but it left behind almost 1,000 titles (over 250 of those for PAL territories), many of which are still worth discovering and playing in their original format.

I do wish writers, would double check there fact on these quick piece, there's only 240 European Saturn games. :D

Still both pieces are an enjoyable read.

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