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 Post subject: The world burns. Only Sega remains.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:38 am 


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There's some kind of bug going around or something, IDK.

Let's talk about the Sega Saturn!

The middle child of the 32-bit consoles (at least state side), 2D powerhouse hastily retrofitted to handle basic 3D, hilariously mismanaged by both the Japanese and western divisions of Sega (mostly the latter), had a really poor port of Doom which could have been far better if John Carmack wasn't so insistent on using software rendering, etc.

Pretty good ports of contemporary Japanese 2d arcade games (almost none of which reached America), adequate to decent ports of Sega's 3D arcade games, a small handful of Sega developed RPGs, (only a small handful of that small handful reached America), and uh... Mr. Bones, I guess? Also a trilogy of Japan only digital pinball games with heavy metal soundtracks.

More to the point, not as easy to pirate for as the Dreamcast (plays burnt games out of the box!), but still easy enough with an action replay cart, the right screwdrivers, and some manual dexterity (basically you open it up, tape a switch shut so that cds spin with the disc lid open, then swap out a legit saturn game spinning in the tray with a burnt installer disc at the right moment so you can install custom firmware to the action replay cart). Also there are ODEs. In the same way there are unicorns.

Or I guess you could emulate for it. Good luck meeting the CPU requirement though.
----

I bought a Sega Saturn from my local retro game store last Christmas, along with a copy of virtua fighter 2 in a case that appeared to be rotting or something. I asked the staff to swap it out with a less rotty case, which they did, but now the game case has the wrong back cover. Not that it really mattered since all I used the game for was to flash the custom firmware.

So yeah, I burnt a bunch of discs for various arcade ports, but I'm interested in some more stuff truly unique to the system, less Darius Gaiden and Street Fighter Alpha 3 and more Panzer Dragoon and Nights into Dreams. Primarily interested in arcadey fare, but some meaty RPGs would also be nice, just to rub in the face of those Final Fantasy games over on the PSX. And in the face of... uh, Ogre Battle 64 on the N64? Suggestions?
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Last edited by cave hermit on Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:52 am 


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Dragon Force fucks. Play that for sure.

Those pinball games are honestly the only pinball games I want to play these days outside of crush style but way less often.

The Shining Force entries on Saturn are very Saturny for lack of a better term. They could exist in another form visually on another console but as they are the graphics scream Saturn. They are as good as any older srpg.

Magic Knight Rayearth is certainly worth a burn. The presentation shines there.

Lunars and Grandia assuming you can get an English patch.

Policenauts if you dig Kojima adventure games where the characters are traceovers from western stills.

Tactics Ogre, Three Dirty Dwarves, Princess Crown, Bug, Clockwork Knight, Burning Rangers etc...
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:50 am 


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I've got a pretty good smorgasbord of Saturn games, but the Capcom fighters are the ones I come back to most frequently for sure, especially the more niche titles like Cyberbots. Those games just look awesome on the Saturn in a way that's pretty hard to achieve otherwise outside of running the original boards or a fancy 15khz emulation setup.

Outside of those, agreed on the Kaze pinball games, I play those all the time. Ditto Layer Section, not so much the pachis these days. There are some other classic titles that I return to more infrequently, like Dragoon Zwei and Guardian Heroes. Great games, but less replayable.

I currently have a run going through Shining Force II Scenario 1 (welll... 'currently' as in I started playing through the game several months ago and made it probably 1/5 of the way in). I absolutely love SFI/II/CD, but yeah, the hideousness of this game is hard to get past. A shame given how amazing they could have made the 2D art look on the platform.

Also, Pseudo Saturn is also a totally legit and easy way to go, just sayin..
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:15 am 


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It's what put me off of them for so long as well, but I found they were worth it. Can't say the same for Shining Wisdom...
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:38 am 


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its all about Valora Valley: HELL GOLF
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:39 am 


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mamboFoxtrot wrote:
its all about Valora Valley: HELL GOLF
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Holy fuck I need this.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:26 am 


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Guide to the Saturn game library:

Step 1. Learn 日本語
Step 2. see step 1

There is a Grandia English patch in the works though, saw it on segaxtreme


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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:46 am 


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mamboFoxtrot wrote:
its all about Valora Valley: HELL GOLF
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:14 am 


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Keio Yuugekitai
Steamgear Mash is pretty fun (and cheap)
Astal
Leynos 2
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:38 am 


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cave hermit wrote:
So yeah, I burnt a bunch of discs for various arcade ports, but I'm interested in some more stuff truly unique to the system, less Darius Gaiden and Street Fighter Alpha 3 and more Panzer Dragoon and Nights into Dreams. Primarily interested in arcadey fare, but some meaty RPGs would also be nice, just to rub in the face of those Final Fantasy games over on the PSX. And in the face of... uh, Ogre Battle 64 on the N64? Suggestions?


Shinrei Jusatsushi Taroumaru is, along with the PS1's Little Ralph, a rare instance of an original 32bit sidescroller matching the best of the previous two generations. HG101's review is specious trash, and is unfortunately also the game's first English google result. Given this state of affairs: Here is how to play! (earlier post referenced within, thanks @ GP for the replay!)

It's often compared to Alisia Dragoon, but AD is methodical and plodding while Taro is twitchy and reactive, and while AD has you lovingly shepherding your AI buddies, Taro wants you to detonate the fuckers like so many zombie meat muppets. Cabal/NAM-1975/Wild Guns are also brought up due to the onscreen cursor, but this is another bad comparison - Taro is a sidescrolling action game and will skullfuck you like Castlevania if you lose track of your surroundings! Focus on what's nearby and able to hit you.

(the real comparison point is Alien Soldier, as Taro is both a Treasure-styled boss parade and a deeply idiosyncratic true original, which noobs tend to play for ten minutes before spouting "WOW ITS GREAT" / "BAWW ITS HARD" Image)

Similarly: Bulk Slash (by Tecno Soft alumni CA Production) is one of the generation's best examples of an original arcade-styled 3D action game, up there with the PS1's Omega Boost. Handles superbly, don't be put off by stills of the aged polys. A model example of pick up and play mecha action, with a minor language barrier. It's mostly seek/destroy, but a couple missions have you doing basic escorting or item collection. They're pretty easily figured out, but if it comes to it a glance at GameFAQs will explain everything.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:51 am 


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I like the idea OP, but what year are you living in? I play Saturn games on my phone all the time. Ten years ago I was playing them on a Core 2 Duo laptop. Saturn emulation has been viable for a large portion of its library for some time now.


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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:42 am 


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My Saturn's still going strong, but the save battery died again :( Not sure if I had any really important save files saved on system memory as I have a cartridge also.
I was trying to get through Noël 3 last month using a walkthrough but I think I might've messed up at some point anyway. I love the idea of the game way more than actually playing it, stop calling me when I'm hacking dang it! :evil:

I was never able to get my hands on any of the famous shmups for the system (Battle Garegga, Batsugun, Radiant Silvergun etc) but at least I was able to pick up Bulk Slash when I was deep in my expensive Yahoo Auctions phase.

I also think that the system just looks good. All models of it. The model 1 might be closest to my heart with it's LEDs and oval buttons but the model 2 is also great and I prefer using it's controllers since color makes remember button mappings easier, especially if the manual uses it for illustrative purposes.

Oh, and the gold striped cd cases are nice.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:54 pm 


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Usually I'm more on the collector side for the SS (see farther), but let me put in some recommandations (trying to avoid the big ones like SFZero and stuff) :

RPG (US localized)

* Panzer Dragoon Saga is of course up there. Great setting, storyline, and battle system. The only flaw may be that 3D graphics have not aged pretty well during the exploration phases. But hey, you're on the Saturn.

* Magic Knight Rayearth is your typical action RPG with 3 ladies characters to handle. Sometimes compared to Zelda ALTTP.

* Dragon Force mentionned above.

* JRPGs some of them were fan-translated : Langrisser (plays similarly to Dragon Force), Dragon Force II, Sakura Wars (the first one ?), Linkle Liver Story, Shining Force 3 trilogy.


Racing

* Sega Rally of course. Great arcade conversion, use 3d controller (try from Japan hermit to get one, they ship better than US)

* Outrun same


Puzzle

* Baku Baku Animal funniest there imo, single and multiplayer.. Make them animals eat those squares.of course.

* Magical Drop / Bomberman / Puyo Puyo cannot go wrong with those ones.

* Dero'n Dero Dero nice twist on the Puyo Puyo system.


Platformer

* Astal : gorgeous 2D, short.

* Capcom Generation 2 : all those Dai Makaimura !

* Castle of Illusion / Quackshot : if you want to live yet more in the past

* Ninpen Manmaru : nice 3D platform with puzzling elements.

Fighting

* Groove On Fight : Good 2D Vs fighting, not by Capcom nor SNK ? Possible.

* Dungeons & Dragons Collection : Beat Them All compilation

* PuLiRuLa Arcade Gears : BTA, gorgeous and absurd 2D.

Adult

* The Yakyuken Special for a good taste of Japanese adult absurdity : rock-paper-scissor stripping, unforgettable music.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now about the collecting part, I'll be clear from the beginning : a JP game without its spine card is not a JP game.
Following this simple rule, I could not refrain from hoarding hundreds of JP games, all of them sorted by genre or publisher like Shmups, Fight, Racing, Puzzle, RPGs, Capcom, Hudson, Sunsoft, Atlus and so on.
I tried to gather all the big ones, except the ones I could not find yet like Denpa Shounenteki Game 2, Scorcher.
As a final effort to complete the collection, I am now trying to find some rare games no one cares about. They are the "standard" version of games that are very common in their "limited" version. I'm pasting my search list here, and would appreciate if you guys would check if you have some of them. I'm definitely Paypal ready to make them come to me :

Code:
T-38501G   Pro Shinan Maajan Tsuwamono
T-19506G   Roommate ~Ryouko in Summer Vacation~
T-19716G   Ruriiro no Yuki
T-32101G   Sankyo Fever Jikki Simulation S
T-10505G   Sotsugyou III Wedding Bell
   
T-30810G   Shutsudou! Mini-skirt Police
T-14317G   Denpa Shounenteki Game 2
T-8128G           Scorcher
   
T-13307G   Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story I
T-13311G   Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story II
T-13313G   Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story III
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:10 pm 


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I ran into that (regular game much rarer than the limited edition) when I was deep into Dreamcast imports. I am convinced that some probably did not have a standard edition.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:25 pm 


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BIL wrote:

Shinrei Jusatsushi Taroumaru is, along with the PS1's Little Ralph, a rare instance of an original 32bit sidescroller matching the best of the previous two generations. HG101's review is specious trash, and is unfortunately also the game's first English google result. Given this state of affairs: Here is how to play! (earlier post referenced within, thanks @ GP for the replay!)

Oh, the good old days. Haven't watched that in ages but I recall kinda cocking it up at the end. :|
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:41 pm 


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So I tried out Digital pinball Necronomicon, only gave the first table a few plays so far, but it genuinely feels like a 90's pinball machine (if a bit sparse on features), cheesy voiceovers and all.

Really baffles me that it is a Japanese company behind this, that released it only in Japan despite all gameplay being entirely in English; I was under the impression that pinball is pretty much nonexistent in Japan, which baffles me even moreso. You would think that with the Japanese affinity for pachinko and arcades that pinball would be right up their ally.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:14 pm 


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Interested to know your thoughts and scores on all the tables.

In my experience
Spoiler: show
Arkham is the hardest one on Necro to just basically almost loop forever, and my lowest score by a lot. I've broke 40 billion on Cult and Dreamlands. I'll have to drag out a Saturn and check for Arkham but it's not nearly as high iirc. In general I find Necro to be easier than LG. 9.7 is a mixed bag, it's worth a burn at the very least to see the differences from the original. But basically...Gladiators is harder, KotR is easier, Warlock was mostly the same and Dragon Showdown is still pretty much unplayable.


@Bil: Shinrei Jusatsushi Taroumaru is a great recommendation. It's in my cdr stack. :D
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:20 pm 


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GaijinPunch wrote:
Oh, the good old days. Haven't watched that in ages but I recall kinda cocking it up at the end. :|


Taro's the sort of game that's relatively easy to survive but not easy at all to look good at, more importantly though you did its integral systems justice. :smile:

Steamflogger Boss wrote:
@Bil: Shinrei Jusatsushi Taroumaru is a great recommendation. It's in my cdr stack. :D


Good man! Image

Regarding Necronomicon being JP-only, I always had the impression (rightly or wrongly) that Lovecraft enjoys some cult popularity in Japan. See also El Viento, Magician Lord, X-Multiply and Persona cribbing lots of mythos material, and Innsmouth no Yakata for Virtual Boy... probably a million other things I'm forgetting or ignorant of.

Or maybe it's all down to JP devs having a mild case of reverse-weeabooism ( :lol: )
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:40 pm 


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The main reasons I bought a Saturn in 2005-ish:

Virtua Cop
Virtua Cop 2
House of the Dead

Mostly for HOTD, because that's the only proper home port it's ever had and is still great - even in its obviously unfinished state. Finding out about the import scene for shmups later on was a hell of a bonus though.

Great console, just got wiped out by Sony's marketing/hype juggernaut. And not helped by the half-arsed 32X stopgap that came before it.


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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:40 pm 


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assorted musings on the machine:

Bulk Slash is actually mandatory.
Absolute blast to play.

I've spent a lot of time with Ninpen Manmaru. It's... rough.
It also has really awkward controls and a somewhat annoying camera that almost works the way you want, but it's that "almost" that gets you.
There's a point where the level design just jumps the shark and devolves into obnoxious precision platforming that is just absolutely terrible with the controls.
but it is a unique-to-the-machine 3D platformer

Panzer Dragoon and its sequel are great. Haven't played Panzer Dragoon Saga, so I can't comment on it at all.

Sonic R isn't a good game [even ignoring the slippery controls, it just fails the "do I want to time attack this" aspect of a racing game kinda badly], but it does look stunningly impressive on the machine, and the somewhat intricate course layouts are... interesting.
Drastically better graphics than most anything else on the system. Extremely entertaining soundtrack.
would really be a lot more fun for multiplayer except the draw distance goes to shit

Wipeout has fairly altered handling and collision vs the PS1 version. In particular, you bounce off of walls here, instead of coming to a dead stop. Shame about that 20fps.
It's still Wipeout 1, and I think it's still super jank vs WOXL, but it's a fairly different experience on Saturn.

Virtual On is good fun if you have a friend around. Nowhere near arcade exact mechanically [Temjin's bomb attack lasts for ages in this release, attacks seem to home in quite a bit more here than on arcade, there's just a lot of odd move property changes], but still just a cool vs mech game.

Fighting Vipers is a great bit of wacky 3D fighting fun if you've got a buddy to play with.

I want to mention Taromaru, but I'm bad at it and haven't spent nearly as much time fixing that as I've wanted to. :oops:
Getting a real copy involves selling bodyparts for most people, which is a shame. It's certainly too cool of a game to be so damn rare.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:57 pm 


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I recently watched this vid with every Saturn game in it. Lots of fun discovering stuff I never knew existed .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pyMz4-fPgk

Anyway, here's some of the more interesting/obscure stuff I dug up:

True Pinball
Pastel Muses
Zero Divide - The Final Conflict
Steamgear Mash
Stellar Assault SS
Super Tempo
Tryrush Deppy
Shadows of the Tusk

These have translation patches available:

Dragon Force II
Linkle Liver Story
Sakura Taisen


Last edited by Udderdude on Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:59 pm 


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Might be my OCD acting up again, but I took a closer look at my saturn pad today and realized the previous owner hadn't exactly left it sparkling clean. It had some flaky brown stuff ground into the button and dpad concaves, as well as the sides of the controller.

So I did the only sane thing and completely disassembled the controller so I could dunk the plastic bits in warm soapy water.

Probably going to take a while to soak and then dry out, so more time to focus on medical school nonsense I suppose.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:00 pm 


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Sounds like my Saturn pads before I attacked them with some isopropyl. lol


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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:37 pm 


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Well I managed to reassemble the saturn controller, it is definitely cleaner. Not that I needed to do this in the first place, but again, OCD.

Only thing is that I dropped the little button matrix, and the C button ended up breaking off from the little plastic grid holding the buttons together :oops: Still functions, although the C button rattles a bit when pressed now.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:42 pm 


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cave hermit wrote:
Well I managed to reassemble the saturn controller, it is definitely cleaner. Not that I needed to do this in the first place, but again, OCD.

Only thing is that I dropped the little button matrix, and the C button ended up breaking off from the little plastic grid holding the buttons together :oops: Still functions, although the C button rattles a bit when pressed now.

My US model 1 Saturn pad had a plastic grid holding everything together, but the two JP pads I have [they were a LOT cheaper than getting a US model 2 pad] don't. They rattle like mad if you shake them. :lol:

and yeah, the first thing I ended up doing was just pulling them apart and wiping the everliving hell out of them with some isopropyl alcohol
One was pretty clean, but one was fiiiiilthy.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:45 pm 


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I ended up ordering Retro Fighter's brawlergen controller, which is an (allegedly) ergonomic hybrid Mega Drive/Saturn pad.

What really pushed me over the fence on this one was that it had an analog stick! I thought, "great, a 3d controller standin!" and ordered, but it was only afterwards that I did some research and discovered that, despite not being stated anywhere on any of the shopfront pages or in the instruction manual, that the analog stick does not in fact put out analog signals, it provides simple d-pad output. How disappointing and bizarre. Why bother even putting an analog stick on it? Also for some reason the controller apparently has rumble motors that aren't actually connected to anything.

Anyway, I'm not sure how to cancel my order with Castlemania games, So I guess I could just get the controller, see if I like it, then return it if I don't like it. I might like it in spite of the lack of analog output, It is apparently quite comfortable to use, and it would also act as a replacement for my Genesis M30 controller (which is quite good, but misfires in Xeno Crisis for some reason, doesn't quite fit the controller port properly, and has to be recharged periodically).

edit: I tried sending an email to customer service asking them to cancel the order, but after sending I noticed that they had sent me a shipping confirmation 2 minutes prior. Not sure what will happen now.

edit edit: They responded saying they could cancel it if I wish, but tried to convince me not to saying that this lack of true analog allows the stick to be used universally across different games. I decided to keep the order for the ergonomics and dual console functionality.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:15 pm 


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So I tried Nights into dreams, and it left me... uh, confused. Actually I was confused before the game even started, while I was burning the game to a cd, Imgburn was giving me several miscompare errors during verification that it said may have been due to correcting existing header errors in the image, only game this has happened with. Game seemed to boot up, and did not resemble a vinesauce corruption, so...

Anyway, the game itself, I dig the soundtrack and the vivid backdrops, but the gameplay is pretty confusing with all the perspective shifts. Basically it seems like I need to collect blue orbs and bring enough of them to a machine? Seems like a score attack game. Probably would play much better with the 3D controller, but again the controller I ordered doesn't actually function as a 3d controller, and actual 3d controllers are pretty expensive and probably would have wear to boot.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:54 pm 


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NiGHTS is very much a score attack game.
The gameplay loop is as follows:
* get enough orbs, put them into the machine
* do NOT go through the gate at the end, go above it
* do a bunch of laps around the course while racking up points, the blue chips turn gold and are worth more points now, you want to try for big-ass chains
* when time is almost out, go through the exit
* repeat until the boss, then beat the boss ASAP since your final score multiplier is ticking down

Some courses are a pain since the game tries to mask how little it can draw on screen with the rather cramped field of view [and the game seems to just outright stop drawing things when there's too much on the screen, so the HUD flickers sometimes].
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:37 am 


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Posts: 14743
Location: Chicago
cave hermit wrote:
Anyway, the game itself, I dig the soundtrack and the vivid backdrops, but the gameplay is pretty confusing with all the perspective shifts. Basically it seems like I need to collect blue orbs and bring enough of them to a machine? Seems like a score attack game. Probably would play much better with the 3D controller, but again the controller I ordered doesn't actually function as a 3d controller, and actual 3d controllers are pretty expensive and probably would have wear to boot.


They are? They used to be super cheap? I found the game quite playable on the pad. But that's me. You are correct that it's basically a score attack game.
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 Post subject: Re: The world is burning: Time to talk about the Sega Saturn
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:32 am 


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3D controllers aren't cheap, but they aren't super expensive either. I recently paid 40 (including shipping) for a JP multicontroller in very nice condition and the US counterpart runs around the same price range (40 to 50 USD), if not slightly higher (I have both versions and I'm under the impression that they are functionally identical). While I like it quite a bit, the mission stick or steering wheel work better for some games. It does have the analog buttons the steering wheel lacks, though.


Last edited by BrianC on Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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