Thursday, 31 January 2008

A Tonic For All Those People Enraged By The Last Post...




Yes! I know that this has been posted a hundred times before, but it always disappears into the archives! After the last post, I feel the cult needs to re-group... Judo suits? CHECK! Elvis wigs? CHECK! Translated lyrics to the theme tune? CHECK!

OK, after three... 1-2-3...


Segasaturn Shiro! by Segata Sanshiro


"The solitary man who devoted his soul to the way of games
Today, he comes again
He will punish those who do not play seriously
Their battered bodies will never forget!

[chorus] Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

They play tennis, sing karaoke, flirt around in clubs...
Are there not more serious tasks to be done?
Those who do not play maturely
He questions them deep inside their hearts

Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

(voice of Segata)
Youngsters... is there something in your life you are completely devoted to?
Something you sink into so deep you put your life on the line?
You must play Sega Saturn!
Play... until your fingers break! Until your fingers break!

Even if they chase after sex, that petty pleasure
Their soul will remain hollow
Those who do not immerse themselves to the extreme in gaming
Will find their bodies beaten harshly!

Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

The white clouds floating on the great blue sky
And the boiling red bloodshed in fierce gaming
Those who give up halfway through
Their battered bodies will never forget!"

Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro!
Sega Saturn... shiro!Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!

Blasphemy! CNET Blog Network Article Calls Saturn "the worst major console of all time"


Yes. This article says that the Saturn was the worst major console of all time...

http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13506_1-9861122-17.html

It was written by:

Don "Dumbass" Reisinger

http://blogs.cnet.com/8300-13506_1-17.html?authorId=9727958&tag=author

"Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has written about everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Don is a member of the CNET Blog Network and posts at The Digital Home. He is not an employee of CNET"

I can't even BEGIN on how wrong and badly researched this article was. It is striaght up 2.0 shoddy journalism. Donny boy must have gotten all his info off wikipedia and then wrote the story around the title. I am pretty sure he never even owned a system.

Fear not loyal Saturn lovers. Others who have calmer heads than I have already taken on the task of correcting this wrong.

People have posted VERY long comments pointing out the errors in this article as well as listing the many worthy games released on the system.

There are a few choices ones to read.

"So please Mr. Reisinger, do the world a favor and quit writing articles until:
A. You learn to research your subjects.
or
B. You become a competent individual. "

"How exciting. Maybe he should do an article showcasing the good games for the 3DO and Atari Jaguar"

And of course this is the same guy who claimed the SNES is the greated console of all time and didn't even mention the Dreamcast. He ONLY mentioned the Playstation because a "handful of Sony fanboys will cry foul" if he didn't. And his second place trophy goes to the NES... Wow.... My Nintendo fanboy sense is tingling.

The Saturn has alot of fans on the web Mr. Reisinger. Please do some actual research before you do your next "tech" article.
I can't help but think that Bernie would be proud of this article.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Segarocks!


Following elend's most excellent post about Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, I've recently (recently being today) acquired a most excellent collection of SEGA music. I'm talking of no less than SEGAROCKS Vol.1, Vol.2 and Live in Japan! Hell yeah!


Containing both original and, specially, rock versions of classical tunes, these cd's have songs like Go!Go! Sega Rally, In the blue sky (Virtual-On) or Sega Saturn, Shiro! These are just my favourites, of course. Since all the cd's have at least 10 songs (20 if you count both original and "rock" versions), there are a whole lot more tracks, like themes from various Phantasy Stars, Burning Rangers, a lot of Master Systems games I've never played, etc...


Here's Sega Saturn, Shiro! from the Live on Japan cd:

Saturn In The Movies... Again!

Whilst browsing YouTube for random Sega Saturn videos I found this little video. User "Mangatron8Zonaretro" uploaded an excerpt from the Anime series "You're Under Arrest!" and it shows how some character from the show repairs / mods a Sega Saturn. Too bad there are no subtitles available and it's a mystery to me, what the girl is saying, whilst looking at the moon. Probably something like "Damn, that Sega Saturn sure is a great console!" It's nothing too extraordinary and the scene is quite short, yet every Sega Saturn appearance is welcome.

Go, check it out here!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Takenobu Mitsuyoshi - From Loud 2 Low

Do dodo do, do do dooo dooooo! Daydooonaaa!

Everyone familiar with the Sega Saturn should also be familiar with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, who is one of Sega's most remarkable composer of video game soundtracks. He joined Sega's sound team around 1990 and quickly became a member of Sega's S.S.T. Band (Sega Sound Team). With his soundtrack to the hit arcade game Daytona he quickly built his very own monument. That didn't make him lazy or even coky, tough. No, instead he continued to fully take advantage of the medium compact disc and produced great soundtracks for games like Virtua Fighter, Shen Mue (incredible orchestra music!), Daytona 2, Sega Rally and Burning Rangers. Many of them with vocal tracks, which demonstrated his unique voice and are true classics today. Once you've played a game with his soundtrack, you'll remember a tune from him for sure.

(No Daytona without Takenobu Mitsuyoshi)

On November the 4th in 2003 he finally released a solo album (buy it here), which contains some of his best works. Many of them have previously been released but it also contains some unreleased tracks. The most noticable being an interpretation of the ending theme of Burning Rangers, which was originally sung by a women. The "interesting" thing about it: Takenobu tries to recreate that female voice. It sounds really weird at first, but fans of the Burning Rangers game will immediately recognize and fall in love with it. No matter how weird you might find his voice at first, his tunes to the Daytona racing series are instant classics. So it's a no brainer, that the album features them as well. When it comes to the Virtua Fighter Anime theme song and especially the Burning Rangers theme, Takenobu finally shows, that he can also sing a more "mature" way. You know, without all the engrish and "Do do doo" found in the Daytona music. I can really recommend the album, since it not only features 5 and more new tunes (depending on how much you know, from him! I, for example, never heard the Anime Virtua Fighter songs!) but it also gathers his best works in once place.

Whilst browsing for his name on google I also found this hilarious live performance of the Daytona Song "Let's Go Away", which he is performing together with Rony Barrak. It's a great example of how crazy he is in real life. On a sidenote: I had the pleasure to meet him at the "Games Convention 2007" in Germany, where he signed my copy of the Shen Mue Orchestra OST. Check out the video, it's... I am out of words.

Shun shunned?


I was really excited about receiving my recently purchased copy of Virtua Fighter Remix (a lovely factory sealed Japanese one...) I sat down to play it... The characters looked sumptuous compared to the blocky and jagged representations of the original incarnations, and the backgrounds and fighting stages were breath-taking. All good so far!

So I decide I'm going to play as Kage Maru (I usually do...) and off I go, beating Dural on my second attempt! Lovely! A worthy addition to the Virtua Fighter family! Then something hit me, and when it did it hit me hard, like an icy blast to the stomach...

Where was Shun? The drunken master, a warrior so cool, he literally sits down in the middle of a fight for a swig of hooch! A guy so old that he has lost most of his hair, and the little he has remaining is as white as the snow on the top of Mount Fuji itself! Yet a man whose ninja skills are as supple as a shaolin monk who has just spent his eighteenth year training in a Tibetan dojo!



A man about whom wikipedia informs us...


"He is from Northern China and is considered as a sage by many. He teaches in his small training hall and had many students in the past but most have left him by now. This is due to his keen interest in taking students able to take hardship as part of the training.
While drinking with his friends, Shun hears them boasting about the success one of their student fighters in recent tournament competitions. He suddenly exclaims, "I also want to participate in the World Fighting Tournament". Shun's friends pleaded with him not to, but once Shun had mentioned his intent to fight, he was adamant and eventually joined the tournament.


During the 2nd tournament, Shun saw a suspicious shadow in one of the rings. When he followed it, it turned out to be one of his beloved disciples, a man he himself raised. He didn't have an opportunity to talk to him, but the incident filled Shun's heart with doubt. Why would they meet here? Why hadn't he heard from his student in so many years? Resolving to solve the mystery, Shun decided to enter the next tournament and find out.


After the 3rd world tournament, Shun was still unsuccessful in finding his student. One day, he received a letter from his student, informing him of his intention to escape from J6 but was recaptured eventually. Not wanting to react rashly, he waited for the next letter but it never arrived. He decides to join the 4th tournament hoping to find more information about his missing student.

Fighting style:
"Suiken" is one of the stylistic Kung-fu forms of Chinese martial arts, also called "Suishuken". The fighting posture of "Suiken" is derived from the form of a drunk, walking without balance, moving like the wind, sometimes taking a drink along the way or occasionally falling down. These attributes give the style all the necessary means of defense and offensive movements, making it one of the more interesting Virtua Fighting Styles. Shun's style and appearance are based on the character of "Su Hai" from the movie
Drunken Master, played by Yuen Siu Tien"

Then it struck me... Had I purchased VF2 before VF1 all those years ago? Had I then made the assumption that he had been there in the franchise all along? Had I bought VF1 as a cheap bargain purchase and then consigned it to the back of a cupboard because it was an inferior copy of it's successor?


Was Shun, my lovely drunken master, merely an after-thought in Yu Suzuki's vision? It seemed the answer to all these questions was "yes". Shock and disappointment set in... did that make me merely an amateur Virtua Fighter fan? But I'd played every game in the franchise, other than VF5, which I had vowed to purchase as soon as budget allowed!



Tears rolled down my cheeks as I walked into "The Wiseman's Kung Fu" shop at the foot of Scarlet Hills... (sorry, did I forget to mention I was in the middle of Shenmue II on the Xbox 360??) for there on the wall at the back of the shop were reverential posters depicting our baldy hero...



Will I ever be able to pop Virtua Fighter Remix into my Saturn again? So many things are up in the air right now, so many things... For now I'll have to console myself with playing VF 4 Evolution on the PS2... LOL! ;)


Monday, 28 January 2008

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL OUR READERS!!!!


Having applied for hosting at Gamespy.com, I may have done something that may threaten our current existence! My intention was to bring the site to a wider audience, but having received the following message, I realise that I may have threatened the existence of the SJY as we know it!

Here's the mesage....
"Over the next few days, DNS servers all across the Internet willupdate themselves with your new site name. Once that happens, you will be able to access your site at its permanent address, fatherkrishna.classicgaming.gamespy.com."

Anyone know what that means? Will we still be able to access the site at the current address?

I'll be horrified if I've messed up at all and caused the downfall of our favourite haven...

Reassure me my brothers! PLEASE!!!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Virtua Mario (Saturn Homebrew)



'Virtua Mario', accurately described by Arugulaz as looking like Mario stepped into the Money for Nothin' video in the excellent post below. We've seen this guy before in one of the very few posts about Saturn Homebrew that we've had on the SJY. A long while ago I posted some screen shots of said game, but admitted that then (as now) I knew nothing about the scene...

So it was great to have such a definitive and clear post on the 'Yard... I still feel like I need to learn a grat deal more, but for now I'm just gonna sit back and watch the lovely video above!

Back to BASICs

http://www.satakore.com/sega-saturn-complete-game-basic,,1,,0.html

Got a copy of Sega Saturn BASIC? Probably not, but if you DID, you could play these demos, recently released on the Satakore web site. There are four hundred and seventy seven different programs for the lucky Saturn BASIC owner, ranging from fighting games with fuzzballs to a game that looks as though Mario (you know, that mascot who's not Sonic) stepped into a Dire Straights video.

We can't give you money for nothin', but you can have these demos for free! And even if you can't actually use them, be sure to check out all the images and videos on the site. You won't believe how many of them there are!

Special thanks to Insert Credit for breaking the news first!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

A call to arms for Sega-loving Wii owners

There's a web site out there called RetroZone which offers a variety of controller adapters, including two for the Nintendo's Wii that make it compatible with game pads for the NES and Super NES. These adapters plug into the GameCube ports on the side of the Wii, allowing the player to enjoy Virtual Console games the way they were meant to be played.

Well, some Virtual Console games, anyway.

RetroZone doesn't offer an adapter for Sega Saturn controllers, or their smaller but equally effective Sega Genesis counterparts. This is bad news not only for Sega fans, but tournament caliber fighting game players and anyone in the market for a small, responsive joypad with logically placed, uniformly sized buttons.

I've asked RetroZone to make a Sega Genesis adapter available. This would have the double benefit of letting both Sega Genesis fans and the gamers who want to kick it really old-school with an Atari 2600 get the most out of their Wii experience. However, despite having the technology available to them, the management at RetroZone have refused to make the adapter, claiming that there isn't a market for it.

It's time to prove them wrong.

Fellow Saturn fans, please show your support for Sega's outstanding mid 1990's controller design and ask RetroZone to sell a Wii controller adapter that's compatible with the Sega Arcade Pad. Be polite, but firm, and pledge to purchase the item once it is made available. If RetroZone receives enough mail asking for a Sega controller adapter, there's a chance they'll change their minds.

Wii owners who own games like Capcom vs. SNK 2, Bloody Roar, Super Street Fighter II, and Guilty Gear X just can't play them with the default controller. Tell RetroZone to give them a Sega controller adapter, and give them a fighting chance!

(Note: The e-mail is not explicitly listed on the site. The FAQ makes a rather vague suggestion to send E-mail "to this domain", so I'm guessing retrozone@retrozone.com will work)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Sega Saturn In The Movies

When you are one of the coolest consoles of all time, it is inevitable that you'll end up in a movie sooner or later. So did the Sega Saturn, when a Hong Kong movie called "Black Mask" was released in 1996; Saturn's peak year. In the midst of the movie the name giving Black Mask (Jet Li) is forced to kidnap one of his co-workers (Karen Mok) in order to get her out of trouble. Of course his real identity is a secret to her, so she's anything but thankful that he recently saved her. Thus, she's screaming, biting and scratching with her fingernails. How can you calm an innocent woman, who's behaving like that? Only with a Sega Saturn of course. So Black Mask decides to put her gently (aka throwing her) onto a chair infront of the TV and let her play some Sega Saturn. What's funny about the scene is, that she's even enjoying it. You can see her for some seconds, how she's playing like crazy (with her hands cuffed on the back). Also very interesting is the fact, that the scene only lasts for a mere minute, but within that time she is playing 3 different games. Virtua Fighter, Darius Gaiden and what looks to be some Capcom brawler (X-Men Children Of The Atom, I think). Either she has some kind of Hotel Saturn, or the filmmakers (Tsui Hark) didn't really know, how a console works. The facts, that she uses some sort of foot pedal (wtf?) to play Darius Gaiden and that the audible sound effects sound like the very first pong consoles, are only supporting that assumption. But then, it's a great scene nonetheless.

(click for an outrageous big size)

The movie itself is really watchable too, If I might add! A great Hong Kong action fest starring Jet Li and Lau Ching-Wan, who both are acclaimed actors in Hong Kong and one of the first comic to movie adaptions. I can only recommend the Hong Kong DVD, since western releases often have laughable dubs or even changed soundtracks (again, wtf?). And it's cheaper anyways.

Monday, 21 January 2008

A brief history with the Sega Saturn

I must regretfully begin my first post with a shameful admission... I wasn't always a fan of the Sega Saturn. Back in 1995, when the system was prepped for release in the United States, I was absolutely convinced that the console would be a failure and a waste of money. Hey, don't give me that dirty look! It would be hard to come to any other conclusion after the 32X!

However, I would not hold that opinion for long. Out of morbid curiosity, a friend and I decided to rent the Sega Saturn and some games. One of our choices was NightWarriors: Darkstalker's Revenge, the sequel to one of my arcade favorites. I was utterly floored by the quality of the conversion... the enormous sprites, smooth animation, and vibrant colors that were once the exclusive domain of pool halls and laundromats were now on my television set, with no apparent compromises. It was truly a defining moment for me as a gamer.

After that day, my faith in Sega was restored, and my loyalties had shifted from the Playstation to the Saturn, even in the light of Sony's increasing market domination. So enamored was I with the system that I purchased my first Saturn game (NightWarriors, natch) a month before I could actually afford the console!

When I moved to Arizona and bought a Saturn of my very own, that's when my tiny collection exploded. NightWarriors was quickly joined by Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Marvel Super Heroes. Shortly afterward, I took my collection beyond the borders of versus fighting, purchasing any games I could find. Fortunately, at the tail end of 1997, Saturn games weren't hard to track down, and they were even easier to afford. It was rare for me to purchase a game at full price, thanks to all the clearance sales and the dozens of games available at Bookman's. For those of you who've never stepped foot into the Arid Zone, that's a really cool used entertainment store that's like Barnes & Noble, GameStop, and Sam Goody all rolled into one. But I digress!

By 1998, I had roughly forty games, but that still wasn't enough to satisfy me. Saturn titles were starting to dry up in America, thanks in large part to the short-sighted leadership of Sega's American branch. I had to turn to the far East to get my fix, and in April, I ordered my first import title from National Console Support. That game was Waku Waku 7, a tournament fighter that borrowed all of its heroes from popular Japanese films and television shows. That was quickly followed by King of Fighters '97... I played this in arcades whenever I had the chance, and was impressed with the Saturn conversion, lengthy load times aside.

Then came the coup de grace. While surfing online, I met a collector from Japan who needed to pad out his library of Sega Genesis games. That system was as unpopular in the land of the rising sun as the Saturn was here, making its games extremely rare. So we started trading... I sent him Spiderman: Arcade's Revenge and Snatcher, and received Japanese Saturn releases like Layer Section and Grandia in return. Soon, I had thirty import games to go along with
my collection of US titles. And the difference in quality between Japanese and American releases is nothing short of massive... frankly, I can't blame Americans who don't like the Saturn, because they missed out on the good stuff.

Today, the Sega Saturn has been technologically eclipsed by the Dreamcast and a half dozen other game systems. Despite this, I'm more proud than ever to be a fan of the system, because I know I'm not alone. The Saturn Junkyard is only one of a dozen sites dedicated to the underappreciated console, and with the internet bridging the gap between the United States and Japan, more people than ever recognize the Saturn's full potential. We're experiencing a 21st century renaissance of a system whose genius had went unrecognized, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Welcome Arugulaz!


The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed a new contributor's name has been added to the most esteemed list on the sidebar of the blog. That's right, its Arugulaz! Creator of the most excellent Saturn Winter Special 1 & 2 videos, featured on the SJY a couple of weeks ago. (And a man who most definitley does NOT sound like a certain Dreamcast virtual man-fish!)

*COUGH!*

I'm most pleased to tell you that Arugulaz has accepted the invitation to join the team, and share his voluminous Saturn knowledge and Sega love with us mere mortals... So may I be the first to extend a warm welcome and a hearty "hello" to our newest recruit to the cult of Segata Sanshiro, Arugulaz!


Saturn Graffiti

No big news today, but it seems that flickr user big daddy keylow was quite in love with a very special console when he painted his graffiti artwork. Is it just me or does the sphere in the middle resemble the Sega Saturn logo? After reading the description of the piece on his flickr account it's clear, that he indeed thought about the Saturn, when painting it. He even won a console with it as well, since he was competing in some kind of graffiti competition in the UK! That was back in 1996, when the Saturn was still hot for many people (and maybe tepid for a few). We still want to congratulate big daddy keylow for his achievment and would love to see some Sega Saturn worshipping in 2008, too!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Video Game Vault - X-Men: Children of the Atom



Yup, it's time for another VGV. Ok, I know I've been posting VGV's like crazy, but hey, it's not my fault that those guys over at Screwattack have been making lot's of videos directly or indirectly related to the Saturn, and I feel like it's my duty to post them!

This time around they didn't pick up a good game...they picked up a game full of awesome! (yeah, I'm starting to get infected by their unique sense of humour...) Anyway, what they say in the video is nothing new here at the Saturn Junkyard. Our most beloved Father Krishna talked about this very game here, J shared his thoughts on one of that article's comments, and even I made a little post about it here.

I guess finally we all agree about a game's quality :)

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Sega Saturn Consumer Brochure Winter 1995


The "Sega Saturn Consumer Brochure Winter 1995" probably has the longest name in the history of Sega Saturn memorabilia, but I couldn't think of a better one. It basically is a 28 page heavy consumer brochure for the Sega Saturn games - and in small parts peripheral - program of the winter 1995. I bought it for an insane amount of money and felt the urge to scan it, since I paid 18 EUR (26.76 USD) for it... whoops! I actually wanted to keep that a secret, but there you go. Call me nuts.

Download a 14 Megabyte PDF of it*

Apart from waking a really warm and fuzzy nostalgia in me, it isn't actually that special. It's really nice to read the marketing blah blah of the 90s, tho. For example: Did you know, that "Sim City 2000" has "brilliant 3D graphics, that do justice to the Saturn's 3D abilities"? I certainly didn't and thought it was a 2D game all those years! Other than that, it still features "Descent" as a coming soon game, which we all know by now, never saw the light of day on the Saturn. Which is a shame, really. The only guys to be able to make a decent port would have been "Lobotomy Software", but they were still working on Exhumed, which was called "Ruins" in the brochure.

And uhm... did I already mention that the whole brochure is in German? No? Well... never mind and download it anyways, since it's visually very well made and the AM2 Interviews are uninteresting and meaningless anyways.

*I really recommend Foxit PDF Reader, because it's a) freeware, b) reliable, c) small and d) opens much faster than Adobe programs. Go download it here!

The best and worst Sonic games



I know this is not exclusively Saturn related, but hey, it's Sonic!

Now I have to say, this is a pretty good video to watch, and hey, they didn't make fun of Sonic Adventure! Yup, in fact they consider it one of the good Sonic games (SA2 was way better, but fuck it), and the number 1 is...ok, I dont't want to spoil your fun, but trust me, they certainly made a good choice.

Now, about the bad Sonic games...I totally, completely disagree with their choice for worst Sonic game. I have to admit, I played that game sometime ago, both the Saturn version and the PS2 one (on one of those Sonic collections, Sonic Gems Collection I think) and I didn't have much fun, but to consider it the worst Sonic game? Come on, both Sonic 3D and the last Sonic "next-gen" sucked more.

Talking about it, I think I'm going to play some Sonic on my 360. Yeah, I have the game (I'm a true Sonic fan, after all) and yes, it sucks ass, but it's still Sonic...

Sega Saturn Print Ad Galore

Whilst browsing google's image search for Sega Saturn related imagery - again - I found this particular awesome Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yugi print ad, which was scanned from a japanese Sega Saturn magazine. Segata's face this detailed (click the pic for a much larger version!) is a rare occasion and should be perceived by everyone who calls himself a Sega Saturn fanatic. Too bad Segata's face is kind of bleak / transparent and thus not perfect for future photoshopping / reference.

The source of the pic turned out to be some kind of spanish message board with an extensive gallery of Sega Saturn related imagery sorted by the categories wallpapers, print ads and hardware. It's a really nice collection, so...

Give it a try!

On a sidenote: I also found this great and highres picture of a Virtua Fighter 32x print ad, which may be the only time you are able to see an artist's impression of a dad and his son playing Virtua Fighter on the 32x plugged into a Mega Drive. Including a screenshot of Virtua Fighter painted with what looks to me like oil paint. Very great.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Dark Legend, Mediocrity at it’s most mediocre

I usually love, like or hate a video game.

It's always one of those three responses.

However, I just got a large collection of Saturn games from a nearby thrift store and one of those games has changed all that.

Dark Legend

I found myself actually playing it as I tested out the rest of my haul. It was a strange experience because this game left me feeling NOTHING AT ALL.

No sense of, "Hey that was kinda of cool" or "What the hell didn't they play test this game at all????!!!!".

Nothing.


It looks like Street Fighter 2 running off DOS and that's how it plays too. Even the combos and special moves in game are the same. Playing the game is a little better than sitting and watching paint dry, but without the possibility of getting a little high off the fumes.

This sort of game SHOULD be blistering fast on the Saturn but somehow the developers managed to slow down the action just to the point where you would notice it.

But it wasn't actively negative in any way either. It LOOKS like a classic 2D fighter. In fact it kind of looks a lot like Samurai Showdown. It's controls are not as bad as some of the fighters I have played on the Saturn (but they weren't great).

Play was not so hard as to make me want to beat the next guy. It wasn't TOO easy but easy enough for me too lose interest quickly. In fact using the Saturn controller was probably the only thing keeping me playing since it's such joy to use after using "modern" controllers.

It was just very very bland.

In fact the only thing that made me react at all was the horrible intro video. It shows how very little anyone cared about making this game look good. WTF is that mascot/logo THING???



I won't even rate this game.

If you LOVE 2D fighters and have enough game carts and CDs to make a small game case fort in your living room than yes, you might want to spend $5 American on this.

Otherwise unless you are a collector I can't help but think you are better off saving up for a copy of Street Fighter Alpha or X-men.

I hope to get a video of my new Saturn stuff up soon as well as rate some of the cool games I got.
You guys have been doing an awesome job of posting here!

EDIT:

If you are a collector, than yes. This game still has a place in your collection. I have recently been playing alot of really excellent fighters for the Saturn and that may have screwed up my perceptions of this game.

However, I stand by my review. It's not a great game. It's not a horrible game. If you can find it for a cheap price and like 2D fighters you will just have to decide if you want to try it out for yourself.

Sometimes a game like this is like a nice hot bowl of oatmeal or plain tomato soup. It may be a bit bland but it can still be a comfort.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Saturn Splurge!


I've got Sega Rally Revo sitting there under my TV. A graphically lucious, 360 compatable, current gen, rallytastic treat. So what did I just do for the last hour and a half? That's right, I sat and played the original on my Saturn, trying to shave seconds off my time so I can beat the World Championship. I then played about twenty minutes worth of Sega Rally 2 on the Dreamcast, to see how it compared to the original... Quite frankly it didn't.



Still a great driving game, the Dreamcast version feels too heavy, clunky if you will. Having held the Saturn controller for so long, the Dreamcast controller felt too weighty and strangely so did the car it was controlling. But I digress...

My evening started off trying out my recently accquired Saturn demo disc"Sega Flash Vol. 3" given away free with Issue 15 of Sega Saturn Magazine (January 1997). As well as video of Fighting Vipers, NiGHTS, Virtua Cop 2, Dark Saviour, Bug Too and Mr. Bones, this lovely disc also contains playable demos of Virtual On (can't say I was that impressed), Tomb Raider (Yay!) Sega Worldwide Soccer '97 (only one half of a match though!) and Daytona USA CCE (driving the Hornet around Dinosaur Canyon), which inevitably lead me to think... "Hmm! driving... Saturn... SEGA RALLY!" and that was that... With the familiar ignition sound, I was off... But I digress once more...



I've been a bit naughty friends... I've had a bit of a 'splurge' spending-wise on coveted Saturn items... let me share with you the recent Saturn goodies I've secured from eBay over the last week... I'm currently waiting for them to arrive...





The first thing was... Virtua Fighter Remix. Apart from Virtua Fighter 5, I now own every incarnation of the franchise. This re-release or 'update' of the original had higher-polygon models, and believe it or not, a copy was sent free to every registered Saturn owner in the US!



*Harumph!* another smack in the eye for European gamers... But a copy is now winging it's way towards Krishna Towers so I can't complain...

And talking of Virtua Fighter, one of the purchases I'm most excited about is... (wait for it...)


"Virtua Fighter THE COMIC!" Issue No.1, produced by Marvel. Now I love comics, particularly Marvel Comics and this one's about Virtua Fighter characters! I never even knew it existed till I stumbled across it... Happy days! And at only £3 including postage, it represents the biggest bargain of the splurge!


OK, next. Pandemonium... Sound familiar? This is a game I loved on the PSX, but I never knew had a Saturn release. A medieval jester-themed platformer, this psychedelic bounce-fest is a real blast, with gorgeously garish graphics, weird monsters, freeze and fire rays, slides and trampolenes and mushrooms... Lots of mushrooms! Great stuff!




A paradoxically 'hot property' on the SJY at the moment, I just couldn't resist buying Winter Heat, the Alpine themed brother of the wonderful Athlete Kings. With all of the lovely video recently posted, plus all of the reccomendations for my Saturn colleagues it was a must buy!


But perhaps the one I'm looking forward to getting the most is Burning Rangers! The wonderful review by J, plus his demands for it's Wii remake, have left me salivating for the game. But, not one to do things by half, I'm not just getting the game, but also a rare Japanese demo of this hallowed title! Now this little bundle set me back nearly £30! So I guess you know how much I want it!


I'll let you know how it all works out!

Video Game Vault - Off-World Interceptor Extreme



Here's another VGV for ya!

Too bad it's another sucky game. They sure could pick up better games to review...

Well, at least they're showing some love for the Saturn, after countless 8/16 bits VGV's, particularly NES ones...

Anyway, here's Off-World Interceptor Extreme, featuring vehicles with such catchy names as Violator or VV Sector (WTF?).

Friday, 11 January 2008

Saturn Winter Special (2)!



Wow! I'm absolutely thrilled and delighted to have the opportunity to present this most fantastic follow up to nebacha's original 'Saturn Winter Special' post...

Whilst I was just sat there at the computer, commenting on J's most recent offerings, the following email came through, alerting me to the following comment on the original 'Winter Special' post.

"ArugulaZ said...
Hey, I'm the guy who created that video! Thanks for the publicity... it's just the kick in the pants I needed to finish the second half of the feature. You'll find that here, by the way:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Ac48355W0Being a long-time Saturn fan, I really love what you guys are doing with this site. Keep it up! And for the wiseguy who said I sounded like Seaman in the intro... that was supposed to be James Earl Jones, but it's the lowest octave I could reach with my squeaky voice. :P"

By Segata! Our Lord moves in mysterious ways... For the God-like creator of the video that got me through that first post-Christmas downer, is actually here at the Junkyard, alerting us to the second cinematic oddyssey posted above! You see? January isn't all that bad!!

Segata! Bestow all your manifold blessings on dear ArugulaZ for the gorgeousity he has graced us with...

Sega Love For The Saturn

Sega has still a little bit of love available for the great Saturn. Well... at least they are not ashamed of it and so I recently found out that they still have a Sega Saturn page online as part of a Sega console history.

It features quite an interesting and detailed list of games for the Saturn. I didn't know that in 1999 there still were 16 games released. Other than that, the site features some neat little graphics, nice yet tiny pictures of a grey Saturn as well as a peripheral listing. It's nothing special, really, but maybe some people of you never had a look at the japanese homepage of the console, we all love so much.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Christmas is over...What reason is there to go on???





Greetings dear friends! For me, this is the most traumatic time of the year, as I have to say goodbye to my favourite Yuletide season. The partying is over, the decorations down and I'm off the booze. Yet, the weather is still crap, the nights are still long and I now have to get up for work everyday (in the dark!) At times like these, I have to look forward to things that sustain my will to live... One of these is the February release of the long awaited NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams for the Wii... It's the only thing that's gonna get me through January!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Vectorized Model 2 Saturn

(click for bigger version)

Today I finished my vectorized Model 2 Sega Saturn. The round edges of it gave me quite a headache, since they were rather hard to fake with linear shading only. And for some odd reason the blend stuff in Corel Draw does not work at all for me. I actually like the Model 1 Saturns with the oval buttons more, but I choose the white japanese Saturn because a) japanese is always great and b) the white Saturn fits the artwork which I am planning much better. Yes, there's also an artwork in the works, but this is super secret, because it'll still take a while to finish it. You'll hear it hear first, of course.

Here are some details of the vector.

(click for bigger version)

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Sega Saturn History Visual Collection DVD

I recently bought the so called "Sega Saturn History Visual Collection" DVDs volume 1 and 2. The DVDs with the shameless long names are actually part of some kind of Sega Saturn worshipping project by a company named Wave Master and came out with three little siblings in audio CD format; The "Sega Saturn History Part 1 and 2" as well as the "Sega Saturn History Vocal Collection" featuring plenty of tracks from your favourite Sega Saturn games. I'll try to give you more information about these, as soon as I bought them.

"But what's on the DVDs now?" you might ask. Well, I have asked myself that question for years, too (They came out in 2005). Because when browsing the net for some more Information about the DVDs, I actually found nothing. It seemed to me like no single human being on this planet earth has been buying these things, so I knew I had to buy them myself, to see what's the content like. I was hesitating all these years because the price tag for a japanese DVD isn't the cheapest on this earth. For one DVD I had to pay almost 46 USD! But well... there's a cute handdrawn Sega Saturn on the Cover, how could I resist?

Content of DVD 1:
- Intros and outros of your favourite Sega Saturn games.
- Some japanese guy playing Virtua Fighter 1 and 2
- Well... that's it!

So damn, that was quite a dissapointment. I was thinking about "a little bit more" like... TV commercials, making ofs, interviews or at least some additional concept art. But nothing. The DVD only contains Intros of games like Clockwork Knight, Panzer Dragoon or Virtua Fighter, which we know already anyways. The fact that they have the same lame quality, which they had back then, isn't something I'd consider a plus for the DVD. So the volume 1 DVD definitely isn't worth 46 USD.


Content of DVD 2:
- Intros and outros of your favourite Sega Saturn games.
- Some japanese guy playing Sega Rally
- 2 Segata Sanshiro Commercials in great quality.
- Well... that's... wait. Segata Sanshiro TV commercials? On DVD? In decent quality, like I've never seen them before?! Woo yay!!!

Yes, that's one of the best things about volume 2, as well as the saddest one. Why only 2 in god's name? I would love to have all of the awesome Segata Sanshiro commercials on DVD in superb quality. But no, they decided to release only two of them and fill the rest of the DVD - again - with intros and outros of our favourite... aw fuck man. I love the intros as well as the games, but I know them already. They aren't in a better quality on the DVD either. When I want to watch the Deep Fear intro, I'll just put in the game. But when I want to watch Segata Sanshiro, I have to watch either lame Quicktime versions of it or - even worse - browse YouTube. With all commercials on the DVD they would have been worth 46 USD, too!

The Intro of the DVDs is very lovely. You see your usual Sega Saturn menu, where you set the time and after setting it to 1994.11.22 (Its birthday!) it boots to the lovely Sega Hymn from the Segagaga game and some pictures of Saturn pamplets. But besides a lovely menu there's nothing left. Only the intros, which are played one after the other, without any kind of placeholder, so that you know that now the next video starts. That makes me really sad and it's a missed opportunity for Wave Master. Especially when you consider that the "Famicom 20th Anniversary Commemoration DVD" was awesome and quite successful, too.


So, I'll now buy the soundtrack CDs and hope, that they'll be a tad better. But what could they possibly do wrong with those?

Friday, 4 January 2008

Sega Saturn Flyer Archive

Well, you gotta love those japanese guys. The retrogaming scene - if you can call it like that - is quite big in Japan. You'll find tons of retrogames in countless shops, which are scattered around the big cities. Comedians are playing NES games in TV Shows. It is so big, that they release Soundtrack CDs of 20 year old games, even today!

Now I found that nice japanese website by accident, which features scans of Saturn games related Flyers. Yes, I know, it's all in japanese and you probably won't be able to read something. But the resolution is very nice, the quality even more so, both the front and back has been scanned and they are full of pictures! What more can you possibly ask for? The Navigation can be a bit tricky, tho. The game genres are in the upper left corner, and always check the lower left corner whilst browsing, since some genres have multiple pages of flyerscans! But nice as I am I also uploaded a little instruction screenshot.

(click for bigger version)

Funny: When writing this post, a great german Sega Saturn information repository came to my mind, which actually also features scans of old print ads as well as some videos and even radio ads! I recommend you check out its download section. The links are as follows...

Japanese flyers
European and Japanese print ads and TV commercials

Tetris Plus review.

Now here's a good Tetris game! To resume this game in just one sentence, basically everything that Tetris S made wrong, Tetris + makes it right. To be more specific, let's start with game modes. There's the usual classic mode, where you just play regular tetris until the screen gets filled with pieces and you lose; Vs. mode to play against a friend (as far as I can tell there's no way to play against the computer), Puzzle mode and Edit mode. And what are these two all about, I hear you ask?

In Puzzle mode you have to, as the title suggests, solve puzzles. When you start to play there's already a set of pieces on the screen and your goal is to clear them in order for the Professor (the very anime looking archaeologist from the cover) to reach the bottom of the screen. You must be quick though, for when the pieces start to fill the screen he starts to climb them and if he reaches the spiked ceiling it's game over. Very addicting and refreshing mode, no doubt.


Edit mode, as far as I know, let's you create your own puzzles. Haven't tried it out yet, but from what I've read about it looks like a good tool for the more creative gamers.

Gameplaywise, this game rocks. The controls are way more responsive than in Tetris S and you totally feel like you're in control. Graphically this is also a very appealing game. The backgrounds are nothing out of the ordinary but they do their job and the overall presentation is great. The loading screens are animated, the main menu is colourful and the little characters are just damn cute.


My only complaint is about the playing field that fills only the left half of the screen. I assume the right half is intended for a second player, since there's a "press start" sign on it, but nevertheless it's a shame that we just play on half of the tv.

Anyway, if you're looking for a good, challenging and kind of innovative Tetris game, go for Tetris Plus. Unlike Tetris S this is available on all territories, so there's no excuse for not to get it.

Here's a video of the PSX version (couldn't find one of the Saturn version, but they should be fairly identical):