Monday, 16 February 2009

Weekend Review

Ok, so another weekend has passed, and I had a chance to do a bit of gaming. The latest session on the SS consisted of Sega Rally Championship, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, NBA Jam TE, and Akumajo Dracula X (Symphony of the Night). Here's the recap of each game:

Sega Rally Championship: Still my favorite racer on the SS, with Daytona USA and Sega Touring Car Championship coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. So, holy crap do the graphics on some of the stages look bad. I remember the first time I played that game how awesome the graphics seemed, but after many hours spent on newer racing titles like GRID, and NFS Most Wanted, it's hard not to notice. Some portions of each stage look pretty good, but the car models themselves look like ass. Even the legit arcade game running on Model 2 hardware looks horribly dated these days. The physics system however is still one of the best out there. This is one of the only games where you can actually feel the weight of the car shifting around, which makes for awesome feathering of the gas and brake to hit those perfect drifts. Sega did an incredible job of making the digital control feel almost anologue in this respect. (I do have a 3D pad, but it's a bit too touchy for this game IMO). The music is pretty awesome too...even to this day. My favorite track is for the Mountain Stage, and the theme song to the credits.....such good Japanese Pop. I really haven't played this game hard in quite a few years, but I can't beleive that I still remember every corner of every track...that's either really sad, or really cool.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo: I played so much Super Street Fighter II (not thr Turbo Edition) on my Genesis console I completely forgot how much that game got raped on its port from the arcade. Don't get me wrong, it's still one of the best Genesis games out there, but after playing the Saturn version, I realized just how much of the character animations where cut, and how the sprites really suffered when it was ported to the Genesis. Anayways, this is a great game, but after playing so much Alpha/Zero, I hate not being able to air-block. Also, you can basically KO any one in three or four moves in this game...all of the characters are a bit too strong. It's amazing that in the arcades this was the same hardware that ran all of the SF games all the way up to Alpha 3 & Marvel Vs. Capcom. The game looks great and plays great as well. I love the funy sound the game makes when you pull of a Super's like a squirting lazer or something.

X-Men vs. Street Fighter: See my earlier post about this one. Definitely one of the best games on the SS...enough said.

NBA Jam TE: I played a lot of this game on the Genesis/SNES, and it wasn't until playing it on the SS that I realized how bad the arcade ports really were for those systems. The game is pretty fun to play, and it was released around the same time that I was really into basketball, so I recognize all of the players. The controls are pretty bad, and I'm not a huge fan of games where the point scoring (i.e. making a basket) is essentially done by chance. This game came with one of the used SSs that I bought, so I would say that it's not worth buying for more than $5.00. The game session with NBA jam only lasted about 15 minutes. Random fact: The most interesting thing abot this game is that it was published by Aklaim/Iguana, the same group that went on to Publish the Turok sereies.

Akumajo Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoko: This game is fucking rad. The only problem is deciphering the Japanese Menus (does any one have a game guide for the Japanese version that explains what each of the items are?). Anyways, rad game design, animation, music, gameplay etc. I'm glad to own at least one of the most sought after SS games. I'll post a full review on this bad boy after I wrap it. If I can't figure out the Japanese text, I might just have to play through the version that is avaialble on XBOX live arcade...yes I know that is blaphemy, but what am I going to do....seriously.

Anyways, it was a really fun weekend with the SS, and I'm already looking forward to next weekend so we can spend some quality time again.


NebachadnezzaR said...

While I have to agree that some Saturn games do look bad nowadays, there are some that I think have a certain mystique to them, a unique, distinctive look typical of Saturn games, and for me Sega Rally is one of those.

Of course it can look fucking horrible after spending some time with a 360 or PS3, but for me at least it still looks good in its own way.

As for the Castlevania guide, I found this one:

Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but check it out anyway :)

The Plushiest said...

yeah I agree. Sega rally is probably one of the better looking SS games out there. Which is odd since it's one of the first-gen SS games. Obviously Sega knew how to port games to the Saturn a lot better than other 3rd parties did.

Checking out the Castlevania Walkthrough right now.

The Plushiest said...

Thanks NebachadnezzaR, that's exactly what I was looking for. I figure that once I know which each item picture refers to I won't need to refer to the Kanji reference every time.....anyways, this is a great.

Now another question. I recently checked out the XBOX live demo, and I can bring up a map in that version....I can't seem to do this in the SS one? Does any one know about this?

fatherkrishna said...

That sounds like a great weekend's gaming there Plushiest! Sega Rally is in my top ten video games from any system, and has to be the best driving game I ever played, for the reasons you so accurately pointed out.
I'll agree with Nebacha though, I think the graphics are still OK! (Especially that beautiful sunset on the Lakeside stage...)

I was also playin SF II Alpha this weekend, and am thoroughly falling in love with it! A great 2D fighter, who's potential I have ignored as it sat unplayed on my shelf. I also need to check out SF Alpha Warrior's Dreams.

I've just purchased Last Bronx, Marvel Super Heroes and Super Puzzle Fighter off eBay!

I actually love NBA Jam. I think it works really well and enjoy the 'fluke factor' of the scoring system!

Talking of sports titles, I'm gonna do a comparative review of SS football (soccer) titles before the end of the month...

The Plushiest said...

Ok ,OK..I guess I came off a bit harsh on my graphics rating of Sega Rally...and yes, I do think that it is still one of the best racing games out there. It's just too bad that it was a direct arcade port, and didn't have any extras like Sega Rally 2.

So speaking of football/soccer titles...not to be left out, there is some random SS soccer game at the local pawn shop. I probably wouldn't buy it if you weren't reviewing SS soccer games....but what they hell...I'm going to go grab it this week to see if I can add anything to the review. I can't even remember the actual title right now...I think it's FIFA '96, but I could be wrong.

fatherkrishna said...

It's worth it if it only costs you a couple of bucks, but I wouldn't spend a lot on it... My kids are currently playing Fifa '09 on the PS3 in the room next door! 13 years on and the franchise still dominates English gaming!!!

THE soccer title for the Saturn is Sega World Wide Soccer '98! Sheer class and still a joy to play today!

elend said...

I love the Street Fighter Alpha series. SF Alpha 2 is maybe my most fave. Perfekt gameplay, great graphics and great remixes of the original songs. SF Alpha 3 was a tad too much for me, yet it's rather great as well.