Tuesday 30 January 2007

My Last Saturn Purchase Till May...

Right! I've come to the point where I'm telling myself enough is enough. I have recently bought a shed load of games for the Saturn and have loads more that need playing and reviewing. I could carry on purchasing more games, but what's the point of buying games which remain unplayed or unnapreciated?

In fact, I've not even touched my Saturn for over a week. Instead I've been playing the most excellent Resident Evil 4 on the PS2 and loving every minute of it. This comes literally days after me slagging off the whole franchise on this very site, after buying and playing the original Resident Evil for the Saturn. I must have given it all of five minutes before I decided that was crap, and then went on to write off every version of Resident Evil ever made.

On a whim last week though, I decided to offload some old and unplayed PS2 games along with some Dreamcast titles that I had multiple copies of. I went of course, to the hallowed Gamestation where my trade in value came up to £34. I knew there was a copy of Virtua Fighter 4, which my blogging buddy, Ross had reccomended on his excellent Pro Gamer website.

It was part of a 'two for £20' deal, so to keep up with the 'retro-upgrade' feel, I coupled it with 'Outrun 2006'...Nice! Both games had excellent reviews so I knew I had two assured results...
Now... What to do with the surplus £14?

Hmmm... RE4? I'd seen it before and been impressed with the nice packaging (collectors edition tin)... Game 'sage' J had posted a nice video on the making of this game in his Corner Of Randomness (a nice site on Gaming, music and all manner of stuff). I'd seen review after review stating it's brilliance and giving it an average of 9-ish+... But it was Resident Evil... and I don't like Resident Evil do I?

However, I bought the damn thing as I couldn't think of anything else I wanted. I played VF4 and loved it. Having played the Saturn almost exclusively for a month, the graphics seemed sumptuous and rich. I loved the continuity of the gameplay from the other VF titles and liked the new characters. Score!

Outrun 2006 is a lovely update of the original, a lovely arcade blast that can be played in short spurts like VF4, so another result!

Somewhat grudgingly I tried out RE4... and it was love at first bite. Again the luscious graphics were a winner from the outset, but it was the gameplay and different scenario to the previous titles, that had me sucked in from the start.

Anyway, that was about a week ago and I've been playing as often as work, married life and fatherhood allow... it's been my most gratifying gaming experience since Shenmue (my favourite game of all time) and i should have it nailed shortly...

However, playing through a game properly to it's conclusion has made me stop and think about the HUGE backlog of unplayed, unfinished and unexplored games I have for a variety of systems. These need to be either played or traded, and as gaming is my only vice in 2007 (my year of sobriety) now is the ideal time to do it.

When I've cleared a significant portion of the literally hundreds of games I've already got, I might reward myself with a 360 or Wii. It's gonna be a while though...

Why is May the magical month when my self-imposed ban comes to an end? Well for one reason, it gives me a few months to play through and number two is I'm 40 in that particular month, so I guess I can have whatever I want...

However, to stock up on a few goodies before February rolls around and the ban kicks in, I've bid on a Saturn steering wheel and joy-stick on eBay and ordered new Dreamcast game "Last Hope" off Play Asia.

Plus I've got four new pieces of Dreamcast software to play on, which will be featured on the DCJY soon, a couple of Game Gear games, a Saturn game which I'll tell you about in due course and...

This!! the second most I've ever paid for a Saturn game... (about £24 off eBay) Yes that's right Segata Sanshiro...the game!!!!!!

Halle-fucking-lujah!!!!!! Officially titled "Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yugi" It's a collection of mini-games featuring the great man himself. Plus there's a selection of the great commercials that I've been 'treating' you to over the past few days...

Now, me Elderly and Gnome are currently embroiled in a Segata Sanshiro Cult seige in Waco, Texas. As such it's been rather difficult to get this post out. However, if you'd like to join, sign up below... Cult members will get a Judo suit, Elvis wig and semi-automatic.

You do have to give up your life for Segata Sanshiro (literally) but let's face it... We all want to do that anyway don't we? Anyway, got to go, an incendiary grenade has just popped through the window...

Saturday 27 January 2007

Segata Sanshiro- The Documentary...

Yes I think we need more...
We need to know the history that inspired the cult. Sorry... did I say CULT...
I wasn't supposed to have mentioned that till I'd ordered the brainwashing video and obligitary Judo suits that we all have to wear on the ranch... Shit! i didn't mean to mention the ranch till I'd bought the guns... FUCK! Did I say guns??? I wasn't meant to mention the guns till we were under seige... FECKING SHIT!!! I didn't mean to mention the seige till the federal agents turned up...

Oh fuck it!!! Just watch and enjoy...

Thursday 25 January 2007

All together now, 1,2,3...

Couldn,t resist it now we all know the words...

Segata Sanshiro English Lyrics!

Segasaturn Shiro! by Segata Sanshiro
The solitary man who devoted his soul to the way of gamesToday, he comes againHe will punish those who do not play seriouslyTheir 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 maturelyHe 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 pleasureTheir soul will remain hollowThose who do not immerse themselves to the extreme in gamingWill find their bodies beaten harshly!
Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!
The white clouds floating on the great blue skyAnd the boiling red bloodshed in fierce gamingThose who give up halfway throughTheir battered bodies will never forget!
Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!Segata Sanshiro, Segata Sanshiro! Sega Saturn... shiro!
For more Segata Sanshiro obsession, look here...

Saturday 20 January 2007

Less is more? Hell No!

Yes this is self indulgence at it's worst... but I don't care. If I'm the only bugger left reading this blog, so be it... At least I'll have my Segata Sanshiro!

Segata Sanshiro To Sign For MCFC?

Since the departure of David James, Nicky Weaver has been doing his best for City... but if I was manager of the Blues, I'd have this frankly fantastic keeper as my number one choice...

Friday 19 January 2007

New Goodies for The Saturn Junkyard

Well if you don't ask you don't get... having seen the same sorry ass bunch of games at my local Gamestation over the last few visits, I decided to be bold and harass the 'uber-geek' behind the desk if they had any "under the counter" goods.

No you bunch of perverts! I'm not talking about hardcore illegal porn, (I get that elsewhere obviously...) I'm talking about Saturn stuff they were holding back, till they'd flogged off the load of shite they had on the shelves, to some unsuspecting dupe. I was presented with a large box of games to sift through, which yielded the following bounty...
Now I'm not going to do a full review of any of them, just give you my first impressions of each title. At £6 the lot I couldn't go far wrong... Or could I?

Now as it worked out, there are three that will get a second play, one that might get a few plays and two that will be played again and again, and maybe played to completion, although with my track record that's highly unlikely...

We'll work through from the frankly shite to the quite good...

Number 1 "Hardcore 4x4": Now I've played a lot of games in my time... from the first 'Pong' type black and white "Blip...blip...blip..." style game, to the most coveted next gen title "Lost Planet" on the Xbox 360...

I've played 2D games, 3D games, shumps, sports games, platformers, RPGs, strategy games, flight sims, fantasy games, life sims, animal games, beat 'em ups and even (believe it or not) business games. I've played games in arcades, on my TV, on handhelds, watches, on my computer and on my phone. And yesterday, I found THE shittest game of all time... and I'm ashamed to say, it's a Saturn game (but not exclusively, thank God...)

This multi-format nightmare, is without exaggeration, the worst gaming experience I have ever had. I've not even bothered to check it's name properly... It could be called '4x4 Hardcore'. It should be called "A right fucking load of wanky arse vomit" for that's what it is...

Shitty, pixellated four wheel drives, 'race' at a fucking snail's pace, around the most rediculously bumpy and winding track, crashing into each other in a competition to see who can do the shittest. The best description I can give you is, it's like being spiked with really powerful acid, chained to a tractor and then set off through a river of porridge and excrement, on a twisting mountain road, whilst the devil cracks off a slow, sulphurous, rumbling fart, in through your ears and out through your mouth.

Get the picture? Good. Things can only get better...

Number2: Resident Evil A piece of gaming history, as Capcom branches out from it's 2D fighter roots, and takes the gaming world by storm by virtually inventing the 3D Horror Survival RPG. Only one snag here... I could never get into any of the Resident Evil titles.
Firstly, I'm shit at the game. Whether it's this initial foray into the franchise on the Saturn, or the highs of R.E. Code Veronica on the Dreamcast, I'm just shit.

I want to like it... I really do, but whichever incarnation I play, I end up hating the way the characters seem to ice-skate through the game when walking... I get lost very easily, can't remember where I've been or come from, panic as zombies approach and end up with one of the undead motherfuckers taking a good old chomp out of my neck, with blood spurting out whilst I try to shake them off, wriggling about like a little girl whose been injected with smack. And those doors, those fucking doors that you have to stare at while the levels load... *shudder!*

Yes, yes, yes. I fully expect to get a good slagging off for this. I'll hold my hands up... It's me not the franchise. I'm shit, the games good. Yeah, yeah... whatever...

Number 3: Exhumed Now actually, this one is quite good! And there you were thinking I was just a moaning arse. This Egyptian themed FPS sees you exploring a labarynth of tombs trying to avenge the grave-robbing of some long-dead Pharaoh. Visually simple, you follow a series of mazes, twisting right and left, looking at the end of your sword or pistol, and slashing or firing accordingly. 3D in the most simplistic of senses, this is rather like an old PC game. On your way you battle jumping spiders, buzzards and a concoction of other scary beasts. Killing them gives you power-ups and replenishes health.

You can twist and turn your way through the ancient crypts at quite a speed, giving the game a fluid and pacey feel. I don't usually like FPS games, never got into Quake or Doom, but this, I like... Good-oh! Let's crack on..

Number 4: Street Racer Definitely the best of the bunch! A Mario Kart style racing game with an eight-player multi-play facility. Cartoony in it's graphic layout, the best way to describe it is by comparison. I've already mentioned Mario Kart, let's throw in Whacky Races on the Dreamcast, Micromachines on the Megadrive and even a touch of Crash Nitrokart.

Very impressive graphics and 3D physics within the game engine, I'm not going to say too much about this particular game because its so good it deserves a full review at a later date.

Phew! Quite a lengthy diatribe for what was meant to be a quick post! All this typing's made me feel like I need a quick Segata Sanshiro fix, so I'll shamelessly throw another straight on top of this... Goodnight dear children, wherever you are...

Wednesday 17 January 2007

More Segata Sanshiro!

Yes I know posting videos is a very cheap and lazy way of filling up a blog, but Segata Sanshiro deserves all the exposure I can give him... In fact he's becoming something of an obsession of mine... So here's Number 2... and I make no apology for posting Number 3 right on top... Enjoy!!

Segata Sanshiro vs. Bomberman!

Yep here's more, and you know what? I might even throw in number four! There's loads of 'em and I love 'em!!!

I love you Segata Sanshiro!

This is the last one...for a while... (Sniff!)

Tuesday 16 January 2007

Introducing Segata Sanshiro!

Here he is in all his glory, the slightly scary, yet highly amusing human face of the Sega Saturn. Our unlikely hero featured in a great number of Saturn commercials in Japan. Although a little too late for the Season Of Good Will, this was his first appearance on Japanese TV and I'll try to post the series in order intermittently between reviews, news and the usual bullshit. Sit back whilst Segata Sanshiro scares the SHIT out of some small children... Mind you, they deserve it...They've got that White Saturn I'm after...

Sunday 14 January 2007

My Saturn Games Collection!

Well I thought for the purposes of the blog and also for myself, that I would check out my Saturn software collection and make an alphabetical list. Anal, I know, but useful as a means of cataloguing my titles, re-discovering a few old gems and allowing me to consider what games I would like to re-play and review...

So here goes, games and publishers. The titles are not categorised by genre, are not rated in terms of quality or have not necessarily even been taken out of their box whilst in my posession! But these are mine, all mine and will be played, rated and reviewed over the next weeks and months, as the life of the Saturn Junkyard goes on through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.


Alien Trilogy/ Aclaim
All Star Hockey 98/ Sega Sports
Casper/ Interplay
Clockwork Knight/ Sega
Darklight Conflict/ Electronic Arts
Daytona USA/ Sega Sports
Fifa 96/ EA Sports
Fifa 98/ EA Sports
Fighting Vipers/ Sega/AM2
Fighters Megamix/ Sega/AM2
High Octane/ Bullfrog
House Of The Dead/ Sega
Loaded/ Gremlin
NBA Live 97/ EA Sports
NBA Action 98/ EA Sports
Nights Into Dreams/ Sega/Sonic Team
Panzer Dragoon/ Sega
Pebble Golf Links/ Sega Sports
PGA Tour 97/ EA Sports
Rayman/ Ubisoft
Revolution X/ Aclaim
Sega Ages/ Sega
Sega Manx Superbike TT/ Sega Sports
Sega Rally/ Sega Sports
Sega Worldwide Soccer 97/ Sega Sports
Sega Worldwide Soccer 98/ Sega Sports
Space Jam/ Aclaim
Street Fighter Alpha 2/ Capcom
Street Fighter Alpha Warriors Dream/ Capcom
The Incredible Hulk/ Eidos
Tomb Raider/ Core/Eidos
Virtua Cop/ Sega/Am2
Virtua Cop 2/ Sega/AM2
Virtua Fighter/ Sega/AM2
Virtua Fighter 2/ Sega/AM2
Virtua Racing/ Time-Warner Interactive
Wipeout/ Psygnosis
World Cup Golf/ Arc Developments
World Series Baseball/ Sega Sports

Japanese Import

Dead Or Alive/ Tecmo
Nights Into Dreams/ Sega/Sonic Team
Virtua Fighter Kids/ Sega/AM2

So there you have it... 42 titles of pure Saturn loveliness! All there waiting to be played and assessed. ranging in price from 20p (Sega Worldwide Soccer 97) to £25 (House Of The Dead) based on current Gamestation prices. For reviews of a lot of these titles look at the excellent Retro Gaming With Racketboy (here...)

I've thrown in a few cover shots to make the post (slightly) less boring but for a comprehensive games list with cover shots look here

Thursday 11 January 2007

eBay Treasure Trove - Kit yourself out with a Saturn today!

Well after the euphoria of learning to post videos (although my limited skills still prevent me from encapsulating them within a full blog - screenshots, photos links et-al), I decided I needed to take a break and write a post that was video free. Whilst avoiding work at school today, I secreted myself out of the way and decided to check out just exactly what was available for the Saturn on eBay and how much it would cost.

At the hallowed Gamestation, you can pick up a Saturn with a couple of decent games for under £30. Under £30... That's a very decent console and two games for the price of a 360 or Wii game. And it's worth remembering that such excellent titles as Sega Rally, Clockwork Knight, Sega Worldwide Soccer, Fighting Vipers, Virtua Fighter and Virtua Cop retail for about £2.99 a pop! (or cheaper!)

On checking out eBay it seems that you might have to fork out a little more (or less) depending on the beauty and rarity of items you were bidding for... Let's have a 'look-see' shall we?

How about this? A rare Japanese, NSTC, limited edition White Sega Saturn, never been used, with all it's original packaging... Beautiful isn't it? Would I love to own it? Fuck yes! Would I pay the "BUY NOW!" asking price of £220? FUCK NO! There's Saturn love and then there's being taken for a mug... I only payed a pricey £100 for my beloved Treamcast and that's a frankly far rarer console... See my recent article on the excellent Gnome's Gaming On The Go...here.

Onto the next item...

With a current bid of £31 and £15 postage, here is an equally rare and equally beautiful, see-through 'skeleton' edition Japanese Saturn. Now there's no garantee that the bid will remain at this price but it strikes me that we're hitting a more realistic price range. Now like a love-lorn stalker, I'll be watching this item. I won't be buying it... (For the same reason I won't be buying a Wii, because my household has reached 'console quantity tolerance vs. possible divorce proceedings' if you get my drift...), but if it goes for that as it's selling price, I'll be crying bitter tears into my pillow that night...*Cough!*

Now we're talking...

O.K, we're approaching the clam-like spending potential of Father Krishna... Want that beautiful White Saturn, but are too impoverished to buy one? Well you can live the dream with this white Saturn pad, for the bargain-tastic price of £2.95 with £3 postage!! Awlright!! If you've got the self-discipline to keep your eyes trained on your pad and T.V. screen, without glancing at your console, you could pretend you had that Japanese Saturn you'd always dreamed of... What do you mean that's fucking stupid? Well it works for me you bunch of c--ts! *Harumph!!!*


Just when you thought you'd never get your hands on that elusive "ultra rare" White Saturn, it turns out they are so "rare" that there's another one for sale on the same list, with the current price of £50... and this one's got a nice little selection of games to go with it... HMMM???

So, dear readers, I guess it pay's to shop around doesn't it? Now again £50 is the current bid and there is no garantee that it will stay that low... But I'm willing to bet that the final sale price will be less than the fucking scam-tastic £220, that we first looked at... O.K. lets get back to that cheapo zone in which I always feel more comfortable....

Sega Saturn Memory Card!

Now actually these little babies are quite rare... Particularly for the price of £2.99 plus postage and packing. One of the frustrations of playing games on my Saturn in the 90's was that I could never save 'em. Now I've got two, which also act as converters so I can play my Japanese import titles...

Obviously it would be advantageous to own a Saturn before you bought it, but the way I figure, it's only the price of a pint, and if you bought it, you might feel compelled to buy a Saturn, and my mission in life to place all Saturns in the homes of loving retro console owners, would be one step closre to becoming a reality. Go on buy it. Go on. Please. Look just fucking buy it !!!

Sorry about that I just got carried away...*cough!*


What about trying to score a bargain bundle? This is quite a nice little package... console, two pads, including a nice "3D" pad, light gun, scart lead, some great games, including Sega Rally, Nights Into Dreams, Panzer Dragoon and so on. This little package is still currently bidding at £24 plus £8 postage... I'm not the best eBay buyer in the world, but I know other people are adept at it. If someone snagged this lot at it's current price they would have scored big time!

Nice Bundle 2

Now look at this lot! Again a great package, including something I've never even seen in 'real life' before... The fabled Sega Saturn Official Steering Wheel... Now up until now, I thought these babies were like the Yeti or the Loch Ness Monster... The stuff of legend, of elusive dreams... But now photographic evidence has confirmed they really exist!!! Cripes! Heck! Blimey!

I can't even remember what the price was for this little package, but it was under £50 when I looked. Remember, all these items were up for grabs at the time of posting... look around you might find better! A nice feature of this bundle are the boxes... they make a purchase of a Retro console feel like new, particularly if things like mannuals and original packaging are in-tact. If you buy a Saturn without any of the manuals, there is a fairly useful printable tech-spec here...

Rip off!

Now whilst I like to have boxes with my stuff (and was thrilled to find a battered Saturn box under the stairs at my mums the other day...), but a box on it's own seems to be a bit of a shitty buy.

Some joker is trying to sell this box on eBay... Whilst the starting price is only 99p, the fucker wants £4.99 postage for an EMPTY FUCKING BOX! What kind of knobhead would pay that?

Any way, I've got to go now, I need to see if I've got 99p plus £4.99 in my Paypal account...

Now I'm a bit self-critical at times, so if this post has been a complete waste of my readers time, please let me compensate you with a glimpse of the lovely Mylene Class, classical pianist, ex-Hearsay band member and Celebtiry Jungle Bikini Showerer... Enjoy!

Sunday 7 January 2007

Sega Saturn Megamix!

Yes I know I've gone crazy on the video posting at the moment, and don't worry I'm going to stop after this one and get back to posting some reviews, mod and emulation news, images and screenshots etc. But this little montage is a great way to check out the visual feast that the Saturn provided for it's sega faithful back in the mid-nineties...

Some of the games featured are amongst my favourites... Particularly, the Virtua Fighter footage is something I love to see flagged up on the Interweb...

I'm finding myself drawn away from this post by the drama unfolding on Celebrity Big Brother (LOL!!)... and as usual, I've neglected to play the 'new' games I have recently purchased because I find it very difficult to tear mysef away from the computer, constantly hopping from each of the sites on my link section, trawling Youtube and eBay and checking to see whether any commentors have joined the tumbleweed blowing through my sites...

A particular site that has been grabbing my attention is Racketboys as it is the most comprehensive resource for Saturn information that I have yet discovered... As well as the Saturn, there is loads of stuff about the Dreamcast and other consoles.

You can even purchase accessories from this most helpful of blogs.

Now, as I spend so much time checking out the sites I respect, it really thrills me when the authors of said blogs turn up on the Saturn Junkyard. My family were laughing at me when they saw how chuffed I was when Racketboy took the time to drop in and offer a few words of praise and encouragement!

And talking of those who have supported and encouraged, heads up particularly to The Elderly and and also to J.

Not forgetting the lovely Gnome who is celebrating the one year anniversary of his excellent 'Random Lair' and Ross who is celebrating his one year anniversary on Progamer!

Can you feel the love? :)

Friday 5 January 2007

How I Got Into The Sega Saturn- "Pebble Beach Golf"

Back in my Megadrive/Genesis days, I spent many a pleasant summer's days ensconced in my living room with the curtains drawn, blocking out the glare of the sun on my TV screen, so I could play virtual golf.

Sad, but true. When it came to choosing my then 'next gen' console, the only consideration I had was "Would the golf be as good as it was on the Megadrive?" This lead me to plump for the Saturn over the Playstation, it's Sega-ness proving the decisive factor.

(I can feel my gaming credibility flying out of the window...) And so to "Pebble Beach Golf"... Bloody Marvellous! "Father Krishna!" I hear you cry... "This game looks shite!"
"Or does it?" I reply... "OR DOES IT???"

But look at the beautiful rendered video contained within the game... Beautifully realistic? I should co-coa! And having the beautifully chunky Craig Stadtler to guide you round the course and comment on your shots! Well it's just... beautiful... Oh deep joy!

And check out the foxy outfit on the lady golfer... Knee length shorts? Phwoar!!!

Seriously this game plays like a dream... So, snaffle this baby up if you ever see it lurking for the bargain-tastic price of £2.99 at your local Gamestation/Car Boot Sale/Thrift Store/Charity Shop or public conveniences. Peace out! And don't forget, if you find yourself with a lady golfer, in a deep hole, between a couple of curvaceous bunkers, take your wood firmly by the shaft, and swing it repeatedly before driving it straight toward it's target... *Cough!*

Thursday 4 January 2007

Shenmue - Sega Saturn Version!

Whilst experimenting with posting video, I thought I'd treat you to this beauty!

Shenmue is my favourite ever game for the Dreamcast, but as you might have guessed, it was originally destined for the Saturn.

Originally entitled "Project Berkley" or "Virtua Fighter RPG" this sprawling epic tale of revenge is worth owning a Dreamcast for on it's own...

However, I love this particular Saturn tech demo which those who finished Shenmue 2 were treated to on completion of the game.

On the subject of Virtua Fighter, you may notice a striking similarity between Ryo (the main character in Shenmue) and VF's own Akira... That's because they are one and the same...

God bless you Sega! God bless you AM2! God bless you Yu Suzuki! Enjoy!

Wednesday 3 January 2007

Virtua Racing (Saturn) Review...

Well this has to be the shittiest time of the year for me. Being a big fan of Christmas and the sentimentality/excesses associated with the time, I find this period of returning to work (tomorrow), realising that I need to curb my drinking/smoking/over-eating, and try to get healthy - even taking down the decorations- all thoroughly fucking depressing.

So what better way to stave off those post Christmas blues, than a trip down to that hallowed retail outlet, Gamestation. and what treasures were there to be found! Number one, a Dreamcast title that I have been after for some time... Toy Commander!

Next, a Saturn title I'd perused and seen left sitting on the shelves over visits stretching back to November... Virtua Racing.

Anything with the prefix "Virtua" has usually floated this particular gamers boat. Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop and so on... Perfect!! So why should Virtua Racing be any less excellent?
I was about to find out...

Apart from anything else, it's weighty £7.99 price tag suggested it was either a classic or a rarity... and as a collector of games rather than just a player of games this had to be a good thing either way...

So as part of the 'Buy One Get One Free' deal (or Bogoff! as it's known to Gamestation's regular customers) I got my Toy Commander and VR for less tahn £8 for the pair... Not too shabby...

On getting the afforementioned bundle home it was Virtua Racer that I decided to explore first...

Produced by Yu Suzuki's AM2 team (responsible for arcade classics Out Run, Super Hang On, Space Harrier and the best game of all time... Shenmue) Surely we were on to a winner?

The graphics were utterly shite! Pixellated, blocky, overly simplistic - even for a fan of retro gaming this was hard to swallow. The tyres of the cars looked like octagonal lumps. The mechanics who attended to the car were faceless automatons. Scenery was awful... Pine trees represented by green triangles and so on...

Onto the gameplay... Thank God! Playing the arcade level you start last, in the familiar pole position. Having to beat sixteen cars to get to the front, the player has to surpass his oponents, whilst travelling through a series of time limited stages. Passing each stage within the allocated time provides a varying time bonus... Standard for most racing games. The car handles really nicely, with a nice low centre of gravity, reminiscent of go-karting with mates!!

The Grand Prix stages, whilst considerably longer (10 laps), also allow the novice to find his feet and get to know the wide variety of tracks. Three camera angles allow the driver to view the race from a tiny car, wide perspective, birds eye view, to a 'camera-on-the-back-spoiler-see- everything-right-before-you hit-it point of view'.

The obligatory speedo, lap counter and 'impossible to interpret' course map are all presented in your peripheral vision, and are not much use one and all...

Sound? Poor! The car sounds a little like my hoover, when you move up a gear it sounds like something has blocked in the hoover pipe! OOER!

Some good music, but it sounds like the guys who 'rock out' on Sega Rally, stopped by on the hoof... Rather than providing a soundtrack to the whole experience, they just do a little riff, when you pass a time stage, and then fuck off for a beer and a cig...

But if you look at this in it's proper revisionist history, this baby is a fore-runner to the mighty Sega Rally, something of an elderly, but influential uncle. It originally rocked 'em in the arcades...

A revolutionary gaming system including an extra processor made this a heavy weight back in the day. To buy it's original incarnation for the Megadrive/Genesis would have cost you a princely $100!

Perhap's the real villains of the piece are publishers Time Warner who commissioned a sloppy port of the original game for the Saturn, in the hope of making a fast buck off the back of an established favourite, on a 'new' console... Ho Hum!

All in all not a total loss overall. For more information look here. For a better review look here.
And for a piss poor video of some little French brats playing against each other on a Saturday morning TV show, look here...

Good night children, wherever you are...