Wednesday 30 May 2007

BDPE - Segata Sanshiro: The Legend

Well and truly inspired by J (see below). It's time to air (for AT LEAST the second time), this mini documentary about the greatest man to ever walk the earth - (possibly).

The great Segata Sanshiro! Without him the world would have crumbled into a thousand pieces, the oceans would have evaporated and the tears of a billion babies would have gushed to take their place...

OK none of that is true, but without shadow of a doubt, he has got to be the single best advertisement campaign for the Sega Saturn (something we in the west never managed...)

Had Segata graced our screens, the Saturn would still be selling like hot cakes and the 128bit era would never have arrived - there simply would have been no need! Watch with a tear in your eye, as this documentary unfolds...

Holy Motherfucking Shit!

Jesus! They say "There's no fool like an old fool..." and they couldn't be more right...

The God-like entity which is J, has not only made me a gorgeous looking banner for the Saturn Junkyard, but has also taken time out from his undergraduate studies to post this amazing piece of work... the Segata Sanshiro Theme Drum and Bass Mix! And he also created the wonderful 'Warholesque' print of Segata San above...

And I was too locked up in my own stupid world to overlook this most amazing of posts! I cannot understate how THRILLED I am when when I listen to this...

J, I love this! I love you, and I love the Corner... Please forgive me..

Tuesday 29 May 2007

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Well this is something of a comparative micro-review of three of the Saturn's driving classics! Today marks the day when I first fully road tested my Saturn steering wheel peripheral, and put some serious time in with both my oldest and newest Saturn games!

But let's start at the beginning shall we? The games I'll be reviewing are Sega Rally, Daytona USA and Sega Touring Car Championship . I have to say that the review might not be completely objective. Sega Rally was the game that came bundled with my Saturn, is the most played of the bunch and holds a somewhat sentimental place in my heart... Daytona USA is a game I fell in love with at the arcades, and was sought out on eBay to add to my collection. Sega Touring Car is the one I've played least and therefore is something of unfamiliar territory. But still, time is short, so let's crack on shall we?

First of all, let's talk about the steering wheel. Oh dear... having again sought this particular item off eBay when I first discovered there was one, I was crushed to find my new peripheral didn't work. However, I tried again to purchase one and Gamestation came up with the goods, and I managed to secure one for a fiver (£5)... (I then sneakily returned the broken one to Gamestation and swapped it for some games... ;) A word to the wise, unless your a compulsive collector, avoid this particular peripheral... Unlike light guns, it doesn't enhance your driving experience or recreate the arcade feeling...

OK First Category: Steering Wheel Compatability

Sega Touring Car: Even using the options to tweak it's sensitivity, playing STC with the steering wheel leaves you crashing from one side of the track to the other. It's an unforgiveably "drifty" racer anyway and the car tends to slide all over the place, therefore, progress is nigh on impossible.

Daytona USA: Thanks to the generous choice of cars available, it's possible to select a car that has more road hold (at the expense of acceleration and speed). This actually allows for something of a counter-balance to the sensitivity of the steering wheel, and makes Daytona easily the most playable in this particular category!

Sega Rally: Equally if not more unplayable with the steering wheel, despite my familiarity with the layout of the track. Overall experience - pretty bad! Disappointing!
Category 2: Longevity

Sega Touring Car: With a limited amount of cars and tracks, STC holds the least appealing longevity. Coupled with the impossible drift, your quite likely to press the "off" button before you've even checked out what the game has to offer. The franchise is not due to be continued into the current gen of consoles.

Daytona USA: As previously stated a wide variety of cars and tracks mean that Daytona probably has the most lasting appeal. Plus the AI cars are probably the most forgiving, meaning that racers like myself will probably not throw the controller down in a hissy fit and give up on the game. The franchise actually made it as far as the last gen, with a graphically gorgeous version being released for the Dreamcast. Don't rule out a reincarnation at some time in the future!
Sega Rally: The outright winner, due to the fact that it continues to be part of my gaming life to this day, a good twelve years after I first played it. The game somehow encapsulates the driving experience, and unlike it's STC counterpart, the drift is actually useful to the rallying genre. A slightly biased winner there, but it's my review and therefore I'm allowed! It's third reincarnation is due out on the PS3 soon, and it looks like it's going to be well received!

Category 3: Graphics: There's not much between them really, compared to todays fayre, they look a tad blocky and pixellated. But they need to be judged within the context of the time they were produced, and on those terms they're all pretty good.

Sega Touring Car: Not to dissimilar to it's Rally cousin, however the mechanics that attend to you in the pits (which I keep annoyingly driving into by mistake) look like stick men drawn by a three year old. So it's losing some points on that front alone!

Daytona USA: Bright, bold and brash like it's Nascar reality. The cars look great and there are some nice touches like a cliff face with a Mount Rushmore like rock carving of Sonic in the distance on the first circuit.

Sega Rally: The first circuit will have you sucked in, with it's running zebras and hovering helicopters. For it's time it was pretty stunning. Again, I'm not sure whether my feelings for the game are romanticising my outlook, but I think this just pips Daytona in terms of visual appeal. Plus the sunset in the unlockable Lakeside circuit brings a tear to my eye... LOL!

Category 4: Wow Factor!

Sega Touring Car: Definitely a game which looks like it has more potential than it actually does. When I can play the other two, its unlikely that this game will be placed in the Saturn too often...

Still the Toyota Supra cabinet in it's arcade incarnation (see video below) is pretty impressive...

Daytona USA: The fact that you can tear arse through hordes of other cars in this game, plus its playability factor is pretty high. It says something for the game, that despite it's revamp for the Dreamcast, I'd still rather play the Saturn version. With a modicum of care, you can progress nicely through the Arcade mode. However, for the true Daytona experience, the arcade version is the only way to play....

Sega Rally: Quite possibly THE best driving game ever made, this game is worth buying a Saturn for in it's own right. From the moment, you press the start button and hear the car ignition, till you drive off into the sunset on the unlockable Lakeside Circuit, this game is a clear winner. As fresh today as it was in 1995, the attention to detail was so good that the Sega development team actually sampled the actual car engine noises for use in the game, and spent many an hour bumping round real rally circuits in real cars to ensure their virtual counterparts were accurate reflections. Plus Sega Rally had online functions... In 1995!

Category 5: Soundtracks

They are all cheesy AND brilliant. Fluctuating between rock and techno, the soundtracks to each game fit like a glove. Too close to call!

Category 6: Price

Sega Touring Car: £2.99 (plus free game as part of the BOGOF deal at Gamestation)

Daytona USA: £2.99 (plus free game as part of the BOGOf deal at Gamestation)

Sega Rally: I once picked up a copy for 20p! Beat that!

OK, so after that very unobjective and unscientific analysis, I'll just add up the secret points on my magic calculator...

And the unsurprising winner is... SEGA RALLY! Hurrah! (Whistles and Cheers!)

For great reviews of each game look here , here and here

This is FK, for Sky Sports, saying "Keep your eyes on the road and both feet on the wheel..." Goodnight!

Friday 25 May 2007

Sega Touring Car Championship

Ah! Sega Touring Car Championship! The latest game to find it's way into Father Krishna's collection. Playing somewhere between Daytona USA and Sega Rally, this is yet another example of the excellent driving fayre available on the Saturn. With it's pumping techno soundtrack (there is a link between the Saturn and rave culture which I shall expand upon at a later date...) this game is a must for all race fans! I have a few days off this week and I intend to do a comparative review of Saturn driving games, as played using the steering wheel peripheral! These will include Sega Rally, Daytona USA, Sega Touring Car Championship and just for a laugh, Manx Superbike TT!

Obviously, the best way to play this game is in the arcade in a fully sized Toyota Supra, with widescreen and surround sound (as pictured below) However, as you'd have to go to the Joypolis Arcade in Tokyo to do it, for now the Saturn home console port will have to do!

This rather lovely game only cost me £3 and is in immaculate condition with one of those durable plastic 'snap shut' cases rather than the brittle plastic and paper UK PAL cases that like to disintegrate over time! So, despite the Wii entering Krishna towers, the Saturn love continues, and I promise at least three new posts in the ensuing week!

Peace Out! FK

Monday 21 May 2007

A video tribute to the Sega Saturn - pulled from Youtube

I was going to make a cool post today but I was busy so here is just a Saturn video tribute I found online.

I thought the techno music in this was kind of funny. But what the hell! It kinda works! Anyways it shows some good gameplay. Not the best moves in House of the Dead though...or in any of the games. The guy playing sucks. Still pretty cool!

Wednesday 16 May 2007

The Wii-gle Has Landed!

Yes Folks Its Here!

The day of my 40th birthday has arrived and it is my first day for playing the Wii!

So far I've got Wii Sports and Monster 4X4 World Circuit. I haven't played either game yet, but I think I'm going to have a good evening of game play with a few beers, a take away and the Wii-mote and Nunchuck!

The games I really want for it are NiGHTS (of course), Umbrella Chronicles and Red Steel (despite it's mixed reviews, it looked great in the Wii promos and I've been itching to have a go ever since...)

Obviously games like Wario Ware (Smooth Moves) and Zelda have got to be given a try, but one of the main things I'm looking forward to is being able to try out some Gamecube games! Soul Calibur II featuring Link? Yes please! A better looking RE4? Yes please! Chibi Robo? Yes please! Donkey Konga? Yes please! In fact I've been itching to have a go of those damn bongos ever since I first saw 'em!

So now I can waste money on two more console's software! Oh happy day!

Monday 14 May 2007

Review: Galactic Attack / Layer Section / Ray Force / Gunlock

It's a game of many names and as usual the worst is the North American release title, "Galactic Attack".

Read the wiki article on why this game has so many names.

However, a rose by any other name smells just as sweet and an excellent shooter will remain an excellent shooter despite it's crappy North America release name!

And Galactic Attack IS a great shooter.

Awesome looking 2D sprites. Lots of different enemies. AWESOME bosses. Responsive Controls.

(for the most part, some people have complained about the controls being a bit slow, but I thought they were fine- then again I do have the analog controller. But I did use the regular controller on this game as well)

A couple of interesting things about this game.

#1- This game has two layers of action. The level you are on and a ground level below you where you can see enemies approach. (i.e. the Layer Section game name) As it's SHUMP "gimmick" you have a targeting scope for a secondary weapon that can "lock on" to enemies in the distance BELOW you. You can blow the crap out of these enemies with guided missiles. This will destroy them before they have a chance to get to your level and blast you. However you still have to deal with enemies on the same level as you.

This is where the bulk of the gameplay comes in. Do I take down that annoying mech that is shooting at me now or do I concentrate some guiding fire on that squad of flyers that are on the lower level? If you focus too much on taking out the Mech you might miss some of the fighters and be overwhelmed when they come up to your level. Concentrate on taking out all the fighters on the lower level and the Mech enemy will get a shot in. It's sometimes possible keep track of both levels, but that is what makes this game FUN.

#2- With the left trigger you can turn off all HUDs and have a nice clean screen. You can also turn your TV on it's side to play the game. (Be careful doing this as some models of TV can be damaged easily, ONLY do this if you have an older TV that you want to play SH'UMPS on). I have not tried it but I think you can also adjust your controller for side-play.

Bottom line:

If you are a hard core Sh'umps player and you have a Saturn YOU SHOULD HAVE THIS GAME.

If you like shooters and 2D sprites you might very well enjoy this game.

If you don't play many shooters the unique way you play the two layers in the game might appeal to you anyways.

I would pay $10 for a good copy. $7 for a decent copy. $5 for no case no manual.


More reviews.

Linked from Racketboys site:
Bottom of the list.

Wednesday 9 May 2007

Nintendo Saturn?

Well, I don't know... First of all the Saturn remains all forlorn and forgotten, dissed and dismissed, seen as an 'also ran' and said to be a Sega failure. Then NiGHTS gets it's second incarnation on the Wii and all of a sudden, everybody and their Aunt is raving about it!

Two current Nintendo magazines are running enthusiastic articles (one a full SIX page spread) about Saturn games. First of all, N Gamer Magazine are extolling the virtues of the anticipated Wii Nights. They're running it as a front cover story. Within the article, they make the following point...

"Nights for Wii will change the console forever because... (reason three) Its a Sega game. NiGHTS: Journey Of Dreams was originally intended for A.N. Other console (presumably XBOX360) until the wonders of the Wii tempted (NiGHTS creator) Takashi Iizuka Nintendo-wards.

This and Mario & Sonic At The Olympics, are signs that the Nintendo-Sega relationship is tighter than ever: suggesting that the Wii may find itself the new home for other great franchises such as OutRun, Panzer Dragon, Samba De Amigo, After Burner and - dare we say it Shenmue?"

Interesting prospect, huh? What's even better is that the original versions of successful Saturn/Wii crossover franchises will perhaps become sought after items... Consoles themselves will perhaps become more sought after... A Saturn renaissance is upon us!

Official Nintendo Magazine also runs a two page retrospective on NiGHTs which tells me something I was quite unaware of, despite owning two copies of the game.
In the article "A Day In The Life: Like having a baby without the mess..." they reveal the following:

"Believe it or not, one of the most interesting parts of NiGHTS has nothing to do with the main game. Labelled 'A Life' by the game's developer, it allows you to wander around the landscape of any level, and discover striped eggs that, if touched by either Elliot or Claris, will hatch into winged creatures known as 'Nightopians' or (Pians), who then go about their business.

Of course this doesn't in itself sound very exciting until you realise how much of an influence this can have on your growing Pian population.

For instance, keeping them happy by hitting high scores on the levels and removing any enemies not only results in some serious breeding ( so more Piams to look after), but also makes them sing, wave and even make the levels music sound more joyful. Conversely, making them sad, by killing them (either yourself or by letting nearby Nightmaren run riot) produces a more sombre tone.

However, the most creative part of 'A Life' lies in creating your own special breed of creatures known as 'Mepians' - the result of an unholy alliance between Marens and Pians. Stun a Maren, hurl it into a Pian and then hatch the resulting egg. As Mepians take on a selection of elements from both parents, and with Mepians able to breed with one another, the combinations are endless (and useful if you want to create a Royal Mepian, which, despite being nigh on impossible, is the ultimate accolade).

After NiGHTS, Sonic Team went on to develop the 'A-Life' concept through the
Chao Garden sections of the first two Sonic Adventure games. Just remember where the concept came from eh?"

Interesting suff, huh? They also run a great piece about the Saturn analogue pad (featured in Calebs first article), but I'll leave plagiarising that for another post...

Finally, again in N Gamer magazine, the Saturn get's it's props from an article in 'Virtual Console News'...

"Elsewhere Sega legend Makoto Osaki- he of the Shenmue and OutRun2- hasn't ruled bringing more of the Virtua Fighter series to Virtual Console, after Virtua Fighter 2 was ladled onto VC this month. "The major point is that there needs to be loads of demand from the players"he says. "If there's a place of business in it, there would be no reason to hesitate to develop remakes, but I believe this matter should be determined after more elaborate research." He's up for bringing back the bulbous-headed Virtua Fighter Kids too, "if the market demands it". Bring on the big heads!"

Thus the second incarnation of NiGHTs for the Wii has generated a total og eight and a half pages of Saturn related articles in current gaming magazines, a situation that would have been unthinkable a couple of monthe ago... Could the Saturn be following in the foot steps of the great Undead Console?

Friday 4 May 2007

Review: Street Fighter the Movie, The Game And it doesn't totally suck????

It's no secret that I used to like ScrewAttack . You know. Before it started to suck badly. I thought the reviews handsome Tom did were good. (Handsome Tom is now gone from Screwattack so there is no reason to go to that site anymore)

However they just posted a video review of Street Fighter the Movie, the Game for the Saturn that briefly shook my faith in them... The movie was so damn awful...Some parts were funny to me (Raul Julia as Bison) just because they were so Horrible... How could the Game be ANY different. I was in for a surprize...

In short the video review did not call the game a total piece of crap...!!!!!!

They said it was an OK game!

Watch it! No really. Watch it just for the ending. Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!

So they said that the MAME version of the game was really terrible but the Saturn version reworked by capcom was actually ok...

...Wait a second.

I HAVE this game. I bought this game for like $2.00 and played it like ONCE! How the hell could this be a halfway decent game?!?!?!?!?!??

So I took out my copy and fired it up once more.

Turns out the problem was that I chose the story mode the first time I played. In this mode you can only fight as one character and have to endure crappy crappy videos and storylines from the movie.

Take my advice and forget that this mode exists and go to the next option which is the classic SF2 style Tournament. Also skip the movie clips in the game. They have NOTHING to do with the good portions of the game which is the Tournament Street mode. Though Raul Julia (aka Gomez Addams) was funny as hell as M. Bison (The only good part of the movie).
Anyways I choose the character Kylie Minogue...Oops, I mean Cammy to fight. ( I never did find the secret combo move to do the locomotion though...)
Holy crap the game wasn't half bad...

The controls worked REALLY well with the classic Saturn pad I was using. I was pulling off combo moves and working all six of the buttons with ease. I can compare it to SF2 turbo, but it's also a lot like the original SF2.

The voice acting was good. They used Japanese voice actors so it sounds like the original SF2 games. Good!

If fact I was thinking to my self that it was pretty cool how I could keep hitting my computer opponents with the drill kick with blocks and timing when it occurred to me that I was actually having some fun playing this game!

It's like Mortal Combat and the original Street Fighter 2 had some sort of Bastard child.

And just like a real unloved and unwashed child it's up to you if this is worth picking up or not.

Here is some video of some people playing the game.

My advice....

I paid about $2.00 American for this game and that seems to be an OK price. If you are a fan of classic SF2 action you might want to consider paying up to $6 American for it.

However if you haven't played at least 2 versions of SF2 and really aren't a fan of 2D fighters leave this one on the table of the flea market.


INSIDE JOKE: Once I kidnap the Queen I will force EVERYONE to read my reviews! And value my own personal currency five times higher than the pound...

Thursday 3 May 2007

NiGHTS + Wii + Jacko + J = Thriller!!

If there is one blog that really encompasses the ultimate in blogging sites for me, despite stiff competition from Gnome, Elderly and Tomleecee, its J's Corner of Randomness.

That young'un just seems to have the right mixture of games, music, comedy and random stuff!

This particular piece just I just loved! Look at it here. God, anyone would think he was in some way preparing to deliver some sort of Segata Sanshiro Drum + Bass Remix or something for Father Krishna's almost top secret 40th Birthday Celebrations on May 16th- (SHHH! Don't tell anyone, I don't want a fuss...)

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Athlete Kings (Decathlete) Randomness

Athlete Kings (aka Decathlete)

Winter Heat - Sega Saturn (1997)

Holy Feck! Those polygontastic cartoon stereotypes from Father Krishna's last post have donned their winter woolies to head off on the virtual piste for the frankly wonderful 'Winter Heat!'

OK, If I'm honest I've never played it but it features Karl Vain (pronounced 'vine') so it must be good...

Do you know what? I feel a flurry of Athlete Kings videos coming on... so hold on to your hats! Segata Sanshiro... Come and rescue the good Father... he needs your help...