Thursday 31 December 2009

Happy Sexy New Year

Happy New Year from the Saturn Junkyard!

You're looking at the screenshots, right?


Wednesday 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Here is a repeat of a nice video review from Guru Larry about NiGHTS into Dreams!

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Segata Statue Breaks the SJY Silence - Updated 12/20

In the absence of posts, Segata always comes through for us.

In my YouTube searches I stumbled upon this recently uploaded gem. Is thing thing for real?! I have never seen one before!

If anybody has any information on this, outside of it being from Sega Toys and made in 1998, let me know in the comments section!

12/20 Edit: I've finally bought the holy grail of Saturn games! What? No, not Pants Or Dragon Sega or whatever it is. I'm talking about SEGATA SANSHIROU SHINKENYUGI!!!

$35 on ebay, shipped from a state away. Worth the price?

Saturday 21 November 2009

Happy Birthday Saturn - 15th Anniversary DJ Mix

I've been wanting to do this for a while...and well, this is the perfect time. Behold...the Sega Saturn 15th Anniversary DJ Mix. I didn't have a whole lot of time to put into this, but I've taken some of my favorite tracks from Saturn exclusive games like Nights, Daytona, Sega Rally, Guardian Heroes, VF2 and put them together in a continuous DJ mix (about 40 min. long).

As a very involved hobby/side thing, I've been DJ'ing (techno, house etc., etc.) at clubs/parties for many years, so I've actually taken some of my skills from that area, and have been able to sit down with this mix and blend together and layer some tracks here and there for some interesting results. A lot of the tracks just aren't that DJ friendly, and in the spare time I've had to put this together, this is the best that I could come up with. The other limiting factor is actually getting the tracks off of the Saturn discs. Games like Daytona and Virtua fighter are great, because all of the music data is stored as normal compressed audio, which can just be copied directly from the disc. Other games like Nights, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Radiant Silvergun have their music stored elsewhere, so I was only able to pull out a few tracks here and there.

In any case, every one should download the mix, and give it a listen. If you are going to download it though, there is one have to listen to the entire thing in one continuous play through...i.e. no fast forwarding and jumping around here and there. It's a DJ mix, and thus is intended to listen from the start to end. After you've listened to the whole thing once, then feel free to jump around to all of your favorite parts.

One thing I've noticed while making this, is just how well produced all of this music is. You can tell that a lot of effort and time went into making these songs. I've never really listened to many of them in my good headphones, or on a good sound system. But they all sound great, and are mastered really, very nicely.

Hopefully there are a few "oh, that's cool" moments for every one in this mix. The Junkyard crew should recognize most, if not all of the tracks...but if there are any that youcan't figure out...feel free to ask. As I said before, I only had a limited amount of time to work on this mix, and as a result I've obviously left out many awesome songs that should rightfully be included. Well, there can always be a version 2.0!

Listen and enjoy.....and let me know what you think.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

The Sunshine Returns

C'mon, that's what it essentially is.

While we here at the SJY rarely cover them new-fangled "next gen" games that feature useless shadows and something called DLC (Devil Lay Cry?), this tidbit of next gen news is quite Saturn related. Unless you've been living under a rock, Sega has teamed with developer Digital Sumo to bring us Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. The game itself looks to include a few Saturn stars such as... okay I've got nothing. At the moment the character roster is mostly rooted in Master System, Genesis and Dreamcast games. The Saturn's poster child NiGHTS has yet to have a mention, but I'm 99% sure that he'll make a cameo (However, I'm 1% sure that Panzer Dragoon will make an appearance).

In any case, a glimmer of hope for some Saturn love has come through in a recent interview at Original Sound Version with Sumo Digital's Steve Lycett. Here are the meaty bits of the interview:

OSV: SEGA fans are extremely excited for this game, and one of the most exciting aspects is the audio approach in these crossover titles. Let’s start by talking about the music itself, what can we expect?

Steve: Why not, good place to start! For this game we’ve once again been given the keys to SEGA’s big audio closet. What we try and do with the All-Star games, is get a good mix of music both old and new. That way we can hopefully raise some fond memories of older games you’ve played if you’re a SEGA fan, surprise you with some new songs – and also – hopefully- introduce a whole new legion of players to the music we’ve all enjoyed.

To this end we’ve got classic tracks from many, many games. If we take just the Sonic courses, we’ve got music from Sonic Heroes, Sonic CD, Sonic R and many more. Outside of Sonic, we’ve raided official sound tracks to get new arranged versions of music. We’ve even managed to get a Crush40 track in there!
What we do is give you a track for each course, then by playing the game, you earn SEGA Miles, which you can spend on the in-game shop. As you buy new music, you can then select from the ones you’ve unlocked when you start a race.

OSV: Finally, what can we expect for the DS version? How are you cramming all that content into the handheld cart?

Steve: Want to play on the move, we’ve also crammed all these sounds and more into the DS version. As we’ve got to squash all this onto a cartridge, we’ve enlisted the services of Allister Brimble to compose us unique MIDI versions of all the games tunes . You won’t believe what he’s done with it. My personal favourite is “Can you Feel the Sunshine”, a track I didn’t think would ever work in MIDI format, but amazingly it does. Again – the byword for the game is “How much SEGA can we legally squeeze into one game” and I think Allister has done us proud.

So Sonic and friends racing about classic Sega settings to classic RJ tunes? Sega can have my $60 now, I'm sold.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Finally Doing It!

Maybe every one at the Junkyard has been wondering.....where has the plushiest been? Well, I've been a busy boy all summer and fall. I finally have some time to get back into gaming, and even do a few posts. I've been playing a few awesome games lately (Uncharted 2, Muramasa (the same devlopers as Princess Crown), and Bioshock), but I'm finally on to Panzer Dragoon Saga....yes, the real deal US copy that I picked up back in the spring time.

I didn't want to start on this game until I was good and ready, but I think I finally am. I've only spent a few hours with PDS, but so far I can say that it is great. I haven't every really played a whole lot of RPGs, and I think this is why PDS appeals to me so much....they game and battle mechanics are right up my alley. Everything is very straight forward, and I really like how there is are still real-time elements to the fight sequences. I will do a real review of the game once I'm finished, but here are some initial thoughts:

1. Game play: very original. Makes great use of the classic panzer dragoon game style, and blends some very interesting RPG elements. I love how you can freely fly around, and the dynamic battles are very cool.

2. Music: So far it's really good. Was there a separate original score album released for this game?

3. Graphics: Definitely some, if not the best on the Saturn. One of the few Saturn games that could easily compare to PS1 titles. Albeit a very small detail, there are sections in the game where you fly over water, and can actually see and interact with fish swimming around. Sounds pretty funny to say that something as simple as that appeals to me...but I can't think of any other 3D Saturn game (maybe Tomb Raider, Nights, or Resident Evil) with as much graphical detail. Obviously transparency effects are working on this game, how come people always say the Saturn couldn't do this?

On another note, does any one remember Radmobile? The game made famous by Brendan Fraser This was released under the title "Gale Racer" on the Japanese Saturn in '94. Saw it on Ebay for about $3.00, and thought about picking it up. It's like a slightly more updated version of the classic Outrun style game play!

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Segata on the Tonight Show?!

On Monday I made this comment in the "Twenty to Fifteen" post: "I think a rebirth of Segata would be a fitting tribute." Well guess the hell what, I was right!

Segata Sanshiro made an appearance on the October 28th episode of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Rather than tediously explain the segment, just watch the clip.

United States viewers:

International viewers click here

Thanks to a tip from a buddy of mine for cluing me in on it as well as to SegaNerds posting the video itself. Way cool.

Monday 2 November 2009

Twenty to Fifteen - Save the Date

Begin the party preparations, for in twenty days our beloved Sega Saturn will be turning fifteen years old! On November 22, 1994 the Saturn was released in Japan.

I've had a little banner up at the Nomad Junkyard in anticipation of the big day, but now that I write for the house that FK built I can celebrate in full force. So fellow Saturn Junkyard fans and writers, what are you doing to celebrate? The 22nd is a Sunday so there is no excuse NOT to do something.

I'll be at a pickle festival on the 22nd, but I promise I'll make time for the Saturn.

Thursday 29 October 2009

Mancunian Delights

Two days ago a lovely package arrived from old merry England. The always giving Father K had bestowed upon me riches from mother country. As the gifts were Saturn related, I can share them here with all of you (I'm not gloating, just taking advantage of the opportunity to make another post... okay, I'm gloating a little...).

FK told me to not get too excited, but how could I not?! If you're going to give me an issue of the UK Saturn Magazine that excites me, it's going to be one featuring Sonic. The demo disc was even included!

The issue included an awesome Fighters Megamix article. As the AM2 classic is currently my game of choice, this article was a great read.

Christmas NiGHTS also received an awesome preview. I miss the days when gaming magazines did a two page lead-in spread to articles, highlighting artwork from the game. Nowadays it's all words, subscription cards and silly HD graphics.

Also included was the Virtua Fighter comic book, a comic which coincidentally I've been considering picking up on ebay. Here the lovely Sarah poses next to a can of Mancurian ale. Beer and women, the two best things on Earth. The Sega Saturn is the third.
Many thanks FK!


Tuesday 20 October 2009

NiGHTS Contest Winners!

The results are in! Miss Universe was unavailable to choose a winner, so I had to do it myself. The winner of NiGHTS number 1 is....

What's this!? There are two winners?? NiGHTS him/herself explains: "Just as there are two dreamers, there two winners."

Thank you NiGHTS, so the TWO winners are... NebachadnezzaR placing first and Father Krishna as runner-up!

NebachadnezzaR: I'd fly about. With Sonic in my arms. Held tightly, his soft fur against my naked chest...ok, this is starting to sound yiffing creepy...

Father Krishna: I would fly over to Japan to romantically seek out Segata Sanshiro, the other iconic face of Saturn. I'd then fly into Sega's main office and kidnap the CE0 for allowing the crappy Wii version to sully my good name...

Finally I'd fly over to Thailand and play out m final years as a lady-boy, exploring the vaguely confusing blend of gender bestowed on me at birth. *cough!* Do I win a prize?

Yes, FK, you certainly do! The Thai reference put it over the top, as I myself have been to Bangkok's red light district and the less said about that night the better. Neb won because he was the only person to enter the contest when it was first announced, plus I'm a big fan of Sonic Yaoi fanfics. Congrats you sickos!

Neb wins NiGHTS Issue 1, the 2009 Free Comic Book Day issue of Sonic the Hedgehog from Archie Comics AND The Observatory from Panta of

FK wins one of the six NiGHTS comics, I won't say which one, and whatever else I can squeeze into the envelope.

Please send your addresses via email. If you do not know my real email address, you can send to my old junk address: 
I dare not post my true address due to spam and such. Plus, my old email address is much more fitting for a Saturn blog. :)

Expect part 3 of NiGHTS into Comics next week. Cheers an' all that!

Sunday 18 October 2009

Barry the Nomad's Saturn Collection

Hey kids! As I was in the photo taking mood, and because I'd yet to do this, I thought I'd share my Saturn collection.

I bought my first Saturn in the winter of 1997, used, with a selection of ten games. My late arrival to the system was, in part, due to my love for my Genesis. Another reason I had held off from the system was that I was low on cash and didn't see any urgency in owning a Saturn as there was no true Sonic game for the system. It wasn't until I played NiGHTS at a department store that I knew I had to own the system.

In the past few months I've returned to the system with the purchase of a Japanese model, two stunners and a few new games.

For the most part, the games seen below were purchased between 1997 and 2000. The prize of my collection is a mint Burning Rangers that I had bought sealed in 2000 for $30, it was the first online purchase I had ever made. Recent additions include Clockwork Knight 2, Mr. Bones and the standard demo of NiGHTS.

The majority of my disc only games are fighters, my favorite being FIGHTERS MEGAMIX. The Bootleg Sampler and Bug! demo discs have been great in helping decide which games to buy. After five minutes of playing the Bug! demo, I knew that I will never want to own the full game (now watch, a month from now I'll own it and the sequel, damn ebay addition). The odd duck is Quaterback Attack, a game that I probably bought as it was 99 cents and I was in a buying mood. What was I thinking? I hate (American) football games.

So there you have it, my small but immensely fun Saturn collection! Oh, and I now write for the Dreamcast Junkyard! :D

Thursday 15 October 2009

More than meets the eye...

Because it's getting harder and harder to make relevant posts about the Sega Saturn, allow me to present to you the Saturn controller Transformer!

This insectoid was built from the pieces of a discarded Sega Mission Stick by artist James Ian Killenger. It's a pretty clever modification, but I'm fairly confident that after this little operation, the controller will never play another game of Powerslave/Exhumed. However, in its current state, it would be right at home in a game of Galaga.

(Question: What games were especially designed for the Mission Stick? As a 2D enthusiast, I was never overly interested in playing the kinds of games that would have taken advantage of such a controller, but now I'm a little curious.)

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Calling Our Barry...

Bazzer, could you please email FK ( I have a little something that I need to send to you... Cheers mate!

Friday 9 October 2009

New Apparel Anyone?

The Tokyo Game Show is slowly wrapping up and the first user submitted pictures from the TGS hallways appeared on the web. Usually I am not that interested in modern gaming anymore, but when I saw two pictures in particular I was quite shocked! Apparently there are two new Sega Saturn t-shirts being released by COSPA and good lord, do they look gorgeous or what?! With a price tag of 3,045 Japanese Yen they are not what I'd call "cheap", yet I feel the incredibly powerful urge to actually buy them. All three of them! Three? Yes, the second shirt (picture down there) is actually coming in two colors. A weirdo turquoise color and the more classic and gorgeous bordeaux on white (what's up with all that french in the colors?).

If you plan to buy those shirts, then you have two possibilities. Visit the COSPA site, (there's an "english guide" here) try your luck and see if they ship overseas. Or place an order through the Shopping Mall Japan service, which lets you bid on japanese auctions, as well as making purchases in japanese online shops! Good luck.


Oh and btw! They do have equally great Mega Drive Shirts as well!

Wednesday 7 October 2009

The Death of a Different Kind of Saturn

Is this a completely useless article meant to fill the void of articles here at the Saturn Junkyard? Of course not! (Okay, it actually is).

Last month saw the demise of the other Saturn machine, the Saturn car. Following the withdrawal of a bid by Penske Automotive to acquire Saturn Corporation, General Motors announced that it expected to phase out the Saturn brand by October 2010. What does this have to do with SEGA Saturn fans? Well, for one thing, whenever I say "I just bought a brand new black American Saturn", the average person would think of this:

When in actuality, I was referring to this:

Imagine the looks on peoples faces when I then tell them that the Saturn was only $20! Saturn fans will also remember the Saturn (the car) as the other search result that shows up on Google. While Saturn (the console) fans may care little about the Saturn car, remember how you felt when Sega moved on to the Dreamcast. Right now, thousands of car owners are feeling the same thing we once did. So if you see a Saturn owner, give them a hug.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

SJY CONTEST - Win Free Stuff!

As many of you may not know, I kicked off a SJY Contest in my second NiGHTS into Comics article. Since the amazing NebachadnezzaR was the only person to participate, I thought I'd throw the contest at you all again in a attempt to gain more entries. You don't want NebachadnezzaR to win, do you?!

The contest will take place in the comments section of this article and will require those who comment to answer this question:

Were you to enter an Ideya Palace and fuse with NiGHTS, what would be the first thing you do?

One answer per Blogger and only those with an account may enter. So those posting anonymously, sign-up for an account to submit an answer. The best answer will be selected by Miss Universe 2009! In the event that she cannot be reached, I will choose it. Here's a hint for potential winners: don't say "I'd fly about", be more creative.The winner will be announced in Part 3 of my article series.

Wait! but what will you be winning? Why the "1st High Flying Issue" of NiGHTS into Dreams! The comic is in pretty great condition, and it's free so don't complain about it not being mint. I might even include some mystery items if I feel like it. This contest is open to all regions and members of the SJY team. If it turns out the winner is in some godforsaken part of the world where shipping costs are insane, we'll talk.

I am ALSO throwing in two more items, making it a prize package. The winner will also receive the 2009 Free Comic Book Day issue of Sonic the Hedgehog from Archie Comics AND The Observatory from Panta of The Observatory is a unique album from I Have Read Other Books Besides Catcher In The Rye (performers of To Beat, From Gum on the Dreamcast EP). The album is packed in a very unique secret government file package, complete with secret documents and maps. Cool stuff!

Enter now! Oh, and you can see a larger version of my drawing of a pissed off NiGHTS here.

Friday 18 September 2009


Long time no see, etc. etc. Let's get right down to business, shall we? Recently, there's been an explosion of Saturn replica controllers on eBay. These aren't specifically for the Saturn, mind you, but have a USB jack on the end so you can use them with a personal computer, or even a Playstation 3 if you're so inclined. (Sorry, Xbox 360 owners are out in the cold due to that system's proprietary controller design.)

This opens up a lot of possibilities for the classic gaming fan... if you've got a suitably powerful machine, you could run Saturn games through the magic of emulation, using the controller that was designed to play them. If you'd prefer to kick it really old-school, you could just use the controller with KEGA Fusion and play a few games of Sonic the Hedgehog, or dig way back into Sega's past and play Zaxxon and Congo Bongo on MAME. Maybe you just need a rock-solid reliable controller for your Street Fighter IV sessions... well, a Saturn joypad beats the crap out of anything MadCatz released for the game earlier this year!

Right now there are over a hundred of these controllers available on eBay, for prices ranging from ten to thirty dollars. This is a substantial drop from the forty dollars you would have paid for a Saturn replica controller just three years ago. On the downside, many of these auctions originate from Hong Kong or China, so you'll probably be waiting a while before you can wrap your hands around these pads. Fortunately, word on the street is that the controllers are every bit as good as the originals sold by Sega Technical Services in 2006. Azar from the GameSpite message board (and if you haven't been there yet, I strongly suggest you go) had this to say:

"I think these things pop up in waves on ebay every few months. I see posts on GAF about them from time to time, and I don't recall ever having seen anyone complain about the quality."

Another member, Aleanil, offered these encouraging words:

"The one I got a few months ago is A-OK! My understanding is that they came out of nowhere, but are identical down to the PCB to the old original ones. So yeah... *really* good bootlegs or an incredible amount of new old stock, I don't know, but I know mine's awesome and I've heard nothing but good."

So hop on eBay, buy with confidence, and get back to playing video games the way they were meant to be played, no matter what the system!

(except the Xbox 360. Ahem.)

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Absolutely Stunning!

Being in the Saturn mood that I am, I decided to make a trip over to the local Play 'N Trade to see what was in stock. I was particularly looking for a Saturn s-video cable as Sonic 3D Blast, the only Saturn game at my apartment at the moment, wasn't the same with standard a/v cables. While I left Play 'N Trade without an s-video cable in hand, I did leave with something much MUCH better:

Well, more like two somethings. Two mint Saturn Stunners in minty fresh boxes! While the Stunners have been covered quite a bit here at the SJY, and they sell for $9.99 new at a few online retailers, it's always a special moment when you find fifteen year old mint gaming equipment. To make the moment even better, the employee rang the Stunners up for $4.99 each. Considering this is the store that also gave me Last Blade 2 for free, I'll have to hit this place up much more often!

The back of the box made me chuckle, as a selection of lightgun games turned out to be three Virtua Cop screengrabs, each with their own "Virtua Cop" label. I guess lightgun games were in short supply back in 1995.

Sunday 13 September 2009

Game Core 2009 - Saturn Edition

Yesterday I attended Game Core 2009, a current and classic gaming convention in Pennsylvania which had a Dreamcast oriented day of contests and competitions. My report of the event can be found at SEGA Nerds, but it's not the FULL report. Consider this the "Saturn Edition" of my day.

When I entered the dealer section of the convention, I had Dreamcast on the brain. However, after flicking through row after row of so-so Dreamcast games that I wouldn't mind owning but would be better off NOT owning, I found myself shifting to the Saturn sections. Maybe it's the fact that the past year has been so Dreamcast heavy, or that I've bought a good fifty Dreamcast games over the past eight months. In any case, the Saturn was a much more exciting library for me to browse and so a good portion of my convention budget went towards SEGA's big white, gray or black box that could.

Three dealers in particular had a HUGE selection of Saturn games, one of which had an excellent import selection. The photo above was of the dealer with the best deals, many games going for $4 to $15 dollars. I picked up Sonic 3D Blast for $8 after a bit of haggling.

That same dealer also had the holy grail of Saturn games, Panzer Dragoon Saga for $190. This is actually a fair price for the game. Another dealer across the hall had been asking $300!

The bin with the hand browsing through it was full of mint Japanese Saturn games and the bin to the right was full of mint Japanese Dreamcast games. Before I spotted my final purchase, I was very close to buying Napple Tale for $50.

As you see, my final purchase was a white Japanese Saturn (joy!), Sonic 3D Blast, an Action Replay Plus, MSR and a Dreamcast vinyl sticker (a prize for those who competed in one of the Dreamcast tournaments). Now that I think of it, both Sonic 3D Blast and MSR were composed by Richard Jacques. UK:RESISTANCE would be proud.

And here she is unboxed. As the Dreamcast anniversary has passed, I think it's time for me to focus much more on feeding games to this white beauty. For those curious, the console and Action Replay Plus came out to $90. Goddamn am I happy to finally have one of these!

Friday 4 September 2009

Panzer Dragoon Awesome!!!

By the title alone you probably already guessed what happened. I beat Panzer Dragoon Saga! Me, the guy with the short attention span, jRPG hater, just spent 15 hours with this game. And I loved it! It was a blast to the very end, although at some points near the end of the 3rd cd/beginning of the 4th it can get somewhat...I wouldn't say boring, but the pace slows down a bit and it can get a bit confusing at times, with the player not knowing what to do. I admit it, I had to use a guide from time to time, and throughout most of the 4th disc where things really get complicated. There's a whole area (won't say exactly what it is to prevent spoilers) that's just like a giant maze, and the boss fights can be somewhat unforgiving. After you understand the enemy patterns and realize what attacks to use, it's easy, but once you figure that out your life bar is probably already so low that you can't turn the tide of battle and have to do it all over again.

Still, this game is an experience like no other, which I guess makes the Saturn über relevant even in this era of HD and online gaming, achievements, and gamerscores, and casual shit. So, yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is simply that I can't recommend this game enough, to any kind of player. No matter what are your favourite genres, if you like the Saturn you gotta play this game. It instantly became my favourite Saturn game of all time, even surpassing my childhood favourites, and is probably also one of, if not the, best jRPG I've ever played. That is, if you even consider it a jRPG, because its style of progression and combat system are so far ahead, so wildly different from everything else I've seen, so much better than even those in current, recent games, that I'm not sure you can, or you should, put it next to such boring, stagnated, repetitious games.

By the way, while browsing the interwebs I found some interesting articles about this game in particular or the whole series. Check them out:

A look back to PDS by Game Informer - here

Retrospective of the series by Gamasutra - here

Retrospective by 1UP - here

IGN's top 100 games of all time (44th place) - here

1UP's top ten cult classics (1st place!) - here

EGM review

Game Informer review

GamePro review

*Kudos to Panzer Dragoon Saga Oasis (link) for most of the links.

Monday 24 August 2009

NiGHTS into Comics - Issue 2

Last issue, Roger was introduced to Reala and we knew nothing good could come of that. Now, in issue 2, we join a NiGHTS-infused Elliot being filled in by a Nightopian as to what the plan of action is. Isn't it convenient that like the reader, Elliot has also forgotten what happened last issue and thankfully is given a short summary? I've also noticed that the Nightopians speak all in lower case. Reminds me of e.e. cummings or the bully from Calvin & Hobbes.

In an odd twist, Elliot awakes to have NiGHTS in HIS body, with NiGHTS in complete control. Elliot (or is that ELLiOT?) is on a mission to protect Claire while the two are on a fieldtrip to the Twin Seeds Museum. NiGHTS, being the wacky jester that he is, assumes that he'll fly there with ease.

I'm usually not one to use the word "FAIL", but this is a FAIL.

Thankfully NiGHTS didn't fracture Elliot's collarbone via faceplant. Meanwhile, Claris arrives at the museum and chats with some friends about singing in the big Centennial Show. Elliot arrives, and in a very "Spidey-sense" fashion, detects the dream energy inside of Claris. Speaking of Spider-Man, this panel reminded me of that famous Spider-Man cover.

Elliot's stares are mistaken for infatuation and teenage awkwardness hilarity ensues. Then, the kids enter the museum and the tour begins. The history of the Twin Seeds spire is told, with the tour guide claiming that the architect (seen in issue 1) was such a visionary that he was designing in the Art Deco style before it was even invented! Now wait a second. If the architect was indeed designing in the art deco style "before that style was invented", then wouldn't the architect simply be the inventor of the Art Deco style? How can one create something before it is invented? That's like saying that Ferdinand Verbiest, a member of a Jesuit mission in China, built the first steam-powered vehicle around 1672... before the automobile was invented! No, Ferdinand created the first self-propelled vehicle, thus he (in a sense) invented the automobile.

Designer rant over. Anyway, Elliot, in his NiGHTS controlled state, grabs the microphone away from the misinformed tour guide and tells his classmates of Wizeman and his plans for dream domination. Meanwhile in another part of the museum, Elliot is in a Reala controlled state of mind and is spinning his version of Nightopea as a confused Claris watches. We then return to Nightopia to visit Wizeman in his castle, as he spends half a page telling a Roger controlled Reala what we already now. If that wasn't enough unnecessary exposition, Jackle enters to tell Wizeman about what happened to Gillwing in issue 1.

EXPOSiTION into Dreams...

After several pages of dialog and exposition, Jackle mixes it up... literally! Jackle reveals that he has kidnapped one of the two main Nightopians and intends to fuse the cute little guy with one of those chicken Nightmarens.

The result? CHAOS! Okay, not the same chaos as seen in Sonic Adventure, but it IS a funny coincidence that evil virtual pet breeding and the word "chaos" is used in an adaptation of a Sonic Team game a year and a half before Sonic Adventure hit stores. With the fusion acting as a truth serum, the evil Nightopian explains what NiGHTS and the kids are up to and how to stop them.

Returning to the waking world, Elliot and Claris are enjoying a museum lunch that is cut short by Shleep dispatched by Wizeman. Elliot attempts to stop the Shleep from putting CLaris to shleep, er... sleep, but is halted by Jackle. Jackle, ensuring my favoritism, utters my favorite line in the mini-series:

In his rush to confront Jackle, Elliot trips and passes out, allowing NiGHTS to come alive in the dream world. The Shleep reaches Claris and sends her to the dream world as well. This all leads to a NiGHTS-fused Claris facing off against Gulpo the giant fish. A major gripe I have with this issue is that full pages are given for exposition, and yet a complete boss battle begins and ends in the same panel.

One panel, uncolored AND off model. Worst. Battle. Ever.

NiGHTS returns to Elliot, leaving Claris alone in the fish bowl with a hint that if she can sing a high note, she'll shatter the bowl. Claris succeeds and escapes, only to encounter Wizeman. Meanwhile (I've been saying "meanwhile" a lot, haven't I), NiGHTS battles Jackle (off screen) and the good Nightopian encounters the evil Nightopean. With the good guys wrapped up in their own fights, Claris is tempted by Wizeman to receive the gift of fame in exchange for her dream energy. Claris foolishly accepts and loses her energy, in turn causing NiGHTS to lose his connection with her. Returning to the waking world, Roger presents Claris with her invite to sing. Little does she know that with good dreams come... nightmares!

Overall, issue 2 is the weakest of the series. Lots of chatter, little action. Despite being the weakest, there is a large display of villains, and the setup for part 3 is promising. Join us for part 3 AND the announced winner in NiGHTS into Dreams into Comics part 3!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Yo dawg, I heard you like Sonic... I put Sonic in yo Sonic, so you can play while you play.


Ok, forget that...

Have you heard about SAGE? No, I'm not talking about 4chan, but Sega Amateur Games Expo. First time I heard about it, actually. Apparently, and as the name implies, it's a display of fan-made Sonic games, most of them resembling the old 2D games of yore, while others attempting a shot at 3D (and, like Sega, failing miserably). But why am I talking about this in the Sega Junkyard? Because of this little gem.

Probably the only fan-made 3D Sonic game not to suck, through the use of a somewhat archaic game engine, unintentionally or not, it ends up looking a lot like a Saturn game, only with the obvious bump in resolution and texture detail. Ok, maybe not exactly like a Saturn game, but at least like a Model 2 one, and that's close enough for me.

So, I thought I would just let you know about it, in case you desperately want to play something that loosely resembles what Sonic X-Treme could've been. Demo available at the official site (downloading now).

Also, "sage goes in all fields" (kudos to whoever understands this obscure reference :P )

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Starry NiGHTS

"A wistful post-impressionist masterpiece if there ever was one, this painting demonstrates a masterful use of color to set a mood. The inclusion of a figure inside the largest star has stirred great debate amongst critics and collectors. Does it represent God, or is it just an anthropomorphic purple... thing? We may never know. We can say with no doubt, however, that this work is meant to stir in us feelings of childhood innocence and longing for a time when simpler things were enough to appease us.

With each passing year, everything -- technology, literature, art -- becomes increasingly advanced. While some greet this inevitable march towards an undefined, unknown end with open arms, others ache for simpler times, where just running around collecting everyday items like screws and old coins with nary a care in the world was enough. Viewing this painting makes us feel like that time is still here." Justin Massoud is back!

Well... sort of.

I browsed the insertcredit pages - which you should do as well at least once a week! - and there it popped to my eyes. Apparently one of the most famous Sega Saturn fan websites is back again since january. The downside: it's merely an archive now. But it's a nice thing for anyone who remembers it and wants to re-read some reviews.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Back on tracks

Hi folks! How ya doin'? I surely missed you! Lately my life has been a bit crazy, with many things taking up my time, and sadly I ended up neglecting this place a bit. This is not to say I'm totally back, but I'll try to drop by more often.

First things first, the header picture was gone. Or at least in my browser it was. As a good Portuguese man, I did nothing and waited, hoping that it would eventually come back by itself. It didn't. So, thanks to the wonderful website that is the waybackmachine, I managed to track down the old header and put it back on. Hope you'll like it.

Second, I got myself a new rig! (that's slang for a computer). It's a fucking beast, a quadcore 2,50 GHz CPU, with 4Gb of RAM and a HD4890 graphics card. Guess what I'm playing? That's right, fucking Panzer Dragoon Saga!

Now, now, that's not to say recent games suck, I'm not that kind of retrogamer. In fact I love new games and that was partly why I bought the new pc (the other part was, my old one sucked!), and I'm also playing Crysis, and Call of Duty, and more recently Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. But this is a Saturn place, so it's convenient that I talk about my Saturn games, and after neglecting the game for a couple weeks (setting up a new pc is hard work, I had to install the OS myself and all that shit) I finally went back to it. Last night. At 2 am. Nice!

Third, recently I got a fellow pc gamer who used to have a Saturn when he was younger to get back to it thanks to the wonders of the SSF emulator. That's what was missing in his life and he's a happy man now. Emulation, turning grown men into little kids since 19xx...whatever...

And basically that's it, got nothing more to say, so goodbye all and make sure you take good care of this little shrine while I'm gone :)

Monday 3 August 2009

Good Place for Saturn Backups

I'll keep this short and sweet. In lieu of one of the recent posts at SJY, I decided to share a forum that provides access to a lot of Sega Saturn games. If you know how to burn backups, and have a Saturn that can play backups, or know how to do the "swap trick", this is a pretty great resource.

Some of you may already know/use this forum.

The link is:

Sunday 2 August 2009

Battle of Castlevania

Over the last few months I've finally been able to spend some serious quality time with both the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The original game was released in 1997 for the Sony Playstation, and then released in 1998 for the Sega Saturn, only in Japan as Akumajo Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku. I first bought the Sega Saturn version in February of this year, but since I had never played the game before, I had a fair amount of trouble navigating the item menus (everything is in Japanese). I could have downloaded the X-Box live version to get the english language game, but I decided to look for the original Playstation version on Ebay. About 1 month later I scored a very reasonably priced "greatest hits" version of the game, and started playing through that. I still haven't beaten the game, but I know it well enough now that I can go back to the Saturn version and now have no trouble navigating the item/spell menus etc. I've read quite a bit about this game on discussion boards and other web sites, and there is quite a bit of back and forth as to which version of the game is better, Sega Saturn or Playstation. I thought that it would be fun to compare the two, and let every one know at the SJY which version I like better. So let's get started shall we....

Cover Art: The Playstation version has a picture of Dracula's castle, whilst the Saturn version has a really nice hand drawn picture of some of the game's characters. Winner - Sega Saturn

Graphics: The Sega Saturn is supposedly the better of the two systems when it comes to 2D games, so why are the graphics of the Playstation version better? Overall the games look very similar, but the Playstation has better partical & transparency effects, and does not have any slow down. I'm not gonna lie, the Saturn version is plagued with slow down. Why this game did not use the 4Meg RAM cart I will never know. All of the other graphics, i.e. bad guys, level backgrounds, magic, looks nice on both systems. The FMV in the Playstation version looks much crisper than on the Saturn. And don't get me wrong, the Saturn version still looks great, but just not quite as nice as the Playstation.
Winner - Playstation

Gameplay: Both versions play awesome. With respect to control etc, both versions are very similar, and neither system has an advantage. The Saturn version has some extra areas to explore, additional bad guys, and allows for more playable characters from the beginning of the game. The Playstation version makes the game map accessible during game play, whilst the Saturn version makes the player enter the item menu, and then load the map. Since this game requires a lot of map checking, the advantage definitely goes to the Playstation here. The Saturn version also takes a lot longer to load between different areas, and menus.
Winner - Tie

Sound: Again, both versions are very similar. I don't really have a great TV either, so it's hard to compare the detail in the level music or sound effects. The voice acting in the Playstation version is pretty bad, and since the Saturn version is Japanese, it's hard for me to tell if it's cheesy or not.
Winner - Tie

Overall Winner: Playstation Version

Sad but true, even with the extras, the Saturn version does not stand up to the Playstation. The main reasons the Playstation version is better is 1) no visible slow down; 2) slightly better graphics; 3) more accessible game map; and 4) shorter load times. Both versions are awesome, and I'm really fortunate to own them both, but I'll be playing the Playstion version more often. If the RAM expansion had been implemented on the Saturn release I think it would have been a whole other story, but sadly, that's not the case. If you have a PS1/2/3 , XBox 360 , or a Saturn that can play imports, you should definitely pick up this title. No matter what system you play it on, it's one of the best, if not the best, 2D platformer out there.

Tuesday 28 July 2009

A chance to play nearly every game

Here's a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure. Article's been removed and I will try to write some original stuff in the future after I have managed to do some thesis.