Sunday, 23 December 2018

Back in the Game

Happy Saturnalia, one and all! (It was a real holiday once, honest!) I bring you great tidings of personal gaming joy... after years of going without, I finally have a Sega Saturn to replace the one I had in Michigan. Here it is now, tucked into the center of my shelf along with a handful of other systems...

Sega Saturn... kuro!
Right now, I can't actually do much with the machine... I've got no games, no Pro Action Replay loaded with Pseudo-Saturn, and the controllers, while technically usable, are those unreasonably large US models. I'm not sure what Sega was thinking when they designed these, but whatever it was, Microsoft must have had the same idea when they made the Duke controller for the original Xbox. And the Xbox One, now that I think about it. That's one video game revival the world could have done without...

I did spin a music disc in my new Saturn, though. There are two things worth noting... the Saturn had many boot up screens thanks to the hardware being sublicensed to Victor, Hitachi, and Samsung, but it's my opinion that the opening in the US model is the best of the lot. The gentle ringing of chimes followed by the slamming of a car door is a good sight better than the abrasive "Waaab, waaab, WAAAB!" noises the Japanese had to put up with in their version of the system.

Second thing... while it's dated by today's standards (of course it is; the system is over twenty years old), the Saturn's interface for playing music is far superior to the static rainbow splashes displayed on its arch rival, the Playstation. You know all the complaints about the recently released Playstation Classic? People seem to have forgotten that it looks the way it does because the original Playstation did too. Seriously, fire up one of the earlier models with a music disc in the tray for proof. Boring, isn't it?

The Saturn, on the other hand... now there's an interface with style. Chromed orbs hover in mid air as buttons on a retro-futuristic space ship control panel. Play a music disc and polygons on either side of the panel pulse in time to the beat. Hide the control panel and you actually see the ship soaring through space, with stars racing toward the player and a slowly turning nebula in the distance. Back when I first bought one in 1997, the Sega Saturn was my first compact disc player, and I can't think of a better introduction to the technology.

Anyway, enough wistful nostalgia. Enjoy your winter holiday of choice... once Christmas is over, I'll be on the hunt for some cheap Saturn titles, if such an animal even exists. If you've got any leads on a supply of low cost games, or even better, a cheap Pro Action Replay, by all means let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

fatherkrishna said...

Great to see you back in the game! Look forward to more from you in 2019!