Sunday 24 February 2019

2019 - The Year Of The First Person Shooter?

The moment I dipped my toe back into the healing waters of Saturn gaming back in September of 2017, I was immediately hit with a tsunami of experiences, that I had in no way anticipated. The dawn of the Pseudo Saturn in my gaming life, meant that rather than exploring my small back catalogue of bought PAL games, I would be playing the very cream of the Saturn's software offerings on burned CDs and repros…
For the rest of the year and far into 2018, I would predominantly be playing Japanese shmups, provided for me by Junkyard stalwarts, Jon Lee and Daniel Turner. These included the Parodius collection, Darius Gaiden, Wolf Fang, Salamander, Gradius, The Game Paradise, Radiant Silver Gun, Tempest 2000 and Sol Divide. Later in the year I "discovered" a new genre, the puzzle game  - Baku Baku Animal, Tetris Plus and Columns ...and this consumed the tail end of 2018 as we moved into the current year.

But if 2019 has been defined for me by any genre of Saturn games so far, it would have to be the First Person Shooter (FPS). In an attempt to generate a common topic for our forthcoming podcast, my good friend Mr. Brian Vines (The Virtua Sclub - remember him? He used to write here!) suggested we should all play the game Exhumed. I had had a lot of fun with Alien Trilogy in October, as part of our Halloween games drive... I didn't need much persuasion to try another Saturn FPS as January drew to a close.

 Made popular by the PC crowd in the early 90s, the FPS was an attempt at immersion by perspective, allowing the player to see the end of his hand/weapon only, as if the screen view were the players own eye view... looking down on his own body. This was an alternative to the traditional third person view, where the player's whole avatar could be seen. The incredibly dark and incredibly popular Doom, was the FPS title which captured the gaming world's attention. The game also drew the ire of the nation when the school shooters responsible for the massacre at Columbine, were found to be avid players of the game. The Call Of Duty FPS franchise would become the biggest money spinner of the entertainment world, surpassing the revenue earned by the top music of film releases of successive years...

But what about the Saturn? Can it's FPS offerings still hold their own in 2019?