Thursday, 23 May 2019

Neptune - Saturn's 10 Least Favorite Virtua Insanity

No console is without its flaws, just like no human is without their flaws. As a fashion model covers their blemishes, us Saturn fans tend to overlook some of the less popular games in the franchise. While we here at Virtua World would love to say that we see eye to eye with all Saturn fans, well, we don’t. Our views are not yours, and we know you’re going to argue. Just keep it civil.

Before you begin to wage Virtua War upon our planet, let’s set the ground rules. First of all, again this is all opinions, please treat them as such, because if we just listed all of the lowest rated games of the Saturn, that would just get generic and boring. Next, this is the worst games of the Saturn port, this is not a review of the games themselves. Some of these games were perfectly fine on other systems. Next, this is based on games that I have played, because that’s the only way I can judge them. Whether they are well made or favored by others is not the point. Okay? Okay.

#10. Doom

The fact that one of the greatest games in history is on any worst games list is anyone’s guess. Oh, wait, no it’s not. John Carmack has the dubious dishonor of single-handedly ruining this port. Whatever the story is, he made the wrong choice. Now, Doom for the Sega Saturn is choppy, laggy, pixelated and an all around abysmal experience. Once you step into any open areas with lots of detail, your game slows down that much more. It has a very large chance to completely freeze in some of the later levels where the areas are open and the enemies are plentiful. This is assuming you can ever get that far with this port. Not only is the Saturn controller not as good as a keyboard, it is also not very good for a Doom port to begin with. This is a game that has been made playable on an ATM machine, people. Just saying…

#9. The Horde

It has been said that this is a quirky, fun game with some charming animation. Quirky, yes, fun is subjective and charming animation doesn’t really help. The fact of the matter is that the full motion video (FMV) presents you with some of the worst actors since Plan 9, and their constant badgering is really annoying. After that nonsense, you are transported to a world where you slice bumbling orcs and goblins that are attacking the fine, slow motion folk of your kingdom. You are able to set up defensive postures and all that, and that’s all well and good. However, when it gets right down to it, maybe I don’t feel like playing as a young lad who swings his sword like a gangly helicopter with severe muscular deterioration. Many have said that they can get good at this and some of the gameplay elements in the later levels are a lot of fun, however, the journey to get there just isn’t all that fun to look at, let alone participate in.

#8. Street Fighter The Movie

Renting this because it combined elements from both Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat was something that we as young children could not see coming back in the day. The internet was scarce and we didn't have youtube reviews. So we think this game has a title we can trust. This was before we saw the very stupid, very guilty pleasured movie, and scoffed. The gameplay is awful, ranging from overly sensitive to just flat out misdirected. The figures look terrible, the special moves should not work the way they do, and this was just a bad idea to begin with. The whole thing makes it look like the actors are puppets on strings. Instead of blending into the background, they make the whole game look like it's stuck in terminal green screen. Who, exactly, signed off on this? Was it Jean Claude himself? No? Well it sounds like something he’d do.

#7. Virtual Hydlide

Though generally viewed as the worst game on the Saturn, this regrettable title most certainly is not. It does, however, earn that viewpoint for a reason. When you’re a lover of fantasy and medieval lore, you tend to get suckered into these cheap knockoffs when you’re not careful. All of the rumors are very true: Hit detection is ridiculously hard to gage from the stance of yourself and the enemy’s hits. Some enemies drain your entire hitpoints in just a few hits. The game’s levels and dungeons are wretched to look at, let alone play in. Although, there’s no regret in trying this game, it was honestly better off on that Blockbuster shelf.

#6. Sonic 3D Blast

This game should honestly be a higher rank on this list, but upon another recent playthrough, it has been decided that this title is “mostly harmless to a certain degree.” Obviously, have your own opinion on this game all you want. It is still a far cry from any of the original Sonic library and even when it’s better than the Genesis version, that’s really not saying a whole lot. It still feels very little like an actual Sonic game. It doesn’t need to go light speed, but we’d like a bit faster than a light jog, please! And DAMN your platforming! I’m sorry, that was a bit much. But really, Sega?!

#5. Corpse Killer: Graveyard Edition

Thankfully, these live-action rail-shooters did not catch on, though some developers tried. The fact of the matter was that their gameplay was so repetitive with the machine-gunning constantly. Zombies would fly out at you from nowhere and just charge into you. Close up zombies looked like pixelated cowpies. You just sat there and shot, hoping another zombie wouldn't speed toward the screen like a mosquito.  The acting with every character you meet on this tropical hellhole is atrocious, much like many FMV games, and the people in the zombie costumes look more like mental patients and big dead preschool students throwing tantrums. If there is any redeeming factor with this game, please, by all means, find it yourself.

#4. Death Crimson

Whenever you love a game like Virtua Cop, you tend to think that every game could possibly be as great as that one. Death Crimson tries entirely too hard to be like Virtua Cop without actually putting in the effort to make it any good. The controls were awful, the aim system was broken, the polygons looked like someone had microwaved them for a moment, and the framerate made you think your game had been scratched by a rough sponge. Enemies glitch into existence before they are quickly taken care of and glitch right back out as if never there to begin with. If you can pass through the first level without a headache, it becomes an endurance test to see when you get one, as it is only a matter of time. There are times when a game should not be released in America, we are grateful that it works out that way sometimes.

#3. Double Switch

The idea of watching a house at night to protect the innocent was an interesting concept. Maybe even make the scene really creepy with a masked serial killer, that’d be cool! Nope! What you got was generic film noir, horrific acting of the worst caliber, and the most laughable, bumbling morons who look like they’re in a Benny Hill sketch. If it were not for the overall entertainment value of this FMV slogfest, it could probably hit #1, but it is entirely too much fun to see people act like they have mental disabilities while also trying to play it straight. It loses even more points for Corey Haim, however, the inclusion of the late, great R. Lee Ermy makes up for this mistake. It’s not even a mixed bag, but that was nice to see. It gets a pass at 3, not to mention, there is less fun to be had.

#2. Rise 2: Resurrection

It sure is nice to have the added feature of the AI deciding to be cheap and repetitive whenever they feel like. Fighting games are always more fun when the computer can spam attacks that should take a second to perform. Bundle that with some of the worst, most choppy animation on a 32-bit fighting game and there you have Rise 2, sequel to Rise of the Robots. If that title alone doesn’t depict the amount of effort was put into this project, then one round with the controls should be enough to convince you. One single playthrough of this game is enough to make you want to put it back in your mother’s purse so she can return it to the rental store. There’s always next weekend.

#1. The Crow City of Angels

If there was an advantage to making your game literally unplayable, I certainly cannot find it. This was back when GoldenEye showed kids that not all movie tie-in games were evil. The Crow City of Angels was a game that set that fear right back into all who would behold it. With a strangulating control system and the most nonsensical camera angles, you may think you’re making it to level 2, or maybe even halfway through level 1, but you would more than likely be wrong. Passing it from sibling to sibling to friend to friend does not help. It does not matter what kind of prior gaming experience is in your arsenal. This game will not stop for you just because you can’t do anything in it. It is only there to kick you while you are down. How dare you play it?!

Honorable Mention

The Incredible Hulk Pantheon Saga - After a let-down like the Genesis version, you would think you could come to another Hulk title on the next generation and get more out of it. No, not really, you just get more confused and damaged for no reason. The puzzle solving in this game doesn’t so much give you a sense of relief, more a sense of wtf, because the Hulk should be able to strong arm just about every single one of these so-called “barriers.” Add on the random damage you take and the injuries sustained that the Hulk would have no problem recovering from are now suddenly killing him. Hulk nap now.

There are so many more bad games from the Saturn, and yes, there are some major ones that were missed. I do not rate games that I have not played. I’ll give them a second-hand glance, but there is no way you can ask someone to spend money on a game just to talk about how bad it is. Consider donating some bad games to Planet Virtua and, I’m certain I can be far more generous with my reviews. Beyond that, enjoy the free reading material! My Virtua Budget!

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