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I Love The Sega Saturn

Written by Simon Welburn

After Sega had a fantastic run in the 16bit era with their Megadrive console, attentions turned to the forthcoming 32bit era. The Saturn was in developmen from late 1992, with the codename The GigaDrive, it was designed to have the most advanced 2D graphics ever. Then came sony with their Playstation (originally designed to be an add-on for the Super Nintendo, but thats a whole different story), unlike Sega they were preparing to embrace the third dimension with their machine and had a pretty impressive tech-spec that showed the Playstation to be a
dab hand with polygons. Sega bricked theirselves when they saw their rivals superior power, and in a very bodge-it-and-leg-it fashion simply added another chip to the Saturn in a hope that their machine could compete. Unfortunately Sega´s twin-chip set up proved problematic and very few programmers ever unlocked the Saturns full potential, and so the majority of Saturn games didnt look as good as Playstation ones.
Of course, anyone who knows their asshole from their earhole will know that its the games that matter, not flashy graphics. Yes, the Playstation had more games, but the Saturn had better games! Who wants
to play a soul-less RPG like Final Fantasy, all style and no content, when you could be playing Dark Saviour, Shining Force 3, Guardian Heroes, and the epic Panzer Dragoon Saga? Despite some appalling clipping Daytona USA is still a better driving game than Ridge Racer, and Sega Rally? There has never been a better console rally game, the control of the Saturn version is as good the arcade version, even if the graphics aren´t arcade perfect.
Playstation owners may well harp on about having Metal Gear Solid, but they never had a game to match the sublime majesty of Nights Into Dreams, a game that can´t be pigeon
holed into any genre. The compulsive score-em-up gameplay, the lush beautiful graphics, the fluid character control with the 3D control pad... Nights was a one-in-a-million game that only Saturn owners could own.
Sadly none of this mattered, as the Playstation´s better looks won over hordes of new gamers, and despite being only 4 years old, the Saturn died out in Europe in 1998. Of course, Sega went all-guns blazing in that final year; Panzer Saga, Shining Force 3, Burning Rangers and Deep Fear (an underwater Resident Evil clone) all came out in the machine´s final year, too little too late for some, but what a way
to go. The Saturn had another year left in it in Japan, but it died there to by the time Sega´s new Dreamcast console arrived. So after 5 years, Sega came away with a bruised reputation that would never repair, but the myth of the Saturn lives on, a hardcore gamers´ console right to the bitter end.
Time has been pretty good to the Saturn, its become quite a collectable bit of kit, i´ve just recently bought my second one to relive all of those classic games that set the Saturn apart from the casual Playtation tat. Much to my despair Panzer Dragoon Saga cost me £70 on eBay, well worth it though, the Saturn is
easily the best console i ever owned.

[Must-have games>> Sega Rally, Nights, Sonic R, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers, Daytona USA...


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