Sunday, 21 April 2019

Virtua Fighter in HD



Virtua Fighter needs no introductions and would be a prime candidate for a full-on remastered collection for modern systems, but until SEGA delivers we can always improvise and try to make it ourselves. For the second entry in the "REMASTERED" click-bait titled series I picked every numbered entry in the VF series and tried to make it look as good as possible, meeting the modern standards of Full HD resolution (1920x1080) and widescreen 16:9 picture format.

You can watch the results above and read more about the particular setup and challenges for each game below:

VIRTUA FIGHTER 1


There wasn't much choice in regards of version or emulator for VF1. The original arcade version ran on the Model 1 board, which can only be emulated at native resolutions in MAME, so that was a no go. The only other option was the Saturn version and the only recommended emulator for HD resolutions was YabaSanshiro (or one of its many forks).

For the widescreen hack I relied on the community effort from the folks over at the Assembler Games forum, something I've covered before in this article.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Yaba Sanshiro, a Sega Saturn Emulator That's worth your time.

I am not an advocate for Emulation, but with today's advanced TVs and Setups, plus with the age of the Sega Saturn, I am all for these great classics living on for decades. It would be a crying shame for these great games to completely disappear from the earth, so this is why I began checking out this new Emulator for Android users.

It's called Yaba Sanshiro, and it is a unofficial port of uoYabause. This project is focused on the Android version of yabause using OpenGL ES 3.x. It is currently in active development and it is making quite the stirring for Sega Saturn Fans! You can download the emulator directly from the Google Play Store, and, of course, you have to provide your own Disc Images. I personally only use Emulators to play games I already own in HD, so being able to fire up NiGHTS and Daytona USA in glorious 1080p brings a smile to my face. It is true that not all Sega Saturn games will work right now, while others have multiple glitches, but it's absolutely amazing how far this emulator has come in a relatively short amount of time!


There is an active community of players who are constantly reporting on what games work and what doesn't, and the great thing is that the developers actually are listening! They read everything and try their best to fix any issue that happens to come up! You can check out a compatibility list and everything else you may need over at http://www.uoyabause.org/

My initial tests are proving to be fantastic. I tried games like Street Fighter Zero 3, Dead or Alive, and even Panzer Dragoon Zwei and ALL of these games ran Flawlessly! Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers also look and play Fantastically!!!!  Games like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Burning Rangers are, sadly, not fully supported as of yet, but trust me .. a little patience and I am 100% sure that these games, among other great hits, will be playing 100% in no time!


The latest update to the emulator has Analog controllers added, and you can also edit your controller while in a game! Also, Virtua Fighter Kids, X-Men vs Street Fighter and Mr Bones are now Fully Playable with MORE on the way!

In my opinion, the best way to experience this emulator is with the NVidia Shield TV 4K Box. All of the Sega Saturn Games look fantastic through this device, but other android devices out there that have access to the Play Store can also run this emulator, even your tablet! 




Check this one out! This may be the best way to Keep the Sega Saturn Alive for Centuries!!


--CC






Monday, 1 April 2019

Titan is the best moon



Yes, it is.

Tian is waifu. Titan is bae.

Sure, Earth's Sattelite is round and pale and full of craters, so it that's your thing...well, who am I to judge.

Come on! It doesn't even have a proper name. It's just "moon". What the hell? Can you imagine if the Earth was called "planet"?

Now Titan, that's a proper moon! Just check out these cool facts:
 
- Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the second-largest natural satellite in the Solar System.

- It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found

- Titan is 50% larger than Earth's moon and 80% more massive.

- It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and is larger than the planet Mercury, but only 40% as massive.

And those are just a few! Heck, it's so popular that there's even an arcade system named after it, the ST-V - short for Sega Titan Video. But of course you don't care about that. You're not a video game nerd, are you?

Of course not! You're into hardcore stuff like astronomy and stargazing, so go dust off your old telescope and point it towards the firmament. Oh yeah, baby!

Top Reasons Saturn is Awesome (and Earth Can Eat Shit)

Here are just a few of the many reasons why Saturn is the best damn planet in the solar system...


It's roundish.

Even flat Earthers can fucking believe that Saturn is round. It's also slightly squished and is not a symmetrical sphere which makes it way more interesting.


All those fucking moons, man.

Saturn has 62 moons, which is 62 times more than Earth's one shitty moon. Also, how woefully uncreative is it that we just refer to our only moon as "Moon"? Fucking pathetic. Meanwhile Saturn's largest moon, Titan -- named after the mega-popular Saturn Junkyard TitanCast podcast --  is larger than some entire planets, including Mercury and Pluto.


It's made largely of hydrogen and helium.

Sure, Earth has all of its rocks and nitrogen and oxygen and other boring bullshit. But try hanging out on Saturn for a while and you'll start to talk like one of those green aliens from Toy Story. That's way cooler. It's the claaaaaaaaw, motherfuckers.


The bling.

Saturn's got all those kickass ice rings hanging around it. You know what Earth has? A bunch of lame shit like decommissioned satellite debris, global warming, and Nazis.


No time for your crap.

The average day on Saturn is 10 hours and 39 minutes long. That's efficiency.


Peace.

Every war in the history of our solar system has happened on Earth. Fuck Earth.


In sum, the Earth is dumb. Everyone should move to Saturn.

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?

Monday, 28 January 2019

A Sega Saturn Classic? Good Idea or Bad Idea?



With the release (and subsequent price drop) of Sony's Playstation Classic, one has to wonder how a Sega Saturn Classic system would fair in today's market. Yes the PS Classic did poorly, but that was due to lack of care on Sony's part The Games list was questionable, the hardware was weak and the Emulator choice was not the best route they could of taken. So what do you all think, would a Sega Saturn Classic work? My initial thought would be No, seeing as how Companies seem to be moving away from the Classic Console and investing into newer consoles that share the classic name. The ColecoVision Phoenix and Intellivision Amico are on the horizon and these will have new game as well as play the classics. Lets not forget The AtariBox ... I mean, we've heard NOTHING about it for a while, but it's still out there ... Maybe.

Anyway, after giving it a little more thought, a Sega Saturn Classic Would be absolutely the perfect thing to get the Classic Mini market the charge it needs. Look at all the great games that can be put on it. Even if it shipped with only 20 Games, you can bet that the Sega Saturn 20 will be a hell of alot better than Sony's picks.

If there will be a Sega Saturn Classic ... Here is a list of everything that it must include, in my personal opinion. Its a given, that licensing issues and technical jargon may prevent these things from happening, but I am only striving to give the best product around. I'll let the lawyers and technical wizards handle the rest.


SEGA SATURN CLASSIC SYSTEM
Of course make it look like the Saturn, with matching 6 Button Controller
This is kind of a no Brainer, but I don't want anyone getting any funny ideas. Don't mess with this look! Also the Controller MUST be a Model 2 style!

THE OPEN BUTTON
Make the button actually open the lid! Why? Because you can put a MicroSD Card to save your games. This it what it will Officially be used for. But It will be ok if someone else finds another use for it...

PACKAGE IT WITH AN AC ADAPTER
I don't know why companies give you the Micro USB cord but no Adapter. Thats dumb. Make it come with an AC, it's not hard and won't drive up costs!

THE GAMES
Here's the fun part! I would love to hear your takes on my list and would love to hear what you would want to add or change. This is my personal list, so don't be offended if your game isn't listed. I really want to hear your feedback though, so please comment away!

US LIST:
Panzer Dragoon Zwei
Panzer Dragoon Saga
SEGA AGES
Bug
Sega Rally Championship
Daytona CCE
Fighters MegaMix
Virtua Fighter 2
NIghts (With Christmas Nights)
Clockwork Night
Shinobi Legions
Burning Rangers
Astal
Dragon Force
Guardian Heroes
Albert Odyssey
World Series Baseball
Sonic Jam
Virtual ON
Legend of Oasis

Well, That's about all it would take. The US, EUR, and JPN Markets would have a few different games naturally. Here are some proposed changes:

EUR MARKET:
Change World Series Baseball to Deep Fear
Change Legend of Oasis to Keio Flying Squadron 2
Change Bug to Parodius

JPN MARKET
Change Virtua Fighter 2 with Fighting Vipers (Japan Version with Pepsiman)
Change World Series Baseball With Pocket Fighter
Change Legend of Oasis to Magic Knight Rayearth

What to you all think, Can a Sega Saturn Classic work like this, or do you have better ideas?

--CC

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Linkle Liver Story Translation - How To Download And Emulate


Watch Nuno's new video telling you how you can emulate or download the latest fan translation for the Saturn, as a classic action JRPG becomes avilable for Western audiences for the first time!

Friday, 28 December 2018

Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yugi - The Segata Sanshiro Christmas Mini-Game!



Well dear readers, whilst our Christmas video went swimmingly, excellently spliced together by my dear brother Nebachadnezzar, I was left feeling that my own contribution was sadly lacking in detail and even incorrect in a couple of places. I have only myself to blame for this lazy description of the game, as I had sent my own copy over to a Segata acolyte  in Australia, who's devotion to Segata I felt deserved this very disc *... In the video I lamely discuss Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yugi, a Saturn import title that has our titular hero as it's main protagonist....


You can watch my faltering description here...


*This act of selfless generosity however, left me disc-less and therefore unable to play the game before I described it. So as something of an addition to the video, I will now describe the mini -game in more detail and with more accuracy.




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!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Some warm Saturn memories

    The temperature drops, snow covers the ground and you can see your breath as you talk to your friend outside. You talk about holiday plans, family you still need to shop for and the general busyness of the season. Warm nights spent inside with family by the fireplace’s gentle warmth enjoying time together. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic listening to the same cheery song on the all Christmas station. This time of year is synonymous with all sorts of special moments and memories. Video games in particular can be the catalyst for deep long term memories and the seeds from which nostalgia grows. From a gift from a special someone, to the time spent enjoying quality time together. When it comes to myself and the Saturn this is around the time I came across a local ad for a Saturn game that would start  my collecting and help me eventually build deep and lasting memories with new friends and newish to me games.

    Burning Rangers was always a game I kind of knew about back in 1998 reading gaming magazines. The SEGA advertising with a fireman in a kiddy pool always stood out but I don’t think in the way SEGA intended. I was never sure what the game play was like due to lack of video at that time. Around this time last year I saw a local ad for Burning Rangers, I knew it was rare and expensive as one of the last US Saturn releases but it was in very good shape and cheaper than eBay. I took a small risk since I had no clue what it was like just that if I didn’t like it I could sell it or trade it. Built as a show piece as to say “Here is what Saturn can do in the right hands.” it’s little more than a glorified tech demo with some anime cut scenes. Luckily I love what’s here, I decided I wanted to share my new found joy with like minded people and I had recently joined the Junkyard by ways of the Dreamcast Junkyard in hopes to finally connect with people who like Saturn and want to talk about it.
 
 
    It was wonderful as I shared my new found love for Burning Rangers it turned out other people also shared their love of Burning Rangers and it turned into quite the phenomenon. A warm inviting atmosphere where people shared tips, memories and maybe have even started some small friendly competitions. It was then I knew yes this was worth joining this group. Talking with the admins and seeing the active role they play in the community is impressive. The way there is always an active member ready to share their Saturn experience. As I learned things about Saturn and played more games I returned the kindness and shared whatever I could, engage in whatever activities I could. Like in April when Sonic R stole the show and warmed our hearts with sunshine. I hadn’t a Saturn copy to join in the group time trials so I used my Game Cube copy in a pinch just to see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I did because it opened my eyes to how good a game Sonic R is.

    It’s the passion and energy that you feel from Titancast, the YouTube team and the Facebook group that can make you look at a game in a new way that makes you revisit it with new perspective and that’s what’s so great about the Saturn Junkyard, people making games exciting even some of the lesser known US games like Casper or obscure Japanese exclusives like Cotton. The last year in ways has felt like it’s 1996 and I’m ten years old again talking about games on the schoolyard. Getting a boxed Saturn, getting Dragoon Saga and experiencing all the games I saw in magazines and more has been a mixture of surreal and childlike glee. Every Saturn game I buy is a new adventure, a new experience I can’t wait to share with friends and hopefully in 2019 we’ll continue to make more deep lasting memories around Saturn.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Twelve Years Old Today! A Birthday Message From Father K!


So here we are in 2018, and thanks to ArugulaZ we're still here! For it was on this very day in 2006, that the Saturn Junkyard as a "thing" first existed. Of course we can't mention the birth of the Saturn Junkyard without also acknowledging the site's mentor and patron, Thomas Lee Charnock, the founder of our sister site, The Dreamcast Junkyard. For it was he who gave me my first break in the blogosphere, allowing me to be a contributor to the Dreamcast Junkyard and giving me permission to bring his original concept to the Sega Saturn.

Now of course, The Saturn Junkyard is  a YouTube Channel, a Facebook Group and a place where like minded Retro Gamers - but more importantly REAL friends -  can hang out and have a laugh together. We have become so much more than a blog, we have become a community. That is a pretty amazing thing to be able to say as we enter our twelfth year!

Love to all of the Junkys from me, your very fortunate founder, Father K. Thank you for your participation. Who knows where we'll go next?



Monday, 3 December 2018

Saturn Puzzle Games - The Forgotten Genre?


It seems my education about the Saturn is ongoing. I learn new things all the time... this year I found out that you could unlock Pepsi Man in Fighting Vipers. That sort of thing really tickles me, as it brings new life to an old console. So as I'm sure you can imagine, uncovering a whole genre that I had never really acknowledged existed on the Saturn, has caused my retro-gaming to career down yet another unfamiliar path. It started at the Play Expo in Blackpool. Here, I bought several cheap, import games, and it dawned on me that I'd stumbled onto a whole genre that I was barely aware of.

When was the last time you engaged in a discussion about your "favourite Saturn puzzle games"?  People don't often recall puzzle games when reciting their top ten Saturn titles. Sure, Super Puzzle Fighter II sometimes makes an appearance, but I'd always thought about it as more of a Street Fighter novelty spin off. I had it in my collection, but for years it had languished in solitary isolation, without a puzzle game friend to rub shoulders with, in the Saturn section of my game collection.


But as I came out of the Blackpool Play Expo, I had eight new games and half of them were puzzle games. Bust-A-Move 2, Hanagumi Columns, Columns Arcade Collection and Monsterslider. "Puzzle games"... it's a genre that is alive and well. But full price physical CD copies of puzzle games haven't appeared on consoles for a number of years. The block falling magic of Tetris may have sold on the Gameboy, but it wasn't going to cut it on the PS3 (although the hyper-casual shovel-ware marketed on the Wii made sure the puzzle game would have it's last hurrah  as a genre, on a big selling console...)

When mobile phones became "smart phones", with touch screens, the puzzle game became the perfect way to pass time at bus stops, on the train to work, or during your break time. Bright, brash, snappy and colourful, connecting and destroying bricks, jewels, fruit and a host of other nonsense, with satisfying crunches, munches, plops and squelches, all to a jolly, easy listening soundtrack, they could either be bought for peanuts or downloaded for nothing at all. They were satisfying to play and uncomplicated to master. But their compatibility with smartphones and tablets meant they would cease to be released as physical discs for consoles.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Tetris on the Saturn


In case you follow our Youtube channel (in case you don't, why? Check it out!) you probably noticed that we seemed to go on a bit of a hiatus. You know how it works, life gets in the way and making videos is time-consuming, so we had no option but to let it sit for a while.

We're back, though! And this time with a classic. You've probably played Tetris a thousand times already, but there's always time for a thousand more! The Saturn was home to a couple of Tetris games, and despite the basic formula being the same, in every other aspect they're polar opposites.

Learn everything you need to know about Tetris S and Tetris Plus in our video, where we take a deep look at each game and tell you if they're worth your time.

A couple of notes that didn't make it into the video:


- A monkey also appeared in Sega's first Tetris game, simply titled Tetris and released in 1988. What's the deal with Tetris and monkeys?

- Both the arcade version and the Saturn port of Tetris Plus run at the same resolution of 320x224, at 60 fps. The European version has the resolution unchanged so it will display black bars on the top and bottom, but the framerate is optimized so it won't feel slowed down.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Caspervania and the SJY Halloween Horrorcast

Want a podcast to help get into the Halloween spirit? Check out the latest episode of the Saturn Junkyard's TitanCast. In this one, we delve into the horror-filled worlds of some of Saturn's biggest Halloween-themed games.

Listen on iTunes, Buzzsprout, Google Play, and wherever else:




Discussed in this episode: Resident Evil, Deep Fear, D, Enemy Zero, Alien Trilogy, and Casper