Wednesday, 11 February 2009

My favourite imports

Inspired by Martin's post about Japanese imports for the Saturn, I decided to make a little post about my favourites. The keyword here is "favourites". This means that this is in no way a comprehensive list, just a handful of games that came to my mind, they're not necessarily cheap and they're also not necessarily excellent, although I like them. A lot. So, let's go:


I put these games together because they're basically all the same, bullet hell shmups were you dodge almost impossible bullet patterns while building your ship up to some ridiculous levels of firepower. This means that they're all great, fast-paced games with greatgraphics and awesome gameplay that are sure to keep you hooked up to your tv. And that's great.

Sengoku Blade

Also a shmup, but a horizontal one. If you're not a fan of the genre they may all look the same to you, but vertical and horizontal shmups play quite differently. Vertical shmups have more emphasis on reflexes while horizontal ones reward memorization of the levels. The unique thing about Sengoku Blade is that, while having an horizontal orientation, it actually plays a lot like a vertical shooter. And then there's something about the gameplay... I don't know, it's just so damn addictive... Usually I beat a shmup once and then put it in the shelf, maybe having a go at it once in a while, but with this game not only did I beat it with almost every character, I sometimes beat it two times in a row. It's just that addictive!

Tryrush Deppy

A little, hidden gem of a 2D platformer, in the likes of Rayman or Astal. It's a pretty fun game and...welll, there's not really much more to say about it. It's not groundbreaking, but it's just adorable and pretty fun while it lasts.

Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru

Also known as Psychic Killer Taromaru, this game is more famous for its rarity status and the outrageous price it can hit, than for its gameplay. The surprise is, this game is actually pretty good! It's basically a side-scrolling beat em up, but with more mid-level bosses and less regular enemies. The gameplay has some rather original mechanics and so do the graphics, a mix between 2D characters and 3D levels with no loading times between areas. Of course, it's not worth the outrageous price most people ask for it, but if you're lucky enough to find it cheap, or if you can get it through "other means" (*cough*piracy*cough*), it's well worth checking out.

Dead or Alive

You've all heard of DoA already, so I'm going to keep it short. Of all the versions of this game, the Saturn port was the one chosen by Itagaki to be remade for the Xbox. 'Nuff said. Okay, not quite, but overall this is a pretty good version of DoA, superior in many ways to the latter PSX version, the one most of us played. Get it if you can. Wasn't too expensive last time I checked.

Honorable mentions:

- Savaki: an interesting fighting game in the vein of Virtua Fighter, featuring some of the best graphics I've seen on a Saturn. Too bad it's short on game modes and has only one (!) arena
- Princess Crown: looks awesome, but without understanding Japanese I never went too far
- Strikers 1945 I and II, Gunbird: if you like shmups, these games are simple yet a lot of fun
- Nekketsu Oyako: a completely fucked up beat em up, Streets of Rage-style. There's a level where you fight squid-man...inside a whale...WTF...


The Plushiest said...

Yeah, I got's to pick up DOA. I've put quite a few hours into DOA2 on the DC, but never had a chance to play the original.

fatherkrishna said...

Nice little round up there Nebacha! Whilst I own Savaki, I can't say I'm a huge fan...

Dead Or Alive however, is one of the very best games for the Saturn as far as I'm concerned. I think it was the first games I got on import and holds a very special place in my heart to this day.

need to check out those shmups too. I prefer the side scrolling horizontal ones on easy!

elend said...

Hey, great selection of games. I especially like the shmups of course. Do Don Pachi, Batsugun and Sengoku Blade are some of my fav shmups as well. Incredible graphics combined with perfect gameplay. Oh and Do Don Pachi has a very great soundtrack, too. :D

Psychic Assassin Taromaru is just great as well. Maybe one of the best platformers on the Saturn, imho. If only the very high price tag wouldn't be, I guess a lot more people would have tried it and actually like it.

The GagaMan(n) said...

You sure do own some rare sought after games! The only one of these I've even played is Dead or Alive as that can be obtained very cheap. =)

Random J said...

I really didn't like the Saturn version of this game, just because they cut so much out graphically - as the case with most of the Model 2 Arcade to home ports. Tecmo made it up to Sega with the port of Dead or alive 2 on the Dreamcast though. It looked better than the PS2 version.