Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Competition Time! Design a new graphic for the main page...


As a little bonus to celebrate the Saturn Junkyard's 11th Birthday, we thought we might set a competition. It's going to be something different to the weekly challenge on the Facebook page, something that utilises the creative skills of the members!

The brief is simple... To design a graphic or pictorial image for the Saturn Junkyard's 11th Birthday.
This rather lovely graphic (pictured below) was made on our 1st anniversary, way back in 2007. So it's high time we had a new one.


Use modern technology or good old fashioned crafting skills to create a captioned picture that celebrates us as a community!

The closing date for entries will be January the 1st 2018. So you've got around two weeks to knock something up. I reckon that's enough time!

Prize! Every competition needs a prize and we've got three!

First prize: A white 3D Saturn Controller with beautiful coloured buttons, that would enhance both the gameplay and aesthetics of any Saturn console, but particularly a Japanese Saturn...


Second Prize: A copy of Official Saturn Magazine. Thumb through the pages of this 1996 journal devoted to our favourite console and you'll be transported back to the days when the Saturn was king...


Third Prize: A copy of Sega Rally. (Are you beginning to wonder where all this crap is coming from? 😜) So you've already got one? Well come third and you'll have a spare!


Post your entries on the Facebook page and we'll announce the winners in the New Year!

Happy Birthday Saturn Junkyard!


The tenth birthday of the Saturn Junkyard, a huge milestone in website lifespans, was something that should have been celebrated with pomp and fanfare. But at the time, the blog was barely alive. Think ET lying in the stream, cold, pale and barely breathing on the day after Halloween... Or 'Flynn's Arcade' when Flynn Jr, turns up on his superbike at the start of 'Tron 2'... Or Star Fleet's finest pointy-eared Vulcan, floating through space in a state of suspended animation in 'Search For Spock'... I'm sure you get the picture. In short, it was knackered.


But earlier this year, in a crazy scheme cooked up by two slightly unhinged middle aged chaps with a penchant for gaming, the rusty old gates of the 'Yard were swung open, like Wonka's factory on the day specified on the golden ticket. Machinery was heard coughing and spluttering, cogs, once well oiled, but now rusted and seized together, began to turn once more and before you knew it, the old place was living and breathing again!


But in just one day's time we'll be cracking open a huge bottle of bubbly, to celebrate the 11th birthday of our little blog. It's back, it's primed and it's ready to run and run...

Read more...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Lost Games - Armed



We’ve all heard of games being cancelled. It usually happens midway through development when the publisher cuts the funds or forces the developers to work on another project. At the end of the Saturn’s lifecycle it also became alarmingly common to pull the plug on games that were all but finished, usually multiplatform games where the Playstation version went out as usual while the Saturn one got dropped in the bin. Frustrating as that was, at least you could still play the game, albeit on another platform, so all was not lost.

And then there were games that simply died on the final stretch and never saw the light of day, period. Armed (alternatively known as Aftermath) was one of those games. Until now.


Read More...

Sunday, 10 December 2017

My Sega life- part one

Unlike many of my friends and peers i suck at games, just wanted to clear that up before i ramble on! however my suckiness has never dissuaded me from being a gamer, and it’s not hampered my enjoyment of said games i think as I’ve got older most of my mates just find it endearing particularly as they can kick my butt at most games. But how does this tie into my Sega Saturn and equally beloved Sega Dreamcast? What i love about these consoles is the ability they have to perfectly transport me back to the arcades of the 90’s. Being a London kid i was often found in Sega World at the now defunct Trocadero. Sega World was a grandiose arena of gaming opulence, machines spilling out of every square foot, it was a sensory hit of lights and sound and it reeked of the 90’s. Ultimately it failed commercially and like Sega’s ill fated consoles of the mid to late nineties although it was amazing it lost them money, the world was moving on from the arcades, but quite a few of us didn’t want to come, i was led kicking and screaming into the arms of the Playstation 2 and X box as i watched the Sega console empire burn. What this did do was make my passion for the company even more vociferous and i felt it was my duty to keep the flame burning with my Saturn and DC. Although it didn’t always faithfully port classic arcade games i’m not technical enough to notice, i’m just glad the games made it to the systems i love! 




Theres not much i can say about Virtua fighter 1 and 2, Sega Rally , HofD and Daytona that hasn’t already been said ! These games particularly Sega Rally are like 
a great movie you can watch over and over and not get bored, Sega Rally is my Empire strikes back in movie terms unfortunately when it struck back on the DC the sequel left me underwhelmed, perhaps due to the perfection of Sega rally on the Saturn.

Since i’m so sucky at the games i won’t go on about them too much , what i would really like to focus on talking about is the sense of camaraderie that has been spawned out of these supposedly defunct and ailing consoles. I knew the Saturn was special a year or two after it’s release due to the fiercely loyal communities that developed around it, the same can be said of the DC which had an even shorter European lifespan. The Saturn excelled in niche gaming areas it has a fine array of RPGs and Smups and truly was and still is a 2D powerhouse! The very fact that I’m still exploring the gamut of games on offer for a console that ceased productions quite a few years ago is testament to it’s excellent library and unearthed gems of which the good and far more knowledgeable folk in the Sega Saturn and dreamcast junkyard are helping me to dig up! More in part 2!!


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Gaming Music Remixed Down At Club Saturn! (part 1)



What were you doing in 1996? I suppose if you're here, it was playing the Sega Saturn. I was too, on week nights. But at the weekend I would pursue a different form of entertainment, in the nightclubs of Manchester and occasionally Liverpool, London or Sheffield. I was, what I believe you would call, a raver. Rave culture  - dancing to frenetic "acid house" music in fields or nightclubs - had been around since the late 1980s, and I bought into it big time. By 1996, the whole rave scene had exploded  and it's repetitive beats and ecstasy influenced visuals had permeated all aspects of society - fashion, advertising, radio and television etc. but perhaps none more so, than it did gaming culture.


The fact that the Saturn appeared at this period of history, means that it's games will forever have musical, and sometimes graphical links to the rave scene. The 'go-to' gaming soundtrack up until this point had been chip tunes, soft rock or sweeping orchestral scores. But in the mid nineties more and more games started to appear with house, techno or drum and bass soundtracks... I'm sure you'll remember this as a feature of several Saturn games... Wipe Out, Sonic 3D Blast,and Steep Slope Sliders  to name but three. Games such as Wipe Out were actually produced with ravers in mind, and the idea of fusing raving with gaming culminated in the mighty Rez produced for the Dreamcast just a few years later.

Read More...

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

TitanCast Episode 1.5

In this episode of TitanCast, I sit down with one of the original members of the Junkyard's creative team. We discuss his beginnings with the Saturn, how it fell from favor, the rise and fall of the Junkyard, and his re-entry to The Saturn Junkyard version 2.0.


Ladies and Gentlemen, let me reintroduce you to Nuno, the one and only NebachadnezzaR. 



You can also listen to the podcast over at our Buzzsprout:

On ITunes:

As well as Google Play Music:

Contributors: 

The Southern Sega Gentleman: Samuel 
NebachadnezzaR: Nuno


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Ys - Falcom Classics Review

We're doing reviews on video now.

Feels gangsta being so hi-tech and all.

Anyway! It's our first foray into this uncharted territory, so feedback would be much appreciated.


Speaking of the game, Falcom Classics is a compilation disc released in 1997 exclusively in Japan, featuring reworked versions of three of their classic games: Dragon Slayer, Xanadu and, of course, Ys. I'm talking specifically about this game only because, not being fluent in nihongo [although I did once memorise the entire hiragana syllabary, which can come in handy when confronted with simple choices like はい (yes) and いいえ (no) - and little else], the best I can do is replay a game that I've played so many times already, in so many different systems, by now I could do it blindfolded. Almost. Tried my hand at Dragon Slayer and...yeah, I couldn't get very far.

I touched upon the most important aspects of this port in the video, from the basics of the gameplay, to the beautifully arranged soundtrack, to the graphics and various gameplay enhancements, so there's not really much more to say.

The story is cool, if a bit incomplete since it only comes to a conclusion in the sequel.

Just go watch it!

And play the game, it's really, really good!

Expect more reviews from the team soon ™.

Friday, 1 December 2017

SEGA SATURN, SHIRO! Podcast

I'm afraid we (at the SEGA SATURN, SHIRO! Podcast) have been playing our Saturns perhaps a little TOO hard, as we've gotten dreadfully behind in sharing updates on the Junkyard... Many apologies!

However, if you've already listened to the excellent TitanCast more than a few times and are now twiddling your thumbs at what to do with yourself until those boys drop their next bomb-track.., we've got you covered with a few episodes to fill the time... ;)  Cheers! -Patrick, Dave & Ke

(Thanks again to Father Krishna for the warm welcome and invitation to share with the Junkyard!)


Episode 1: Introductions
We share our Saturn "origin stories", and talk game recommendations.

Episode 2: Neo Geo on SEGA Saturn
We discuss Neo Geo ports on the Saturn and talk RGB & video quality.

Episode 3: Let's Get Technical
We talk media, backups, swap tricks, carts, drive replacements.
Public release of Armed (Aftermath), a previously unreleased game.

Episode 4: Spooky Saturn Halloween!
We discuss several great games for a spooky Halloween play-through!

Episode 5: Getting Saturn Online...
We talk SEGA's online history and interview SEGA RPG FAN &
ItsStillThinking1999 regarding the NetLink over VoIP exploit!

Episode 6: LOVE or HATE
We discuss several polarizing Saturn games that often stir up debate.



Wednesday, 29 November 2017

TitanCast Episode Two

In this episode of TitanCast, me and Brian discuss getting started with the SEGA Saturn. From some basic background info on the system's hardware, to video inputs, and even peripherals.


You can also download this episode of TitanCast from our Google Drive at the link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lzUZkEFzqZ_qD7M1F6LRwZduF-gLBXw7/view?usp=sharing

If you want to look at both full articles mentioned in the cast, you can find them in the links below.

https://thesaturnjunkyard.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/sega-saturn-informal-beginners-guide.html

https://thesaturnjunkyard.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/sega-saturn-informal-beginners-guide_13.html

Contributors:

The Southern Sega Gentleman: Samuel
The Vitua Schlub: Brian

Monday, 27 November 2017

Saturn controllers for your Personal Computing needs

So, you want to play on your PC using a Saturn controller. Maybe you’re trying out a Saturn emulator (a topic which I’ll cover in depth in a future article) and want to keep the experience as true to the original as possible, or you just want to play native PC games with one of the best gamepads ever made (FACT), perfect for titles like Street Fighter which were made with six face buttons in mind.

You basically have two options: you can either buy an adapter for your original gamepad, or buy a whole new controller with a native USB connection, of which there are many.

I myself faced this dilemma sometime ago and tried to do as much research as I could, because for me spending hours reading stuff on the internet is half of the fun of buying a new product (I'm only half joking). Unfortunately I couldn't just try every solution out for myself and in the end had to buy only one product, so my hands-on experience is limited. Fortunately our friends from the Facebook SJY group are a resourceful bunch and, armed with their feedback, I feel confident in my assessment.

So, without further ado:

The Saturn/USB adapter


It basically does what it says on the package. It's a little box with a port for your controller on one end (with most featuring other inputs besides the Saturn, like Playstation) and a USB cable on the other end that you connect to your PC. There are various brands and models, one of the most popular being made by Mayflash, a company with a good reputation for gaming accessories.

Read more...

Thursday, 23 November 2017

SWWS 98: The Greatest Football Game Of All Time?




First of all, we'll acknowledge the elephant in the room... the very mention of the word "football" is going to be contentious from the start. The official title is "Sega World Wide Soccer", although the commentator, the venerable Gary Bloom, welcomes us to what he hopes... "will be an exciting game of football." So that's the word I'm going to use predominantly in this article... "football". The word used to describe the game in Europe, Africa, The Middle East, Asia and South America...
Apologies to our US cousins, for whom 'football' is an excuse to dress up in crash helmet, a fancy spandex suit and enough padding to protect a kindergarten full of kids, from an oncoming freight train... in order to play a jolly good game of rugby! 😉


''Sega World Wide Soccer '98" is the follow up to the most excellent "Sega World Wide Soccer '97"... A re-skin of the "J-League" inspired football game "International Victory Goal".  The game is widely celebrated for it's instant playability and free-flowing game play. There is little to distinguish between the '98 and '97 editions in terms of game mechanics, physics or engine. The major difference between the original and it's updated counterpart, being in the ability to play as the English Premiere League teams of the time*, as well as a good variety of international squads, more of which later. The only other major difference is the addition to the 'commentary team' of ex-Ireland manager and England player, Jack Charlton, more of that later too!
* The game also allows you to play as teams from the French and Spanish top tier too.

Read more...

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

TitanCast Episode One

For the first time in the history of the Junkyard, mountains have been moved! By that, we mean that three of us got together and recorded a podcast.

In this first, we discuss what brought us to our beloved Saturn, how it fell from favor, and eventually how the beast has returned. What impact has the Saturn had on the three of us, and what scale of an impact will this renewed interest in her bring to the Saturn retro community?

If you'd like to hear more from the TitanCast, drop us a comment and keep coming back for more.

You can also download the cast from our google drive at the link below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CHlSmW21LDcjezXG7PMoGaNLNeb1NfIe

Contributors:

Fatherkrishna: Simon
The Southern Sega Gentleman: Samuel
The Vitua Schlub: Brian

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Sega Saturn Saucepot Of The Month: November 2017!


A new month, so we couldn't let the opportunity for more Sega Saturn related sauciness pass us by. Our Halloween look at some of the Saturn 'cos-play' offerings  plastered unashamedly across the internet, got us fired up and in the mood for some more gaming-themed eye candy.

If we had to nominate one computer generated video-game character who has been sexualised more than any other, who has occupied the hormonally raging minds of many an adolescent boy (and even some grown men...) in short someone who has who has made desire synonymous with gaming, then that person would have to be Segata Sanshiro  Lara Croft.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Father Krishna's Saturn Collection (part 2) N-Z

So here it is... part 2 of my Sega Saturn collection. It's taken me a lot longer than I thought it would to complete, which I suppose is a good thing... it means that my collection is bigger than I first gave it credit for. It's also immediately out of date, as two of the titles are now on their way to someone else in our community, and there has been an addition into the library in the shape of "Biohazard", the easier Japanese version of Resident Evil... As already previously stated, the copies are listed separately. Although they are providing the vast majority of my Saturn gaming experiences at the moment, I don't consider them part of my official Saturn collection. I've decided to amend and update this article as when I feel like, putting little captions or paragraphs under some of the games I've particularly enjoyed or hated! Until then, don't forget there is link on each of the titles which will take you to another site related to the game... there's a lot of video or other information about each game, so take your time going through the article and click away at those links! 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Opening Up Your Saturn Library

Hey Saturn Fans! No sooner do we get the wise words and slightly dodgy anime of the Virtua Schlub over here at the Saturn Junkyard, but now we are blessed with the most wonderful epistle from another one of our Trans-Atlantic correspondents, this time in the shape of The Southern Sega Gentleman. Very soon, he'll be here at the 'Yard and able to pen his articles right here from Blog Central, but until then, I'm going to post it for him. So although my name appears at the bottom, this is not my work. To ensure no one thinks I'm trying to pass it off as my own, I'll use the 'guest font and colour'... So without any further ado, I'll leave you in the care of the southern Sega Gentleman...







So now that you’ve gotten your first Saturn, or maybe you’ve busted it out of the jail that is your closet, what’s next? Well, you could throw down a few bucks for a cheap title or two, maybe even splurge and drop $50 on a disc only copy of Resident Evil. More than likely though, you’ll come to find out, quite soon in fact, that the Saturn is not the friendliest console when it comes to the wife or the wallet. Don’t go giving up hope or trying to sell that baby yet though! In this article we aim to show you that there are many avenues to consider when you don the hat of SEGA Saturn owner.

Father Krishna's Saturn Game Collection (Part 1 A-M)

Whilst the Saturn Junkyard is a growing concern, and by no means a solo effort,  I thought I would make a very personal post in this new month of November, listing the Saturn software collection I have here in my house as catalogued at the tail end of 2017.  As well as the games that I own, I'm going to share the 'gaming experiences' that I have access to, thanks to the Pseudo-Saturn Mod, facilitated for me very recently by a high profile member of the Saturn Junkyard Facebook Group 😉 . I'm going to list my unofficial copies separately, at the end of part 2 of the article however, as I don't want anyone thinking I have the unlimited financial resources necessary to obtain the official copies of these games, which change hands at outrageous and ridiculously inflated prices!

In order to make this more than a simple list, I'm going to put a reference picture of the box cover for the version I own, whether PAL European, NSTC Japanese or NSTC US. I'm also going to attach a link to each of the game titles, which will take you to a random piece of information about the game. It could be a Wikipedia page, a game related video, a review of the game, concept art or a different website, which will hopefully expand your awareness of any games that take your interest!

I'm very happy to say that my Saturn collection is much larger than I had previously realised, but as a consequence, it's taken me ages to write this post! So for now I'm just going to share my A-M titles... The rest will be along very soon!

Read More...

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Saturn Junkyard!


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Saturn Junkyard Cosplay Awards 2017

Here at the Saturn Junkyard, we heartily approve of grown men and women making ridiculous video-game themed costumes, and then wearing them shamelessly around a comic-con or gaming expo, whilst bemused onlookers try desperately in vain to work out who they are supposed to be.

Whether you are a  beautifully healthy sun-tanned Bay Watch body-double, or have got to squeeze your cellulite riddled, pock-marked, flab into an ill fitting lycra leotard and leggings, using a shoehorn and a tub of lard, matters not!

It's entering into the spirit of the thing that's important! So to help you decide on your own Saturn themed costume for this year, we'll show you some of the efforts people have gone to in the past, for better or for worse... They all get the world famous Father Krishna seal of approval for having a go!


What I hadn't reckoned on, was the strange psychological associations and feelings, brought on by perusing these cos-play pictures. Why do subjects as diverse as creeping terror, Cilla Black, the Joker, the Russian Mafia, evil clowns and Frank Sidebottom come to mind when looking at a bunch of gaming characters? (If you have no idea who my Anglo-centric comparisons refer to, click on the links!)

Choose your favourite and identify it in the comment section, or save them to your device and throw them up on the Facebook page for anyone who has missed them!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Imagine Dragoons: That Time Panzer Dragoon Was an Anime


I’m a big fan of Panzer Dragoon (the game), particularly its sequels. So when I recently came across a VHS copy of Panzer Dragoon (the movie) at a retro gaming convention, buying it wasn’t even a choice. I had no idea such a thing even existed – and yet it does – so obviously I needed it.



I’ve long ceased to own the requisite apparatus for playing back the newest (and probably only) VHS tape in my collection. But a cursory glance at the box and cassette revealed it to be an anime-style film, in color, dubbed in English, with an approximate run time of 35 minutes (though it’s more like 26). A further look at Amazon’s customer reviews for Panzer Dragoon (the anime) suggested it wasn't likely to be a very good film to begin with.

One customer, Sam, deemed Panzer Dragoon (the anime) “the worst fantasy anime ever,” or at least “the worst to be based on a videogame,” citing its animation as having “one of the most contemptible mixes of hand drawn animation and computer graphics EVER.” Dark Ren added, ”between the boring dialogue, and disappointing action scenes, I was wondering how this could get much worse,” while another unnamed customer obliged, “[the Panzer Dragoon anime] has the worst dubbing I've ever heard!!! My friend and I couldn’t stop laughing!!”


Undeterred, I still had to see it for myself. At the very least, Panzer Dragoon (the anime) had to be so bad that it's good, right? Well, that was the hope. Read more...

Fighting Your Way Through Halloween: Darkstalkers 3 - The Characters... (Part 2)

,

So, it's time for part two of our introduction to the weird and wonderful 'Halloween-friendly' characters of Capcom's insanely good 2D fighter, Dark Stalkers 3. We've already met our seasonal archetypes-- a mummy, a werewolf, a vampire, a Frankenstein-type monster, a machine gun toting fairy tale character, two confusingly saucy 'succubus' demons and a... *cough* ...haunted suit of Samurai armour...

Now it's time to meet the rest of the roster of  'Vampire Savior: The Lord Of Vampire' for the Sega Saturn!

Sasquatch: is of course the mysterious ape-man of the North American continent. Also known as Big Foot (the same name as his tribe). Sasquatch is an original creature to have in a horror-based fighting game, but unfortunately his race are depicted as something of  a bunch of stupid behemoths, daft enough to be lured to their doom by the offer of lots of bananas! A shame, as I can't think of him showing up in many other video games, and as everyone knows, Sasquatch are intelligent, even noble creatures, which is why they've never been caught by the razor sharp minds and keen cryptozoological instincts of the Finding Bigfoot team on Animal Planet.


Sasquatch's most notable ability is being able to turn water to ice by passing it through his body! Having huge feet (all the better to stomp you with) can also be quite beneficial when facing other creatures of the night...

Read More...


Monday, 23 October 2017

Fighting Your Way Through Halloween: Darkstalkers 3 - The Characters... (Part1)


As anyone who has read my last few posts can tell, I'm a huge fan of Halloween, and a recent convert to the genre of 2D fighting games, played of course, on the Sega Saturn. So when I realised there was a game that combined two of my passions, I thought it would be rude not to give it a feature post here at the Saturn Junkyard!
One of the best 2D fighters I've played, 'Darkstalkers 3' (or 'Vampire Savior: The Lord Of Vampire' as it was known in Japan) arrived through my door, some time in the first decade of this millennium, courtesy of one of the previous collaborators here on the 'Yard. It was sent with love, as a beautiful gift, with a burned copy of Radiant Silvergun tucked away inside. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember who was kind enough to send it to me. What I do know however, is that it remained unplayed in my Saturn collection for many years, due to the fact that my import playing Action Replay, did not facilitate the 4MB of RAM necessary for the game to work properly!

Fast forward to 2017; a new Action Replay arrives from Play Asia and all of a sudden, the game that had remained out of my reach for so long, suddenly arrived within it! I was hugely impressed from the moment I fired up the game.... I've already explained in a previous post, why I'm so enamoured with 2D fighters at the moment, so rather than explain all that again, I'll cut straight to the chase. As well as the quirky game play, and fantastic special moves, it's the combatants within this particular game that imbue it with it's eccentric charm and Halloween relevance.


What makes Darkstalkers 3 so fantastic, is it's insane roster of characters, inspired by classic horror archetypes as featured in the popular Japanese anime. As well as those monsters and 'creatures of the night' one might expect to find in your average Hammer Horror film, the game boasts some surprises. They're such a fabulous collection of Halloween-style freaks, creeps and misfits, that I've decided to shine the spotlight on each and every one of them during this article. I want to share their images and backstories, with those of you waiting to add this game to your collection, in order to whet your appetite. So lets jump straight in with the the first one! I've used capcom.wikia.com as my primary source, so props to them!


Anakaris: is a huge mummy, a twelfth dynasty pharaoh who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tutankhamen. A slow and lumbering character, (the slowest in the game, in terms of mobility), Anakaris does have some compensatory abilities. Those abilities include the fact that he can float and hover temporarily in the air, teleport (like Dahlsim in Streetfighter) and drop a huge casket on top of his foes, amongst other things!

Read more...

Halloween Video Treats: Five Creepy Clips To Help Celebrate The Season!






Sunday, 22 October 2017

2D Fighter Kicks 3D Fighter's Ass!

One of the biggest revelations from my current revision of the Sega Saturn, is the brilliance of 2D fighting games. A genre which failed to excite me when the console was current, 2D fighters seemed cheesy, over the top, brash, outdated, cartoonish and comical. This was in comparison to what I perceived then, as 'realistic' 3D fighters, which I could not get enough of. For me, the characters of the Virtua Fighter series were far more interesting and strangely enough, believable (as if realism was an important factor in gaming!)  The ability to take on the persona and moves of a mysterious, yet understated combatant like Kage from Virtua Fighter--a character akin to the ninjas and martial arts masters I had admired in the kung fu movies of my youth--was loads more appealing than martialling the impossible theatrics of  Ryu, or the limb stretching slap-happiness of Dahlsim!


Now time has done a sneaky switcheroo on us, and the cartoon-like graphics of the 2D fighter have weathered the passage of the decades far more effectively than their 3D counterparts. Whilst the pointy and angular graphics of the Saturn's later software, --for example Sarah Bryant or Lion in 'Virtua Fighter 2'-- look undeniably dated by today's standards, the 'side on' two dimensional perspective of the  2D fighter-- for example 'Street Fighter Alpha'-- has emerged as more of a 'classic' look than an antiquated one. Whilst I'm talking about this genre, my only experience of these titles on the Saturn are those produced by Capcom. I'm hugely looking forward to exploring the SNK releases that so many Saturn fans hold dear, but I cannot speak about them from a position of knowledge at this time...


There are other factors at work in making the 2D fighter, particularly those from the Capcom stable so relevant in 2017-- and one of those factors is the longevity of Street Fighter as an IP. Whilst the 'Virtua Fighter' characters are fast becoming a faded memory in the mainstream gaming market, the assembled characters from Capcom's 2D biggest franchise, 'Street Fighter' still command big budget releases. They have a commercial relevance and familiarity today, that Akira Yuki, Lau Chan and Wolf Hawkfield cannot claim, however much we want them to. We've seen Ryu and Ken in recently successful iterations of Street Fighter, such as Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5. It's interesting to note that character models and the overall format of the games, were not altered much at all for the '2.5D' reboot, however... proof of the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.".  Capcom themselves knew that the 2D fighter was not a genre that needed much upgrading.

The updating of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, and it's subsequent commercial success, plus the critical acclaim of the Wii's "Tatsunuko vs. Capcom" is also proof of the enduring love for the 2D fighter.


Talking of character mash-ups, Capcom's willingness to bring the characters from anime, comics and even rival software publishers for their 2D fighting releases mean that we have some monumental titles, full of charm and individuality. The range of 2 D fighters available for the Saturn vastly outnumbers that of 3D fighters. The flirtation with Marvel has been a very lucrative one, both critically and commercially, as the original titles that they produced with the company proved to be big sellers. Stand alone 'Marvel' games such as 'Marvel Superheroes' and 'X Men Children Of The Atom' brought superheroes and super-humans into the arena. Who wouldn't want to fight as Hulk, Spider-Man or Wolverine?  A stroke of genius to then pit them against the cast of Street Fighter! We're all prone to those "I wonder who'd win in a fight between..." questions. Here was a chance to find out! An unforeseen factor has been how much the Marvel brand has exploded in the wider public consciousness over the last few years.
As Marvel's movie franchises continue to play to the tastes of the mainstream, it's cast of characters again command a relevance in the zeitgeist of 2017, the whispers of which, resonate through when playing either of the games mentioned above, or indeed the wonderful crossover 'X Men vs. Capcom'.


So playing the 2D Fighters in my own collection is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I'm getting to the stage that I understand the repertoire of moves for many of the characters I fight as, so now I'm just trying to perfect the timing and combos. I'm unfortunately tempted to rotate each game regularly in my playlist, rather than sticking to one and perfecting my moves or honing my skills with a particular character. That's been a problem for me for some time. I suffer from FGS... Flighty Gamer Syndrome. I'm rarely able to focus on one game long enough to be able to play it to my full potential. And these are games that are made to be mastered!

So what games are rocking my world at the moment? Let's take a look!

Read more...

Saturday, 21 October 2017

More Saturn gaming news, views and all round goodness from the Sega Saturn Shiro crew in their third podcast! We're a little bit late getting it up on the main page, but as long as they're doing their rather splendid Podcast, we'll keep promoting it over here at the 'Yard.
I'll let the chaps themselves (David Lee, Ke Kona and Patrick Traynor) tell you all about it!


On this week's episode, we go in depth with playing imports and backups. From swap tricks, to complete CD drive replacements.

We also drop the release of Armed (Also known as Aftermath), an unreleased Sega Saturn game developed by Point of View, which was originally going to be published by Interplay.

The URL for the game is provided in the podcast itself.

and here's the content listing & running order

Intro / what we've been up to
00:18:16 Shoutouts
00:20:20 Obscure Game: Groove On Fight
00:32:19 Technical Q & A: Save Data / Losing Saves
00:47:32 Different Methods for Playing Imports
00:58:24 Different Methods for Playing Backups
01:20:59 Using Quality Media & Best Practices

So make sure you give it a listen!

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Best Halloween Saturn Game Of All...

My love for the Saturn is split into three phases; the first stage was my initial love in about 1996... the stage when the Saturn was my current console. I'd just bought it and I was blown away by the graphical wonders and futuristic gameplay of Virtua Fighter, Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon and Clockwork Knight. The next stage, was about ten years ago, when I decided to founder the Saturn Junkyard, primarily because I was so blown away by the wonder that is the Dreamcast Junkyard, and wanted  a piece of the retro-gaming blogging action. At that time, I bought the bulk of my current PAL collection, when there was nothing on offer for the Dreamcast at Gamestation, as a source for reviews and articles on the SJY. The third phase is my current obsession, which has seen me neglecting all my other consoles and game library, to play the Saturn exclusively, buying up Japanese imports and padding out my software library with rips, as if I'm discovering it again for the first time.


But lets go back to phase 1: It's 1996/7 and as well as the games mentioned above, you can add a very small handful of games, that made up up the entirety of my Saturn software collection. One was Virtua Cop, one was Christmas NiGHTs and the other was the title I want to discuss today.

The game in question was 'Casper', a title I'm going to nominate for my ultimate Halloween Saturn game. It's a title that has everything you might want from a spooky Halloween experience-- A haunted mansion, darkened passageways, moonlit graveyards, creaking doors, moving objects, ghostly laughter and sandwiches, lots and lots of sandwiches!

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Sega Saturn Saucepot Of The Month... October 2017

As I said last month when I started this feature, this is not some sort of "boys only", misogynistic, perv-fest, but is in fact, an equal opportunities, gender inclusive, true appreciation of the pretend physical perfection, of non-existent characters, made up of sprites, polygons and magic.


So, to keep things balanced, and in a perfect Yin/Yang style harmony, it's time to select a male 'Saturn saucepot'.  I was thinking of using a real life human sex object, in the shape of one of the Saturn Junkyard's Facebook Page Admins, but as I only have myself, Jon Lee and Daniel Turner to choose from, I had to scrap that idea.

Phwooooaaarrrr!!!

Come and get me girls!
Wanna see my stunner?

So, with so many Saturn themed cyber-hunks to choose from, where do I start? I think it would be prudent to select from Saturn exclusives, but obviously it can't be Virtua Cop as that was the source of last month's saucepot... One of the Burning Rangers boys or perhaps one of the guys from the Last Bronx posse? One of the male crew from the Deep Fear submarine? NiGHTs? Is she even a guy or is he actually a girl?
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Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Scariest Games On The Saturn...

As the summer fades and we approach this Autumnal time of year, my mind always turns towards the gothic, the haunted, the horrific and the (bio)hazardous. It's nearly Halloween, my favourite Holiday, and therefore high time we decided what Saturn games we should be playing as the nights draw in.
Now, I was trying to recall all of the Saturn horror titles I could think of for this article, but my knowledge is by no means comprehensive. So I decided to start researching the topic, heading towards YouTube as my first port of call.


And lo! There were two videos that encapsulated the very topic I wanted to discuss! So the simple and lazy thing to do would be to post the videos here and shut up shop, and I dare say that's the route I would have taken during the Junkyard's first incarnation. However, the descriptions of the games featured within the videos are fleeting to say the least. I also wanted to put my own stamp on this post, so I've given a brief account of some of the games from my own collection that I will be playing over the Halloween period. Part of my remit during this outing on the Saturn Junkyard, was to give serious play-time to titles that I may have been dismissive about in the past.

 At best this pair of videos serves as a list of the most obvious Saturn titles of a spooky nature, showing each game running, perhaps the best way to showcase any game. It pretty much nails both the common PAL/US horror-themed releases and references some of the more obscure Japanese games which can be imported.

There will of course also be some titles missed out in the video compilation... (The Mansion Of Hidden Souls for example.) When considering the sheer volume of releases for the system in Japan alone, there are bound to be some that didn't make the YouTube collection. There's also the possibility that some tenuous links (in terms of the 'Halloween' theme) may have been made... Resident Evil? I guess that fits the Halloween bill...Spooky mansion, dark passage ways, rage infested zombies? Yes!
Alien Trilogy? Doesn't that fit into the Science Fiction genre more easily? Lone space craft, dark passageways, xeno-morphing extra terrestrials? ... Halloween-ish? Not so much!

So, as I'm here, I'll give you the lowdown on my own personal 'Saturn Halloween' top five, based on the games currently residing in my own collection. I'll tell you why I love them (and indeed in the case of one mansion-themed outing, why I don't!)

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Friday, 13 October 2017

Sega Saturn- An Informal Beginner's Guide For Beginners (Part II) The Games!

I'm very pleased to be able to bring you part 2 of Brian Vines most excellent "Sega Saturn -  A Beginner's Guide For Beginners" This time, Brian focuses on the stand out games that an aspiring Saturn collector might want to add to his or her library, without needing to take out a second mortgage to procure them!

The Sega Saturn boasts a solid library of exclusive software, but it's not going to be everything to everyone, as it specialised in some particular types of games and genres over others. The Saturn excelled in vibrant, arcade style offerings that were easy to learn, yet difficult to master. As you make your way through the consoles more value oriented offerings, these are likely the types of games you'll find yourself playing, as you patiently search for decent deals on the more elusive heavy hitters. I mean, Panzer Dragoon Saga is great, but it's just not worth going out and dropping several hundred dollars on right away. There are so many other great and more affordable Saturn games out there, its a far better use of time and money to focus on getting those first.

If I were jump starting a collection on the cheap, I'd first search my preferred auction website for a decent bundle for sale. This can be a bit cheaper than buying games piecemeal can be. When it comes to the Saturn, everyone seems to think they know what they're selling (and will often charge accordingly, usually excessively) so you'll need to be very patient. In general, I'd recommend some of the following titles. Whilst this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great and reasonably priced games the platform has to offer, these should make some mice additions to a well rounded starter collection, in no particular order.


NiGHTS into Dreams - Oh yeah, I forgot to mention a small detail about the Saturn. Bafflingly, Sega and Sonic Team never made  a proper, mainline Sonic game for it. However, they did produce this little gem, which is an incredibly unique 2.5D flying jester simulator. It's fast like a Sonic game, but with free form verticality and nifty aerial acrobatics. It controls very smoothly, but the 3D analogue pad is all but mandatory. It's also a gorgeous title that does an admirable job of putting the Saturn through it's paces.

DecAthlete/Athlete Kings & Winter Heat: Fans of Konami's classic Track and Field or other Olympic themed button mashing games of that style-- will feel right at home with these summer and winter sports events titles, respectively. They both have super simple gameplay.: for most events you're tapping a button until its time to hit another one- with timing and precision dictating your success--yet somehow these games manage to be damn fun, despite their streamlined game mechanics. Even better, you'll often find tripping and falling on your face is a fun alternative to playing the events properly. If I had to pick one, I'd pick Winter Heat.

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Segata Sanshiro Spotted On New Dreamcast Mini-Disc!

We're well aware of our heritage over here at the Saturn Junkyard. Indeed, the place wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for the establishment of the Dreamcast Junkyard and it's magnificent benevolence in terms of mentorship and guidance.


It provided inspiration for, and encouragement of, this very site, way back at the start of the millennium in around about 2006... And it still is, for the Dreamcast Junkyard have run a fine article on the game Dreamcastnoid and highlighted the appearance of everyone's favourite Elvis-wigged, Judo-suit-rocking, Teen-beating, superhero...SEGATA SANSHIRO!


And here he is in all his monochrome ghostly glory!

Who's that lurking in the shadows?
And thanks again for the source material to the Dreamcast Junkyard!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Once Upon A Time When Sega Were Literally Giving The Saturn Away...

Sounds too good to be true right? Sega, not a company known for savvy business practises, were never actually so insane that they gave away their 32 Bit powerhouse did they?  Well no, I've got you here under slightly false pretences, using a little hyperbole and exaggeration, but there is a kernel of truth in my outrageous claims!



They may have given a few out free in the board room to prospective clients and business partners, to tech magazines and TV shows from whom they were trying to court favourable reviews, and perhaps some as competition prizes in various promotions, but they never gave away entire consoles to ordinary saps like you and I, willy-nilly. They did, however, give away Saturn peripherals and system components, to anyone who asked. Free. For nothing. Nada. Gratis.

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Thursday, 5 October 2017

Sega Saturn: An Informal Beginner’s Guide for Beginners

It's only been a matter of days since the padlocks and chains were removed from the doors of the Saturn Junkyard, the dust was blown off the blogging machinery, and the old place swung into action once more. Since then we've had two articles sent to the 'Yard! One you've already seen, a very personal account of the effect receiving a Saturn had on one 14 year old back in 1996 (our Kev).
Today, It is my great pleasure to present to you  part one of :

"Sega Saturn: An Informal Beginners Guide For Beginners" by Facebook group member, Mr. Brian Vines.
His work is written in red, to ensure no one thinks I am attempting to pass it's excellence off as my own!

Part one discusses the hardware and gives some salient and economic advice to new and existing Saturn owners. Part two, to be showcased in a few days time, will cover the best Saturn software available without breaking the bank!



So you just bought a Sega Saturn - - Good for you.
Or perhaps you're considering getting one. Or perhaps you've always owned a Saturn, but have just remembered that fact until today. Or perhaps you despise the Sega Saturn, in which case I'm not sure why you are reading this, but kudos for expanding your horizons!

So now what? Where do you start with your brand new, state-of-the art, decades-old console? What should you expect? Would you like to kick off your Saturn library with some worthwhile games whilst still having some money left over for food? Any other useful tips to consider?

Well here's a bit of help. While this article is by no means comprehensive, you could consider it an informal starter's guide to help get the ball rolling on your new/future/forgotten/non-existent Sega Saturn home video game console. I'll briefly touch on various topics throughout this post, though nearly everything here could warrant it's own in-depth article to properly delve into the ins and outs of every aspect. There's also a lot I'm going to miss, including game pads and peripherals, hardware variations, emulation options, all of it's incredible RPGs, shoot 'em ups , and 'Bug!' - which may be the most glaring omission of all...

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