Monday, 20 May 2019

Neptune - Top 10 Games of Saturn's Virtua Insanity

Oh, by the way! I guess I should have posted this first, but here I am anyway! My name is Virtua Neptune, and I am a veteran in the field of writing. Obviously, my love for the Saturn runs very deep and many games in its library are among my favorite games of all time. They are not great with the graphics on some occasions, some of them drop framerates like a hot potato and sometimes the glitches make me pull out my non-existing hair! But I still love them!

I’ve already gone into great detail as to why I love this system, so I won’t bore you with anymore of those details. Now we’re going to get to know each other just a little more. It’s really hard for me to pick and choose my favorites among the enormous number of options. This is going to be rough, but I’ll try to keep it at 10 with some honorable mentions.

If you don’t agree with these choices, by all means, feel free to post your choices in the comments section. I can’t remember every great game I’ve played, these are just the ones that stuck with me all these years, and the ones I still play today. Here goes nothing:

#10. Daytona USA

A speedway racing game in a gamer’s top 10 is like plain ice being on your favorite list of popsicles. This should not be here, but for all intents and purposes, here it is. It is not only a racing game, but it is also so basic and so bare bones, that you can do more or less anything with your gameplay. It can be just a smooth ride on Easy mode, just to get some twists and turns. You can go off road, and no one will penalize you, or you can set it on very hard and get yourself some good old fashioned challenge. With just three tracks, it’s a gem that does far more than some modern racers. At least give it a shot. If not for the racing, then do it for the soundtrack. Like many Saturn titles, there were some astoundingly gorgeous tracks on their list of songs.

#9. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

The second sequel to a legend was ported to the past generation consoles and then to the Sega Saturn. It's an amazing installment in the series and was born from a very bad mistake on the developers’ part. They did not include certain major characters in Mortal Kombat 3, and the fan outcry was so bad, they decided to upgrade it and put in a lot more content. UMK3 kills and kills and then kills with more blood before buying some groceries and killing on the way to the bread aisle. Why is this port so much better than the others? Two words “C-R-A-Z-Y-C-Y-R-A-X.” In put those letters with your Saturn controller and you unlock all of the wonderful cheats there-in. Mortal Kombat was already awesome, MK on the Saturn is Virtuawesome!

#8. Warcraft II: The Dark Saga

One of the very few times you will ever see a Warcraft game ported to a major console. The Saturn and Playstation both were blessed with this illustrious sequel to a game that began an era. Is it better on the PC? Yes, but playing it on the Saturn for hours on end is just so satisfying. There’s no explaining it, but despite its toned down graphics and gameplay, this one somehow made killing and pillaging that much more fun. What does it have over its PC counterpart? It just so happens to be the original game, compiled with the expansion pack. No extra purchase required! Sold! For the Horde!

#7. Virtua Cop

Many would rate Virtua Cop 2 as the superior, however, when it comes to the true enjoyment of the title, the first one was far more pure of an experience. Nothing against the second installment, but the first Virtua Cop’s simple concept broadened its scope. Starting from the beginning, and stretching out toward the end, you can see how much more experimentation they were doing with their enemies. You could see the criminals doing more and more different tactics of attack on you, ranging from construction equipment to rocket launchers, these guys were insane! However, the Virtua Police Department is on the job! Save Virtua City from the criminal element! Virtua Justice!

#6. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei

The best of the Panzer series, in my opinion. The other titles are fantastic, and deserve a spot on the best lists as well, but this one is the piece of the dragoon pizza I take. The leveling element along with the fast gunning action is heart-throbbing and brow sweating fun. The enemies look amazingly evil and sinister in their war machines and the bosses are just plain strange and gigantic! Enjoy the gothic scenery and soar through the heavens in this marvelous title!

#5. The House of the Dead

No matter what anyone tells you about these rail shooters, they can be played just fine with a conventional controller. Whether that’s hip with you nerds or not is not my problem. What is my problem is this game is so damn awesome, but for some reason you cannot get through it without killing some of the dumbest innocents ever digitized! These people will get lined up with your shot and you have no choice but to blow these morons’ brains out! Anyway, this game is still amazing! Killing zombies feels like a million bucks! You love every bone crunching, spinal tapping, hot lead busting moment of this terribly voice acted masterpiece! Though the English dubbing is awful, it doesn’t hold to the second one’s abysmal vocals “Don’t come! Don’t come!”

#4. D

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I got my start in writing horror. Not the zombie, vampire, witch, werewolf horror, I mean the real fear inducing kind of horror where you would see the skeleton, but it is not any ordinary skeleton. He would be a skeleton that could turn your world into nightmares! You will regret messing with that skeleton! D is a game that induces that kind of creep factor for those who would turn out their lights and settle down for a good scare. It is ungodly slow to no end, and does take a lot of patience, but that's where true horror fans will love this piece. Your nerves will be tested, and your mind will be trained as you creep through some of the darkest, most sinister scenery with lurking terrors at every corner. D will do that.

#3. Nights: Into Dreams

Nights is probably the game you’ve seen time and time again, even if you never owned a Saturn. It was the most celebrated game and more or less the iconic depiction of what the system was capable of. It was a gorgeous game! Some would call it highly underrated among its peers and this is a fair assessment. The high flying action and free flowing gameplay will mesmerize you to no end and make you want to play more. It is not a game for everyone, but those of us who love it hold it dear to our hearts. That cute little jester is more or less the face of the Saturn itself. Nights' character was depicted in much of the console's artwork and fanart since the day it was broadcasted on television commercials. The fans bought the game and a great number of the fans were not disappointed! Here’s to Nights!

#2. Virtua Fighter 2

This title may make you go “Oh, you just love these three titles because you love the Sega Saturn 3 Free Game Pack!” Well, yeah! Duh! Daytona USA, Virtua Cop and Virtua Fighter 2 were all included in the Sega Saturn for 2 months. By some miracle, my parents picked it up within that small window of time and this was what was present. This game stood above the rest and still stands as the first game I ever played on the Sega Saturn. Of course we chose the fighting game! We were young and bloodthirsty! We were ready to smash each other in the face with fists of epic fury! This fighter delivered in a big way! Though, it is often overlooked because of other current fighting games of the generation, Virtua Fighter 2 still stands the test of the time years later. Nomu.

#1. Virtual On

Whoever has the gusto to ask me why this title is my favorite, I would like to point out that this game’s speed and control capability far sets it above the rest. This game was received in a Demo Pack that came with the Saturn as well. It came with some very nice demo games, but none caught my eye more than Virtual On. Virtua On? Possibly. The combat is run and gun fun for everyone and that goes for two-player mode as well! There are still tournaments to this day being held (I should know, I won 3rd Place in Phoenix) all over the states and Japan. The mechas are beautiful, and customizable, especially on the Dreamcast port. That’s right, the Dreamcast port came out as well and it was just as glorious. Do not miss this amazing title or you will sorely regret it. Check your local or distant arcades for this machine. Beam Cannons Fire!

Honorable Mentions

Three Dirty Dwarves - A highly overlooked title of the Saturn, which made it very difficult to find later on down the line. You play as three dwarves trying to destroy and beat up various things and men with the use of guns, bats, and other improvised weapons. Tons of fun for the kids! (Do not quote me on that, it is somewhat violent, check the ESRB Rating!DISCLAIMER!)

Sonic R - Oh, here’s a head scratcher. Unless you were paying attention to my introductory SJY article, you may not have seen this one coming. It’s true, and it’s not a troll. This game is very enjoyable if you simply do not take it too seriously. Sonic is still a lot of fun to run around with, and every character has a cool quirk that makes them interesting to play as. The songs, my friends. That soundtrack alone is worth racing around those tracks. Look it up. Way past cool!

Die Hard Trilogy - Die Hard Arcade was cool, but trilogy was an amazing compilation of game styles that made it a classic and infinitely awesome to play! You have the choice to play in one of all three Die Hard movies. Each one sporting a different objective and overall gameplay. They are highly addictive and even if you’re not good at some of the levels, you can’t help but enjoy the hell out of it!

I could make this list go on for a good ten thousand words (and no, I’m not kidding). To say this list was hard to make is the biggest understatement of the year. Normally two thousand words takes me a good hour at most, this took me almost all day. It’s one of those things that really has no structured order, so the overall list in your head is what you go with. There are so many more, and there will be more reviews for all of them and more. That is all to come in the future, though. Presently, I think this list is rather solid. If it is to get an update, I may just make an 11 - 30 favorite titles. Who knows. If it’s late, get a glass of water and get some sleep. Sweet Virtua Dreams.

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