Friday, 19 January 2018

Welcome to the Afterburner Afterparty: A Sky Target Review

"I feel the need...the need for speed!"

Another review video has landed on the SJY YouTube channel. This one is for Sky Target, the Sega Saturn reincarnate of Afterburner's classic arcade, fighter jet shooter formula. Can it stay in formation or will it choke on vapor trails? Watch and find out!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

In the Inaugural Junk Club, We are All Burning Rangers!

It's like a book club but with fewer white whales and more futuristic firefighters*! Over the next couple of weeks, keep an eye out for various threads around the Junkyard Facebook community where members will be asked a series of questions and share their memories, experiences, and perspectives surrounding Sega and Sonic Team's late Saturn classic, Burning Rangers! Whether you're a longtime fan (or critic), have just recently discovered it, or plan on burning and playing it soon, you're welcome to participate! All you have to to do is join our Facebook group if you haven't already.

Along the way, we may drop some Burning Rangers-related content, including videos on the SJY YouTube channel and -- later on -- maybe even an episode of the TitanCast where we'll share some members' musings about the game from our Junk Club threads.

* Though for Simon, maybe level 3 of Burning Rangers is his Moby Dick.
Join the SJY Facebook Group

Budget Buying Guide Part Two

In this episode of TitanCast we go over each of our "Building A Saturn Library On A Budget" list. The team was tasked to find seven titles, all under $200, that would make a decent beginners library.



Google Play:

Monday, 15 January 2018

Retro Bits and Pieces

image from Game Tyrants
One month after its cryptic announcement that it would be making Sega-licensed products, Retro-Bit finally revealed what those products would be at this year's Winter CES show. First, the bad news... those plug 'n play game systems I was hoping to see didn't materialize, including a replacement for AtGames' tone-deaf Sega Genesis consoles and handhelds. The good news is that there will be joypads based on the stock controllers for the Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, and Sega Dreamcast.

The controller for each of these systems will come in three flavors. The first will plug directly into the console, letting you replace controllers you've lost or shattered in a fit of Bust-A-Move 2-fueled rage. (What? Don't laugh until you've tried to beat Woolen yourself.) The second uses Bluetooth technology to bridge the gap between 20th and 21st century gaming. You can either sync it with your home computer or insert an adapter into a spare controller port on your system, letting you play without the hassle of cables.

The last and possibly most exciting joypad has a USB cable, letting you connect it to a home computer. I fail to understand why anyone would want to use a Dreamcast controller in 2018 when I spent most of the early 2000s using adapters to avoid it. However, the Genesis and Saturn USB pads will be a boon for the hundreds of fighting games and arcade classics currently available on Steam. Before Retro-Bit and Sega teamed up, your only options for Saturn-quality control on a PC were buying an adapter or finding the joypad that was briefly manufactured by Sega Logistics Service. If Retro-Bit's replica controllers are as good as the real thing, you'll be able to get the quality control of a Saturn pad without breaking the bank or hunting for elusive peripherals.

As an aside, these new controllers may also work with the Mayflash Universal Adapter Ultimate, a handy accessory for the Xbox One which I recently reviewed on my own blog. I'm mentioning this here not only as a shameless plug, but because the Xbox One has a handful of Saturn games in its library (Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers, Radiant Silvergun, Guardian Heroes, et al) without a proper way to play them. The Mayflash adapter doesn't work with every controller, but with a high rate of compatibility, you're sure to find something that's better suited to the previously mentioned games than the stock Xbox One pad.

(Special thanks to Game Tyrants for the recent news on Retro-Bit's Sega controller line.)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Gaming Music Remixed Down At Club Saturn! (Part 2)

You may remember in the first part of this post, that we established the link between rave culture and gaming, that came about in the middle of the 1990s, when that particular type of music could be found dominating the airwaves, creeping into television programme soundtracks and as the music of choice, to sell anything from cars to Guinness. We also noted how much, both Sega as a company and the Saturn as a console, embraced the rave scene wholeheartedly*, using it's music as the soundtrack to many software titles, the odd commercial and as part of the very project we are reviewing right now:
Club Saturn.
*as did I- see pic below!

Father K embraces the rave scene... @ the Tribal Gathering, first legal rave in two years, May 6th 1995.
So read the first part of the article and get ready for part two...

Friday, 12 January 2018

Killing Pixels Part Deux: Saturn Games in HD

I was about to title this post “Saturn games in 4K”, which would’ve sounded much more impressive, but alas, I don’t own any 2160p monitor to record footage from and didn’t want to sound like a liar, so let’s settle for HD then.

Mind you, 1080p is still a much bigger number than 240p – the Saturn’s original resolution (yeah, some games run in 480i, let’s not go there for the sake of simplicity), and because resolutions are areas and not lines having a number that’s more than 4 times higher means an actual increase in the order of 16x.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Monday, 8 January 2018

SJY on YouTube: Zap! Snowboarding Trix '98 Review

Join us for this in-depth video review as we hit the virtual slopes to see whether Zap! Snowboarding Trix! '98 can shred with the best for Sega Saturn snowboard superiority!

This is a follow up to our previous Grudge Match video, which pitted Steep Slope Sliders against the original Zap! in a battle for king of the Saturn's snowboard mountain!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Killing Pixels - How to make your emulated games look old-school

Remember when I said I’d write a full, in-depth article about emulating Saturn games? This is not it.


Instead, I’m just going to whet your appetite for one of the many wonders of emulation or, in case you’ve already dipped your toes in this huge pool, I’ll walk you through the process of enhancing your experience.

You too can watch this miracle transformation on all the games you love and cherish.

[open the picture for full effect]


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

New Year's MegaCast!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

SJY on YouTube: Grudge Match for Sega Saturn Snowboard Supremacy!

For this video, we thought it'd be fun to see what happens when we pit two Saturn snowboarding titles against each other in a one-on-one battle for snowboard superiority. Which will reign as the king of the Saturn slopes? Let's shred the virtual gnar and find out!

Note: I'm very new at this whole video-making thing (I've never made one before this) so forgive the slow, awkward pacing and tangential meandering. I'll be tightening that stuff up in future videos but in the meantime, I also welcome any other feedback you may have.


Saturday, 30 December 2017

Saturn Junkyard's TOP 5 - Nuno Edition

Time for something a lil' bit different. Everyone has watched countless top 5's and 10's (or 100's if you're feeling brave) of games for any specific system, citing the same old classics that we all know and love. Lord knows I like Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally as much as the next guy, but sometimes you're craving something a little different. There are many great games on the Saturn, and they don't have to be flawless or all-time classics to leave an impression on us. Sometimes the games that are simply "good" or even "average" for other gamers, are deeply cherished titles for us.

Maybe they were the first games of that genre that we've tried, and showed us a whole new world of possibilities. Or they were a gift from a very special person. Or we were simply stuck with them, and only them, for long periods of time and were left with some kind of gaming Stockholm's Syndrome, our brains furiously trying to convince us they were actually good and not some big pile of trash.

No matter the reason, some games are special to us, even if they're mostly unknown to everybody else, or even considered bad games. Like a baby, we love them no matter what.

Here are mine:

Friday, 29 December 2017

Sega Saturn Saucepot Of The Month... December 2017!

Well not much to say about this month's saucepot. We don't know his name, or from whence he hails, in fact, we don't know anything about him. Now if I were Thomas Charnock, founder of the Dreamcast Junkyard, I would have used my powers of detection, to hunt him down across the world wide web.
But I'm not and I haven't. So we'll just call him the Saturn Muscle Man. Rumours that it might be Junkyard member and Sega Rally Master Alex Lieng, in the middle of one of his Triathlon training sessions, have neither been confirmed or denied.
So we'll let those rippling muscles speak for themselves! Next month back to the ladies!

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas NiGHTS Longbox Repro?!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Junkyard Crew!

In keeping with the season, we have an awesome surprise in store for you. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of David Lee, a host over at Sega Saturn, Shiro!, we now have beautiful US Long Box artwork for Christmas NiGHTS Into Dreams. To do even better, the guys over at the Sega Saturn, Shiro! Podcast have made the PDF files availible so you can make your own. 

You can find a link to the artwork here:

While you're at it, show the guys some love and drop by their YouTube Channel. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Dare to Dream: A Saturn Plug 'n Play?

I wasn't planning to contribute much to this blog, given the dearth of recent news about the Sega Saturn... but somehow, I managed to turn up something relevant. Retro-Bit claims that it will launch a series of devices based on Sega consoles, including the Sega Genesis, Sega Dreamcast, and (wait for it...) the Sega Saturn.

The announcement, unfortunately, comes with no small measure of confusion. Retro-Bit describes these upcoming products as "accessories," making you think that they're just going to crank out some compatible controllers and call it a day. Yet later in the press release, the company claims that these accessories "feature the same great quality as their original Sega counterparts like the original console port, but also with modern upgrades such as a USB® port for PC compatibility and Bluetooth® wireless technology." That sounds a little closer to the plug 'n play devices we've been getting from companies like Radica, AtGames, and more recently, Nintendo.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that the Sega Saturn has been stubbornly resistant to emulation thanks to its peculiar hardware design. Could Retro-Bit really deliver on a Saturn plug 'n play when Saturn emulation has never advanced beyond "barely adequate?" Furthermore, the massive size of Saturn games relative to the cartridge ROMs in past plug 'n plays prompts questions about what would be included in this device, and what could realistically fit. The Super NES Classic has 512MB of storage... that would be just enough room for, uh, one sixth of Panzer Dragoon Saga.

You can find more information about Retro-Bit's upcoming plug 'n play consoles (what little there currently is...) by clicking this link. The systems will be shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show held early next month, and believe me when I say that I will be watching this reveal very, very carefully.