Grump Talk – Landing on Saturn


If you’ve been a loyal reader the past year or so, you’ve no doubt recognized a streak of retro gaming in me. I’ve been living in the past with games, the best ones I’ve played recently being at least a year old, if not more. I devoted a large chunk of time and effort into rediscovering the Phantasy Star series.

As such, you might’ve realized I have a somewhat unhealthy and abusive Sega fanboy streak in me, too. Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection is the gift that keeps on giving. So many classic franchises I missed out on during the heady 16-bit days and almost all the games I remember loving. Seriously, if you’ve ever been curious about the Genesis or have fond memories of that console, snatch it up on the next-gen console of your choice. Although it’s odd I can’t find a better word than “next-gen” when we’re already 4 years into this generation of consoles. Ummm… current-gen?

Anyways, this post isn’t about Genesis. It’s about Sega’s redheaded stepchild (no, the other redheaded stepchild… no, the other, other redheaded stepchild): Saturn. What a sad story that console has to tell. It launched as an E3 surprise to the sound of confused and irritated retailers and Sony simply undercutting it by $100 dollars and leaving it at that. The poor thing wasn’t a very powerful 3D machine and it had a bizarre dual-processor thingie that apparently made development on it strange and difficult to port. Sega had bet the farm on the trend that was still going strong during the 16-bit era: luscious 2D graphics. And wow, could Saturn pump out some awesome sprites, also helped by the fact that you could add up to 4 megs of RAM through the cartridge slot.

The reason I’m bringing up the Saturn at all is because I found one being sold at a used video game store near me along with a couple semi-rare games to go with it. After hemming and hawing for a weekend over whether or not I should make the investment, I finally decided to take the plunge… only to find the game I wanted most had already been sold off! But I took the system anyways and have been scouring eBay ever since, looking for games to help round out my collection. I must say, I’ve managed to gather some gems so far, but not for cheap. In one of those ironic twists of fate, Saturns are pretty common and cheap, but the worthwhile games are exceedingly expensive and rare.

Anyways, I just thought I’d let all you readers in on what my latest hobby was, so that any upcoming Saturn video game reviews could be taken in context. I’m excited about this new journey!

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9 Responses to “Grump Talk – Landing on Saturn”

  1. Paul Hutchison Says:

    sonic’s WHAT?

  2. Sean Says:

    Godspeed, Chrononaut.

    • John Mora Says:

      I already have Albert Odyssey, Street Fighter Collection, D and Dragon Force, and I’m tying up a deal to get Nights, Christmas Nights, Shining Force III and even possibly Panzer Dragoon Saga. After that, the only real elusive game I’d want is Guardian Heroes.

  3. Michael Ruud Says:

    Dare you say… this will be a STRANGE JOURNEY?

  4. Terry Says:

    I came in here to be like GET GUARDIAN HEROES and here I find that you already know the score.

    Magus has a Saturn! Get him to throw his hat in the ring. The ring around the Sega Saturn.

    • John Mora Says:

      I WOULD IF I COULD. He’s a horse that can’t be tamed.

      But yeah, Guardian Heroes is in the “to be bought” category. I also want Enemy Zero. The soundtrack… intrigued me, and I think video games could use more auteurs like Kenji Eno.

  5. Grump Talk: Horny Nun and Summer Fun « Grump Factory Says:

    […] I haven’t forgotten about Saturn! I’ve been playing Panzer Dragoon Saga for a while and hope to finish it up and post my thoughts on it within a month. It’s not that it’s a particularly long game, but its graphics are migraine-inducing and it still has some of those pesky hallmarks of a late-90s JRPG, such as inconvenient save point placement and boss gauntlets that make me want to punch someone. I also allowed myself to become distracted by other games whose graphics don’t cause me to get headaches, such as FFXIII and Demon’s Souls. Enough digital ink has been spilled describing both of them, so I doubt they’ll ever get a proper treatment here. I’ll just say that FFXIII is the huge disappointment I thought it would probably be and that Demon’s Souls is engrossing and totally Vagrant Story 2. […]

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