Sega Saturn… Am I the only one that owned it??


It was 1995 and I was doing a lot of Video Gaming back in those days. I had a Genesis with a Sega CD and a 32X. It had to be the ugliest looking thing with all that shit on it. But it didn’t matter because if it had the word “SEGA” on it I had to have it. That’s when I saw my first Saturn commercial… It was a bunch of people in white clothes watching Daytona USA on a movie screen. It then zoomed in on the screen revealing it to be an eyeball that belonged to a boy playing his Saturn. All the little “people” started going nuts and throwing popcorn and stuff. Then it said, “Welcome to the theater of the eye!” And they faded to a white screen and then a Saturn logo.

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I jumped up from my couch breathless and got all goose pimpleie. I knew it was on the way soon but it was better than I had ever hoped for! I thought that Virtua Racing on 32X was awesome looking but Daytona on Saturn blew it out of the water!! After that every time I fired up my Genesis/32X/Sega CD all I could think about was that commercial and how great Saturn was gonna be. But I had just conned my parents into buying me a 32X a little under a year before and it was already on it’s way to the video game graveyard… how would I be able to do it again? Well… that’s the beauty of Christmas!! Once a week I was making a new Christmas list but the top thing was always the same, A Saturn and Daytona USA. And every time I gave that list to my mom she said the same thing “A Saturn is going to be to expensive. We just can’t afford it this year.” But I knew they would get it for me. I knew they would come through for me! And Dec. 25 I went to the tree and looked for a big box that was a Saturn… but there wasn’t one. How could this be? I was devastated. I opened all my crappy gifts until there was one Sega CD game shaped gift left. I figured my parents had got me WireHead cuz it was somewhere at the bottom of my list. I opened it and it was Daytona USA!!! So now I had the one game I wanted but no system to play it on… life can be so cruel sometimes!!

Then it happened. My dad come down the stairs with a big Saturn shaped box all wrapped in soon to be totally shredded red and green wrapping paper. I ran over to him and grabbed it out of his hands. I almost dropped it tryin to open it but it was just what I wanted, a brand new Sega Saturn!!!!! And as a bonus it came with Virtua Fighter free!!

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I went right to my room and hooked it right up to my VCR because my TV was made in 1985 so I didn’t have any A/V jacks. I put in Daytona and it’s like my Genesis/32X/Sega CD/toaster/microwave thing didn’t even exist. Daytona was awesome! So what if it was only 1 player? So what if the controller just wasn’t the same as a steering wheel? None of that mattered in any way shape or from. And it only got better from there! Astal, Winter Heat, World Series Baseball 98 (Which still is the best baseball game ever made!), Virtual On, Virtua Cop 2, House of the Dead, Legend of Oasis, Tempest 2000, Sonic R, Sonic Jam, Scud, Saturn Bomber… The list goes on and on of great Saturn Exclusive games that weren’t on Playstation or N64! And even some of the games that were on both PSone and Saturn were better on Sega’s black 32-bit wonder. PSone got Battle Arena Toshinden, but Saturn got Battle Arena Toshinden Remix with a couple extra guys and stages. PSone got Resident Evil, Saturn got Resident Evil (Even if it was way later) with extra stuff added in to it. PSone got Toshinden 2 Saturn got Toshinden URA which was 2 with more guys and stages. Anything 2D was better on Saturn. Games like Capcoms fighting games had more frames of animation and and bigger characters. If you ever get a chance put Marvel Super Heroes on Saturn on a TV next to Marvel Super Heroes on PSone and you will be amazed how much faster the Saturn version moves. The same goes for MegaMan 8 and X4, Madden 98, Rayman, GEX, Primal Rage, Any Street Fighter and on and on and on. Even if it was the same on both a lot of times Saturn just got more. PSone got Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Regular MK3, Saturn got Trilogy, Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate MK3! PSone got Bust-a-Move 2, Saturn got that and Bust-a-Move 3!! PSone got Die Hard Trilogy, Saturn got Trilogy and Die Hard Arcade.

But all that means nothing after you play one game… NiGHTS into Dreams! If you haven’t played it yet you have to go out right now and find a way to play it. It’s still to this day my favorite game of all time. It was made by Sonic Team and is still unrivaled in its category of… well actually it doesn’t really have a category cuz it’s the only one! The story line is one of the most original in gaming history and the music is the best soundtrack ever composed for a video game. You choose between two characters (Claire or Elliot and with the help of the flying NiGHTS you must save the world of Nightopia from being over run by nightmares! Now if you do get the opportunity to play NiGHTS make sure you use the 3D controller!! If you don’t you will end up with blisters on your thumb.

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The control is flawless, you move the stick… NiGHTS moves right along with you in its beautiful 3D worlds (Let someone tell you Saturn can’t do 3D after looking at this masterpiece!) These screen shots can’t show you how great this games looks in movement. At this point it does look a little dated when compared to the graphic beauty of Dreamcast but it still is atop the 32-bit world. I still have that same Saturn hooked up in my living room and I still play NiGHTS at least once a month. And then there is Christmas NiGHTS. Blockbuster had a rental exclusive version of NiGHTS (Which they later sold off for $1) that was 2 levels but had at least 30 “presents” you could unlock. One of them was the ability to play as Sonic in the place of NiGHTS. Also because of the Saturn’s internal memory (Which PSone also doesn’t have) it save the day and time so Christmas was really “every holiday” NiGHTS. And when no Holiday was near it was called “Limited Edition” NiGHTS. It even was dark if you played at night and clocks in the background had the actual time on them. Regular NiGHTS also had the time feature.

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After you read this story go download the NiGHTS music from wherever you happen to download music from. Just sit back, relax and listen to it. In fact writing this is making me sing the song right now… “In the nights, Dream delights. I want to see you standing there… see you standing there!!” Then there was… actually I need to go play it now. So I guess this is the end of this trip to memory lane. Please do yourself a favor and go play it as well!! You’ll thank me later.

 

– Keith White Jr.

Follow Me @KeefWhiteJr