Reviews Archive
Tomb Raider   Tomb Raider on Saturn
  One of the 1st truly defining titles of the 3D generation, Tomb Raider astonished with its well realised environment, and clever interlocking puzzles. Presentation wise the game was also 1st rate, with excellent, moody music, and impressive (by 1996 standards) graphics. The control system was rigid (similar to Prince or Persia) but precise, and tension was ever present, with sudden attacks from bears or even dinosaurs a fairly regular occurrence. The game's impact was immense at the time.
Powerslave/Exhumed   Powerslave on Saturn
  This had to be the best FPS released during the early post Doom period, but reviewers of the time proved their collective stupidity and general susceptibility to hype by overlooking it completely in favour of Duke Nukem and Quake. Not only is Powerslave just as impressive graphically, and just as smooth and action packed, it takes a much more adventure inspired direction, with multiple endings and a plethora of new moves given to you as you progress through the game. Each of the new moves you acquire allow you to explore previously unreachable areas of the levels (a la Metroid), sometimes out of necessity, sometimes to find hidden permanent health upgrades. The longevity is also pretty huge as even after completion there are secrets to unlock by searching out all the "team dolls"
Radiant Silvergun   Radiant Silvergun
  Treasure showed all the old stalwarts how to make a shmup with this extremely imaginative take on the genre. Radiant Silvergun is packed full of ideas, you're given 7 weapons immediately from the start, and the levels are designed in a way which means that there's usually a right weapon to use for each situation, each weapon also gains experience and levels up in a similar way to what you'd see in an RPG, and many of the boss fights are very cleverly and carefully designed. Radiant Silvergun really is a refreshing take on the genre for anyone under the impression that they've seen it all done before.
Resident Evil   Resident Evil on Saturn
  Its unfortunate that Resident Evil didn't come out a little earlier on Saturn than it did, it was one of the games which really pushed the PS1 to the forefront in public popularity, representing the grown up image that Sony wanted to convey extremely well. With a mixture of fiendish puzzles, creepy horror themes, and masses of tension the like of which had never been seen before, Resident Evil carved its place in videogame history. Capcom really must be commended for a very good job here, the port is graphically very close to the PS1 version, and there's even a few extras, such as a battle mode and new outfits.
Street Fighter Alpha 3   Street Fighter Alpha 3 on Saturn
  This is the Street Fighter game for fans of the series, Capcom built on top of the sumptuous, detailed graphics of the previous Alpha's and added a huge wealth of options, playable characters, and gameplay modes, effectively following a "everything but the kitchen sink" ethos. They also showed all the experience and knowledge of the Saturn they had stockpiled over the years as this is virtually arcade perfect (no exaggeration), even surpassing the Dreamcast version!
Nights   Nights on Saturn
  The simplest ideas are often the most elegant, and Nights is no exception. The gameplay has you flying through hoops in succession whilst collecting orbs, aiming for fast times and high rankings. Whilst simple, that doesn't stop Nights from being a very unique, and fun game, with a lot of originality, and Sega really excelled themselves with the presentation here, with the endearing theme, and music creating a very memorable gaming experience.
Panzer Dragoon Zwei   Panzer Dragoon Zwei
  For anyone unfamiliar with the main branch Panzer Dragoon games, they're rail shooters reminiscent to (though arriving before) Star Fox 64. You control a dragon which moves forwards automatically whilst you aim and shoot enemies, or target lock multiple foes and release a barrage of homing lasers. This sequel to the original Panzer Dragoon (a Saturn launch title) was an absolutely astronomical improvement. All areas of the game have been worked on, happily controls and movement are now far more responsive and less scripted than the original, and analogue support is now available (an especially important feature for this style of game). The depth and longevity have also had a huge boost due to the implementation of a couple of interesting new features, in Zwei, your dragon actually changes and evolves differently as the game goes on based on your performance, and alternate routes can also be taken. Sega did an extremely good job with the graphics here as well, with some very impressive effects.
Sega Rally   Seag Rally on Saturn
  One of the first racing games to use different course surfaces with different properties, Sega Rally really was one of the big pioneers of the genre. The Saturn port of Sega Rally was a resounding success, much, much better than the previous port of Daytona had been, with much more solid, detailed graphics, a better draw distance, and some good extra modes (such as the 2-player split screen). Sega Rally may sound fairly short at only four tracks, but the game takes a lot of practice and mastery to complete.
Virtua Fighter 2   Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn
  Possibly the biggest footnote in what is pretty much the deepest fighting series out there. The gameplay and balance between each fighter here was clearly handled with careful thought, and the graphics and animation set the bar for what was expected of 3D graphics for both the arcades and the home. Longevity is huge as each character has a large selection of moves and unique style to work with.
Panzer Dragoon Saga   Panzer Dragoon Saga
  Team Andromeda did a complete turnaround for the third Panzer Dragoon game, deciding to create a JRPG of epic scale instead of the usual rail shooter mechanics of the previous games. Detractors may well have thought this would be a mistake, being that the team had never worked on an RPG previously, but Panzer Dragoon Saga ended up a tour de force even on par with the PS1's Final Fantasy games. You get a real feeling of epic scope as you make your way through the barren landscapes of the game, the music is fantastic and helps add to the atmosphere, and the whole world is very ambitious and well realised. Unlike many of the JRPG's of the time, PDS had fully 3D worlds to explore, there's also full voice acting for the characters, along with the copious amounts of FMV seen in the highest profile RPG's of the era. Saga's Battle system also deserves special mention as its far more intriguing, and interesting than the usual battle systems of the era, in Saga you still have freedom of movement during battles, and danger level is based on your positioning, with a radar indicating the danger levels of each quadrant, this system keeps you on your feet at all times, and does a better job at holding interest. Panzer Dragoon Saga really is one of the best of the 32-bit RPG's, which truly makes it a shame that many will never play it due to the high price it goes for these days.
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