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TailsCD
12-08-2015, 02:31 PM
Hello all,

Until last month I was a Sega Saturn owner. I sold it because I needed the money. Do I regret selling it? A little, but in a way I don't. I love Sega consoles and my favorite game on the Saturn was Virtua Cop (the only one I really liked), but I would rather have sold my Saturn than a system that held more nostalgia to me and had more games that I liked. In this thread I'm going to bring up some things prospective Saturn owners should know before buying in because while I may not own a Saturn anymore I still like talking about it.

1) The Western game selection is small. If you prefer to play games in English, the Saturn offers much less than the Genesis. The Saturn didn't do well in the west, but did pretty good in Japan. There's a much larger Japanese library, but you will need either a Japanese Saturn or a 4-in-1 Action Replay cart to play Japanese games. The AR cart isn't hard to find and usually costs about $30-40 depending on where you buy it, but there's a couple drawbacks to it. It is often advised that once you insert the AR cart into your Saturn you should never take it out or else the Saturn will have trouble reading it the next time you put it in. I removed it a couple times from mine and when I re-inserted it, it took a couple tries to get the Saturn to read it again. If you keep the AR in though, you will always have to navigate through the AR menu before playing a game, even if it's for your console's region and you don't want to use cheats.

2) The games seem to be an either you love 'em or hate 'em kind of thing. Some of the Saturn's classics, such as Nights, are loved by some, but others, such as myself, can't get into them. Sega apparently decided to make more new IPs during the Saturn's life than make sequels to successful Genesis franchises, so if you were hoping for more Sonic or Streets of Rage, you won't get that here except for ports of Genesis titles. Overall, I get the feeling when reading Saturn discussions that some are enticed by the Saturn classics (Nights, Panzer Dragoon, Radiant Silvergun, etc) and others couldn't care less. I might even go so far as to say that the Saturn itself is a either you love it or hate it kind of system. It seems to lack games that have mass appeal like the Genesis and Dreamcast did.

3) The exclusives tend to be the expensive ones. The Saturn's cheapest games are sports titles. After that you get really common games like Nights and VF 2 followed by multi-plats with the PS1 that aren't in demand. The most expensive games tend to be exclusives like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Burning Rangers, which cost hundreds of dollars to play them in English. Even games like Sonic Jam will cost you around $80 for an American copy. Overall, Saturn collecting is expensive for a fifth gen console.

Am I saying stay away from the Saturn? No. I just want to give people who may be interested in buying a Saturn because they love Sega or for whatever other reason a heads up. I also want to know what you guys think. Do you agree or disagree with my points? Are there other things that prospective Saturn owners should consider before buying?

Thanks for reading.

Mad Moham
12-08-2015, 02:47 PM
Great post, thanks. I bought a Saturn recently, I have no AR cart, but other than that I was starting to discover the exact same things you mentioned.

The only other thing worth mentioning, probably just for those that don't have the AR cart, is that some of the games require a ram cart and while the games that require it often come with the cart they need, I did get caught out when I bought Metal Slug and no ram cart was provided. I'd say the ram cart is the easiest thing for new owners to be caught out by as its not a very common feature with consoles.

You mention that the Western game selection is small, as I've also found, but do you have a few recommendations with regard to Import games? I'm still exploring the library and I could use a few suggestions, so far I've tried Castlevania SOTN and Assault Suits Leynoss2.

Raja
12-08-2015, 03:11 PM
Agreed with most of this post. I only have a Saturn for the Shining games, Nights, and a few others but in reality its the least played console that I have. I even play the game gear more than I play the Saturn. I do think the Saturn has EXCELLENT fighting games as well but most of the good ones are imports or at the very least need the 1MB RAM or 4MB RAM carts.


The reason I play it so little? Its too damn expensive to get the best games... Ill stick to Sega CD thanks.

xelement5x
12-08-2015, 04:19 PM
My advice for those getting a Saturn is to buy one with a mod-chip and regionswitch (or region free bios) to get the most out of the system. Original titles are great, but like others have said prices today are ridiculous. I am lucky that I got a lot of stuff early on, and in other cases was helped out by friends and forumites to fill the gaps in collection. (synbiosfan if you are reading this you will forever be a cool dude in my book)

Even with all that though, the ability to play backups is incomparable. With today's modern internet connections downloading a title is super easy and you can enjoy the games relatively fast if you have a burner and the knowledge to use it. Many of the games are super fun to play, but collecting them can be a nightmare.

Folco
12-09-2015, 09:19 AM
I began collecting for Saturn in 2013. Very happy about it, might be my favorite Sega console.
Of course I was smart enough to get a japanese Saturn since the game prices were/are more manageable.
I spent more than 30 euro for a game just once for Elevator Action Returns.

2014:
SW tot.: 136,6
Bubble Symphony: 24,5
Hattrick Hero S: 8
Puzzle Bobble 3: 10,5
Darius Gaiden: 16,6
Elevator Action Returns: 37,1
Solo Crisis: 7
Exhumed: 7,5
Magical Drop 3: 8,1
Gungriffon: 7,1
Touge 2: 9,2

2013:
SW tot.: 37 (Virtua Fighter 2, Street Fighter Zero 2, Nights, Magical Hoppers, Sega Rally, Daytona CE, Panzer Dragoon Zwei)

Aside a few games which disappointed me (Hattrick Hero S and Touge 2 mainly) the rest were very enjoyable.




2) The games seem to be an either you love 'em or hate 'em kind of thing. Some of the Saturn's classics, such as Nights, are loved by some, but others, such as myself, can't get into them. Sega apparently decided to make more new IPs during the Saturn's life than make sequels to successful Genesis franchises, so if you were hoping for more Sonic or Streets of Rage, you won't get that here except for ports of Genesis titles. Overall, I get the feeling when reading Saturn discussions that some are enticed by the Saturn classics (Nights, Panzer Dragoon, Radiant Silvergun, etc) and others couldn't care less. I might even go so far as to say that the Saturn itself is a either you love it or hate it kind of system. It seems to lack games that have mass appeal like the Genesis and Dreamcast did.
Depending on your tastes that can be said of every consoles, even those with huge library.

Lync
12-09-2015, 10:46 AM
Everything in life is based on interest. If you enjoyed playing your Saturn games you would have found some other way of making the money.

I felt that way about the Nintendo 64, I lost interest and was going to sell what I had - and not like there was much money to be made anyways but I'm glad I took the time to explore, find a few games worthwhile and just kept the damn thing.

For the most part I believe most people regret selling unnecessarily - If you don't need the money bad, just keep it.

I love the Saturn, and I do agree the library is relatively small in the American market and the price of entry is considerably high (more acclaimed games certainly break the bank) but I wouldn't pass on it. It's the best kept secret in video games, truly.

QuickSciFi
12-09-2015, 07:50 PM
Hello all,

Until last month I was a Sega Saturn owner. I sold it because I needed the money. Do I regret selling it? A little, but in a way I don't. I love Sega consoles and my favorite game on the Saturn was Virtua Cop (the only one I really liked), but I would rather have sold my Saturn than a system that held more nostalgia to me and had more games that I liked. In this thread I'm going to bring up some things prospective Saturn owners should know before buying in because while I may not own a Saturn anymore I still like talking about it.

1) The Western game selection is small. If you prefer to play games in English, the Saturn offers much less than the Genesis. The Saturn didn't do well in the west, but did pretty good in Japan. There's a much larger Japanese library, but you will need either a Japanese Saturn or a 4-in-1 Action Replay cart to play Japanese games. The AR cart isn't hard to find and usually costs about $30-40 depending on where you buy it, but there's a couple drawbacks to it. It is often advised that once you insert the AR cart into your Saturn you should never take it out or else the Saturn will have trouble reading it the next time you put it in. I removed it a couple times from mine and when I re-inserted it, it took a couple tries to get the Saturn to read it again. If you keep the AR in though, you will always have to navigate through the AR menu before playing a game, even if it's for your console's region and you don't want to use cheats.

2) The games seem to be an either you love 'em or hate 'em kind of thing. Some of the Saturn's classics, such as Nights, are loved by some, but others, such as myself, can't get into them. Sega apparently decided to make more new IPs during the Saturn's life than make sequels to successful Genesis franchises, so if you were hoping for more Sonic or Streets of Rage, you won't get that here except for ports of Genesis titles. Overall, I get the feeling when reading Saturn discussions that some are enticed by the Saturn classics (Nights, Panzer Dragoon, Radiant Silvergun, etc) and others couldn't care less. I might even go so far as to say that the Saturn itself is a either you love it or hate it kind of system. It seems to lack games that have mass appeal like the Genesis and Dreamcast did.

3) The exclusives tend to be the expensive ones. The Saturn's cheapest games are sports titles. After that you get really common games like Nights and VF 2 followed by multi-plats with the PS1 that aren't in demand. The most expensive games tend to be exclusives like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Burning Rangers, which cost hundreds of dollars to play them in English. Even games like Sonic Jam will cost you around $80 for an American copy. Overall, Saturn collecting is expensive for a fifth gen console.

Am I saying stay away from the Saturn? No. I just want to give people who may be interested in buying a Saturn because they love Sega or for whatever other reason a heads up. I also want to know what you guys think. Do you agree or disagree with my points? Are there other things that prospective Saturn owners should consider before buying?

Thanks for reading.

It's hard for me to read this and not think of the following scenario:

Step 1: Guy sells off his beloved Saturn collection because he needed the money.

Step 2: Guy is bereaved after selling said Saturn collection and decides his best method of solace would be to convince others not to get one. :?

Black_Tiger
12-09-2015, 08:14 PM
I recently picked up a bunch of Saturn games, accessories and a skeletal Saturn. I was surprised once again that everything continues to get cheaper and cheaper. Just like with PC Engine "collecting", it's only expensive if your interest is wasting money on gouged Western releases, which in most cases there isn't any language barrier in the Japanese version.

So it's never been a better time to be a Saturn game player and also never a better time for 133t set collectors who enjoy buying dust collecting games as "investments" and trophies instead of blowing all of their money on an oversized vehicle and parking it across four handicap parking spaces.

Win-win.

zetastrike
12-09-2015, 10:35 PM
I bought a NA Saturn with a PAR in 2012 with the intention of only getting Japanese releases. I found that I didn't like going through the cart menu every time I turned the system on and I also didn't like being reliant on the finicky cartridge port to play all of my games. So I bought a CIB launch model gray Saturn as my first ebay purchase for $60.

As far as game prices, I have over 50 games for it, all Japanese, and I think I've spent more than $45 on one game less than 10 times. The most I've ever spent was $80, and that was on a CIB Dracula X so it was kind of a steal as far as ebay goes. Japanese games are generally cheap and since the games come in nice jewel cases, you don't have to worry about a longbox getting destroyed in transit.

The Saturn is my all time favorite system. It just has a kind of aura about it that makes me smile. I would suggest that anyone who is interested in getting a Saturn to just get a Japanese model and screw the overpriced western stuff.

The Jackal
12-10-2015, 06:31 AM
Hell yeah, Japanese games are awesomely cheap, and 90% of the time they have better box art and cases than us Westerners got (scratch that, 100% of US/UK Saturn cases are built like shit). I've just finished off collecting all the Capcom Marvel vs games, and I'm now moving on to their arcade packs. Good machine, definitely suggest getting a modchipped or BIOS flashed machine and importing.

cleeg
12-10-2015, 07:53 AM
You definitely need a chipped Saturn, no question. I have a round button variety (not sure which revision, there were about two billion) that reads copies like a beast. The first oval button PAL unit I ever had (not chipped) from launch day would read retail discs no matter how scratched they were; it's like Mark from CGR says - they read discs by 'Virtua Magic!'

They do seem really quite durable, and while I used to get annoyed with having to change the battery for the memory system, I'm pretty glad now because there are no recharge issues about which to worry, the replacement button cells are plentiful and they do last a long time.

Lately I'm lucky enough to have snatched up a Rhea, which really is fantastic; especially as there is now a GUI menu. It is a bit of a faff getting the correct image file with which to work, but I have never had a snag yet. I believe Bug! is the only game to not work, but who cares? It's a shame, but it'd be worse if say, Battle Garegga didn't run.

bultje112
12-10-2015, 08:09 AM
Everything in life is based on interest. If you enjoyed playing your Saturn games you would have found some other way of making the money.

I felt that way about the Nintendo 64, I lost interest and was going to sell what I had - and not like there was much money to be made anyways but I'm glad I took the time to explore, find a few games worthwhile and just kept the damn thing.

For the most part I believe most people regret selling unnecessarily - If you don't need the money bad, just keep it.

I love the Saturn, and I do agree the library is relatively small in the American market and the price of entry is considerably high (more acclaimed games certainly break the bank) but I wouldn't pass on it. It's the best kept secret in video games, truly.

exactly. also I've been collecting for saturn for 14 years now and back then people were complaining just as much about prices as today. for instance I bought shining force 3 for 100 euros in a retroshop. people said to me that's way too much and it wasn't worth more then 70/80 well 14 years later I've seen it go for 180 euros and more than that I've played and known one of the best games I've ever played and hold tremendous (nostalgic) feelings towards it.

people spend a lot of time waiting for what? the people complaining about saturn prices 14 years ago I wonder if they own any game since it has only gotten up.


Hell yeah, Japanese games are awesomely cheap, and 90% of the time they have better box art and cases than us Westerners got (scratch that, 100% of US/UK Saturn cases are built like shit). I've just finished off collecting all the Capcom Marvel vs games, and I'm now moving on to their arcade packs. Good machine, definitely suggest getting a modchipped or BIOS flashed machine and importing.

if you like only shooters and fighters then yes, the japanese versions are the way to go, but as an rpg fan and in general fan of storylines in games I don't see why anyone would pick up japanese versions of let's say panzer dragoon saga.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
12-10-2015, 08:38 AM
I started my Saturn collection last Christmas and have, up to this point, only a modest collection but I love all the games I do have and find myself frequently playing Virtua Cop 1&2, Shinobi X, Sonic Jam and the Street Fighter Alpha games (the Street Fighter titles look and play better on the 2D powerhouse Sega Saturn than they do on the PS1 if ya ask me). Oh and because I'm a RTS fan I simply can't recommend Warcraft 2 and Command & Conquer on the system highly enough. In fact as a long time fan of Command & Conquer on the PS1 back in the day I actually think that the best console port of Westwood Studios' big hit was on the Saturn. It fucking rocks!

Prices for rarer Saturn games (PAL titles) are unfortunately truly mind blowing and are actually succeeding in making some of the crazy prices being touted for Mega Drive games these days look like bargains! These high prices are nothing new in the Saturn's case however as the games I really want but cannot for the life of me justify buying at the moment have been expensive since forever. Titles like Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force III, Dragon Force...etc. I'm not really complaining because, as I said, they've been pricey for years now and, unlike rarer Mega Drive/Mega CD titles, they haven't suddenly reached crazy prices almost overnight. I will get hold of them one day I'm sure.

The Jackal
12-10-2015, 08:48 AM
Not buying RPGs/text-based games in Japanese is universal to pretty much all consoles, so I don't know why you're pointing that out.

TailsCD
12-10-2015, 02:57 PM
Great post, thanks. I bought a Saturn recently, I have no AR cart, but other than that I was starting to discover the exact same things you mentioned.

The only other thing worth mentioning, probably just for those that don't have the AR cart, is that some of the games require a ram cart and while the games that require it often come with the cart they need, I did get caught out when I bought Metal Slug and no ram cart was provided. I'd say the ram cart is the easiest thing for new owners to be caught out by as its not a very common feature with consoles.

You mention that the Western game selection is small, as I've also found, but do you have a few recommendations with regard to Import games? I'm still exploring the library and I could use a few suggestions, so far I've tried Castlevania SOTN and Assault Suits Leynoss2.


Totally forgot about the RAM cart. Thanks for bringing that up. I wish I could give you some import recommendations, but the only import game I owned that I liked was Dragon Ball Z: Shin Bhoutoden. I liked that game, but if you're not a DBZ fan like me, you may not care for it as much as I did.

Great posts on this topic here overall so far.

segagamer
12-10-2015, 09:36 PM
I started out buying Saturn games for play on my brother's USA Saturn console. However, with a much greater number of Japanese games compared to the USA games in my collection, it was a no-brainer for me to buy a Japanese Saturn console on eBay so I can use all of the RAM and ROM carts. All accessories for the USA Saturn work on the JPN model, and I have a converter cart to play USA games on my JPN console. This setup works for me just fine.

Bloodreign
12-10-2015, 10:34 PM
As a Saturn owner who got his free from a friend, and got help from said friend to get my library started, I'd never think to part with it. There are titles I love having on it, and there's some I'd never be able to afford (Street Fighter Zero 3 comes to mind), but what I do have, I have because I enjoy the games. Collecting for it isn't getting cheaper (even imports have come up for the thing), but there's still stuff I'm getting for it that isn't too highly priced (like King of Fighters 97). I learned not to do the American side of the Saturn because prices have long been stupid for it.

Yes I do use a PAR cart, and I know KoF 95 is out of the question as I refuse to kill my Saturn's cart slot due to the game having to use a ROM cart (and I have no interest in the Ultraman that uses the same setup), but the menu is just 1 little inconvenience I don't mind. It's not a deal breaker to me, just a little extra to go through to enjoy a great game.

cabear
12-10-2015, 10:40 PM
buddy of mine modded my saturn and i love playing me some burned japanese games. I get what OP is saying though, as i usually find myself returning to just a handful of games. i wish i had more time and attention span to get into those great jrpg's but i just cna't bring myself to commit.

it definitely has more replay value then my dreamcast though.

bultje112
12-11-2015, 04:42 AM
Not buying RPGs/text-based games in Japanese is universal to pretty much all consoles, so I don't know why you're pointing that out.

I guess you don't follow the saturn scene then. many people get panzer dragoon azel because it's cheaper and then don't understand the story


I started out buying Saturn games for play on my brother's USA Saturn console. However, with a much greater number of Japanese games compared to the USA games in my collection, it was a no-brainer for me to buy a Japanese Saturn console on eBay so I can use all of the RAM and ROM carts. All accessories for the USA Saturn work on the JPN model, and I have a converter cart to play USA games on my JPN console. This setup works for me just fine.

I don't understand the need of a japanese saturn when you can just get a 4-1 for dirt cheap that is external ram, memory card, gameshark and converter in one.


also just to go in on what was said earlier. for me as well the saturn was a love at first sight. it peaked my interest when I finished shenmue 2 in 2001 and saw the saturn video of it. I soon got one and the moment I opened the box and saw that big meaty powerful looking system I knew this was going to be good. it's my favorite system of all time now.

IrishNinja
12-11-2015, 06:30 PM
i also got into the saturn 2012/2013 and man, things were already starting to go up...not nearly as bad as now, mind. so glad Elevator Action Returns was $40 then, it's a great game.

best advice i can give now: get a CD-R modded system, burn high quality media and explore the fantastic library. so many english JRPGs, japanese SHMUPs etc way outside most people's range, and you should play them without feeling bad for not feeding a reseller. pick up your favorites when & where you can, but don't hurry

that said, fuck i wish i could find Shining Force III for a decent price, haha

Scooter
12-12-2015, 04:42 PM
Panzer Dragoon Saga is reason enough to own a Saturn. Of course, having bought the game for normal retail back in the day, this is easy for me to say. It really is a tragedy that Sega lost the code and that it can't ever be re-released in any form.