Bokan to Ippatsu: Doronbo Kanpekiban (1997, Banpresto and Tatsunoko for Sega Saturn) Bokan to Ippatsu: Doronbo Kanpekiban (translated as “Time Bokan: Doronbo Perfect Version) is a member of a videogame sub-genre known as “cute-em-ups,” which were popular in the 1990s on home systems such as the PC Engine/Turbografx-16 and Super NES. If you have ever … Continue Reading

Fighters Megamix (1997, Sega AM2 for Sega Saturn) Question: Is Fighters Megamix the definitive Sega Saturn fighting game? Does it surpass the mighty Virtua Fighter 2? Let the debates begin. Fighters Megamix is a perfect summary of everything I love about Sega: a bright and bold visual design, accessible gameplay that contains boundless depths, and … Continue Reading

Guardian Heroes (1996, Treasure for Sega Saturn) By nearly all accounts, Treasure’s Guardian Heroes is just about the greatest thing to happen to Sega Saturn, a 2D spectacular dazzles the eyes, ears and itchy trigger fingers of all players. Nearly all modern polls of Saturn’s finest games ranks this title among the very top, a … Continue Reading

Shienryu (1997, Warashi for Sega Saturn) Sega Saturn is blessed with a thousand great shoot-em-ups. Shienryu (“Purple Flame Dragon”) is one of the genre’s best titles and a personal favorite of mine. It boasts excellent graphics, superb weapons, endless waves of enemies and boss battles that are challenging yet never overwhelming. It delivers everything you … Continue Reading

Super Tempo (1998, Red Entertainment and Aspect for Sega Saturn) Thank God for Red Entertainment and their madcap stubbornness. I have no idea what inspired them to create a wildly goofy, genre-hopping 2D videogame, a style all but extinct in the year of groundbreaking 3D hits like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life and … Continue Reading

Batsugun (1996, Toaplan and Gazelle for Sega Saturn) In the 1980s, Japanese arcade developers Toaplan established themselves as the masters of the shoot-em-up, unleashing one genre masterpiece after another: Twin Cobra, Fire Shark, Hellfire, Zero Wing, Truxton. By the end of the decade and with the arrival of the 16-bit generation, they were at the … Continue Reading

Magic Carpet (1996, Bullfrog and Krisalis Software for Sega Saturn) When I was a child, our family would receive stacks of computer floppy discs from the local Atari 8-bit users group containing new games that came without any instructions whatsoever. We had to learn how to play the games entirely on our own, often by … Continue Reading

Burning Rangers (1998, Sonic Team for Sega Saturn) Burning Rangers is one of those great farewells that appears in a videogame system’s final days, one that celebrates its history and pushes its hardware to the absolute limit before developers move forward to new horizons. It is a masterful triumph that makes you thankful for the … Continue Reading

Impact Racing (1996, Funcom for Sega Saturn) Impact Racing is everything that I love about arcade videogames: color, flash, speed, dumb violence and lots of explosions. It’s pure digital sugar rush, like Jolt Cola and Pop Rocks shaken and stirred. It’s brash and loud and oh so very satisfying. This is the sort of thing … Continue Reading

Shutokou Battle 97 Drift King (1997, Genki for Sega Saturn) Sega Saturn had a pretty rough time with racing videogames. Its best titles all appeared in the system’s first year, with Daytona USA, Virtua Racing, Wipeout and Sega Rally Championship. After that, quality titles became increasingly rare, and this became extremely frustrating to me during … Continue Reading