Saturday, October 18, 2008

Batsugun, Dodonpachi, Cotton 2, Darius Gaiden, Saturn Bomberman and Baku Baku Animal - Sega Saturn


A little while ago, I decided to take the plunge and delve into vintage gaming. The oldest system I still had was a Nintendo 64 and I quickly augmented my vintage console collection with a Sega Sautrn and a bunch of other stuff which I have already covered in an earlier post. Suffice it to say, I bought a lot of stuff and have been gaming on the NES and SNES for a little while now waiting for a score of Saturn games.

I missed out on the Saturn era of consoles, mainly because I was in college, but mostly because I kind of fell out of touch with gaming and systems were getting more expensive right around the time I had a lot less cash to burn through.

Knowing that the Saturn had all these great shooters made for it, I had to start collecting there and delve into all of the great titles I had missed out on so many years earlier. I found about half of what I was looking for from bleem on the shmups forums. From him, I picked up all of the titles in the header minus Darius Gaiden which I got over at People Play Games, and I have been playing them non-stop for the last 24 hours. OK, well, I slept some and ate breakfast, but that's about it.


Batsugun is tremendous. Toaplan did it right with their last STG and you can easily see the beginnings of the trademark early Cave-style prevalent in ESP Ra.De and Dodonpachi.

Dodonpachi is fantastic as well, very close to the arcade pcb from what I can tell, having played it a bit in mame when I started to get into STG's. The music is very good and I haven't got as much time into this as I want to, but Batsugun is commanding most of my time.

The Saturn pad is just so excellent for tapping through patterns that I can't believe they didn't make joypads for all of the current gen systems.

I'm stoked to get some time in on Cotton 2 and I have already played through the first world in Saturn Bomberman. Being a huge Bomberman fan,. I have always wanted to play this version and it doesn't dissapoint. The opening is excellent anime style action which kind of sets up the game. The game play is exactly the same as other titles and the music, as always, is catchy and you find yourself humming along during the levels seemingly without notice.

I also picked up Darius Gaiden and have played enough to know that it beats the hell out of Darius Twin for the SNES, a game I 1cc'd just trying it out in an emulator. The graphics are pure 2D sprite goodness and the music is phenomenal with kind of an acid jazz, lounge feel that really stands out from other guitar driven soundtracks like Dodonpachi.

I'm working on a high score at Batsugun at the moment and hopefully I can turn a 1 mil score before the weekend is up. It shouldn't be too hard, especially since I have some awesome Hello Boss Japanese canned coffee and a lot of time.

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