As of yesterday, it’s been fifteen years since we were introduced to the combination of technology, mismanagement, and gameplay that would make up the legendary Sega Saturn to us Americans. Remember the odd ads of the Saturn Girl and how our Rods and Cones were going to be blown away by the graphics and games? Let’s take the time to reflect on how much we were blown away.
We all remember the on-LSD marketing taken by SOA, featuring naked women representing game goddesses, bodybuilders using Saturn to underscore their success, our eyes reacting to the greatness. For the games, we were introduced to combinations of falling PS1s and A Clockwork Orange-esque crash test dummies demonstrating why you had to buy one. Of course no one did (Sony was on top of the invisible sphere that surrounds the Solar System) and the American launch was famously botched: to beat Sony, Sega released the console weeks in advance, with only one game ready for the American market. It pissed off gamers and developers, but those who decided to stick on were ready for a bumpy ride.
With Bernie Stolar at the wheel, we were treated to the epitome of the 3D action platform genre in full force. It was a shame most of the shit on the Saturn was never brought over to America, though when we did get a unique gem (Shining Force 3 part 1 was a 3D RPG, Mega Man 8 was a 2D side scroller, Sonic Jam and the Ages boxes were compilations) we didn’t hesitate to buy. But we still passed on the Saturn. So the question remains now: were we wrong? Was it the future of gaming?
Fuck no. Just get your barf bag and get on, because this 15th Anniversary is funded by Segata Sanshiro and Mr. Floating Old Head.