Battle Garegga is still my favorite shmup of all time, but WOW after spending some time with Espgaluda I'm in awe of how brilliant...

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Sega Saturn Stuff That's Still Pretty Rad Nowadays

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  • Wow. Holy crap. This game. This game singlehandedly got me into shumps. Amazing OST, deeper gameplay than I think I've ever seen in any other shmup, great art and pacing.

    The best shump on the Saturn, and that is saying a *lot*.

  • Sure, the Saturn has a stunning Alpha 3 port, and an overabundance of amazingly-faithful non-Street Fighter Capcom fighting greats.

    But for my (filthy casual) money this is the best Street Fighter on the platform. This is the sweet spot, before the series got too complex, and before the roster got out of hand.

    Plus, it looks great, and has the best OST this side of 3rd Strike.

  • NiGHTS into Dreams is a deeply strange, trippy game that had the misfortune of looking rather pitiful next to Super Mario 64.

    This feels more like a creative and engaging indie title than the worldbeater/Saturn-saver people wanted it to be, and in retrospect, it's pretty special.

  • This is the best 2D Technosoft shooter on the Saturn, and one of the best shooters on the Saturn period. Rad 2D art, thanks to a Saturn-exclusive visual remaster, well-paced action, and a thumping trash-rock soundtrack push this one over the top for me.

    The Saturn port is the only home port, and was published in limited numbers, so this one is extremely pricey.

  • It's a pretty great port of the Jaguar version. Enough said.

  • This one kinda blew me away. Even with the crappy 3D of the Saturn, the alien and imaginative art direction manages to shine through. The game is 15-20 hours long max, with virtually no fluff or filler. JRPGs as a genre are as trope-laden, tedious and overlong today as they were back in the 90s. Sega showed us the path forward from that, and they showed it to us in 1998. If the JRPG genre as a whole had learned from this game’s lessons, it might have grown into something much more diverse, creative, and interesting than it is today.

  • This game is weird, even by the standards of the Darius franchise which it apparently spun off from.

    It doesn't play amazingly, but it introduces the "beam duel" concept which later Darius games and spiritual successors would emulate, and the music and atmosphere are top-notch.

    I'd never heard of this game, but the aesthetic, the amazing Zuntata soundtrack, and the simple but fun push-pull of weapon upgrades vs spending it all on beam duels with the large, freaky bosses is just top-tier stuff.

  • The best Psikyo shooter on the platform for my money. A 2D horizontal shmup set in feudal Japan.

  • Known as Layer Section in Japan and the EU (a much better/more descriptive name, due to the unique multi-level stages), this is another top-tier Taito joint, with a really interesting "net" mechanic and a fantastic Zuntata soundtrack.

  • Thunder Force V is underappreciated. While the 3D graphics haven't aged as well as its 2D predecessors, and the soundtrack (while great) doesn't reach the heights of Thunder Force IV, this is more fun to play than the previous games, by a long shot.

    One of the best shmups on the Saturn, and better on the Saturn than the PSX.

  • Darius games are weird, with atmospheric Zuntata soundtracks and bizarre enemy designs. I love that stuff, and this is one of the best Darius games of all time.

  • Sure, it's NBA Jam TE. But it's much closer to the arcade version than any of the 16-bit ports.

  • The Saturn version of WSB '98 is completely different from the Genesis version, and a top-tier Sega Sports title.

    This is one of the greatest baseball video games ever made.

  • This is the game that spawned the Marvel vs Capcom series, and the Saturn port (with the 4MB RAM cart) is an unmatched port.

    An astonishingly fun fighter.

  • Strikers 1945 has been ported to everything, but the Saturn version is faithful, has tate mode, and is pretty cheap to boot.

  • The Saturn port of Darius II is nearly the most arcade-accurate one ever released, outdone decades later by the version found in M2's Darius Cozmic Collection for the Switch.

    Still a ton of fun.