Wednesday, 15 November 2017

TitanCast Episode One

For the first time in the history of the Junkyard, mountains have been moved! By that, we mean that three of us got together and recorded a podcast.

In this first, we discuss what brought us to our beloved Saturn, how it fell from favor, and eventually how the beast has returned. What impact has the Saturn had on the three of us, and what scale of an impact will this renewed interest in her bring to the Saturn retro community?

If you'd like to hear more from the TitanCast, drop us a comment and keep coming back for more.

You can also download the cast from our google drive at the link below:


Fatherkrishna: Simon
The Southern Sega Gentleman: Samuel
The Vitua Schlub: Brian

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Sega Saturn Saucepot Of The Month: November 2017!

A new month, so we couldn't let the opportunity for more Sega Saturn related sauciness pass us by. Our Halloween look at some of the Saturn 'cos-play' offerings  plastered unashamedly across the internet, got us fired up and in the mood for some more gaming-themed eye candy.

If we had to nominate one computer generated video-game character who has been sexualised more than any other, who has occupied the hormonally raging minds of many an adolescent boy (and even some grown men...) in short someone who has who has made desire synonymous with gaming, then that person would have to be Segata Sanshiro  Lara Croft.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Father Krishna's Saturn Collection (part 2) N-Z

So here it is... part 2 of my Sega Saturn collection. It's taken me a lot longer than I thought it would to complete, which I suppose is a good thing... it means that my collection is bigger than I first gave it credit for. It's also immediately out of date, as two of the titles are now on their way to someone else in our community, and there has been an addition into the library in the shape of "Biohazard", the easier Japanese version of Resident Evil... As already previously stated, the copies are listed separately. Although they are providing the vast majority of my Saturn gaming experiences at the moment, I don't consider them part of my official Saturn collection. I've decided to amend and update this article as when I feel like, putting little captions or paragraphs under some of the games I've particularly enjoyed or hated! Until then, don't forget there is link on each of the titles which will take you to another site related to the game... there's a lot of video or other information about each game, so take your time going through the article and click away at those links! 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Opening Up Your Saturn Library

Hey Saturn Fans! No sooner do we get the wise words and slightly dodgy anime of the Virtua Schlub over here at the Saturn Junkyard, but now we are blessed with the most wonderful epistle from another one of our Trans-Atlantic correspondents, this time in the shape of The Southern Sega Gentleman. Very soon, he'll be here at the 'Yard and able to pen his articles right here from Blog Central, but until then, I'm going to post it for him. So although my name appears at the bottom, this is not my work. To ensure no one thinks I'm trying to pass it off as my own, I'll use the 'guest font and colour'... So without any further ado, I'll leave you in the care of the southern Sega Gentleman...

So now that you’ve gotten your first Saturn, or maybe you’ve busted it out of the jail that is your closet, what’s next? Well, you could throw down a few bucks for a cheap title or two, maybe even splurge and drop $50 on a disc only copy of Resident Evil. More than likely though, you’ll come to find out, quite soon in fact, that the Saturn is not the friendliest console when it comes to the wife or the wallet. Don’t go giving up hope or trying to sell that baby yet though! In this article we aim to show you that there are many avenues to consider when you don the hat of SEGA Saturn owner.

Father Krishna's Saturn Game Collection (Part 1 A-M)

Whilst the Saturn Junkyard is a growing concern, and by no means a solo effort,  I thought I would make a very personal post in this new month of November, listing the Saturn software collection I have here in my house as catalogued at the tail end of 2017.  As well as the games that I own, I'm going to share the 'gaming experiences' that I have access to, thanks to the Pseudo-Saturn Mod, facilitated for me very recently by a high profile member of the Saturn Junkyard Facebook Group 😉 . I'm going to list my unofficial copies separately, at the end of part 2 of the article however, as I don't want anyone thinking I have the unlimited financial resources necessary to obtain the official copies of these games, which change hands at outrageous and ridiculously inflated prices!

In order to make this more than a simple list, I'm going to put a reference picture of the box cover for the version I own, whether PAL European, NSTC Japanese or NSTC US. I'm also going to attach a link to each of the game titles, which will take you to a random piece of information about the game. It could be a Wikipedia page, a game related video, a review of the game, concept art or a different website, which will hopefully expand your awareness of any games that take your interest!

I'm very happy to say that my Saturn collection is much larger than I had previously realised, but as a consequence, it's taken me ages to write this post! So for now I'm just going to share my A-M titles... The rest will be along very soon!


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Saturn Junkyard!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Saturn Junkyard Cosplay Awards 2017

Here at the Saturn Junkyard, we heartily approve of grown men and women making ridiculous video-game themed costumes, and then wearing them shamelessly around a comic-con or gaming expo, whilst bemused onlookers try desperately in vain to work out who they are supposed to be.

Whether you are a  beautifully healthy sun-tanned Bay Watch body-double, or have got to squeeze your cellulite riddled, pock-marked, flab into an ill fitting lycra leotard and leggings, using a shoehorn and a tub of lard, matters not!

It's entering into the spirit of the thing that's important! So to help you decide on your own Saturn themed costume for this year, we'll show you some of the efforts people have gone to in the past, for better or for worse... They all get the world famous Father Krishna seal of approval for having a go!

What I hadn't reckoned on, was the strange psychological associations and feelings, brought on by perusing these cos-play pictures. Why do subjects as diverse as creeping terror, Cilla Black, the Joker, the Russian Mafia, evil clowns and Frank Sidebottom come to mind when looking at a bunch of gaming characters? (If you have no idea who my Anglo-centric comparisons refer to, click on the links!)

Choose your favourite and identify it in the comment section, or save them to your device and throw them up on the Facebook page for anyone who has missed them!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Imagine Dragoons: That Time Panzer Dragoon Was an Anime

I’m a big fan of Panzer Dragoon (the game), particularly its sequels. So when I recently came across a VHS copy of Panzer Dragoon (the movie) at a retro gaming convention, buying it wasn’t even a choice. I had no idea such a thing even existed – and yet it does – so obviously I needed it.

I’ve long ceased to own the requisite apparatus for playing back the newest (and probably only) VHS tape in my collection. But a cursory glance at the box and cassette revealed it to be an anime-style film, in color, dubbed in English, with an approximate run time of 35 minutes (though it’s more like 26). A further look at Amazon’s customer reviews for Panzer Dragoon (the anime) suggested it wasn't likely to be a very good film to begin with.

One customer, Sam, deemed Panzer Dragoon (the anime) “the worst fantasy anime ever,” or at least “the worst to be based on a videogame,” citing its animation as having “one of the most contemptible mixes of hand drawn animation and computer graphics EVER.” Dark Ren added, ”between the boring dialogue, and disappointing action scenes, I was wondering how this could get much worse,” while another unnamed customer obliged, “[the Panzer Dragoon anime] has the worst dubbing I've ever heard!!! My friend and I couldn’t stop laughing!!”

Undeterred, I still had to see it for myself. At the very least, Panzer Dragoon (the anime) had to be so bad that it's good, right? Well, that was the hope. Read more...

Fighting Your Way Through Halloween: Darkstalkers 3 - The Characters... (Part 2)


So, it's time for part two of our introduction to the weird and wonderful 'Halloween-friendly' characters of Capcom's insanely good 2D fighter, Dark Stalkers 3. We've already met our seasonal archetypes-- a mummy, a werewolf, a vampire, a Frankenstein-type monster, a machine gun toting fairy tale character, two confusingly saucy 'succubus' demons and a... *cough* ...haunted suit of Samurai armour...

Now it's time to meet the rest of the roster of  'Vampire Savior: The Lord Of Vampire' for the Sega Saturn!

Sasquatch: is of course the mysterious ape-man of the North American continent. Also known as Big Foot (the same name as his tribe). Sasquatch is an original creature to have in a horror-based fighting game, but unfortunately his race are depicted as something of  a bunch of stupid behemoths, daft enough to be lured to their doom by the offer of lots of bananas! A shame, as I can't think of him showing up in many other video games, and as everyone knows, Sasquatch are intelligent, even noble creatures, which is why they've never been caught by the razor sharp minds and keen cryptozoological instincts of the Finding Bigfoot team on Animal Planet.

Sasquatch's most notable ability is being able to turn water to ice by passing it through his body! Having huge feet (all the better to stomp you with) can also be quite beneficial when facing other creatures of the night...


Monday, 23 October 2017

Fighting Your Way Through Halloween: Darkstalkers 3 - The Characters... (Part1)

As anyone who has read my last few posts can tell, I'm a huge fan of Halloween, and a recent convert to the genre of 2D fighting games, played of course, on the Sega Saturn. So when I realised there was a game that combined two of my passions, I thought it would be rude not to give it a feature post here at the Saturn Junkyard!
One of the best 2D fighters I've played, 'Darkstalkers 3' (or 'Vampire Savior: The Lord Of Vampire' as it was known in Japan) arrived through my door, some time in the first decade of this millennium, courtesy of one of the previous collaborators here on the 'Yard. It was sent with love, as a beautiful gift, with a burned copy of Radiant Silvergun tucked away inside. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember who was kind enough to send it to me. What I do know however, is that it remained unplayed in my Saturn collection for many years, due to the fact that my import playing Action Replay, did not facilitate the 4MB of RAM necessary for the game to work properly!

Fast forward to 2017; a new Action Replay arrives from Play Asia and all of a sudden, the game that had remained out of my reach for so long, suddenly arrived within it! I was hugely impressed from the moment I fired up the game.... I've already explained in a previous post, why I'm so enamoured with 2D fighters at the moment, so rather than explain all that again, I'll cut straight to the chase. As well as the quirky game play, and fantastic special moves, it's the combatants within this particular game that imbue it with it's eccentric charm and Halloween relevance.

What makes Darkstalkers 3 so fantastic, is it's insane roster of characters, inspired by classic horror archetypes as featured in the popular Japanese anime. As well as those monsters and 'creatures of the night' one might expect to find in your average Hammer Horror film, the game boasts some surprises. They're such a fabulous collection of Halloween-style freaks, creeps and misfits, that I've decided to shine the spotlight on each and every one of them during this article. I want to share their images and backstories, with those of you waiting to add this game to your collection, in order to whet your appetite. So lets jump straight in with the the first one! I've used as my primary source, so props to them!

Anakaris: is a huge mummy, a twelfth dynasty pharaoh who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tutankhamen. A slow and lumbering character, (the slowest in the game, in terms of mobility), Anakaris does have some compensatory abilities. Those abilities include the fact that he can float and hover temporarily in the air, teleport (like Dahlsim in Streetfighter) and drop a huge casket on top of his foes, amongst other things!


Halloween Video Treats: Five Creepy Clips To Help Celebrate The Season!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

2D Fighter Kicks 3D Fighter's Ass!

One of the biggest revelations from my current revision of the Sega Saturn, is the brilliance of 2D fighting games. A genre which failed to excite me when the console was current, 2D fighters seemed cheesy, over the top, brash, outdated, cartoonish and comical. This was in comparison to what I perceived then, as 'realistic' 3D fighters, which I could not get enough of. For me, the characters of the Virtua Fighter series were far more interesting and strangely enough, believable (as if realism was an important factor in gaming!)  The ability to take on the persona and moves of a mysterious, yet understated combatant like Kage from Virtua Fighter--a character akin to the ninjas and martial arts masters I had admired in the kung fu movies of my youth--was loads more appealing than martialling the impossible theatrics of  Ryu, or the limb stretching slap-happiness of Dahlsim!

Now time has done a sneaky switcheroo on us, and the cartoon-like graphics of the 2D fighter have weathered the passage of the decades far more effectively than their 3D counterparts. Whilst the pointy and angular graphics of the Saturn's later software, --for example Sarah Bryant or Lion in 'Virtua Fighter 2'-- look undeniably dated by today's standards, the 'side on' two dimensional perspective of the  2D fighter-- for example 'Street Fighter Alpha'-- has emerged as more of a 'classic' look than an antiquated one. Whilst I'm talking about this genre, my only experience of these titles on the Saturn are those produced by Capcom. I'm hugely looking forward to exploring the SNK releases that so many Saturn fans hold dear, but I cannot speak about them from a position of knowledge at this time...

There are other factors at work in making the 2D fighter, particularly those from the Capcom stable so relevant in 2017-- and one of those factors is the longevity of Street Fighter as an IP. Whilst the 'Virtua Fighter' characters are fast becoming a faded memory in the mainstream gaming market, the assembled characters from Capcom's 2D biggest franchise, 'Street Fighter' still command big budget releases. They have a commercial relevance and familiarity today, that Akira Yuki, Lau Chan and Wolf Hawkfield cannot claim, however much we want them to. We've seen Ryu and Ken in recently successful iterations of Street Fighter, such as Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5. It's interesting to note that character models and the overall format of the games, were not altered much at all for the '2.5D' reboot, however... proof of the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.".  Capcom themselves knew that the 2D fighter was not a genre that needed much upgrading.

The updating of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, and it's subsequent commercial success, plus the critical acclaim of the Wii's "Tatsunuko vs. Capcom" is also proof of the enduring love for the 2D fighter.

Talking of character mash-ups, Capcom's willingness to bring the characters from anime, comics and even rival software publishers for their 2D fighting releases mean that we have some monumental titles, full of charm and individuality. The range of 2 D fighters available for the Saturn vastly outnumbers that of 3D fighters. The flirtation with Marvel has been a very lucrative one, both critically and commercially, as the original titles that they produced with the company proved to be big sellers. Stand alone 'Marvel' games such as 'Marvel Superheroes' and 'X Men Children Of The Atom' brought superheroes and super-humans into the arena. Who wouldn't want to fight as Hulk, Spider-Man or Wolverine?  A stroke of genius to then pit them against the cast of Street Fighter! We're all prone to those "I wonder who'd win in a fight between..." questions. Here was a chance to find out! An unforeseen factor has been how much the Marvel brand has exploded in the wider public consciousness over the last few years.
As Marvel's movie franchises continue to play to the tastes of the mainstream, it's cast of characters again command a relevance in the zeitgeist of 2017, the whispers of which, resonate through when playing either of the games mentioned above, or indeed the wonderful crossover 'X Men vs. Capcom'.

So playing the 2D Fighters in my own collection is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I'm getting to the stage that I understand the repertoire of moves for many of the characters I fight as, so now I'm just trying to perfect the timing and combos. I'm unfortunately tempted to rotate each game regularly in my playlist, rather than sticking to one and perfecting my moves or honing my skills with a particular character. That's been a problem for me for some time. I suffer from FGS... Flighty Gamer Syndrome. I'm rarely able to focus on one game long enough to be able to play it to my full potential. And these are games that are made to be mastered!

So what games are rocking my world at the moment? Let's take a look!


Saturday, 21 October 2017

More Saturn gaming news, views and all round goodness from the Sega Saturn Shiro crew in their third podcast! We're a little bit late getting it up on the main page, but as long as they're doing their rather splendid Podcast, we'll keep promoting it over here at the 'Yard.
I'll let the chaps themselves (David Lee, Ke Kona and Patrick Traynor) tell you all about it!

On this week's episode, we go in depth with playing imports and backups. From swap tricks, to complete CD drive replacements.

We also drop the release of Armed (Also known as Aftermath), an unreleased Sega Saturn game developed by Point of View, which was originally going to be published by Interplay.

The URL for the game is provided in the podcast itself.

and here's the content listing & running order

Intro / what we've been up to
00:18:16 Shoutouts
00:20:20 Obscure Game: Groove On Fight
00:32:19 Technical Q & A: Save Data / Losing Saves
00:47:32 Different Methods for Playing Imports
00:58:24 Different Methods for Playing Backups
01:20:59 Using Quality Media & Best Practices

So make sure you give it a listen!

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Best Halloween Saturn Game Of All...

My love for the Saturn is split into three phases; the first stage was my initial love in about 1996... the stage when the Saturn was my current console. I'd just bought it and I was blown away by the graphical wonders and futuristic gameplay of Virtua Fighter, Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon and Clockwork Knight. The next stage, was about ten years ago, when I decided to founder the Saturn Junkyard, primarily because I was so blown away by the wonder that is the Dreamcast Junkyard, and wanted  a piece of the retro-gaming blogging action. At that time, I bought the bulk of my current PAL collection, when there was nothing on offer for the Dreamcast at Gamestation, as a source for reviews and articles on the SJY. The third phase is my current obsession, which has seen me neglecting all my other consoles and game library, to play the Saturn exclusively, buying up Japanese imports and padding out my software library with rips, as if I'm discovering it again for the first time.

But lets go back to phase 1: It's 1996/7 and as well as the games mentioned above, you can add a very small handful of games, that made up up the entirety of my Saturn software collection. One was Virtua Cop, one was Christmas NiGHTs and the other was the title I want to discuss today.

The game in question was 'Casper', a title I'm going to nominate for my ultimate Halloween Saturn game. It's a title that has everything you might want from a spooky Halloween experience-- A haunted mansion, darkened passageways, moonlit graveyards, creaking doors, moving objects, ghostly laughter and sandwiches, lots and lots of sandwiches!


Monday, 16 October 2017

Sega Saturn Saucepot Of The Month... October 2017

As I said last month when I started this feature, this is not some sort of "boys only", misogynistic, perv-fest, but is in fact, an equal opportunities, gender inclusive, true appreciation of the pretend physical perfection, of non-existent characters, made up of sprites, polygons and magic.

So, to keep things balanced, and in a perfect Yin/Yang style harmony, it's time to select a male 'Saturn saucepot'.  I was thinking of using a real life human sex object, in the shape of one of the Saturn Junkyard's Facebook Page Admins, but as I only have myself, Jon Lee and Daniel Turner to choose from, I had to scrap that idea.


Come and get me girls!
Wanna see my stunner?

So, with so many Saturn themed cyber-hunks to choose from, where do I start? I think it would be prudent to select from Saturn exclusives, but obviously it can't be Virtua Cop as that was the source of last month's saucepot... One of the Burning Rangers boys or perhaps one of the guys from the Last Bronx posse? One of the male crew from the Deep Fear submarine? NiGHTs? Is she even a guy or is he actually a girl?