Geoff I wish these games weren’t so god darned expensive on the saturn!!!!!!!!!!!
I have played so many of these dang things it’s hard to know where to start. I’ll just periodically some back and make suggestions I guess. I’ll start with some horizontally-scrolling PC Engine games I think are under appreciated.
Gate of Thunder - people tend to talk about lords of thunder, but Gate of Thunder is SO MUCH BETTER, and is a fun exercise in seeing what happens when you really put work into your difficulty settings (it’s not just that enemy ships take more damage or shoot more bullets, it’s new enemy patterns, enemies that never shot before shooting at you, etc - it’s really neat!). The scenery rules, the music rules, and in general it’s one of my favorite side scrolling shooters. Just an uncomplicated but well-designed shooter that you can get better at by replaying.
P-47 - anyone who loves video game sunsets has got to make it to stage 2. the game itself is not going to blow your mind, but has some fun special weapons you won’t see in other games, and is generally solid.
Rayxanber III - There’s a stage that is just you flying around one gigantic continuous ship and trying to blow bits off it. The sprites are just so visually complex and detailed compared to almost any of its contemporaries. On the other hand, it has the most piercing/annoying shot sounds in the world. Why!!!!!!!!!
Bouken Danshaken Don - the lost sunheart - a mythical feeling shooter with odd enemies, really feels like it’s taking place within a universe of something larger, though it doesn’t appear to be tied to an anime or anything!?
Legion - this game sucks, but also: it rules. The title screen music is amazing, and the english language VO (on this japan-only game) is in that weird spot between “a non-native speaker probably wrote this” and “the native speaker speaking it did their best to correct it.” The very first monologue has him saying “I arrived at the appointed point” which is something I’ve adopted into my regular speech at this point. oh also because they thought it was important to put this VO in, they went with chiptunes for the rest of the music, and it’s pedestrian at best.
Aero Blasters - some might say the genesis version is better. Many would say the arcade version is better. but look how smooth this game is! and the downsized graphics hold up much better than the arcade original, in my view.
compare the three versions:
Arcade - scrolling/animation is very rough, as you can see.
Genesis - smoothed, but for my money the higher level of detail winds up making it look older, because it’s not as detailed as its contemporaries.
PC Engine - smooth as heck, better animation transitions, and look how they did those explosions! and the simplified artwork winds up looking more like a choice, in 2020, rather than something that tried to be cutting edge and aged out of it. And there’s something satisfying with how those popcorn enemies really pop that you don’t get in the other versions.
WELL! that’s my stuff for today, I’ll come back another day with a specific list of saturn games? or something!!!