The Saturn reminds me a lot of the Game Gear as far as the aesthetic choice of black on black. I personally like it, makes it look kinda sleek and sexy. The graphics however do not hold up well. We are beginning that time period of gaming that I foretold to you guys months ago, the period where gaming embarked on its quest to look realistic but did not yet have the tools to accomplish that. At that time period the Saturn, Playstation and N64 looked great, but when we go back to play them after getting used to today’s gaming graphics they look like hot garbage. In my opinion the sound also doesn’t hold up well on most of these games. The charming low-bit themes of the NES/SNES/Genesis are gone for the most part in favor of attempts at more realistic sound effects and simulations of orchestrated themes. Very few games managed to pull that off well during the time period.
Saturn’s controller is very similar to the Genesis’ and that’s a great thing in my opinion. I find it light and ergonomic, with buttons and a pad that all feel responsive. The Saturn also had a later model controller I’m fond of that had an analog stick and “trigger” style shoulder buttons, the first controller to do so. The addition of an analog stick improved gameplay experience on some Saturn games, especially Nights into Dreams which it came packaged in with. I had zero problems with the Saturn as far as reading games or loading times. The small number of games the Saturn does have in its library are actually quite good for the most part. The Panzer Dragoon series in particular is a must-play set of titles that sadly can’t be found anywhere else. To see my other suggested games just refer to my collection list on the Saturn poll blog post.
Aside from the crummy graphics of this era I enjoyed my playtime when reviewing these games and am happy with the Saturn. Its honestly a shame that Sega handled things so poorly because structurally the Saturn had tons of potential for the time period. Had they allowed and encouraged more third party support they would’ve had many more games and thus more potential for growth in sales and recognition. It seems like Sega worried so much about being beat by Sony and Nintendo that they kinda dug their own grave. Had they stuck with one focused plan during its development and spent less time worrying about the Playstation then we could possibly still be seeing Sega consoles on store shelves today. I personally enjoy the system and am glad to have it, but I wouldn’t fault you if skipped over it due to its small and expensive library.