10 top games that must be on a Sega Saturn Mini – Reader’s Feature

A reader embraces the idea of Sega creating a mini console version of the Saturn and lays out the games he thinks must be included.

With the Mega Drive Mini looking surprisingly impressive I have been eagerly following all the fan speculation about doing the same idea with the Sega Saturn. Although it’s true the console was surprisingly successful in Japan I don’t have a lot of hope for it happening for four good reasons: 1) it’ll be difficult to do because of the emulation, 2) Sega has lost the original files for more than one of the best games, 3) it was a complete flop in the West, and 4) Many of the best games never came out even in America.

But I’m going to completely ignore that for the purposes of this Reader’s Features and tell you the 10 games that I – as someone that is a keen Saturn owner and has imported many of the rarer games – thinks should be included.

10. NiGHTS Into Dreams
One of the closest things to a famous Saturn game, this was to have been its answer to Super Mario 64. But really, it’s nothing at all like that game and while the graphics are 3D (and probably the best on the Saturn) the gameplay is 2D. It’s a very original sort of action game with an odd mix of platform-like acrobatics and boss battles and while I think it tends to get overrated a little it definitely needs to be included, along with the Christmas version.

9. Radiant Silvergun
This would’ve been a top three choice at one point but now that it’s been released on multiple consoles it’s no longer the rarity it once was. It’s still absolutely amazing though and deserves to be on any Saturn collection, along with other top notch shmups such as DoDonPachi, Battle Garegga, and Soukyugurentai/Terra Diver.

8. Saturn Bomberman
The more I get into this list the more I realise that 10 spots is not nearly enough and I’m going to have to leave a ton of great games out. But I can’t not mention Bomberman because it’s the best version ever, even though its 10-player mode would probably be impossible to replicate on a mini console. Maybe if they made it work with third party multitaps and controllers, but I’m not sure if Sega would be that accommodating.

7. Guardian Heroes
One of Treasure’s best games and another release that is absolutely synonymous with the Saturn, even if it’s now been released on a few different formats. It’s not nearly as well known as it should be though, even though it’s one of the few attempts to modernise and deepen the traditional scrolling beat ‘em-up. It’s also a great multiplayer game and has some of the best 2D graphics ever.

6. Magic Knight Rayearth
The best Japanese role-player on the Saturn that isn’t called Panzer Dragoon Saga, this was never released in Europe but has a surprisingly good American translation all ready to go. The 2D graphics are great and there’s a fun and original combat system that switches between all your characters like a kind of tag team match. It’s also hugely expensive on the import market, but nowhere close to my next pick…

5. Fighters Megamix
The Saturn had many great 2D fighters, including a number of near perfect Capcom conversions, but it also had some great 3D games, including an excellent version of Virtua Fighter 2. The highlight though has got to be Fighters Megamix, which is basically a Smash Bros. style mash-up of Sega franchises except in the form of Virtua Fighter/Fighting Vipers. It’s not exactly the most technical fighter around but it is one of the Saturn’s most iconic games.

4. Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru
One of the most expensive Saturn imports, there is a copy currently on eBay that has a Buy It Now price, and I kid you not, of £1,699.99. This is tragic for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is that it’s a really good Shinobi-esque action platformer (much better than the actual Shinobi X on the Saturn) that deserves to be appreciated by everyone. It makes full use of the Saturn’s limited horsepower and is absolutely bonkers with some of the enemies and boss battles.

3. Shining Force III
All of the best mini consoles (i.e. not the PlayStation Classic) have at least one special inclusion of a super rare or unreleased game and while potentially the Saturn has many that would fit that bill a translation of the whole of Shinning Force, instead of just the first scenario would be a dream come true. It’d be an effort but there are fan translations out there that could save time and money to give one of the best strategy role-players ever a proper Western release.

2. Sega Rally Championship
The Saturn is host to a couple of, I think, timeless racing games but if they’re going to include Daytona USA, which they should, it absolutely needs to be the Japanese-only Circuit Edition, which is much better than the first one. But more important than that is Sega Rally, which to this day I consider to be one of the finest racing games ever made. And like most of these games it’s one that’s almost impossible to play today on any modern format.

1. Panzer Dragoon Saga
The crown jewel in the Saturn’s line-up and also the most famous game that is known to have had its original files go missing. I’m not technical so I have no idea if it can be reversed engineered or not but just getting this classic role-player back in a form where everyone can play it would be worth the effort of a mini console alone. The other two shooter entries in the franchise should also definitely be included, but it’s Saga that’s the most important one.

By reader Golem

The reader’s feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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