maj 24, 2013

Sega Saturn Racing controller

I received this huge thing from Japan, among other stuff.

So I decided to try it out. There are some 20-30 racing games on the Saturn.
First I tried Sega Rally. Sega Rally is a beloved racing game on the Saturn. It is an unusual in that it looks very standard, but the whole idea is to play every course perfect, and the steering is super sensitive. With the racing controller I was powerless, it seemed even more sensitive than a normal controller. So I was not happy with playing that

Then I tried Daytona USA. This game has more speed and is more exciting. Saturn-lovers say the steering is perfect and what great game it is, but I couldn't figure out how to break and again I felt powerless as I crashed at every turn. Not happy with that.

Next, Vatlva. This is a racing shooter in an overhead perspective. Your goal is to kill the other car. So it is more like a destruction game in a way, as Virtual On or such. The game seems like fun, but the steering wheel made it clumsy because you have to press up and down, and the wheel doesn't have up and down. Instead it has two pads on the side and it feels awkward to drive when you have to press those pads and steer, especially when you go backwards. So I give this game a fail aswell; I would rather use a controller for it.

Next I wanted to play Sega Ages: Outrun. I have always been fascinated by this game, because it was so popular on the ferry I often travelled. I never played it there.

I have the wrong model Saturn for it though. As Saturn owners might know,  the Saturn with round buttons (model 2) cannot play Outrun, Space Harrier and Metal Slug. Luckily I still have my HiSaturn Navi that I have written about earlier. The Navi has a BIOS v. 1.02 but internally I suppose it is like a model 1.
It played Outrun just fine. It is nice that I was able to make some use of this system that cost close to 1000$.

I think the Navi has too much stuff on it to look really "cool" but I will say that it looks special. It has so many buttons, relays and inputs and outputs that you wonder if it is a Saturn or what? Mine has the serial number 51100378 and I assume I have 378th console that was made, if they really only produced a few thousand. I would like to buy another one, just because having two Navis is cooler than having one Navi, and so I could see what its serial number is.

Here it is in action next to my white Saturn. The big thing behind it in white protective plastic is the special power supply it uses. I haven't bothered removing the protective plastic from it.

I played around with buttons on the Navi called "Pitch" and "Echo". With Pitch, I think you speed up and down the game. The music and sound in the game definately got a higher pitch and I assume that you speed up the game to give the music a higher pitch.

Playing Outrun with the Racing Controller worked well, but I don't know if the controller improved anything. I don't think you can make sharper turns with it. I felt that you really only turn left and right as you would with a normal controller. There are no steep left as far as I could tell.

After that, I played Manx TT Superbike. Manx is to me what a racing game should be. There is speed and there is good control. I played it for a while, I think I will give it OK rating.

Then, Sega Touring Car Championship. In this game, the car was easier to control than the Sega Rally or Daytona USA. There was also more speed. I wasn't good at it, but the controller worked fine.

I haven't yet played a racing game on the Saturn that I feel strongly about. On the GBA, I spent a couple of hours with V-Rally 3 and some other game, and on the SNES I played Drift King Shutokou Battle 2 for 10-20 hours. But on the Saturn, most games so far have been pixelated and hard to control. They have a very short story mode, sometimes none at all. Sega Rally for example only has four courses.

Well, there are many games left to try.

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