SEGA SATURN BUYERS GUIDE
Massively overshadowed and ultimately outgunned by the Sony PlayStation the SEGA Saturn was arguably the beginning of the end for SEGA as a hardware manufacturer however that should not be a distraction to owning and enjoying the console and some of the greatest games ever released.
During the time of the console SEGA were an exclusive publisher releasing a great many fantastic games only for SEGA Saturn. Many of these games are now finding their way onto current systems via download content and mobile apps to be enjoyed by gamers old and new!
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Although not as commonly found as a Sony PlayStation the consoles are still easily found on eBay and are relatively inexpensive. When buying a console ensure that it includes a SCART lead (or an RF lead) as these are exclusive to the system and may prove to be difficult to obtain in the future, also check the cable is in good condition as they have been known to lose pins. By contrast the power lead is easily replaced using a standard AC240 volts; 50 Hz power cord (EU/Asia), which is also used by PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Dreamcast and Microsoft XBox.
Quite often with second-hand Sega Saturn systems, the internal battery will need replacing. This is easy and inexpensive to do. The battery type required is CR2032; at the back of the machine, there is a cover that can be removed, revealing the battery compartment. Simply swap the battery out for the new one and then when you turn on the machine, you'll be able to store the system date and time (helpful for games like NiGHTS which reveal extras depending on the system date) and use the console for game saves.
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Sega Saturn Console
Scart Lead (failing that, an RF cable)
A Joypad, ideally two (most of the unofficial pads are nearly as good as the official controllers)
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Memory Cartridge slots into the port at the back of the console and provides extra game save space. Ideal if you're running low on space on the Console's in-built memory. Some models of memory cartridges also allow you to play Import games too so this can be a very cheap method for playing the vast catalogue of Saturn Imports too. However, if you do follow this route, bear in mind that you will not be able to play the Import games that come with a RAM cartridge for more memory as the slot will be in use! Again, some Cartridges cater for this too.
Official Steering Wheel for that complete Sega Rally experience, the wheel is recommended. There are a few other good driving games too, such as Daytona USA that benefit from the better control of the wheel. Be wary when buying these online/mail order as they are quite heavy and will incur rather high postage!
Sega Lightgun (also called the Stunner/Virtua Gun) excellent for Virtua Cop 1 & 2 and The House of the Dead. All three games support two players too, so two guns are a good idea!
Sega Multi Tap not too many games utilised the multi tap, the most famous being Saturn Bomberman which, through the use of two taps, allowed up to TEN players at once!
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3D Controller released specifically for conjunction with NiGHTS. It basically provides 360° directional control.
Twin Sticks released in conjunction with Virtua On to provide arcade-perfect control of the robots in the game. They've since become rather rare!
Densha De Go! Controller designed specifically for the train-driving game Densha De Go! (Not released outside Japan) so they're rather a novelty!
Video CD Upgrade Card enables the Saturn to play VCDs.
Photo CD Operating System CD based system to enable Kodak Photo CDs to be viewed on the Saturn.
There are other, more obscure items of Saturn hardware around, like the Pachinko controller but you will seldom come across these.
There are a great many games out there to be enjoyed and the following ten will give you a good introduction the best that gaming on the SEGA Saturn has to offer.
Virtua Fighter 2
Duke Nukem 3D
Panzer Dragoon Series - The first two are shooters whilst the third is one of the best RPGs ever created!
Command & Conquer
Virtua Cop 2
SEGA Worldwide Soccer 1997