The Sega Addicts Top 10 Worst Sega Saturn Games

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Saturn does have a few games that might not be considered “classics” by everyone. We’ve taken a look through the Saturn library and picked our 10 least favorite experiences gaming on the beloved console.

Hit the jump to find out what games to give to your arch-nemesis.

10. Mega Man X3

Flake: One of the weird things that happens at the beginning of a console generation is the re-release of late games from the previous generation with bells and whistles. I guess maybe developers are not always ready for new hardware or they feel they have not squeezed as much money out of a piece of software as they possibly could. In the 32 bit era, Mega Man X3 got this treatment on the Saturn and Playstation. Not much was done to the game – just a flashy new japanese cartoon opening and intro. That was it. Literally, that was it. Nothing was done to optimize the game when it came to the Sega Saturn and the result was a complete and utter mess.

First of all, the game is presented in a smaller resolution. Boot up Mega Man X3 on your Saturn (with a totally licensed Action Pro Replay) and you will see big black bars on all four sides of the screen. The graphics are fuzzy and muddy and the load times are the kind of thing that can ruin a marriage. Compared to the original SNES classic or the other Saturn Mega Man games, Mega Man X4 and Mega Man 8, and you are left wondering what the hell Capcom was thinking. It is like they spent even less money on their budget for software optimization than they did on their voice acting.

Fortunately, Mega Max X3 for the Saturn never made it out of Japan and subsequent re-releases on compilations used the source code for the Playstation version of the game. What a slap in the face, though. The Sega Saturn was the system that saved Mega Man for North America but it got the short end of the stick when it came to one of the greatest Mega Man games of all time

9. Double Switch

Scott Morrison: Double Switch is the sequel to Night Trap, both of which are “interactive” movie-type games involving on-going FMV sequences and annoying characters. If you are a fan of B Movies, then Double Switch will be right up your alley. If you are a fan of “fun,” or perhaps a game in which you have more control than that changing the channel on your TV, then you should look elsewhere. Actually, you should look elsewhere regardless. The point of Double Switch is to rescue the hip nerd hacker, Eddie from the basement of a hotel building. For whatever reason, the maintenance man has locked Eddie in the basement by using Eddie’s own traps against him. Your job is to rewire these traps and rid the house of the useless characters while saving Eddie in the process. Being on the Sega CD as well, the Saturn version is arguably better with quicker load times and better appearance overall. However, saying this game is the “better version” is like saying I would rather smell an elephant’s cage than the monkey cage at the zoo. This game could be enjoyable as a puzzle adventure if you didn’t have to deal with Eddie and his crazy hair and radical attitude. Watching the movie Hackers would be a better choice than playing this game, since the interactivity is on the same level.

8. Independence Day

Scott Morrison: As a kid growing up and loving Sci-Fi movies, Independence Day is one of my favorite films. I know it’s not the best sci-fi/world-ending/America-is-awesome movie out there, but I enjoy it. With this in mind, it was a no brainer for me to pick up the game based on ID4: Independence Day. Little did I know that I was simply buying a boring flying game disguised as an action-packed shooter with huge variety and giant levels. The awesome aerial dogfights encompassed smaller parts of the movie, but were the most action-oriented, and that’s what this game was banking on, because that’s all it is: dogfights. You can choose from a selection of jets with slightly different missiles and fly through levels with the City Destroyers spanning the entire horizon. Each level followed the exact same order: fly aimlessly until the mission updates, shoot down alien fighters and then alien air busses, shoot shield generators, shoot the center of the City Destroyer. Rinse and repeat for 13 levels and you have the best coaster money can buy. The final battle of course takes place on the mother ship and feels epic enough until you realize somehow that you are still doing the same thing but inside the mother ship. The most exciting part in the game is by far the final chase scene, which is actually the scene from the movie in pixilated graphics. Make David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) proud and do what is right by recycling this game disc as soon as possible.

7. Shinobi Legions

Tom Kyzivat: I imagine the pitch for Shinobi Legions went something like this:

Ferdinand: “Hey, Mortimer…”
Mortimer: “Yes, Ferdinand?”
Ferdinand: “Remeber The Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III? Arguably the best video games on the Sega Genesis?”
Mortimer: “Of course! Everybody loves those games.”
Ferdinand: “Well, what if we took all the names, characters, and formulas of those games, nearly verbatim, but instead made the game completely f*#king stupid?”
Mortimer: “What did you have in mind?”
Ferdinand: “Terrible controls, bad sound effects, crazy camera movements, and a complete stripping of all style and fun from the originals.”
Mortimer: “Sounds good, but I’m sure there’s a way we can make it worse.”
Ferdinand: “Digitized graphics of people in BMX gear?”
Mortimer: “Perfect! And, if we may be so bold…”
Both at the same time: “…Cringe-worthy FMV-style cutscenes! YES!!!”

Then they high-five and leave the office to eat at T.G.I. Fridays, where they leave a 5% tip. In a surprse twist ending, we find out they’re spies from Nintendo. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

That game sucked.

6. Street Fighter: The Movie

Tom Kyzivat: There is not a thing in this world worse than the American live-action Street Fighter movie. Except that there is. Street Fighter: The Movie video game is possibly the worst thing to ever come out of human culture. Mayan sacrifices? No. War crimes? Not even close. The Spanish Inquisition? Maybe… but at least the Spanish Inquisition didn’t have digitized graphics. Seriously. Calling this a “Street Fighter” game is an insult to video games, Capcom, mankind, kittens, and at least three Beatles. The very fact that Capcom had anything to do with this is disappointing and baffling to say the least. It feels a lot more like Midway and Capcom got drunk at personified company office party and did it in the supply room. Nine months later, the antichrist is born. The combined efforts of the UN and the Vatican weren’t enough. This abomination… this… crime against humanity… was allowed to be realeased. And not surprisingly, Acclaim was happy to publish it in North America and Europe. The worst part? When the horrible hell child was born, it was actually twins. The home version of the game was completely developed independently from the arcade version. Both followed the exact same formula, and both haunt humanity’s darkest nightmares. What made this game sting so much was that it’s based on one of the coolest properties of video game history, twisted and mangled into something so lame and atrocious that it almost defies modern science. But not all the blame can be put on Capcom. After all, they were given very little to work with. Street Fighter: The Movie. Everything you’d expect from a game based on the worst movie ever made.

5. Marvel Super Heroes

Flake: Marvel Super Heroes was the amazingly successful follow up to the also-amazingly-successful X-Men: Children of the Atom. This was the beginning of a moderately popular series of games known as Marvel vs Capcom. Marvel Super Heroes featured amazingly detailed sprites, a deep yet balanced battle system, and a story line that was actually (gasp) coherent and relevant in a fighting game. Marvel Super Heroes stands, to this day, as an incredible 2D fighter and needs to be experienced by everyone with even the slightest interest in the genre.

Just…not the Saturn version, okay? Marvel Super Heroes was released relatively early in the Saturn’s life cycle and Capcom had not yet figured out what to do with the little box of awesome. Instead of scaling down the sprites, Capcom instead opted to remove a few frames of animation from each character. Instead of fluid but slow animation, the sprites became jerky and incomplete. And slow. The missing frames could be restored with a 1MB memory cart but the result was hit-or-miss and the 1MB cart was never officially released outside of Japan. Not the best solution.

Add all of this to insane load times and an AI that is almost as cheap as X-Men: Children of the Atom and you have a port that is an insult to the source material. The next game in the Marvel vs Capcom series, X-Men vs Street Fighter, would solve all of these problems but it seems Marvel Super Heroes was on the bad side of the bell curve.

4. Robotica

Mike Kyzivat: Directions for playing Robotica: 1. Move down generic (yet suspiciously-Aliens-like) black and brown space ship corridor until you reach the same stationary bitmapped robot that you have destroyed 20 black and brown corridors ago. 2. Kill this same robot again. 3. Watch as bitmapped robot explodes in a cacophony of horribly pixelated explosions. 4. Continue to end of corridor and turn right. 5. Repeat steps 1-4 ad infinium until you find it necessary to stop the voices in your head screaming “NO MORE!!!! NO MORE!!!!!”. 6. Find a hammer or a black jack, or any blunt object will do. 7. repeatedly smash blunt object (a) into brain pan (b) until one of the following occurs: you pass out from blunt force trauma, or the repeated attacks on your skull lowers your IQ to such an enormous amount that you begin to find playing Robotica “fun”. Or I suppose you could turn off the Saturn and go outside and play. The choice is yours.

3. Virtual Hydlide

Mike Kyzivat: Hey guys do you love the Elder Scrolls series? Well then you’ll hate Virtual Hydilde because it totally sucks Argonian ass. Remember in Oblivion running through the lush landscape looking at honest to goodness fully 3D trees and grass that blows in the wind? Well in Virtual Hydilde not only are the 3D tress replaced by flat bitmapped and blocky pictures of trees, but the ground looks like cooked spinach, with not a blade of grass to be seen. Remember in Oblivion being able to see forever? And hey, see that mountain in the distance? Yes you can climb that. Well in Virtual Hydilde you get one panoramic picture of some mountains that the programmer took while on vacation in Colorado. And go ahead, walk toward that mountain in the distance, no, no keep going your almost there, just another mile or so (sucker). Remember how horrible oblivion is in the third person view? How stiff he moves and how hard it is to get a good camera angle? Well suck it up!! Because in Virtual Hydlide not only is the main character digitized but he has a whole 4 frames of animation for his walk cycle. And the only angle you get is straight behind his ass. And remember the combat in Oblivion…well… actually…it’s not that much different in Virtual Hydilde. My point is this: if your tired of quality free roaming RPG’s Then look no further and set your expectations no loftier then Virtual Hydilde.

2. Batman Forever

Alex Riggen: What the hell is going on?! That’s a good summary of my experience with Batman Forever: The Arcade Game by Acclaim. There was a time in my life when I thought that it was impossible to make a truly horrible beat-em-up but Acclaim has once again proved me wrong. Instead of focusing on making the game playable they’ve filled the screen with so many sprite effects, unnecessary power-ups, flashy things, etc. that it’s hard to know what anything is actually doing. If you like games that might make you vomit then give it a try but for everyone else I recommend you leave this game alone.

1. Battle Monsters

Alex Riggen: The only good thing about this game is its too-the-point title which explains what the game is about: monsters who like to battle. From the sloppy controls, the ugly UI that takes up way too much space, the horrible animations and costumes for the digitized actors, the unwieldy camera system, the sense of dread that washes over you as you play, the strange smell coming from your Saturn, and the way weird goo expels from your controller; this game is a great example of how not to make a 2D fighter.

Readers Comments (11)

  1. Myst 2 is one of the ugliest games ever: awful graphics, game mecanics, storyline…

  2. Did the Saturn version of Megaman X get the pretty damn great new soundtrack that the PlayStation version did?
    That alone makes the PS version my favourite.

  3. Aww man, why so much hate for Shinobi Legions? From screenshots it sure doesn’t look like a good decision to use the motion capped graphics, but in motion it actually looks pretty darn good. About as good as motion captured graphics ever got, if you ask me. And I do not see the hate about the controls – I thought this one actually controlled best. The ninja moved so smooth and with such an easily chainable amount of attacks, I really felt like a ninja playing it. Shinobi III is the cat’s ass, but I’d rank Legions a close second when comparing all the games. Definitely gets a bad rap.

    The only other I disagree with is Robotica, but I certainly understand the sentiment. For me, the kind of dank, empty, repetitive corridors kind of infuse the game with an industrial nihilism that seems to really fit with the story of the game. It’s one of the few games I can think of where the lack of enemies sort of helps the game – it really projects a feeling of desolation and sometimes I like to just fire it up and enter that world. Panzer Dragoon Saga, a much better game overall, also operates on a similar principal, choosing solidarity and emptiness to make the world so much more affecting. With games so overwrought and packed with menus, features, characters, achievements, etc. it’s kind of cool to have these early 3D games that just kind of build you a world, an atmosphere, and little else.

    Had a few laughs at Street Fighter: The Movie, but I can remember back when the game was announced that there was nobody more excited for it than me. I imagined the Street Fighter game finally “upgrading” to the look of Mortal Kombat and how it would be the ultimate combination of the two kingpins of the genre. At that time motion capture was actually seen as the future, I honestly thought it looked better than the cartoony sprites of the usual Street Fighter games. Looking back now there is no comparison how much better the Street Fighter games look, but that was ’97, when games like Astal were passed over for clunky polygons and choppy motion captured sprites.

    As bad as Street Fighter: The Movie is, though, there truly is no game worse than Virtual Hydlide. It totally looks like the kind of game some college dude would just program, making a few sparsely textured levels and then just inserting some hobbled together stills of himself as the 3D model. Definitely has to be played to really understand the true WTFitude it exudes.

  4. I really agree with the majority of the list since I’m not by any means willing to go and dig through the crappy games at any great length. However I had a problem with this line, “The Sega Saturn was the system that saved Mega Man for North America…” I really don’t see any basis for saying this. The series did better on the SNES and PS, especially in NA, and reviewers for the most part gave the other versions higher scores. So, where did you find the evidence that led to this statement?

  5. @DWolfwood:

    Fun piece of Megaman History: Capcom was originally denied permission by Sony of America to publish Megaman 8 on the Playstation. The belief at the time was that 2D games were ‘old hat’ and would not sell. Sega, on the other hand, was eager to get a Mega Man game for the Saturn. When Sony realized that they were handing Sega a high profile exclusive, they back peddled.

    Thanks to Sega’s willingness to give the blue bomber a chance, Megaman had a solid foot hold on Sony’s consoles for another decade, long after Sega left the console business. Without Sega, there would be no post 16 bit era Mega Man in North America.

  6. Hehe, I’m a Shinobi Legions fan too

  7. Well I’ll be damned. I totally forgot about that “embargo” or whatever. Makes sense and I vaguely remember that too.

  8. wow u cant compare Virtual Hydlide to oblivion! even if it does suck, those games were made 10 years a part . and oblivion was on freakin xbox 360 not a old 32 bit machine.

  9. I have a controversial thought, Street Figher: The Movie: The Game really isn’t altogether terrible. Now, to qualify that statement, I offer the following condition: you ignore the Street Fighter license and accept it for what it is, one of the better Mortal Kombat clones. I’d say it is somewhere just below Primal Rage on that list.

    • It does suck, but it’s nowhere near as bad as several other 2D fighters that came out around the same time (especially some of the more obscure ones that also tried to use digitized graphics, ie Tattoo Assassins).

  10. Αντιβασιλεύς και Πρωθυπουργός April 3, 2016 @ 7:34 PM

    I dont agree for Shinobi X and Virtual Hydlide.
    I had finished them both back then and they were great and are deep in my heart.
    Still I load up SSF emulator to play some Shinobi 🙂

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