The Sega Saturn failed to live up to the sales numbers generated by the 16-bit Genesis console that preceded it, but Sega’s 32-bit Saturn has become a cult-classic icon due to the system’s strong first-party library. Many of the Saturn’s best game, in terms of gameplay and graphical prowess, were released just before Sega pulled the plug on the console in 1998, making these games difficult and expensive to obtain for modern gamers seeking to enjoy some of the best AAA titles for the system. Gamers pay good money to buy these classic Sega Saturn games on the used-market, but what if Sega re-released these coveted titles for modern gaming consoles and gave them an HD treatment, allowing the visuals to truly shine on our flat screen TVs?
Panzer Dragoon Saga – Sega – 1998
The third installment of the Panzer Dragoon series shifted the game’s focus from the rail-shooter genre into the RPG realm, and the results were simply stunning. Panzer Dragoon Saga’s gameplay and storyline represented the very best that Sega had to offer during its ’90s golden age and the visuals were breathtaking, rivaling the best graphics of any game on any system at the time of its release. Panzer Dragoon Saga was released just before Sega cut support for the Saturn in the United States, meaning that only a few thousand copies of the title were released in the American market, making the game a rarity that can cost a few hundred dollars at retro video game stores. Give Panzer Dragoon Saga an HD treatment, release it for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and watch the masses line up for their chance to enjoy an even more beautiful version of this classic Sega RPG at a reasonable price.
Burning Rangers – Sega – 1998
Sega’s Sonic Team, the development powerhouse behind the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and Nights into Dreams, was tasked with making a 3D platformer/third-person shooter for the Saturn and they created a thing of beauty when they programmed Burning Rangers. The gameplay was fresh and compelling, the challenges addicting, and the visuals impressive for the day. Burning Rangers, like Panzer Dragoon Saga, had the misfortune of being released just before Sega of America cut support for the Saturn, meaning that few copies were printed and the game was relegated to obscurity instead of massive sales success. The fire transparencies and 3D environments looked good on the Saturn and exceeded the graphical standards of the day but an HD remake of this Sega classic would truly bring the game’s atmosphere to life while giving many modern gamers a fresh gameplay experience.
Deep Fear – Sega – 1998
The massive sales success and critical acclaim of Capcom’s Resident Evil virtually guaranteed a sea of imitators, and Sega was not too proud to make a late entry into the newly popular survival-horror genre. Deep Fear placed gamers in control of a Navy SEAL fighting for survival in a submarine and the game mechanics and level design were nothing short of perfection. Visually, Deep Fear offered some of the best graphics on the Saturn console, but few gamers got to enjoy this 1998 release since it was only released in the Japanese and European markets. American gamers had to import the game if they wanted to enjoy Sega’s spirited foray into the survival-horror genre. If Sega upgraded the game’s visuals to HD quality and offered the game for download on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, they could bring the thrills of this game to a market that never got to experience its compelling action sequences the first time around.
Battle Garegga – 8ing/Raizing – 1998
The Sega Saturn was known and is still renowned for its impressive and extensive library of ’80s-style 2D vertical scrolling shooters. While DoDonPachi was also released for the Sony PlayStation and later the PlayStation Network, and Radian Silvergun found its way to Xbox Live Arcade, Battle Garegga was a Saturn exclusive and only offered for sale in Japan. Battle Garegga was one of the best shoot-em-ups on a console full of them but to this day, the Saturn version is the only home console version available and the game can cost well over $200 on the used market. An HD remake of this iconic shooter would tear down the cost barriers preventing the masses from experiencing its near perfect gameplay. The layered urban backgrounds, stunning clouds, and lively explosions of Battle Garegga would benefit from an HD upgrade.
Enemy Zero – Sega/WARP – 1997
D was a cross-platform title released for the 3DO, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC, but its sequel only made it to the Saturn and PC. Laura Harris, the main character, was given a more intricately crafted and sprawling world to explore in Enemy Zero but the haunting atmosphere remained intact, creating one of the most chilling gameplay experiences of its time. Enemy Zero’s pre-rendered FMV sequences and real-time exploration environments blended together beautifully, creating a world as haunting as any you will find in modern console gaming. An HD remake of this Sega Saturn exclusive could bring Laura Harris’ haunting world to modern gamers and modern graphical prowess could do wonders for the terrifying tone of Enemy Zero.
More from this contributor:
’90s Computer Games that Need to Be Rebooted for Modern Gamers
Top 10 Best Racing Video Games for the Sega Genesis: A Retro Look Back
Classic Arcade Games: The 10 Best Arcade-to-32-Bit Conversions