The Sega Saturn might have had the misfortune of going up against the Sony PlayStation, but that's not to say that the machine didn't find its own audience – and in Japan, it carved out quite a niche thanks to the fact that its hardware was better at hosting 2D games than Sony's was.
As a result, fighting game fans flocked to Saturn; the console's superb controller had a rolling D-pad and six-button layout for the action buttons, both of which made it ideal for Capcom's range of brawlers – and Capcom duly supported the console with a wide range of conversions. Many consider the absolute zenith of this series to be Street Fighter Zero 3, which – on Saturn, at least – never saw release outside of Japan.
Compared to the (still excellent) PlayStation port, the Saturn version is a revelation. The 4MEG RAM cartridge allows for much smoother animation and shorter load times, while the aforementioned controller makes playing the game an absolute dream.
However, the Japan-only release and low print run mean that Street Fighter Zero 3 is now incredibly expensive on the secondary market – and, given the many other ways you can access the game today, it's a purchase that only dedicated fans will want to consider. Even so, it's likely to be the crowing glory of many a Saturn collection, and that box art is just wonderful.
@damo I picked up a Jap Streetfighter Alpha 3 for £15. I keep my eye out for s Saturn version, but never want to pay the current prices.
I do have some other Japanese Saturn games that utilise the 4 Meg Cart, but I used to run my Japanese games on my EU Saturn, with an import cartridge, so never was able to get the benefit of the extra RAM. My Saturn no longer works.
Currently waiting for a Polymega to arrive. I hear that this will run Saturn games with the extra RAM updates. How significant are load time improvements on a PM ? (Would be interested to know if you have a game like Mortal Kombat on Mega CD, do you still get Shang Tsung morph loading?)
@Gerald Yep, Polymega supports RAM cart games. Load times feel about the same to me, but they might be quicker with Saturn. With NGCD games, load times are removed completely!
I played the hell out of this on the PlayStation, but haven't spent much time with the Saturn version (yet). Probably my favorite Street Fighter game, if not my favorite fighting game period.
Also just wanted to say I really enjoy this feature!
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