#50: Mass Destruction -87% #49: King of Fighters '95 -89% #48: Shining Wisdom -N/A #47: Enemy Zero -88% #46: Actua Golf -90% #45: Pandemonium! -90% #44: Athlete Kings -90% #43: Dark Savior -92% #42: Daytona USA CCE -90% #41: Space Hulk -90% #40: Soviet Strike -90% #39: Jonah Lomu Rugby -91% #38: Manx TT SuperBike -91% #37: Saturn Bomberman -90% #36: Croc: Legend of the Gobbos -91% #35: Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo -86% #34: Baku Baku Animal -93% #33: Bust-A-Move 3 -91% #32: Fighting Vipers -94% #31: SEGA AGES -91% #30: Bubble Bobble Featuring Rainbow Islands -92% #29: Last Bronx -92% #28: WipEout 2097 -92% #27: Madden NFL '98 -92% #26: Steep Slope Sliders -92% #25: Warcraft II: The Dark Saga -91% #24: Sonic Jam -92% #23: X-Men: Children of the Atom -92% #22: Daytona USA -92% #21: Guardian Heroes -93% #20: Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge -93% #19: Quake -93% #18: Shining the Holy Ark -93% #17: Sonic R -93% #16: Panzer Dragoon II Zwei -93% #15: Command & Conquer -94% #14: Sega Worldwide Soccer '98 -91% #13: Resident Evil -94% #12: Virtual On -93% #11: Virtua Cop -94%
Down to the top 10! Well, 10 through 4 anyhow....
#10: STREET FIGHTER COLLECTION -92%
The ultimate 2D beat 'em up collection! Capcom's finest titles meet head-on in a two disc extravaganza. Play the original arcade perfect Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo and an updated version of Street Fighter Alpha 2. "If you're a hardcore Street Fighter fan then Virgin's retro beat 'em up compilation is a must-have item. The game that made Capcom the giant it is today is still the classic it always was and its inclusion here shows just how far the series has come over the years. This collection is still worth buying if you already own Street Fighter Alpha 2, although both Super Street Fighter II and Super Turbo are really starting to look dated." -Matt Yeo
Just incredible games, damn
I've pulled two special guest commentaries for y'all to read...
Special Guest Commentary 1
Excluding the Tekken series, I'm not the biggest fan of fighting games. Now, it hasn't always been like this. I really enjoyed Street Fighter II Turbo back in the day, and I considered myself halfway decent. I used to play it late into the night with my then friends. It was the standard "loser passes the controller" setup that we had going, and the level of competition -- as fierce as it was -- was pretty even. Few people managed to hold onto the controller for more than three matches. Those were the times, but they are gone now. After that initial SF rush, I never played a 2D fighter again. Ever
Special Guest Commentary 2
I have a confession to make... I can no longer be called a TRANSFORMERS Collector. ::GASP:: Wait!! Come back!! It's not what you think. Actually, as of yesterday, I've become a *Action-Figure* collector. Why? Let me spin the tale...
You see, I love collecting Transformers. They were a huge part of my childhood. I can remember going to TRU and buying the latest TF toy, going home and spending the whole day totally focused on the joy of that new toy. They were a defining part of my youth and I'll collect them and enjoy them for the rest of my life. Now, after I had "shed" the toy thing, I had become like any other teen... on the hunt for exciting adventures. Sounds like a p*rno but this ain't Emanuel, so let's keep it clean... and as for that new, exciting challenge... I found it
I had always loved video games, but this one was different... it totally consumed me. I can remember going to the arcade, after school, with my friends and playing for hours. I remember drawing all the characters during my spare time... and history class. I loved the game, the stories, and thus... Street Fighter is one of my fondest memories
#9: TOMB RAIDER -94%
Arguably the best game of 1996, Core's multi-format platform adventure became a massive success, thanks in no small part to the gravity-defying chest of a certain Miss Croft. "From virtually every perspective, it's damn near impossible to find fault with Core's first real hit. This game is big -- like really big. Split into 15 differently themed levels, each feature enormous 3D environments, comparable in sheer scale to those of Mario 64. The gameplay is no slouch either, with a vast array of puzzles to solve, tasks to perform and endangered wildlife to kill. But the real star of the show is of course, Lara Croft. With a versatile array of superbly animated acrobatic maneuvers at her disposal, Lara certainly has a bright future. (sigh) Unfortunately not on the Saturn anymore." -Lee Nutter
"Could it get any worse?"
"Damn me and my big mouth!"
Ahh, no one did pic's and captions quite like the guys over at SSM did. Once they had a pic of Lara's front side up-close -- the caption read... "Lara has great things in front of her"
#8: EXHUMED (AKA POWERSLAVE) -94%
Lobotomy's initial adventure was unfairly dubbed "Doom in Egypt." In truth it's one of the deepest, action-packed, adventures money can buy. One of the most criminally under-rated games of all-time. "It took the whining and moaning of our own "Manual" Daniel Jevons to convince me to take this game seriously. When I started playing -- and playing it properly -- I realized that this adventure is a work of genius. SSM got behind Lobotomy in a big way and our prayers for them to convert later FPS games for the Saturn were answered. Exhumed's extremely cheap these days, so there's no excuse not to own this classic." -Editor Rich Leadbetter
Rich Leadbetter and the rest of the SSM staff really did a LOT for not only Exhumed, but for Lobotomy, the Saturn, and Saturn gamers. They pushed Exhumed to the moon. Even after a 94% review in issue #11, several weeks later, Exhumed sales were quite low. So, Rich, being the high quality gaming crusader he was, sought to seek justice. And in issue #13, this was his Editorial...
"Exhumed, the 3D Doom clone OUT NOW on Saturn, is brilliant. As a PC owner and a big Quake fan I just have to say that I am mightily impressed with what the Saturn is achieving with this game. Quite frankly, it's superb. The 3D is incredibly fast, but it's the design of the game that makes it so great -- you won't find a more cunningly crafted adventure on Saturn. Or PC for that matter. I've had a disturbing amount of mail from people who are ready to pass up Exhumed and get Doom instead because they "don't like the look of it." Well, GET YOUR EYES TESTED. Exhumed looks -- and plays -- absolutely briiiiiilliantly. Go out now. Buy it. Make it a top seller. Then perhaps GT Interactive will see sense and get Lobotomy (Exhumed'a creators) to do Saturn Quake..."
Wow, and did that Editorial help to launch the game or what! After constantly hearing Rich pipe on about Exhumed's greatness, the UK masses went out and bought the damn game
It became a hit. Sales were high. Rentals for Exhumed went through the roof from that editorial on... with the game often appearing in the top ten rental list
And due to Exhumed's smash success in the UK, GT Interactive saw fit to allow Lobotomy to do Saturn Quake. If it weren't for Rich's never-say-die attitude and SSM.....
#7: MARVEL SUPER HEROES -95%
The game they said couldn't be done. Capcom's most ambitious 2D fighting game arrives on the Saturn replete all the awesome visuals and playability that you could hope for. Senses-shattering! "We got arcade MSH in the office at about the same time that the finished Saturn X-Men appeared. I remember comparing the two and thinking, 'no way will this ever come to the Sega machine.' Whilst the conversion isn't perfect, it's incredible in every way that matters. The rich visuals are beyond compare, but it's the combo system that really makes this game. And Doctor Doom is ace." -Rich Leadbetter
Game had some HUGE sprites...
#6: VIRTUA COP 2 -95%
Following the unprecedented success of the seminal Virtua Cop conversion, AM2 reaffirmed their position as the greatest coders of Sega's machine with this stunning sequel. Time Crisis? HA! "The most important thing to mention about Virtua Cop 2 is that it is huge -- approximately twice the size of its predecessor in fact. Each of the three levels feature multiple routes about half way through, making the sequel a less linear affair than VC1. Each of these levels are densely packed with destructible scenery and of course, hod-loads of bad guys. There's also some stunning set-pieces in there -- the car chase sequence in particular stands out in my mind. Yeah, it might not be as close a conversion as the less ambitious VC1, but AM2 have pulled off a miracle in getting the Saturn to emulate the Model 2 coin-op so well. Everyone must own this game." -Lee Nutter
#5: FIGHTERS MEGAMIX -95%
AM2's greatest creations clash in a 3D beat 'em up of unparalleled proportions! Virtua Fighters meet Fighting Vipers for some hard-hitting 3D beat 'em up shenanigans. If you want speed and action, get this! "The Saturn is blessed with a number of awesome 3D beat 'em ups but Fighters Megamix is something else. A staggering 32 characters, Viper armor-breakers, VF3 moves, enclosed arenas and secrets galore make this a premier Saturn title. Even if you own both Virtua Fighter and Fighting Vipers, there are still plenty of new features and playable faces to get to grips with. Loads of depth and playability makes Fighters Megamix one game you can't live without!" -Matt Yeo
11 Fighters, 11 Vipers, 10 hidden characters
#4: DUKE NUKEM 3D -97%
One of the most action-packed, politically incorrect 3D blasting games imaginable. Lobotomy promised us an excellent translation but the final product defies belief. The best game released this year. "The speed and action contained in Saturn Duke Nukem just blew me away. Couple the playability with Lobotomy's incredible 3D engine and you have a game that's just as cool as the PC game -- and sometimes superior. And it hoses down the PlayStation game. Completely. I honestly don't think I've played a game quite as satisfying as Saturn Duke for ages. On the higher difficulty levels the sense of carnage you get is almost intoxicating. Awesome!" -Rich Leadbetter
Ninety-seven-freaking percent. SSM were big fans of Lobotomy since the days of Exhumed. Not only did they push Exhumed but in turn they pushed Lobotomy. When Lobotomy got the OK to do the Saturn ports of Quake and Duke, SSM was there every step of the way, with previews, showcases, and interviews with the Lobotomy staff
In fact, Quake and Duke graced back-to-back SSM covers!
With everything Rich, in particular, did for Lobotomy, if you ever look at the Special Thanks in Saturn Duke -- just like Sonic R -- you'll see the name RICH LEADBETTER. Boy, I wonder where he is today? I wonder if I could contact him for a word....
Guess what? He DID contact me. Not only that, but he initiated the contact. My Q&A with the esteemed former editor of SSM plus Mr. Cutlack can be viewed here: Interview with SSM
There ya go! The Top 3 to be revealed shortly. Some thoughts:
SF Collection I loved. Really, very few games have given so many gamers so many memories throughout gaming history. (Mario Brothers, Contra, Castlevania and Tetris springs to mind) The Street Fighter games will always be near and dear my gaming heart
Tomb Raider. One of the first Saturn games I bought. I remember buying it off eBay in 2001 for 11 bucks. The next day (a Saturday) I went to Toys R Us only to find Saturn Tomb Raider in the bargain bin for 8 bucks. Oh how I regretted winning that eBay auction. Otherwise I could have played Tomb Raider that very night
The Saturn rendition is funny... I know a friend who absolutely loves it... and yet I know another friend who absolutely hates it. I guess I fall somewhere inbetween. For its time it was certainly one-of-a-kind and I quite liked its atmosphere. Who could forget that first encounter with the bear? That was sweet
Exhumed... by the way did you know that PIE hired Don LeFontaine to be the narrator for the story and as the voice of King Ramses? You may know him from... well, almost every damn movie preview you have ever heard [We've also paid him quite heavily for guest spots here and there on this site -Ed.]
It's a quality game. Personally, Saturn Quake is my favorite from the Lobotomy Big 3
Marvel Super Heroes was the 1st to crack 95% in the countdown, is there a perfect 100% in the top 3? Find out later... I never much liked MSH on Saturn. The sound was low for some odd reason, no matter how high I cranked it up. I bought and sold this twice. Like Steep Slope Sliders, I tried my damndest to fall in love with it, but just couldn't
Virtua Cop 2 rocks.I remember the first time my brother and I played it... I really felt like I was at the arcades -- it was a damn nice feeling!
The greatest sight is shooting a baddie in his crotch and seeing him react to it. And a shot right between the eyes is always fun. It'd have been interesting if there was some sort of blood code....
Fighters Megamix... I liked it in 2001. As the years went on, I liked it less and less. Still, the concept was cool, and the intro is one of the best around on Saturn
Duke Nukem 3D... one of my Saturn buds gave me a CIB mint copy of this for free several years back. Definitely a great port