Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Powerslave on Saturn

My my my. After all the bad press (mostly deserved) about the Saturn's inability to properly handle 3D, it turns out it was the best console for First-Person Shooters. Go fig. It seems the very thing that hurt Sega - rendering polygons as quadrilaterals instead of triangles - enabled for better FPS worlds. There's a trio of excellent titles that demonstrate this wonderfully, and they all were made by the same coding team, using the same graphics engine. And that all began with Powerslave.

Powerslave (aka Exhumed) was the work of Lobotomy Software from across the pond. You can see the screenshots above, and it's a terrific looking Saturn games. In motion it's even better. Why the hell didn't I get this game back then? I think I was too skeptical of the claim that Lobotomy had finally cracked the Saturn and made it work. By then there were too many lousy, sloppy, and horrible 3D Saturn titles for me to believe otherwise. Well, kids, count me wrong on that count. Powerslave is the real deal.

What amazed me the most is that the game graphics have hardly aged at all. It still looks great, even with what we have today. It's just far enough along the Doom-Duke-Quake timeline to fit in as nostalgia without showing its age. Quite a lot of the 32-bit era's games look terribly dated now, but it seems the best ones hold up admirably. And quite a number of them are Saturn games. Go figure that one out.

Lobotomy later handled the Saturn versions of Duke Nukem 3D and Quake, and the graphics are even more impressive and detailed. Thankfully these games play like a dream, too. They remind you of the good old days when an FPS could appear on a games console without any sneering and snickering in the room from PC nerds.

Wait, what am I thinking?! There's nothing but FPS' on games consoles today. FPS, EA Sports, Grand Theft Auto, and auto racing. Ugh. That's just the monotony I ran away from when I scored a Saturn. Never liked the whole GTA sex-and-guns schtick, can't stand EA Sports, and now I've got Powerslave on Saturn. At this rate, I'll never buy a new system again.

You should definitely check this game out if you ever get a chance. I understand it's even better than the Playstation version, which would be a rare victory for the black box.

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