Kulturecade Collector's Corner - Sega Saturn Edition
When the Collector's Corner was conceived just a few short months ago, I knew that someday we would come to the point where we would do our first article covering some of my favorite collectible games on a given system. Today we start things off with the Sega Saturn, Sega's third home console and a competitor of both the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Sadly due to the smaller number of sales when compared to these other two system, the Saturn finds itself in a much more precarious position when it comes to collecting. Many of the console's games received a considerably smaller print run when compared to the other machines of the time. This causes third party titles to be more costly on the Saturn, even if their PS1 or N64 counterparts are a better port of the game. Of course, this also means that Sega Saturn exclusives are an entirely different ballgame, as many of the systems most sought after titles can't be found anywhere else. Sadly, this causes the system's library to have a disproportionate value when compared to the overall number of games. With some exclusive titles costing upward of $200, this isn't a system for the causal collector. Sadly, while I knew collecting games for the Saturn would be expensive, writing this was enough to turn me off from hunting for many of the games on the Saturn, despite it being one of my favorite game consoles.
Shining Force III
Average eBay Price - $198.90*
The third entry in the main Shining Force series, gamers got a bum deal when it came to the release of this title outside of Japan. The campaign of SFIII was released across three different "scenarios", however, due to the Saturn flopping outside of Japan, we never received the second or third parts of the game. This left fans with questions left unanswered and no hope of an official English release.
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Average eBay Price - $500.85
When I started this list, I knew this game would easily blow everything else away in terms of value, but I wasn't aware by how much. The final first party game released to the Saturn, the game received a minuscule print run with less than 20,000 copies made available in the West. This makes the game one of the hardest to find on the system, and that is reflected in its price tag. Featuring an RPG spanning across four discs and set in the Panzer Dragoon universe. PDS is considered a classic, and since it has never received a release outside of the Saturn, it is highly collectable and will likely only continue to increase in the future as few and few working copies are available in the wild.
Average eBay Price - $149.25*
One of my favorite games on the Saturn, Dragon Force is a strategy game with some light RPG elements. The game was released by Working Designs and, much like any of their other titles, it is highly sought after. In an even more interesting twist, the games discs were pressed with several different pieces of artwork, meaning that a full collection of Saturn titles with all variants will require you to buy four copies of Dragon Force. I enjoy Dragon Force, but the game isn't really worth the asking price. Unless you're going for a complete set, this one isn't worth it unless you can find it at a good price.
Mega Man X4
Average eBay Price - 154.50*
Also available on the PlayStation, the Saturn version runs fantastically due to the system being a power house when it comes to 2D games. Unlike the Saturn version of Mega Man 8, the Saturn port of Mega Man X4 doesn't feature any added bosses or extra content. Due to the minor nature of these changes, I can't recommend the Saturn version of the game. Due to the game being available on the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 and GameCube (via the Mega Man X Collection), and the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PSVita (via the PlayStation Network), the game can be found much cheaper elsewhere, so unless you're a Saturn diehard, there are better ways to experience the game.
Average eBay Price - $162.80*
Guardian Heroes is a fantastic brawler and one of the best available on the system. A campaign with multiple endings, each with their own final boss and different stages, the game has a great amount of replay value. The game further gains depth thanks to a multiplayer battle mode, in which up to six players can fight it out using the Sega Saturn multitap. Of course, if you don't have a multitap handy, you can always play with a friend and the AI. The mode also features dozens of characters, with more unlocked each time you finish the campaign. Guardian Heroes is a great value on the Saturn, and even with its elevated price it is worth a look. Thankfully, the has been released digitally on the Xbox 360, so there is an alternative for those who don't want to drop the money on the Saturn version.
*Average prices were figured using sold listing on eBay and were gathered on August 12th, 2016, using only complete copies of each title.