Oh, Sega Saturn… you didn’t deserve any of this. You poor thing. It’s not your fault you were the awkward middle child between your more successful siblings, the Genesis and Dreamcast – and it’s definitely not your fault that you were a victim of hard-to-program-for architecture and poor marketing.
Well, this is getting sombre. Before it gets too depressing, let me welcome you to The Last Official Release. In this series, I investigate what the last official games of your favourite consoles were – concentrating on a different system for each article. A full list of what I’ve already covered can be found below, and I’m sorry if I made you cry.
The Sega Saturn was released on the 22nd of November, 1994 in Japan, and everywhere else in the world between the months of May and July in 1995. It had it tough. While it was an early CD-based console – giving it a decent jumpstart in sales – it was ultimately underpowered when it came to 3D graphics compared to its contemporaries, the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo’s N64. While it did have some great games, many of which are cult classics now, it suffered from poor 3rd party support thanks to its complexity to program for. Even on the home front, it didn’t even get a Sonic game.
It was discontinued everywhere but Japan in 1998, which is reflected in the final games for these regions. It seems that the final game in Europe was Deep Fear, a survival horror game by Sega AM7 based in an underwater facility full of mutated baddies. Everyone on the internet seems to agree that it was the final game released in Europe – however, I wasn’t able to find a solid release date. I’ve seen as early as late June 1998, but up to September and even November. It never saw an American release but was available on Japanese shelves in the July of that same year.
Talking of the America’s, the final game there was Magic Knight Rayearth released on the 30th of July, 1998. Based on the anime of the same name, this action RPG follows the exploits of three 8th grader girls as they are transported from Japan to a magical world, so they can rescue a princess. You control all three to do battle and solve puzzles, changing between them in a tag-team fashion. It was the only game based on the series to be released out of Japan.
And that brings us to the final release worldwide, which, as you’ve probably guessed was released in Japan. The console wasn’t discontinued there until 2000, and the final game, the catchily titled Yuukyuu Gensoukyoku: Perpetual Collection was out the same year on the 7th of December. This was a compilation of Yuukyuu Gensoukyoku games which were about… something. Honestly, I have no idea. I found little English information about the games online and no gameplay videos – only videos of the intro and soundtrack. Here’s a commercial – see if you can figure it out because I’m a bit miffed. Either way, it’s the final game. It is what it is.
Previously, on The Last Official Release:
Intellivision – Spiker! Super Pro Volleyball (1989)
Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Metal Slader Glory: Director’s Cut (2000)
Sega Genesis – Frogger (1998)
Sega Master System – Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge
Game & Watch – Mario the Juggler
PS1 – Schnappi: 3 Fun-Games
N64 – Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3
Game Gear – The Lost World: Jurassic Park
NES – The Lion King
Atari 2600 – Klax
Game Boy – Shikakei Atama o Kore Kusuru: Kanji/Keisan no Tatsujin
Dreamcast – Karous