I finally got a Sega Saturn for £45 at the London Comic Con and it’s in great condition and it was boxed, the box is in not-so-good condition but it still holds the console well.
Two games I got were Rayman and the game I’m going to talk about, Manx TT Super Bike, developed by Sega AM3 and Sega-AM4. I’m going to take a look at the Sega Saturn port by Psygnosis and Tantalus Interactive and then ported to Windows by Perfect Entertainment. The arcade original was released in 1995 and was released on PC and Saturn worldwide in 1997. This is a motor biking racing game based on real races held at the Isle of Man, UK, so hopefully authenticity is accurate.
There are only two courses, Laxey Coast for normal or novice players and a more difficult TT (Tourist’s Trophy), now my issue about the courses is the lack of courses, maybe in the arcade you could get away with this, but having just two courses feels like you’re cheating the customer, even if it is a port of an arcade game, heck, there were many racing arcade games that had more than two courses, even Daytona USA released two years beforehand had more courses and the home versions had more added. Overall, having two courses and a £50 price is unsurprisingly pitiful.
There are many modes to try out, Arcade mode in which you just play one of two courses, the Saturn mode in which you can either practice with four courses, the third and fourth courses are the first two courses just mirrored, nice try Sega! Challenge mode in which you need to finish races with smaller amount of time than in the arcade but if you can complete it then you go on to Superbike mode.
The graphics at the time were impressive but haven’t dated well with things like the road and scenery appearing out of nowhere the more you drive and it can be distracting, the physics of racing is somewhat confusing, as someone who hasn’t watched these races in real life, you never know if it’s realistic or just plain ‘we don’t care physics’, but as for playing it it’s still fun when you forget about the lack of courses.
The controls are easy to pick up, you just press a button and drive off, when it comes to increasing and decreasing gears, when in automatic it does it automatically, but you have to use it manually in manual. The camera modes are quite unique, there are two types, the normal behind the racer angle and the first person angle to make you feel like you’re on the motorbike, in my opinion it feels nauseating but it’s a neat way of racing. The music is great, awesome 90’s music while racing on the island but it’s forgettable after playing.
Did you know? Many of the unsold cabinets were converted into Motor Raid, a futuristic Model 2 motorcycle racing game released in 1997.
Overall, it’s fun but only for a minute, I’m not fond of the game and nothing about it makes me return to play it. If you have a friend they can play too, but it hasn’t dated well. I think the problem is that it has two courses, no variety at all, if it was trying to be based of real races from The Isle of Man, then make a simulation, not an arcade racer.
You can get it on the Arcade, Sega Saturn and PC.