Sega Saturn’s D review

I was inspired by Chris’s Survival Horror Quest, and the whole idea of playing a ton of survival horror games and then posting reviews of them. While I’m not going to be able to play nearly as many as he has (time and money constraints), I like the idea of continuing with my recent theme of reviewing games from a specific genre.

Today I’d like to talk about the game D for Sega Saturn, which was released in 1996. Note the year. 1996 is the year that introduced us to the original Resident Evil on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. That in mind, I will begin my review of this game.

D‘s storyline takes place in real time, which allows you only two hours to complete the game. Having finished the game in just over one hour, I couldn’t tell you what happens if you fail to satisfy that, other than it’s a Game Over.

What I immediately noticed upon beginning the game was the control scheme. When trying to move the protagonist, Laura, you must first angle her in the direction you want to go, and then press forward on the control pad. Laura will walk a set number of steps in that direction, and then stop again. This sort of movement takes a while to get used to, and it can be frustrating at certain times when the angle doesn’t seem quite right to move you where you want to go. I found myself surprised at certain points when I’d move in a direction that seemed off, but it took me to the place I needed to go. Once you get used to it, though, you can enjoy the scenery and the story line.

The point of the game is to help Laura navigate through a hospital to save her father, who is slowly turning into a vampire. This is where the time limit comes in. Throughout the game Laura receives visions of her father warning her to turn back, or the door to her world will be forever closed off. Unfortunately, because of how dated this game is, these prehistoric cutscenes are no more than comical today. That being said, the graphics are actually quite impressive for its time. The game includes two discs, which proves how the graphics pushed the Saturn’s limits. It is much more visually appealing than the original Resident Evil.

There are a few simple puzzles throughout the game. The control scheme makes some of them much more frustrating than necessary, but the puzzles themselves fit the game well.

My favorite part of this game was the short interactive fight with a knight that required a button-press combination. This is the oldest example of a button-press combo I’ve ever seen, and I really enjoyed it. I only wish there were more of them in the game.

The game is ultimately too short. I would’ve enjoyed it much more had it been twice as long, with a bigger hospital to explore and more puzzles to solve. Still, D‘s storyline and imagery are good enough to make me want to play it over again, and its short length gives me confidence that it’s a game I could end up revisiting a few times in the future. The over-all depth of the game is not impressive at all considering that RE was already out at this time, but when looking for a simple, fun game to kill (a small part of) an afternoon with, D is great for that.

I’d recommend this game over Clock Tower 3 any day!

Check out Chris’s review of D here.


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