Something I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the past was how often I would read and re-read issues of Diehard Gamefan Magazine as a kid. I don’t bring it up much as an adult, due to me finding out that the editorial staff were all scumbags (writers seem okay, though). Not really interested in waxing nostalgic for a magazine once run by someone who uses the term “thug” to describe Trayvon Martin, you know?
But as a kid, I didn’t know. Not too many people did; internet in 1996 wasn’t what it is today. Enough about that, though. I was into it mostly because it was a magazine willing to cover a lot of obscure shit that you never would have heard of otherwise, with a pretty massive import section. Of course, me being a literal child at the time, I couldn’t afford any of it, but I had an active imagination, and would often times imagine me playing these games that looked really cool. Magic Knight Rayearth, being one. That section was also my introduction to the Fire Pro Wrestling series, and I don’t think I need to link my PC Gamer article again, do I?
One of those games that I obsessed over was Sailor Moon Super S- Various Emotion. My last post talking about Sailor Moon fighting games triggered this memory. But I remember reading its one page preview, because I was such a massive Sailor Moon fan and watched the show every day (station UPN 20, channel 3 on your cable box), I wanted to play this game so bad. Now, I didn’t have money, neither did my parents. I didn’t even own a Sega Saturn until I was 19. Actually ordering imports at that time was ludicrously expensive, and apparently pretty sketchy. And on top of that, I didn’t have any knowledge of the Japanese language. But it didn’t matter, because it was Sailor Moon and by fucking God, I needed it in my life.
I never did end up owning the game.
However, emulation exists! And playing Saturn games has been…okay-ish, for the last few years. So I figured, why not finally sit down and play this game?
Various Emotion is absolute garbage. Without a doubt, the bottom of the fucking barrel for Sailor Moon. Probably one of the worst games ever made. No joke.
It’s another fighting game, I think. There are buttons, but they don’t really seem to do much. And that’s not me doing some angry game guy bit, I legitimately have zero fucking clue how the controls in this game work. You press a button, and maybe you’ll throw a punch, or taunt, or stand there doing nothing. There’s such a massive input delay that I’ll never figure out what does what. Plus animations take way too fucking long to play out, and look like this:
It’s slow, it’s plodding, it runs like shit and looks worse. And, that’s another thing, at risk of sounding like some kind of hipster: I have never thought that prerendered graphics have looked good. Prerendered backgrounds, like in Final Fantasy and Resident Evil? Great. Timeless. Chunky looking bullshit that’s supposed to look like a human being? No. Fuck off. I didn’t even like them in Donkey Kong Country. I know that not liking DKC makes me stupid, and I know that it’s insulting, but it’s also the truth, but I am nothing if not a beacon of Dumb Bitch Energy. I didn’t even like it in Fallout, but I put up with it, because Fallout rules.
This Sailor Moon game is straight up unplayable. 9-year old me would be crushed to see this in action. Should consider myself thankful that my first Sailor Moon game experience was playing the Mega Drive one as a teenager. Now that’s a fucking video game. A game that really got me through some tough times in my adolescence. Maybe I’ll talk about that some day. But for now, I’ll just say: dude, fuck Various Emotion. Not worth the nearly twenty year wait.