Legacy of Kain - one of America's few homegrown RPGs - will not be released on the Saturn. The highly regarded Crystal Dynamics game was quickly snapped up by Activision for PlayStation, but despite the Saturn version being 100% complete, no publisher was prepared to take a risk on what's perceived as a risky Saturn market.
"Quite frankly I don't know why a publisher has not been found", offered Steve Groll for Crystal Dynamics. "I think maybe they are afraid of the Saturn's smaller user base."
If you want an example of just how ignorant Sega can be when it comes to quality games, let me refresh everyone's memories with a game long lost due to ignorance. The game is Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, an RPG/action game where you play a vampire who must fulfill a Blood Legacy before get can finally get eternal rest (or, as he says, "respid", don't ask me what that means). On the Sony Playstation, it marked up some rave reviews and a good amount of purchasers, but, on the Saturn, it never came to pass.
Here's the awkward situation, though Legacy of Kain is a finished game. 100 percent complete. And, better yet, it is a much more polished game than the PS version. I played an eprom late last year (about 70-75% complete) at a local game store and I was shocked at how much better it was. The slowdown was gone, there was a bit more blood, and the voice samples loaded up quicker, resulting in a more whole experience than what PS had to offer (although the PS version still is worth noting).
Now, no one, not even Activision (the publishers of Kain on the PS) has stepped forth to pick up the game for distribution. Why? They're worried about poor Saturn sales. Let me put this to rest (er, or respid)...Sega RPG's have sold phenomenally over the past couple of years. When Dragon Force came out, it practically sold out at a lot of the stores I visited. All the buzz is about in Sega chat rooms these days is regarding Shining the Holy Ark and how cool Albert Oddysey will be. And, really, if there was no need for RPG's on Saturn, would this whole Sega/Working Designs feud be a really big deal?
The situation is this- quality games linger right under Sega's nose and they're too buried in their own reputation and future projects to take a chance on it. Acclaim doesn't have the brains, they'd prefer to take the easy way out with movie-based titles that are as well-programmed as a drawing program on the Apple IIe. And other developers, even WD or their new division, Spaz, don't even know what it's all about. This is a travesty...at a time when Sega needs all they can get, the ignorance of Kain is unheard of.
So I plead with Sega or WD or whoever...Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is too good to pass up and leave in the development room, and, even if you have to sell it for $39.95, you won't be sorry. At least ask Crystal Dynamics for a demo disk and TRY IT.
Maybe I'm overranting on this, but, hey, with a game as cool as Kain just inches from our reach, I can get overcritical.
This groundbreaking action RPG casts players in the role of Kain, a formidable warrior of old who comes back from the dead as a powerful vampire in order to wreak wrath and havoc upon those who murdered him. One of the very first games specifically designed to take advantage of the CD-ROM format, it represented not only a milestone in videogame construction but a new and novel experience in its own right. It was released in August 1996 for the PlayStation to rave reviews, and not long after Saturn gamers heard rumors of a port for their own beloved consle. The Saturn port, which was said to have been started shortly after the PlayStation version, was to have addressed all of the deficencies of the earlier incarnation and more. The fact of the Saturn's 2D legacy would have made its port Legacy of Kain the faster loading and playing of the two versions, and Saturn gamers were eagerly looking forward to its release. In fact, a Saturn port was known to have been under development as of January 1997 and rumors ran rampant that it would be released by that fall, but nothing more happened after that. The Saturn port of Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen was quietly scrapped by Eidos long before it got anywhere near playable form. The reason? The Saturn was dying right before everybody's eyes, and Eidos corporate heads felt that they couldn't recoup their investment in the port. Sad, but that's business.