If Sapphire wasn't so stupid-expensive, where would it fall on the scale of PCE Shmups?

Mercuttio

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I've really enjoyed Sapphire, but it seems to be one of the most divisive shooting games on the PCE. Shallow, perhaps, but a fascinating window into what the Arcade Card could have been.

Is it possible to remove price / bootleg-weirdness issues from the discussion and see it for what it technically is, or is it kind of permanently tied to its weird history?
 

GohanX

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Honestly, it's probably my favorite PCE shooter. It's not technically the best for any reason, but for casually picking it up for play it's great. The soundtrack is killer and gets you pumped up, it looks nice, shit's going on everywhere, and it's not up it's own ass with some lame gimmick that you have to abuse to play. On the deeper level, if you are playing for score the game changes quite a bit, and you DO need to use the gimmick of shooting your pods for maximum score.
 

WoodyXP

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It's a "meh" game with really impressive visuals, IMO.
 

GohanX

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I'm easily entertained, apparently!
 

ChopstickSamurai

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I love Sapphire's soundtrack, and as I'm generally horrible at shooters I find the game enjoyable as well. :) But that soundtrack, so good!
 

GohanX

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The trend I see is that hardcore shooter fanatics aren't crazy about the game, but more casual players like it.
 

Mercuttio

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The trend I see is that hardcore shooter fanatics aren't crazy about the game, but more casual players like it.

That's probably why I like it so much. There's a lot of variety for someone who can't slice through it really quick, and you see a ton of neat things in pretty short order. I feel like it's one of the few shooters I can have a non-shmupping friend pick up and play easily.

But yeah, that soundtrack... it's up there with Gate of Thunder for me. Totally awesome throughout.
 

Electric Grave

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I like it, I'm happy with my bootleg disc, forget the price tag, not worth it IMO, I rather spend that money on Hyper Duel.
 

pulstar

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I do like sapphire...but I'd much prefer to play spriggan or winds (or gate) of Thunder if I'm reaching to play a pce shooter. Definitely over-hyped, probably due to the price tag (just like magical chase imo).
 

Electric Grave

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Lords of Thunder is the greatest and prolly the cheapest too. So good!
 

Electric Grave

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You know that intro music with the heavy riff and the close ups just pumps you up, like let's tear up the skies and get lordy!


Time to get LORDY!!!!
 
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pulstar

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So many pce shooters have awesome soundtracks, but it'd be hard for me to pick which gets me more ready to shoot down wave after wave of enemies - this or the gate of thunder soundtrack?
 

grendelrt

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Agreed Lords is the best =) I pull it out and beat it pretty often, Gates is pretty damn great too. Really wish we had gotten a 3rd game :(
 

Electric Grave

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Masamune Shirow art, how the stars aligned themselves through the course of my life I'll never know but I'm glad for it.
 

bustedstr8

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I wouldn't put Sapphire in the God Tier of PCE shooters, but it's high on the list.
 
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Electric Grave

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Sometimes I feel it's expensive 'cause it can be. End times, nice shiny graphics, good music, different, it has all the traits of a sought after game. You can always find a sapphire for sale somewhere, I don't think it's rare but then again I don't really know.
 

GohanX

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Yes, a real one is super rare, there are a lot more bootlegs than legit discs, to the point that I would assume all discs for sale now are boots unless sold by a hardcore pce collector.
 

GhostSeed

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It's a good game but there are better shooters on the system. As tech piece it is crazy impressive. My favorite vertical shooter on the system is Blazing Lazers/Gunhead but that was one of the first games I saw on a demo station. The graphics were mind blowing as I'd only played the NES.
 

Mercuttio

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That is an atrocity the world did not need...

The worst thing is that they bothered to SIGN it. Man. I knew the PCE version was better, but didn't realize that extended to the packaging art too...
 

ShootTheCore

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Even though it doesn't have "of Thunder" in the title, I see Sapphire as the third entry in the series of Hudson Soft developed non-ported shoot-em-ups on CD (The "Blade" series would be the HuCard counterpart). Like the Thunder games, it's got a great soundtrack, impressive graphics, and a more casual shooter design (ie not bullet-hell). Neither of the Thunder games are related in story or theme, so Sapphire fits in that aspect.

As I understand it, all of the Arcade Card CD games came out late in the systems life and had low print runs. Sapphire ended up with the high price since it's the only Arcade Card shooter, a technical showpiece and a fun game. Similar in that aspect to Zeroigar on the PC-FX.
 
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