I’d been eyeing off this game on and off for a while, umming and arr-ing about actually getting it or not. I finally dropped the cash and ended up with my very first American Sega Saturn game. Odd really since I have had the facilities to play them for a while but have just never bought any. So now I own the highly regarded Albert Odyssey.
While I am excited about Albert Odyssey, I am not so excited at the style of packaging the American games come in. I thought the PAL (Australian/European) cases were annoying, but these US ones appear to be worse.
It starts out well enough with some nice artwork on the cover, but its interesting to see that they adopted a CD style case, but elongated. It’s rectangular much like the PAL cases, but made of the same plastic that CDs are made of. The cover of the case is the cover of the instruction manual, much like the ‘book’ of a CD is the cover for the case.
The back of the case has a lot of screen shots advertising the look that you are in for and the blurb gives hints about the story, and idea of the world and the type of game it is. There’s no doubt about what type of game you’re in for when you buy this one, that’s for sure.
I really wish there was this amount of detail on game cases now. Half the time if I look at a game in the shops now that I know nothing about, the back just has a few screen shots, minimal blurb and I am left none the wiser.
The instructions form the cover of the case and come out like a book. They are nice and cover a fair bit in detail of how to play and types of attacks/magic and characters. Once again a little taster, but not so much as to ruin the game. What I really like about this packaging for this game in particular is there is a “Translation” section where Working Designs talk about the differences between American release and the Japanese release of the game (aside from it not being in Japanese).
Now onto my whingey bits for American Saturn cases…..
The instruction manual fits into the fairly thin space close to the case window (held by a couple of tabs), yet the case on the whole is rather thick, in fact it is 2 cm thick. Annoyingly there is no padding in there as the instruction manual is well away from the place that holds the CD allowing for the CD to come loose and move around within the package as it sees fit.
If one opens the case and has a look, you can see how insecure the CD really is in there. Compare the open picture with the closed no instruction picture and you can plainly see how much room there is for the CD to jump about in.
This seems to have been the case with my copy. Must admit that I do like the artwork on the CD.
I find it really incredible that the case was designed as such. I know that the PAL cases are pretty awful in their design, especially the early paper ones. They did get slightly better over time with some nicely shaped plastic ones later one, but even then, didn’t really like how loosely they sometimes held the CD in place.
This US packaging style takes the cake in crapness. There is so much space around the CD it’s ridiculous. I guess perhaps when the games were new it was designed like this so they could hold pamphlets and and posters and whatnot. If someone could verify this for me I’d appreciate it.
So while I am happy with the game and look forward to getting a chance to play it, I am not happy with the style of case that houses the US releases of Saturn games. Dayum, they suck!
Boo. If I buy a US Saturn game again, I’ll be asking the seller to pad the inside of the case before posting it it.