The Gungriffon games are ace. I always liked the chunky polygonal designs of the mechs and vehicles. I don’t take issue with the visuals except for the draw distance and I guess those Gundam games prove it could run a little smoother too but oh well, it’s not particularly bad and the gameplay works fine.
The second Gungriffon supports the twin stick and changes your arsenal a bit. When emulating it with a standard dual analog controller it kinda gives it more modern FPS-like controls if you set it up like that (personally I prefer reversing the pitch so it feels more like vehicle controls), a bit more restricted, clumsier and loose since it’s a mech and not just a human character FPS but yeah, perhaps easier to grasp.
I still like playing the first game with regular old Saturn pad controls though. I use a DualShock4 for twin stick games like that and Virtual On and a Fighting Commander for most other Saturn games.
I’ve played the PS2 Gungriffon game a bit and it really didn’t seem anywhere near as fun and unique.
The Dreamcast Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes seems like it’s heavily inspired by these Saturn Gundam games, just a bit less arcadey with a little bit slower more methodical but similar play.
Stellar Assault SS might look much more primitive than some of these games in some ways but it runs super smooth (60fps with interlacing I believe) and is really worth checking out like a unique amalgamation of old school shmups with their simple linear all out action setup and the modern full 3D space combat games. So it doesn’t have the depth of the latter or some massive campaign (though I can’t understand the story or anything) but it does have the cool factor of the former to make up for it. It’s great.
I tried HIGH-MACS simulator already a bit. The gameplay being mouse and keyboard based is even more like standard modern FPS controls but with the mech arsenal and movement capabilities so it feels a bit more conventional in that way (I’ll see if any controls can be mapped to a flight stick or something but I doubt it, plus it’s so hard you might need all the speed and precision the mouse affords). Other than that it seems super faithful and well made with the way the missions work, your various hud elements, your arsenal and everything else. I’m just saying, the surrounding elements are all there but the core gameplay is more modern so it’s not exactly like playing the Saturn games either, they should be judged separately. It also doesn’t appear to have training levels or anything super easy to get started with so it’s just fast and chaotic from the get go and might seem frustrating before getting the basics (ie don’t try to use your normal cannon to shoot down planes, either some spread machinegun fire or homing missiles are your best bet). Also every element has been expanded in some way so it really does feel like a sequel. There’s no way the Saturn could do all this even if the graphics are still low fi in all the right ways but it would be amazing on the Dreamcast (and look better, closer to Rise from the Ashes but not quite given the scale/action).
Update: you CAN map a dinput flight stick (or gamepad, it seems to only work with the first device it grabs, so you may need to unplug others to map it to the one you want if it isn’t first in line, my stick was so it’s fine for me, I thought it didn’t map to devices because it didn’t accept input from my other pads) to the game functions, I’ve almost got it working like my MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries control scheme but I’m having some trouble, the moment I “turret turn” my “turn” axis also becomes turret turn and both axis have the same result until the turret reaches its max 45 degree angle at which point both axis turn in that direction, and just turret turn in the other etc, even though before doing any turret turning simple turning works as it should. I don’t get it, maybe it’s bugged and I’ll have to play with the mouse and keyboard regardless or I don’t quite understand it yet. And there are training missions (which I can’t progress in before figuring out what it asks, it resets if you do something else) and the survival mode too!