Yeah, Vandal Hearts has a whole bunch of improvements over the PSX release, and the people who made the translation patch went above and beyond to further improve the game. Check out Densetsu no Ogre Battle (Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen) as well, which also recently got a translation patch, and is much improved over the SNES & PSX release.
I'm hoping for a few other translation patches to come out, but even as it stands i've come to the conclusion that the Sega Saturn is, by far, SEGA's best machine by its sheer number of quality video games that are not only worth playing today, but also either exclusive on that machine or notably better compared to other alternatives.
The two immediate Saturn games I'm hoping get fan translations soon are Linda Cubed and Virus. Linda Cubed because the Saturn version is the uncensored one (I think it was censored similar to how Snatcher was, basically), and Virus because even tho the OVA series was just average it was a fun little series and the game's universe goes a lot more in-depth with the in-universe setting.
I'm aware of the Densetsu no Ogre Battle translation being out but it sounds like a more hardcore SRPG and I've just been dipping my feet in the genre mainly with Shining Force III (which has been a blast). I'll play it when I feel I have more experience with the genre I guess.
I think it's more an emulation issue then anything else. The Saturn is a fantastic console but a really unique piece of hardware in terms of hardware specifications. Emulation to this today is still not 100%.
It's not 100% but it's much better than it used to be even 5 years ago, let alone 10. My laptop with an Iris Xe 96 EU iGPU has absolutely zero issues with the game (or at least it wouldn't; it's got an Nvidia GPU integrated as well and I should probably see if I can set exclusively one or the other GPU to be active in the BIOS sometime).
I'm surprised a movie hasn't been made about that period of gaming corporate politics yet, it would be insanely entertaining. There's so much more we don't know, either, however a lot of the older Japanese businesspeople at those types of companies don't do a lot of talking to the public about decisions made at the time, they're pretty conservative on that front.
I once worked at K Mart as a young lad here in Australia. When I worked there I was in the Sound and Vision section (games, music and film section). Out the back in the storeroom we had a boxed Saturn for $80. Brand new. I was too scared to buy it as I thought my parents would tell me off for wasting my money on it. I am a FUCKING idiot.
TBF, the PS1 also faked its polygons, as both it and Saturn lacked Z-mapping. By that metric, the N64's the only "real" 3D system that generation, out of the Big 3 anyway. But I think 3DO's setup was similar to Saturn's, and the Jaguar had some advanced blitter, so the idea N64 was the only "real" 3D platform that gen probably still holds true.
Nintendo survived because they had a few advantages. They had the handheld space, they still have in fact. And they have some sort of a consistent quality with iconic videogame characters suited for all ages. Mario, Zelda etc. There will always be a market for these games and Nintendo is careful about these IP where Sega kind of did whatever they felt like with Sonic (and even ignoring the IP for Saturn). On top of that, Nintendo had more financial wealth than Sega to begin with.
But yes, after the 16 bit generation Segas days were kind of numbered. Even with good management I doubt they would persist against companies like Sony and Microsoft. You can't expect Sega to pay a few billion for a studio like Bungie, or 70 billion for a publisher like Activision. Nintendo can't do this either, but they don't need to.
In fact, its not like Nintendo kept fighting spec wars either. Even they couldn't hang on. The Gamecube was their final cutting edge piece of hardware, which has been released well over 20 years ago. Spec wise GC could engage the Xbox and PS2. After that Nintendo went for innovation like motion controls. And they always had handheld to fall back to. But Nintendo simply backed off as well, what they offer is completely different from the others.