The more we, as a community, delve deeper into the broad canvas that is simply how Atari treated the consumer...i'm actually amazed i stuck with the company as long as i did.
In hindsight, i wish i had taken the plunge and put that extra £100 down on an Amiga, rather than be swayed by the cheaper price of the 520STFM and all that bundled software.
I'm not someone who's wowed by hardware to the point i must have THE BEST....i loved the Genesis far more than the SNES wowed me, ditto Playstation over N64....
Own a std PS4 rather than Pro model etc...
But there's simply no overcoming the ST's crippling shortcomings as a gaming platform, it was a step back, soundchip wise from my 800XL, had no hardware scrolling, the faster CPU made for minimal faster Polygon 3D over the Amiga at times, but the Amiga always felt like the true evolution of hardware like the C64 and A800XL.
The ST always a halfway house.
Jack himself made me feel i'd bought the wrong machine as mere months later? STFM=Yesterdays news, Atari were now all about the STE..yet another stop gap, hardware shy of what was promised.
I knew then i'd never buy another Atari Micro...the 800XL support i'd been promised never arrived, the STFM phased out mere months after purchase and The Falcon? pull the other 1 Jack, promises of the CD ST and Jack happy to launch that with no software ready for it set alarm bells ringing.
Over the years Atari came to be known to me as simply doing anything to shift old stocks of hardware...
Drop a price here, offload old stocks to UK Stores there...repackage it and aim it at a younger market, what ever it took to ensure atari stayed in the news, had a retail presence and goods were shifted.
I was a Game Gear owner during the Hand Held wars, only getting into Lynx once likes of Telegames selling new, boxed units for £35, software was cheap as chips.
Looking into the promised Lynx games...Cabal...mock up screens?
Rolling Thunder:coders in way over their heads...
Vindicators...720 etc etc let alone trash like Strider II (coding 50% done but better it was never finished), Hellraiser (advertised but never started i bet), there's not even 10 titles that would of done a damn thing to slow the Lynx's fall from grace.
Atari and the more rabid fanboys can point to original design being too large and that being result of focus groups etc, Nintendo, Sega etc having the lions share of developers tied up, price of LCD screens being what they were etc etc....
But you cannot escape the fact that even before Epyx signed the deal to give the HANDY to Atari, they themselves were NOT the once great developer they were...
C64 titles like:
4X4 Off-Road Racing, California Games 2, The Games:Winter and Summer Editions, Street Sports Baseball/Basketball/football etc...simply weren't doing it.
Things like Eypx World Of Games on Amstrad GX4000 (BMX Riding, Surfing, Cliff Diving and Downhill Salom) and Cal. Games on the Lynx lacking as many events as Tape based series from them was astounding to me.OIt honestly seemed i was being asked to pay more for less.
When i heard of possible re-launch alongside the Jaguar, i knew it's intentions were never anything more than shifting old stocks, Atari had no serious plans to make a go of it, all the talk of Lynx being used to link up to Jaguar we'd heard in UK as part of potential for the Panther, another overly hyped 'Super Console' Atari would talk a good game on, yet fail to deliver.
Atari having an exclusive version of Batman Returns should of been a chance for Atari to deliver a Killer App, espically given the Lynx Hardware....but instead by playing to it's strengths, Atari seemed to highlight it's (as a developer) real weaknesses...
Nice big sprites..but lacking the animation to do them justice...
Big but not that detailed sprites..
Stiff controls, crippling difficulty level until it dawns on you all you need do is simply run like hell through the levels, but that doesn't help when your faced with precision jumps, goons that can knock you off before you can stop them, windows blowing up sapping your energy levels..
Yet Atari decided THIS was the game to put in as the In-Game pack at 1 point, hoping to shift hardware on name alone.
Shadow Of The beast..an old, Linear ST/Amiga game, tarted up (over ST version), but still retaining the tedious gameplay, not something suited to handheld play...
HMS designing Dracula to be full interpretation of the book, but that would mean big old cart, instead Atari say chop it till it'll fit on this megre cart instead
Atari assigning Project Managers who said Atari fans didn't want SHIT like a true Polygon 3D version of Battlezone on Lynx, with upto 6 player multiplayer, over 2000 levels etc...so it ends up hidden as an easter egg.
Developers going to Atari and telling them your Panther/Jaguar Chipsetts are bugged..Atari turning around and saying, no, it's you..your tools, methods etc, not our hardware.
Developers saying to atari..you want want? full texture-mapping, you know that'll kill the frame rate, right? Atari saying yes, we are well aware, just do it, we need to compete with 3DO, PS1 and Saturn.
Jack etc telling press or being briefed to tell Press Jaguar was more powerful than Sega Saturn, how the Jag CD drive would prove this...
Lets see Deep Fear, let alone Resident Evil Vs Highlander
VF Remix Vs F.F.L
Daytona USa (let alone revamped engine C.E version) of Daytona USA Vs World Tour Racing
Street Racer Vs Atari Karts...
Your left with a better version of Tempest 2000 and doom on Jaguar, the latter itself being phased out by Exhumed on Saturn.
Bullfrog etc telling Atari they needed far more than 2Mb Ram for PC conversions...
As cliff has said, the Jaguar would of benifitted far more from more ram, far better toolsets, chips that didn't have crippling flaws etc than a late release CD add-on.
As for C.Flag II, Rebellion were never the team to do a Virtua Racing clone, they themselves admit they struggled like hell with finding a control system that worked.
Imagine IF they'd done AVP from the start, Skyhammer had a commercial release and Legions Of The Undead was finished.
The original concept for WTR (Plain polygons) could of been the Jaguar Virtua Racing game and the texture mapped WTR been held as a CD game to entice existing owners to upgrade.
I really struggle to find anything to praise atari for in the long run, these days.