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dgrubb

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Everything posted by dgrubb

  1. The Jaguar library receives a fair amount of criticism, and I don't think it's all unwarranted, either for wasting the system's potential with 68K based ports or for attempting to compete with later systems like the PS on their own terms. In contrast, I feel a game like Tempest 2000 works because, beyond just being a fun game concept, Minter was very careful to craft his implementation to the system: lots of pixel shattering effects, abstract polygon 3D, transforms and rotations etc etc. So, what other games, or game concepts, would have suited the special abilities and limitations of the platform? My vote goes to The Lawnmower Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p64uiKnhAQM It's a mix of platforming levels and 3D zones. I think it'd work on the Jaguar because the movie established an aesthetic which followed what the popular impression of what virtual realty was going to be like, rather than how it actually ended up being. That is, the movie tries to portray a virtual world as an extension to reality, rather than mimicking the real-world with real textures and shapes so it's all very polygonal and abstract. It's exactly the kind of 3D which could have been achieved well on the Jaguar with its proclivity towards things like gouraud shading. Also, the platform levels include a lot of pixel shattering effects (enemies and objects don't explode conventionally, they shatter, because ... umm ... stuff is like, all digital now, or something?) and would have benefited from embellishment of colours and scrolling effects.
  2. That put me off a lot of really great stuff for years. I enjoy a lot of 8 and 16-bit era platformers but it seemed like so much time and work to make any progress, just to have it scrubbed at the end of each play. Those games didn't become viable for me until emulation allowed save states. I really begrudged the first PlayStation back in the day. At the time I perceived it as a force for corporate power overwhelming creativity, where Sony were using their massive resources to swamp a market and drive out a lot of innovative players. At the same time wider consolidation in the industry meant many smaller game developers were being bought out, home micro-computers stopped being viable platforms, bad/early 3D muscled out really great 2D styled games and the rising cost of development led to commercially safe games being the ones which received the funding and marketing attention. Basically, I blamed Sony for all the problems of the modern gaming industry by starting those trends. In retrospect I was being very unfair, especially now I know a lot more about the internal management problems at Atari, Sega and Commodore. Now I'm revisiting the library a little bit and am discovering just how good the port of Doom was, and how good Symphony of The Night is, for instance, I can't attribute the console's success to corporate bullying. There's a lot there which earned success. The economics are definitely in the collectors' favour. Running for so many years, selling so many units, and getting such good developer support has resulted in a flooded second-hand market.
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