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dgrubb

What games would have actually complimented the Jaguar?

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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.

Edited by dgrubb

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Lawnmower Man is a great choice, and it brings up an interesting idea.  Would more movie tie-ins have helped the Jag library?  It would have been an easy way to bring more "familiar" content to the platform.  Maybe with a focus on the horror or sci-fi realm.  Example:  a dark-themed Bladerunner game.

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Lawnmower Man is a great choice, and it brings up an interesting idea.  Would more movie tie-ins have helped the Jag library?  It would have been an easy way to bring more "familiar" content to the platform.

 

Probably, if handled carefully. Some of the huge success of the Amiga in the UK is frequently attributed to the timely release of the Batman pack, which bundled the A500 with the game adaptation just as the movie was at the peak of its blockbuster hype. However, knowing Atari, they would have ended up with the license for Howard The Duck. ;)

 

Although, I hasten to add that I picked the Lawnmower Man because of the gameplay mechanics and the aesthetic rather than the weight of the movie. It could have been Cyberpunk Weirdness 2000 and it could have still been a great game for the Jaguar.

 

Maybe with a focus on the horror or sci-fi realm.  Example:  a dark-themed Bladerunner game.

 

I would love to have seen something like in the catalog. Black ICE\White Noise?

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I think the Jaguar could have handled some of the Atari Games polygon titles like STUN Runner and T-MEK. Also, the Jaguar is well suited to super scalers as demonstrated by Super Burnout and the silky smooth Atari Karts. It would have been great to see something like OutRunners, Galaxy Force II and Power Drift on the big cat and the Jaguar could've handled them.

Edited by atarilbc

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I would've like to have seen more games that take place in a 3D world, similar to Iron Solider and Cybermorph. Maybe even an original Doom style games, perhaps starring Major Havoc. A good Virtua Fighter style game might have helped. Or a beat-em-up, like Die Hard Arcade.

 

However, if I could go back in the past and had some sort of influence, I would've recommended the following to sell more systems:

 

1) License the hot games at the time, such as the latest offerings of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, release them when other ports are released and advertise how your version is the best version available.

2) Create a platformer that could compete with Mario & Sonic (Sorry, but Rayman didn't have the same mass appeal)

3) Do whatever you can to either get companies like EA, Konami and Capcom to bring their games to your system, or license their most popular titles like Madden, Castlevania and Mega Man.

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Probably, if handled carefully. Some of the huge success of the Amiga in the UK is frequently attributed to the timely release of the Batman pack, which bundled the A500 with the game adaptation just as the movie was at the peak of its blockbuster hype. However, knowing Atari, they would have ended up with the license for Howard The Duck. ;)

 

Although, I hasten to add that I picked the Lawnmower Man because of the gameplay mechanics and the aesthetic rather than the weight of the movie. It could have been Cyberpunk Weirdness 2000 and it could have still been a great game for the Jaguar.

 

 

I would love to have seen something like in the catalog. Black ICE\White Noise?

Agreed on Black ICE/White Noise, and maybe Freelancer. I would have liked to see Dracula: The Undead on there as well. It was coming but was cancelled. The previous two I mentioned were as well, of course.

Edited by BlackCatz40

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@NSG - If you like Cybermorph and IS, I recommend their sequels Battlemorph and Iron Soldier 2. Other Jaguar games that are in 3D worlds and fare well include I-War and Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands. Also, are telling us that you don't consider Fight for Life a good Virtua Fighter style game? ;)

 

I agree that Jaguar lacked in original platformers and action adventure titles. I don't know if licensing IP available on other platforms was the key. They tried that to some extent with games like NBA Jam TE and Primal Rage, and while the Jaguar versions held their own, they weren't system sellers. For me, AAA exclusive content is critical. The biggest challenge for Atari at that time was that it didn't have the internal development teams of Nintendo or Sega for original IP, nor the cash to buy talent like Sony. As a result, most the game contracts were awarded to developers with limited experience. So while we got a lot of exclusive content on the Jaguar, not a lot of it was top tier.

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A sequel of AvP for the Jag CD would be a fine addition.

 

 

I find it a little ironic that one of the best games is one of the least suited to the system, all those textures and the frame rate drops. But you're right, a CD version with more space for textures and less compression would have allowed for a welcome expansion of the game's scope.

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The frwmerate drop is largely from a shitload of the 68k being used.

 

A first attempt engine that some who looked at the source have shook their heads at.

 

That's an assertion I've never heard before, but I'd love to hear more details?

Edited by dgrubb

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Every machine has its good and bad games. Without the bad games we wouldn't have the good games.

 

With that being said I would have to mentally revisit the time. Let's see...Genesis and SNES were battling it out. TG-16 on side lines creating its own fanbase. A Jaguar version of Wing Commander would have been nice to see. Even Wing Commander 3 and 4 I believe the system could have handled on either cart, Jag CD, or a combination of both. While maybe not pushing the envelope likes of known arcade titles from Konami and others would have helped. Perfect arcade ports of Contra, Life Force, TMNT, Rygar, and others might have kept the system and company afloat a while longer. Any of the arcade games Lynx got I feel the Jaguar should have got as well.

 

But I have to say that I would have liked to see a 3D RPG that was like no other. And I have played Highlander on the Jag and wasn't impressed. Some more games related to the Dungeons and Dragons series might have done well if developed properly.

 

And Jaguar needed a serious racing game. Power Drive Rally was cool but Checkered Flag felt too much like a stripped down port of Sega's Virtua Racing. And don't get me started on Club Drive. I don't even want to go there. Even though they were competing I think that Jaguar could have handled Sega's dual 16-bit arcade games OutRun, Space Harrier, After Burner, and others. And porting Wipeout and Destruction Derby from Psygnosis would have topped it off for me.

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I just got the PS1 game "Kurt Warner's Arena Football Unleashed" and compared it to the unfinished Arena Football '95...... its the same game, but finished. And whats funny is on Arena Football '95, there's no extra point play (after touchdown). I figured they didn't get a chance to program it into the game. Now playing the Kurt Warner version, there never was going to be an extra point play...LOL!

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Love Cybermorph and Iron Soldier.  Those were what my Jaguar came with one Christmas season.  I spent a lot of time on both.

Some painful truth might be something completely logical.  Jaguar really needed its own style of games where great, exceptional care was taken in every game.  It was a new concept and I honestly believe no one knew what they were doing or how to do it.  That, and the JAG's 2 MB of RAM wasn't enough to work with honestly.  4 MB would have done a lot more.

Jaguar really introduced textured 3D gaming to home consoles.  The hardware was there, the massive required skills to take advantage of this was not.  Pure and simple.

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Hmmm.  What games would have complimented the Jaguar?  One game I could think of did not come out until the Saturn/PlayStation/N64 era.  RUSH.  Would have been a good racer to have.  Revamps of Hard Drivin' and Race Drivin' might have helped but might have also just added insult to injuries already gracing the console.  Atari use to be good obtaining licenses to develop titles third parties wouldn't do.  I am surprised they did obtain some of Sega's arcade games like OutRun and Space Harrier.  Since Jag was getting old PC titles it might have helped to browse the library of ST games and revamp those to take advantage of JAG's architecture.  Some Microprose titles would have been neat, a few simulations thrown in, and it really needed more adventure/RPG games.  All of which the STs got. 

Atari should have researched what types of games were selling well on their computers and went from there.  MIDI Maze was a simple multiplayer death match that could have showcased the JAG's networking abilities.  There's lots that would have complimented it.  I believe the Tramiels really never understood the video game market.  They failed to listen and see what customers were playing the most and what they wanted.

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