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btbfilms76

The Jag Bar

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It's little wonder Jaguar AVP still visually holds up well today...

 

 

A 24 bit colour intro sequence, character models digitized from models, rather than drawn by hand (ok, blocky, but no worse than Probes motion-captured sprites for PS1/Saturn Alien Trilogy), textures on walls formed by developers creating 'panels' which were then digitized and turned into bitmapped graphics for the game.

 

 

Sensible use of Jaguar hardware-Rebellion seemed well aware early on that the hardware was simply not powerful enough to be throwing around texture-mapped 3D polygons at anything like a playable frame rate, plus using the Blitter to 'draw' the panels, letting the GPU handle the calculations....game ran in over 32,000 colours compared to Doom running in 256....

 

Supposed to be around 128 meg of uncompressed visual data....

 

Would of loved to have seen how they further improved on this engine with Legions Of The Undead, which they promised would be significantly upgraded for the game

 

Its been a while since I played this one, I was pretty shocked at how good it looked.  This was a very special title that came only to the Jaguar and what a showpiece it was.

 

Can you imagine if all their titles were like this?

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All right sweethearts? what are you waiting for?breakfast in bed?another glorious day on Atari I.O forum...

 

 

A day on the forum is like a day on the farm...

 

Every Jag Bar video a banquet....

 

 

I love the Jag Bar, so i've created a thread to promote the AVP video on AVP Galaxy...

 

http://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=55124.msg2135042#new

 

 

And somebody wake up Hicks!

 

Thanks for getting the word out, more people need to tune into the Jag Bar.

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“Let’s get this straight: This ‘Cybermorph vs. Star Fox’ debate isn't a debate... It’s lazy video game journalism.”

 

THE JAG BAR CYBERMORPH CHRISTMAS SPECIAL is live on the Blog. Enjoy!

 

http://www.atari.io/atari-jaguar-review-cybermorph-jag-bar/

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“Let’s get this straight: This ‘Cybermorph vs. Star Fox’ debate isn't a debate... It’s lazy video game journalism.”

 

THE JAG BAR CYBERMORPH CHRISTMAS SPECIAL is live on the Blog. Enjoy!

 

http://www.atari.io/atari-jaguar-review-cybermorph-jag-bar/

 

Amazing work!  Atari.io is the best!! Three cheers.

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Amazing work!  Atari.io is the best!! Three cheers.

 

 

HAHA thanks BTB! Let's kick it off for everybody with this little gem:

 

 

blog_jag_bar_cybermorph_6.gif

 

 

If you haven't been to the Cybermorph page on the Blog you should definitely check it out, this week's entry is a good one! http://www.atari.io/atari-jaguar-review-cybermorph-jag-bar/

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And let's not forget that killer quote from DeLorean. She nails it:

 

 

post-1-0-70040300-1481921966.jpg

 

Absolutely nails it.  Also are these "journalist" actually playing on real hardware?  I can understand going out and getting your hands on a NES or Genesis, but to find a real Jaguar in the wild... good luck.  And even when you do, you'er gonna pay big bucks. So are they playing on an emulator?  How good is the emulator?  Are you using the game pad?  Or are you just reciting what AVGN said 10 years ago?  Context is key in reviewing these games, I feel like we do a good job at that.

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Cybermorph, along with Raiden and Wolf 3D, was one of my first Jaguar games. My friends and I were thrilled with Cybermorph. We loved the morphing ship, full 3-D exploration and thought Skylar was great. It is definitely an early attempt at 3-D but as BTB says, they had to start somewhere. In '94, it was one of the more interesting and advanced games that I had ever played. About a year later, I picked up Cybermorph's much improved sequel Battlemorph with my Jaguar CD. That game fleshes out and refines the best elements of Cybermorph. A more fully formed game, it keeps the pace with the earliest Saturn and PlayStation games.

 

I still break Cybermorph out from time to time. It hasn't aged that well but there is just something about it. Maybe I come back to it because it's so closely associated with the Jaguar. It is not a killer app but as the pack-in, it is in nearly every retrospective/hit piece done on the console. Along with AvP and Tempest 2000, it's a defining Jaguar title. If you have a Jaguar, it's almost a must have. Some might even call it a rite of passage.

 

Also, kudos to BTB for your comments on the Star Fox comparison. I believe that most of the folks that compare Cybermorph to StarFox have almost certainly never played it. These are the same people that rail against the stock controller. :)

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BTB's superb video has sparked off some fantastic debate and i'd like to add a UK viewpoint the whole Cybermorph affair, if i may :)

 

I think a lot of people either were unawre or tend to forget there was an awful lot of absurd Starfox comparisons doing the rounds here in the UK, before the Jaguar hit, with the Sega CD and games like Cobra Command and Slipheed..i kid you not...likes of Megadrive Advanced Gaming had them plastered over the cover, etc, Thunderhawk sometimes recived similar wording and reason being was simply that Starfox, had set a new industry standard as to what was now expected from a console 'Killer-App'.......

 

The SNES which was now moving into areas the ST/Amiga/PC had been doing for years (polygon 3D) thanks to the SFX chip, had drawn a line in the sand and thus the press expected flagship Sega CD titles to suprass this (even though Sega CD hardware was designed to match and better SNES at Sprite handling, Mode 7 etc and thus sprite and background rotation, not polygon 3D although the extra CPU did allow for texture-mapping on things like Thunderhawk, Batman Returns 3D sections etc)....

 

 

 

It was rather laughable as, when Starfox hit, you could be mistaken for thinking the UK Press had never seen a polygon in games before, despite things like Starglider 2, Midwinter 1, 2, Robocop 3, Epic etc having done far more with them than StarFox was doing...espically in terms of free-roaming....

 

 

 

Your then back into the realm of just what 64 bit gaming meant to people in terms of expectations....

 

Advanced A.I, ability to number crunch the maths needed for 'fast' polygon 3D, data transfer for link-up games etc...were not the attention grabbers, still aren't today and are all things marketing really cannot 'run with'..gorgeous visuals? easy sell..so if your game is simply pulling pre-rendedered visuals off CD, a la Slipheed Sega CD, press is going to love that and start printing missleading claims about vast number of polygons on screen, but not tell you they aren't being rendered in real time, just spooled off disc.....

 

 

 

The Jaguar was simply doing better than SFX Mk2, Sega VP Polygon 3D from stock hardware, no extra DSP chips on cart etc, but it didn't look like the leap many expected and if you tried explaining WHY Starfox, being on rails, as it was, could 'afford' to look as gorgeous as it did and how that would be impossible if you made game free roaming, you might as well of shown a card trick to a dog, people weren't interested.

 

As for ATD themselves..a small, pretty much unknown UK developer-case in point, years after Jaguar, when Retro Gamer magazine did a making of Super Sprint article, they had no idea who handled the conversion to ST, it was ATD...

 

If it weren't for the in-depth interviews they gave with EDGE, i doubt many would be aware of them untiol they looked into who made Rollcage on PS1, as that was ATD's real break into mainstream.

 

ATD were not a UK Konami, Sega, Capcom and niether they, nor Atari had the resources to compete on a level playing field, no teams of artists, musicians etc and thus Cybermorph does lack a crucial visual flair.....

 

Crude building and ship designs, some bizzare weapons in the series, a bald green, sarcastic head mocking you, etc all very odd and the polygon buildings etc looked somewhat out of place on the landscapes...

 

The sound FX were also harsh and took me by surprise after ATARI had made so much of the Sound Chip...

 

Cybermorph was also ATD learning the hardware...they openly admit they had hoped to use the DSP for extra texture-mapping calculations, only to find it had no free processing cycles, so that was that....

 

To rub salt in the wound, after it's original release, Atari reduced the cart size, so game lost some of the spech samples etc, so it had the rug pulled out from under it even after release.

 

People also won't mention the fact the game was very well recieved even by the harshest of UK magazines, Edge alone gave it 8/10..now for a launch title and considering they scored later titles like AVP 4/10, Defender 2000 3/10, i think that is a great pointer to impact game had.

 

So the 'pack mentality' out there tend to over look all these factors and many, many more....

 

At best they might have had a friend who had a Jaguar or they've seen YT footage and bam, up goes a 'No wonder it failed' post....

 

 

 

We can all do that, i could as an ex-PS1 owner, just put up a video of certain PS1 FPS converted from PC..Duke Nukem 3D and Hexen, both pretty awful, shamed by Saturn conversions..but it wouldn't be representive of what the hardware could do, i'd need to put up things like Shadow Master and Quake II for balance.

 

The Jag Controller:Yes it should at very least of had shoulder buttons, it was a left over from an aborted console, but....press had been crying out for more deeper, complex games to make it to console, but developers said you simply couldnt bring a keyboard/mouse PC/ST/Amiga flight sim to a 3 button Genesis pad for example, without having a nightmare trying to map complex key commands to a system that worked, Jaguar pad was intended to allow for nmore complex games...

 

 

 

You'll never change the mindsets of those that unfairly put down the Jaguar anymore than those who make unrealistic claims about it's versions of ports being the best or it could 'easily of handled conversions of....'

 

All you can do is basically what BTB is doing and doing so bloody well.

 

Take a long, hard, balanced look at the games and hardware, explain history of and what game has to offer if you stick with it and hope people are open minded enough to at least try it for themselves, rather than let the pack decide for them.

 

The other thing i feel BTB does oh so well, is this:

 

He's not someone who..'over sells' the Jaguar hardware..lot made by certain folks out there of Jaguar having Z-Buffering, which PS1 lacked and indeed Cybermorph makes full use of it, but the haters will simply point to the chronic pop-up etc i'm sure...

 

Yes the Jaguar hardware offers 'cleaner textures' than PS1, but it cannot compete with 3DO, let alone PS1, Saturn in this field...

 

Yes had Atari fixed this register or added a texture-mapping chip to CD rive it could of competed with 1st gen PS1 games, but it would still of been eclipsed, hardware wise..but then Sony could of added more Ram to PS1 to compete with Saturn in terms of 2D, added hardware Z-Buffering etc, Sega could of gone with Silicon Graphics single chip design offer...etc etc..

 

At the end of the day each system had to play with the hand it was dealt.

 

BTB via his superb set, approach to subject matter and sheer personality, basically opens the door and gives a very welcoming insight, to those less familar, into the world of Jaguar.

 

If you really want to see the best Jaguar has to offer these days, you need damn deep pockets as likes of Battlemorph, Skyhammer, AVP, Hoverstrike S.E, Battlesphere, Iron Solider II CD...basically the games that pushed the hardware, plus Jaguar and Jag CD set up would set you back how much?.

 

And even then you wouldn't get such titles as Colony Wars 1-3, G-Police 1+2, Darklight Conflict, Quake/Quake 2, Mech Warrior 2 etc you could on PS1/Saturn....

 

I've always seen best Jaguar had to offer being up there with say 3DO Starfighter 3000, Space Hulk etc (PS1 ports of which are ok, but not upto scratch of 3DO versions), maybe PS1 Warhawk etc, but you couldn't do something like Iron Solider 3 (NUON/PS1) punch for punch on Jag CD...

 

You also need UNDERSTANDING of what developers were doing:

 

No Iron Solider 1 or 2 do not look as pretty as say 32X Metal Head, but they are by far the better Mech games as Eclipse understood the 'feel' of piloting such a device, your movement slow on purpose....

 

 

 

AVP is by far a superior Aliens experience than Acclaims Alien Trilogy as Rebellion nailed the atmosphere, Probe went for motion capture, blocky sprites and awful Xeno A.I, but even with Jag CD, i couldn't see an Alien game matching say Argonaut's Alien Res, a game that pushed PS1 hardware and went so many re-writes...

 

Go into Jaguar looking for the diamonds in the rough, not expecting early PS1 esq games, buy a PS1 for that.

 

And if you do nothing else, keep watching BTB's channel...listening to Shinto's podcast as these guys will give you the true Jaguar history.

 

Wow... First off let me start by saying thank you Lost Dragon.  

 

There is a lot to unpack in your last two post and I want to say its really great to have such dedicated and knowledgeable Atari and retro gaming fans on this sight.  Second I believe we are doing what we're doing because we have seen the Atari narrative change from the beloved American gaming company that started it all to a bumbling "no wonder it failed" shit show.  We are here because we are changing that narrative back to what it once was by trying to remember the fun we had and still have to this day.  

 

Lets continue to bring out the facts, keep things in context and leave the fan boyism to the other guys.  This is a wonderful platform to share our memories and to share these systems with the younger generation gamers.

 

Again Thanks LD

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Great video I always enjoy your videos.

 

The floaty hovertank thing was I do believe actually intentional. The problem I think was that all of Atari's game designers came off of being operating system Developers. The 3D engine was designed by Eric Smith. You can actually go download this engine and assembler compile it and use it. While no you'll never get it to throws many polygons on the screen as a PlayStation or Saturn the engine used like I said is the Atari one and it's incredibly crappy overall.

 

You can see a bitching of its drawbacks here:

 

http://www.3do.cdinteractive.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3430#p37499

 

Atari had one guy(Eric Smith) doing most of their 3D research and development along with just a shitload of other things. He was stretched just way too thin.

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Great video I always enjoy your videos.

The floaty hovertank thing was I do believe actually intentional. The problem I think was that all of Atari's game designers came off of being operating system Developers. The 3D engine was designed by Eric Smith. You can actually go download this engine and assembler compile it and use it. While no you'll never get it to throws many polygons on the screen as a PlayStation or Saturn the engine used like I said is the Atari one and it's incredibly crappy overall.

You can see a bitching of its drawbacks here:

http://www.3do.cdinteractive.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3430#p37499

Atari had one guy(Eric Smith) doing most of their 3D research and development along with just a shitload of other things. He was stretched just way too thin.

 

Thanks for that info. Wow who knew it was only one guy dealing with the 3D, but its not surprising

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Myst was the reason I bought a Jaguar CD.

 

People like to hate on that system, compare it to a toilet, whatever. If you played Myst on the Jaguar when it was first released you knew it was the best version of Myst you could get your grubby hands on.

 

The Jag Bar is awesome btbfilms76, keep it coming!

Yeah, I agree. Myst was something else on the Jaguar. It was mint. I have it and still, twenty-plus years later, have not solved every puzzle. Excellent RPG. :)

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Thanks for that info. Wow who knew it was only one guy dealing with the 3D, but its not surprising

I will post his worknotes. He was doing almost everything except sound. Some notable specifics is Hover Strikes' smooth polygons. No warping. And apparently some mip mapping. Draw distance/rate isn't great and game itself isn't bery good but the textures are sharp.

 

I think one of Segas AM R&D depts were as big as all of Atari.

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Some people really love Baldies but I could just never put the time into it. Given the Jag CD's limited retail release library, it's an odd addition over cancelled but complete titles like SoulStar, World Tour Racing and Iron Soldier 2. Fortunately, we got those last two from Telegames and a repaired version of SoulStar seems to be on the horizon.

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