Retro Video Gamer

Retro Console Gaming => Atari Chat => Topic started by: zapiy on August 14, 2018, 10:50:51 AM

Title: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: zapiy on August 14, 2018, 10:50:51 AM
Ok, let's be honest, the Jag, the Jag scene and just about anything connected to this console seems to have an element of badness to it.

To me its an iconic machine with some fantastic games, yes its blessed with some real rubbish but surely this is unfair reputation the system has.

Why does it have this issue?
Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: Shadowrunner on August 14, 2018, 19:46:25 PM
Really opening a can of worms with this one! lol

No it's not that bad, but it does have a lot of vocal haters. Also for whatever reason a lot of the people who are really into the console just don't get along with each other. Add in the people who REALLY love it and you have a lot of differing viewpoints.

It's an easy console to make fun of just because some of the games that were released on it were really bad, but given a chance there are some real gems on it too. It's not perfect but it's still one of my favourites. :)

Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: AmigaJay on August 14, 2018, 21:36:37 PM
Not sure to comment as never owned one, but i nearly did in late 93 between this and the CD32, i did actually buy a Jaguar joypad for £9.99 in Rumbelows in anticipation lol sold it years later.

As Shadowrunner said, as with all consoles it had some great games and some crap games, i think it gets debated more and hence maybe more vocally badmouthed more because Atari fans are stance supporters and its well known in other retro gaming circles that Jaguar supporters fight amongst one another.

I do like the Jaguar as a system, but of course Atari didnt have the support or resources to do the system justice (same for the Lynx).

Some bad calls were the Joypad design (just nicking the Falcon pad) and releasing a CD add-on a year later and even advertising before it launched was a bit like, yeah we want CD but we will make you pay extra for it, and then by the time the CD drive came out there was little cart games as it was, so pushing CD only games into the faces of Jag owners who were dying out for new cart games was a move too far imo.

The tech though was awesome for the time, well Flare were an awesome company, prob the last true console with its own custom chips, after that it was stick a very fast cpu and gpu and make money on the software from everybody.

Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: TrekMD on August 14, 2018, 23:51:53 PM
I think Shadow pretty much hit the nail on the head.  There are many factors and the fact that Atari failed in their planning and marketing for the system doesn't help the history of the console.  The development tools were problematic when the system was released and programming for the system was not easy.  They rushed to release the system because of competitors but had they waited just a few months more they may have had better development tools that would have helped get better games made for the system. 

The community is another convoluted story with much debate, accusations and enough of a mess to write a soap opera about.  Sadly, the community itself suffers because of this as some fantastic stuff that was being worked on (i.e., Dactyl Joust) never saw release. 
Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: zapiy on August 15, 2018, 10:46:24 AM
A can of worms can cause a nice debate lol.

Yes, I agree with all the above, I mean this is a console with possibly the best version of Rayman on, perhaps that's a big statement but it really is a cracking version and let's not forget NBA Jam, this really was and still is a classic for the system.

To me, the console was blighted with issues but it does not deserve the harsh criticism it gets and I would be interested in an opinion of someone that does think its a pile of poo lol, just so I can't try and understand their opinion.
Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: 64bitRuss on August 19, 2018, 01:57:44 AM
Well, it's my favorite console and needless to say it has some amazing games, in fact when thinking of my favorite top ten games of all time (everybody loves to tout their own top 10), invariably it's going to have probably 3 Jaguar games on it.

Everyone knows Atari at the time wasn't the same Atari that brought us the 8-bit consoles, so too many bad decisions were made, probably one of the biggest was to not have a working relationship with Atari Games. What do you think of when you think of Atari? You think of Atari arcade games at home, that is what it always was, and the Jaguar largely ignored that. Although, funnily enough, but not  obvious enough apparently for Atari Corp, was that the 'actual best' games for the Jaguar probably were the arcade-style games Tempest and Defender 2K. And Iron Soldier, being looking like a lumbering plodding 3D game, actually would have worked as an arcade game in it's own right.

The absence of Atari Games also lost the Jaguar for opportunities to bring home compilations of classic Atari hits. All those hit arcade ports on the LYNX, logical reason to avoid bringing those to the Jaguar, especially when SNES and Genesis had some small compilations on cartridge. I don't really get into the nuts and bolts on the specs of Jaguar, my eyes glaze over at arguments of a 64-bit wide buss. To me it's a system of missed opportunities and what seems like common sense games that could have been released. I also understand Atari Corp didn't do anything to help developers with good tools and all that, plus the money wasn't really available to secure exclusives I'm sure. Which just makes me ask again, how in the heck does Atari Corp not have a working relationship with Atari Games at this time? Good grief. Atari Games was making headway with fully 3D arcade action games at this time as well, remember War: Final Assualt?

No real solid numbers on how many people have actually played the Jaguar either, that's another problem. The best guess is 250,000 consoles sold. So, what you have is far fewer people have even played this thing rather than who have read stuff about it on the internet. I think the Internet has in a sense 'won' against the Jaguar in ruining it forever, and it's not really a situation that is recoverable for the reputation.

It's not the greatest system of all time, but it's my favorite just because of a handful of games. What's not fair is the ridicule it gets, mostly from people who never actually played one and/or played the best games on it. People need to understand that there are worse controllers out there, way worse actually, and far worse game systems to find than the Jag.

1994 was a weird time for the game industry in general. An experimental time with bad 3D games, and no company was really doing anything quite right.
Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: zapiy on August 21, 2018, 11:25:09 AM
Could not have said it better mate. I think it’s a stunning system. Iconic looks in many ways.

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Title: Re: Is the Jaguar really that bad?
Post by: davyk on August 23, 2018, 18:06:44 PM
Tempest 2000 remains it's most famous game I suppose.

Never owned one but if I thought I could get one with RGB and 60Hz and a modded controller for playing T2K I'd probably get one.  I have T2K for Saturn which is a very nice game but I'd like to experience it on its home platform with paddle control.

Minter was sadly hampered by management when it came to his other remakes. Defender 2000 didn't turn out how he wanted it as management insist he make the player's ship a lot bigger which I've heard makes the game more or less unplayable. Had that been a success he may have gone on to do other remakes with franchises such as Missile Command or Asteroids. What could have been.

I've heard Rayman and Raiden are good on it too.

I read that Sturmwind which is a Dreamcast indie release (and is superb) started life as a Jaguar game. Would have been interesting to see if that had worked out - but I'm glad it ended up on Dreamcast - it's a gorgeous game on that console that is worth seeking out.