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Agent X

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About Agent X

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  • Birthday 01/14/1972

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    Fortune Hunter
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  1. I recall there were several magazines that were very enthusiastic about the Jaguar prior to and shortly after its release. Many of them quickly soured after the first few games came out, and the long drought began. Many of the early games were very good. Cybermorph and Tempest 2000 both got excellent reviews at the time, and even Raiden was (at that time) far and away the best version of the game. The problem was that after the first four games (Cybermorph, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy, Raiden, and Evolution: Dino Dues) were released, it was three months until the next game came out (Tempest 2000), then nearly four months until the next game came out (Wolfenstein 3D). T2K and Wolfenstein 3D were both excellent, in my opinion, but no matter what you thought of the game quality, almost everyone could agree that only 6 games after 8 months on the market was poor form. The next wave of games included Alien vs. Predator and Doom, both of which were highly regarded...but also included Checkered Flag and Club Drive, which were delayed and delayed for months, only to turn out very disappointing. Both Checkered Flag and Club Drive also had the misfortune of releasing about the same time as The Need for Speed on 3DO, which led to numerous side-by-side comparisons portraying the Jaguar in a very negative light. I doubt that a self-contained "Jaguar clone" would sell on its own, for the reasons that Bill stated. I do think that there would be a possibility for a smattering of Jaguar games to be incorporated into a broader "Atari" self-contained system, which would also include more popular games from the 2600 and arcades. This appears to be what Pete5125 was suggesting. I understand that this isn't something that's likely to be produced in the foreseeable future, but I wouldn't write off the concept entirely. We're already starting to see new "multi-system" consoles like the Evercade, Polymega, and Analogue Pocket. There's a chance that someone could eventually produce a Jaguar emulator or FPGA recreation for such a device. Going back to what Bill was saying, the IP library is the other obstacle. Even without late releases (after the JTS merger in 1996) and homebrews, I think there are enough good Jaguar games to put in a game compilation. But, a lot of the system's best games are difficult to license. How much would it cost to get the rights to Alien vs. Predator or NBA Jam Tournament Edition? What about third-party owned IPs like Rayman, Cannon Fodder, and Flashback? Or CD games like Vid Grid and Primal Rage? To sum it all up: I think the best solution to (re)introduce Jaguar games to the world would be to follow what they're doing with the Evercade: license a few key titles, and include them in a compilation. They did a good job of mixing some good 7800 games alongside well-known 2600 games in two of their "Atari collections", and even managed to put together two Lynx compilation cartridges (something I'd wanted to see for years). I think a lot of people who have never played Jaguar games would like to try a few of them, if they're affordably priced and/or paired up with other more familiar games that they already know and love.
  2. True. Well, you're right. Many of these indie developers create games for Genesis, SNES, Game Boy Advance, NeoGeo, or Dreamcast, but won't touch the Jaguar for whatever reason (limited resources, unfamiliarity with the hardware, or just plain don't have any interest). The situation is not that the Jaguar hardware cannot handle games like (for example) Xeno Crisis or Pier Solar, it's just that the developers behind those games simply aren't making them for the Jaguar. In essence, it similar to the reason why the Jaguar never got "big" games like Earthworm Jim, Castlevania, Street Fighter II, and so on. I agree with this as well. That was one of the biggest problems Atari faced when the Jaguar was on the market--they just couldn't manage to attract the top games from the top talent in the industry. Good game design and good art direction goes a long way. What would help is for some of the active homebrew developers in the Jaguar community to reach out to some of those other development teams in a collaborative effort. The original developers could provide the Jaguar teams with their source code and art assets, while the Jaguar teams could use their programming skills and intimate knowledge of the hardware to put it all together and make it work on the Jaguar.
  3. Wow, looks like a lot of good stuff to look forward to in the new year! Centipede looks like it has come along nicely. There's one thing that I've always thought about, ever since seeing the prototype. Although the game (even in prototype form) was named "Centipede", I wondered if the developers might have actually intended to create Millipede. Several aspects of the visual design including the mushroom shapes, shading for the player's bounded area of movement, and "NEXT BONUS" at the bottom of the screen, and even the presence of the 1200-point spider, all appear to have been adapted from Millipede rather than Centipede. I've never heard of 8bit-Slicks until now. After doing some quick research, it appears that this game has existed on several computer platforms for a few years, as seen at the game's official Web site. It's amazing that this game will support online play. Could you share any details about how this will work on the Lynx? (Looks like it has something to do with this.) Also, does this game have cross-platform play with the other versions?
  4. I have an original boxed copy. I have a Samsung DVD-N2000, and the bug occurs there, too. It's a random crash bug, which can occur at any time without warning. When it occurs, the system abruptly resets. Playing the game is a real gamble--you could play for hours without problems, or you could play 5 minutes and experience a sudden reset. Even worse, there's also no known way to avoid it, as it can happen anywhere. You could be involved in a fierce firefight, or selecting weapons from the menu, or even watching the opening FMV sequence 20 seconds after popping the disc in. Regarding the Polyface chips, if someone has a source and is able to utilize them, then I'd prefer that he design and create some sort of adapter to use existing controllers from other platforms, rather than making a very specific controller.
  5. I'm somewhat divided between the 7800 and Lynx versions as my top pick. I started off with the 2600 version (very good, considering the hardware), but when I got the 7800 version a couple of years later, it was a huge step up in replicating the look and feel of the arcade game. I love this version for similar reasons that many others here have stated. It's slightly more forgiving than the arcade game, due to minor differences in physics and the sprite sizes. I've probably invested more time into the 7800 version than any other version of Joust. Later, I got the Lynx version, and that one's even closer to the arcade than the 7800. Despite the low resolution, the graphics make excellent use of color and animation, and the sounds are great, too. They also added a new "Gladiator Mode" that lets two players fight it out one-on-one, with no enemies to interfere. The 7800 is far easier to set up for two-player games, since you only need one system with two controllers and a single copy of the game. For the Lynx, you need two systems and two Joust cartridges, but Gladiator Mode is a great alternative to the main game.
  6. The tragedy here is that support for PSVR was already developed, but Atari stripped it from the game before release. I assumed they were trying to figure out a way to offer a VR patch later for an additional fee, but they're not even doing that. You would think that Atari would jump at such an opportunity. It would create an additional selling point, and attract thousands of purchases from VR fanatics that eagerly snap up any halfway decent VR-enabled game.
  7. I'd love to see a modern reimagining of the Lynx with the features you described, along with these: Slim and easily pocketable--something approximately the size and shape of a Sony PSP would be just right Include some popular Lynx games built-in Include a slot to use actual Lynx cartridges (for those who have them) If they're using emulation, also include some familiar games from other Atari platforms (arcade, Atari 2600, etc.) to increase the marketability and value Include a ComLynx port (or a wireless emulated option) so that we can play multiplayer games I've got some interest in the Analogue pocket, but I'd like to know how they plan on handling vertically-oriented games (such as Klax, as @davidcalgary29 mentioned), as well as multiplayer. I also think Evercade looks neat, and I'm happy to see the Lynx compilation packs for it. It would be awesome if the makers could produce a "Lynx game adapter" for enthusiasts that would utilize their Lynx emulator, but allow you to insert your own cartridges, and connect in a ComLynx cable.
  8. That was a great video! I liked the fact that you were able to directly capture the video footage, and also showed a little bit of the games running on Evercade's LCD screen. The emulation appears to be excellent as far as the graphics are concerned. I do wish that you had let us hear the sound from the games, as that would have helped longtime Lynx enthusiasts like me to get a better overall sense of the emulation quality. Also, a minor nitpick, but Checkered Flag was not an Epyx creation. Overall, I still appreciate the effort that you put into this video. I've enjoyed many of your videos over the years...keep up the good work!
  9. I wasn't previously familiar with those graphical demos until now, so thanks for posting them! Even if this technique could not be applied easily (or at all) during the gameplay in a fast-action game, it could still be very useful for a title screen or a cinematic sequence. I recall reading that RoadBlasters and Awesome Golf exceeded the normal 16-color "limit".
  10. It's possible, in the same sense that Atari 2600 game adapters existed for ColecoVision, Intellivision, and Atari 5200. Those adapters essentially contained the 2600 chipset. They could have surely done the same thing for the Jaguar even in the mid 1990s, but it would have been expensive and (especially at that time) had limited appeal. The alternative approach would be to emulate the system in software, and include some games in the package. This actually was something that was in development. It would have been much cheaper, but performance would not be as accurate as using the chipset. It would have been excellent if Atari could have produced arcade-quality adaptations of their most popular arcade games. Many people were familiar with the 2600 versions of the games, then you saw the quality and accuracy of conversions gradually improve with the 5200 and 7800 and Atari computer versions. The Jaguar was advanced enough to finally do the arcade games justice at the proper screen resolution and with the proper color palette, without having to make compromises. Emulation might have been a tall order (PS1 and Saturn were just barely powerful enough to handle it), but studying the arcade code and translating it to the Jaguar could have worked. The 2600 adapter for the 5200 was developed out of necessity. They had to do it because Coleco offered such an adapter for the ColecoVision, and then soon afterward Mattel produced on for the Intellivision. If Atari didn't respond in kind, then it would have been a total embarrassment for the company (that created the 2600) if they couldn't offer the ability to play 2600 games on their new "advanced" system while two of their chief competitors could. They truly had no choice but to make the adapter as a gesture to maintain a positive image in customers' eyes.
  11. I'm very interested in hearing what Parish has to say about the Lynx version of Rampart. Near the end of one of the videos, he appeared to drop a hint that he might like that version a lot. Much like Klax, I think that the Lynx version of Rampart is outstanding. It might be the very best official home version of the game ever, even after the advent of emulated arcade games at home. I wrote this post about it on NeoGAF about 15 years ago, describing why the Lynx version is top-notch (hint: it has to do with the controls--see post #9 for details). I wrote that post shortly before the PSP version of Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play was released, hoping that it would fix the control problems that I experienced on PS2, but unfortunately it turned out to have the same flaws.
  12. Interesting, I never heard anything about the possibility of Mortal Kombat coming to the Lynx "back in the day". I was surprised to learn a few years ago that NEC/Turbo Technologies in the US did try to negotiate the rights to Mortal Kombat for TurboGrafx-16, but NEC's Japanese management rejected it. It's mentioned on page 5 of this article: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/225466/stalled_engine_the_turbografx16_.php There was a reasonably good version of Mortal Kombat for Game Gear. It lost a fair amount of weight in the process (removed one character and a lot of the stages, and also simplified the controls), but preserved enough of the game that it was still recognizable as MK. Compared to Lynx, Game Gear has somewhat higher vertical resolution and twice the onscreen colors, but also much worse sound and sprite handling capabilities. Even back then, there was no doubt in my mind that the Lynx would've been able to offer a more faithful version of Mortal Kombat. The homebrew demo has proven that in very convincing fashion.
  13. I enjoyed these videos. I don't think he's nearly as much of a Lynx enthusiast as most of us here, which is apparent in his efforts to frame the system as a "Game Boy competitor". Despite that, he's done a very good job at examining the games. I do disagree with some of his assessments, particularly of the Epyx games in the first video. A common complaint I see leveled against Gates of Zendocon by newcomers is that it's a "slow-paced" shoot-em-up game...well, that's why there's also a "hard" skill setting which ramps up the speed and challenge considerably. Unfortunately, it looks like he never delved outside of the "easy" setting in this video (telltale sign: the scoring is different on hard). Yeah, I'm with you here. I adore the Lynx version of Klax. I also feel it's the best version overall (and I've played a lot of them). Atari's programmers totally knocked it out of the park. Whether Klax is better than Tetris is a matter of opinion...but what was a matter of fact is that Atari didn't have any license to bring Tetris to the Lynx (or many other popular games of the day). Rather than sulk and cry about the games that they couldn't license, Atari did their best to forge ahead with the games that they could license. In this case, I'd say that Klax was a good choice by Atari, as I'd consider it to be worthy of standing on the level of Tetris, much like Columns was for Sega. Speaking of Sega, it's the same logic that applies to Sega's inability to bring Super Mario to the Genesis--they went ahead and created Sonic the Hedgehog. Whether you ultimately preferred Mario or Sonic in the 16-bit era is debatable, but I'd say that most reasonable people would at least consider both of them competitive with each other. I agree here. Strangely enough, there's something to be gathered here by hearing from someone who didn't previously have great affection for the Lynx, who is now (after all these years) finally taking some time to analyze its library. His opinions might differ somewhat from mine, but it's still a refreshing perspective to hear the thoughts of someone whose nostalgia wasn't colored the same way as mine.
  14. I can't speak for whatever High Voltage had planned for the Jaguar after the four games they released. Maybe the tools and code they were writing could have been very impressive. The world may never know. What we do know is that by early 1996, almost every Jaguar game developer was moving on to PlayStation and Saturn (and soon Nintendo 64). There's a chance that some of them might've stayed on with the Jaguar longer, if Atari would funded development of their games. But, after Ted Hoff left the building, and Jack Tramiel stepped back into the picture, it was clear that Atari themselves wanted "out". That sums it up well. Atari's numerous blunders (from both technical and business perspectives) during the Jaguar's first year set the tone, and put them on a nearly irreversible downward trajectory.
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