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Everything posted by Schmudde

  1. Perhaps the argument isn't clear: Making a game is about choices. Those choices are based on creative goals measured against technological constraints. Let's take the brilliant team at id - Do you see what makes this so good? A limited color palette and simple dark lines. Compare this to the less experienced team at Rebellion: This looks bad because there is no restraint. Look at all that detail! Camouflage? Are you kidding? Not only is it complex, but who the hell needs camouflage in space?! Look at all that shading! There is no way you could capture that detail in such a low resolution sprite. So it looks like shit. That's the sign of not understanding your limitations. That's bad design. Bad design never ages well (unless it does, see punk rock posters). How would id make a marine? Like this: This looks pretty great. They hid the face, which is a brilliant choice. Faces are really hard to show at low resolution. The uniform is one color. It looks good small. When it's big, everything is pixelated, but it isn't just a mess of blocks like the AvP marine. It was clear that GoldenEye was the beginning of a new graphical style. As such, some of the graphics aren't that refined. It was clear to me then and it's clear to me now. /ü
  2. I understand that GoldenEye looked good to most people. Like early CGI (and even some contemporary CGI), I saw it and said "that's not going to age well." Those guards always looked bad. We used to make fun of them back in the day. That's not hindsight. That's just understanding technology and how it ages. I think GoldenEye and Mario 64 were incredible accomplishments for the time. I respect the hell out of both. But I can also say that they never looked like elegant, beautiful games. Think about it for a second, why do so many later titles look better than early titles on a platform? Imagine the original Atari 2600 programmers trying to do Solaris or the first wave SNES programmers attempting Donkey Kong Country. The later games show a mastering of the creative and technical parameters enforced by the system. Only a handful of games early games ever rise above this. GoldenEye was never one of them. Too many fuzzy textures and weird bodies. Good game, good looking, but not without significant missteps. ~ü
  3. No doubt, the Space Marine sprite has aged particularly poorly. Especially when you compare them to Imp sprites from Doom on the same system. But the point isn't 'high resolution.' The point is never resolution because resolution will continue to improve. The point is design choices within the parameters given. That's what makes Missile Command, Zelda, and Castlevania IV beautiful games. I would probably put Doom in that list as well, now that I mention it. Probably no need to clarify that; you're basically saying the same things about early 3D games. The flat shaded polys have their strengths. I'll take the Virtua Fighter figures over some of the mangled humans in Goldeneye. Not that it's a fair comparison -- completely different games with completely different objectives. Just sayin'. ~ü
  4. Well... then... can it be anything other than BattleSphere? What Jaguar game has had more words devoted to it within the community? What Jaguar game is more expensive? In light of other successes (AvP, T2K, IS, Rayman), what hyped Jaguar game has had nearly no impact outside of the insular community? And what Jaguar game is almost never considered the top game for the system, in spite of all the words and the incredible amount of money paid to play it? Hint: it's not Atari Karts (although that's a good suggestion ). BattleSphere, BattleSphere, BattleSphere! Just going by the raw data. Perhaps there is a more nuanced answer that I'm missing? ~u
  5. I am seeing this sentiment more and more and it makes me quite happy. I mean, the image above, from Goldeneye, has always looked freakin' awful. From day 1. Throughout digital tech, there are certain approaches that I didn't think would age well -- N64 was a prime candidate with Mario 64 and Goldeneye being clear examples. I won't digress here, but the best writeup on this phenomenon is an amazing essay called A Pixel Artist Renounces Pixel Art. Back to the topic, Alien vs. Predator has some clear framerate problems but I think the story, the graphics, and the sound evoke a time and place that has aged well. Kind of like how Missile Command (arcade), Zelda (NES), and Castlevania IV (SNES) aged well before it. ~ü
  6. Sorry, I thought comparing Mega Man & Rayman in my post was even more ludicrous... thus making my sarcasm quite clear. I suppose not. In all seriousness, this what I really want to know: Jaguar vs. Jaguar. Which is better, the 64-bit Atari Jaguar or a Jaguar XF auto with a V6 diesel engine? ~ü
  7. That's ludicrous. You can't compare those two. What I really want to know though, Mega Man vs. Rayman - which one is really better? ~ü
  8. Yeah, I remember that. I read GameFan avidly in those days. They were really pulling for Atari to get this one right. They gave Cybermorph great coverage all around with at least a two page spread on top of the usual reviews. Their support really fell apart when Checkered Flag was released. I clearly remembered one reviewer simply asking "What happened?" Essentially, how could the team behind Alien Vs. Predator mess up such a simple formula with such promising early demos. It didn't help that it was reviewed in the same issue as Club Drive. ~ü
  9. This is an interesting take on the Jaguar that puts it in the context of the mass-market consumer entertainment industry. There has been a lot of money spent since 1993 on trying to find a new entry into the living room. The television was a revolution. The VCR was a revolution. But the DVD was just an evolution. TiVo and OnDemand are interesting candidates but the holy grail has always been a new general-purpose box. If you look at it from the Tramiel's early-90s perspective, I think they were dead serious about the "Interactive Multimedia" aspect of the Jaguar. Commodore's C64 success was based on a couple of low-cost but powerful chips and a cheap base-price that locks you into a system that you can expand. The Jaguar was similar: a CD add on + MPEG Cart, a modem, an oft-touted Time-Warner stake in Atari Corp (Sam mentioned their cable network on more than one occasion), and a chip set with a broad number of features and no particular emphasis (like 3D). But the differences were more important: With both the C64 and the ST, the first feature touted out of the gate was the amount of memory you could get for the price. A no brainer, clear as day, bang-for-the-buck. A lot of companies don't understand this. It was why Jack Tramiel was so successful. But 64K of memory for the $595 Commodore 64 and $1000/1MB 1040ST is only good for so long. The C64 lasted because VIC & SID chips. The ST lasted because of DTP, and more importantly, MIDI. In both cases, the value of the hardware and its purpose are self-evident. What does the 64-Bit Interactive Multimedia System offer to the living room? 64-bit? Why does my living room need 64-bit? "Interactive Multimedia"? What sort of killer experiences are you offering? Games? I already have a SNES and you're showing me 68000 Genesis ports? Multimedia? Great peripherals, but you still haven't sold the game system. The Jaguar was trying to be everything and became nothing. Even before it was irrelevant, it was confusing developers with both its mission and its design. This is actually a very tempting and easy mistake to make. ~ü
  10. If I'm thinking about hype during the Jaguar's lifetime, it would have to be Fight For Life. Francois Bertrand's name was intentionally used to give weight to the game. "If this is the guy who 'made' Virtual Fighter, this is going to be an awesome game on the Jaguar!" He didn't stand a chance. In the early 90s, we were just moving from a time when small or individual developers were being totally replaced by AAA teams on consoles. The team and the company that made Virtual Fighter was totally different than the guy that made Flight For Life. I personally believe that the Jaguar was the last of that kind. In fact, I sort of left video games after the Jaguar until recently. I love what is happening on X-Box live and Steam. Weird games made by small teams are still my favorite. I guess I'm just indie at heart. ~ü
  11. I don't disagree with any of this, nor do I necessarily disagree with your original post. All I've said: attempting to correct the record by using some strawman Jaguar fanboys and apologists is a theme around here. Even before I posted, there was already a digression on to trolling, etc.. because this strategy is both negative and tired. You may not have meant to elicit these reactions, but the broader context of your post matters. Anyway, I've clarified and I'll refrain from further digression. ~ü
  12. ... and those people who love the jag and don't indulge idiotic fanaticism are the people who thus far populate this thread. Your pre-emptive strike against some strawman troll by "putting the Jaguar in its place" seems a little out of sync in a forum that is built for people who enjoy the system. There are several users on this forum who don't seem to understand this. There is so much of this Jaguar "reality checking," it becomes just as obnoxious as the trolls you guys claim to be guarding against. Sorry to use your post as an example, AtariORdead, but it would be nice if some of this noise just dissipated. ~ü
  13. Okay, I'll contribute to some good ole fashioned thread hijacking. I grew up downstate, but wasn't the franchise's decline a direct result of the Brown's Chicken massacre? Or is that just a simplistic reduction of their larger problems? Speaking of massacre, I really killed it on Rayman last night (see what I did there, I just tied it all together). /Schmüdde
  14. Great review. I'm glad someone finally sees the benefits to the Jaguar number pad in context of certain games. /Schmüdde
  15. Nice. The article gives a hat tip to the brilliant Daniel Rehn. He's doing this TV Guide project now, as I understand it. If you're into digital archeology and aesthetics, be sure to check out his work. /Schmüdde
  16. Acknowledging your J/K, I bought the system Summer-ish 1994 and I loved Cybermorph. But I was hungry for a 2nd title. I was so close to buying Trevor McFur because the graphics were so cool looking. However, the rave reviews of Tempest 2000 sold me on that game. Man did I dodge a bullet. I wouldn't have the money to buy another game for months. Between Cybermorph and Tempest 2000, I was pretty darn content. After that, the wait was on for Alien Vs. Predator (Wolfenstein 3D ended up being an unexpected game to tide me over). /Schmüdde
  17. But Robotron was dated 2084. Robotron 2000 - wouldn't that be a prequel? Seems that no one has started a Robotron wiki for me to see if my logic is sound. /Schmüdde
  18. Clever question. I like Bill's line of thought. When considering this Jaguar dream project, it would be nice if it was something that really exploited the Jaguar's strengths. I wouldn't immediately throw out all 3D. Specifically, I'd throw out the idea of doing a texture-mapped game but shaded polygons or a raytracing engine seem as Jaguar-idiosyncratic as sprites. The Jaguar controller also makes me think that the designers felt like this would be the first home system that was truly capable of handling PC strategy and simulation ports. The multimedia focus also furthers the idea that this was just a platform for more than watered-down arcade conversions. So I love the RPG ideas. What about an adventure game? I'm thinking something like Sierra's later Quest for Glory games. They combined adventure, RPG, and arcade-style battle scenes. This takes advantage of the Jaguar's mix of arcade controller and keypad. Now here's where I get really crazy: Initial game on cartridge. Expansion libraries on CD Rom. Voice Modem and Networking compatible, so two+ people can explore the world simultaneously. Simultaneous gameplay is classic prisoner's dilemma: You can collaborate and beat the beasts more easily But there can only be one winner: Whoever assembles the "triforce." Meaning that at any one time, any human may hold some number of fragments of the "triforce." Number pad directly tied to 2nd screen (Lynx), which simply tracks inventory. That way, no one can peek at your screen and see your inventory in networked play. While I'm financing this, I might as well create a world-building toolkit for the ST/Falcon, so others could build new expansions and burn them to CD. This would work under emulation on a Mac/PC, of course. /Schmüdde
  19. Meh. IIRC, T-Mek was a mix of 3D enemies and sprite-based obstacles. The landscape wasn't even as complex as Hoverstrike. Decent T-Mek pastiche seems quite doable on the Jaguar. However, the feeling of the gameplay really relies on the environment's chaotic speed. I remember the frame rate being rock solid and incredibly smooth, which made the game feel crazy fast. Not even the Jaguar's gouraud shaded I-War accomplishes this. The designers of the 32x version might have made the compromises you mentioned to replicate the feel of the game. The system was certainly capable of more (Virtua Racing and Metal Head come to mind). In the end, the game really fails at all levels. You'd be better off playing Battlewheels on the Lynx. I certainly don't miss T-Mek. If there is one aspect of the Jaguar library that feels pretty complete, it's the plethora of tank and low-orbit aircraft simulators. ü
  20. Did I hear that correctly, you've never played Cybermorph? I can't imagine there is another person on the planet that has played Battlemorph for the Jaguar CD but never played the much more common original pack in. I actually still really like this game. It's funky and the music is awesome. There's something about going around and blowing up bridges just as the vehicles are about to cross that is supremely satisfying to me. ü
  21. Actually, it was very clear from the original excerpt he posted. At least, to me. I don't understand why these eMails are causing people to react so poorly. What gives? LD asked for some time from industry insiders about things that happened 20 years ago. The results are a mixed bag and almost entirely anecdotal. That's fine. It's still interesting (or not), but I don't see any reason not to treat the messenger with a little courtesy. ~ü
  22. PC would be my true #1, but it isn't on the list. Then, in order: Jaguar, 7800, Lynx, VCS. So yeah, I stick with one team. After that: Xbox, Dreamcast, NES, Genesis. No Master System on the list. So I couldn't include that.
  23. Mason is one of the better players to pony up to the Jag Bar so far. It might help that his drink of choice is non-alcoholic. I recently restarted Rayman after a decade+ away. Love the game. I'm about ~45% in. The difficulty definitely requires some patience. ~ü
  24. I’ve owned the same Jaguar since 1994, so I’m sure I don’t remember every game I’ve completed. Completed Alien vs. Predator - All Atari Karts - Highest race level Battlemorph Blue Lightning Checkered Flag Club Drive Cybermorph Doom Fight for Life Highlander Hover Strike Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands I-War Iron Soldier Kasumi Ninja NBA Jam Super Burnout Tempest 2000 Trevor McFur Ultra Vortek Vid Grid White Men Can’t Jump Wolfenstein 3D Could never beat, but really close Iron Soldier II - the last level requires perfect timing Towers II - I got stuck on one of the floors and could never advance. On Deck Flashback Rayman Skyhammer Also, I just beat AVP as the Predator and the Marine for the first time in > 10 years. What a brilliant game. ~ü
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