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Shaggy the Atarian

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Everything posted by Shaggy the Atarian

  1. When you complain about the Tramiels, you say that it was underwhelming the whole community by over-promising, under delivering and showing up late on a bunch of products. But when it comes to the VCS, then it only applies to what you expected out of it, but since your personal expectations were low, it gets a pass. Doesn't look consistent, especially when you look at how over-promised, under delivered and late the VCS has been.
  2. Just because you might not have wanted what the 1600XL offered, or got "holographic gaming" with the Cosmos doesn't mean that others wouldn't have. The fact of the matter is that Warner set the precedent of this time honored Atari tradition. Although it's not like other companies haven't shown things off before that they didn't follow-up on or underwhelmed on. Isn't the VCS a prime example of that, when you compare the lofty things they said it would do at the get-go, compared to what it actually does? all the "six months later" videos I've found have echoed the same thing - that it's underwhelming. Why don't you hold modern Atari to the same standard that you hold the Tramiels to? Also re: "being let down by Atari management" - that started with Warner too and culminated in the crash of the whole North American game industry. It doesn't take any glasses to see that the Tramiels had nothing to do with that either.
  3. You're right, why waste my time when nothing can compare with all the warm fuzzies that the brand brings to us all. Enjoy your VCS when you get it. You're looking at the Warner Atari (and the current one) with the same glasses. Warner were the ones that promised one new console and accessory after the other, showing them off in either distribution materials and press releases, only to never release them. The Atari Cosmos, the Mindlink, the 3600, the 5100, all of the accessories for the 7800 like the laserdisc player, keyboard, high score cart, the 1450XLD, the 1600XL, the exercise bike for the 5200, the Last Starfighter arcade machine and on and on... none of that was Tramiel era. Did the Tramiels promise some things that were never delivered? Sure. No where near as much as warner did though. Modern Atari's done the same thing. How quickly people forget that they made a big deal at E3 2014 about a new line of Atari-branded gaming tablets, phones, phablets and general tablets that they were going to launch - which never came into being. Or the Gameband. Or Asteroids Outpost. Or so badly botching Minimum that it became a product that people paid for and is permanently unplayable. Yep, modern Atari totally doesn't do the thing you always harp on the Tramiels for doing. 🙄
  4. It's no more expensive to develop for than any other PC platform. From their System page: Funny you mention that; While such a thing has been a big deal in Japan for many years, the US is now getting into that. Injustice Arcade and Minecraft Dungeons Arcade both offer such a thing. Here's my Minecraft that I just got a month ago; shows the cards starting at 2:50; shows them being dispensed at 10:09. The cards are used to place equipment into the game. An achievements card like you mention would be a great idea though. I'll also comment on your other points here. Part of the problem with difficulty is figuring out what customers want. In the early 80's, Atari found that if games were too easy, then people wouldn't play them. But then they made stuff like Gravitar which was balls-to-the-wall hard and for whatever reason some of that difficulty stuff stuck for a long time. Modern arcades though follow the mantra "skill kills." I've heard them say that multiple times, including Eugene Jarvis. This has made almost every modern game much more casualized than they used to be. One exception is the exA, where you have to have some skill to enjoy a lot of the games. The Minecraft game above isn't very tough, although it doesn't have the depth of Gauntlet or Gauntlet Legends either. On emulation and consoles, there's this notion that retro gaming is super hot right now, but not at arcades, just at home. Most of my classics only make a few bucks a week. The worst ones manage to rake in less than $50 a year. The only stuff that does ok is Ms. Pac-Man or Street Fighter II. I can't pay my bills with the classics - they're just filler, sadly. This is because you can play all that stuff quite easily on just about anything with a screen these days, and it's not like everyone is always playing Space Invaders on a daily basis anyways. No, arcades don't compete in graphics, but despite "the gamer thing to say" which is "graphics don't matter," I've found that they really do, at least in an arcade setting. I've picked up a number of indie games over the years - these are almost always duds that barely get played. They're very fun games, but because they look old, 95% of players pass them up. Of course, then they tend to require a little more skill than an endless runner, so those that do play them don't take the time to learn how the game plays and come back for more. Two examples of this for me are Cosmotrons and Deathstalker. So where can they compete? If not cards, then by using the cabinets & controls. A light-gun game or a racer make up the top 3 games I see every week. The racers in particular draw a lot of attention, thanks to the realistic controls, licensed cars, etc. Some light-gun games like The Walking Dead give you crossbows to use. Pinball is just...pinball. That almost never does well when setup as a virtual pin in an arcade environment. For socializing - sure, when life changes so does your social network. As a married adult, I've maybe seen my friends from school days once or twice a year. But do I still get kids & teens socializing at my arcades? Yup, every day. Adults, they're usually on a date, or with their kids or grandkids depending. This can keep things plenty busy, although I wouldn't complain about it being busier.
  5. Sorry GS, but I don't see it. The primary thing that the two share in common is a love of lawsuits and a logo; That's about where it ends. Granted, we don't know how the Tramiel marketing would have been in an age of social media, but it's hard to believe that it could be any more incompetent or cringeworthy as the PR companies that Atari has used in recent years. "What's your high score on Pong, fellow kids?" The Tramiels employed both hardware and software designers in-house with some 3rd party support, while modern Atari has relied entirely on 3rd parties to figure something out with the IP that they have. Granted the Lynx and Jaguar were created by 3rd parties, but at least the Tramiels paid them for the work, while modern Atari has turned stiffing their "partners" on payments into something of an art form. Whether that was Curt Vendel's Legacy Engineering, Human Head Studios, Feargal Mac, Rob Wyatt, the list goes on and on. Also should be noted that the Tramiels would have released the 7800 in 1984, but Warner being assholes over the payments to GCC are what resulted in that delay, not the Tramiels. Of course, you could fault the Tramiels for skimping on things like the High Scort Cart, keyboard and stuff like 512k carts, but it wasn't their fault for the delayed release in that regard. As for comparing the little support of the classic Ataris to the VCS - at least you can name original, exclusive games for every single classic Atari platform. Months after the backer & retail releases, there still isn't a single real exclusive for the VCS, nothing to truly make it stand out from other Atari systems, or make for a "# games that defined the Atari VCS" YouTube video. Even the 5200, which was basically just an arcade port harem, had Countermeasure, Gremlins and the only home port of Space Dungeon. It would have had more original exclusives if it's lifespan had gone on just a little longer, like Meebzork, Spitfire, Xari Arena, Black Belt, etc. Did the Tramiels take money from customers first, then string them along for almost 4 years to deliver the Jaguar or the Lynx? Did they lie about interviews that they had with professional journalists? Did they show in those interviews that they didn't have a clue about what their own hardware was supposed to do? Not that I recall. Imagine if Jack or Leonard were as clueless in this interview below as Michael Artz was with The Register in the interview above. That'd have probably ended Atari right then and there. Any "hate" that modern Atari has garnered for the brand or for the VCS they brought on themselves through their own actions. That doesn't mean it changes how anyone has to feel about the classic systems, but also doesn't mean you need to give blind loyalty to the people running the show right now either. Feels somewhat like the NUON. That had 1 game for it at launch, took 9 months before the first real batch of games came along for it. At least the VCS has more than that going for it like PC mode, but then again, most NUON games at the time couldn't be played anywhere else and it worked as a great DVD player so you had all of that content to use. Hardware needs the momentum of content to stay afloat. I'd be surprised if there isn't some discount on it by the time Christmas hits; If not then we'll certainly get that after the holidays. That still won't save it though.
  6. Back to the original OP instead of retreading the same waste-of-time-back-and-forth that has been going on for years now. Both of these guys are VCS fans, not "haters." Both mention that there isn't a lot of content that's been added. Keyword: "Underwhelming." Also looks like it just sat there for a while collecting dust for him, since he had to update everything. Paraphrase: "They are going to need to do a lot of work in the next six months to prove to others that it's worth it." "I don't love it, I don't hate it, I'm in the middle." Already saying that the price has to come down, which is also what the commentors are echoing.
  7. Vritra is available on Steam, but the exA version is the best/ultimate director's cut. It's a fantastic game - has many elements of Dariusburst, looks awesome and plays well. Since a big majority of the serious gamers stopped going to arcades around the end of the 90s, this threw them into what we have now. 😕 If no one played the ticket games, then it would be a different world. Unfortunately, something like the Big Bass Wheel still makes $2000/wk+ in the right location, while video games are lucky to make $700/wk at the same location. That makes for a no-brainer to the arcade owner. What excites me about the exA is that it is really the only shot we have going on right now to bring so many genres back to arcades, but it'll take gamers coming out and playing the games when they find them to
  8. There are a number of STG collectors that have picked one up, but at the end of the day, they're making this first for operators instead of trying to do a high end console. While that can suck for collectors who don't want to spend a few/several grand, they're trying to bring hardcore gaming back to the arcade, and more places are picking one up now that it has a cabinet for it. With time, hopefully you could find one near you! Currently I know of exA's in Utah (my own ), Wisconsin, New York, Florida, Texas and California. That'll certainly grow as more titles are announced. On shmups though, it hasn't done too great with those at my location. Most players are so casual these days, expecting the ease of a single-button ticket game, that the thought of a bullet hell shooter throws them for a loop. It sucks as I've had people approach the machine with interest, but they don't give it a chance or realize how awesome the games are My personal favorite on it is Vritra. This one just got a major software update, I'm just waiting on it's return in the mail to check it out, but here's a playthrough I did of it a while back.
  9. Uh huh. It was such a disaster that a lot of the professional reviewers gave it...high marks. Odd thing for EGM to say about the disastrous controls too: I never said it should have been the only game on the system, but you're lacking sense yourself if you think that it wouldn't have made any difference to have a big name AAA title on console at launch, as opposed to a no-name crappy shooter and a 3D pod collecting marathon. 🙄
  10. AvP2 was slated for the CD, so while that might have helped CD unit sales, it's hard to say if it would have really moved both new base units & CD ones to the tune that Atari needed. Of course, if the JagDuo had come around, then AvP2 as a pack-in would've been a great buy. Although if BI/WN had come out and was able to live up to it's promises, I think that would've really helped the CD, possibly the system itself to some degree.
  11. I think you misunderstood my comment - we're in agreement there I was just saying that I've seen many comment over the years that they thought that those games wouldn't have made much of a difference for Atari's fortunes. I'm in agreement with you that they would have helped, but how many units it might have help move is something we'll never know. Timing is also important on when these ports would appear. Atari needed stuff that could sell systems. They had that to a degree with AvP and a lesser one on T2k. But in the case of the PS1 and other systems, most people bought those consoles for other games, then having MK or SSF was a nice addition and easy to add to the collection. Rayman was originally supposed to be an exclusive, then I think it turned to timed, then it came out on the PS1 first, or something along those lines. Unfortunately for Atari, devs knew by 1995 that the console was a flop, so why bother with exclusives if they had a big money-printing game? Now if Atari had managed to get the first or second MK on as a 1993 launch title, that'd have made some waves.
  12. Are you sure? I mean Food Fight has two super popular things in the name - people love food and they love fighting. Combine that with a few months exclusivity and a built-in web browser, I don't see how there won't be a VCS installed into every home in the world by Christmas 2022!
  13. That's why I initially said that it was more about the games, particularly the first generation, since that set the expectations for the system. Although I've seen many over the years say something like SSF2 or MK wouldn't have made much of a difference - maybe not a huge difference since those games were on just about everything, but it certainly would have helped. Every bit of 3rd party support, particularly of the AAA kind of that era would have given the system a boost. Certainly a bigger boost than ports of no-name stuff like Brutal Sports Football. There was a proposed AvP2 for the Jaguar CD, but pretty sure it never made it very far past the paper stage. Yeah, that easily could have been the Jag's Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder (assuming that had it been finished they didn't botch it somehow). That, Deathwatch, Phear...all would have been great additions. Don't know that they would have saved the system, but I'd have taken those over Double Dragon 5 or White Men Can't Jump.
  14. Since we're veering off-topic, yeah, if you want Trek right now, The Orville is exactly where it's at. Discovery, Picard and all of the other psuedo-Trek that Kurtzman has crapped out can only be summed up as Star Dreck, and I'm certainly not the only fan that feels that way. Although I suppose to bring it back on topic in speaking of how dead the VCS is, has there been any news at all about those Atari Hotels? That seemed to generate a lot more Atari talk online than the VCS ever did, but haven't heard anything about that in quite a while.
  15. Atari Museum is down at the moment, but they did have a document showing all the payments that Atari made on a bunch of titles. MK3 was one of them that they paid a pretty penny for(IIRC, it was the most they dumped money into), but apparently all that got them was a single screen demo that was found a few years ago. Yeah, it's all too bad it didn't happen. IMO, extra horsepower would have made the 3D stuff stand out better and perhaps that could have been enough to secure some more ports of games that people wanted, thus driving sales. Since it was mainly built for 2D games though, that's where Atari's focus should have been, building up the momentum there with the likes of Mortal Kombat and other games that could have enjoyed some more notable differences on the hardware, then get the Jag 2 out to handle all the 3D stuff. Granted, they did try that to some degree - if it wasn't for their efforts in that regard we wouldn't have got Rayman or a really good port of NBA Jam, so that was something.
  16. Sometimes people just like talking about things because they get amusement out of them. Not everything in life has to be ultra-serious. Hence why the first of these threads became more about tacos than what Atari was half-baking. As for Star Trek Discovery vs. TNG...well that seems to sum up the classic Atari vs. modern Atari battle we've had going on here. Most Trekkies still find that the originals hold up extremely well despite the archaic look & effects, while the modern stuff is so devoid of the original spirit & talent, but is super flashy, that STD was CBS' worst rated scripted TV show of 2020, even getting the crap beat out of it by reruns of other shows. Such a mystery as to why, when it has such stirring dialogue like this:
  17. Yep, that's the one. Sounds to me like had the Jag sold better, then they'd have done Doom II with improved code. Really doubt they would have tried Quake, so that circles back to why it would have been good for the Jag to have launched with some extra power. The more storage space/cheaper production costs of a CD wouldn't overcome that kind of hurdle. No, not everyone liked Descent after playing it, but that still doesn't change that it was a hyped up game with plenty of good reviews, so makes sense why someone like Bill was trying to get it. It also explains the existence of Skyhammer as a Descent alternative. There's another game I'd be curious to see running on CoJag hardware - that'd be a good fit to use on an arcade machine with a yoke controller too.
  18. IIRC, John Carmack said something to the effect that had he done Doom with the knowledge he gained after creating it, the code would've been much more efficient. I have to imagine that would have been applied to Doom 2. I've never believed all this stuff about Quake on the Jaguar though. I only ever played Quake on PC, so for me, never had an issue there. When FPS games went full 3D, they are just better with a keyboard/mouse. Wolf 3D & AvP shows us that it could've done fairly well with more games in that style - Blake Stone & Catacombs Abyss are two that I think would have been able to show noticeable improvements over the PC versions, which is something that Atari really needed to reduce the stigma of it only being slightly better than 16-bit consoles. Catacombs really would have shined running in 65k color & full screen 60fps, compared to the 16 EGA colors of the PC version. In retrospect sure, but at the time, Descent was a hot ticket item that had a lot of hype around it. Of course if it ran like Skyhammer does, then it's certainly better that it didn't happen, but I understand the reasoning behind it (of course, that would have made more sense to bring to the Jaguar 2, had that happened). I don't think that they were off in looking at PC games of the era to boost the Jag's library. The contrast you could should between early 90s PC to the Jaguar was more obvious than from 16-bit/68k ports. They just should have focused on titles that were better fitting for what the system could do, like the aforementioned FPS games, or something like Commander Keen (given that the Tramiels wanted a mascot to compete with Mario & Sonic, they should have just funded iD to upgrade CK for the system)
  19. My first reaction upon seeing FF get the remake treatment was...huh, ok...that was unexpected. The only other thing that'd be a total curve ball in this regard is one of their obscure 70's arcade titles like Starship 1 or Dominos. I suppose it isn't retreading old ground when it comes to remakes, but Atari's work in this area is always a crap shoot. Most also forget that they've tried to remake Haunted House 3 times over the past decade or so; You also have the recent turds that were Night Driver and Ninja Golf. Out of everything they've published, Tempest 4000 & Pong Quest seem to be the only remakes with good or decent reviews. This is why I wonder why they haven't paid Jeff to at least get T4K out like they were promising at the get-go. I can't imagine it would be any more expensive to fund than creating a remake from scratch. Of course since Tempest is kind of a fan service game, might as well go all out and fund Jeff to do a "Tempest Legacy" game that has all versions of the game on it and make that exclusive to the console. They appear to be hell bent on ensuring there's nothing on this platform that you can't find anywhere else though.
  20. I did just learn that Food Fight is being remade and will launch on the VCS next year. Good for them. Then at the bottom of the article, learned that it's later coming to pretty much every other device on the planet. That tells you all you need to know about how much faith Atari themselves has in their little box.
  21. Sorry to quote you from several days ago, but just noticed this thread. I think it was also mentioned in the thread (didn't read all the pages, admittedly), but there were prototypes of the system using the 020 and the 030 - along with 4MB of RAM. Tursilion, not sure if he posts here anymore, but has coded on the Jaguar, said that the difference between the 000 and 020 wasn't that big of a hurdle for programmers to make, so a lot of Amiga/Genesis stuff could have been ported without much difficulty if the Jag had used it. I also recall that someone at Atari (sorry, can't remember who, so maybe this is just made up) said that had the Jag used a 020, it would've been comparable to the Saturn in power. Gamefan editor ECM once said that the biggest mistake Atari made, in his view, was halving the RAM to 2MB ("leaving half of it's brains on the table" is how he put it). Not sure if he knew about the 020/030 designs though. A Jag design with the 020 was used - along with 4MB of RAM - in arcades as the CoJag hardware for Area 51 (other games used the R3000). It'd be great if there were tools to port Jag games over to that. I've often wondered what performance gains we could see in stuff like Tempest 2000 or BattleMorph if ported to the CoJag, but we'll probably never know. For devs though - that would be a way to get your homebrews into the arcade if you ever released a game on that But IMHO, to echo many others here, I think it was more about the lack of great games, particularly at launch, than the lack of powerful hardware. I do agree that the power issue was a problem, since many gamers wanted to wait for the upcoming 3D systems, and back then graphics enhancements mattered to a lot of people. Like Clint said though, you can still make great games for something where the hardware is weak. Cybermorph was cool as a 1993 tech demo, but it wasn't really a fun game. Had it been like BattleMorph instead of Pod Collecting In Space, that would've helped. Trevor McFur was crap, even a straight port of River Raid would've been better than that. If it also came with more arcade ports than Raiden (say some more Atari Games titles - Klax, Skull & Crossbones, Toobin', Road Riot 4WD - or if they could have landed Capcom stuff like Street Fighter II, that'd have been huge) and some upgraded stuff from the Lynx, then I think that would have gone a long way to building momentum for it at the beginning.
  22. I'm in a similar boat - I should be the target demographic for the VCS - I own a sizable collection of Atari systems & games and I've owned several Atari arcade machines over the years - but I see it as having far more negatives to it than warrant me spending $400~ on it. I'm not going to throw my money away on something just because it has an Atari logo on it. It'd be nothing more than a dust collector if I bought one, as I already have a far more capable PC & laptop for my computing and occasional game needs or a Switch and a real arcade for the rest of the gaming I do. I'm a guy that will spend some decent cash on things like an SD cart for my 7800 or I'll spend thousands on an arcade machine. Granted the latter is because I use it for a business; The former though, I actually use my SD carts since there's an active homebrew scene for all the old systems. That was the original promise of the VCS waaay back - that it was going to be this great system that would draw all of the Atari homebrewers to it. But very, very few of them have bothered to do so. Part of that is because Atari completely botched their developer rollout. There were a few here who sent emails to the Atari development portal only for Atari to claim that they never got them. Of course, there still wasn't even a system that an SDK could exist on for the longest time. But by the time they figured it all out, that ship had sailed. Of course I think they just don't understand what drives homebrewers to do what they do. There's something about coding for old hardware and finding ways to make it do things it wasn't supposed to do. You don't really get that with something that's just a low-powered x86 PC. I'm sure down the road there might be a few people doing that sort of thing with the VCS, but that's not a reason to buy one now. Had Atari thought this through with someone competent at the helm(that they actually paid for all of their work), they could have had their own Atari Game Maker Garage thing that would allow anyone to make games for it, and in the style of different Atari platforms of the past. If you could make a game that looks/functions like a 2600/5200/7800 game using a program that doesn't require any coding, or some other way at making it easy for homebrews made here to show up on the VCS store, then that's the kind of gimmick that would be enticing to more people here. Instead it's just 'use Unity and pretty please make something exclusive for it?' Another amusing thing about the Play Date in that regard is that they are promising to release both an SDK and a no-code game builder program for it. They could botch that, but if they follow through then there's another leg up they have on Atari. LOL. Of course, while Atari would be happy with every sale they could get, they really have angled and priced this as a mainstream gaming device: "Game, Stream and connect like never before!" That tagline is a super lofty promise and by asking those questions, we answer this thread's primary question. I just can't see what the point of a VCS is, and it's extremely unlikely that it'll get better from here, but if you want to go for it, more power to you.
  23. If you go back to the early parts of the taco thread, a lot of now-haters were either optimistic or cautiously optimistic about the prospects - myself included. It was only when Atari launched the campaign - to plenty of good, positive press, despite delays and not paying their principle console designer - that some red flags started to pop-up. That and the fact that Atari lied about their meeting with El Reg where Michael Artz obviously had zero clue what he was doing and Atari had nothing more than some ideas on paper and a 3D printed plastic brick. Despite all that, they still made $3m for it, which until today was hailed as some grand success. Well, that gimmick was enough to generate strong initial sales, which is the only metric that matters at the end of the day. If the VCS had sold 20k units in 20 minutes, we'd still be hearing about it today. It hasn't, and despite some additional positive press it got when finally launching this year, we finally got to see the results of what a lot of us "haters" have predicted - that your average mainstream consumer doesn't give a flying crap about a 50 year old logo, another emulation machine or an identity confused device that has a web browser for it. It's often mentioned in Jaguar threads that the reason the Jag failed was Atari lacked the resources to make it a success. How exactly are we not seeing that same thing play out with the VCS, in a far more competitive/saturated gaming market than existed 25 years ago? Maybe the Play Date will flop after the initial buy, but I can't help but laugh that it's already a bigger success than the VCS has been and it didn't need anything that we've been told for years would equal amazing sales for 2021 hardware. I'm labelled as a "VCS Hater" so take this however you will, but here's what I see: VCS Fans like it because it's an Atari hardware product and they're happy to support that regardless because they have fond memories of their old Atari systems. Some want it because of collectibility down the road. Some see it as a decent PC. It has the CX-40 joystick remake. Is there an x factor for it? I think if you have to ask, then there's your answer. Exclusives? Nope. There are a few timed exclusives, but nothing truly exclusive for it that you can't get anywhere else. There's a lot of wishing going on in this regard, where fans keep hoping Atari will announce something for it, but that's the kind of thing you announce when all the eyes are on you at launch. Even if they announced a cool new Yars Revenge or Asteroids or Centipede today, it's doubtful that would help them capture any momentum at this point, unless the game somehow was of such high quality that it became the next Fortnite. Atari has a really terrible track record with paying developers though, so chances of them getting a AAA/AA/A studio on board for anything -especially with under 20,000 unit sales - is pretty much zero. They've been sorta trying to position themselves as an indie device, but the Switch & existing PCs already has that wrapped up pretty well. Couch multiplayer? Never heard Atari talk about this or promote it for the machine. That seems to be more Amico's thing, but it's again playing in a space that Nintendo owns. Not saying they couldn't make it work, but part of this problem is that Atari doesn't have a development team. It's pretty much a small group of office managers. Haters fail to see the benefit of spending this kind of cash on a product because of a logo, and there's no shortage of collectible items out there. Most of us already have decent or better gaming PCs. If you really need something like the CX-40 in your life, you can get that separately. If you want a game console, then the existing three options are better value for the money and they know what they are, with much more support & resources behind them.
  24. CAVE is releasing a 2nd game from their classic library exclusively to the exA-Arcadia later this year, the scrolling shooter Akai Katana. This follows last year's release of DoDonPachi EXA and will be similar, combining all of the game modes from previous releases and adding a new EXA Mode for beginner players.
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