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What's wrong with Trevor Mcfur and the Crescent Galaxy? !?!?

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Let's put aside the obvious glaring faults such as the lack of game play music and the rushed preproduction title screen keyboard music. So far the ONLY thing I see wrong with this game is the developers not giving it that polished feeling with good music. Otherwise. ...This is a damn good shooter.

 

I watch numerous videos of players attempting to trash this game. The majority of the videos the gamers are actually surprised at how fun it is and they admit they were just going off on the games notorious reputation. The graphics are stellar for the time. The bosses looked absolutely fantastic and not to mention the content. This isn't exactly a short game. Each planet has its own Astroid pre level with its own unique boss, then you actually play the planet and it's unique boss. So far that's a total of 10 bosses out of 5 planets and 10 separate levels. There is a plethora of power ups and shields to help with the increasing difficulty. Not to mention for a game that is notorious for having a glaring weakness in the the sound department. ...IT HAS FANTASTIC SOUND FX! From the exploding blobs to the gadgety cyber scorpions the sounds are fun. At times I'm pretty sure music would've hidden these sounds. The characters spout crazy and corny cat puns that are acceptable for this time period. The game all and all is a fun installment for the Jaguar. So what's wrong with it again?

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I bought the game at release and liked it. Always liked its use of color and art style. Though the difficulty is up there though. It always kept be coming back and playing just to see if I could get further. I think the media sorta rode another one of their high horses when reviewing yet another Jaguar game. 90's were a time when it was hip to rip on those "64 bits of Jaguar" gaming. Was abit of an easy target and the game reviews suffered for it. Never have forgotten how reviews tore apart CyberMorph also,you could tell those reviewers didn't get far within the game before unfairly giving it a final low ball score. Trevor McFur suffered the same fate. It has allot of action on screen and the difficulty is up there but if you know how play against bosses and know how and when to score those valuable powerups the game can be really fun. At times the game reminds me of one of those bullet hell Japanese old school shooters that the same reviewers tend to be lenient on and give above average scores too. Yet this game caught scorching criticisms. Go figure.

Edited by PhoenixMoonPatrol

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There are a few troubling issues with Trevor McFur outside of the general lack of polish. The perspective is a bit odd, the player ship a bit too large, and the general pacing of the game is poor, making it rather more boring than a game of this type should be. It's like the developers weren't well-versed in what made a good scrolling shooter. It's kind of like a Frankenstein creation of almost-there elements.

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I always thought it looked good, and I think the bosses are pretty interesting. However, I find that I get pretty bored in the middle of each level. I also think they could have done a little more with the weapon power ups.

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My only problem with it, is the length of each level. Graphics, mechanics,SFX etc... All decent or fun I my book. But the monotony after spending 5 minutes in 1 level is the hardest thing for me to forgive, when there is little pay off for spending that much time.

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Let's put aside the obvious glaring faults such as the lack of game play music and the rushed preproduction title screen keyboard music. So far the ONLY thing I see wrong with this game is the developers not giving it that polished feeling with good music. Otherwise. ...This is a damn good shooter.

 

I watch numerous videos of players attempting to trash this game. The majority of the videos the gamers are actually surprised at how fun it is and they admit they were just going off on the games notorious reputation. The graphics are stellar for the time. The bosses looked absolutely fantastic and not to mention the content. This isn't exactly a short game. Each planet has its own Astroid pre level with its own unique boss, then you actually play the planet and it's unique boss. So far that's a total of 10 bosses out of 5 planets and 10 separate levels. There is a plethora of power ups and shields to help with the increasing difficulty. Not to mention for a game that is notorious for having a glaring weakness in the the sound department. ...IT HAS FANTASTIC SOUND FX! From the exploding blobs to the gadgety cyber scorpions the sounds are fun. At times I'm pretty sure music would've hidden these sounds. The characters spout crazy and corny cat puns that are acceptable for this time period. The game all and all is a fun installment for the Jaguar. So what's wrong with it again?

 

I have to agree with Bill. It seems that the developers lacked a nuanced understanding of what makes a good shooter. Developing a genre game is difficult.

 

The game has a bit of a "kitchen sink" experience for me. They put everything in there that should make a good shooter (outside of music) but failed to execute any single part exceptionally. The greatest feature of the game are the level boss graphics. They look awesome on the box art. However, I don't think the animation on these bosses are exceptional and it degrades the impact they make when actually seeing them in the game.

 

So I turn the question back around - do you think that there is any one aspect of the game that is absolutely exceptional? Head and shoulders above other shooters from the early 90s? You cited the sound effects. It's hard for me to rate this above the sound effects of TG-16 shooters or R-Type. There is little variety in enemy explosions. The power up sounds don't sound powerful, etc...

 

I think calling it an unexceptional game is a pretty fair analysis. I can accept that you feel it's "damn good" but certainly it isn't *great* or *excellent* and qualifies as my least favorite launch title, behind Cybermorph, Raiden, and Dino Dudes. That's already a pretty weak launch lineup... and to be dead last is pretty sad.

 

/Schmüdde

Edited by Schmudde
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I think it can be fun, but it is unconventional and could've used some general polish despite whether you can appreciate what merits there are.

 

As PhoenixMoonPatrol mentioned, knowing the value of the powerups and when to use them is important- probably the most important factor in the game. It's not immediately apparent, because you can accumulate so many power-ups that you may not realize you should've been saving them or where you should've used them until it's too late. Combine that with the fact that the game becomes considerably easier (and it is easier to get the power-ups you need) if you complete the levels in a certain order. So it can be frustrating until you figure out how to balance things (or are just really good a shmups).

 

The unconventional aspect that I think puts a lot of people off is that most enemies don't move in patterns and can move unpredictably around the screen. Although I like the creative use of some of the environment hazards (like the stalactites), it sometimes mixes badly with the unpredictable enemy movements.

 

Some areas that i think are just generally poorly done (but not gameplay related):

1. Enemies don't have many frames of animation

2. Would've been cool to see extra background layers

3. Art style is inconsistent, ranging from CG to something like airbrush or hand drawn, sometimes all on the same screen

4. Some silly enemy choices, like the scorpions that just walk all over the screen (including the part that's supposed to be the sky) and blow up into little scorpions when shot

5. Inconsistent perspective of enemies, environmental hazards, and background art

6. Lack of music in-game

7. Lack of variety between the space levels that begin each planet

 

It feels like they didn't put much time into design documents prior to working on the levels. As mentioned in the first part of my post though, after spending some time playing the game, I can see why people might like it. But it never deserved to be a mainstream hit or even a 7/10.

Edited by Willard
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Who was it that said Trevor was a cool tech demo, but little else? Umm… yeah. Sums up the "game" pretty well. ;)

 

Shoulda, coulda, woulda… the story of Atari's later years!

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It's as if someone made a checklist of shmup ingredients then could not be bothered to craft them into a worthwhile gaming experience cake.

 

Instead of following an agreed-upon recipe and method, the constituent parts were added alphabetically or by colour or some other equally nonsense qualifier, resulting in something that appears cake-like at a glance, but has all the taste and satisfaction of a sweat-sock sandwich.

 

It's the kind of thing that might happen when a team is heavy on techies and light on designers... or maybe, more likely in this case(?), the team's time creating the game was cut short because bods in suits said time's up!

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...all thrown together as if it were some kids first or second attempt using a 16/32-bit version of Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit. :lol:

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"Oh, Crescent Galaxy. It was the first game I ever worked on, and even while

we were creating art for it, it was obvious it was going to be a dog. A

pretty, colorful dog, but a dog all the same. It just wasn't fun to play.

There's no clear storyline, no progression in the game play. The first

level is just as difficult as the last, which makes it aggravating in the

beginning, and boring by the end. The things you fight are a random

collection of animals and robots, with no rhyme or reason to them."

 

http://www.grumpyoldgamers.co.uk/index.php?/topic/3980-the-bj-west-interview/

 

"Trevor McFur had to be out for launch."

 

http://www.grumpyoldgamers.co.uk/index.php?/topic/3104-faran-thomason-interview/

 

 

Edited by Lost Dragon
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Trevor McFur was one of the last official release Jag games i got and played. Put it off in favour of playing other games and in part due to ALL the terrible reviews i read. Once i put it in, i was overwhelmingly surprised at how much i enjoyed the game! It may have been due to it being much better that what i imagined it would be so i guess that would have helped. I enjoyed the variety and use of power ups and the controls were pretty good. Having said that, i MUCH prefer playing Trevor McFur on the MAS Arcade Stick as opposed to a Jagpad (standard or Pro)! So much so, i barely get past the first level on a pad but will play for ages on the Stick.

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That tactic works so well with many games, but specifically the bulk of Jaguar games. Lower expectations far enough and you can be pleasantly surprised by just about anything in some way or another.

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Let's put aside the obvious glaring faults such as the lack of game play music and the rushed preproduction title screen keyboard music. So far the ONLY thing I see wrong with this game is the developers not giving it that polished feeling with good music. Otherwise. ...This is a damn good shooter.

 

Play better shooters and you'll quickly see what's "wrong" with this game. That's not to say no fun can be had, but it's a low point for the genre as a whole.

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My last 2 Jaguar-related interviews have just come in and whilst 1 of them does explain in detail just why certain games were rushed, i had replies like:

"Before I go any further, you need to know that I won’t be throwing anyone under the bus in this interview (sorry), nor will I name names or place blame in any way. These are my personal observations and recollections from the years I spent at Atari Corp. If you are looking for blame or gossip , there is ample information and other interviews which cover the shortcomings of the Jaguar hardware and the missteps in the business practices at Atari Corp. Now that I have that off my chest, here we go… "
And: "My contract does not allow me to talk about all the work on lost games."
So, getting the full story behind Jaguar Games, is often more than i can deliver.
Interviews will require time to go through and be posted up online, but i hope make for interesting reading, into why Atari rushed so much out.
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Before anyone cracks on about not saying who i've interviewd, let alone multiple posts, a few things...

1)The interviews are lengthy, 1st one espically, i've no idea IF Hal is going to write them up as a joint feature or 2 seperate ones.
2)I'm at work tommorrow, so up at 4AM, yet forwarded both to him tonight so he can start work on them and 3)When they contain info such as:
'You didn’t mention Kasumi Ninja 2, Cyber Golf, Legion of the Undead… or even Uncle Oswald’s Invention… These were all titles I worked on for the Jaguar!'
And:
'Cabal, 720, and Vindicators were in development, but I believe were not a top priority for the developer. I had seen all but Rolling Thunder at one point or another in their development. When i moved out of the testing department and took over duties as an associate producer I was assigned many of the old Lynx titles, they called me “the finisher”… ...'
I'm not going to fret about my poor spelling, grammar or means used to get the interviews.

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Play better shooters and you'll quickly see what's "wrong" with this game. That's not to say no fun can be had, but it's a low point for the genre as a whole.

Oh yes! Play better shooters! Why didn't I think of that? Because Trevor mcfur for the rare Jaguar multimedia system Is the ONLY shooter I have EVER played in my lifetime. When I introduce myself to what a shooter is supposed to be like THEN AND ONLY THEN will I be able to make a fair assessment right? Brilliant!

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Very good rundown above, and if the posts were to be combined would create a nice great big essay on why Trevor McFur is just not very good. I've certainly had my fun with it, probably created a thread or two raving about it, and even bothered to 1CC the game a few times. But, it's clearly among the bottom tier of Jaguar games, and among the bottom tier of shmups period.

 

I think the Frankenstein's Monster comment is very apt. This has to be the most random hodge podge of enemies and power-ups I've ever seen in any game. Just thematically, you can't make any kind of sense out of this thing. What a strange 'galaxy'.

 

One other thing, I think alot of the complaints and comments about Trevor McFur can be transferred right to Gates of Zendocon for the Lynx. Do the two games share programmers, because they seem very similar.

Edited by Nuclear Pacman

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What I find interesting is that outside of Defender 2000/Protector SE, which I don't really count, another game of this type (at least that I can think of) was never attempted again on the Jaguar (the Native demo never made it out). You'd think it would have been a natural and an "easy" way of really exploiting some of the platform's audio-visual capabilities.

Edited by Bill Loguidice
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