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Jag's 3d is actually impressive?

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This week I've been playing the Jag more often than previous months.   

 

Watching an Iron Soldier 2 video (below), a thought has occured.  We're used to believe that Rebellion has extracted every ounce of 3d power from the Jag (AVP and Skyhammer).

 

As impressive as AVP and Skyhammer are, they're really not much more than boxes, finely textured with SUPERB art direction, and even so the Jag still struggles with frame rate.

 

 

Looking at those nice, round silos, there's a lot of polys being used to make those shapes so round.

 

Also, those balls fired as projectiles, they're polygonal too, and actually made of plenty of polys. Finally, whenever one enemy explodes, several polys fly everywhere.

 

We're used to believe the Jag struggles to render just a few boxes on screen, but this games proves the Jag, when properly programmed, can handle impressive poly counts. That's no me making things up from thin air, just look at those round objects, there's plenty of polys being rendered there.

 

Ok ok, I know that a variable poly count is employed according to distance from object, and the Gouraud shading tricks the illusion of better poly count, and those silos are not textured, but even still that's way higher poly count than Rebellion games.

 

Before you fight me, I've been doing 3d animaton for 2+ decades, not a layman here. ;)

 

At some moments, you have on screen (simultaneously):  a silo, balls as projectiles, a building or two exploding on the BG (lots of flying polys) and some enemies, and frame rate remains high.  Most of these are even textured.

 

That's impressive in my opinion, way more 3d power than people attribute to the Jag's capabilities.

 

Anyway, what do you think?

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Its a shame we didnt see more Jag games from Eclipse. Their 3d engine was about the best on the system. Werent they also working on a racing game for the Jaguar?

 

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LD found a bunch of quotes from them somewhere that suggests that IS a first generation engine and IS 2 was not quite second generation but like 1.5 was the impression I got.

Edited by JagChris
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I fully agree. Eclipse were Ex Thalion members, expierienced top tier devs for the Amiga and ST. They did Wings of Death, Lethal Xcess, Ambermoon, Amberstar, Lionheart....So when the Jaguar was in the right hands it delivered, yes.

 

 

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It's been said before that the jag struggles with texture mapping.  I remember reading on this forum that allegedly hover strike took a big performance hit in development when Atari management ordered that it be texture mapped.  It certainly runs a lot less smoothly than the nontextured I War.

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6 hours ago, sirlynxalot said:

It's been said before that the jag struggles with texture mapping.  I remember reading on this forum that allegedly hover strike took a big performance hit in development when Atari management ordered that it be texture mapped.  It certainly runs a lot less smoothly than the nontextured I War.

But it still runs pretty nicely considering the level of texture mapping that was included. I'm referencing the CD version though, not the cart.

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9 hours ago, sirlynxalot said:

It's been said before that the jag struggles with texture mapping.  I remember reading on this forum that allegedly hover strike took a big performance hit in development when Atari management ordered that it be texture mapped.  It certainly runs a lot less smoothly than the nontextured I War.

I War has some textures. But it  does not run well, as the frame rate tanks when things get busy. 

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The question has never been about whether the Jag can do "impressive" 3D. The question has been about how powerful it was in relation to its contemporaries from the same console generation as far as texture mapped 3D is concerned.

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Yes the good 3D games that we did get to see were done very well. Some textured and some not. All were impressive.

 

If Supercross 3D had been more refined in regards to its framerate prior to release we would be telling a totally different story about that game today. 

 

In regards to IWAR I haven't ever noticed any slowdown in that game myself, in fact its aolid framerate ia something I remember most about it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sauron said:

The question has never been about whether the Jag can do "impressive" 3D. The question has been about how powerful it was in relation to its contemporaries from the same console generation as far as texture mapped 3D is concerned.

Checkered Flag?  

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1 hour ago, WAVE 1 GAMES said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes the good 3D games that we did get to see were done very well. Some textured and some not. All were impressive.

 

If Supercross 3D had been more refined in regards to its framerate prior to release we would be telling a totally different story about that game today. 

 

In regards to IWAR I haven't ever noticed any slowdown in that game myself, in fact its aolid framerate ia something I remember most about it.

 

 

While not as bad as Supercross, WTRs frame rate is pretty low. The only game that runs as well as Iron Soldier 2 is Zero 5.

I War frame rate is sluggish, that was adressed in several reviews. 

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9 hours ago, Sauron said:

The question has never been about whether the Jag can do "impressive" 3D. The question has been about how powerful it was in relation to its contemporaries from the same console generation as far as texture mapped 3D is concerned.

I think he tried to make a point about Iron Soldiers 2 3D graphics/engine, how impressive they are for the system,  despite being not fully textured/having less textures than AvP/Skyhammer. 

So people tend to just look  for texture mapping as the holy grail, but a capable 3D engine is much more than that. Polycounts, detailed animation, Frame rate, density of moving objects and graphics effects, controls, freedom of movement, AI, just to name a few. ;-)  

 

Actually it is no question that the Jaguar can't match the Saturn or PS1, in terms of 3D performance and tmaps. However skillfull programmers still were able to deliver  a quite impressive 3D action game on it, unfortunality in the world of Jaguar software, it remained a rare case of brilliant execution. 

And then imagine a VR version (there were plans for it) , that would have been awesome.

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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I always wondered how it would stack up in 2D performance.  I thought it had an advantage on PS1 and close to equal to Saturn.  Does anybody know how these really match up, I thought the Jaguar had an advantage in color depth and sprites, but my knowledge of how any of this works is jack-shit.  But I have always wondered.  Side by Side at home on the same television, on Rayman it did notice more color on Jaguar, you can see it easy in the leaves on the first stage, but again, you really have to look for this stuff to see a difference and Defender 2000 seems to throw a shit-ton of stuff around to fast to see.  

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I must admit I didn't read a whole thread, but we (Retro Venture) are working on 2 games - 1 platformer and 1 complex 3D title for the Jaguar (no ST ports). And believe me - Jaguar _HAS_ potential and we will prove it.

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13 hours ago, Sauron said:

The question has never been about whether the Jag can do "impressive" 3D. The question has been about how powerful it was in relation to its contemporaries from the same console generation as far as texture mapped 3D is concerned.

But didn't the better contemporaries get released a year or two after Jag?  (besides 3DO)

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1 hour ago, grey/msb said:

I must admit I didn't read a whole thread, but we (Retro Venture) are working on 2 games - 1 platformer and 1 complex 3D title for the Jaguar (no ST ports). And believe me - Jaguar _HAS_ potential and we will prove it.

Can you show us something  at Sillyventure 2020?

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Even though it had its own issues, I always felt like the 3DO killed the Jaguar in 3D, so never really thought much of the Jaguar from a 3D standpoint. It usually felt too shoehorned in, which I guess at times it was.

My favorite 3D game on the Jaguar was Zero 5 (I also admire Iron Soldier 2 from a technical standpoint, but the darker look didn't feel as fresh to me). I realize Zero 5 wasn't texture-mapped, but it just feels so fast and smooth, especially in comparison to the framerate-challenged stuff. I always thought it a shame that the Jaguar couldn't focus more on games like that when 3D was a design requirement, but I realize at the time it was important to have the texture-mapped look. Ironically, I'd also argue that the Zero 5 look holds up better today than 90s texture-mapped stuff.

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I-War's framerate is all over the place. At its best it's quite nice. At its worse, it's, well.. one of the worst experiences (framerate-wise) on the console.

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1 hour ago, zzip said:

But didn't the better contemporaries get released a year or two after Jag?  (besides 3DO)

I think it's contemporaries as the NES and Sega Genesis. 3do. 

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5 minutes ago, Kalani said:

I think it's contemporaries as the NES and Sega Genesis. 3do. 

Yeah, that's what I was thinking.   I recall it outspecced everything except 3DO when launched,  but the Saturn and Playstation arrived within a year or two.

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1 minute ago, zzip said:

Yeah, that's what I was thinking.   I recall it outspecced everything except 3DO when launched,  but the Saturn and Playstation arrived within a year or two.

The 32x was release to compete with the FX Chips and  the 32 bit 3do and Jaguar

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4 minutes ago, zzip said:

Yeah, that's what I was thinking.   I recall it outspecced everything except 3DO when launched,  but the Saturn and Playstation arrived within a year or two.

The Jag released in a transgenerational no man's land.  It was an expensive budget system. The 3do cost  2.5x it price but after it's release Nintendo and Sega dropped their system prices.  Had it had a wide release with good advertising and at it's original MSRP.  Could of entrenched it's self and weathered new systems gimped through the early playstation Saturn days. 

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4 hours ago, Kalani said:

The Jag released in a transgenerational no man's land.  It was an expensive budget system. The 3do cost  2.5x it price but after it's release Nintendo and Sega dropped their system prices.  Had it had a wide release with good advertising and at it's original MSRP.  Could of entrenched it's self and weathered new systems gimped through the early playstation Saturn days. 

I still maintain that the Jaguar was DOA after Atari fumbled the 7800.  It was 2 years late with a launch library of game that were already dated when first announced.   They lost a lot of mindshare to Nintendo and Sega in those years, and they didn't have the financial resources to gain it back

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9 hours ago, 7800JAGFAN said:

I always wondered how it would stack up in 2D performance.  I thought it had an advantage on PS1 and close to equal to Saturn.  Does anybody know how these really match up, I thought the Jaguar had an advantage in color depth and sprites, but my knowledge of how any of this works is jack-shit.  But I have always wondered.  Side by Side at home on the same television, on Rayman it did notice more color on Jaguar, you can see it easy in the leaves on the first stage, but again, you really have to look for this stuff to see a difference and Defender 2000 seems to throw a shit-ton of stuff around to fast to see.  

From what i have read, the PS1 wins when it comes to pushing sprites (it uses its polygon engine to draw sprites as quads), and Saturn wins when it comes to background layers (its VDP2 is a monster when it comes to background layers). Both the Playstation and Jaguar have to generate backgrounds layers with sprites, so they are at a disadvantage here againts the Saturn. Also Saturn and Playstation have 1.5 and 1.0 MB of RAM dedicated just to video respectively, unlike the Jaguar.

So when all its balanced out Saturn come out on top in 2D, Playstation comes in second (with advantages like transparency and lightning effects) and Jaguar in 3rd.

I guess Jag haters will point out that games like Raiden and Pitfall fail to run at 60FPS which even the 16 bit consoles managed...thank god we have Rayman t counter that argument.

This is my perspective according to some stuff i have read. Feel free to correct me on whatever.

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13 hours ago, Kalani said:

The Jag released in a transgenerational no man's land.  It was an expensive budget system. The 3do cost  2.5x it price but after it's release Nintendo and Sega dropped their system prices.  Had it had a wide release with good advertising and at it's original MSRP.  Could of entrenched it's self and weathered new systems gimped through the early playstation Saturn days. 

Yeah, the Jag is considered a 5th generation console, so the Genesis and SNES aren't really its contemporaries. You have to put the Jag up against the 3DO, 32x, and of course the PSX and Saturn. 

 

7 hours ago, sd32 said:

From what i have read, the PS1 wins when it comes to pushing sprites (it uses its polygon engine to draw sprites as quads), and Saturn wins when it comes to background layers (its VDP2 is a monster when it comes to background layers). Both the Playstation and Jaguar have to generate backgrounds layers with sprites, so they are at a disadvantage here againts the Saturn. Also Saturn and Playstation have 1.5 and 1.0 MB of RAM dedicated just to video respectively, unlike the Jaguar.

So when all its balanced out Saturn come out on top in 2D, Playstation comes in second (with advantages like transparency and lightning effects) and Jaguar in 3rd.

I guess Jag haters will point out that games like Raiden and Pitfall fail to run at 60FPS which even the 16 bit consoles managed...thank god we have Rayman t counter that argument.

This is my perspective according to some stuff i have read. Feel free to correct me on whatever.

I'm no expert on this myself, but from what I've seen the Jag can hold its own against the PSX and Saturn in regards to 2D, to the point where whatever performance gap exists isn't that significant. 

 

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