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Leeroy ST

Was not releasing with CD at launch the biggest mistake Atari made with the Jaguar?

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10 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

While the result of trying to be different failed for Fight For Life (and several other games) the change itself at least made sense.

 

By the time Fight for Life came out between 93-96 there were a crap ton of 3D fighters, clones or otherwise maybe over 30-40+ releases, and that's just on consoles. Not counting computer 3D fighters like your FX Fighters etc.

 

It was probably better to try and differentiate instead of playing it safe in a genre that was starting to consolidate around a few franchises. A lot of 3D fighters at that point had small audiences, even games like Toshinden that were initially more popular due to the novelty of 3D fighting being new, later became a niche nobody franchise on the same console.

 

The gamble didn't work out, but at least the gamble made sense.

 

 

 

On consoles there were only Virtua Fighter, Tekken 1 and Battle Arena Toshinden before FFL. 2D fighting games were still dominant throughout 1996. 

 

https://www.fightersgeneration.com/features/timeline.html#1995 (Look at release dates on consoles for US and EU)

 

But even counting all Arcade 3D fighting games, 30-40 releases until FFL is a far fetched number. ;) 

 

 

FFL was something in between Tekken and VF 1 graphically, but Clint is right, the gameplay is crippled by some bad design decisions.

 

Edited by agradeneu

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5 hours ago, agradeneu said:

On consoles there were only Virtua Fighter, Tekken 1 and Battle Arena Toshinden before FFL. 

 

The obviousness of me clearly exagerrating the numbers to make a point put aside, this is incorrect. There were more than just 3 3D fighters before FFL.

 

You are missing games Like Ballz 3D, Criticom, and Zero Divide among others. 2 other VF releases too.

 

Then you have PC 3D fighters off the top of my head, like FX Fighter and Sento, etc 

 

Then you have arcade titles like Fighting Vipers, Toshinden 2, Tekken 2 and others. 

 

Being more realistic you're looking at possibly 15-20 releases before FFL with a chunk of that releasing on the farther end of the 94-96 time frame.

 

The point was there were many 3D fighting game releases before Fight for Life, and Atari's gamble to differentiate likely made more sense than playing it safe.

 

Several 3D Fighting releases that weren't differentiating, or relied too much on a gimmick, were not selling well. A couple got off the first time due to novelty, for example Toshinden, but it ended up being a niche has been franchise on the same console it launched on, starting with it's first sequel. Outside japan of course.

 

Fight For Life was released right before the time games with bigger production and more content were announced out soon, and after Tekken became the dominant franchise gamers were consolidating around with VF reaching it's peak the same year (95), while everything else fell, or barely had an audience in the first place.

 

The gamble didn't work out, but again, at least it made sense at the time.

 

 

 

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FX Fighter was in development for the SNES.. 

 

Skip to 23 seconds:

 

 

 

 

 

From what i remember of F. F. L hype at the time, the key focus seemed to be the setting and more so the ability to steal moves from defeated opponents. 

 

I know Atari used assistance from likes of Bio Vision and High Voltage Software on it, but to myself (not a great 2D or 3D Fighting game fan), it just smacked of Atari doing a tick box exercise. 

 

 

The MD and SNES had Mario and Sonic, so Atari got Zool and Bubsy, there's your Mascot-style platformers..

 

Ultra Vortex and Kasumi Ninja covered your 2D Fighter bases.. 

 

 

Checkered Flag was your Virtua Racing.. 

 

 

You were scraping the bottom of the barrel with your Highlander trying to be your Alone In The Dark... 

 

 

Fever Pitch your FIFA... 

 

Atari were trying to ensure Jaguar had the type of games readily available on rival platforms, but they didn't have the resources to come anywhere near close. 

 

Where as other companies often canned their W. I. P titles, Atari had so few, they pushed stuff out just to have product available at retail. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

FX Fighter was in development for the SNES.. 

Yeah but it ended up coming out on PC. Though an attempt at 3D fighting on SNES would be interesting. Not sure how well a finished project would perform though.

 

3 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

You were scraping the bottom of the barrel with your Highlander trying to be your Alone In The Dark... 

Forgot all about that game. Based off the Highlander cartoon everyone forgot about.

 

I remember it being slow and having input delay.

 

What's interesting about Highlander compared to other poorly executed games, is this one the devs actually put in a lot of heart and effort.

 

The devs were fans of the show (for some reason) some of the studios involved worked with Atari, even got the voice actors.

 

Originally they planned a whole trilogy, but that didn't pan out. It was definitely one of the few Jaguar games with real passion behind it, that's for sure 

 

Shame it didn't work out 

 

 

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Highlander itself on Jaguar was originally intended as a one-on-one beate-em-up, game had a very troubled development, Lore Design also attached to the Jaguar Batman game that got canned, at one point. 

 

Lore yet another studio that suffered by backing the Jaguar it seems, lot of resources wasted along the way. 

 

From what i remember about Highlander Jaguar CD was indeed the voice actors, high colour backgrounds, motion capture, you couldn't fault them for the ambition and resources assigned. 

 

But had it been developed from day one for a CD-based Jaguar console, it still wouldn't of been the Alone In The Dark affair Atari needed. 

 

Alone In The Dark itself seemed dated when it appeared on 3DO and the sequel on Playstation and Saturn, all eyes moving towards Resident Evil on Playstation, Capcom has set the new benchmark. 

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3 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

Highlander itself on Jaguar was originally intended as a one-on-one beate-em-up, game had a very troubled development, Lore Design also attached to the Jaguar Batman game that got canned, at one point. 

 

Lore yet another studio that suffered by backing the Jaguar it seems, lot of resources wasted along the way. 

 

From what i remember about Highlander Jaguar CD was indeed the voice actors, high colour backgrounds, motion capture, you couldn't fault them for the ambition and resources assigned. 

 

But had it been developed from day one for a CD-based Jaguar console, it still wouldn't of been the Alone In The Dark affair Atari needed. 

 

Alone In The Dark itself seemed dated when it appeared on 3DO and the sequel on Playstation and Saturn, all eyes moving towards Resident Evil on Playstation, Capcom has set the new benchmark. 

It's always been funny to me fans of the first Alone in the dark were not happy about the series moving toward action, yet that's one of the reasons Resident Evil succeeded from the start.

 

But as for Highlander, it has basic graphics similar to Alone in the dark. Those games as you say were good graphically in 92-93, but no so much later in 1995.

 

However, the objects and character model in Highlander wouldn't look too out of place next to Carnby. I wonder if that's because of the troubled development or if the Jaguars problems prevented them from doing much better. We know 3DO could do better.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRcY-3q0kihUS6ApPivpAN

IGoPRlwq8vT5g8sAiLHcWXfmipJX9fdPuyASDNPQ

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29 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

It's always been funny to me fans of the first Alone in the dark were not happy about the series moving toward action, yet that's one of the reasons Resident Evil succeeded from the start.

 

But as for Highlander, it has basic graphics similar to Alone in the dark. Those games as you say were good graphically in 92-93, but no so much later in 1995.

 

However, the objects and character model in Highlander wouldn't look too out of place next to Carnby. I wonder if that's because of the troubled development or if the Jaguars problems prevented them from doing much better. We know 3DO could do better.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRcY-3q0kihUS6ApPivpAN

IGoPRlwq8vT5g8sAiLHcWXfmipJX9fdPuyASDNPQ

Graphics of Highlander are pretty good, the backgrounds are highly detailed prerenders in 16 bit or 24 bit color.

The polygon models look ok, animations are good. The concept is similar to Alone in the Dark but the presentation is quite better.

Alone in the Dark looks really potatoes, even on the 3DO.

 

All problems with Highlander are gameplay related. 

Edited by agradeneu

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4 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

Highlander itself on Jaguar was originally intended as a one-on-one beate-em-up, game had a very troubled development, Lore Design also attached to the Jaguar Batman game that got canned, at one point. 

 

Lore yet another studio that suffered by backing the Jaguar it seems, lot of resources wasted along the way. 

 

From what i remember about Highlander Jaguar CD was indeed the voice actors, high colour backgrounds, motion capture, you couldn't fault them for the ambition and resources assigned. 

 

But had it been developed from day one for a CD-based Jaguar console, it still wouldn't of been the Alone In The Dark affair Atari needed. 

 

Alone In The Dark itself seemed dated when it appeared on 3DO and the sequel on Playstation and Saturn, all eyes moving towards Resident Evil on Playstation, Capcom has set the new benchmark. 

Its quite a shame, because looking at Highlander, a similar game like Resident Evil would have been possible on Jaguar, technically. 

The polygon models would have looked less detailed/textured, but otherwise the concept would have worked.

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37 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

Graphics of Highlander are pretty good, the backgrounds are highly detailed prerenders in 16 bit or 24 bit color.

The polygon models look ok, animations are good. The concept is similar to Alone in the Dark but the presentation is quite better.

Alone in the Dark looks really potatoes, even on the 3DO.

 

All problems with Highlander are gameplay related. 

Only ever Highlander title i have ever played was the awful C64 game by Ocean Software at the time and even that only because of the Martin Galway music. 

 

Never took to the films. 

 

There were a good few Lore Design documents, including a lot for Highlander and it's proposed sequel, in the zip files Scott Stilphen passed onto me at the time. 

 

I must of briefly looked through them, then simply passed them onto the likes of Unseen64 and Atarimania, as they could make far better use of them. 

 

Other than that i have memories of a Preview in Edge magazine, detailing the tech used,possible Review in Atari Entertainment Magazine? 

 

 

Then it's just been YT channel coverage pointing out if only they had addressed certain flaws, you need to basically play the game with a guide at hand to get anywhere... 

 

It came across as a very promising game engine, used late in the commercial life of the system and on a game that needed a lot more refinement itself. 

 

Woukd that be a fair appraisal? 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

The polygon models look ok, 

The polygon models are commonly considered a weak link. They aren't terrible but those graphics were left behind outside un-enhanced ports of ALITD on 3DO. Which itself had better models in other games on the system.

 

It would be ok by itself, but as a hyped project with decent backing behind it on a struggling platforms addon, reviewers tore it to shreds.

 

15 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

Only ever Highlander title i have ever played was the awful C64 game by Ocean Software at the time and even that only because of the Martin Galway music. 

 

Never took to the films. 

From what I understand only the first film is actually liked, and the rest was hollywood retconning the first movies "one and done" story to pump out sequels and spin offs.

 

I've only seen the first two myself, and while that was a long time ago, if I recall that indeed seems to be the case, that they threw the first film under the bus. Though I'm not really a fan of either.

 

But it seems the staff behind the game really liked the extended universe. Which seems to put them in a minority. May also be why highlander fans weren't hype for it when the game was announced. Add that you needed a Jag and an extra addon unit to play it, it was doomed from the start.

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7 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

The polygon models are commonly considered a weak link. They aren't terrible but those graphics were left behind outside un-enhanced ports of ALITD on 3DO. Which itself had better models in other games on the system.

 

It would be ok by itself, but as a hyped project with decent backing behind it on a struggling platforms addon, reviewers tore it to shreds.

 

 

Can you provide some examples for similar games on the 3DO with much better models?

 

 

Highlander was a real good looking game but the game design was entirely panned by critics, especially the combat, controls and the "puzzles".

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highlander:_The_Last_of_the_MacLeods

 

 

Its just not fun to play the game as it is either frustrating or boring. 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, agradeneu said:

Can you provide some examples for similar games on the 3DO with much better models?

Hmm, you didn't say similar games last time, you said the models looked ok generally. But in either case:

 

Highlander Jaguar:

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

 

3DO Doctor Hauser, a similar game style:

DoctorHauzerHeader.gif

 

 

Also Foes of Ali just for another example:

1729703-foesali_00383.jpg

 

 

 

Highlander doesn't even come close. Hauser came out a year before too.

 

I'm not even sure Highlanders model is that much better than 32x VF, maybe a bit but not too far. The Highlander model benefits when it further away instead of up close. Once close the weakness becomes apparent.

 

Also, yes it has bad controls and laggy gameplay as mentioned before 

 

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19 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

Hmm, you didn't say similar games last time, you said the models looked ok generally. But in either case:

 

Highlander Jaguar:

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

 

3DO Doctor Hauser, a similar game style:

DoctorHauzerHeader.gif

 

 

Also Foes of Ali just for another example:

1729703-foesali_00383.jpg

 

 

 

Highlander doesn't even come close. Hauser came out a year before too.

 

 

Doctor Hauser also features polygonal backgrounds... it was pretty impressive. But the characters seem to be made of a similar number of polygons as in Highlander, but Hausers use textures and thus look more impressive. On the other hand you get more enemies on screen at once in Highlander... Hauser is pretty sparse when in comes to enemies 

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2 hours ago, sd32 said:

Doctor Hauser also features polygonal backgrounds... it was pretty impressive. But the characters seem to be made of a similar number of polygons as in Highlander, but Hausers use textures and thus look more impressive. On the other hand you get more enemies on screen at once in Highlander... Hauser is pretty sparse when in comes to enemies 

There's more polygons on hauser and they are smoother which can be seen at any of the 3 viewing modes. One of the reasons the game is a tad slow as well. Though speed depends on what 3DO you play on but it's not 30fps in any case.

 

As for enemies, Hauser is mostly a puzzle game. I wouldn't expect a ton of enemies on screen. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

There's more polygons on hauser and they are smoother which can be seen at any of the 3 viewing modes. One of the reasons the game is a tad slow as well. Though speed depends on what 3DO you play on but it's not 30fps in any case.

 

As for enemies, Hauser is mostly a puzzle game. I wouldn't expect a ton of enemies on screen. 

 

 

Have you counted them? IMO they are in the same ballpark. You should look at the whole polygon model, not only show a close up to make your suggestions.

Dr. Hauzer has some small detail textures, but as SD32 pointed out, there is only 1 model in the game, with a lot fewer animations btw.

Overall the differences are not really worth an argument.

 

Whats more interesting for me is the gameplay of Dr.Hauzer, which is much more involving and innovative.

 

Edited by agradeneu

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7 hours ago, sd32 said:

Doctor Hauser also features polygonal backgrounds... it was pretty impressive. But the characters seem to be made of a similar number of polygons as in Highlander, but Hausers use textures and thus look more impressive. On the other hand you get more enemies on screen at once in Highlander... Hauser is pretty sparse when in comes to enemies 

That only works for boxy, simple rooms with limited detail.  

 

Probably a reason why RE uses prendered environments, much more impressive detail and you are not limited what you can render.

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I just put this in the thread talking about Jane whittaker, but here's another developer who definitely didn't put the failure of the Jaguar down to not being CD based from the start 😂

 

 

Peter Wiseman

2/22/96
to
FACT FACT FACT FACT, FUCKING FACT !!!!!!!!!

Listen up dudes,

Three years ago, I got my hands on the most awesome development kit
imaginable. Atari Jaguar; and it had a great future, hardware that kicked
the megadrive and SNES into orbit.

Unfortunately, the Tramiels fucked everything up by screwing with every single
developer that still had faith (or were blind) to Atari's un-cooporative
development support. End result - every single game that Atari produced took
three times as long to develop as it should have. While Atari were fucking
around, Sega and Sony popped out their mega-machines and flushed the Jaguar
down the toilet. Believe me, Atari had their chance, and they blew it. They
had Jaguar ready and waiting a year before it hit the shops and all they had
to beat were the Megashite and Sneze. Unfortunately, they screwed up the
software by poor (not strong enough a word) development support. Atari
repeatedly altered software specificaions without warning, insisted on changes
to months of previously approved graphics design and demanded game performance
that simply was not possible on the current hardware, believing they had a
machine the power of ten super computers. Developer support was non-existent.
That's why, after three years, Jaguar owners still don't have access to more
games than the Oric. Believe me, 'cos I know the truth my friends; I worked as
a developer for Atari for two years and it was the worst two years of my life.
I saw a potential gold mine flushed straight down the bog; well out of my
control. Don't blame anyone else for the demise of Jaguar and Atari other than
the Tramiels. I know what I'm talking about.

A very bitter ex-Atari developer - Peter Wiseman

Atari 1975 (Nolan Bushnell) <> Atari 1996 (Dick Face Tramiels R.I.H)
Have faith in the man who founded the Atari legend; not those who destroyed it
!

Sell your Jaguars NOW, 'cos if you think your going to get support from the
Tramiels then you probably still believe in Santa Clause. Any further Jaguar
releases are purely for legal reasons !

May your SCSI hard drives have bad sectors for eternity, Sam and Leonard .....

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5 hours ago, agradeneu said:

Have you counted them? IMO they are in the same ballpark. You should look at the whole polygon model, not only show a close up to make your suggestions.

Dr. Hauzer has some small detail textures, but as SD32 pointed out, there is only 1 model in the game, with a lot fewer animations btw.

Overall the differences are not really worth an argument.

 

Whats more interesting for me is the gameplay of Dr.Hauzer, which is much more involving and innovative.

There are more on hauser.

 

And again it's primarily a puzzle game so you wouldn't expect a ton of enemy models on screen.

 

Having to render each full 3D area in real time accounting for 3 camera views likely wouldn't help with that anyway. Same with animations.

 

Then of course there's Foes of Ali, which you skipped over.

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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4 hours ago, agradeneu said:

That only works for boxy, simple rooms with limited detail.  

 

Probably a reason why RE uses prendered environments, much more impressive detail and you are not limited what you can render.

It is easier to improve on the Alone in the Dark formula, than to try and have dynamic angles in real time. Although there were third person action games proper on PS1, Capcom was lead to believe improving on that formula (item throws and drops excluded) was the only way to get around what they thought were limitations with the PSX hardware. Then kept the style after the first game due to reception.

 

Silent Hill however did try it, with several compromises of course. Some of those compromises actually work for a horror game, such as fog.

 

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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Now if Highlander was released earlier, it may have pulled some of the fans not as sour of hollywood pumping out those sequels, and having a decent Alone in the dark clone in 94 would be more of a system mover. A built in CD would allow for an earlier release.

 

Alone in the Dark 1 iirc came out on 3DO in 94, slightly dated. Highlander would have been a nice counter to it. It's important to consider long term benefits as well, not just short term.

 

There's even a chance Jaguar might have gotten a port of Alone in the dark in addition to Highlander.

 

But as it is, it came out way too late, while the interest in the Highlander brand was fading fast. You also had to buy two products to play it, and the press was doom trolling Atari at the time, wondering if they could make it to 96. 

 

It was just a bad time to still be a fan hanging onto the Jaguar. If you paid the premium for the addon it nearly had no support, and just a handful of games worth playing of the support it did have.

Edited by Leeroy ST

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2 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Now if Highlander was released earlier, it may have pulled some of the fans not as sour of hollywood pumping out those sequels, and having a decent Alone in the dark clone in 94 would be more of a system mover. A built in CD would allow for an earlier release.

 

Alone in the Dark 1 iirc came out on 3DO in 94, slightly dated. Highlander would have been a nice counter to it. It's important to consider long term benefits as well, not just short term.

 

There's even a chance Jaguar might have gotten a port of Alone in the dark in addition to Highlander.

 

But as it is, it came out way too late, while the interest in the Highlander brand was fading fast. You also had to buy two products to play it, and the press was doom trolling Atari at the time, wondering if they could make it to 96. 

 

It was just a bad time to still be a fan hanging onto the Jaguar. If you paid the premium for the addon it nearly had no support, and just a handful of games worth playing of the support it did have.

Counterpoint... The Jaguar didn't need another objectively awful game any sooner than it got it.

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Rebellion talking on how they would of used the CD if it had been standard on the Jaguar, rather than cartridge based. 

 

 

 

Saying Atari hadn't nailed the CD Specs down yet... 

 

 

 

Lying about coding A8 Star Raiders 

 

 

ATD pointing out Cybermorph origins, Jaguar, never Panther. 

 

 

I do like to provide evidence behind my claims, unlike that bloody awful Pixel Nation Panther article. 

20210821_184149.jpg

20210821_192812.jpg

20210821_192759.jpg

Edited by Lostdragon
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6 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Now if Highlander was released earlier, it may have pulled some of the fans not as sour of hollywood pumping out those sequels, and having a decent Alone in the dark clone in 94 would be more of a system mover. A built in CD would allow for an earlier release.

 

Alone in the Dark 1 iirc came out on 3DO in 94, slightly dated. Highlander would have been a nice counter to it. It's important to consider long term benefits as well, not just short term.

 

There's even a chance Jaguar might have gotten a port of Alone in the dark in addition to Highlander.

 

But as it is, it came out way too late, while the interest in the Highlander brand was fading fast. You also had to buy two products to play it, and the press was doom trolling Atari at the time, wondering if they could make it to 96. 

 

It was just a bad time to still be a fan hanging onto the Jaguar. If you paid the premium for the addon it nearly had no support, and just a handful of games worth playing of the support it did have.

The animated series, wasn't out till fall 94, would they even of had time to mod a game after it...no idea I assume production on a new animated series was only maybe a year ahead, complete with voices probably at best was 6 months ahead

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5 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Counterpoint... The Jaguar didn't need another objectively awful game any sooner than it got it.

Atari would take anything that (seemed like it) could sell consoles even if the sales were only temporary.

 

22 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

Fight For Life clipping 

IMG_9326.JPG

Is there actually a quote of Atari people saying Club Drive was better than Daytona? 

 

I hope it's true. That might be the worst thing Atari said in the Jaguar era if it happened. It's bad enough to compare the quality but Club Drive isn't even a racing game lol. Club Drive does have one advantage though, box polygon cat.

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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