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IntelliMission

Would releasing the Lynx in 1987 have made any difference?

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A few days ago I learned that the Lynx was designed by another company and, after Atari bought it, it took Atari 2 years to make a few design changes until they released it by the end of 1989 (and then Nintendo released the Game Boy one year later).

 

Was this the biggest mistake in video game history? Could Atari have beaten Nintendo with 3 years of advantage?

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8 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

A few days ago I learned that the Lynx was designed by another company and, after Atari bought it, it took Atari 2 years to make a few design changes until they released it by the end of 1989 (and then Nintendo released the Game Boy one year later).

 

Was this the biggest mistake in video game history? Could Atari have beaten Nintendo with 3 years of advantage?

Honestly, probably not.  The Lynx practically had zero third party support.  It was a great and awesome system having owned one back in the day.  But, unfortunately, its initial high price and rapid consumption of batteries doomed it to fail against the Gameboy.

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Also, if it had been released two years before, maybe it would have made a bigger impact (at least in the press) but it would have been even more expensive.

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IIRC Atari sold more than 3 million Lynx. That's not bad.

For me the big mistake was that Atari did not release a slim and cheaper the Lynx version. And also would be cool to see the next gen Lynx, but I'm not sure that the Atari had the right to the console development.

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17 hours ago, IntelliMission said:

Was this the biggest mistake in video game history? Could Atari have beaten Nintendo with 3 years of advantage?

I really don't understand why people bother asking these "what if" type questions. There is really no point in doing so, it is what it is, and no amount of speculation either way will change that.

The only way to know with absolute certainty the answer to such questions is to build a machine that can transport you to a parallel universe where that actually happened so that you can compare the outcomes.

You also appear to be assuming that the 2 year delay for design changes was not necessary, when it is possible that without them the Lynx would not have been as good/successful as it was when released, but again without access to a Dimension jump (Red Dwarf) or "what if" (Futurama) machine we will never know.

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As others have said... 

 

Releasing it earlier would of meant it was even more expensive for a start. Think it was Leonard Tramiel who went on record saying they were unable to get the LCD screens any cheaper at the time from their suppliers, despite negotiations. 

 

We already know just how starved of resources the Tramiel's were when it did launch, as Bill Rehbock and Bob Gleadow pointed out, the original plan was to have a dual Panther and Lynx launch, but the Tramiel's didn't have the money, nor developers to support 2 flagship platforms at once, Panther got put on the back foot. 

 

 

When it did launch, the press praised the hardware, but doubted the Tramiel's ability to make it a runaway success and were proved very right. 

 

 

There's enough documented evidence to explain why the Lynx 'failed' and came in behind even the Sega Game Gear and it wasn't due to launching late to the market. 

 

 

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Also at the time, the most popular games were coming from Japan, and the Lynx didn't get a lot of them, neither did the Jaguar...

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1 hour ago, roots.genoa said:

Also at the time, the most popular games were coming from Japan, and the Lynx didn't get a lot of them, neither did the Jaguar...

We to this day, don't seem to have any firm details regarding Bill Rehbock's trip to Japan, to try and drum up developer support for the Jaguar. 

 

It would be nice to get an idea of whom he visited, what games Atari were trying to get and what the Japanese reaction was. 

 

Also, was such a visit made during the Lynx era? 

 

Or did Atari try and get around it via the back door? 

 

Who would they of had to of approached for the rights to Cabal on the Lynx? (not that they ever considered it a priority for the system..) 

 

Coin-Op was published in Japan by Taito, in North America by Fabtek, and in Europe by Capcom. 

 

Home console rights went to whom? 

 

 

 

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On 10/28/2021 at 9:14 AM, IntelliMission said:

A few days ago I learned that the Lynx was designed by another company and, after Atari bought it, it took Atari 2 years to make a few design changes until they released it by the end of 1989 (and then Nintendo released the Game Boy one year later).

 

Was this the biggest mistake in video game history? Could Atari have beaten Nintendo with 3 years of advantage?

I don't think so.   It was still the first color lcd portable,  but yet people preferred to buy the black and white gameboy

 

So I think the problem was marketing, games.   Also maybe battery life and size.   Releasing earlier probably wouldn't have fixed these things.

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I owned both the lynx and gameboy pretty much from launch. While nothing will ever compare to the first time I saw the Atari 2600 come to life on my TV or the dim lit smokey arcade this was probably the most exciting era of video games for me. I was probably the most obsessed with games that I'd ever been around this time and spent literally every penny I had on them. That being said...

 

There are numerous reasons it failed of course, but on the consumer end, a few from personal experience and memory would definitely be...

 

 #1 -  Battery life

 

This reason has been beat to death already but it's true. I remember a road trip to TN with my friend, we were both serious gamers and brought our lynx systems. The Lynx batteries were dead by the time we hit chicago...but my gameboy was playing tetris damn near the whole trip. When I think of that trip I think of the Gameboy (and illegal fireworks of course, the stuff we got in TN we could only dream of in MN haha) I never bothered buying fresh batteries for the Lynx the entire 2 week vacation.

 

 #2 - Good Games (third party support/etc)

 

Another dead horse topic and Yes, in time the Lynx got (some) decent stuff but initially the offerings were pretty weak. At or around Launch I had (California games of course) Blue Lightning, Todds adv in Slime World, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon and Chips Challenge. Shortly down the road I picked up Gauntlet, Paperboy and Klax IIRC. I know the last new game I bought was warbirds. This review pretty much sums it up...

 

https://videogamecritic.com/lynxsz.htm?e=32349#rev1620

 

Honestly this is how a lot of early lynx games were, they felt like "impressive tech demos" The graphics/etc blew you away but the actual gameplay got boring real quick. My thoughts when I had these back in the day...

 

Electrocop - confusing and not fun

 

Gates of Zendocon - very boring

 

Slime World - loved the rando exploring but the game itself was very frustrating

 

California Games - really fun in short bursts but nothing too deep going on, good one to show off to your your non gamer friends

 

Blue Lighting - again, impressive to look at but got boring REAL quick

 

Chips Challenge - I actually really liked this one and played it a LOT, that being said CC shouldn't be the gem of this show haha

 

Gauntlet - The game was "so so" but just could not get comfortable with holding the lynx vertically

 

Paperboy and Klax - good ports but at this stage in the game I was looking for something new and exciting to play

 

Warbirds - this one just pissed me off, I spent like 40 bucks on it and hated it. Was almost the last straw for my Lynx...

 

Since the battery life sucked so hard I usually had to play them at home with the system plugged in. Well, during this era at home I had a NES, sega genesis and an Amiga 500 with a pretty decent game selection...so yeah, I usually played them instead. If not for California games and Chips Challenge I wouldn't have played my Lynx that much. Which brings me to reason number three.

 

 #3 - Price and size

 

The lynx was EXPENSIVE! Only me and one other friend had one and we were pretty hardcore "gamers" back then that spent every penny on any new shiny system we could. Meanwhile most of our other friends started getting gameboys for Christmas...

 

The gameboy was slick, it fit in your pocket!. The only place I really remember really bringing my Lynx was to the house of my only other friend that had one...we'd often end up playing his sega master system instead by the end of the day anyways... In defense of the poor lynx he had like every SMS game made at the time and our Lynx game selection was pretty weak. The Lynx wasn't very convenient to carry around and the gameboy battery life was far superior, the choice was obvious for on the go gaming.

 

Back to games...Flash forward a year or two and the gameboy had some pretty deep stuff out for it. Final Fantasy is probably the one that completely converted me, my lynx was now collecting dust... Around this time used game stores were popping up all over and one called "games 2 go" had some very affordable used Lynx games. I picked up a handful of them, the only ones that really stick out were Rygar and Batman. I played the hell out of Rygar and it was kind of the last hoorah for my Lynx, I never bought another game for it...and it was too little too late. Most of my cash was going to SNES and Genesis stuff at this point (not to mention clearance Amiga software! I picked up Sword of Sodan for like 3 bucks haha)

 

So...to answer your "irrelevant" question...would the Lynx being released in 1987 made any difference?

 

Well...Better software would have been out sooner to hook me before the gameboy sunk it's claws into me. With better games out I probably would have actually bought a Lynx II with better battery life (I did buy a gameboy pocket!) and the 16 bit powerhouse systems wouldn't have had so many cool games out that sucked up pretty much all my money. The Lynx wasn't a joke when it came out, people were talking about it, gaming mags covered it, people wanted it! I remember, I was there! It wasn't like the poor Jag that seemed doomed from the start, I never even considered buying a jag and barely even remember it.

 

I'm not going to get into the logistics of if it was possible or not but say hypothetically it was, then YES! The Lynx (for me at least) would have had a far better chance if released 2 years earlier. At that stage in the game once it hit it's stride there was just too much awesome stuff in the home console market and since the Lynx never really felt that "portable" to me, it just couldn't keep up...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Crazy Climber said:

I owned both the lynx and gameboy pretty much from launch. While nothing will ever compare to the first time I saw the Atari 2600 come to life on my TV or the dim lit smokey arcade this was probably the most exciting era of video games for me. I was probably the most obsessed with games that I'd ever been around this time and spent literally every penny I had on them. That being said...

 

There are numerous reasons it failed of course, but on the consumer end, a few from personal experience and memory would definitely be...

 

 #1 -  Battery life

 

This reason has been beat to death already but it's true. I remember a road trip to TN with my friend, we were both serious gamers and brought our lynx systems. The Lynx batteries were dead by the time we hit chicago...but my gameboy was playing tetris damn near the whole trip. When I think of that trip I think of the Gameboy (and illegal fireworks of course, the stuff we got in TN we could only dream of in MN haha) I never bothered buying fresh batteries for the Lynx the entire 2 week vacation.

 

 #2 - Good Games (third party support/etc)

 

Another dead horse topic and Yes, in time the Lynx got (some) decent stuff but initially the offerings were pretty weak. At or around Launch I had (California games of course) Blue Lightning, Todds adv in Slime World, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon and Chips Challenge. Shortly down the road I picked up Gauntlet, Paperboy and Klax IIRC. I know the last new game I bought was warbirds. This review pretty much sums it up...

 

https://videogamecritic.com/lynxsz.htm?e=32349#rev1620

 

Honestly this is how a lot of early lynx games were, they felt like "impressive tech demos" The graphics/etc blew you away but the actual gameplay got boring real quick. My thoughts when I had these back in the day...

 

Electrocop - confusing and not fun

 

Gates of Zendocon - very boring

 

Slime World - loved the rando exploring but the game itself was very frustrating

 

California Games - really fun in short bursts but nothing too deep going on, good one to show off to your your non gamer friends

 

Blue Lighting - again, impressive to look at but got boring REAL quick

 

Chips Challenge - I actually really liked this one and played it a LOT, that being said CC shouldn't be the gem of this show haha

 

Gauntlet - The game was "so so" but just could not get comfortable with holding the lynx vertically

 

Paperboy and Klax - good ports but at this stage in the game I was looking for something new and exciting to play

 

Warbirds - this one just pissed me off, I spent like 40 bucks on it and hated it. Was almost the last straw for my Lynx...

 

Since the battery life sucked so hard I usually had to play them at home with the system plugged in. Well, during this era at home I had a NES, sega genesis and an Amiga 500 with a pretty decent game selection...so yeah, I usually played them instead. If not for California games and Chips Challenge I wouldn't have played my Lynx that much. Which brings me to reason number three.

 

 #3 - Price and size

 

The lynx was EXPENSIVE! Only me and one other friend had one and we were pretty hardcore "gamers" back then that spent every penny on any new shiny system we could. Meanwhile most of our other friends started getting gameboys for Christmas...

 

The gameboy was slick, it fit in your pocket!. The only place I really remember really bringing my Lynx was to the house of my only other friend that had one...we'd often end up playing his sega master system instead by the end of the day anyways... In defense of the poor lynx he had like every SMS game made at the time and our Lynx game selection was pretty weak. The Lynx wasn't very convenient to carry around and the gameboy battery life was far superior, the choice was obvious for on the go gaming.

 

Back to games...Flash forward a year or two and the gameboy had some pretty deep stuff out for it. Final Fantasy is probably the one that completely converted me, my lynx was now collecting dust... Around this time used game stores were popping up all over and one called "games 2 go" had some very affordable used Lynx games. I picked up a handful of them, the only ones that really stick out were Rygar and Batman. I played the hell out of Rygar and it was kind of the last hoorah for my Lynx, I never bought another game for it...and it was too little too late. Most of my cash was going to SNES and Genesis stuff at this point (not to mention clearance Amiga software! I picked up Sword of Sodan for like 3 bucks haha)

 

So...to answer your "irrelevant" question...would the Lynx being released in 1987 made any difference?

 

Well...Better software would have been out sooner to hook me before the gameboy sunk it's claws into me. With better games out I probably would have actually bought a Lynx II with better battery life (I did buy a gameboy pocket!) and the 16 bit powerhouse systems wouldn't have had so many cool games out that sucked up pretty much all my money. The Lynx wasn't a joke when it came out, people were talking about it, gaming mags covered it, people wanted it! I remember, I was there! It wasn't like the poor Jag that seemed doomed from the start, I never even considered buying a jag and barely even remember it.

 

I'm not going to get into the logistics of if it was possible or not but say hypothetically it was, then YES! The Lynx (for me at least) would have had a far better chance if released 2 years earlier. At that stage in the game once it hit it's stride there was just too much awesome stuff in the home console market and since the Lynx never really felt that "portable" to me, it just couldn't keep up...

 

 

 

Stephen Landrum shed light on why we had to endure Lynx Gauntlet 3 the way we did, back in the day:

 

 

Stephen H. Landrum

 

"Gauntlet the Third Encounter" was under development at the same time as
Lynx hardware was. In fact, the game was most of the way finished in
development before we had hardware to test it on. We tried one game as
a vertically based game as an experiment. We wanted to know what kind
of features in the system we could take advantage of. Many things in
the hardware design were changed because of the games that were being
written for the system. By the time we knew that playing Gauntlet
vertically would not be a good idea, it was "too late" to change the
orientation to horizontal. In fact, we had time, due to Epyx going
bankrupt, snags in our negotiations with Atari, delays in manufacturing,
etc.

All of the excuses in the world don't make the game any better for the
consumer, but this is what happened.

Stephen H. Landrum
Designer and programmer of Blue Lightning

 

 

 

And I know he has a reputation for being a brave story teller, but some soundbite's from R. J Mical from an interview i hadn't seen before.. 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20211029-181315.png

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Amazing answer from @Crazy Climber. Feels like a time machine. Yep, it looks like the catalog was not very good. Not sure what they were thinking.

 

I bought a Game Boy when I was 17 in early 1997 and played it mostly about 6 months until I had enough money to buy the Playstation. I had like 10-20 games and only about 2 of them were mine. Still, I think both the Game Boy and the Atari Lynx would have benefited from porting games from the C64/ZX Spectrum/Amstrad CPC. There were dozens of hidden gems that didn't require much graphical power. Instead, Atari chose to release some mediocre, mode modern games with more colors.

 

The Game Boy had some very good games and very bad ones too: for me, the problem was that I only had access to certain ones (the one in the shops or ones bought by friends years ago), so the only good games I played were Zelda, Tetris and a couple of Marios. Again, I remember thinking "damn, I wish someone ported my top 10 Spectrum games to this instead of having to play Addams Family or Killer Instinct)".

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58 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

By the time we knew that playing Gauntlet
vertically would not be a good idea, it was "too late" to change the
orientation to horizontal. In fact, we had time, due to Epyx going
bankrupt, snags in our negotiations with Atari, delays in manufacturing,
etc.

All of the excuses in the world don't make the game any better for the
consumer, but this is what happened.

Stephen H. Landrum
Designer and programmer of Blue Lightning

 

 

This makes a lot of sense. I heard Rob Fullop refer to this process as "killing his children" Basically you come up with a seemingly cool idea, that takes a lot of hard work, you pitch it to the executives and it's a go...but then you realize it is no good and have to scrap it for the sake of the game. He said a lot of times when he realized this the higher ups would refuse and say "No! we can't get rid of that! It's too cool!" etc.. So he would end up having to do it even though it hurt the game overall (I believe the dolphin scene jumping out of the water in Fathom was one of those instances he mentioned, Rob didn't want it) Basically the executives are already sold on the new idea, it's already done, and they don't want to get rid of it (not to mention the cost and time associated with starting over) Yeah...I get it I guess...

55 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

Amazing answer from @Crazy Climber. Feels like a time machine. Yep, it looks like the catalog was not very good. Not sure what they were thinking.

 

I bought a Game Boy when I was 17 in early 1997 and played it mostly about 6 months until I had enough money to buy the Playstation. I had like 10-20 games and only about 2 of them were mine. Still, I think both the Game Boy and the Atari Lynx would have benefited from porting games from the C64/ZX Spectrum/Amstrad CPC. There were dozens of hidden gems that didn't require much graphical power. Instead, Atari chose to release some mediocre, mode modern games with more colors.

 

The Game Boy had some very good games and very bad ones too: for me, the problem was that I only had access to certain ones (the one in the shops or ones bought by friends years ago), so the only good games I played were Zelda, Tetris and a couple of Marios. Again, I remember thinking "damn, I wish someone ported my top 10 Spectrum games to this instead of having to play Addams Family or Killer Instinct)".

Yeah, I had a few turds for it too. Some of the early launch stuff I bought was nothing special (Baseball and Alleyway come to mind) they were still quite playable though in short doses where as some of the early lynx stuff I got was just flat out boring once the amazing graphics shock wore off. I don't think I played Electrocop more than 10 times where as Alleyway I played quite often (even though it was just a weak stripped down arkanoid on a small blurry screen) Once the deeper RPG and platformer stuff hit the gameboy it was game over for lynx...yeah, Tetris alone was worth the purchase. It was my first gateway to the most addictive game ever made. I actually just fired the gameboy up and played a round a few weeks ago (although it's hard to go back after playing Tetris 99 on the switch!)

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Just to clarify, Killer Instinct and Addams Family are pretty decent games that would have been hits in the Lynx, but 1) Killer Instinct is a (IMHO) ugly 2D fighter that I could only play single player while not being a fan of the genre and 2) Addams Family is some sort of a metroidvania that I played for hours, but I ended up tired of the repetitive mechanics and detailed-but-not-so-inspired graphics (I'm not a fan of metroidvanias either, I guess I discovered it in 1997).

 

25-30 years ago, many of us were often in situations where we just couldn't find the 10-15 games that we would have loved the most for our systems and had to play only what our parents/our friends/stores had.

 

As someone recently said in a status update, the happiness that an evercade cartridge would have brought to us as 70s/80s/90s kids simply cannot be measured. In just about every platform.

Edited by IntelliMission

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22 hours ago, Crazy Climber said:

Electrocop - confusing and not fun

 

Gates of Zendocon - very boring

 

Slime World - loved the rando exploring but the game itself was very frustrating

 

California Games - really fun in short bursts but nothing too deep going on, good one to show off to your your non gamer friends

 

Blue Lighting - again, impressive to look at but got boring REAL quick

 

Chips Challenge - I actually really liked this one and played it a LOT, that being said CC shouldn't be the gem of this show haha

 

Gauntlet - The game was "so so" but just could not get comfortable with holding the lynx vertically

 

Paperboy and Klax - good ports but at this stage in the game I was looking for something new and exciting to play

 

Warbirds - this one just pissed me off, I spent like 40 bucks on it and hated it. Was almost the last straw for my Lynx...

I'm pretty shocked at your thoughts on Slime World and Warbirds.  The were some of the first games I had for the Lynx, as a kid circa 1991.  They both blew me away.  Obviously there's some nostalgia at work here, but I think they hold up wonderfully today.  Warbirds had some fairly nuanced combat, and the 3D space was impressive for a portable game from its time.  And Slime World was massively fun to experience.  Each of the six areas has a different twist that kept things fresh, and there was so much to explore in each one.

 

I think a lot of the other games you mentioned are also great, but I didn't play them as a kid so I don't think it's a worthy comparison.  The games I had early on were:

 

Warbirds

Scrapyard Dog

S.T.U.N. Runner 

Slime World

Kung Food

Bill & Ted's E.A.

Qix

Lemmings

Toki

 

I think those games made a pretty enjoyable showcase to me and all my pre-teen friends at the time.  All my Gameboy-owning friends seemed jealous that I had the Lynx.  But maybe that's just my rose colored memories tricking me.

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On 10/29/2021 at 4:58 PM, Crazy Climber said:

I owned both the lynx and gameboy pretty much from launch. While nothing will ever compare to the first time I saw the Atari 2600 come to life on my TV or the dim lit smokey arcade this was probably the most exciting era of video games for me. I was probably the most obsessed with games that I'd ever been around this time and spent literally every penny I had on them. That being said...

 

There are numerous reasons it failed of course, but on the consumer end, a few from personal experience and memory would definitely be...

 

 #1 -  Battery life

 

This reason has been beat to death already but it's true. I remember a road trip to TN with my friend, we were both serious gamers and brought our lynx systems. The Lynx batteries were dead by the time we hit chicago...but my gameboy was playing tetris damn near the whole trip. When I think of that trip I think of the Gameboy (and illegal fireworks of course, the stuff we got in TN we could only dream of in MN haha) I never bothered buying fresh batteries for the Lynx the entire 2 week vacation.

 

 #2 - Good Games (third party support/etc)

 

Another dead horse topic and Yes, in time the Lynx got (some) decent stuff but initially the offerings were pretty weak. At or around Launch I had (California games of course) Blue Lightning, Todds adv in Slime World, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon and Chips Challenge. Shortly down the road I picked up Gauntlet, Paperboy and Klax IIRC. I know the last new game I bought was warbirds. This review pretty much sums it up...

 

https://videogamecritic.com/lynxsz.htm?e=32349#rev1620

 

Honestly this is how a lot of early lynx games were, they felt like "impressive tech demos" The graphics/etc blew you away but the actual gameplay got boring real quick. My thoughts when I had these back in the day...

 

Electrocop - confusing and not fun

 

Gates of Zendocon - very boring

 

Slime World - loved the rando exploring but the game itself was very frustrating

 

California Games - really fun in short bursts but nothing too deep going on, good one to show off to your your non gamer friends

 

Blue Lighting - again, impressive to look at but got boring REAL quick

 

Chips Challenge - I actually really liked this one and played it a LOT, that being said CC shouldn't be the gem of this show haha

 

Gauntlet - The game was "so so" but just could not get comfortable with holding the lynx vertically

 

Paperboy and Klax - good ports but at this stage in the game I was looking for something new and exciting to play

 

Warbirds - this one just pissed me off, I spent like 40 bucks on it and hated it. Was almost the last straw for my Lynx...

 

 

I would agree with you on:

 

Electrocop:it really did feel like a technical showcase, in need of a much deeper game behind it. 

 

Gates Of Zendocon:some novel gameplay mechanics, but too sedate for a shoot-em-up. 

 

Blue Lightning needed more variety in it's missions and more missions, but it was a fantastic showcase title for the hardware. 

 

As for the others? 

 

Gauntlet was just dull. 

 

 

Papetboy:Great conversion, but i had been playing home versions, since 1986 (the medicore C64 conversion), then the ST in '89 by the time it hit the Lynx and Sega Master System, it was showing it' s age. 

 

 

Never a fan of Klax on anything, but then never took to Columns on the Game Gear. 

 

Chips Challenge not me either, passed on ST and Lynx. 

 

With Cal Games:to this day, I still don't know why Epyx cut 2 events from the C64 version. 

 

Seen as the weakest or limited cartridge size? 🤔

 

 

Caught me by surprise to discover it, whatever the reason. 

 

 

Slimeworld I did enjoy and i am not the biggest Metroid fan going, though loved likes of Sacred Armour Of Antiriad on the C64 (Rad Warrior in the US) and Shadow Complex on the 360.

 

 

Lynx Xenophobe i was found of as well, yet hadn't given much time to it on the C64 or ST. 

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On 10/29/2021 at 6:32 AM, Lostdragon said:

We to this day, don't seem to have any firm details regarding Bill Rehbock's trip to Japan, to try and drum up developer support for the Jaguar. 

 

It would be nice to get an idea of whom he visited, what games Atari were trying to get and what the Japanese reaction was. 

 

Also, was such a visit made during the Lynx era? 

 

Or did Atari try and get around it via the back door? 

 

Who would they of had to of approached for the rights to Cabal on the Lynx? (not that they ever considered it a priority for the system..) 

 

Coin-Op was published in Japan by Taito, in North America by Fabtek, and in Europe by Capcom. 

 

Home console rights went to whom? 

 

 

 

There was a memo released to the net a few years back (by Curt Vendel, I think?) that showed that Bill was attempting to court Konami in regards to the Jaguar, although that was probably just a hail mary or "what have we got to lose" kind of thing. I don't know when this trip of his was, but it seems logical that they would have tried to make connections there and also with SNK, since there were some connections between Atari and SNK USA. That they also had the Toki license would also indicate some connection with Seibu Kaihatsu, although it's just as likely that they could've got that via Fabtek, without really needing to court anyone over at SK.  

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On 10/30/2021 at 2:47 AM, IntelliMission said:

As someone recently said in a status update, the happiness that an evercade cartridge would have brought to us as 70s/80s/90s kids simply cannot be measured. In just about every platform.

Do you mean an Everdrive?  Evercade is a newer retro game console.

 

I'm not so sure that having hundreds of games on a cartridge would have been as amazing as one might initially think.  I do really think that part of the enjoyment as a kid was the fact that the selection of games was limited.  I really only received 1-2 new games on my birthday or Xmas, so the few games I received I really played.  Even the subpar ones.  Looking at young gamers today (especially on mobile platforms), the selection of free-or-extremely-cheap games is essentially unlimited, and many of those free games are more complex and entertaining than the 8-bit and 16-bit games of yesteryear.  But it doesn't feel like kids today have a utopia of low-cost gaming, you know?

 

To be honest, if I could send something back in time to a younger version of me, I think something like this would have created the most happiness:

41ld6r9QmVL.jpg

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I like to think that the Lynx demise was for the better for homebrewing, nothing stops us now to utilize the amazing hardware

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All I can say that my classmates were totally crazy for the Lynx, especially "Blue Lightning"!

They thought it was the best graphics they have ever seen, especially on a small thing like this. ;-)

The reason "nobody" bought it were:

 

- it was rather expensive for a toy

- it was hard to find, no shop in my town carried Lynx, the next one was in Berlin!

- most parents bought either Nintendo or Sega, what was popular at the time

- many friends had Amigas and C64, were they could pirate games ;-), means they don't need wealthy parents to buy games for them. Games for consoles were very expensive.

 

I got 2 friends with Lynxes, but they did not buy many games.

Partly because the SNES stole the show, partly because no shop carried Lynx games or hardware. The other one had an Amiga.

 

For myself, I struggled to get the newest Lynx games. We often drove to Berlin to buy 1 or 2 games, but it was a matter of luck if they carried the games I was looking for. 

 

Now, for the quality of games, the Lynx has a very small but fine library.

It did not have the popular platform games or shmups, but some really good hidden gems that are great fun and technically superior to other handheld offerings.

 

Slime World - After 20 years I finally appreciate this game, as a kid, it made no sense to me. Comlynx is great!

 

Blue Lightning - What a graphics showcase! I also loved the variety with missions. It took the SNES to beat this, for 3D graphics and excitement.

 

Crystal Mines - I thought this was a lame puzzler, but how wrong I was! Great, clever puzzle/shmup, one of the best!

 

Rampart - This is a game I loved as a kid. It was my favourite Lynx game.

 

Toki - The only cool Platfomer for the Lynx, I loved the Arcade!

 

Shadow of the Beast - I bought this to be wowed by the graphics and it did not disappoint!

 

Dracula - Caught me off guard. I suspected a lame platformer but it turned out to be a P&C adventure game! Wow!

 

Checkered Flag  - Another childhood favourite, played the wheels off this one!

 

Warbirds - I think my first ever flight sim. Impressive, I loved this one.

 

Turbo Sub - my brother liked that one. Easy game, great graphics.

 

 

BTW the Lynx appered to be quite popular in the Netherlands. Plenty of Lynx games to buy in Amsterdam 1993!

(Ataris warehouse and distribution for Europe was in the Netherlands)

 

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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On 10/29/2021 at 5:58 PM, Crazy Climber said:

I owned both the lynx and gameboy pretty much from launch. While nothing will ever compare to the first time I saw the Atari 2600 come to life on my TV or the dim lit smokey arcade this was probably the most exciting era of video games for me. I was probably the most obsessed with games that I'd ever been around this time and spent literally every penny I had on them. That being said...

 

There are numerous reasons it failed of course, but on the consumer end, a few from personal experience and memory would definitely be...

 

 #1 -  Battery life

 

This reason has been beat to death already but it's true. I remember a road trip to TN with my friend, we were both serious gamers and brought our lynx systems. The Lynx batteries were dead by the time we hit chicago...but my gameboy was playing tetris damn near the whole trip. When I think of that trip I think of the Gameboy (and illegal fireworks of course, the stuff we got in TN we could only dream of in MN haha) I never bothered buying fresh batteries for the Lynx the entire 2 week vacation.

 

 #2 - Good Games (third party support/etc)

 

Another dead horse topic and Yes, in time the Lynx got (some) decent stuff but initially the offerings were pretty weak. At or around Launch I had (California games of course) Blue Lightning, Todds adv in Slime World, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon and Chips Challenge. Shortly down the road I picked up Gauntlet, Paperboy and Klax IIRC. I know the last new game I bought was warbirds. This review pretty much sums it up...

 

https://videogamecritic.com/lynxsz.htm?e=32349#rev1620

 

 

 

Videogamecritic is *entertaining* but many "reviews" are quite off. He is slandering some excellent games because he seems to be ignorant of their qualities and sometimes pissed off because of minor things he does not like.

Very often it seems his judgements are based on 5 minutes play max or he having a bad day because something rub him the wrong way.

I only read his reviews to have a laugh. 

 

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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On 10/30/2021 at 4:47 AM, IntelliMission said:

 

As someone recently said in a status update, the happiness that an evercade cartridge would have brought to us as 70s/80s/90s kids simply cannot be measured. In just about every platform.

Would it have though? I wonder if we would have appreciated the games as much if we just had ALL of them at once. Many games I gave a lot more attention to because I had no other option...and because I spent the extra time with them I learned they were great. If I could just reset and choose from 1000 other options I think I would have missed out on a lot of hidden gems...

On 10/30/2021 at 9:56 AM, PFG 9000 said:

I'm pretty shocked at your thoughts on Slime World and Warbirds.  The were some of the first games I had for the Lynx, as a kid circa 1991.  They both blew me away.  Obviously there's some nostalgia at work here, but I think they hold up wonderfully today.  Warbirds had some fairly nuanced combat, and the 3D space was impressive for a portable game from its time.  And Slime World was massively fun to experience.  Each of the six areas has a different twist that kept things fresh, and there was so much to explore in each one.

 

I think a lot of the other games you mentioned are also great, but I didn't play them as a kid so I don't think it's a worthy comparison.  The games I had early on were:

 

Warbirds

Scrapyard Dog

S.T.U.N. Runner 

Slime World

Kung Food

Bill & Ted's E.A.

Qix

Lemmings

Toki

 

I think those games made a pretty enjoyable showcase to me and all my pre-teen friends at the time.  All my Gameboy-owning friends seemed jealous that I had the Lynx.  But maybe that's just my rose colored memories tricking me.

Ha, well for the record I did "like" Slime World, it just has some very frustrating elements. Warbirds I straight up hated, didn't like it :)

On 10/30/2021 at 12:03 PM, Lostdragon said:

I would agree with you on:

 

Electrocop:it really did feel like a technical showcase, in need of a much deeper game behind it. 

 

Gates Of Zendocon:some novel gameplay mechanics, but too sedate for a shoot-em-up. 

 

Blue Lightning needed more variety in it's missions and more missions, but it was a fantastic showcase title for the hardware. 

 

As for the others? 

 

Gauntlet was just dull. 

 

 

Papetboy:Great conversion, but i had been playing home versions, since 1986 (the medicore C64 conversion), then the ST in '89 by the time it hit the Lynx and Sega Master System, it was showing it' s age. 

 

 

Never a fan of Klax on anything, but then never took to Columns on the Game Gear. 

 

Chips Challenge not me either, passed on ST and Lynx. 

 

With Cal Games:to this day, I still don't know why Epyx cut 2 events from the C64 version. 

 

Seen as the weakest or limited cartridge size? 🤔

 

 

Caught me by surprise to discover it, whatever the reason. 

 

 

Slimeworld I did enjoy and i am not the biggest Metroid fan going, though loved likes of Sacred Armour Of Antiriad on the C64 (Rad Warrior in the US) and Shadow Complex on the 360.

 

 

Lynx Xenophobe i was found of as well, yet hadn't given much time to it on the C64 or ST. 

looks like our nostalgia is pretty similar!

1 hour ago, agradeneu said:

 

Videogamecritic is *entertaining* but many "reviews" are quite off. He is slandering some excellent games because he seems to be ignorant of their qualities and sometimes pissed off because of minor things he does not like.

Very often it seems his judgements are based on 5 minutes play max or he having a bad day because something rub him the wrong way.

I only read his reviews to have a laugh. 

 

 

 

haha, it's totally true, I can't argue that! I agree with him 100% on warbirds though ;)

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