Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

User avatar
nakamura
Posts: 7582
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Bournemouth
Contact:

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by nakamura » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:39 pm

The controller on one hand certainly isn't as uncomfortable as people make out but it's still awfully designed. How on earth it only had 3 face buttons and not six which was becoming standard and the lack of shoulder buttons was crazy.

Would have been interesting to see it launch with a proper pad and Super Street Fighter 2 X.
http://judged-by-gabranth.blogspot.co.uk/
Antiriad2097 wrote:I have a general rule of thumb that if Nakamura likes something, it's not for me ;)

Lost Dragon
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by Lost Dragon » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:47 pm

The Laird wrote:
Lost Dragon wrote: Right on the one hand your saying that Gorf and Atari Owl found these bugs and ways around them, long after the machine died at retail and thus these bugs were not discovered by commercial coders at the time and that there have been several emulators over the years, so by that reasoning, someone making a Jaguar emulator in say last 2 years, would really need to speak to either Gorf or Owl to find out how best to write a working Jaguar emulator and not commercial coders as they struggled with the hardware.
No that is not what I am saying and not sure how I can put this any simpler so you will understand and get what I am saying.

The commercial programmers knew of the bugs - found their own ways around them.
Gorf knew of the bugs - found his way around them.
Atari Owl knew of the bugs - found his way around them.
Other homebrew coders knew of the bugs - found their way around them.

Everyone was using DIFFERENT workarounds for these bugs. The homebrewers ones are well known. The ones commercial programmers used are not, so how are the emulator coders supposed to know how they did it?

Until the emulator coders know every single one of these workarounds then they will not be able to get the emulator working 100% compatible. The only way they can discover what workarounds the commercial programmers used is by trial and error or finding documentation for them.

:wink: Sorry, your not showing a card tick to a dog here, i understand what your saying here and have been saying in the past:Jaguar hardware's true potential was sadly never really reached during it's commercial life as hardware was bugged, real workarounds only discovered by Owl+Gorf, commercial coders at the time had to find their own 'solutions' and things could have been very different IF they had the techniques of Gorf+Owl, back then.Same would apply to Saturn, if Sega had shared it's interbnal tools/libaries with 3rd party developers, they sadly did'nt so Capcom, Climax etc found their own solutions.

Again, i'll make it simple-if your looking to emulate a system, try asking one or more groups who, i dunno, wrote for it, ask them how they got around issues, gather a pool of answers and decide which solution best fits your emulator code.

I mean Doom code from Jaguar was freely given, was it not? used in GBA version etc, so i guess that'd be a good starting point to see how hardware was used, then, i dunno, try asking ATD as they were involved in Bug testing hardware, put out 2 games, or Jeff Minter..2 games... then approach your homebrew coders say you've been given these workaround solutions, anything they could add?.

Not saying any of above would work, as no idea how willing people are to share, but that's approach i'd personally take.

Just had strong cup of tea and...

Or:Why not try a (Dreamcast) Bleemcast type approach to emulation on Jaguar?.No point trying to emulate everything 100% (people that keen to try Aircars? lol), just start off slow with a few of the key titles?.More than 1 way to skin this defunct cat...

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Luton
Contact:

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by The Laird » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:08 pm

No, you have still missed the point I was making. So I will just leave it there.

Lost Dragon
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by Lost Dragon » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:20 pm

The Laird wrote:No, you have still missed the point I was making. So I will just leave it there.
Except, i honestly have'nt.Your saying only way a person looking to find workarounds used by professional/commercial coders back in the day, if they are looking to make a Jaguar emulator, is by trail and error, finding documentation (makes it sound like Hitlers last will...)

Myself, i've suuggested numerous solutions, which included trying to get in touch with these commercial coders, asking them of the solutions, before attempting anything, if that did'nt work, try emulating 1 or 2 key games, as DC version of Bleemcast did, see how you get on, rather than trying to emulate everything 100% (the games we know were little more than 68000 code would be a good place to start).But yep, i'm leaving it there, been a bloody long day as is...

:D

Lost Dragon
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by Lost Dragon » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:42 pm

nakamura wrote:The controller on one hand certainly isn't as uncomfortable as people make out but it's still awfully designed. How on earth it only had 3 face buttons and not six which was becoming standard and the lack of shoulder buttons was crazy.

Would have been interesting to see it launch with a proper pad and Super Street Fighter 2 X.
I could totally 'buy into' the numeric pad part of the joypad, if you wanted more serious games like flight sims, you really would have needed those buttons, so it could be seen as trying to encourage the development of more serious games on console (no bad thing as i loved MD F-22, LHX, 688 Attack Sub etc), but a 3 button pad, no shoulder buttons on something you were aiming to kill off the SNES/MD...no Atari, just no.

Perhaps if Atari's advertising had'nt been quite so gung-ho, made in USA, Japanese consoles are mere toys, in it's approach, likes of Capcom would have embraced it the way they did the 3DO...

There was still no real reason Atari could'nt have given developers time to come up with a worthy contendor to SF2.Sega had a fair crack with Eternal Champions on MD/MCD if nothing else.

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Luton
Contact:

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by The Laird » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:56 pm

It should have had the Pro Controller from day 1, not the old joypad from the Panther.

Lost Dragon
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by Lost Dragon » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:12 pm

killbot wrote:Is it the most underrated? No, probably not. It is underrated though. When you see what the machine is capable of technically it's impressive for the time - on a par with the 3DO that retailed for about three times the price.

I think among my peer group at school in the mid-90s what sunk the Jag was a. the anticipation of the new machines from Sega, Sony and Nintendo and b. the fact that most of the games seemed to be slightly tarted up conversions of games we already had for our current machines (generally the SNES, MD or Amiga). It needed a game that really smacked you round the face with its technical brilliance and made it clear why the Jag was the machine to have but (though Tempest 2000 came closest) it never really got that. Did Cybermorph look better than StarFox? Not really, and when you saw it moving it seemed a bit slow and repetitive. Why would anyone who had a MD want to play Chequered Flag when Virtua Racing was available on the machine they already owned? Doom and AvP looked alright but at the time FPS games were still mainly the preserve of techy spods hunched over PCs. The popular genres with kids were platformers and (particularly) fighting games and the Jag didn't really have anything to offer in either category. A Bubsy game? Who wanted any more of those? Zool 2? I could buy that for my Amiga for £20, why would I spend £200 on a whole new console to play it again?

One thing I will say - and I've said it before - is that the controller is underrated. It's nowhere near the abomination that some people would have you believe.
Nail hit on head with people basically knowing new hardware from Sega and Nintendo was coming (and existing systems being pushed with SFX Chip/SVP chip in carts).

Tempest 2000 was hypnotic, in-your-face, brillance, in terms of visuals, but a hard sell in marketing terms. It was'nt something along lines of say 3DO Madden or Need For Speed, something that looked huge step up from MD/SNES sports or racing games.I'd personally say AVP was the 1st WOW Jaguar game, a 3D aliens game in 65,000 colours with textures etc digitised from the films etc, compare that to say Alien 3 on SNES (which was amazing) and it really showcased the leap forward in power.

Doom, technically far better than SNES version, as you'd expect, but fact was, it was out on SNES, you did'nt have to buy a new console to play it, if you were a SNES owner.Cybermorph, technically doing things Starfox could only dream of, free-roaming, G.shading, Z-Buffering etc, but it did run slow, with buildings etc popping into view, so was hard for your average gamer i guess to see the things it was doing, Starfox was'nt. If you screamed Z-Buffering,at average punter, would they really have a clue what it meant? and there-in lay a lot of the Jaguar issues, marketing wise, it was packing great technology for it's era, but unless you had games and plenty of them, and they showcased that, and your advertising explained just what it offered existing systems could'nt, you were going to come unstuck.Just screaming 64 bit!!! time and time again, created a very false sense of expectation and Atari paid the price.

V.Racing just slaughtered C.Flag a 16 bit console+DSP chip on cart, producing a more playable polygon racer than state of the art 64 bit technology, not good advert for Jaguar.

And indeed taking on SNES/MD without something to match Mario, Sonic, SF2, MK2 in terms of quality, could only ever have 1 outcome....as for Atari Karts vs Mario Kart..... :lol: might go down well at Retro shows, but did nothing for Jaguar at retail.

User avatar
outdated_gamer
Posts: 2599
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:14 pm

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by outdated_gamer » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:53 pm

Lost Dragon wrote:
nakamura wrote:The controller on one hand certainly isn't as uncomfortable as people make out but it's still awfully designed. How on earth it only had 3 face buttons and not six which was becoming standard and the lack of shoulder buttons was crazy.

Would have been interesting to see it launch with a proper pad and Super Street Fighter 2 X.
I could totally 'buy into' the numeric pad part of the joypad, if you wanted more serious games like flight sims, you really would have needed those buttons, so it could be seen as trying to encourage the development of more serious games on console (no bad thing as i loved MD F-22, LHX, 688 Attack Sub etc), but a 3 button pad, no shoulder buttons on something you were aiming to kill off the SNES/MD...no Atari, just no.
I agree. The Jag could have benefited from more "serious" games aimed at older players like combat flight sims (Falcon 3, F-15 Strike Eagle III, F-117A Stealth Fighter 2.0, ect.), racing sims (F1 Grand Prix, NASCAR Racing, IndyCar Racing, ect.), tactical military games (SEAL Team, Battleships, ect.), strategies (Panzer General, Civilization, Sim City 2000, ect.). Consoles like the MD did see some such games but Atari could have went further and allowed for computer-level realism and fidelity and bring out an official joystick, wheel, mouse, ect.

Maybe the console could be marketed as a cheap alternative to a computer for those wanting computer-like games.

User avatar
killbot
Posts: 4824
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 5:36 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by killbot » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:17 pm

Lost Dragon wrote:Tempest 2000 was hypnotic, in-your-face, brillance, in terms of visuals, but a hard sell in marketing terms.
I think this was a big part of the problem. There were good games on the machine, but how to sell them to kids? A trippy, polygonal version of an arcade game from the late 70s? It may have been amazing, but it just went over our heads. We were all well into Street Fighter, Sonic, Mario...

It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, in particular, and the Jag had neither. When you went round to your mates to play games (which of course back then was what you had to do - online gaming was in its infancy and hardly anyone did it) then there was an expectation that you were going to be playing some Street Fighter, some Mortal Kombat and maybe one of the popular footy games of the time like Sensi or FIFA. If you owned any of the popular 16-bit machines (MD, SNES, Amiga) then you could do just that. Okay, the SNES version of MK had the blood removed and the Amiga port of SFII was a bit shonky, but all the popular games you enjoyed playing with your mates were available in some form whichever of the three machines you happened to own. If you bought a Jaguar, none of them were available (except Sensi, but who buys a 64-bit powerhouse to play Sensi?). Were your mates going to be happy with Kasumi Ninja or Fever Pitch as a substitute? Hell no. So you just didn't bother thinking about getting one.

Actually I remember seeing one running in House of Fraser in about '95 and briefly being interested in it but as soon as I mentioned it to my mates they either laughed or looked horrified. The Saturn and Ultra 64 were coming, and there was some thing called the 'Play Station' that was making waves over in Japan (the magazine screenshots looked awesome). Why would you want a Jaguar? Peer pressure was a big deal, you didn't want to get lumbered with a machine your mates would laugh at. So I never did get round to getting one.
Image

You can buy my book here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolfshead-ebook ... =wolfshead

NES, SNES, N64, GC, Wii, Wii U, GB, GBC, GBA SP, DS Lite, 3DS, MS, MD, Saturn, DC, GG, Xbox, 360

User avatar
crusto
Posts: 5586
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:18 pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by crusto » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:02 pm

I managed to sell a jaguar once when I worked at calculus in Coventry. I didn't see it as a big deal but got a huge pat on the back from the boss later on that day. It turned out they were struggling to give them away!

It's funny though, I remember how I got the sale, by being brutally honest and telling the customer he would be taking a gamble in buying one. Ie: that the machines potential was great, but as of yet there wasn't much going on for it in terms of games etc. it turns out his gamble didn't pay off, he even overlooked the 3DO in favour of it. Mind you, he wouldn't have been too much better off with one of them.
Image

Eat your nans pants

psj3809
Posts: 18935
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by psj3809 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:19 am

It just didn't have the killer games to attract the masses. Yes granted it's technically very very good but that didn't matter. The Speccy didn't have the best spec amongst 8 bits, the gameboy wasn't technically as good as the lynx but at the end of the day it was about games and the quantity of them. Back in the day most of your mates had a similar machine so you could swap or borrow games easily

If I had a jaguar in the 90s I would have got laughed at. And no offence to Kieran but no one else really goes on about the jag here. There's no emulators for it on handhelds, it was a machine which flopped badly. All these years later it's easy to say how technically great it was but that doesn't matter. Back in the 90s it was about the beast games and the amount of games you could get

I do appreciate Kieran talking about the jag and reading about it in retro gamer and you do think it sounded a powerful machine but at the end of the day it failed. Considering how badly it flopped and how few games it had I'm stunned how much talk about the machine goes on here. If other people raved about the jag I may listen but when someone who seems quite obsessed with the machine, its difficult what to take seriously. It'll be the same if a bbc fanatic was here saying it was the best machine in the 80s as it was technically superior to the others etc (doesn't matter it's about the games)

User avatar
ipmarks
Posts: 720
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:46 pm

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by ipmarks » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:01 am

psj3809 wrote:It just didn't have the killer games to attract the masses. Yes granted it's technically very very good but that didn't matter. The Speccy didn't have the best spec amongst 8 bits, the gameboy wasn't technically as good as the lynx but at the end of the day it was about games and the quantity of them. Back in the day most of your mates had a similar machine so you could swap or borrow games easily

If I had a jaguar in the 90s I would have got laughed at. And no offence to Kieran but no one else really goes on about the jag here. There's no emulators for it on handhelds, it was a machine which flopped badly. All these years later it's easy to say how technically great it was but that doesn't matter. Back in the 90s it was about the beast games and the amount of games you could get

I do appreciate Kieran talking about the jag and reading about it in retro gamer and you do think it sounded a powerful machine but at the end of the day it failed. Considering how badly it flopped and how few games it had I'm stunned how much talk about the machine goes on here. If other people raved about the jag I may listen but when someone who seems quite obsessed with the machine, its difficult what to take seriously. It'll be the same if a bbc fanatic was here saying it was the best machine in the 80s as it was technically superior to the others etc (doesn't matter it's about the games)
^this
Agree with everything written here.
It had pretty much no software anyone wanted.
4 or 5 good games do not make a console. The fact it had potential to be brilliant is true, but it never was. Ifs and wishes don't make a console great.... Its the games. It's not underrated, its got the reputation it deserves as a failed machine that noone bought because there were very few games on it.
Harsh but fair.

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Luton
Contact:

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by The Laird » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:02 am

psj3809 wrote:It just didn't have the killer games to attract the masses. Yes granted it's technically very very good but that didn't matter. The Speccy didn't have the best spec amongst 8 bits, the gameboy wasn't technically as good as the lynx but at the end of the day it was about games and the quantity of them. Back in the day most of your mates had a similar machine so you could swap or borrow games easily

If I had a jaguar in the 90s I would have got laughed at. And no offence to Kieran but no one else really goes on about the jag here. There's no emulators for it on handhelds, it was a machine which flopped badly. All these years later it's easy to say how technically great it was but that doesn't matter. Back in the 90s it was about the beast games and the amount of games you could get

I do appreciate Kieran talking about the jag and reading about it in retro gamer and you do think it sounded a powerful machine but at the end of the day it failed. Considering how badly it flopped and how few games it had I'm stunned how much talk about the machine goes on here. If other people raved about the jag I may listen but when someone who seems quite obsessed with the machine, its difficult what to take seriously. It'll be the same if a bbc fanatic was here saying it was the best machine in the 80s as it was technically superior to the others etc (doesn't matter it's about the games)
Only I have never claimed it was the best machine or anything close to that in fact and I am far from obsessed with it, mine is still sitting in a box from Revival last year as there are plenty of other machines I would rather play.

I also didn't start this topic, or any of the other recent Jaguar topics on the forum either so you singling me out like this is more than a little unfair.

I really do get fed up with people on this forum putting words in my mouth and claiming I have said things that clearly aren't true.

User avatar
retrojc
Posts: 4267
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:41 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by retrojc » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:04 pm

I don't understand why you need to defend the Jag though, fair enough you like the console but coming into this thread isn't brave, it's almost seems like it is set against you from the title.

psj3809
Posts: 18935
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Re: Is the Atari Jaguar the most underrated console system?

Post by psj3809 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:51 am

The Laird wrote:Only I have never claimed it was the best machine or anything close to that in fact and I am far from obsessed with it, mine is still sitting in a box from Revival last year as there are plenty of other machines I would rather play.

I also didn't start this topic, or any of the other recent Jaguar topics on the forum either so you singling me out like this is more than a little unfair.

I really do get fed up with people on this forum putting words in my mouth and claiming I have said things that clearly aren't true.
Apologies i didnt mean to single you out or go on some anti-Jaguar rampage ! I've been away a few days so i've been browsing a bit on my iphone and i hate typing on that so i havent really had time to send replies back or go through pages on this thread etc so sorry if it seemed blunt or a bit too negative towards you (thats not the case, we've had lots of good chats via PM and in person) so apologies !

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests