The Potential of the CoJag Hardware

At first I thought that this might be better suited to the confines of Arcade Heroes since it ultimately is about more content for arcades. But I’m not sure that readers there are too interested in my Atari rants. So we’ll keep it here.

Sorry about the delay in updates BTW. I’ve been very busy with life and when life gets busy, hobby blogs take a backseat. Even Arcade Heroes has taken a back seat as I remodel a new store to move my business into but that is finally calming down.

Anyways.

The Atari Jaguar is an oft maligned game system, in part because of arguments over it’s  ‘bitness’, in others over the quality of games it had. It did have several great games for it but to have become a success, it needed more of those plus more depth to many titles that gamers were expecting at the time. It just came at a strange time in the business, much like the 3DO and it ended up being Atari’s last new game system.

Atari was working on the Jaguar 2 – a backwards compatible system that was allegedly “2 to 4 times more powerful that the PlayStation”. It would have resolved some of the Jaguar’s hardware bugs while upgrading some components from 32-bit to 64-bit and some others from 64-bit to 128-bit. Prototypes have been found but alas, it was canned before completion so we’ll never know what was to be, unless you want to count the NUON as a sorta Jaguar 2.

That said, there was a Jaguar 1.5 – the CoJag. Developed by Atari Games (the arcade company and not technically part of Atari Corp., the home division), it powered AG’s biggest hit of the 90s, Area 51. It also powered Maximum Force and some unreleased games: Freeze (puzzle game), Fishing Frenzy, 3 on 3 basketball and Vicious Circle (1v1 fighter).

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Latest Zelda: Breath of the Wild Trailer

I haven’t forgotten I have this blog. But I also haven’t really had the time or focus to spend on this when my main thing is arcades and trying to put food on the table through that via various means.

So to show I am still paying some attention to the wonderful world of console video games, the latest Zelda trailer:

No Man’s Sky Learns What It Is Like To Visit The Digital Landfill

Everyone knows the legendary story of how Atari Inc. buried millions of unsold games in the New Mexico desert.

I have a feeling that the next game to find a burial somewhere (land or sea) is going to be No Man’s Sky. It certainly is experiencing a digital burial with all of the refunds that Steam is having to issue.

This was sent to me by a friend:

nsmskyrefund

I had been excited about No Man’s Sky, an indie made video game for PS4/PC that was offering up plenty of promises in the run up to release. Admittedly, I was letting myself buy into the hype although I did avoid buying the game until I saw how everything would fallout.

And fallout it did. (this was taken a few days ago when the game reached “Mostly Negative” status on Steam)

nmsky

Granted, it has become cool to hate the game at this point but that is the fault of the developers who suffered from inflated ego syndrome and a media eager to create a clickbait hero. Various developers have learned why you should be honest in marketing your game but not enough. At this point, No Man’s Sky will take the crown for most disappointing game of the year and will certainly be in the running for the decade.

Happy 39th Birthday Atari 2600

This past Sunday was the 39th anniversary to one of the greatest video game consoles ever made, the Atari 2600. Sure it had limitations and as with any popular game system, quite a few bad games. But it had a lot of great games that are still fun to play today. The graphics and sounds it produces are iconic (as a reminder to everyone that there is no such thing as 8-bit graphics, the 2600 was just as much an 8-bit machine as the NES) and show that you don’t need photorealism for a game to be fun.

To celebrate, I made this video showcasing 39 awesome Atari 2600 games. Enjoy:

The Impressive Graphics of the Atari 8-bit Era Consoles

A little while ago I stumbled across an article on an Australian gaming website called Hey Poor Player. There, a guest writer put up a list entitled “TOP 5 GRAPHICALLY IMPRESSIVE 8-BIT GAMES“. It then went on to list Sonic The Hedgehog for the Sega Master System; Metal Storm for the NES; Little Samson on the NES; Wonderboy 3 for the SMS; and for #1, Kirby’s Adventure for the NES.

Now those are fine examples of titles that did look good and I can understand that if you’ve only played those two systems that you might not branch out into other contemporaries.

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Updates: T-Shirts & Homebrews

I have a little free time at the moment so might be able to update the site here more frequently but I’ve got to focus on money makers first to support my family so that always takes precedence. Click below for homebrews and more:

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Trailer for The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

As I recall, the original Legend of Zelda was one of my favorite games to play on the NES. While I have not played every Zelda game in existence, I’ve always had a soft spot for the series. Now with their blending of Zelda and Skyrim, the upcoming WiiU/NX release is looking quite good – apart from the dungeon crawling you have vast spaces to explore, rock climbing, tree climbing/chopping, mining materials + crafting & cooking, survival elements (such as needing to put on warmer clothes in colder areas), different types of bombs, shield-boarding (you can go down a snowy hill on your shield), the dynamic weather and so on (I heard crafting was used in Skyward Sword but that is one of the games I haven’t played yet 😛 ). It even has a new magnet tool, which those few Atari Adventure  fans out there, should recognize as a useful tool.

Now to decide whether or not I wait for the U version or get the NX version instead 😀

 

Atari Continues Sewer Digging, Suing To Prevent The Use of ‘Haunted House’ In Video Games

First the news and the link: Ex-Game Maker Atari To Argue To The US PTO That Only It Can Make ‘Haunted House’ Games

While Atari under a completely different management and vision did make Haunted House back in 1981 for the Atari 2600, the current ownership suddenly remembered the property again in 2010 with the release of the quickly forgotten Haunted House for a number of modern platforms; they also released an endless runner for mobile using the name and in 2014 tried and failed again with the release of Haunted House Cryptic Graves in 2014. The trademark for “Haunted House” was filed in 2010 but the term is fairly generic and there are multiple other games that have used the term, including those before the Atari 2600 title. Apparently someone over there thinks that the title is loaded with potential to keep cranking out massive failures.

I find it interesting that trying the mobile route didn’t work for them, just like it hasn’t for many big companies in trying to milk their old IPs. That’s what happens when you solely rely on the name without a vision of what it is that makes the original game charming or what makes modern games fun.

It is infuriating that the name that was once synonymous with ‘video games’ is now setting their reputation in stone as a patent troll. While I could understand their side of it in the Jeff Minter case due to how close TxK was to Tempest 2000, this shows where their real interests are in case it wasn’t clear (in the case of TxK, they could have handled that better). Money and pissing on the ‘little guy’, who actually works to be innovative and make real games.

Hopefully the US PTO doesn’t rule in their favor but regardless the outcome, I am personally boycotting them as long as they exist under the current ownership. I will not give them a single dime, not through games like that new Atari classics release on Steam, any other Flashbacks or through their current merchandise. I urge everyone else that reads this to do the same. They have done nothing to deserve anyone’s money and if one poorly reviewed release after another isn’t enough to sway you, then let their attitude towards games and other developers be it. Bleeding them dry is the only way to “Make Atari Great Again.”

 

Gems of the Jaguar: BattleMorph

With the impending release of StarFox Zero for the WiiU, I’m keen to review that one once I get it and spend some time on it, however those of you that visit the blog don’t really come here for my thoughts on Nintendo or most other company game products. Most readers are here for the Atari stuff so I feel it is prudent to do another Gems of the Jaguar, this time concerning a game series for the Atari Jaguar that was Atari’s ‘response‘ of sorts to Nintendo’s StarFox.

I recall the hype for StarFox rather well. There were other games on the SNES that were popular and gained notoriety but at least in my neighborhood and school, when SF came out, it’s all everyone talked about. I think a lot of us thought that it was the first 3D game to come along, ignoring various other titles since Atari’s I,Robot that had used filled 3D polygons to make the graphics. Still, for a “16-bit” console like the SNES, it was different. At the time, Atari was prepping their “64-bit” console the Jaguar and as it would work out, they decided to use a 3rd party game by the name of Cybermorph to be the pack-in title for the system. That had been in development for their 32-bit Panther console that was never released; if Atari had the money then the Jaguar could have come along closer to 1992 but as fate had it, Cybermorph wouldn’t get its chance until late 1993.

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Let’s dissect Trevor McFur In The Crescent Galaxy (Atari Jaguar)

Today’s post came about from a discussion on the AtariAge Forums where a thread brought up an oddball from the Atari Jaguar library, Trevor McFur In The Crescent Galaxy. This was a horizontal scrolling shooter (shmup) game that was originally planned to be the pack-in title for the console until Cybermorph came along to bask in that glory itself. Still, as the second game for the system and one that Atari proudly displayed in advertisements, it became the only horizontal shmup for the system to enjoy. Here is a long play video to give you an idea of what is being talked about:

Now this debate isn’t anything new for those in Jaguar circles. There are those who enjoy the game but they tend to be outnumbered by those that see it as a title that the system could have done without. So let’s get into what makes a shmup fun and whether or not this can be applied to Trevor McFur.

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