Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cover to Cover: Jaguar EGM Promo (pp. 10-11)

Our current cover-to-cover series continues, from the 1994 Jaguar ad insert in Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine.  We see almost all of the limited Jag software lineup on parade, as Atari tries to convince gamers to buy its 64-bit console.

Page 10 features three of the Jaguar's less successful titles:

Checkered Flag was a competent racer with untextured polygon graphics, meant as a true 3-D upgrade of the Pole Position-style title by the same name on the Atari Lynx handheld; it ran smoothly enough, but the action never really became very intense.  Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, under license based on the reasonably decent biopic about the famous action star, has very little to do with Lee's actual life and more to do with pitting him against various cheesy enemies in one-on-one fighting action.  Hover Strike began life as a Battlezone update -- its graphics were more heavily textured than most Jaguar titles, but the frame rate was uneven and gameplay was clunky; I did play through the whole game back in the day, but pack-in title Cybermorph did something similar, better.

By the time we get to page 11, we're down to several launch titles, as aging warehouse stock is employed to provide a free "bonus" title to entice new Jaguar owners:

Raiden was a solid conversion of the classic vertical scrolling shoot-'em-up -- the only problem was that the game was already several years old when this version was released, and while it was a step above Xevious it wasn't much to look at in the bullet-hell era.  Dino Dudes was a competent little puzzle game with entertaining cartoon graphics -- it played well enough for me to own and finish it at the time, but felt like an Amiga/PC conversion and took no real advantage of Atari's hardware.  And the less said about Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy, the better -- it showed off the Jaguar's 24-bit color depth to good advantage, but felt like a Photoshop tutorial gone mad, with cut-and-pasted sprite enemies attacking with little style or sense of design.

There's still more to come!


  1. Hey, all your content used to be "before the jump" (and I liked it that way), now it all seems to be "after the jump". So when I get it via RSS all I get is the title and nothing else. Was that intentional?

  2. Whoops, no it wasn't! Thanks for letting me know. I meant to set it to "After the jump", and instead I set it to "short". See if this configuration works better - I don't use the jump break very often but thought I could avoid cluttering the feed on occasion.