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Is the Jaguar as bad as everyone thinks?


totallyterrificpants
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I have one on lay by at a local store but the conclusion online seems to be the Jaguar is abysmal. I've only played Alien VS Predator, Bubsy, Flip Out and Zoop on it and honestly Bubsy is the only one I didn't like. I know Kasumi Ninja, Fight For Life and Ultra Vortek won't be 10/10 next Street Fighter etc but are they truly 3/10 fighters etc? Then again these days a lot of retro game fans seems to be just Nintendo fanboys who don't step outside their safety box of Nintendo systems except maybe a Sega Genesis so most bash the Jaguar despite never playing one :P

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That's probably it. And people like to jump on the bandwagon of popular opinion. But you have to wonder where did the opinion begin in the first place?

 

Was it started with a competitor's opinion of the Jaguar? Perhaps a negative reaction started way back when Atari boasted 64 bits of power. Not just the brag, but the main part of the advertising?

 

Or maybe the fact that in the end, Atari with the Jaguar would place third or forth place in the choice of Gamers at the time?

 

Hard to say. As a Jaguar owner I would have to say a lot of the Jaguar game library are games I don't play often. I do actually play Bubsy on a regular basis after some time of getting used to the game. Of the original titles there are a few that stand out and get replayed.

 

And then there are a wave of new games being made or ported which are just a blast.

 

So the Jaguar of 1993 is a different system from the system of 2016 that has many more games to choose from.

 

So currently, no the Jaguar is not as bad as everyone thinks, but we let people think it is so there will be more for us. ;)

Edited by doctorclu
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There was definitely a pile-on effect with games media in the 1990s when the Jaguar was coming out. It became the butt of everyone's jokes as the WORST thing ever. Was it THAT bad? Of course not ...but when you pile up its negatives ...

 

- lots and lots of hype, like "Do the Math" advertising

- the implication that "64-bit" would be amazeballs (this didn't even work particularly well for the Nintendo 64 two years later)

- lots of meh PC and Amiga ports like Syndicate, Cannon Fodder, Theme Park which aren't well suited to a controller

- $70 cartridge prices

- software releases few and far between

 

... it didn't look so good. The bad games like Kasumi Ninja, Checkered Flag, and Club Drive were really bad, especially if you only had the Jaguar to play on, and especially especially if you paid $70 each for them.

 

There were some positives: Tempest 2000, which was legitimately fresh; Aliens Vs. Predator, which looked slick and had a lot of atmosphere for the day, but were they worth paying out for the system and the high cartridge prices when Playstation was doing so much more?

 

I think many of us were able to get cheap Jaguar consoles and software and gave it more of a chance, which might account for some of the backlash-against-the-pile-on behavior on the Jaguar boards. Another failed, expensive console at the time, 3DO, was worse in some ways. There were some dedicated fan projects like Battlesphere, which didn't launch until 2000 when the system and its parent company were totally dead.

 

If the Jaguar tech were better supported by a company with more resources, and got a LOT more software, it could have competed with the Playstation and Saturn. I think that's the position a lot of fans argue from. The reality is much rougher though, a game machine is only as good as the software support it receives.

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Yes, the majority of the original releases are bad. I still like T2k and D2k. AvP was great when released but has badly aged.

 

Recent releases are for the most part fun games. Reboot released some simple, fun, addicative games. The RCs of Rebooteroids was pretty amazing. IMHO, BSG is over rated and not worth the $$$.

 

Worth collecting for but only a handful or two of games that are fun to play.

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I had a Jaguar from the month it was released in CA and NY, and a Jag CD since that was released. I've owned most of the non-homebrew games.

 

I just sold my remaining collection because 1) people are willing to pay hefty prices for CIB, near-mint Jaguars and accessories, and 2) There wasn't a compelling reason to keep it. Sure, there are some fun games for it...but $1000 fun? No way. Not for me.

 

But, it all comes down to individual experience. Most people say the 5200's a waste of money. But I have almost every game ever made for it CIB, plus Best Gold Controllers, plus the hardware testing equipment and all that stuff. Easily $1000 worth of stuff. But even though I have all those same games for the Atari 8-bit, I wouldn't sell my 5200 for even $2000. I get way too much out of it and I love the controllers, overlays, and especially the trak-ball.

 

When it comes to these quirky, less-successful systems, you can't listen to what other people think. Go with what makes you happy.

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I never owned a Jaguar back in the day, and only got one about five years ago in a big lot on eBay. I collect for just about every system, but the Jaguar has been one of my favorite to acquire. The library is generally, outside of only a couple of titles (Battlesphere, Battlesphere Gold, original Air Cars), not difficult to acquire, and there are some deals out there for the rarer ones to be had. What's made it even more fun is the availability (a lot of it through Atari Age forums!) of new releases! Not only am I collecting the classic collection, but I get to toss in new, original games as well as remakes of classics, which makes for a lovely added wrinkle to getting the Jag and Jag CD. I have almost all of the original release games (CD also) CIB, but getting fresh new copies of Alice's Mom's Rescue, Elansar, Philia, Another World, and Xenon 2: Megablast makes it feel like I'm a kid again.

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Media say allot of things. Its up to your gut feelings to weed through the hyperbole and maybe check out for yourself if something is good or not.

dave Halverson sold me on a Jag many years ago,the GameFan article on Cybermorph was great. I guess it helped that I liked allot of the same type of games he did and I often found his reviews pretty accurate. To this day I play Cybermorph and think of his review and I'm glad he steered me towards the Jaguar when at that time when so many other game reviewers were going out of their way to mock Atari and the Jaguar instead of just giving a professional review. There was abit of fanboy craziness and snobiness thrown at Atari in those days. Even a game that reviewers saw as decent was sometimes met with a snide remark towards the end of a review.

 

The Jaguar is worth picking up. Every retro game system builds a library as the years goes on. I suggest researching youtube videos and as youre doing now - asking around about the system and its games. I just wish the Ebay prices weren't so high for newcomers though. Its abit of a leap of faith to invest in something that even today media love to dog pile on.

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It's not worth picking up i.m.o. The system and games are grossly overpriced on the resale market, with prices escalating even as I type this. The graphically pleasing games run at what seems like 10 fps, while other games seem incomplete or just plain dull. The CD unit is astronomical in price, and the games released are pretty lousy. The system is aesthetically one of the worst ever conceived, with a giant controller featuring a button set that is rarely used.

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It's not worth picking up i.m.o. The system and games are grossly overpriced on the resale market, with prices escalating even as I type this. The graphically pleasing games run at what seems like 10 fps, while other games seem incomplete or just plain dull. The CD unit is astronomical in price, and the games released are pretty lousy. The system is aesthetically one of the worst ever conceived, with a giant controller featuring a button set that is rarely used.

With the CD attachment, I mean, it doesn't look great.. but as just the system, I like the look of it. = )

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No, the Jaguar is not as bad as the general opinion on the internet. Most expressing an opinion on the wider internet have not owned or played the Jaguar and its games.

 

However, the Jaguar is somewhat of an acquired taste. When I owned one I enjoyed it but it never became one of my favorite systems. The Jaguar doesn't offer enough for me compared to other systems, but the only way to know for sure is to experience it for yourself.

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I can only make an assumption, but the Jaguar is probably harder to get into if you have no experience with playing it back in the day. Either nostalgia for other game systems will win out or the game libraries available on other systems will. If you're looking for a retro game console that has some of the best ports of DOOM and Wolf 3D though, find yourself a deal on a system and jump on. = )

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Let's put it into perspective with the other systems of its time:

 

SNES, Genny/MD, Saturn, PS1, N64 ..... yeah it is at the very bottom when it comes to games.

 

Now once you possess those 5 mainstream systems let's see what else the Jag was competing with:

NeoGeo CD/AES, 3DO, Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, PC-FX, CDi ..... aside the NeoGeo offering that is stellar imho (2D only obviously, CD is slow loading on late fighters) the rest is to anyone's taste. I got my Jag after the 3DO, PC-FX, FM Towns Marty but before the CD32 and CDi .... just because the timing worked that way .... if tomorrow I were to miss (i.e. sell) 3DO, Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, PC-FX, CDi and Jag (+CD) I would not cry much, these 6 I own because I could afford them and was curious as hell.

To be fair my Jag got the most play out of "the gang of 6" (that is 3DO, Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, PC-FX, CDi and Jag), but nowhere near the aforementioned mainstream systems, the NeoGeo AES or even the SMS/NES .... gosh I probably played more 7800 than Jag but I don't think I am too proud of that.

 

So yeah it is pretty much at the bottom, when people say it is not as bad as Internet makes it to be I am not sure what they mean as the rest of its contemporaries down there at the bottom of the barrel are not exactly something to talk home about either and they all have something, a spark of a game here and there that is interesting/fun assuming you can find them cheap. The Jag is up top with the 3DO as far as "the gang of 6" is concerned still nothing particularly redeeming imho because the bar is pretty low at that point.

 

Does the Jag have a handful of good games? oh hell yeah ..... do those redeem it? Nope, and it's getting too expensive to simply "try it".

 

Does the Jag have lots of recent ports? oh hell yeah ... but if you're like me you played them already so aside the fact that the awesome CJ single handedly almost doubled the library, those are not the games the Jag was supposed to be known for. Still good games but they are ports however competent of 16bit level games.

 

So if you got everything else sure go for it .... but if you don't have PS1 or Saturn or N64 or Genny/MD or SNES I'd first go there.

[i think I picked up a couple of 32X even before my Jag ..... they were cheap [like around 50US$ complete], but that's another thing you only pick up after you've got the mainstream taken care of]

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Pretty much every game system has some redeeming qualities, and I feel like literally every console ever released is worth picking up for the right price. But for some systems, the right price to me would be quite low.

 

I bought my Jaguar new for $35 and even though I later sold it (for a lot more money), I feel like that was a really good deal. But honestly, there aren't a huge number of good games for it. I think the only games I really played regularly on it were Tempest 2000 and Defender 2000. I also had Atari Karts, which was a fun little diversion but nowhere near as good as Mario Kart.

 

I sometimes regret selling mine just because it was the last Atari console and mine was mint/complete until the day I sold it. But then I think about how often I played it and how many games I really liked and I don't really regret it anymore.

 

I do think a lot of other retro systems have more to offer. The Jaguar's fun to try out if you can buy one for cheap, but that's unusual these days. Not many people have unlimited space in their house, or unlimited brain space for that matter, so for most people I think getting into a different retro system is probably a better idea. That is, unless you already know you're predisposed to the Jaguar; I'm also a firm believer that people just like what they like, so if you already know you like the Jaguar, go for it. But for someone who's just looking to get into retro gaming and weighing the pros and cons of various systems, I'd say the Jag comes out worse than most other systems of its (or any) era.

Edited by spacecadet
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I have one on lay by at a local store but the conclusion online seems to be the Jaguar is abysmal. I've only played Alien VS Predator, Bubsy, Flip Out and Zoop on it and honestly Bubsy is the only one I didn't like. I know Kasumi Ninja, Fight For Life and Ultra Vortek won't be 10/10 next Street Fighter etc but are they truly 3/10 fighters etc? Then again these days a lot of retro game fans seems to be just Nintendo fanboys who don't step outside their safety box of Nintendo systems except maybe a Sega Genesis so most bash the Jaguar despite never playing one :P

 

 

Honestly... this is a hard question to answer.

 

The Atari 2600 to any person born in the late 1980s, is a horrendously unplayable video game system. In their eyes, each game is basically a different combination of random blocks that do stuff. I know someone will chime in and say that Hipsters are all up in that, or that they have a third cousin who's a Millennial that plays it 6 hours a day. But the fact is... most people buying games right now want nothing to do with the 2600. The Jaguar is pretty much the same... but it stays alive because of people who appreciated games during that time, and enjoy the homebrew "scene."

 

But if you look at it from that perspective (of the time), it's a good system and has a lot of cool games. Yeah, some of them suck... but a lot of them are a lot of fun... depends what you like.

Edited by 82-T/A
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