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Could the Jag Do Decent Ports of NeoGeo and CPS-2


christo930
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The Neo Geo had giant sprites and excellent scaling and lots of colors and sound. Same thing with the CPS-2 arcade system. I was wondering if the Jag could bring home near arcade perfect ports of these games and if Atari could have made that happen. Though the NeoGeo had absolutely stupid rom sizes, from what I understand, they were very deliberately bloated. Graphics can be heavily compressed. These are just 2 of the more popular arcade systems of the time.

 

Though they doubtless had a lot of good games, the Genesis and SNES just couldn't bring the arcade home in most cases. The Genesis had a 64 color limitation and neither system could handle very large sprites.

 

If Atari could have gotten some of these licenses, could the Jag bring the arcade home in a much more faithful port? Like could it have handled the zooming that the NeoGeo did with games like Samaria Shodown? Could it have given us a faithful port of Metal Slug (and the sequels)? What about 3d? Could it do something along the line of Virtua Racing on par wity the 32X?

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Though the NeoGeo had absolutely stupid rom sizes, from what I understand, they were very deliberately bloated. Graphics can be heavily compressed.

That's false garbage that's been around since the 90's. Understand how the Neo Geo works and you'll get why it's false. I've also heard the code was purposely large as well, which makes no sense since the P ROMs are minimal compared to C and V ROMs.

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That's false garbage that's been around since the 90's. Understand how the Neo Geo works and you'll get why it's false. I've also heard the code was purposely large as well, which makes no sense since the P ROMs are minimal compared to C and V ROMs.

Indeed, I heard that back in the 90s. So then why are the roms so large? Samaria Shodown 2 is like 25MB. That seems pretty large for what it is. I know there are a lot of graphics being stored, but some level of compression should be possible.

 

It seems to me that if the Jag could actually perform great near arcade perfect ports, it probably has enough computing power to compress the graphics. Rom was too expensive to have 25MB cartridges that would sell for around the same price as a SNES game.

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Indeed, I heard that back in the 90s. So then why are the roms so large? Samaria Shodown 2 is like 25MB. That seems pretty large for what it is. I know there are a lot of graphics being stored, but some level of compression should be possible.

 

It seems to me that if the Jag could actually perform great near arcade perfect ports, it probably has enough computing power to compress the graphics. Rom was too expensive to have 25MB cartridges that would sell for around the same price as a SNES game.

IIRC the way the way Neo Geo hardware worked made compression not possible. That's why the carts are so big compared to other systems at the time.

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Primal Rage on the Jaguar was not a "huge" improvement over the SNES and Genesis versions, but it would have been nice to see Samurai Shodown and Super Street Fighter 2 get the same level of improvement that Primal Rage was over the SNES/Geny ports. That would have been enough for me back in the day.

 

Stuff from Samurai Spirits/ Fatal Fury 2 Special and backwards probably should turn out pretty nice on the Jaguar. Stuff after that generation of software on Neo Geo probably got too big for the Jaggys limited ROM/RAM.

 

Not that i can do anything with it, hehe, but what are the specs of the Raptor engine when it comes to sprites, background planes, colors, sound channels, etc?

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The Neo Geo had giant sprites and excellent scaling and lots of colors and sound. Same thing with the CPS-2 arcade system. I was wondering if the Jag could bring home near arcade perfect ports of these games and if Atari could have made that happen. Though the NeoGeo had absolutely stupid rom sizes, from what I understand, they were very deliberately bloated. Graphics can be heavily compressed. These are just 2 of the more popular arcade systems of the time. Though they doubtless had a lot of good games, the Genesis and SNES just couldn't bring the arcade home in most cases. The Genesis had a 64 color limitation and neither system could handle very large sprites. If Atari could have gotten some of these licenses, could the Jag bring the arcade home in a much more faithful port? Like could it have handled the zooming that the NeoGeo did with games like Samaria Shodown? Could it have given us a faithful port of Metal Slug (and the sequels)? What about 3d? Could it do something along the line of Virtua Racing on par wity the 32X?

 

 

I have no comment on the ability to do it, but I am curious what the point would be. I definitely like the Atari Jaguar, and porting Atari ST and Amiga games (?) to the Jaguar seems like a "less complicated" and more reasonable idea. Not everyone has an Atari ST, and while I suppose there are emulators, it's not as much fun. But there are definitely dozens of video game systems on eBay right now (most under $100 bucks) that already have literally dozens of CPS ROMs loaded into them. I bought some joystick that plugs into the TV for $10 bucks at the South Florida Swap Shop a few years ago. It literally has over 1,000 ROMs on it.

 

There's another system called "Get Arcade" (picture below) that has an SD card slot, as well as built in flash-ROM and a USB connector. It plays all of the CPS-2 and NeoGeo games, as well as all the SNES, NES, SMS, Genesis, and Game Boy games.... as well as some other systems. Excellent Sound, you name it. I got it all for what would basically be the price of a single new Atari Jaguar homebrew cart...

 

GetArcade01_zpsddff57d1.jpg

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Primal Rage on the Jaguar was not a "huge" improvement over the SNES and Genesis versions, but it would have been nice to see Samurai Shodown and Super Street Fighter 2 get the same level of improvement that Primal Rage was over the SNES/Geny ports. That would have been enough for me back in the day.

 

Stuff from Samurai Spirits/ Fatal Fury 2 Special and backwards probably should turn out pretty nice on the Jaguar. Stuff after that generation of software on Neo Geo probably got too big for the Jaggys limited ROM/RAM.

 

Not that i can do anything with it, hehe, but what are the specs of the Raptor engine when it comes to sprites, background planes, colors, sound channels, etc?

But is this because they didn't put in the effort? Could Primal Rage been a lot better on the Jag hardware? It's hard to look at a game like Rayman and not think the Jag could do a good port of Metal Slug (for example), which really pushed the limits of the NeoGeo and suffers slow-down. I don't think the limited ROM of the Jag is anywhere near as important as the cost. There is no real limit to the ROM size as long as there is a way to bankswitch the ROM. The real limit becomes cost. It's hard to imagine the system needing access to a larger amount of ROM than whatever the limit is, all at once. Of course, I really don't know that much about either system.

 

I'm not sure just how meaningful these numbers are, but the Jag has 2MB of RAM while the NeoGeo has 84k video ram, 64k of working ram and 2k of sound ram, while the Jag has 2MB of RAM, though it is unclear how much more important RAM is on the Jag.

Edited by christo930
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I have no comment on the ability to do it, but I am curious what the point would be. I definitely like the Atari Jaguar, and porting Atari ST and Amiga games (?) to the Jaguar seems like a "less complicated" and more reasonable idea. Not everyone has an Atari ST, and while I suppose there are emulators, it's not as much fun. But there are definitely dozens of video game systems on eBay right now (most under $100 bucks) that already have literally dozens of CPS ROMs loaded into them. I bought some joystick that plugs into the TV for $10 bucks at the South Florida Swap Shop a few years ago. It literally has over 1,000 ROMs on it.

 

There's another system called "Get Arcade" (picture below) that has an SD card slot, as well as built in flash-ROM and a USB connector. It plays all of the CPS-2 and NeoGeo games, as well as all the SNES, NES, SMS, Genesis, and Game Boy games.... as well as some other systems. Excellent Sound, you name it. I got it all for what would basically be the price of a single new Atari Jaguar homebrew cart...

 

GetArcade01_zpsddff57d1.jpg

I don't mean now, I meant at the time. There was a period where the Jag was the most powerful hardware on the market and I was thinking that if the Jaguar could do it, getting a license to bring the most faithful ports of these extremely popular games could have given Atari a much larger base. While there are certainly good games in the library, they weren't getting the best arcade titles at the time. I think they did not put enough effort into getting 3rd party titles.

 

Do you mind telling me where you got that?

Edited by christo930
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Pure personal opinion, as no-one from Probe whom i contacted back in the day, ever wanted to talk about Jaguar development but...

 

I feel Primal Rage was little more than a contractual obligation for them.

 

By the time it was annouced, it was evident the Jaguar had failed at retail and publishers/developers were keen to get started on the 1st generation of Playstation and Saturn titles.

 

We've heard it from the likes of ATD,Core Design, Rage etc..

 

1 or 2 Jaguar title's started, but writing on the wall, it was not where the money lay.

 

So, why would Probe invest the resources needed to optimise code for an add on device such as the Jaguar CD, when the base hardware itself was on the way out..

Edited by Lost Dragon
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Pure personal opinion, as no-one from Probe whom i contacted back in the day, ever wanted to talk about Jaguar development but...

 

I feel Primal Rage was little more than a contractual obligation for them.

 

By the time it was annouced, it was evident the Jaguar had failed at retail and publishers/developers were keen to get started on the 1st generation of Playstation and Saturn titles.

 

We've heard it from the likes of ATD,Core Design, Rage etc..

 

1 or 2 Jaguar title's started, but writing on the wall, it was not where the money lay.

 

So, why would Probe invest the resources needed to optimise code for an add on device such as the Jaguar CD, when the base hardware itself was on the way out..

 

What about in early 93 before the console was released? By late 94 it was obvious the Jag was going nowhere, but that was largely because of the failure of the late 93 launch.

 

Perhaps a largely cash strapped Atari was destined to fail no matter what they did? I just find it a shame that the last 2d TV-based powerhouse was never exploited and that we got inferior home versions of the popular arcade machines of the era. God only knows why they chose a controller that was reminiscent of the Colecovision and intellivision controller when it was abundantly clear by then that a joypad should have 4 of 6 buttons, a start button and 2 shoulder buttons.

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From a purely UK perspective. .even before the Jaguar launched, there was the general feeling Atari lacked the resources to make a go of the Jaguar.

 

They didn't have the cash resources of say Sega to market it..had burnt a lot of bridges, developer support wise, since the ST era.

 

Core Design explained the situation pretty well, explaining Sega payed well and on time, so why move away from the hand that was feeding you very well at the time?.

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I don't mean now, I meant at the time. There was a period where the Jag was the most powerful hardware on the market and I was thinking that if the Jaguar could do it, getting a license to bring the most faithful ports of these extremely popular games could have given Atari a much larger base. While there are certainly good games in the library, they weren't getting the best arcade titles at the time. I think they did not put enough effort into getting 3rd party titles.

 

Do you mind telling me where you got that?

 

 

Ahhh! Ok... sorry, I misunderstood. Yeah, I mean... I'm not a hardware expert, and I know the Jaguar largely lacks any kind of 3d accelerator or 3d processor... but I'm sure if the Jaguar had been properly supported, it could very well have played most of those games.

 

The Neo Geo at the time was a very real system, and I remember a couple of friends who had them. Only the very well-off families had those (typically), or the irresponsible ones, haha.

 

 

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to respond to the last question. I bought the "Get Arcade" off eBay. It comes from a guy in Argentina that manufactures them. I just checked eBay, and I don't see them there. I'll do a search and see if I can find the original distributor.

 

EDIT #2: Here's one, but you kind of have to speak Spanish: https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-668216144-get-arcade-consola-de-emulacion-_JM

I think it's in Pesos, so don't get scared at the price.

 

It doesn't look like they're sold anymore as the website resolves to some type of Wayfair type of store in Argentina. But in any case, here's a YouTube video made by the original developer.

 

 

 

It's well worth it if you can find it... it plays really well.

Edited by 82-T/A
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I'm not very tech savvy, but wasn't part of the issue with the Jaguar library that they were created to use a redundant 16-bit processor due to ease of programming rather than going through the pain in the butt of unlocking the full potential of the twin 32-bit Tom and Jerry processors? It's not that the Jaguar wasn't capable of looking/playing a whole lot better than its 16-bit competitors, it's just that nobody wanted to put in the effort to do it. I'd imagine it would be even doubly so for ports of Neo-Geo games, which were created to high standards by motivated game programmers.

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Before we get too caught up in the Jaguar Hardware side of things, let's not forget Atari's marketing Dept. deciding 2D was yesterday's news..

 

Remember Stewart Green of Data Design, talking of what became of Switch Death AKA Deathmatch.

 

 

Stewart told us that Atari stopped development before game was finished as they wanted to focus on 3D Enviroments as whilst 2D backdrops looked fantastic, they did’nt appeal to the marketing department.

 

So a lack of 2D pushing as it were, on Jaguar ,lies with Atari itself.

Edited by Lost Dragon
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I'm not very tech savvy, but wasn't part of the issue with the Jaguar library that they were created to use a redundant 16-bit processor due to ease of programming rather than going through the pain in the butt of unlocking the full potential of the twin 32-bit Tom and Jerry processors? It's not that the Jaguar wasn't capable of looking/playing a whole lot better than its 16-bit competitors, it's just that nobody wanted to put in the effort to do it. I'd imagine it would be even doubly so for ports of Neo-Geo games, which were created to high standards by motivated game programmers.

Bits is mostly a bullshit marketing gimmick. The Jaguar was a lot faster and could handle more colors and larger and more sprites than the Snes or Genesis.

 

I have the feeling that Rayman is mostly running on the 68k and is the best looking game on the console, especially 2d. The reason I think this is because the emulator experiences zero slowdown playing the game even with my CPU throttled, while other games drop pretty low. The 68k emulator is very good and fast because it was so ubiquitous.

 

I mentioned it in a different thread, but I absolutely hated the move to 3d games. We went from having very nice looking 2d games to hideously ugly 3d games on the Saturn and PSX. The tech just wasn't there yet. This really turned me off and I've been playing the older stuff ever since. They also were moving away from arcade type games at the time, and more to story based games that take forever to play. There were some very good early quasi 3d games, but when they went to true 3d the quality just dropped like a stone.

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Bits is mostly a bullshit marketing gimmick. The Jaguar was a lot faster and could handle more colors and larger and more sprites than the Snes or Genesis.

 

I have the feeling that Rayman is mostly running on the 68k and is the best looking game on the console, especially 2d. The reason I think this is because the emulator experiences zero slowdown playing the game even with my CPU throttled, while other games drop pretty low. The 68k emulator is very good and fast because it was so ubiquitous.

 

I mentioned it in a different thread, but I absolutely hated the move to 3d games. We went from having very nice looking 2d games to hideously ugly 3d games on the Saturn and PSX. The tech just wasn't there yet. This really turned me off and I've been playing the older stuff ever since. They also were moving away from arcade type games at the time, and more to story based games that take forever to play. There were some very good early quasi 3d games, but when they went to true 3d the quality just dropped like a stone.

Yeah, I know the bit wars were all hype, but that doesn't mean programmers weren't deliberately avoiding using the Jag's full processing power. And yeah, lots of games could use the Motorola 68000 processor and make stuff look good (if they bothered) because it was a mature technology and there was a much greater degree of familiarity with it. Just like late-release NES, SNES, and Genesis titles, there was a much greater understanding of how to use it to its full potential so the results could look like a generational leap. It's too bad the Jag's tech took so long to fully mature, because as we've seen, it was VERY capable once all the kinks were worked out.

 

I would agree with you about there being something of a generational gap in quality, to a certain extent. I've been collecting heavily for the Sega Saturn in the last month or two, and one thing I've learned is that while the overall libraries for that generation didn't necessarily age well (I mean, I loved RE on the PS1 but wouldn't bother playing it in its original format today), those systems have a lot of excellent titles that didn't try to do too much with new technologies. Yeah, there are some iconic titles in the 32/64-bit era, but the blocky graphics (and sometimes the gameplay) don't hold up especially well. But quite a few 2D games played exceptionally well as generational leaps over their forebears. Clockwork Knight 1 & 2 and Astal are two good examples on the Saturn.

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But is this because they didn't put in the effort? Could Primal Rage been a lot better on the Jag hardware? It's hard to look at a game like Rayman and not think the Jag could do a good port of Metal Slug (for example), which really pushed the limits of the NeoGeo and suffers slow-down. I don't think the limited ROM of the Jag is anywhere near as important as the cost. There is no real limit to the ROM size as long as there is a way to bankswitch the ROM. The real limit becomes cost. It's hard to imagine the system needing access to a larger amount of ROM than whatever the limit is, all at once. Of course, I really don't know that much about either system.

 

I'm not sure just how meaningful these numbers are, but the Jag has 2MB of RAM while the NeoGeo has 84k video ram, 64k of working ram and 2k of sound ram, while the Jag has 2MB of RAM, though it is unclear how much more important RAM is on the Jag.

Yeah, i think Primal Rage could have been a bit better on the Jaguar. I doubt Probe went all out with that port for a system that was a failure.

 

About Rayman and Metal Slug, they are very diferent engines. Metal Slug throws a ton of very well animated sprites at once. And there are a ton of art assets on each level. Rayman in comparison is slower, there is less stuff going on and there are way more repeating tiles on the backgrounds. On the other hand Rayman is more colorful, and runs at 60 fps, while MS runs at 30 fps with a bit slowdown here and there. I think the Jag would be better for a Contra type game than Metal Slug. You know, focus on having a ton of medium animated sprites with lots of 2d effects and faster gameplay, rather than the slower MS, which is more animation and art heavy.

 

About the ROM limits, i meant back in the day, Atari would not use big cart sizes due to cost issues. And if you went CD ROM, you would be more limited by RAM.

And about RAM, dont be fooled by the Neo Geo 84k video ram, 64k of working ram and 2k of sound ram that you mention. From what i understand, It can basically access the whole content of those huge carts, like it was onboard RAM. Thats why even more powerful consoles like Saturn and Playstation had trouble with NG ports.

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Yeah, i think Primal Rage could have been a bit better on the Jaguar. I doubt Probe went all out with that port for a system that was a failure.

 

About Rayman and Metal Slug, they are very diferent engines. Metal Slug throws a ton of very well animated sprites at once. And there are a ton of art assets on each level. Rayman in comparison is slower, there is less stuff going on and there are way more repeating tiles on the backgrounds. On the other hand Rayman is more colorful, and runs at 60 fps, while MS runs at 30 fps with a bit slowdown here and there. I think the Jag would be better for a Contra type game than Metal Slug. You know, focus on having a ton of medium animated sprites with lots of 2d effects and faster gameplay, rather than the slower MS, which is more animation and art heavy.

 

About the ROM limits, i meant back in the day, Atari would not use big cart sizes due to cost issues. And if you went CD ROM, you would be more limited by RAM.

And about RAM, dont be fooled by the Neo Geo 84k video ram, 64k of working ram and 2k of sound ram that you mention. From what i understand, It can basically access the whole content of those huge carts, like it was onboard RAM. Thats why even more powerful consoles like Saturn and Playstation had trouble with NG ports.

The CD based consoles had to load whatever assets were going to be needed (in most cases though I believe there were games that streamed from the CD) and so they had a hard time loading in all that art at the beginning of each level. But I am assuming the Jag is also capable of treating the ROM as if it were addressed RAM. It's been a long time, but I thought RayMan also had a lot of animation in it and it was in 16bit color which effectively doubles the size of the artwork without compression. I'm not sure if all this art has to be brought into ram of it if could remain in the ROM and if the ROM is fast enough to do this. If the Jag has to load all the art into RAM, then it likely wouldn't work. The 6MB is an odd size too. I'm surprised it's not 8 because it takes the same number of bits to address 8MB as it does to address 6MB (2^23). Of course, this assuming the ROM is simply mapped whole onto the bus and that the address bus is the real limitation and not something related to the cart design.

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The content of most of these threads, "I don't know anything about hardware nor do I know how to program, but I think <totally off base opinion not at all rooted in reality>."

Which is why it is posed as a question and not an assertion. I have programmed, just not in a long time and never for the Jaguar. Of course, in every thread there is always a condescending asshole.

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Of course, in every thread there is always someone who has to resort to personal attacks.

What? I am responding to the personal attack you made on me. It is amazing that you think I was the one resorting to personal attacks.

 

You insinuate that you know something, why didn't you just answer and say if you think it could pull those games off or not.

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The content of most of these threads, "I don't know anything about hardware nor do I know how to program, but I think <totally off base opinion not at all rooted in reality>."

 

I've been programming for the greater part of 20 years, but I don't know jack about hardware. :/

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I am assuming the Jag is also capable of treating the ROM as if it were addressed RAM.

I'm not sure if all this art has to be brought into ram of it if could remain in the ROM and if the ROM is fast enough to do this.

The ROM is addressed like RAM. But it would be terrible for performance to leave it in ROM - built-in RAM is up to 10x faster.

Nearly every game copies to RAM first. Since the Jaguar's biggest ROM was 4MB back then, copying select assets into 2MB was no problem.

Compression was often used.

 

The 6MB is an odd size too. I'm surprised it's not 8 because it takes the same number of bits to address 8MB as it does to address 6MB (2^23).

You can look at the memory map online to see why. The Jaguar has 24-bit addresses (like the 68K).

They first split the space in half - a fast half, for RAM, and a slow half, for ROM and peripherals.

They carved out 2MB of the slow half for peripherals, the boot ROM, JagCD (and its boot ROM), etc.

That leaves 6MB of slow ROM - the limit of the cartridge.

 

Of course, the Jaguar could bank switch for bigger ROMs, like any other system (even the NeoGeo did).

If the Jaguar had lasted long enough for 8MB ROMs to be cheap, it probably would have had some.

 

- KS

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