Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
17 March 2007
Please tell me the childish crap will end someday
JohnH pointed me to the video earlier, but I only now saw the abstract about Jeff Minter's talk via Simon at GameSetWatch. I haven't watched the video, but the abstract has hit one of my buttons at a time when I'm short of patience.

As with anything having to do with the Atari Jaguar, the abstract (not written by Simon or JohnH) takes time out to insult the platform:
If you were one of the 30 people to buy an Atari Jaguar, you probably bought his "Tempest 2000" and "Defender 2000" cartridges.
Isn't that funny? It is, right? Side-splittingly, fall of the floor and roll around funny! In fact, it gets funnier every time someone uses it.

You know why it's funny? Let me tell you! Because most of the people writing that kind of crap are just repeating what they've heard others say and seen others write. They've never actually played Tempest 2000 or Defender 2000 or Power Drive Rally or Club Drive. They've probably never held the Jaguar controller that apparently ranks #1 on a list of the worst controllers ever. They just repeat the Conventional Wisdom, even if they have no basis on which to judge that wisdom.

I really don't get it.

Again, this is an industry struggling to take itself seriously, and most writers for IGN, GameSpy, and GameSpot probably can't say a single intelligent thing about the Jaguar. Not that their ignorance will stop them from writing.

And this kind of juvenile, uninformed tripe isn't limited to the Jaguar. The Sega Saturn is similarly maligned for things as stupid as its ability to do transparency effects. For the love of all that's good and wholesome, people, you didn't even know what transparency effects were before someone did them on the PlayStation and suddenly they're an important point in deciding which console has games worth playing?

Remember the size of the original Xbox? Or its original controller? Also good for a laugh, right? Because those two qualities defined how good the games would be. Like Halo.

At least when people bring up Pac-man for the Atari 2600, many who have actually played it can agree that -- similarity to the arcade original aside-- it just wasn't a very fun game.

If you haven't played Tempest 2000 then, let me tell you: you missed out. It was -- and still is -- a fantastic game. And Defender 2000 is capable of inducing a deep, trancelike gaming state that I wish I could find in more games. The definitive versions of those games are only on the Jaguar

Let's just say you get a Jaguar and those games and you play. When you get hooked on them, you won't notice the Jaguar or Atari logos on the machine. It won't matter that someone saw you playing an old system that people like to ridicule. Even the controller will feel natural in your hands. All of that manhood measuring that people like to do will seem awfully stupid while you're doing what we all want to do in the first place -- have fun playing games.

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--Matt Matthews at 01:27
Comment [ 7 ]

Comments on this post:

"For the love of all that's good and wholesome, people, you didn't even know what transparency effects were before someone did them on the PlayStation..."

Dude, are you kidding? I knew about transparency effects ever since the SNES. It was really impressive back then, almost as much as Mode 7.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17 March, 2007 03:52  

I mostly agree with you, but I'm not quite as Curmudgeony. This type of humor is prevelant everywhere, not just with the Jaguar.

Is it fair to judge Dan Quayle based on the misspelling of "potato"? Is it hilarious everytime someone points out that Trump has "that hair"? All catholic priests molest boys: HILARIOUS!

No, it's all trite tripe, and I roll my eyes and groan everytime someone thinks they are clever by repeating what should have been a joke that was funny for 1 hour, but has instead lasted 20 years.

But. There's a reason they have lasted. People still laugh at them. The same reason Paris Hilton was able to release a CD: people actually bought it. As long as there is demand, there is supply.

So yes, it bothers me as much as you, but the only thing I can do is to ignore it. Which sucks, but that's life.

By Anonymous mgroves, at 17 March, 2007 13:11  

Oh and Tempest 2000 rocks. I would really really like to see it on XBLA or Wii VC, so that not only I could play it again (I still don't have a Jag in my collection), but that others who didn't get a chance to can.

By Anonymous mgroves, at 17 March, 2007 13:14  

At least when people bring up Pac-man for the Atari 2600, many who have actually played it can agree that -- similarity to the arcade original aside-- it just wasn't a very fun game.

My memory is distinctly different. Though Pac-Man obviously wasn't anywhere near as good a port as SI, until Ms. Pac-Man was released, *everyone* played Pac-Man, and not just those who had it as a pac[k]-in with their console. The game obviously did not achieve its potential, but until Ms. Pac, who really knew why enough to care? Console lock-in (and there was some then) meant This is Your Pac.

The game was fun. It wasn't Pitfall, SI, or Asteroids fun, but it was fun to play for most people my age in my school district, at least.

If you haven't played Tempest 2000 then, let me tell you: you missed out. It was -- and still is -- a fantastic game.

Fantastic? Perhaps.

And Defender 2000 is capable of inducing a deep, trancelike gaming state that I wish I could find in more games.

Careful you don't swing to the absolute other side of this argument. If everyone says a system completely sucks, call them on their blanket statement, but don't think your personal infatuation is representative nor a counterargument.

Like Defender? Then this is a pretty good game. I liked Gridrunner, myself. On the Jag, I like that motocross racing game, Sensible Soccer (and not because it was a great soccer game), Chase the Koosh (no, Anon, not what you're thinking), and Fight for Life -- again, not because it was actually *good*. Cybermorph was okay, iirc. Wasn't Highlander on the CD? Decent, but not great. Doom was a good port.

No tracelike addiction for me.

Let's just say you get a Jaguar and those games and you play. When you get hooked on them, you won't notice the Jaguar or Atari logos on the machine. It won't matter that someone saw you playing an old system that people like to ridicule. Even the controller will feel natural in your hands.

No, no it won't. I know you love it. Not a good controller. Not bad, much much better than the 5200, 7800, or INTV, but not a good controller. A Wico joystick on the 2600 is great. Genesis controllers, 6 button, near perfect. PSX with analog sticks obviously the standard. N64 surprisingly good. Of course I like the Saturn's with analog stick a fair bit too.

Again, you've got a point; the Jag is not necessarily a bad system. Why did the impression arise? I think you add lack of success with Carmack's critique of the hardware, both of which hurt its ability to field good games. Partially false impression, sure, but careful your fanaticism doesn't (well, it already has) opened you up to the same critique of exaggerated, unrepresentative perceptions.

0.02

By Blogger rufbo, at 17 March, 2007 13:34  

If anything, copyright laws say the opposite: if you don't agree to a shrink-wrapped EULA, it says in the EULA you can bring it back to the store for a full refund, usually.

By Blogger webrunner, at 19 March, 2007 10:07  

I agree with you. I feel the same way about the Saturn and SegaCD.

By Anonymous phanboy_iv, at 19 March, 2007 14:53  

I think the Atari Jaguar was an underpowered system, with a horrible controller and non-existent Japanese support. That also means I think it was a crap system and I have no qualms if someone wants to rip on it.

You owned the Jaguar. So you are trying to defend it. But the rage you showed in that post is proof positive that you have not gotten over having a crap systems. Why would you be so angry if somebody wants to rip on a long dead console?

A game by Jeff Minter is the holy grail of the Atari Jaguar? That is sad!!!

I think if were an actual fan of the Atari Jaguar, you would have been able to defend it without getting so full of rage. The fact that the rage piled up so high in your article leads me to believe that you have never gotten over having such a poor system as the Atari Jaguar. I don't think you can admit that to yourself though. So you write rage-filled articles calling out writers who just wanted to tell a few jokes at an unpopular console's expense.

By Anonymous Mateo Suge, at 19 March, 2007 19:54  

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