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JagFest '99 Video thoughts:

Finally received my JagFest video. The tape itself is very cool looking, with color labels that have the Jagfest logo and then contents. Its a little bigger than a normal sized logo, but its still cool. The first thing on the tape is different title screens with some rather nice music. It is to my understanding that all the title screen graphics and things are actually running on a Jaguar. I thought that was pretty cool. Then it goes into a short setting up of JagFest. The transitions to different parts of the video are a little choppy, there is a lot of distortion and whatever you want to call it. This is no big deal though, I wasn't expecting a high quality production, but overall, its not bad.

After some other video footage of different things being displayed around JagFest, it goes into a video feed of a couple of new 2600 games. Submarine Comannder (thats how its spelled on the tape) and Oystron. They both look like decent games for 2600. Then it goes into a couple of interviews from various people that attended which were quite interested, heh.

The next (and favorite) part is the Jag-Feast section. First up is BattleSphere, which is always cool to see running from real video feed instead of grainy video from the net. Skyhammer was next up and this was the first time I had seen this game running besides a low quality real video. This game looked very cool. The frame rate seemed a lot better than AvP, and only really seemed slowed down when you go straight up towards a building, or something. Otherwise it looks very cool and I really look forward to this one. Music also seemed to be very decent. Just hope there is more than one track. The next preview is Protector. Man, this game looks cool. It runs very smooth and fast like D2k. But unlike Defender 2000, its not so zoomed in so you donít have to scroll up and down-- you can see more in front of you. This game seems more like a Defender Plus with more variety. You can buy power ups, so the game can be a little more interesting. The only thing that seems like it may get annoying is the humans cry for help. Carl, is there anything you can do to change that somehow? Otherwise, this game looks like a definite buy, especially if you are into Defender style games. Soccer Kid is the next previewed game. I have played the 3DO version before so it looks very familiar. Nothing graphically outstanding but it looks like a fairly fun 2D platformer. If you have a 3DO, though, you can get this game really cheap. So this one is mainly for the extreme Jaguar fanatics. The final preview, and what I think to be the sleeper hit of the next wave of Jaguar games, is HyperForce. This just looks like my kind of game. Very nice large, detailed sprites. Decent amount of animation, and the music doesnít seem bad either. The backgrounds could look a little better, but I think this game looks very cool. You can go anround and collect money, and when you complete a level, you can buy various add-ons and power ups. I am very much looking forward to this game. I think the Jaguar needed more games like this..

The last things on the tape is a couple of unreleased, incomple games. Virtual VCS and Total Carnage. Virtual VCS has a very cool title screen with a morphing background. Afterwards, you can select different 2600 games using the keypad. Playable games showed were Defender, PacMan, and Combat. Defender looked like the 2600 version. Lots of flickering like in the original. By the way, there doesnít seem to be any sound in any of these games. PacMan seemed unfinished, as when you canít seem to eat the ghosts and the scoring didn't seem right. Combat looked okay. While cool, this is definitly a game I could have lived without, as I have all of these titles for the 2600, and there doesnít seem to be anything special about these versions. This would have been cool if they would have released like 100 or so 2600 games on a CD, and included extras like interviews, and the making of the games and history and that sort of thing. That would have made it a lot more intersting but with just some 2600 games on a cart I donít see the point. And finally, the last game on the tape is Total Carnage. I believe this game was originally an arcade title. I never seen it though. It looks like very cool game. Its an overhead view almost like the game Loaded for Playstation. You are Captain Carnage and go around killing everything. Pretty bloody game and has decent 2D graphics. Doesnít look like anything that SNES couldnít do (*cough* Yeah, it was released on the SNES =) -Austin), but it looks like a fun game. Carl said the game was about 70% complete. I would love to see this one published but I guess there is no chance in that, as he would have to get the licensing and all that jazz.

Overall, the Jagfest '99 Video is a pretty cool tape. I would encourage anybody to order it through Songbird's site. Supplies are limited and I donít know how many are left. Its nice to see some of these games in action.

-Mike Dolce

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