Publisher: Telegames (1995)
Have you ever wanted to watch fleas play soccer? Sensible Soccer lets you live out this surprisingly common fantasy. And yes, it's everything you hoped it would be. Most soccer games have the problem of a limited view, displaying only a small potion of the field at a time. In Sensible Soccer you see about half the field at any given time because the camera is pulled so far back
. This makes the players look like tiny cartoon characters, and the way they quickly scamper around is comical. Make sure you choose teams with distinctive colored uniforms so you don't confuse the players. The controls are simple, but it is
possible to bend your shots. The action unfolds at a breakneck pace, and the contests are short and sweet. The ball moves from one end of the field to the other like a freakin' foosball
game! And it's even crazier against the CPU. One second you're think you're making a pass, and in an instant your opponent intercepts, kicks it up the field, and shoots at the goal. Don't blink your eyes! The number of options is impressive, with 64 teams, league and tournament play, and even varying weather conditions. Too bad there's no option to slow things down!
Sensible Soccer may not be the most appropriate title, but I find its whimsical arcade style refreshing. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Songbird Productions (1999)
Publisher: Songbird Productions (2000)
Soccer Kid is a side-scrolling platform game with a lot of familiar elements: Collect goodies for points, jump over spiked pits, and dispatch all sorts of odd characters. But what really distinguishes the game is the kid's soccer ball, which functions as a weapon. By himself, Soccer Kid is defenseless, but using his ball he can knock large foes clear off the screen. The object of each stage is to collect a number of cards before reaching the end. You can employ a number of tricks with the ball, providing a degree of technique lacking in most platform games, and experimenting is part of the game's charm. It's easy to kick the ball off the screen, but you can generate a new ball at any time by holding down the A button for about a second. One legitimate problem with Soccer Kid is that he runs in the center of the screen, giving you little time to react to oncoming enemies. As a result, you have to move forward cautiously. The graphics are beautiful and bursting with color, and the control has a crisp feel. Although the stages take you to various locations around the world, it's a challenge just to make it out of England. Soccer Kid is one of the better games for the Jaguar. It's available from Songbird Productions
. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: ReadySoft (1995)
As much as I liked Dragon's Lair, I despise this ill-conceived piece of garbage. The thing that made Dragon's Lair work was that your character was in an enclosed area, so his options were somewhat limited. Space Ace on the other hand takes place in wide-open outer space, where anything is possible. Consequently, the only way to learn the moves is by trial and error, and most don't even make any sense! In addition, Space Ace doesn't even provide the "flashing" clues, making the game excessively hard (they don't flash until after
your make your move - ugh!). In Dragon's Lair, you only had to make a few correct decisions to complete each room. But there are no "rooms" here, just an endless string of moves that must be executed in quick succession. When you screw up, the game takes you WAY back. In addition to the poor gameplay, the graphics look worse than Dragon's Lair. As bad as this was in the arcade, it's even worse on the Jag. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Virtual Xperience (1995)
Publisher: Atari (1995)
Just how bad can a Jaguar cartridge be? Pretty bad! I couldn't find any redeeming characteristics in this one! Supercross 3D is a motorcross game where you race around courses full of sharp turns, bumps, and ramps. Although the courses are set at various locations, there is no scenery except the stands. so they might as well all be indoor. The racers and courses look okay, but the animation and framerate is remarkably rough. Combine that with oversensitive controls and you get massive over-steering. Even if you get proficient at navigating the courses, the racing aspect is incredibly weak. There is little sense of speed, and collision detection is non-existent. The sound effects are muddled and sloppy. It's probably a good thing that Atari didn't attempt a split-screen mode. For a 64 bit system, the Jaguar never ceases to amaze. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Ocean (1994)
Real Time Strategy (RTS) titles ported from the PC rarely make good console games, and Syndicate is further proof of that. I held off on reviewing this game for a long time, mainly because it looked so boring
. And man, was I right! Using a point-and-click interface, Syndicate places you in control of four agents armed with weapons and helpful devices. Your missions involve seizing various territories in a futuristic world, which usually amounts to shooting a lot of people. Clearly designed for a keyboard and mouse, this game has the most counter-intuitive user interface I've seen in some time. Just navigating the mission briefings is a major hassle! During an actual mission, you'll not only use the entire numeric pad, but even press combinations
of buttons! The idea of controlling four agents at once must have been pretty cool in the pre-WarCraft era, but its novelty value has long since faded. What's left is a plodding strategy game that requires the patience of a saint to master. Syndicate's graphics are fairly sharp, but it's easy to lose your agents in the maze of buildings. The low-key background music is mysterious enough, but the sound effects are weak. Adding insult to injury are constant "loading" screens - a real annoyance considering this is a cartridge
! Jaguar owners desperate for something substantial may find something to like in Syndicate, but most gamers will regard it as a major snore. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Atari (1994)
Our high score: SDZ 447,247
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Ocean (1995)
The idea behind this simulation game is intriguing. You build and run your own theme park, with rides, food stands, rest rooms, and employees. It plays like most "sim" games, but what's really surprising is the level of depth and detail in Theme Park. Not only do you control the placement of every bush or tree, you even control your food inventory and the price of each item. You can fund research, sell stocks, and negotiate with suppliers. While this level of detail will please some players, it's sure to turn off many others. A helpful tutorial gets you started on the basics of laying out your park. You have a ton of options, but the interface is confusing, and I became frustrated just trying to figure out how to open the park! Once you get going, your park comes alive, and it's fun to watch tiny people buy food and enjoy the rides. The graphics are attractive and fun. Theme Park has a serious learning curve, but players who are looking for a thoughtful strategy game will find it rewarding. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Telegames (1996)
Trevor McFur In The Crescent Galaxy
Publisher: Atari (1993)
Troy Aikman Football
Publisher: Williams (1994)
When you consider this was the one true football title available for the system, you have to feel bad for Jaguar sports fans. Initially I had high hopes for this - and super low expectations. The main menu offers a wide range of settings, including playing surfaces, weather conditions, difficulty levels, and quarter length. You can even customize your own season. On the field, the game looks pretty good - until the players start moving! Their animation is so jerky and erratic that you can't even tell what's going on half of the time! You'll appear to have a clear path to the end zone, and suddenly some tackler will magically appear wrapped around your waist! Completing passes requires pure luck, and ludicrous instant replays reinforce the fact that this game is a visual mess. It's absolutely shameful how the box describes the animation as "super smooth". Frankly, Troy Aikman Football has no redeeming qualities at all. The game's single original feature, the ability to adjust player salaries (during the game no less) is utterly idiotic. Atari's poorly written manuals are usually good for a laugh, and this one is no exception. Check out the homoerotic drawing on page 34 - is that guy making his "O" face?? I recently played Troy Aikman Football with my friend Scott, and if not for the fact that we were laughing our asses off, it would have been a complete waste of time. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Atari (1995)
Val d'Isere Skiing and Snowboarding
Publisher: Atari (1994)
Save mechanism: Battery
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Atari (1995)
This game wins points for being original. The object is to descramble music videos by sliding blocks of moving video pieces around the screen. I was pleasantly surprised to see the high-profile artists and quality videos chosen for this game. You get Cryin' (Aerosmith), No More Tears (Ozzy Osbourne), Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers), November Rain (Guns N Roses), Right Now (Van Halen), Spoonman (Soundgarden), Enter Sandman (Metallica), Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix), and the best music video of all, Peter Gabriel's Sledge Hammer. All of these songs and videos are fine selections, but the inclusion of the Jimi Hendrix tune is curious. I guess Atari wanted to show a little diversity. But before you get too excited you should know that the video quality is nowhere near television quality. Some of the videos look better than others, but there tends to be heavy pixelation in all of them. You'd think that you would at least get CD quality sound (since it IS a CD game), but sadly you'd be wrong. The sound is good enough for this game, but it wouldn't pass anywhere else. So how does this thing play? Well, it's pretty fun at first, when you're dealing with easy 3x3 puzzles. But as the difficulty increases, this game loses its appeal. Videos with strobe light effects like Enter Sandman are tough enough to watch unscrambled. Trying to solve a 5x5 puzzle of it is headache-inducing. And for any replay value at all, you need the memory track so you don't have to replay all the early puzzles each time you play. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
White Men Can't Jump
Publisher: Atari (1995)
Here it is folks - quite possibly the worst video game ever
! Sure, the Jaguar system has more than its share of dogs, but this two-on-two half-court basketball game is particularly embarrassing. And the only thing it has in common with the movie is the name. Using semi-digitized characters that scale poorly, it's next to impossible to tell what's going on at any given time. The ugly pixilated players, combined with some of the choppiest animation ever seen in a video game, turn the screen into a complete mess. Unresponsive controls and cheap AI make you want to pull your hair out. White Men Can't Jump is supposed to have a "street" vibe, but you'd never know by the weak "rap" music and idiotic voice clips ("Rockin!"). The players are a bunch of fictional street ball characters including some tiny white girls (who can dunk of course). Ball physics is non-existent, and I think I saw one girl do an acrobatic dunk with no running start from behind the three-point line. The flat, blocky backgrounds wouldn't even cut the mustard on an NES game. Adding insult to injury, this is one of only two Jaguar games to support the multitap (the other being NBA Jam TE), and I could barely get the thing to work! I've played thousands of video games in my time, but I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a game LESS than White Man Can't Jump. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Atari (1994)
As the precursor to Doom, Wolfenstein 3D was a ground-breaking PC hit that ushered in the first-person shooting genre. It puts you in the role of a soldier infiltrating Nazi strongholds with the ultimate goal of killing Hitler. The controls are perfectly responsive and frame-rate is silky-smooth. You can quickly move from room to room, and one might argue that the action moves too
fast. The strafe controls aren't ideal (you need to hold in C) but since the rooms tend to be wide open, it's not a major issue. The graphics are refreshingly clean and well defined. The stages are flat and sparse, but that just lets you focus on your shooting. I love how enemy soldiers spin around and spew blood as you pump them with lead. Your firepower includes machine guns, chain guns, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers. Not only will you want to clear out all the enemies and treasure in each level, but there are hidden secrets to uncover as well. Three save slots are available, and there are five skill levels to choose from. The option to turn off the music would have been great if it didn't mute the sound effects as well
. Still, this is a pleasant surprise. Especially compared to the shoddy version of Doom for the Jaguar, Wolfenstein 3D plays like a dream. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
World Tour Racing (CD)
Publisher: Telegames (1996)
While it doesn't stack up particularly well against Virtua Racing, World Tour is a fairly decent Jaguar racer. It's certainly a huge improvement over the pathetic Checkered Flag
. Still, the graphics are very pixelated, and even the bitmapped backgrounds look blurry. Although spread over a dozen countries, the long, flat tracks all tend to look the same. I did like the fact that most had long straight-aways where you could build up some speed. The polygon cars look fine, and the frame rate keeps up with the action fairly well, even in the split screen mode. Three different views are available, but only the medium one is any good. The first person view doesn't provide a good vantage point, and the high view is too distant. A rotating map helps you prepare for upcoming turns, and responsive controls let you execute power slides with ease. While it's fun to weave your way to the front of the pack, the collision detection between the cars is pretty erratic, so you'd be wise to keep your distance. Playing modes include single race, arcade, and a championship mode that provides a password save. World Tour Racing is a decent game, but only when taken in small doses. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Gremlin (1995)
Zool 2 is a blatant Sonic the Hedgehog rip-off. And thank God! The Jag really needed a good platform game! Zool looks a lot like Marvin the Martian, and he can shoot, jump, climb, and perform special moves. The graphics are sharp, imaginative, colorful, and completely surreal. Most are too bizarre to describe, and they all contain secret areas. The well-orchestrated music matches the whimsical theme. The object is to collect 99% of the tokens that litter each level, and a number on the screen keeps you posted on your progress. Being able to shoot your enemies is a nice touch. The only thing that really bothered me about this game was the jumping, which can be initiated by pushing the joypad diagonally up. It seems like I sometimes jump when I don't want to, and sometimes when I want to, I can't. Besides that, the controls are responsive, and the framerate is smooth, although there is definitely some slowdown at times. I really like this game. It's addictive, fast action, and genuinely fun. You even have the option to play as a female Zool, which changes the dynamics of the game. This is one of the best Jaguar titles. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Viacom (1995)
I fondly recall the hilarious magazine ads for this game in the mid-90s that "scientifically" explained how Zoop would systematically drive a person mad. Zoop is one of those "puzzle" style games with so-so graphics but intriguing gameplay. I avoided Zoop for a long time, but not because of those ads. No, it was Zoop's complicated screen shots that scared me off, filled with all kinds of crazy symbols. Well, I finally summoned the courage to try it, and I'm glad I did. It's not nearly as hard as it looks. You simply move a triangle around the middle area of the screen while shooting at shapes that approach from all sides. When you shoot a shape that's the same color as you, it disappears. When you shoot a shape that's NOT your color, your triangle changes to that color. Zoop is fast and fun, and there is subtle strategy involved. The graphics get flashier as you progress, and relaxing lounge music plays in the background. High scores are saved to cartridge. Compared to classic puzzlers like Tetris or Bust-A-Move, Zoop is only mildly addictive, but if you're looking for a puzzle game for your Jaguar, this is your best bet. And no, it didn't even drive me insane. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to apply my lipstick and paint the walls with peanut butter, because the "voices" told me to. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.