Syndicate, released in 1993 by Bullfrog, was a kind of action-strategy set in a sci-fi universe, and was fairly well received by game critics at the time. In the game, the world is run by a number of competing corporations (syndicates), and it’s your particular company’s goal to take control. As such, you take on missions in the various regions of the world (countries to you and me), and deploy a team of four operatives to achieve a set goal.
The main game utilises an isometric view, and you can direct your team either individually, or as a whole, depending on how you think the mission is best tackled. The game plays itself out in real-time as you navigate your team around the city streets looking for your target.
The beauty, though, lay in the detail – not only could you choose which operatives to send out (from a list), but you could also choose what equipment each individual took on the mission, or even what cybernetic enhancements each individual had applied (to make them faster, more accurate, etc.). On top of this, you could invest some of your earnings into researching various technologies (primarily weapons and cybernetic enhancements), which injects a kind of RPG quality into the title. Continue reading
Tempest was originally an arcade game, first released back in 1981. It was a popular title, and as a result was ported across to various home consoles over the years (it’s interesting to note that many ports were created in the late 2000s). Tempest 2000 was a sequel of sorts (more accurately a remake), created by Jeff Minter (of Llamasoft) for the Jaguar in 1994. The game was very well received (as was the techno soundtrack), and as a result, was ported to several other consoles, but the Jaguar version is considered by many to be the best of the best.
Essentially, the game is what has been referred to as a tube shooter, whereby a player, controlling a spaceship, sits at the edge of a set (totally) tubular environment, and tries to stay alive as long as possible while fending off the invading hordes of invading invaders (yeah, I kind of gave up there – see the video below for an example of gameplay).
Alien vs Predator, originally released for the Jaguar in 1994, was one of the flagship titles, and in some way much of the limited success the machine had can be levied against this particular title. At a time when most AvP titles were side-scrolling beat ’em ups, this particular game was a first person shooter in the same vein as Wolfenstein and Doom (both of which were also released on Jaguar). Not only that, but you could play as a Colonial Marine, a Predator, or an Alien, an idea that was pretty damned AWESOME at the time, and has since become a staple of the AvP series. So in some ways, it was an important release (although I do recall there was some controvercy regarding its release, but I can’t remember the specific details – and I guess they don’t matter much in the context of this review anyway). Continue reading
Cybermorph was a launch title for the Jaguar, and came packed in the box with the machine itself, so it is not very hard to find at all. Essentially, it’s a polygon-based 3D space shooter. You control a spaceship from a third-person perspective, and you fly around a bunch of planets shooting targets and collecting “pods” that are strewn around the levels before taking down a boss character.
The ‘morph’ in the title comes from your ship’s ability to change shape as it increases/decreases speed….
Most memorable is the computer AI that “assists” you as you play – although the green, bald-headed character is more annoying than helpful. I guess they had to justify the use of speech samples somehow! Continue reading
Atari’s last foray into the console market was with the Jaguar, a system they aggressively marketed as 64-bit, which generated a whole lot of criticism. To this day there are still people squabbling over whether or not it was a true 64-bit system, but I think there should come a time when it no longer matters. Fifteen years should be well and truly past this time… Anyway, let’s take a look! Continue reading