My overall review of Jagfest 2K1

Posted by Dan ( on July 03, 2001 at 00:12:01:

Hello everyone,

Not having been able to do much of anything while I have been putting away all of my Jaguar stuff has caused me to delay typing this, but I think it also gave me a little bit of time to review everything, so here goes my own views on Jagfest 2K1: Beyond Tempest...

The last few days have been a total rush for me. The whole end of the experiance was rushing from one place to another. I finished the Official Program at 2:00 am at the local Kinkos on Thursday, and then oth Gary and I stayed up until about 3:30 am the morning before the Fest opened, finishing setting up stuff and working on final details. Needless to say, I was extremely tired when I showed up for the event, and had no clue how the day would turn out.

I was extremely worried that the PieperPower Center would not have enough stuff in it to look full, but I was proved wrong and table space became extremely hard to come by around 11:30! Thanks to everyone who brought stuff to demo and show! It was great to see everything.

While I didn't get to see much stuff, I got to do a little wandering when I was videotaping stuff -- The Classic Gaming Museum looked incredible and I wished that I could've just spent hours inside looking at everything and trying out some of the systems. Gary had a disk from an Apple IIe that he made in 6th grade, and he got to work it again. I wish that some of our games from that era would've survived, as it would've been neat to see them. Marty did an awesome job of answering people's questions and showing off all of his many, many goodies. I especially liked to see a Vectrex in action, as it was something I had never seen. I wish I had a chance to try it!

I liked how the finished GOAT Store, LLC booth looked, mostly for the fact that I had taken my two ROBs and stuck them on top of a Super Nintendo sign to monitor the entire show. Something about the way their little eyes are makes me smile every time I caught one staring at me. I really liked running tournaments, because it was fun to watch others try to accomplish really hard tasks.

Fard had brought his N501 NUON player and had it set up and going. He also provided a Dreamcast which seemed to be running Rush 2049 for most of the day -- a delightful game, might I add -- which sparked some great conversations.

Max had his NUON, along with his Saturn, NES and of course, a Jaguar. A lot of people seemed to like trying out Radiant Silvergun, as it is a game that has grown over the past three years just like Battlesphere and now commands a price tag well in excess of $200.00 dollars. A lot of people were also seen trying out the other imports that he had on hand, Castlevania X and Marvel Super Hereos Vs. Street Fighter.

Terance had brought an extremely cool looking system that was playing some very awesome looking games. I never got a chance to go and check it out, but from where I was it was a very interesting thing to have on hand that drew a lot of attention.

In the back, there was a table that had most of the import Sega Master System games on it, along with an N64 with the rare Super Nintendo adaptor to play SNES games too. I thought both peices were extremely fun, and it seemed that a lot of the younger crowd really enjoyed playing a version of Sonic 2 that they had never seen before.

Kevin Mosley had a great set up, with 2600 and Jaguar games galore, among other things. He was placed right alongside Micah, and their tables seemed to blend into one big mass of great gaming items. I was really happy to see how that all turned out!

The AVC table with both Randy and Dan was done very well. Randy had a Jaguar Community United banner that was beautiful that hung from the back wall, and the table had on display tons of interesting things. It also had some of the issues of the AVC fanzine, and they were giving out promotional Jaguar material. A great addition!

The Songbird table was another great draw. Carl had lots of different prototypes for people to try out and see. Everyone seemed especially excited about Protector SE. Personally, I have great hopes that Total Carnage will someday be released, as it seemed to be a great game. Slam Racer also seemed to have a lot of personality, even though I never got a chance to try it in action. Perhaps my surprise of the show...

Amazingly to me, there was not just one but TWO working Jaguar VR systems at the Fest! At one point, I visited the table to try to get them on film and got to try one out. While the display was pretty jumpy, the overall effect was incredible. Make no doubt about it -- the systems Virtuality had running at E3 in 1995 were running on real Jaguar hardware, and it looked great. It is too bad this didn't see the light of day, as it may have really helped to save the Jaguar's life.

My own personal highlight of the show was meeting the people that have officially set the record for traveling the longest distance to a Jagfest -- our three Japanese fans! The guys were fun to talk to, and I got two of them to compete in the Super Mario Bros. tournament. The fanzine that they had created for the Jaguar was perhaps the most incredibly detailed fanzine I had ever seen. It included level maps (using screen freeze, cut and paste... a _lot_, one of the guys explained to me...), reviews on tons of the games along with opinions (I found it interesting that they didn't really enjoyed DOOM but really seemed to like Kasumi Ninja) and detailed guides to games (an ultra detailed Kasumi Ninja guide with every move was included.) Talking with them and seeing everything that they had to bring was one of the most fascinating things that I have ever done. Talking with them and meeting them was definately my favorite moment from the show.

The 10 player Battlesphere network was great... 10 Jaguars + 10 Catboxes + 10 Battlespheres + 1 Network = Do The Math! Go Beyond - June 30, 2001 - Network Born 9:46pm... wow. It was great to see many new people experiance the Sphere for their first time ever in such a grand multiplayer fashion. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and a Jagfan named Aaron seemed to get the hang of it really quickly, winning the fifth game for the grand prize of a sealed copy of Iron Soldier II from Telegames.

I was exceptionally glad that the food worked out how it did, and I really enjoyed seeing everyone sign each others programs. I was happy to see that something that I had put so much time into turned out to be one of the highlights like that. The shirts also turned out to be just awesome. A special thanks to Greg who contacted me less then two weeks ago and did the shirts at cost just so everyone could enjoy them!

I also have to say that I loved watching and hearing comments about the Ram It tournament. I was worried about how that tournament would go, and it seemed that most attendees were saying that they didn't want to try out the game. Once everyone sat down, the game became a true surprise hit and I got a lot of great comments about it from people. So many that Gary and I have begun to look into the possibility of finishing the new version of the game up on either the Lynx or the Jaguar.

As an overall event, I must say that it was incredible! Both Gary and I have talked and we are planning on having another classic gaming event of some type in Milwaukee again next year -- if it is going to be Jagfest 2K2 or if it is going to be something entirely different is, of course, out of my hands and up to everyone to decide. Either way, it was an honor and a priviledge to host this year's Fest, and I hope that Atari Jaguar Festival lives on for many, many years...