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Date:

August 1997
Location: Chicago, IL
Host: Jeff Grimshaw

JagFest '97 Review

- By Kevin Manne
From the former Jag-@-Zine website.

JagFest `97: The Aftermath

The JagFest, as most would agree, was a brilliant success. While the scheduled events such as tournaments were totally abandoned, it was a good time anyway. There were an estimated 40 guests who either attended all day or stopped in for a few hours.

Battlesphere was undoubtedly the most popular attraction at the Fest, as there was hardly (if ever) a copy not in play. There were 7 Jaguars linked for Battlesphere at the start, but ended up at 5 due to some technical difficulties. The Battlesphere play mode was the only multiplayer mode available to us, but it was very fun nonetheless. The game was very impressive, and very addictive. Many were found intently glaring into the screen in complete concentration. In multi player mode, though, most were yelling back and forth to each other. Stephanie Wukovitz of 4 Play even joined us for a bit, and even though she claimed to be "not very good," she killed quite a few of us.

AirCars was also on display, having 2 Jaguars linked up for some head-to-head play. Most people got a laugh out of hearing "primary target destroyed" repeated over and over throughout the day. At one point, the AirCars carts were replaced by two copies of Doom for some Deathmatch action. Even Doom ran surprisingly well, with very few network errors. Must be that there wasn't very much interference in Hell on Saturday or something.

Tom Harker and ICD were in attendance, sporting various Atari wares for sale, including their AirCars. Both Tom and Stephanie were very nice people, and were very willing to answer all of our questions about Battlesphere and everything else we could think up. Thanks for being so cool, guys!

Visual Dimensions 3-D gave a small presentation in the mid-afternoon, and discussed some upcoming games for the Jaguar and Lynx, including Automaniacs (essentially Club Drive 2) and Defcon 1 ("Tomb Raider style" game) for the Jaguar. These guys seemed very enthusiastic and professional. Here's hoping for good things from this ambitious company.

After the Visual Dimensions 3-D presentation, Fard Muhammad showed his computer animation celebrating the 25th anniversary of Atari. Hopefully a quicktime of this excellent animation will be on the net soon, as it was quite impressive. There is no way to put it into words.

The rest of the evening was just free-play, everyone enjoying playing some excellent Jaguar games with some fellow fans. It was quite an experience to meet everyone in person, and an even bigger one to try to remember everyone's names. Also, who could forget Jeff Grimshaw's Jaguar Kiosk, standing tall in the corner of the room with the big yellow cat eyes staring at everyone. It was a great piece of Jaguar memorabilia.

A few people (one being myself) had homemade controllers to show off. I had my Joystick and Rotary controller combo stick, and my rotary controller set up, and someone else (whose name I cannot remember) had an optical rotary controller available for everyone to try out. It was a very impressive piece of hardware.

On the Lynx side of things, Carl Forhan had made a demo card of three of his Lynx products which are currently under development. Ponx, SFX and Planar Wars were on the card and all showed promise, most notably Planar Wars. Comlynx capability is a plus on all of his games, except for SFX which is just a fun little sound effects program.

There were a few other Lynx's there, and there was some Comlynxing going on. Quite a few of the available Lynx games were there, although the new Telegames releases "Raiden" and "Fat Bobby" were unfortunately missing.

The majority of people left before midnight, but a few of us stayed until 2:00 am or so, playing two player AirCars, Doom, and even holding the only competition of the event, Pong. Wes Powell was the lucky recipient of the Defender 2000 soundtrack as a result of the competition. Most of the other prizes were simply just handed out, because of the lack of competitions.

It was a great time, and hopefully was one that everyone will remember for a long time. Let's hope someone takes the initiative to pull together a second annual JagFest '98....

...Until next time,
-Kevin Manne

 
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