My overall review of Jagfest 2K1
By Dan Loosen
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
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...
Forgot a couple things...
The nametags were a great addition! I thought
that naming all of the non-pre-paid people after Cybermorph planets
was a stroke of genius. Everyone seemed to find it funny that
my mom wore the "Hellfire" nametag all day. (So did
The Jaguar Rocks! CD from Clay was an awesome
addition to the prizes! Everyone seemed to be completely impressed
with the concept and the work that went into it.
Lastly -- a special thanks to everyone that
attended. No matter what, an event like Jaguar Festival cannot
be pulled off without the great support of fans like you. Without
your support, the GOAT Store, Songbird Productions, AVC and great
events like Jaguar Festival would slowly die out. It was truly
you who made the event what it was, and I was glad to be a part