As I mentioned in my last post about the Jaguar CD, there were 4 discs packed in with the peripheral when it launched in 1995. 2 of them are full games, 1 is a demo disc for a popular CD-ROM game at the time, and the 4th disc is a music soundtrack that takes advantage of the Virtual Light Machine (VLM) built into the Jag CD.
For the two games offered as a pack-in, only one of them resembles an actual video game in the traditional sense. Blue Lightning is a re-make of the 1989 computer and Atari Lynx game of the same name in which you man a blue military plane and are sent on a variety of missions. Your view is from behind the plane ala Afterburner, and you’re equipped with a machine gun, bombs, and missiles in order to fulfill your missions. You can select your own plane from a small option menu as well as which weapons you want to take with you based on the type of mission you are going to pursue. Obviously bombs may be helpful in a ground based mission so make sure to equip those beforehand. You can perform a barrel roll move in order to dodge enemy fire but boy does it look silly as ten entire screen rotates, not just your plane. Inherently, I don’t care for behind the plane view types of shooters or flight simulator style games so Blue Lightning already had a steep hill to climb in order for me to like it. Unfortunately, Blue Lightning isn’t very fun either. It doesn’t seem to show off the CD add-on capabilities besides some predictable inclusion of FMV cut-scenes. I never played the PC or Lynx versions but this game was already 6 years old by the time it was dusted off and made pretty for the Jag CD and it shows.
Remember those sliding puzzle games where you have to move pieces around in a square in order to make a picture? Vid Grid is that game but on a home console and it uses music videos instead of static photos! The music videos available on the game rely heavily on rock and roll from the early 90’s with bands such as Soundgarden (RIP Chris Cornell), Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns ‘n Roses, and Aerosmith. They threw in some older tunes like the slightly older Sledgehammer from Peter Gabriel and much older Are You Experienced from Jimi Hendrix. The concept of listening to music while trying to piece together the music videos actually has some potential as the music videos are constantly changing. So you have to keep that in mind when you’re moving the fragmented blocks around the screen trying to figure out if that chunk of hair is James Hetfields or Lars Ulrichs. Like any good video game, Vid Grid starts out simple but gets harder the smaller the frames of video you are presented with. I like Vid Grid mostly for the music and challenge but its lasting appeal and replayability is certainly limited.
Tempest 2000 is arguably the best game on the Atari Jaguar (review forthcoming) and one of the most compelling reasons for its awesomeness is the soundtrack! The fast paced rave/techno soundtrack fits perfectly with the style and action of the game itself so I was pleased to find a copy of the Tempest 2000 soundtrack CD with my Jaguar CD bundle. I remember popping it into my red ’99 Honda Civic and blasting it when driving. It’s now safely included on my iTunes library for future listening since I no longer have a CD player in my vehicle.
The last bit of media included in the pack-in bundle was a demo disc of the popular PC title, Myst. Clearly meant as a means to allow Jag CD owners to try the game before purchasing the full version, it’s a nice addition but not something I will ever play since I own the complete version of Myst (review forthcoming).
Currently in my collection:
Blue Lightning – game, manual, overlay, case C
Vid Grid – game, manual, case B-
Tempest 2000 Soundtrack – CD w/ case
Myst Demo – CD