#Membership Drive for Atari Jaguar simply is not something

Membership Drive for Atari Jaguar simply is not something

I don’t assume it’s actually potential to quantify the “worst sport of all time” and even examine kusoge that effectively. There are such a lot of ways in which a sport might be poor, and it’s arduous to say what the worst means is.

A sport might be disappointing. It might be technically poor for its period or mechanically missing in comparison with others in its style. For my cash, the worst sort of kusoge is the boring form. A damaged sport is at the very least enjoyable to research, however an uninteresting sport is simply exhausting. As excruciating as it’s, I’d moderately play Hoshi wo Miru Hito than, say, Sprint Galaxy within the Alien Asylum.

However then there are the video games which you simply can’t consider anybody tried to cost cash for. 1994’s Membership Drive for the Atari Jaguar is one such title. It’s simply not… something. It’s a school pupil’s Introduction to 3D Design mid-semester mission submission that somebody caught a worth sticker on. Or, at the very least, that’s the way it feels.

Club Drive That's supposed to be a cat
Screenshot by Destructoid

Cat loaf

The Atari Jaguar was a spectacular failure throughout a interval of spectacular failures within the console market. Many individuals in North America wish to neatly consider the ‘90s had been largely the SNES vs. Sega Genesis adopted by the PS1 vs N64 (and the Sega Saturn, should you’re being charitable). Nevertheless, the early ‘90s noticed a variety of consoles attempt to break into the market and fail, such because the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Phillips CD-I, Amiga CD32, or the Neo Geo CD.

Atari was nonetheless making an attempt to financial institution on the title recognition it constructed within the ‘70s and early ‘80s, and the struggles of the Atari Lynx had taught them nothing. In late 1993, they trundled out the Jaguar, which they marketed as the primary 64-bit console, inadvertently making themselves one other casualty of the “Bit Wars.” A laughable 50 cartridge video games got here out for the console earlier than it was discontinued in 1996. As unhealthy because the library was, there have been some unlucky casualties, like Riot’s Alien vs. Predator.

Membership Drive was not an unlucky casualty. In reality, its inclusion within the Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration means it isn’t even a casualty in any respect. It was, by some accounts, presupposed to display the console’s 3D capabilities, and it failed considerably.

Club Drive Driving down what looks like a Hot Wheels track
Screenshot by Destructoid

A sport, I assume

It’s sort of arduous to explain Membership Drive as a sport. There are three modes: gather, race, and tag, with the latter being relegated to 2-players. Gather has you gathering, uh, Eternal Gobstoppers or possibly Koosh balls. Or, y’know, I assume they might be unstable molecules. In any case, you drive round 4 environments selecting up a few of these… issues.

Race is fairly self-explanatory. You drive round a monitor and attempt to cross checkpoints as shortly as potential. In single-player, you’re going for one of the best time. There aren’t any AI opponents. In multiplayer, it’s really a race, which is the closest Membership Drive will get to being an precise sport. Nevertheless, the tracks themselves are actually simply recommendations. One monitor has you driving round a giant home. It tells you the route you’re presupposed to take precisely as soon as after which permits you to free. I grew to become immediately misplaced however ultimately blundered over the end line.

The final mode is tag, which is a mode, I assume.

It doesn’t matter what you decide. You’re principally simply left to drive an unpleasant automotive (that has a number of coloration choices) round principally flat-shaded environments. The vehicles management like lobotomized purchasing carts, the physics and collision detection are mere recommendations, and the degrees are small and painful to take a look at. Fortunately, you possibly can see all of it in lower than an hour. If in case you have a good friend, you rented the sport, and it’s nonetheless 1994, you may have the ability to trick your self into having fun with it for a weekend, however in any other case, I’m sorry on your luck.

Club Drive desert canyon
Screenshot by Destructoid


The truth that positive-ish evaluations for the sport exist is fairly staggering. Though, a author at GameFan mentioned, “Some good static screens and clean play assist, however apart from cruising round the home, this cart is the equivelent [sic] of a sleeping pil [sic],” earlier than including, “zzzzz.” That’s what I search for in my video games, “static screens.” But regardless of these hurtful phrases, the author gave the sport 69/100.

On the time, some critics appeared impressed with the 3D graphics, which could simply be them making an attempt to melt their criticism. 1994 was the 12 months that Stunt Racer FX hit the SNES. To be honest, Membership Drive does run fairly easily, and it outputs at 640×480 decision, which was fairly excessive on the time. These are each issues that Stunt Racer FX can’t declare. But, the framerate nonetheless tanks whenever you add one other participant.

Nevertheless, Stunt Racer FX is definitely a sport. It additionally has a number of modes past simply racing, however these are literally designed effectively sufficient that I can acknowledge it as a completed product. But the SNES wasn’t as highly effective because the Atari Jaguar. The sport was simply higher designed.

That, in itself, is fairly unlucky. Membership Drive was designed in-house at Atari the place the builders ought to have been essentially the most aware of the {hardware}. If that was the case, they didn’t actually put it in a very good mild. 

Club Drive Atari Factory
Screenshot by Destructoid

Deck chairs, and many others.

There’s actually little else to say about Membership Drive. It looks like a type of E3 demos that console makers put out to attempt to display what their new {hardware} can do. One thing like Nintendo’s Tremendous Mario 128, which highlighted the Gamecube’s horsepower, however wasn’t really a sport that was meant to ship. However not solely did Membership Drive make it into shops, it doesn’t actually really feel like a very good illustration of what the Jaguar is able to. I’m not sure there was ever a sport that totally took benefit of the {hardware}.

I’ve to marvel what working for Atari was like in these days. The corporate had been in decline for a few decade, and it appeared like there was no escape. As Paul Rose put it, “Between 1993 and 1995, a good portion of Atari’s revenue had not derived from Jaguar gross sales, however from a patent infringement lawsuit victory over Sega. The writing was on the wall.” Certain sufficient, that iteration of Atari quickly ceased to exist in 1996. In ‘98, the title and properties had been offered to Hasbro, then later to Infogrames, who rebranded into the present Atari.

What I like most about present Atari is their acceptance of their previous. Membership Drive is an virtually meritless sport for a failure console, however they selected to incorporate it in Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration. Sadly, there’s no supplemental materials to clarify the sport’s nightmarish deficiencies, which might be a characteristic presentation to somebody like me. In addition they sort of gloss over the Jaguar’s failure, which is just too unhealthy. It refers to Membership Drive as an “attention-grabbing historic artifact of the early days of polygonal gaming,” which I suppose it’s. The trade is constructed on successes. The failures are way more attention-grabbing.

For earlier Weekly Kusoge, examine this hyperlink!

Zoey Handley

Employees Author – Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She bought her begin running a blog with the neighborhood in 2018 and hit the entrance web page quickly after. Usually discovered exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her greatest to stay chronically uncool.

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