(Atari/Rebellion, 1994)

I can't believe it! Out of all the games I gave for Dud of the Month so far, I still haven't given an Atari Jaguar game the dishonour yet. That is until now! Don't get me wrong, the Jaguar had a few cool gems out there like Tempest 2000 and Rayman but there is a big reason why this system bombed bigger then 'insert Disney movie here'!

The Atari Jaguar was still a very young gaming system back in 1994 and with it's powerful 64-bit CPU processor, the Jaguar had almost unlimited potential or so it seemed. One particle game that showed a lot of promise for me was a remake or sequel to Atari's cult favourite Lynx game Checkered Flag. CF was a high octane Formula 1 racer that raised a lot of eyebrows with its good sense of speed and fairly good graphics. Moving Checkered Flag on Atari's powerhouse was a great idea in theory, what better way to get your system name out there then with a great racer like CF, eh? It sounds so easy that the boys at Atari would have to be pretty high to screw this one up. Sadly, what could have been a fairly good racing game for the Atari Jaguar here is ruined by many, many things.

Since Checkered Flag is a unlicensed Formula1 racing game (sorry no recognizable cars here, folks) the game has no fancy story line or anything like that, you just have to master 10 different tracks and that's it. This wouldn't be so bad if the game was still intense and fun to play, eh? Nope, not here! The one big thing that spells death more any racing game is the controls and CF's system is way too sensitive. It's highly frustrating when you hit a wall or flip out of control while your computer opponents drives perfectly during a way too long and way too boring track. This Jaguar game did try to do some innovative features here like having editable options that let you change the weather, do car alterations, and you can do these changes all you want but remember that these options don't always work in the other modes like the main Tournament mode so it feels like you're wasting your time.

Wait, I'm not done yet! You can even drive straight thr
ew what look to be solid tracks objects like trees, signs, and penguins and they show no signs of damage. Where is the fun when you can't run over penguins here? That moves me on to the game's graphics; not only does this have very basic flat shaded polygons but these graphics also suffer from a very poor and jerky frame-rate. Maybe some stupid kids who like to play with toy blocks may like CF's visuals but that's it. This game has fairly weak graphics considering it is on 64-bit system, plus if that wasn't bad enough the Sega Genesis version of Virtua Racing even looks better then this. Who could forget the music and sounds.......... on second thought, lets forget about it! I know the Jaguar isn't known for having too many great sounding games and Checkered Flag has some of the strangest and annoying rock music I ever heard. Get that mute button ready.

CF should have been the racer that made people buy a Jag but it just goes to show you that Atari was filled with more broken promises then your local politician. Most of the courses have overly tight turns, the different weather conditions just confuses things, the fierce competition makes the game seem nearly impossible, and most importantly the game isn't fun to play even while drunk. Although this polygon racer was based on the old Lynx game of the same name, you're better off with the original Checkered Flag then this awful remake instead and that's just sad. Overall Checkered Flag is so bad that is nothing more than a poor man's Virtua Racing or Stunt Race FX.



*Battery back up game

overall rating: 34/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (K-A) for Kids to Adult

graphics: 4/10
sound: 2/10
gameplay: 5/10
replay: 4/10

(Ryan Genno) 2004

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