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Tempest 2000: What Did Critics Say Back in 1994?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 11, 2014   |   Episode 54 (Show Archive)  


Tempest 2000 (Atari Jaguar)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

While many consider the Atari Jaguar to be a mistake, the "64-bit" system did have a number of worthwhile games. Perhaps the best was Tempest 2000, the long-overdue sequel to one of Atari's greatest shooters. Were critics enthusiastic about a brand new Tempest game, or had they written the system off entirely? We dig through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro, Die Hard Game Fan and Next Generation for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Tempest 2000
[ Company: Atari | Console: Jaguar ]

10 out of 10

"This is the type of game I want to see on the Jag! This title brings back memories of my arcade hopping days. The vector graphics are great and the music is also superb. What really makes the game perfect is that it is new. I am very tired of me-too type games and nothing done on any system to date even comes close to Tempest. If you have a Jaguar, you have to get this game. A great game to zone-out on!" -Ed Semrad

GAMEPRO (May 1994)
5 out of 5

"With multiple games and different skill configurations, this game is suitable for any age range, but intermediate gamers will make it only halfway through. If you want to finish this shooter, you'd better have nerves of steel and plenty of thumb pads. Great sounds, stunning graphics, and arcade speed make this a must. Tempest 2000 makes the Jaguar roar." -Scary Larry

DIE HARD GAME FAN (March 1994)
98% out of 100%

"If you're not convinced yet, then Tempest will convince you. 64-bit is here! I say that not because of the graphics but because of the gamazing overall package Tempest offers. First of all, the graphics ARE awesome, that color just grabs your eyes the minute you fire it up. But that techno...oh my. Most of all, Tempest is fun, not for an hour...forever! Hey, the thing is already thirteen years old and it's still got me glued." -Skid

DIE HARD GAME FAN (March 1994)
96% out of 100%

"Memories! Tempest is one of my all time favorite arcade games and Atari has delivered the ultimate Tempest-test for the Jaguar. In addition to the original game, the developers have included a 3D mode that is mind blowing. Tempest is one of the few games on any system that you just HAVE to own. High quality game and the world of gaming is just that much better because of its existence." -Sgt. Gamer

8 out of 10

"Yes! Yes! Yes! This is exactly what the Jaguar needed. A good ole dose of nostalgia. Tempest 2000 is an excellent game. Four game modes with a cool Two-player Versus Mode is fantastic. No one will want to miss Tempest 2000. It's got gobs of power-ups, tough enemies, and the exotic bonus stages will keep you drooling. The techno/rave music is fantastic! The only thing missing is the roller coaster." -Dayton Carpenter

4 out of 5

"By adding crisp, 3D polygon graphics, a techno soundtrack, and a swarm of new enemies and obstacles, Atari has managed to create a fresh cart out the [sic] 13-year-old arcade game. More than just a graphics upgrade, Tempest 2000 offers 100 different boards, new opponents, and power-up features like a particle-blaster, jumps, and A.I. droids. A must for everyone who owns a Jaguar game console."

7 out of 10

"This is my favorite game for the Jaguar so far. Atari has taken one of the best arcade games and brought it to the homefront. Everything has been well translated and has even been improved with graphics that surpass the arcade version and a techno music score. The constant behind the blaster view is very cool, but can also hamper the player's view. It's good that you can manually change views. Cool!" -Al Manuel
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 89% - Much like the 1981 arcade original, critics couldn't get enough Tempest 2000. "This is the type of game I want to see on the Jag," raved EGM vet Ed Semrad. He gave the game a perfect 10 out of 10 and noted that Tempest 2000 is "a great game to zone-out on." Die Hard Game Fan agreed, proclaiming that "64-bit is here!" And just to take it over the top, Skid says: " Tempest is fun, not for an hour...forever!"

Al Manuel wasn't as convinced, giving the game the lowest score. Despite only giving it a 7, he says that Tempest 2000 is his "favorite game for the Jaguar so far." His complaint? "The constant behind the blaster view is very cool, but can also hamper the player's view." However, this doesn't seem like too much of a problem, as he concludes his review by mentioning the manual camera views. Even with Al's lower score, Tempest 2000 averages an incredible 89%.

WANT TO PLAY TEMPEST 2000? Tempest 2000 is one of the best games of all time, so of course you want to give it a go. Unfortunately, most people don't own the Jaguar console and none of the emulators are very good. Don't worry, because Llamasoft created a brand new "sequel" for the PS Vita called TxK. It came out earlier this year and I absolutely fell in love with it. Check out my full review and seek out this forgotten gem.

ON FRIDAY'S EPISODE: We end E3 week with another 3D action game -- Sewer Shark. Join the full-motion video revolution and see what critics thought of this Sega CD launch title. Were they blown away by the FMV in 1992? Find out on Friday when Review Crew tackles Sewer Shark. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!



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