Kick'em In The Ghoulies

"It's The Only Way To Survive"

Atari Jaguar Classic Review



Copyright©1995 Beyond Games inc / Atari Corporation

Yes I know it's not a release from the latest console , but that's the point .

When it comes to concentrating on a specific genre you have to explore all possibilities.

Any how this was the one Fighting game on Jaguar that I always wanted, so luckily enough i managed to get one on good old eBay at a reasonable price in good condition , but minus the manual .

But then with a manual you can pay  £200.00  plus dependent on condition for a good copy of this game .  Eventhe manula for this one fetches £25-£30.

So this was supposed to be Atari's answer to the Mortal Kombat games (even though Mortal  Kombat was in development for Jaguar but canceled), and you know it works pretty well, so well that with a few more characters and some advertising of the Jaguar from Atari this would have trounced it good and proper.

Even though only Seven playable characters and one unlock-able one . It actually kicks Butt .

This shows what the Jaguar could have done had it been given time to develop.

With characters with great names like Buzzsaw / Skullcrusher and Dreadloc what you have here is a fast paced beat'em up with easy to pick up moves (even with a Jaguar pad).

All comers have basic moves, punch, kick, jab and uppercuts.

Add to this each characters signature moves like Buzzsaw's  Gut Spear Uppercut and Dreadloc's  Speed Slice. 

Then come the Annihilation attacks, just like in Mortal Kombat when a foe is beaten and he is left standing, you can kill him off with your Annihilation attacks which include your own brutal kills with names like the Sizzler and Fresh Meat.

Some of these moves involve the backgrounds that come alive and kill your foe of as well, add to this each characters 'WAIT FOR IT,

Poopality attacks, and you have a game with some substance.

But what's amazing is the animation of the fighters, and backgrounds that has the edge over other 2d fighting games from those years. With flowing moves and shadow effects that will impress you and a twist in the fighting that took me by surprise .

You see even when you defeat all the opponents you enter the Shadow realm (Mortal Kombat Anyone)where you must fight the past characters in shadow form in a setting that can only be labeled as dark and somber, which makes seeing these foes a tad difficult, but not so the game is unplayable.

It is after you have defeated these Shadow Warriors that you can face the Boss character which again has more in common with some of the Tekken games as he is a winged demon and impressive he is too.

Ultra Vortek also had another feature up it's sleeve, it was the first, and only game to surport Atari's new Jaguar Voice Modem for online play for two players. But like the delays to the games release, the modem suffered the same fate with delays, but was eventually cancelled when it did't even manage to launch with the game. Although there are apparently about a one hundred units out there in the wild due to pre-retail units being made for demo and exhibition purposes.

Ultra Vortek had mixed reviews when released, ST Magazine gave it a decent 77%, but others scored the game in the 30% area. Many complained that other fighting  games offered more content then Vortek, like Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter. But those games where inaccessible to players on Jaguar as they never released on the console. 

I always review games from the standpoint of what's available on the specific platform. 

Not everyone can afford or want to own every platform to play a select range of games. You only see hardcore collectors do this. 

That's the problem with many of these reviewers of games, they get access to these games across many platforms and for free, it often makes me wonder if certain companies will pay a fee to get a rivals game slated on certain sites, publications.

Considering many of these publications of the time rated the Jaguar's Kasumi Ninja higher then Ultra Vortek tells me they have no clue or care about what there reviewing.

So was it fun to play? 

Yes it was and I can honestly say this is the best fight game on the Jaguar and if you have a Jaguar then you must own this game as it fills a void in the Jaguar software library.

You to can be fighting in the shadows till you poop yor pants in this fun and gritty fighter.

*Note ,the Atari Jaguar is fast becoming sought after and games like these can fetch high prices and they look set to continue rising.

Score out of Ten = 9

Reviewed By: BrunoB

August 2021


The Unique looking Jaguar Cartridges with that handy curved top making it easy to pull out. Also the label art is well designed and eye catching.

Art for the back of the box of Ultra Vortek

Developer: Beyond Games

Publisher: Atari


Platform: Atari Jaguar

Genre: Fighting

Designer: Kris N Johnson
Curt Hatch
D. Christopher Salmon

Programmer: Kris N Johnson

Producer: Kris N Johnson

Ultra Vortek Fun Facts

(1) Programmer/ Producer Kris N Johnson was key to the project as he had a background in Martial Arts.

(2)Johnson and his team were going to release a Jaguar BattleWheels sequel on Jaguar but switched after the sucess of Street-Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

(3) Originally the game was named Ultra Vortex.

(4) A Atari Lynx version was in development as well, but never finalised. Since then Songbird Productions have purchased the rights for the game and will release the game on Lynx under the tilte of UltraVore as Atari own the Ultra Vortek name.

(5) As of 2003 a rom of the game is Free to download at AtariAge website.

(6) Collectable Rating: Very Collectable due to limited amount of copies produced.

(7) Highest seen for sale: £389.00 used