Agreed, it depends on the language, the platform, and the skills of the programmer.
I was just talking in generalities since for most of this thread you also seem to be talking about BASIC in general.
I use only Assembly Language. I think IntyBASIC is an excellent language and one that lowers the barriers for many newcomers to the platform. I just personally disagree with it's approach to a basic framework (more than just a language, IntyBASIC is also a programming framework which abstracts the hardware and offers a low-level kernel). Plus, I just don't like BASIC as a language for systems development like games.
By the way, I would never recommend Assembly over BASIC for someone starting. However, given other options, I would probably suggest something else.
Good point about frameworks - for a begginer who wants to write Atari 2600 games I would definitely reccommend BASIC or using Assembly with a Framework, so that the programmer need not be concerned with racing the beam, a technical challenge not present on other systems.
The C64 and the Inty have more of a built in Framework for beginning Assembly programmers to get started with (screen buffer, x/y addressable sprites, etc) by comparison so a beginner would fare better learning Assembly on those platforms. What languages would you reccommend for a beginner who wants to write C64 games, C or Assembly?
Here's a discusson on lemon64 debating the merits of C, Assembly and BASIC for c64 game development:
When I designed Virtual World BASIC/Flashback BASIC for the Atari 2600 I thought BASIC was a great fit for being retro and small footprint.
The most important feature is language agnostic, an embedded RDBMS (blitter chip) for graphics acceleration which can be used as a Framework directly with Assembly, or with alternate compiled language - I could have choosen any language, I think it's really just semantics and like the advantages BASIC offers for small code.
It's hard to ignore that aspect when I look at the 2 inch thick Assembly printout for my games PIXELS or KC Monster Maze, compared to just a few pages of BASIC for DEFENDER III.
There is another international programming contest celebrating 40 years of BASIC programming on Micro Computers this year here:
Take a look at the screenshots already and the entries from last year to see the amazing things that can be done in 10 lines of BASIC.
We don't see that with C; the relative disadvantage is that we need to write a lot more high level language code than we do with BASIC.
Another disadvantage as per the lemon thread is that when video games are written in C invariably some sections must still be written in Assembly.
Ok but a lot of extra code plus sections required in Assembly make it look like C is neither finished nor high level enough; BASIC is so powerful you don't need to mix in any Assembly to write an excellent game and you don't need a lot of code either. imo this flexibility opens the language up to beginners and makes it more fun.