Jump to content

Photo

Were Atari 8 bit, C64 and others mainly gaming machines?


71 replies to this topic

#51 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,173 posts

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 2:09 AM

It was great fun BMX'ing across town to those warez conferences.

 

I had a circuit hooked up that detected 80 columns and flipped the composite/LCA switch accordingly. It was simple, 2 74LS series parts and a couple of resistors. Probably still have that mod someplace in my parts bin.



#52 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,709 posts

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 8:08 AM

EA was complaining way back that they don't release A8 titles anymore due to piracy. It was far more present on C64, (I owned that to) but EA didn't seem to have problems with that.

 

Because with the much larger install base of the C64, they could still sell enough copies from people who didn't pirate.


  • jhd likes this

#53 Nebulon OFFLINE  

Nebulon

    Stargunner

  • 1,927 posts

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 11:23 AM

 

Forgive my ignorance about the old display technologies,  but I always recall seeing graphics/text on TV shows in the CRT days that had smaller typefaces than the computers could do, yet they didn't turn all green/purple/orange at the edges like the text on our computers was prone too?

 

This is a big kettle of fish. People have spent decades working on ways to deal with issues regarding the display of text on composite monitors and TV screens. Things like appropriate resolutions, interlace considerations, next-neighbor color selection, proximity of display objects or pixels, anti-aliasing, and even avoiding certain colors that the NTSC standard doesn't like. This also gets into GenLocking. More information can be found here (there are a lot of tricks involved in getting text to look even somewhat decent on a classic interlaced tube TV):

 

http://www.interacti...se-designing-tv

 

https://en.wikipedia...artifact_colors

 

https://archive.org/...age/n5/mode/2up

 

https://books.google...text tv&f=false



#54 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,709 posts

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 12:14 PM

 

This is a big kettle of fish. People have spent decades working on ways to deal with issues regarding the display of text on composite monitors and TV screens. Things like appropriate resolutions, interlace considerations, next-neighbor color selection, proximity of display objects or pixels, anti-aliasing, and even avoiding certain colors that the NTSC standard doesn't like. This also gets into GenLocking. More information can be found here (there are a lot of tricks involved in getting text to look even somewhat decent on a classic interlaced tube TV):

 

http://www.interacti...se-designing-tv

 

https://en.wikipedia...artifact_colors

 

https://archive.org/...age/n5/mode/2up

 

https://books.google...text tv&f=false

 

Thanks for that info.  I guess the answer is the problem did exists, but the people who did the TV graphics were professionals and knew how to hide it :)



#55 Nebulon OFFLINE  

Nebulon

    Stargunner

  • 1,927 posts

Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 1:17 PM

 

Thanks for that info.  I guess the answer is the problem did exists, but the people who did the TV graphics were professionals and knew how to hide it :)

You're most welcome.

 

The other issue was that a lot of early home computers were displaying graphics in such a way that artifacting was hard to avoid (and even encouraged in the case of image displays):

 

http://www.coco3.com...de-artifacting/

 

>>"With the fixed timing, pixels that are smaller than one color clock, appear as color information to the TV. On the old CoCo, in 256 pixel mode, that’s how the red and blue colors appear. Even pixels are one color, odd pixels are another one. Two together are white. Two unset together are black.

The safe area on a CoCo 2 is smaller than that area on the CoCo3, when the 320 pixel mode is used.

With fixed color timing, there are only so many pixels that can be resolved, WITHOUT color artifacts. On the CoCo 3, this happens to be 160 pixels. ANYTHING drawn to the screen smaller than this, will be represented as color information, given the color burst is left turned on."<<



#56 ClausB OFFLINE  

ClausB

    Stargunner

  • 1,600 posts
  • Location:Michigan

Posted Sat Apr 8, 2017 7:30 PM

Well that was certainly the bias back then, and it became self-fulfilling as more developers wrote business software only for CP/M. But Atari's OS was sophisticated and full-featured, in some ways, even superior. A 1 MHz 6502 was the equal of a 2 MHz Z80.

 

A case in point: the computer shop where I worked did their bookkeeping on a Vector Graphic CP/M machine. The owner asked me to look at the software because it was computing sales tax incorrectly. I found round-off errors due to MS BASIC's binary floating point representation of dollars. I had to add rounding code to make it work and I told them that Atari BASIC would not have failed that way since it used BCD representation.

 

In another case my Stats prof preferred Atari because it has a hardware random number generator in the POKEY chip and it has a video display compatible with the classroom TV so he did not have to lug around a monitor.

 

 

 

I think the question though asks were they mainly gaming machine. Sure, they are computers and you can do a lot with a computer. Very versatile. 

 

However, they did not perform especially well for business and science uses. There were other computers out at the time that were more useful for that, namely CP/M machines. However they did do a fantastic job with games, and the Atari 8-bits when they came out were incredibly advanced with their POKEY and ANTIC chips. 

 



#57 eightbit OFFLINE  

eightbit

    River Patroller

  • 3,455 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Sun Apr 9, 2017 12:20 AM

My friend's dad ran his entire heating/oil/ac business off of a C64 for YEARS. He would play the occasional game or more commonly a SID tune, but the primary function of that machine was his business. As for myself, the primary function of my C64 was using it to dial into BBS's and DiversiDial (or DDial as it was called), logging into my Q-Link account, and running my own BBS which had "0-Day Warez" and group demos uploaded daily. I had the games but didn't play them as much as I had time for. My BBS was a WHQ for our demo group and was up to help distribute our demos. I used it to code demo stuff and to play other groups demos as well. The C64 had a lot of uses when I was growing up for me, and while games were great (and there were a LOT of great games) it was not a primary game machine for me in those days.


Edited by eightbit, Sun Apr 9, 2017 12:27 AM.


#58 Grimakis OFFLINE  

Grimakis

    Chopper Commander

  • 195 posts
  • Location:Norwalk, CT

Posted Sun Apr 9, 2017 6:24 AM

Well that was certainly the bias back then, and it became self-fulfilling as more developers wrote business software only for CP/M. But Atari's OS was sophisticated and full-featured, in some ways, even superior. A 1 MHz 6502 was the equal of a 2 MHz Z80.

 

A case in point: the computer shop where I worked did their bookkeeping on a Vector Graphic CP/M machine. The owner asked me to look at the software because it was computing sales tax incorrectly. I found round-off errors due to MS BASIC's binary floating point representation of dollars. I had to add rounding code to make it work and I told them that Atari BASIC would not have failed that way since it used BCD representation.

 

In another case my Stats prof preferred Atari because it has a hardware random number generator in the POKEY chip and it has a video display compatible with the classroom TV so he did not have to lug around a monitor.

 

 

 

 

But at the same time, an 80-col display really was the standard for business use. I'm sure many people used these machines as business computers, however I sincerely doubt they were selected as such because they thought the features were better for business use.

 

Most likely it was more cost effective, in that a proper business machine cost thousands of dollars, compared to only hundreds for a C64. The alternative would be pen and paper spreadsheets, and typewriters. Of course even the C64(essentially a toy of a computer), is still a computer, and can do calculations faster than someone with a pen and paper can do.



#59 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,709 posts

Posted Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:56 AM

 

In another case my Stats prof preferred Atari because it has a hardware random number generator in the POKEY chip and it has a video display compatible with the classroom TV so he did not have to lug around a monitor.

 

 

And I didn't even realize what a big deal that was until I started programming in other languages on other systems and discovered that their RANDOM() functions were not random at all unless you mixed up your seed.   So I had to provide a random number of my own to get a random number?   What???  LOL 



#60 JamesD OFFLINE  

JamesD

    Quadrunner

  • 8,478 posts
  • Location:Flyover State

Posted Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:28 PM

My friend's dad ran his entire heating/oil/ac business off of a C64 for YEARS. He would play the occasional game or more commonly a SID tune, but the primary function of that machine was his business. As for
...

I know of a fuel & natural gas distributor that calculated the contents of their storage tanks with a BASIC program on the C64.
It was still in use around 8 years ago when a friend of mine was working there.
It's probably still in use.
 

But at the same time, an 80-col display really was the standard for business use. I'm sure many people used these machines as business computers, however I sincerely doubt they were selected as such because they thought the features were better for business use.
 
Most likely it was more cost effective, in that a proper business machine cost thousands of dollars, compared to only hundreds for a C64. The alternative would be pen and paper spreadsheets, and typewriters. Of course even the C64(essentially a toy of a computer), is still a computer, and can do calculations faster than someone with a pen and paper can do.

Yup.  The CPUs are certainly powerful enough to perform the same calculations as an Apple II or CP/M system.

For that matter, these machines actually have more RAM and are faster than a lot of large computers that came before them.

A printed invoice looks the same whether you print it from a VIC or IBM PC.

The real problem is software.  The software was usually as limited as the screen, keyboard, and expansion options for the machines.
 



#61 CatPix OFFLINE  

CatPix

    River Patroller

  • 4,272 posts
  • Location:France

Posted Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:53 PM

There is a thread here about old computers still in use or that have been at use in professionnal environment way past their commercial life.

From what I've been told, a freeway company here used Thomsom computers from 1985 up to 2001. And they removed it mostly because they had trouble with transferring data from the old machines to their newer systems... Especially since apparently, they used the basic Thomson package, with cassette tapes and not floppies...



#62 Nebulon OFFLINE  

Nebulon

    Stargunner

  • 1,927 posts

Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:29 AM

And as I found out from a guy doing maintenance on a streetlight control box, a lot of major cities were using 6800 CPUs to control their traffic light systems. He told me that he regularly dialed into the system to update the traffic light schedules using a Radio Shack Color Computer (giving priority to certain road networks during rush hour, etc...). This was in the late 1990s.


  • jhd likes this

#63 kiwilove OFFLINE  

kiwilove

    Dragonstomper

  • 958 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand

Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:25 PM

From my own observation - I'd guess that home computers really took off because of the games side.

 

Those who were a fan of the coin-op videogames - would naturally want a home version - that was just as playable as the arcade machine.  And while you could not expect a cheap home computer to equal what an expensive coin-op video cabinet could produce - you could close the gap, if you chose wisely what home computer you went for.

Naturally it was the graphics, graphics, graphics area that was most important - and so hardware sprites and hardware fine-scrolling was very important.

 

I can only guess that the Spectrum took off - mainly because of it's price - likewise when the C-64 appeared - it's pricing made all the difference as it drove down the market from the expensive Apple II / Atari 800 competition.

Piracy on the home computers was a mixed blessing.  For those who could not afford to buy new games all the time - copying was easily done - but of course with lower sales - this halted production on the smaller market share computers (particularly the Atari 400/800 etc line).

 

Even for business computers - ie. the IBM PC - games still appeared.  For those computes without the necessary graphics assistance - programmers eventually found what worked for them - and it can be a nice surprise to see what was done - with computers which were not designed for home computer games in mind.

 

I think the games consoles did show - how excellent home versions could be done - when they succeeded and how miserable they can be in quality - when they failed.  I wasn't impressed by Sega's first games console - and was surprised they did get a following on it.  When Nintendo entered the market - I think they generally did lift the standard overall - though they no doubt did deliver some stinkers or simply boring poor games.

 

Back in the day - I think you had to choose wisely - what did you buy?  And those who went the console route - did they have the money (or inclination) to go for a home computer as well?  I never gave the consoles a good look see - until the time when I felt that the home computers failed at delivering a high quality result - and the consoles delivered a better result - this was at the time of the Amiga / Atari ST versus the Sega MegaDrive / Super Nintendo era.  And for arcade like videogames - the home computers simply didn't deliver - whereas the 16-bit consoles did.  The PC-Engine was not widely available - and I think it was a wasted opportunity for them, that they did not go international, when it was released for Japan only.  They still would not have been a clear winner anyway - because they did not have Sega / Nintendo support.

 

An interesting note is - that I found the Atari community to be more active/friendly than the others - for potential developers.  I only had a C-64 for about 10 months - and could not locate anyone who was into programming / etc.

 

Harvey



#64 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,173 posts

Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:38 PM

From my own observation - I'd guess that home computers really took off because of the games side.

 

Those who were a fan of the coin-op videogames - would naturally want a home version - that was just as playable as the arcade machine.  And while you could not expect a cheap home computer to equal what an expensive coin-op video cabinet could produce - you could close the gap, if you chose wisely what home computer you went for.

 

I did. Because advertising of the day constantly said how good computers were, how good the graphics and arcade action were. Especially with the Amiga and stuff. What a load..!

 

I bet some of the "crash" was related to how good this and how good that was made out to be, only for a consumer to get into something and be blasted in the face with tedium and letdowns.

 

Let's face it, how many of us used the early micros to track a checkbook and keep records for any length of time. You really needed an expensive software package to have made that practical. And it was all business-operations oriented.



#65 kiwilove OFFLINE  

kiwilove

    Dragonstomper

  • 958 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand

Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:51 PM

You had to believe what your own eyes were telling you - rather than rely solely what is said in magazines.

I remember the advertising for the Dragon 32 computer - in which so many ticks were for desirable features wanted - but I couldn't see any of this present in the software for it - and could not see how a small computer company can compete/compare against the bigger companies.

 

For home computers to be of use for educational use - I think what was required was for something to be created for users to create their own material - like some versatile multi-choice program in BASIC in which you can create your own questions/answers for.  You just wanted some multi-choice questionnaire in which you can drill yourself with - and memorize the material you are dealing with.  Though I was out of the school/education system/etc when the home computers started appearing.

 

You can imagine any family with school kids - the boys will say - I need a computer for my school work mum - only to use for playing computer games on.  But those who get really into it - will end up wanting to write their own games - and a few will do just that.

 

While schools today - may place an emphasis on being able to 'code' - I think it's more apt to encourage children to get involved with games/program develop/design - so that they can tailor it to their own specific abilities/interest - such as graphics design, music creation, level design and playtesting, and so on - instead of just solely on coding/programming.  And even discuss such things as violence within videogaming - how to counter the bad image of violence in videogames.

 

I thought the crash was due to the 2600 market reaching it's peak, with a flood of crap carts - that no one would buy anyway - and this caused a ripple effect throughout the industry - and it happened again, when the 16-bit computers failed to deliver on what was expected of them - reviews may have been glowing of certain games - but all I could see was jerky scrolling with jerky moving sprites within a small active window..  Though a crash did not happen.

 

Harvey


Edited by kiwilove, Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:56 PM.


#66 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,173 posts

Posted Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:14 PM

I never had any issues or problems wanting to buy the fluff material for the VCS. I just picked the better games and called it a day. I'm sure I got stung on a few bummers, but certainly nothing to sour my interest in the platform. That wouldn't happen till later and for unrelated (to the crash) reasons.

 

What I did get burned on was the Amiga. So many promises so much under-delivery. That really pissed me off to no end. I had had enough of the 16-bit toys and got myself a real computer with a real architecture. A 486.

 

It had great games to start with, and awesome scientific, astronomy, and spacecraft trajectory programs available for it from the get-go. It had cool terminal programs, and cool games.. I knew the platform would go on to better and better greatness.

 

But that Amiga and the promises made for it. Wheww.. Never again!



#67 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 8,961 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:33 AM

There is a lot of C64 programming going on with a huge number of homebrews released, though usually only digitally. Most of those people hang in the "leet" demo scene, which has a special kind of jargon that is carried over from generation to generation. The Lemon64 forum also has some development section, but I believe the idea is that you should have a pretty good hang on what you're trying to do, in order to get tips or help from others, so it might be tough if you have no previous experience. That is both amazing and truly a shame as being one of the best selling computers at all times and being a format that most everyone could program even from the POKE infested BASIC, it should have more newbie support. Perhaps it got too successful for its own good, compared to the slightly more uncommon formats whose fans form communities welcoming anyone who likes to extend it with open arms?



#68 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,709 posts

Posted Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:46 AM

Back in the day - I think you had to choose wisely - what did you buy?  And those who went the console route - did they have the money (or inclination) to go for a home computer as well?  I never gave the consoles a good look see - until the time when I felt that the home computers failed at delivering a high quality result - and the consoles delivered a better result - this was at the time of the Amiga / Atari ST versus the Sega MegaDrive / Super Nintendo era.  And for arcade like videogames - the home computers simply didn't deliver - whereas the 16-bit consoles did.  The PC-Engine was not widely available - and I think it was a wasted opportunity for them, that they did not go international, when it was released for Japan only.  They still would not have been a clear winner anyway - because they did not have Sega / Nintendo support.


Back in 83, Atari released the 600XL/800XL. The 600XL computer was price competitive with the 5200, could play most of the same games, had better joysticks, and was a real computer to boot. It was a no-brainer choosing that over a 5200. The C64 was also better for games-- that era is almost like the lost console generation.

When it came to the 16-bit computers, they were designed with serious work in mind, at a serious price. This enabled consoles to thrive again-- then the game development money flowed towards consoles giving them better versions of things.

#69 kiwilove OFFLINE  

kiwilove

    Dragonstomper

  • 958 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand

Posted Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:03 PM

The 16-bit computers did well in 3D graphic games - and not so much the coin-op type arcade games because of how the hardware worked.  While the Amiga started off as a games console then turned into a computer by the time it's hardware was finalized - only a few games were written specially for it's hardware capability.  It seems most programmers/teams did not want to go this route - maybe because they were more concerned about a cross platform port - as opposed to Amiga only, and pushing the Amiga hardware would require more time.  That it was a $$$ question - which is understandable from a business viewpoint.

 

You really could not expect hobbyist programmers to equal what professional programmers/teams - that this clearly separated the consoles from the computers particularly.  Maybe the Spectrum got away with this initially but it's bad news if became the norm.  Only a handful of hobbyist programmers show clearly a genius at work - with many more falling down the scale of greatness.

It's clear today that Atari should have and could have - supported it's own Atari XL, XE and XEGS line - by encouraging new software development - they clearly did in the 400/800 days.  Maybe they had too many other things to focus upon to do this?  Simply porting old titles onto a cart format was never going to be enough to sell the new line.

 

Nintendo did an excellent job with it's NES.  I did manage to get a loan of one with about 4 games - with a disk drive with Castlevania.  The quality of the games shone through - when it was early in it's sales life.  It clearly took off in the US - and I would guess it was for it's quality titles that's clearly why sales took off, and it became the top contender.  I never checked out the Sega Master System II - which had a more limited choice of titles running on it.

 

The most disappointing console would have to be Atari's Jaguar - which simply did not live up to it's hype.  Even in the 3D area - it suffered a slow frame rate.  Alien vs Predator was such a stellar title - the frame rate was just bearable in this.  I think it performed better in 2D than 3D - it simply did sell in enough numbers - I'd guess to get potential developers interested in supporting/backing it.  Tempest 2000 was excellent - but this would have performed as well on other hardware - were it not being an Atari Jaguar exclusive (there was such a version for a CD-TV based system).

 

Harvey



#70 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,173 posts

Posted Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:29 PM

I don't recall any 3D home title being better than its arcade counterpart. Or even on par with similar "like-minded" arcade games. At any time the arcade cabs could have custom hardware made to handle 3D. The home titles may have been more imaginative, but they technically stunk in comparison.

 

I was quite impressed and taken with Tempest 2000 on my old 486 DX2/50. No doubt the ISA bus and processor were working overtime, but they managed full-speed.

 

What really pissed me off were titles like StarBlazer/SkyBlazer. Ohh make no mistake the game was great! And I enjoyed countless hours with it on the Apple II - its native home platform. We had competitions, and I would spend hours "developing" new and devious techniques to get the tank. I even had victory music ready to go on cassette. When I'd progress to the next phase I'd hit the play button!

 

Then I got it for the Atari 800, only to find it was nearly an exact port over. Little or no features from the custom chips were used to enhance the game. There was some sound improvement. But I do give credit for the gameplay dynamics - there was little or no detectable difference.

 

Some decades later I would take the time to read the back of the box/insert and learn it was ported to the Atari 400/800 by a 3rd party company. And it doesn't surprise me. I always did think they, Br0derbund, paid someone to do the port. IMHO it was a lazy job. While I didn't expect to be wow'd into breathlessness like when I first played Doom or anything, I *DID* expect some improved graphics, maybe more coloration. But no, I essentially got the same shit I had on the Apple II. No, worse! Girly pink bombers and girly pink parachutes! Ugh.. In fairness I suppose it isn't any worse than the original Apple II version with baby-boy-blue bombers and 'chutes..

 

That whole episode was repeated many times, like the flunky I was for anything "computer", back then. Though I wouldn't define it or anything, it was my first experience of experiencing a platform where full capabilities were deliberately not used. For to spice-up the game would require some re-writes and additions instead of monotonous code translation. Eventually I got tired of it all and jumped into the 16-bit world, only to be hit harder with an onslaught of false promises. Very few, if any, software houses really pushed their respective 16-bit platforms. Not even the original manufacturer. Sure there were cool demos. But that's demos. No one is going to have fun sitting around all goddamned day watching a ball bounce around, no matter how technically sophisticated. 30 years later I would see the same demo on a standard Atari 8-bit machine. So much for that Amiga.. Pffagghhh!!

 

The quagmire of mediocrity I got stuck in with the Amiga didn't begin to dissipate till I got a proper 486, with a proper operating system.

 

Yup.

 

skbl a800.png skbl a8001.png

Star_Blazer (fi_000000003.png Star_Blazer (fi_000000000.png

275221-star-blazer-apple-ii-front-cover.jpg 275222-star-blazer-apple-ii-back-cover.jpg



#71 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

SpiceWare

    Draconian

  • 12,795 posts
  • Medieval Mayhem
  • Location:Planet Houston

Posted Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:01 PM

So my question is this: were the Atari 400/800/ect and C64 and others like it pretty much just gaming machines? Did students use them as word processors? Did businesses have them in the office? And if there were other uses, how widespread was that? Was there a decent amount of use for these machines outside of gaming? Thanks.

 

 

They were both.  While I mostly used my computers1 for programing and running my BBS 2 it also replaced our Atari 2600 for my gaming3.  I occasionally used it as a word processor.  

 

1 Initially a Commodore VIC 20, then later the C=64, C=128, Amiga 2000HD

 

2 if you're not familiar with a Bulletin Board System you could consider it to be just like the AtariAge Forums, but only one person could connect at a time.  

 

3 this happened with most of my friends as well, and was a contributing factor in the crash of early 80s video game crash - why buy games for that old Atari/Intellivision/etc that was collecting dust in the corner when you had a shiny new computer with better capabilities?



#72 kiwilove OFFLINE  

kiwilove

    Dragonstomper

  • 958 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand

Posted Tue May 2, 2017 12:11 AM

I did play Sky Blazer on the Atari - and thought it was OK for what it was.  Never played it on an Apple - as I've never seen/played any Apple games - until much later on, and it was only via emulation.  You could not really expect anyone to do anything special with a 'port' as such.  The games that seem to stand out - would be ones in which the programmer was some 'artist' at work.  Dropzone would be an example for the Atari 800 - Archer LcLean being a fan of the Defender coin-op and wanted an excellent home version - which the Atari version was not - the movement/scrolling being jerky - though it did seem to satisfy some players - who probably didn't play the coin-op?  Some games just stand out - like Miner 2049'er - I just did not like most of the other platformers that were done.  I think the story with Archer - is that he did write an exact Defender game - and he did show that around - but that could not be sold.  So he did the necessary changes so that he could do a Defender like game without encroaching on the copyright of Defender, so Dropzone was born.

One game that did surprise me with it's playability - is Thrust - and like Tetris, it really had to be played to appreciate how well it all worked.  Though it takes a lot of patience to gain the skill necessary in order to make progress in Thrust.  Graphically - it could have looked way better maybe?  Seeing this made available for the Vectrex was nice to see - though when I tried to play it via emulation - I was very bad at playing it, as I had lost what expertise I once had in it - because it was that long ago.

 

While the Amiga supposedly had the graphic hardware for videogames (was designed first - as a videogames machine - then was transformed into a computer instead) - very few games actually were written exclusively for the Amiga - that made full use of the hardware.  Battle Squadron and XR-35 comes to mind.  Battle Squadron did look excellent and played well - but I don't think it has received the excellent reviews it should have had - probably because it was just too standard a game.  XR-35 lacked the feel of having been playtested well but looked impressive.  Psygnosis did release awesome looking games - like Shadow of the Beast, but it's gameplay was rather boring.  Barbarian was better in playing - and Obliterator better still.

But being for Atari ST and Amiga - they looked and played identical?  ie. they did not have smooth scrolling nor smooth moving sprites.  I could not see them spending the necessary extra time - rewriting the games for an enhanced Amiga version - so as to have that version looking super spectacular?  Like the computer media reviews - they seem to focus on how many moving objects were on screen?  And not about how smooth they moved, nor whether fine scrolling was present, and what size window was the active screen area?

 

The 16-bit computers were better for the 3D graphics and 3D simulation games - and the likes of text input graphic adventures/etc - and for excellent home arcade type games the gaming consoles were delivering them for the home.  Most of the arcade type games for the Amiga/ST computers were pretty dismal - if I remember correctly - though a few were the exception - X-out and Z-out?  The Streetfighter II comparison bores this out.  The computer version of this failed to deliver what fans would have expected of this.  The SNES version was expertly done - which probably accounts for the difference between them?  The difference between amateur and professional development teams? 

 

The 8-bit computer videogames that stood out to me - are those in which the game designer made the best use of the hardware for the type of game written - for the Atari 800, these would be - Drelbs, Necromancer, Encounter, Bounty Bob Strikes Back, Star Raiders, Blue Max, Bristles, Boulderdash, Montezuma's Revenge, Sea Dragon, Stratos, Donkey Kong and Mr Do!

A good? game I say is a nice comparison across various platforms - is perhaps Frogger?  - the Atari 800 John Harris Frogger stands out as a clear winner?

 

I'm a die hard Atari 8-bit fan - but I did own a C-64 for almost a year - and my pick for that computer would be - Armalyte, Sanxion, Delta, Io, Wizball, Nebulus, Way of the Exploding Fist, International Karate Plus, Zaxxon (Synapse), Ghost n Goblins, Commando.  While the Last Ninja games have outstanding graphics - I wouldn't rate the gameplay that high.

 

Harvey






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users