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What games pushed the best graphics on A8 hardware?

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The Atari 8-bit line was ahead of its time, starting in the 70's and able to produce some competitive quality titles nearly a decade and a half later, it has a huge library of classics.

 

But what games do you believe pushed the hardware graphically the most overall? Games that make you go wow, that looks like a NES or early Amiga game? I'm focusing on official releases, but if you separate them homebrews can be included. (mandatory Crownland mention goes here.)

 

I am still digging through many games I've missed but I think Druid and Cavernia are two good examples, though may not be the best:

 

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Though Druid is a bit tricky, nearly half the screens is the hud and it's likely due to that they graphics are as good as they are on the bottom. 

 

Cavernia, Atari 800 | The King of Grabs

 

Cavernia has decent graphics for a nearly full-screen scrolling platformer. 

 

 

What other games had among the best graphics on the A8/XE?

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1 minute ago, MrFish said:

You're a few weeks late to the party: Atari 8 Bit games that really pushed the hardware?

 

That's not really the same thread. It seems to just be focusing on games pushing specific areas instead of graphics overall, especially graphics that push the system to look close to other systems newer than it which is what I'm focusing on here. (also there are some segways in that threa doff topic.)

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I do like Druid, I also think the first person style games like Wayout did a great job of this. ...
I have a list I made of a few I tested last week: 
International Karate
The Brundles
Mercenary - Escape from Targ

XEGS Commando
Encounter
Infiltrator
Gremlins
Jet Boot Jack
Lord of the Orb
Operation Blood
Rally Speedway
Pryamid
Rally Speedway
Rainbow Walker
Timeslip
Twilight World
Humanoid
Blaster
Bristles

... there are more. These are games that look good and remind me of great console games
 

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Back 'in the day' I can tell you the Eidolon, Rescure on Fractalus/Behind the Jaggi lines and it's sequel, Koronis Rift impressed the hell out of everyone who saw them. Alternate Reality: The City did as well. These were truly 'next gen' titles.

 

Earlier on, Star Raiders basically put the 8bit line on the map.

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49 minutes ago, Lord Thag said:

Alternate Reality: The City did as well. These were truly 'next gen' titles.

I think Alternate Reality pushed production values for games with the intro.   The graphics inside the game itself were really not that special.

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Following missing ;)

 

Master of the lamps

Drop Zone

 

Homebrew?

 

Yoomp!

RGB

Thetris

Albert

Stunt Car Racer

Total Eclipse

Bumppong

Ridiculous Reality

Callisto

Ocean Detox

Bomb Jack (2008)

Crownland Preview

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34 minutes ago, zzip said:

I think Alternate Reality pushed production values for games with the intro.   The graphics inside the game itself were really not that special.

Actually I felt always a little ashamed when it came to the comparision "AR:The City" . The A8 Version was the worst of all versions. All "good stuff" that the Atari could have done (real fast 3D movement) wasn't in there, because the coders didn't care. In German Gaming Magazines they laughed about the used "Fuzzi Sprites". Also, the huge amount of colors weren't put in nice DLIs. Everywhere was a DLI bleeding, destroying any depth look.    

The Dungeon did get a bit better. 

 

Actually , a "modern remake" of "The City" with all knowledge of today, woul dbe strongly recommended. 

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19 minutes ago, emkay said:

Actually I felt always a little ashamed when it came to the comparision "AR:The City" . The A8 Version was the worst of all versions. All "good stuff" that the Atari could have done (real fast 3D movement) wasn't in there, because the coders didn't care. In German Gaming Magazines they laughed about the used "Fuzzi Sprites". Also, the huge amount of colors weren't put in nice DLIs. Everywhere was a DLI bleeding, destroying any depth look.    

The Dungeon did get a bit better. 

 

Actually , a "modern remake" of "The City" with all knowledge of today, woul dbe strongly recommended. 

Yeah they put so much care into the intro, when it came to the game itself the graphics were disappointing.   The "City" looks more like a maze where every building looks the same.  The "Knight" looks as generic as possible.   They mask the weak artwork through generous use of DLIs

ar_city_6.gif.16ea5982bccb1018068e23c12da793bf.gif

 

Compare that to a game from the same era with similar gameplay style, like Bard's Tale.   There the towns looks like towns with building with different exteriors, and stylized enemies that don't look quite so generic.   You can see this even on Apple II with its primitive graphics.

 

  I agree AR Dungeon looks better.   The Dungeon feels like a dungeon, it relies more on better graphics and less on just splashing DLIs all over the place.

 

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Posted (edited)

Big fan of recent modern releases (Crownland, Albert, Ridiculous reality, etc as listed above).

 

There are many more I could list but one particular platformer game totally got my attention BITD, created by those amazing coders at Zepplin Games - Blinky's Scary School. (Zepplin went on to do great things over the coming decades).

 

What was, and still is nice about Blinky's was the combination of a fast moving multi screen game with excellent engaging puzzle elements and lots of content. Add to that very well crafted atmospheric music. Then further add well drawn monochrome graphics for the main play area, (which changed colour pallette), hi res lower screen graphics for the inventory items/character energy, etc and IMHO importantly a standout well coloured/animated main character.

 

There you have a very well put together game. It's actually one of the few games I remember completing heh heh - and if I recall it had a fairly rewarding ending. :grin:

 

As I say it caught my attention in my teens and I was always very impressed with what Zepplin managed to squeeze out of the A8 with it. The game went onto be released for Atari ST, Amiga and other platforms - and tbh I'm not sure they improved on it much.

 

 

Blinkys2.thumb.jpg.8d1662e353a7b36e0c6e7acb4e0b15da.jpg

 

Blinkys.png.7f7c1ff79e6b196e76c49f620f899a07.png

 

 

 

Edited by Beeblebrox
typos
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5 hours ago, Lord Thag said:

Back 'in the day' I can tell you the Eidolon, Rescure on Fractalus/Behind the Jaggi lines and it's sequel, Koronis Rift impressed the hell out of everyone who saw them. Alternate Reality: The City did as well. These were truly 'next gen' titles.

 

Earlier on, Star Raiders basically put the 8bit line on the map.

 

^^this

 

LucasFilm had a lot of original and creative titles back in the day.  Dare I also use the adjective "fresh"? 

 

And Ballblazer; they covered numerous gaming genres, and are still remarkably playable. The lack of photorealism adds to their benefit, IMHO. But the 1990s reimagining proved that already. :D

 

A shame the original Star Raiders 2 was shelved. It had the same 1979 look, but had more immersive gameplay than what eventually got released (which looked more modern but was a lot more static...) 

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Posted (edited)

I did think that Andrew Bradfield and myself - did try to push the Atari 800 as far as possible back in the day - with Hawkquest.  You have only to compare it to Xevious styled games - as well as Gauntlet/Shamus types - and end of game sequence influenced by the Lucasfilms loading animations.  But it's a very tough game so maybe players didn't get to see that many levels present in the game and what variances were present.  It certainly had one of the longest development times to pull it off.

 

Atari 800 Page (tripod.com)

HawkQuest maps/graphics (tripod.com)

For the above - the screens will line up when you rearrange your browser window so that they do line up.

 

Harvey

Edited by kiwilove
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15 hours ago, kiwilove said:

I did think that Andrew Bradfield and myself - did try to push the Atari 800 as far as possible back in the day - with Hawkquest.  You have only to compare it to Xevious styled games - as well as Gauntlet/Shamus types - and end of game sequence influenced by the Lucasfilms loading animations.  But it's a very tough game so maybe players didn't get to see that many levels present in the game and what variances were present.  It certainly had one of the longest development times to pull it off.

 

Atari 800 Page (tripod.com)

HawkQuest maps/graphics (tripod.com)

For the above - the screens will line up when you rearrange your browser window so that they do line up.

 

Harvey

Looks like a section of Atariblast! outside the single color helicopter.

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17 hours ago, CommodoreDecker said:

LucasFilm had a lot of original and creative titles back in the day.  Dare I also use the adjective "fresh"? 

They couldn't use the Star Wars license for the first 10 years because George licensed it to other developers,  so that forced them to come up with new ideas.    But not long after they got the SW license back, they pretty much stopped making anything that wasn't a SW game

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24 minutes ago, zzip said:

They couldn't use the Star Wars license for the first 10 years because George licensed it to other developers,  so that forced them to come up with new ideas.    But not long after they got the SW license back, they pretty much stopped making anything that wasn't a SW game

 

Almost glad they didn't. Didn't know Lucas licensed it elsewhere. At the time, a number of the SW games were excellent, are still fun, and I own a few. ROTJ Death Star Battle isn't half-bad, IMHO...  even without light saber fights... But Lucasfilm's original entries just show the extensive scope and scale. It's a shame they became "Star Wars only".

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On 6/16/2021 at 12:58 PM, CommodoreDecker said:

A shame the original Star Raiders 2 was shelved. It had the same 1979 look, but had more immersive gameplay than what eventually got released (which looked more modern but was a lot more static...) 

Yes, very. My #1 biggest hope right now for A8 gaming is that someone will take a disassembly of it, decipher it like what happened with the original Star Raiders, and finish the game AI. It's so close to being an 8-bit 'desert island' game. It's also a tour de force of 8-bit graphics too. It impressed me NOW, I can only imagine what it would have done back in the day, had it been released.

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