From the forum issue 114 Platformers

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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:12 pm

markopoloman wrote:
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Yeah Manic Miner is a fantastic game and deserves all the credit it gets. It wasn't very innovative though, same with Jet Set Willy. I also think Manic Miner still looks great.
So what else was out at the same time or before like Manic Miner? Miner 2049 was no where near the same style of game..... :?:
Not much. Those few games stand out in particular because whatever else was around at the time was pretty ropey. It wasn't until the isometric 3D of the Ultimate games, the large sprites and slick 2D animation of The Sacred Armour of Antiriad, or arcade conversions like Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands that there were any equally good platformers on those home computers.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by samhain81 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:09 am

Super Castlevania 4 - The quintessential platformer. Not too long, not too hard, but rewarding enough to make you feel like you've achieved something. Add that to a beautifully created gothic world, and amazing soundtrack, and you have yourself one of the best platformers from not just the 16bit era, but of all time.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by lavalyte » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:43 am

Impossible Mission... because I can finish it, and it's excellent.
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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:55 am

The other thing to remember about platformers in the early days of home computers is that 2d side-on tended to be the de-facto template for games, much like a first-person view is now. So loads of other genres like puzzlers, shooters, RPGs, mazes, open-world explorers etc. were all squeezed in as sub-genres of the platform game.

You couldn't do overhead views very well without more colour shades to distinguish sprites from their backgrounds. With a side-on there was always the cop-out of a plain black background everywhere you were free to walk. And if you can't jump - only use ladders to go up/down and walk left/right - you might as well be playing an overhead maze game anyway for all the freedom of movement you have.
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kleinemaus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:35 pm

joefish wrote:
markopoloman wrote:
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Yeah Manic Miner is a fantastic game and deserves all the credit it gets. It wasn't very innovative though, same with Jet Set Willy. I also think Manic Miner still looks great.
So what else was out at the same time or before like Manic Miner? Miner 2049 was no where near the same style of game..... :?:
Not much. Those few games stand out in particular because whatever else was around at the time was pretty ropey. It wasn't until the isometric 3D of the Ultimate games, the large sprites and slick 2D animation of The Sacred Armour of Antiriad, or arcade conversions like Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands that there were any equally good platformers on those home computers.
There were many platformers before Manic Miner, excellent ones too. Miner 2049er of course, which M Smith copied as Manic Miner (as he said in Retro Gamer).
Nintendo became big with platform games at the arcades, eg Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Popeye etc....
Atari VCS had excellent platform games, Keystone Kapers, Smurf, Mountain King, Montezumas Revenge, Pitfall, Quest for Quintana Roo and many more
8 bit computers in the US had numerous excellent platform games during the early 80s, Apple ][ had Apple Panic, Electrician, Spare Change, Lode Runner....A8 had Alley Cat, Hard Hat Mack, Shamus, Rainbow Walker, Canyon Climber, Zorro, Goonies..... and both had many more.

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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:30 pm

I appreciate that there were other platform games around, but many of those you list never saw the inside of a British household. And I think you're also a bit liberal in your use of the word 'excellent'. How many of those did you actually play at the time?

What Matthew Smith did with Miner 2049'er and Manic Miner was take a game that was fairly well appreciated and re-made it in a style he wanted to play. The two play out quite differently. Likewise it's fairly easy to dismiss my Buzzsaw+ as a clone of Cosmo Gang the Puzzle (or Pac-Attack for the latecomers, not that I'd heard of it before), but a few minutes of either will show you there's quite a difference in how they play out.

No-one is still talking about trying to complete Miner 2049'er under emulation 30 years on, but a clean run-through of Manic Miner is still a dream amongst members of the Speccy community. That's a game that lasts.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kiwimike » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:29 pm

joefish wrote:I appreciate that there were other platform games around, but many of those you list never saw the inside of a British household.
This is something I do find interesting. Many books etc are accused of overlooking the UK market etc, being 'US-Centric', publications and gamers from different areas accused of not giving enough appreciation to the UK computers and games...I find the exact opposite happens in the UK. Often.
I'm not knocking the UK games of the time, far from it, some of the games are just astounding. But there was a lot more to the time than just them. I guess an area like Australasia was fortunate in that we didn't have the strong US, Japanese or UK market angles specifically, but an equal mishmash mix of all of them, with some Hong Kong stuff thrown in as well.
But I guess it makes sense...a UK mag will focus on the UK games, the US will do the same, and so on. Maybe that would be a good angle to use in the mag- What games are favoured by what gamers in different areas of the World? :)

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kiwimike » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:41 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Yeah Manic Miner is a fantastic game and deserves all the credit it gets. It wasn't very innovative though, same with Jet Set Willy. I also think Manic Miner still looks great.
I agree, I love the look of Manic Miner & JSW...but in terms of playing, it's probably a firing squad offense but I agree with Bob. I just didn't enjoy them at all, just the 'feel' of them and the slow jumping action annoyed me. :)

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by Smurph » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:29 am

Nah
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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:34 am

kiwimike wrote:I agree, I love the look of Manic Miner & JSW...but in terms of playing, it's probably a firing squad offense but I agree with Bob. I just didn't enjoy them at all, just the 'feel' of them and the slow jumping action annoyed me. :)
Again, it's about planning and carefully measured and timed moving than running around like crazy or just bounding from one situation to another. You need a properly-functioning attention-span for a start! Possibly why Chuckie Egg is so popular, as it varies between the two styles depending on the layout of the level and the game cycle.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by the_hawk » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:36 am

Smurph wrote:Chip, I've been on your side many times in the past but I honestly think you should be banned for this. You are an ignorant, petulant child who doesn't like it when peoples opinions match up to your own, and your posts are ridiculously hypocritical. The personal jibes where you purport to know what forum members' lives are like... Well, if you said it to me in real life I'd smack you in the mouth then walk off with my ridiculously hot girlfriend who is 14 years my junior, bang her all night long and then have breakfast over a game of Manic Miner which I personally f**king hate.
I suppose we should be grateful he's not calling us all paedophiles this time round.
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kiwimike
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by kiwimike » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:47 am

joefish wrote:
kiwimike wrote:I agree, I love the look of Manic Miner & JSW...but in terms of playing, it's probably a firing squad offense but I agree with Bob. I just didn't enjoy them at all, just the 'feel' of them and the slow jumping action annoyed me. :)
Again, it's about planning and carefully measured and timed moving than running around like crazy or just bounding from one situation to another. You need a properly-functioning attention-span for a start! Possibly why Chuckie Egg is so popular, as it varies between the two styles depending on the layout of the level and the game cycle.
:lol: Each to their own...I didn't mean to cause offence, my attention span is fine thanks- I just don't enjoy the gameplay. I do not find the game enjoyable to play. It's that simple. I think it is well designed, as Darren says I still think it looks great today and iconic imaging of the time. But I don't find it fun to play :)

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by samhain81 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:33 am

Man, Chip needs to get laid. He's quite the bitter guy. Feels bad man.

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joefish
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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by joefish » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:32 pm

kiwimike wrote: :lol: Each to their own...I didn't mean to cause offence, my attention span is fine thanks- I just don't enjoy the gameplay.
It's fair comment, and always interesting to hear about another country that had a different path into home gaming.

Trouble is round here is there are all too many revisionists who like to bang on about the likes of the NES being released at the same time as the ZX Spectrum, or harp on about some obscure Atari cartridge, or 'the big videogame crash', who actually spent the relevant years in the UK having none of those things because it was all going on in Japan or North America.

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Re: From the forum issue 114 Platformers

Post by Bobinator » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:01 pm

joefish wrote:About Manic Miner
I can't say I agree with your points, but I do appreciate the fact that you put the effort into explaining why you enjoy the game. This isn't the first time I've wondered to myself what people see in Jet Set Willy and all the times people have ripped it off, and from what it sounds like, you enjoy it for the challenge. There's nothing wrong with that, I suppose, there are tons of people out there who enjoy brutally hard games. Thing is, I'm just not one of them. The lack of direction is hardly my only issue with the game, either: it just doesn't feel very well designed.

Like, let's take the Banyan Tree for example, because that's usually as far as I get on one playthrough. You have little gaps you're supposed to jump into, with enemies on either said. The problem is Willy's hitbox is so large you basically have no way to avoid being killed by enemies, even if you're not actually TOUCHING them. It's a lot of issues like that that bring the game down for me. It's not the game's fault, really, it's just that it was made before a time when people really tested for things like this.

Especially the whole thing about how the game has a ledge you can fall off that will instantly take all your lives and end the game. That's something else people just... accepted, I guess.

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