Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

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Pixiu
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Pixiu » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:03 am

TMR wrote:Here's an interesting read about some of those projects from one of people behind Harlequin.
Ta, that was quite interesting. It's kind of a shame they killed of Z-Force. It looks potentially more interesting than SotB, imo.
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Havantgottaclue » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:21 am

Crunchy wrote:I'm going to acquire myself an Amstrad methinks. There's more than a few games mentioned in this thread that I've never heard of.
In the post-CPCZone era, the best selection of CPC reviews I've seen is http://www.cpcgamereviews.com/. There are positive reviews for lots of the games mentioned here and lots of others. Xyphoe's Fantasy is widely acclaimed in CPC circles and it gets a score of 10/10 on the site. It looks good but I've not yet got into it myself. On the other hand, there are 9s for both UN Squadron and Xenon, which I don't agree with. They both look great in screenshots but I find them both far too slow to be playable.

My opinion on the CPC was tainted early on when emulators became available because I wanted to try out all the games that I enjoyed on the C64 - big mistake! I was much more impressed with games that play to the system's strengths, or at least reduce its weaknesses.
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Crunchy » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:44 pm

Havantgottaclue wrote: In the post-CPCZone era, the best selection of CPC reviews I've seen is http://www.cpcgamereviews.com/.
Now that's handy. Cheers.

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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Timothy Lumsden » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:36 pm

Much as I loved my 464 - I don't think I could really make a case for it ruling the roost. though my Green Screen cheapo version did get a few good laughs from mates.

Loved Exolon though.

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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Freestyler » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:44 pm

Wikipedia says the Amstrad CPC series sold three million units during its lifetime. That's not too bad actually.
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by kiwimike » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:17 pm

merman wrote:
kiwimike wrote:
merman wrote:The Amstrad is a good 8-bit computer, it does some things well. The Plus range could have been a hit... released two to three years earlier. But it's not the best in terms of the range of software and hardware available.
...But is it GAMINGs BEST 8 bit? That's the topic question. :)
I thought my "no, it's not the best" was clear in what I said. There are good games on the Amstrad, but not as many as on the Spectrum and C64.
Sorry mate, just being rhetorical, didn't require reply, I knew what you meant :)

And I agree. I did own the 464 for a little while, and it did have some reasonable games for it...but the thought that it was 'up there' with Spectrum, C64, Apple and Atari is blinkered bias in the extreme IMO.
I'm not talking hardware specs of course, just in the specific topic definition of eight bit gaming computer.

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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by ivarf » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:39 pm

kiwimike wrote:
the 464 did have some reasonable games, but the thought that it was 'up there' with the Apple and Atari is blinkered bias in the extreme IMO
IMO this is blinkered bias in the extreme.

I assume you mean Apple II and Atari 8-bits

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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Pixiu » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:02 pm

Oh hell no, the Apple? With its even more sluggish framerates and shitastic reliance on NTSC colour artefacting? I'm surprised it didn't give a generation of kids eye problems.

As someone who has never been a fan of the Amstrad, I have to say I'd take it over an Apple II any day of the week.
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:18 pm

Is there anything an Amstrad can give me that a C64 or Spectrum can't?

On current knowledge, I'd opt for an Apple ][ just for the variety in titles.

[side note]
I'm extremely happy that this thread got all techy for a bit and discussed the various methods of scrolling, I really enjoyed that even if I didn't completely understand it all. Thanks lads.
[/side note]
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by Pixiu » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:01 pm

Antiriad2097 wrote:Is there anything an Amstrad can give me that a C64 or Spectrum can't?
Well obviously there's little need for an Amstrad if you have a C64 ;)

Not much need for an Apple II in that case either, really.

Though having said that, some of those early ports from Apple II to C64 were so dire in the way they failed to take advantage of the c64's features that you'd be better off playing the originals.
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by storm_maker » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:53 pm

Freestyler wrote:Wikipedia says the Amstrad CPC series sold three million units during its lifetime. That's not too bad actually.
1 Million more than the A8s according to Wikipedia :mrgreen:

But honestly, will someone please explain to me why the A8s are better than the Amstrad? I've had a pretty good search through the game library over the years, and asked a lot of people, and really I see nothing to indicate that the system had anywhere near the same support software wise. A lot of people who I've asked for recommendations even resort to naming ports of old arcade games like Donkey Kong or Frogger :? the sort of games that every 8-bit micro under the sun, including the Amstrad has in abundance.

Its certainly a more original machine than the Amstrad in that it actually has a number of its own games (not nothing but ports, though many of the biggest A8 games were ported to C64) but software support peters out ~1985, before that it had a good 1982, an equally good 1983 (though not the best as this year the C64 and Spectrum started gaining on it fast), and a decent 1984 (with it falling behind by miles this year)
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by sscott » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:00 pm

storm_maker wrote:
Freestyler wrote:Wikipedia says the Amstrad CPC series sold three million units during its lifetime. That's not too bad actually.
1 Million more than the A8s according to Wikipedia :mrgreen:

But honestly, will someone please explain to me why the A8s are better than the Amstrad? I've had a pretty good search through the game library over the years, and asked a lot of people, and really I see nothing to indicate that the system had anywhere near the same support software wise. A lot of people who I've asked for recommendations even resort to naming ports of old arcade games like Donkey Kong or Frogger :? the sort of games that every 8-bit micro under the sun, including the Amstrad has in abundance.

Its certainly a more original machine than the Amstrad in that it actually has a number of its own games (not nothing but ports, though many of the biggest A8 games were ported to C64) but software support peters out ~1985, before that it had a good 1982, an equally good 1983 (though not the best as this year the C64 and Spectrum started gaining on it fast), and a decent 1984 (with it falling behind by miles this year)
They just are! :wink: The A8 technology came out in 1979 so it's not fully right to compare with the later machines anyway in my opinion.
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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by TMR » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:02 pm

Antiriad2097 wrote:Is there anything an Amstrad can give me that a C64 or Spectrum can't?
Head Over Heels and Alien 8 both look better and should play about the same as the Spectrum versions, The Pawn and Guild of Thieves all have their text in 80 column mode and Fres Attack is a shoot 'em up that runs purely in that mode (it uses hardware scrolling so kicks along at a mental speed, so players need to give it a few goes to get used to that - Killer Cobra scrolls in the same manner and is one of my favourite Amstrad games!) There's also Star Sabre and Dead On Time more recently that are probably some of the best shoot 'em ups the Amstrad has ever seen.
Antiriad2097 wrote:[side note]
I'm extremely happy that this thread got all techy for a bit and discussed the various methods of scrolling, I really enjoyed that even if I didn't completely understand it all. Thanks lads.
[/side note]
i do like a good technical discussion... or a bad one for that matter. =-)

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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by kiwimike » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:12 pm

Antiriad2097 wrote:Is there anything an Amstrad can give me that a C64 or Spectrum can't?

On current knowledge, I'd opt for an Apple ][ just for the variety in titles.

[side note]
I'm extremely happy that this thread got all techy for a bit and discussed the various methods of scrolling, I really enjoyed that even if I didn't completely understand it all. Thanks lads.
[/side note]

Totally agree. I respect the loyalty Amstrad owners have to their fave machine, but as a games machine it runs distant to the group of contenders that could be Nominated for the crown of best eight bit gaming computer. And I wouldn't heisitate for an Apple over Amstrad, for the same reason. Sheer amount of great games. Tech schmeck, boasting the Amstrad can do this or that and the speccy can't doesn't count for squat IMO. For this debate it has to be measured on the software, games specifically- how many great quality titles were out for the respective machines.
And I remember in my days of having a 464 a software drought and thinking a regretted not still having the other computers...seeing great games emerge while the Amstrad had a few good specific titles now and again but for the most part lazy ports.
I bought the 464 really wanting to like it, but spent more time being frustrated with the lack of good games available. Hardware? Good enough to say 'coulda been a contender...' :wink:

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Re: Why the Amstrad was gaming's best 8-bit computer

Post by TMR » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:14 pm

storm_maker wrote:But honestly, will someone please explain to me why the A8s are better than the Amstrad? I've had a pretty good search through the game library over the years, and asked a lot of people, and really I see nothing to indicate that the system had anywhere near the same support software wise.
There's probably not much in it, depending on if you call quick and dirty porting of Spectrum code "support" i s'pose...

As for recommendations, off the top of my head have a look at Elektraglide, Mercenary, Dropzone or Rescue on Fractalus for starters, all four originated on the Atari and are better there than any other 8-bit. For scrolling shoot 'em ups, Tiger Attack does the Flying Shark thing pretty well (although it's got a quirk that, as a programmer, bugs me endlessly), the A8 version of Warhawk is better than the Amstrad one (but not the C64), Zybex and Draconus are pretty decent games and i've got a strange fondness for Ninja Commando that i've never fully explained...

Generally speaking, A8 games tend to rattle along at a smooth 50 frames a second for the 2D stuff whilst the Amstrad ones... erm, usually don't so, although there might be some graphical concessions on the Atari, it's more often than not the more responsive to play and for action games at least that can make a significant difference.

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