Whilst I find this thread infinitely full of win, I don't understand what the preference for A8 over Amstrad really is, A8 seems to have jack all games from the mid 80s onwards and its earlier stuff is a mixture of cookie cutter arcade ports, and sub Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg style games
Part of it is that the weird revisionist la-la-land attitude that sometimes infects Amstrad owners (as demonstrated in this thread by the aptly named c0nfu53d) is even more prevalent in the Atari camp because of the way support for the Atari dropped off by the mid '80s, leaving many of them with a huge coulda-been-a-contender chip on their shoulders that isn't always in touch with reality and yet isn't totally without merit all the same due to untapped potential in the platform.
Regarding Jagfest_UK's OMAZING list of Atari stuff:
Obviously some of those vids are showing demo or wip stuff that possibly won't or even can't be taken any further. I mean just look at Shadow of the Beast -- ugly as sin and devoid of enemies. What a showcase that is! Outrun looks pretty rough and ready too, and of course completely devoid of other cars. In both cases the programmers have probably already used up the Atari's pissy narrow hardware sprites and are sweating bullets over how to include enemies/cars using software sprites... if they haven't already given up on it.
The other thing that Atari fans often neglect to mention is the memory requirements for some of these "coulda been" modern releases. Not sure how much Pang will require, but i remember reading on AA that it won't fit in 128k. Meanwhile Bombjack looks pretty good, but you're gonna need a RAM expansion as the game requires 320K of RAM! (Whut! Five times the RAM of a c64? More than 6.5 times the RAM of a 48k Speccy! Madness!) Crownland is pretty impressive, but it needs a Atari 130XE with 128k, so in any pissing match against the Amstrad, one should bear in mind what a 128k Amstrad can do.
Of course, some of the stuff on Jagfest's list is undoubtedly impressive. Space Harrier looks cool, though it obviously suffers a bit from the Atari's colour restrictions and the flicker-mix workaround being employed there. Yoomp! is an excellent production, and runs fine on only 64k i believe. And the Wolfenstein 3d demo is fricking awesome. It'll be interesting to see how it fares in making the transition from tech demo to game, with enemies, game logic, etc. In a way it's a weird testament to the quirkiness of the Atari hardware that it can manage something like that, yet nearly kills itself if it attempts a typical arcadey sprite-heavy 2d game.
But no matter what, there's no getting past this:
storm_maker wrote:"LOOK, WE'VE GOT OUR OWN PORT OF KNIGHT LORE NOW, STUFF THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT SPECTRUM/AMSTRAD OWNERS, WHO'S LAUGHING NOW, ONLY 24 YEARS LATE!!!"
Yep, until diehard Atari fans invent a time machine (I'm sure they're working on it), the Atari was simply not a contender past the mid '80s. In fact, if I was back in 1988 right now, and I had to choose between the Amstrad and the Atari ... well, I would probably choose a new hobby.
Failing that, I would choose the Amstrad for sure. At least I'd have new games coming out. And some of those colourful flick-screeners have pretty good framerates and look frickn gorgeous. See Inside Outing, Get Dexter, Prince of Persia for example. Maybe I'd even get used to the sluggish framerates on some of the scrollers. It seems a lot of Amstrad users here did somehow.