The 8-bit GAME COMPARISON Thread

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:58 am

Zzap! gave Mutants a borderline Sizzler. Amusingly, the review ended up on their b+w pages, despite the reviewers wittering on about the amazingly colourful graphics.
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Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:43 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:Zzap! gave Mutants a borderline Sizzler. Amusingly, the review ended up on their b+w pages, despite the reviewers wittering on about the amazingly colourful graphics.
It's so easy to forget just how far games mags have come since their introduction 25-odd years ago .
Could you imagine seeing a game review today done in b+w?
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Post by CraigGrannell » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:30 pm

paranoid marvin wrote:Could you imagine seeing a game review today done in b+w?
No, but then I also remember the days when you'd read Zzap! or Crash and see 30 plus games out that month for a single format.

As for Mutants, I never really 'got it', for some reason, although I loved the music. But I tried the CPC version via CrocoDS (seeing as FrodoDS is still too slow to be usable), and, yeah, it's not great.
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ivarf
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Post by ivarf » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:04 pm

Mutants:
Amstrad action rated this game: 54%
Crash (a ZX mag) rated it 58%

haha, CPC and Spectrum version coded by "Choice Software Ltd". Another great conversion from Choice, the masters of all that stinks
Last edited by ivarf on Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:37 pm

Metrocross

One of my favourite games , and gets a favourable mention in this month's RG . Th Amstrad version was tipped as the best , which intrigued me , so decided to have a go for myself

Speccy

Definately the worst of the bunch . No music for a start , and minimal sound effects (sound like they've been nabbed from Knightlore!).Average monochrome graphics . but it's difficult to tell the difference between 'speed-up' and 'time-stop' cans - and awkward controls , leaving the main character feeling unresponsive to move quikly. The quality of scrolling is important for a game of this type , and it's only average on this occasion

Image


Amstrad

The most colourful of the three , with a bright yellow and red hero. Unfortunately , the action takes place within a relatively small screen , yet the scrolling is still pretty appalling. It is also quite difficult to see the cans , and when you do jump on one , a 'time stopped' message is displayed slap bang in the middle of the screen for several seconds - which is hardly a good idea. The main character is , like the Speccy , also quite unresponsive when manoevering around the screen .
Audio is nice , with a fine rendition of arcade music - however there are no sound effects

Image


C64

Not the greatest graphics in the world on the main character ,
but everything else is fine. Cans are easily spotted , and identified by their relevant colour , whilst the scrolling is some of the smoothest ever seen on the C64. A great 'gritty' version of the arcade music by Hubbard , and some nice spot effects also. The main character is highly manoevarable , able to go backwardss just as easily as forwards (which is a problem with the other two versions)


Image

1.C64

a country mile

2.Amstrad

3.Speccy
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Post by markopoloman » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:01 pm

ivarf wrote:Mutants:
Amstrad action rated this game: 54%
Crash (a ZX mag) rated it 58%

haha, CPC and Spectrum version coded by "Choice Software Ltd". Another great conversion from Choice, the masters of all that stinks

So my comparison was rather close! Speccy n Amstrad versions (like Metrocross) were censored!

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Post by tssk » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:43 pm

I remember playing the C64 version in a shop and liking it far more than I thought I should. (It was one of those games that was universally panned as average.)

Here's an idea for another comparison.

Tau Ceti. Anyone up for doing it?

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Post by Emperor Fossil » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:11 pm

markopoloman wrote:1st C64
2nd our budgie that died 4 years ago
3rd Speccy
4th Amstrad
:lol: Awesome. Where can I get my hands on a dead budgie emulator? I want to try it out!

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Post by Emperor Fossil » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:43 pm

Comparison overload!!!!

Ever had one of those games you've read about, seen screenshots of, and always meant to try out, but never did? For me, this game is one of those:

Mr Heli (aka Battle Chopper)

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Arcade version, better known as Battle Chopper. Irem tries its hand at a 'cute-em-up.'

I remember seeing a couple of screenshots of the Amstrad version of this game in a magazine many years ago and thinking it looked really good, but I never had the chance to try it out. So, I've decided to do so now in the form of an 8-bit comparison. I had a crack at the arcade version recently, and although it's nothing special, it's a pleasant enough experience. Wait... Pleasant? What am I saying? It's actually quite hard and has an annoying tendency to send you back a long way when you die in certain spots (It is an Irem game, after all.) But enough chatter... how do the 8-bit versions compare?



Spectrum

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Shoot blocks of stone, to collect crystals, to buy weapons, to shoot enemies ... and blocks of stone.

A die-hard Mr Heli fan (if such a creature exists) would probably get some enjoyment out of this if they had no other alternative. The monochrome graphics are serviceable without being particularly attractive, though I expect the heavy use of dithering would look better on a TV than it does on an LCD monitor. Although the play area is a little small, it isn't too cramped. I would have liked smoother scrolling and movement, but it's still playable, and it does scroll a little more smoothly on the slower vertically scrolling sections. One odd change from the arcade version is that the bomb you lob when walking seems less powerful, with the result being that you have to chuck two or three of them just to blow away a piece of crystal-hiding scenery, but that's just a minor detail. As far as sound goes, the SFX are basic shuffly shooting and explosion sounds, which are at least tastefully chosen and shouldn't cause annoyance. Overall, much like me in the sack, it gets the job done without being particularly impressive.

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Being nailed to the ceiling, this guy probably spends most his days humming songs to himself. And clapping.



Amstrad

Image Image
Go ahead, throw mandarins at me. I love mandarins!

This version has a similar screen layout to the speccy version, but it looks much more attractive. The Amstrad's bright palette is well-suited to this kind of game, and the graphics are nicely drawn. In fact, I'd say this one of the better looking Amstrad games I've seen, and the Mr Heli sprite in particular looks great in all its ten colour glory, so kudos to the Amstrad on that score. Oh, and there's a nifty parallax starfield layer in the background too. This version shares the weaker bomb quirk of the speccy version, and is also much like the speccy version in terms of object movement and scrolling, though perhaps a little faster. When it switches to the first vertically scrolling section the scrolling becomes much smoother, which was a nice surprise. Strangely the next vertically scrolling section (which is push scrolling) isn't as smooth, but oh well. The sound is pretty good too. The SFX aren't too intrusive, and a bouncy version of the arcade tune accompanies the action -- the kind of tune likely to annoy everyone in the room except for the person playing. Overall, a good conversion that won't shame Amstrad owners.

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Nice mittens. Did your husband knit them for you?



c64

Image Image
World's smallest nuke?

This version makes a great first impression with a snazzy attract screen featuring the Mr Heli logo and a bunch of little Mr Helis zooming around. The game itself does a good job of living up to that impression. Although the graphics lack the range of colour and the brightness of the Amstrad version, they're still reasonably colourful and well drawn. Silky smooth movement and a larger play area is a big plus too. This version is significantly harder than the Speccy and Amstrad versions (what is it with c64 versions of shmups being harder than the others?) as the enemies are more aggressive, move faster, and respawn almost immediately. This quick respawning can make it tough to gain headway, but it does recreate the kind of constant challenge the player faces in the arcade version. As for sound, the SFX are frankly annoying, thanks to the constant 'whufwhufwhuf' of your rotor-blades spinning. Thankfully you can switch to music by pressing up on the joystick and F1 (pressing M would be too easy I guess) and listen to a great up-tempo version of the arcade tune instead. Overall, what we have here is a game that does a good job of bringing home the arcade experience, right down to the at times frustrating difficulty.

Note: The c64 version does have one big difference that I'm not too sure about. The game has three levels (each one divided into 2 sub-levels), and when you complete a level you're given a password and have to restart (as in reload) the game and then choose to start on the next level and input your password which, by the way, is 20 goddamn letters long! Now on the one hand, having a password system is kind of cool, because the game is so tough you'll appreciate the option to resume on a later level, but on the other hand, I don't see why you have to restart and reload. Why couldn't they make it automatically load level 2 once you finish level 1, like any other multi-load game? Odd.

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Been redecorating, huh? I like what you've done with the ... vines and crap.


Verdict:

Despite the cumbersomeness of password system (which is even more awkward than the word 'cumbersomeness') I'd still say the c64 version takes the gold, mainly because it feels like the most faithful rendition of the arcade game, particularly thanks to its arcade-like smooth movement. Having said that the arcade version probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, and those looking for a more forgiving experience might get more fun out of the colourful and appealing Amstrad version, which I'd rank as being close on the heels of the c64 version (Amstrad owners, you may now bask in this rare praise). The speccy version comes in last, being the weakest graphically and sonically, though it's still not a bad game, if baddy shooting and crystal collecting is your cup of tea.

Emulators used: Spin0.61, WinAPE 2.0 Alpha12, Vice 1.21.
Last edited by Emperor Fossil on Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Elgin_McQueen » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:02 pm

Gotta admit that Amstrad sprite looks awesome. :D
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ivarf
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Post by ivarf » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:51 am

Having a quick look at the CPC graphics I would assume it is done by the same team that did Trantor the last stormtrooper and Savage. Nick Bruty on graphics and Dave Perry code. They later founded Shiny where they created games like MDK and Earthworm Jim. MikroGen fostered som good coders :)

It would be cool to se a review of Savage

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Post by tssk » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:21 pm

Is Emperor Fossil writing copy for the magazine? If not why not?

Again, another amusing comparison. Oddly enough I've never played Mr Heli in any incarnation.

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Post by Emperor Fossil » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:38 pm

Thanks! :D
To be honest, I've been thinking I need to lighten up a bit and take these comparisons a little less seriously, as I tend to get carried away and go into too much detail. Either way, I'm going to have to try to be a bit more concise in the next one, given that it looks like it's going to involve 6 or 7 different platforms. Lawks-a-lordy!

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Post by tssk » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:14 pm

Emperor Fossil wrote:Thanks! :D
To be honest, I've been thinking I need to lighten up a bit and take these comparisons a little less seriously, as I tend to get carried away and go into too much detail. Either way, I'm going to have to try to be a bit more concise in the next one, given that it looks like it's going to involve 6 or 7 different platforms. Lawks-a-lordy!
I think they're perfect :)

Love the caption work.

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Post by markopoloman » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:19 pm

I think I'll have a play around with captions for the one I am doing at the mo.........


Emperor Fossil - nice comparisons mate :wink:

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