The 8-bit GAME COMPARISON Thread

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SirClive
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Post by SirClive » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:27 am

muse hunter wrote:*ahem* rainbow islands........

speccy:

Image

Yeeaaahhh....... err,,, i can see a splash of colours, which i assume is the castle, hmmm.... i'm still searching for the guy, jesus, this is like 'where's wally?' ..............hmmmmmm......oh look i found him...... that cloud looking thingy, thats the guy........... i guesss, is that meant to be flowers? glad pictures don't let you hear the sound.
Rainbow Islands used the pallette extremely well and is amazingly colourful for a Speccy game. Its easy to pick on one aspect and slate it, but where is the comment on playability. Why don't you admit that you didn't even bother playing the games and just found some screenshots on google.
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Dudley
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Re:

Post by Dudley » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:18 am

tcv wrote:
It's almost like there are different variants?
I'd imagine you've got some kind of hack, all the officially released ones look like my screenshot. (assuming your scrshot is from the start of level 1)
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Re:

Post by felgekarp » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:52 am

SirClive wrote:
muse hunter wrote:*ahem* rainbow islands........

speccy:

Image

Yeeaaahhh....... err,,, i can see a splash of colours, which i assume is the castle, hmmm.... i'm still searching for the guy, jesus, this is like 'where's wally?' ..............hmmmmmm......oh look i found him...... that cloud looking thingy, thats the guy........... i guesss, is that meant to be flowers? glad pictures don't let you hear the sound.
Rainbow Islands used the pallette extremely well and is amazingly colourful for a Speccy game. Its easy to pick on one aspect and slate it, but where is the comment on playability. Why don't you admit that you didn't even bother playing the games and just found some screenshots on google.
That's exactly what he's done, it's nice to see he's keeping the spirit of things going. In fact the MD shot is from Rainbow Islands Extra.
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Re:

Post by psj3809 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:00 am

SirClive wrote:Rainbow Islands used the pallette extremely well and is amazingly colourful for a Speccy game. Its easy to pick on one aspect and slate it, but where is the comment on playability. Why don't you admit that you didn't even bother playing the games and just found some screenshots on google.
Totally agree with you. I think Muse just constantly wants to write tosh to wind people up, come on Muse have you honestly played the Speccy version of Rainbow Islands ?

Theres a lot of Speccy games to slate but Rainbow Islands isnt one of them, even C64 owners in the past have admitted its a good conversion. Looks like Muse just looked at the screenshot and instantly knew everything about the game regarding playability/sound etc, amazing skill he has.

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necronom
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Post by necronom » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:22 am

Turrican II

Before doing this, I'd only ever played the Amiga version, so I had no nostalga towards any of these versions. I picked this as it's a decent game that was released on all three platforms.


Spectrum 48k

Image

Graphics: 3/10 - In what can only be described as a Jackson Pollock or a voyage to colour clash central, this isn't the type of game a Spectrum can do. It's a mess, and hard to see what's going on. The picture above is the best this game ever looks. The control panel is easy to read though.

Sound: 1/10 - Almost none. A click when you shoot (which my joystick's microswitch does anyway), and a buzz or a ping here and there.

Gameplay: 5/10 - Not bad, all things considered. You get a fraction more warning than the CPC version, but other times you are right near to the top of the screen and things will just appear and kill you (the main screen is only 223 x 128 pixels). The controls are a little unresponsive and the game is slow and jerky. The beam weapon is better than the CPC version.


C64:

Image

Graphics: 8/10 - Very nice. Easy to see what's going on. A bad point is that sometimes you see a blue square round the bullets if you shoot where the background isn't blue. The bullets, lasers etc all look nice though and move smoothly (there are 32 angles for the "holding down fire" continous beam weapon, the Spectrum only had 16). Most of the enemies are grey-scale, which is a dissapointment.

Sound: 5/10 - Nothing special. Some average music on the title screen, and shooting and explosion noises in the game.

Gameplay: 8/10 - Nice to control, but as with all the versions there are lots of "leap of faith" moments. You get more warning of things coming from the sides of the screen than the other versions (304 x 160 main play area), and the smoothness of the scrolling, shooting, jumping etc. make for a much more plesant experience.


CPC:

Image

Graphics: 5/10 - As seems to be usual for CPC games, there are some strange choices of colour, which make it a bit garish. The bullet looks the best of the three versions, and the enemies are more colourful, but overall not as good as the C64 (especially as the scrolling is jerky). The Control panel is difficult to read, and it also has a small screen (like the Spectrum version).

Sound: 4/10 - I don't like the title screen music, but the main game effects are okay (although it's all a bit of a white-noise fest).

Gameplay: 6.5/10 - The small screen area makes it hard to gauge jumps and the fact that the beam weapon doesn't reach to the edge of the screen (like the other versions), make it hard to kill enemies.


Overall:

Graphics: C64, CPC, Spectrum
Sound: C64, CPC, Spectrum
Gameplay: C64, CPC, Spectrum
Last edited by necronom on Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re:

Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:34 am

necronom wrote:Sound: 5/10 - Nothing special. Some average music on the title screen, and shooting and explosion noises in the game.
There's also music in the shoot 'em up levels. (In fact, the Turrican II music is among my faves on the C64.)
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Post by necronom » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:46 am

I didn't get to the other levels, so I missed the other music. Maybe I should have checked out the SID tunes before scoring it. I always try to not over-mark the C64 games though, as I had one, and I try to not be biased if possible. I naturally tend to like the C64 versions more than others even when other people disagree (although I like Wizball better on the Amiga).

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Post by SirClive » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:50 am

necronom wrote:Before doing this, I'd only ever played the Amiga version, so I had no nostalga towards any of these versions. I picked this as it's a decent game that was released on all three platforms.
But what is the game called? You haven't said it in the review at all.

I haven't seen it move but those C64 graphics don't look 8/10 to me. Completely agree about the Speccy graphics though.
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necronom
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Post by necronom » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:55 am

Doh!

I've edited it. It's Turrican II.


You should see the smoothness of the scrolling and the main character. That's added a point or two to the graphics score.

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Re:

Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:12 pm

necronom wrote:I naturally tend to like the C64 versions more than others even when other people disagree (although I like Wizball better on the Amiga).
Really? How odd. I thought the 16-bit versions of Wizball were dire.
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Re:

Post by The Last Ginja » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:35 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
necronom wrote:I naturally tend to like the C64 versions more than others even when other people disagree (although I like Wizball better on the Amiga).
Really? How odd. I thought the 16-bit versions of Wizball were dire.
Agreed I played the Amiga version for the 1st time after having a long love affair with the C64 version, I was expecting an to play an amazing game. How wrong could I be!?

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Post by SirClive » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:19 pm

Buggy Boy Elite - 1988

Another arcade conversions from Elite, and a game I remember very well. I travelled up to London to one of those Computer shows at Ally Pally or somewhere like that in '88 and this is one of the gems I came back with.

Commodore
Image
Buggy Boy on the 64 is a really fun game. It is fast and colourful but is let down by the size of the graphics. Buggy Boy in the arcade had a huge buggy and whereas the arcade is like Maria Whittaker bouncing her boobs all over the place, the C64's are more like Suzanne Mizzi jiggling her fried eggs a litle bit.

Amstrad
Image
The CPC version once again has the tiny little boobie, err, I mean graphics. The colour is shockingly bad and the actual playfield is tiny. The screen I have posted doesn't do the huge border its full justice. The sound is a little basic, but has a great stereo effect when played through headphones. The game is quite fun, but not as fast and manouverable than the Commy.

Spectrum
Image
Look at the bugs on that! The graphics on the Speccy version once again prove that it isn't all about colour (even though there is a decent splash on the buggy). The vehicle is huge and bobs about like the arcade (though maybe a little too much). The size of the graphics though does have a disadvantage as the game isn't as instantly playable as the C64. After a few goes though when you have got over the sea sickness, there is lots of fun to be had. The sound on the 128k version is great too.

Scores

Graphics - 1st Spec - 2nd C64 - 3rd CPC
Sound - Too hard to seperate them as they all have something different to offer
Playability - 1st C64 - 2nd Spec - 3rd CPC

Overall
1st is the C64, for its fast and smooth gameplay
2nd (by a very short margin) is the Speccy. Great graphics and a different approach to the conversion make this a superb attempt.
3rd (by quite a distance) is the CPC. Whilst this isn't a bad game (and reviews on CPCZone score it very highly), it falls way short the other two.
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Post by revgiblet » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:30 pm

(before anyone complains that the Speccie screenshot is not from the same place in the game as the other two it's because I couldn't get my emulator to take a screenshot. If anyone can recommend an easy to use, decent Speccie emulator that lets you take a screenshot then I'm listening...)

I Ball

I Ball was a nice little budget game from Firebird. It was a run n' gun shooter with a difference. The difference is that I Ball, the character you control on his quest to rescue his friends, has inertia and bounces off obstacles. Combine this with the fact that touching an enemy = death and you've got a game where dodging the enemies is as important as shooting them. At first you can only shoot ahead or behind, but as you collect power-ups you become increasingly tooled up. It's essentially Commando meets Wizball.

Commodore 64

Image

Graphics: Good graphics but the colours are a little understated / washed out (delete according to your allegiance).

Sound: Rob Hubbard + SID Chip = awesomeness. Absolutely amazing title tune with a nice "press button to hear speech" feature - ala Ghostbusters. The game itself has a choice of title music or SFX. The SFX are varied and excellent too. Lots of good quality speech.

Gameplay: The inertia and bounce feature make this a tricky game, but it's loads of fun to play. Sometimes it feels a little unfair as you bounce further than you'd expect or I Ball doesn't respond quite quickly enough.


Spectrum

Image

Graphics: The more striking colour scheme gives this the edge over the C64. Larger sprites. Very nicely done.

Sound: Horrible, horrible, horrible title tune (at least compared to the C64 version) and no speech featured. SFX only during the game, and it's a lot more sparse than the C64 version. There is speech in the game, but it sounds like a dalek with a mouthful of gravel.

Gameplay: Interesting. The inertia in the Spectrum version is less pronounced, and the the bouncing less harsh. As a result the game feels smoother, fairer and more responsive. However, the larger sprites make it a lot harder to navigate past enemies which brings this back down.


Amstrad

Image

Graphics: As usual Amstrad owners are palmed off with a badly done Spectrum port. It retains the smaller sprites of the C64 version but with a unimpressive colour sheme and - get this - some terrible colour clash when you or your bullets hit an obstacle.

Sound: Like the Spectrum version but without the speech and slightly worse FX.

Gameplay: Oh dear. Although the small sprites help, the bouncing is much harsher than the C64 version and the handling not as crisp as the Spectrum version. It probably has the best 'firing' in any of the games though.


VERDICT:
In reality it's pretty much a draw between the C64 and Spectrum versions. I prefer the C64 version as the more complete package but there's no shame in preferring the Spectrum version. If it had smaller sprites it would probably have the edge. I can only make two recommendations - 1) At least listen to the C64 title music. It's superb. 2) Don't touch the Amstrad version if you can play either of the others.
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revgiblet
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Post by revgiblet » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:28 pm

Lords of Midnight

After Mike Singleton had...ummm...tributed 'Lord of the Rings' with Shadowfax he proceeded to make a turn-based strategy game which was in no way a further...tribute to 'Lord of the Rings'. Controlling a small band of heroes you had to defeat the forces of evil by either recruiting enough allies to win the war or by helping one of your party sneak to the heart of the enemy's territory to destroy an item that gave the bad guy his power. Ummm. No. No tribute there.

Anyway, the game rocked - as did most of the stuff that Mike did.

Commodore 64

Image

Graphics: It's a turn-based strategy game so they're pretty sparing. But what it done is done very nicely indeed.

Sound: No sound whatsoever. In fact, there is no sound in any of the games. However, the 'no sound' given off by the SID chip is, by definition, superior 'no sound' to the 'no sound' given off by the AY chip. The silence of the SID is the Platonic Form of all silence; the stillness of a crisp, winter's morning where the grass is coated with snow and not even the birds are disturbing the peace. So the C64 wins this category by a mile. (That was a joke).

Gameplay: Press a button. Wait for the screen to redraw. Press another button. Wait for the screen to redraw. Select an option. Repeat. Good fun, but I'm knocking points off the C64 version because Luxor got killed by wolves after only three moves.


Spectrum

Image

Graphics: Probably not quite as good as the C64, but they refresh a bit quicker and that's important.

Sound: No sound.

Gameplay: Identical to the C64 version, except the Spectrum version plays slightly quicker so that gives it the edge.


Amstrad

Image

Graphics: Hmmm. The worst of the bunch due to the least amount of colour. But they're still passable.

Sound: No sound.

Gameplay: In my windowed emulator this nipped along like the Speccy version, but in full-screen mode it was slower than a snail being delivered by Royal Mail. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that the windowed mode was the most accurate emulation.


VERDICT:
Six of one and half a dozen of the other. Take your pick. The Spectrum version is best, but the differences between all versions are minor and mostly cosmetic. You'll enjoy whichever version you play.
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tcv
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Re:

Post by tcv » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Dudley wrote:
tcv wrote:
It's almost like there are different variants?
I'd imagine you've got some kind of hack, all the officially released ones look like my screenshot. (assuming your scrshot is from the start of level 1)
Actually, it's from 3x1. (That was the one I had open at the time. I've been playing this quite a bit recently. :-)

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