The 8-bit GAME COMPARISON Thread

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Emperor Fossil
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Post by Emperor Fossil » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:31 pm

Well, I have to say, I find this kind of entrenched anti-tech talk mentality a bit odd. I'm a gamer, not a programmer, but I can't help but be a bit curious about some of the stuff behind what you see on the screen.

So there was some light technical discussion in reference to whether consoles should be compared side by side with the other 8-bit machines. Following on from that I asked Oswald a question regarding sprite sizes on the NES (Just out of curiosity, as I'd noticed certain differences between c64 games and NES games). Oswald replied, and then I wanted to know if it's possible to increase the total number of sprites through software tricks. It was hardly a hard-core technical discussion, yet this was enough to trigger an 'I give up.' comment.

On the one hand, I can understand. After all, by that point we were branching away from direct comparisons between games. On top of that, it seems that most people in this thread dislike even light technical discussion. Had we been discussing non-technical matters, I doubt anyone would have objected. But OK OK, the majority rules, so tech-talk will have to kept to a bare minimum. I've had the opportunity to say my piece, and I'll just have to accept that.

But on the other hand, I wonder if other forums devoted to other hobbies have this same kind of eye-rolling 'Oh man, booooring!' attitude whenever a conversation touches upon technical details.

Imagine a forum for cinema buffs, where they discuss and compare various films they've seen:

Tom: One of the reasons why I preferred this film was because I really liked the cinematography, particularly in those street scenes. I read that the director used 16mm film in those scenes to give it that rough, grainy look, in conjunction with an anamorphic lens to retain a widescreen aspect ratio not normally associated with 16mm.

Richard: Hey no tech talk. Stick to the films.

Harry: Has anyone seen Die Hard 4.0?

Richard: Yep, I thought it was cool. Better than 2 and 3. As good as 1.

Harry: Same here.

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Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:09 am

That's no comparison really. The specs of film are not fixed. The specs of game systems are. We are attempting to compare games, not the tech specs. The thread is trying to compare games subjectively, ignoring favouritism for platform. Colour, or lack of, is being disussed in terms of its impact on gameplay, regardless of the reasons for that choice.

Tbh, the film analogy doesn't then branch off into a discussion on the pros and cons of various film stocks and exactly how the aspect ratio would vary using alternate lenses, as its not (pardon the pun) the focus of the topic.
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Post by SirClive » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:31 am

Emperor Fossil wrote:Well, I have to say, I find this kind of entrenched anti-tech talk mentality a bit odd.
Yet again someone has misunderstood (or ignored) the point so I will try and be clear...

TECH TALK IS FINE IN ITS OWN THREAD

This thread is for games comparisons and not spec comparisons (but yes, obviously specs will come into the debate every now and again).

I am well and truly hacked off with this thread now and it used to be my favourite one.
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Post by Bub&Bob » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:50 am

SirClive wrote:Here, here (or is it hear, hear? that always confuses me).
Here hare here!
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Post by The Last Ginja » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:36 am

1541 CIRCUIT THEORY

Microprocessor R/W and Motor Control Logic
UC2 is a VIA also. During a write operation the microprocessor passes the data to be recorded to Port A of UC2. The data is then loaded into the PLA parallel port (YB0-YB7). The PLA contains a shift register which converts the parallel data into serial data. The PLA generates signals on pins 2, 3, 4, and 40 which control the write amplifier circuits on D-IN input on pin 24 of the PLA. The PLA shift register converts serial data into parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The register converts serial data into parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The microprocessor reads the parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The microprocessor reads the parallel PLA output by reading Port A of UC2 when BYTE READY on pin 39 goes "low."
The stepper motor is controlled by two outputs on port B of UC2 (STP0, and STP1). A binary four count is developed from these two lines, driving the four phases of the stepper motor. The PLA converts STP0 and STP1 into four outputs that represent one of the four states in the count (Y0,Y1,Y2,Y3). The Spindle motor is controlled by the output MTR of UC2. The PLA inverts this signal. It is then passed to the motor speed control pcb.

UC2 pin 14 is an input that monitors the state of the write protect sensor, and pin 13 is an output that controls the activity light (RED LED). UC7 decodes the addresses output from the processor when selecting UC2. UC2 resides at memory locations $1800-$180F.

:D

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Post by Bub&Bob » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:38 am

The Last Ginja wrote:1541 CIRCUIT THEORY
Microprocessor R/W and Motor Control Logic
UC2 is a VIA also. During a write operation the microprocessor passes the data to be recorded to Port A of UC2. The data is then loaded into the PLA parallel port (YB0-YB7). The PLA contains a shift register which converts the parallel data into serial data. The PLA generates signals on pins 2, 3, 4, and 40 which control the write amplifier circuits on D-IN input on pin 24 of the PLA. The PLA shift register converts serial data into parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The register converts serial data into parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The microprocessor reads the parallel......................
That game sounds cool - where can I download it?
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Post by SirClive » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:40 am

The Last Ginja wrote:1541 CIRCUIT THEORY

Microprocessor R/W and Motor Control Logic
UC2 is a VIA also. During a write operation the microprocessor passes the data to be recorded to Port A of UC2. The data is then loaded into the PLA parallel port (YB0-YB7). The PLA contains a shift register which converts the parallel data into serial data. The PLA generates signals on pins 2, 3, 4, and 40 which control the write amplifier circuits on D-IN input on pin 24 of the PLA. The PLA shift register converts serial data into parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The register converts serial data into parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The microprocessor reads the parallel data that is latched at the parallel port (YB0-YB7). The microprocessor reads the parallel PLA output by reading Port A of UC2 when BYTE READY on pin 39 goes "low."
The stepper motor is controlled by two outputs on port B of UC2 (STP0, and STP1). A binary four count is developed from these two lines, driving the four phases of the stepper motor. The PLA converts STP0 and STP1 into four outputs that represent one of the four states in the count (Y0,Y1,Y2,Y3). The Spindle motor is controlled by the output MTR of UC2. The PLA inverts this signal. It is then passed to the motor speed control pcb.

UC2 pin 14 is an input that monitors the state of the write protect sensor, and pin 13 is an output that controls the activity light (RED LED). UC7 decodes the addresses output from the processor when selecting UC2. UC2 resides at memory locations $1800-$180F.

:D
Please tell me thats a cut and paste!
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Post by emkay » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:47 am

What to say...

Deleting my game-depending posts and now I see two pages with off topic stuff still happening.

Really, great... :roll:

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Post by Elgin_McQueen » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:01 pm

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How about someone open a thread called hardcore tech-talk and when someone wants to ask a techy question it gets asked in there? I'll bet ya it gets really big really quick!!
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Post by NorthWay » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:29 pm

Elgin_McQueen wrote:How about someone open a thread called hardcore tech-talk and when someone wants to ask a techy question it gets asked in there? I'll bet ya it gets really big really quick!!
As you obviously already know, a discussion is only so interesting without anything to relate it to. Stuffing people into an empty room and tell them to "be interesting" wont get you very far.

Even if we keep a very strict line in this thread I think a bit of "what if", "just imagine", and "I wish there was a version for XYZ" has its place.
What's more, some times a game will score so-so, and getting a few _knowledgeable_ comments on similar games that did better and as to what could have been done to improve it would be nice IMO. Simply stating that XYZ can't be expected to do much better (for a particular game) would sometimes be fitting. (Don't expect too many 3D wonders on the C= 64.)

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Post by Elgin_McQueen » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:44 pm

NorthWay wrote:
Elgin_McQueen wrote:How about someone open a thread called hardcore tech-talk and when someone wants to ask a techy question it gets asked in there? I'll bet ya it gets really big really quick!!
As you obviously already know, a discussion is only so interesting without anything to relate it to. Stuffing people into an empty room and tell them to "be interesting" wont get you very far.

Even if we keep a very strict line in this thread I think a bit of "what if", "just imagine", and "I wish there was a version for XYZ" has its place.
What's more, some times a game will score so-so, and getting a few _knowledgeable_ comments on similar games that did better and as to what could have been done to improve it would be nice IMO. Simply stating that XYZ can't be expected to do much better (for a particular game) would sometimes be fitting. (Don't expect too many 3D wonders on the C= 64.)
I meant more along the lines that if you thought your comments were going to be considered a bit techy you could popinto the thread and ask it there, it might refer to a different thread but would keep everyone happy.
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Post by oswald » Sat Aug 11, 2007 3:58 am

I still fail to understand why it would this thread be better idling dead between game comparison posts. it was like that without tech talk. there's no other conversations going on whatsoever thats disturbed. why cant some of you tolerate ppl discussing tech related stuff to these comparisons?

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Post by Celebaglar » Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:35 am

oswald wrote:I still fail to understand why it would this thread be better idling dead between game comparison posts. it was like that without tech talk. there's no other conversations going on whatsoever thats disturbed. why cant some of you tolerate ppl discussing tech related stuff to these comparisons?
Because when it's full of rubbish about hardware pissing games those people interested in game comparisons stop reading, and they don't come back. Result: another thread killed by people who aren't interested in the games in the first place.

It seems now we're having pissing games about whether to have pissing games, so I'll shut up. :(

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Post by paranoid marvin » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:29 am

4 pages now , 1 comparison :roll:
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Post by markopoloman » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:12 am

MUTANTS by OCEAN 1987

Having great memories of this game from my younger days, I thought it would be good to return and give it a go…….. is it as good as I remembered? And how do the Speccy and Amstrad cope????........

First up – AMSTRAD
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SOUND = When the game first loads up, we are greeted with a fairly acceptable version of the C64 music. Unfortunately, as soon as you hit fire to start, the music stops……. Along with any other sound! In game sound is reduced to what appears to be an imitation door bell when you press fire! Hmmm – what were they trying to achieve here? You fire a gun on a space ship but get a door bell????? Utter crap!
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Graphics = Again, this looks promising on launch with the same initial screen on the Speccy and C64 versions. Good use of colour. But then you start playing……..
Hello Mr Jerky! The main sprite is ugly and S-L-O-W to respond and the types of mutants are hard to determine what weapon is needed in the option screen. To be honest, I would have thought that the fairly simple style of graphics in Mutants would have been suited to any of the 8 bits (yes, even the Atari) (runs and hides) but the Amstrad really struggles! Amazing!
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Gameplay = Poor – unresponsive – mess! The lack of sound and the below average graphics really don’t help this at all. The firing is slow and your energy…… well that is the fastest moving thing in the game! It disappears like a bloody rocket.

Overall = BAD BAD BAD. I don’t know what Amtix gave this, but if it was more than 3/10 then they were avin a larf! Avoid.


Next Up – SPECCY
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Sound = Erm? Hello? Any sound there? Helloooooooooooooooooo………………..NO!
There is NO sound – not a beep or a plop or a squeek……….OH! hold on…….. YES, YES we have some sound – Fire at the mutants and you get a beepbeepbeep noise. My wife happened to walk past and ask me to turn that noise down as it sounds like ‘a budgie having a heart attack’!!!!! Yes, she is correct – it does indeed sound like that.
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Graphics = It’s the Amstrad version – but slightly anaemic. The colour has been drained so that the ship is white and everything else is now single colours. But, although they clash and change colour when the ship flies past them, they still look fairly ok – but still well below average. Again the main sprite is S-L-O-W to respond and the other points I mention in the Amstrad version also apply here.
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Gameplay = Well, the graphics are worse and the sound is worse – but it actually plays a little better! The scrolling is not as jerky and the whole things just feels more fluid. BUT its still a festering pile of poo. Just not a mound of poo like the Amstrad version.

Overall = A step up on the Amstrad but one to avoid. Should have been so much better – shame really. What did this get in Crash? Any more than 4/10 and they are pulling your plonker!

Next C64
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I was starting to get paranoid about this game. I remembered a playable version – but maybe my memory has gone funny with age………

Sound = Ah! Yes – MUSIC, Nice SID music on the title screen. Not the best by a long way, but still pretty decent. The tune plays throughout the game – so sound FX don’t happen (unless you turn the music off and leave yourself to some great sound FX – like the heart beat background noise and GUNS firing with actual explosion noises).
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Graphics = Smooth scrolling. Tight tidy ship. Mutants that look different on the option screen so you know what weapon to use. Great use of colour. Everything the other two versions aren’t! Super!!

Overall = This is in a different league to the other two versions. Play this and you will think ‘nice!, but the Amstrad and speccy could do the same gameplay wise’, then load up the other versions and cry. I’d give this version 8/10 – Zzap!64 – don’t know what they gave it, but if they gave it less than that then they should be whacked in the nuts with a horses snapped off leg.
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1st C64
2nd our budgie that died 4 years ago
3rd Speccy
4th Amstrad

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