Atari vs C64 // was: 8-Bit Computer Poll

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Best 8-Bit

ZX Spectrum
109
41%
Commodore 64
121
46%
Amstrad CPC 464
25
10%
BBC Micro
8
3%
 
Total votes: 263

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Sureshot
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Post by Sureshot » Fri May 04, 2007 10:45 am

Despite my vote for the BBC, I'm by no means a purist. The C64 obviously has a whole host of great games and SID chip goodness (I also own more C64s than BBCs), and the Speccy also has some good titles.

The BBC does have a lot of great games, but unfortunately, not many people know about them, or they weren't distributed well enough. Superior and Acornsoft whacked out some awesome titles in their day - you should really track down the Play It Again Sam, Superior Collection and Acornsoft Hits compilation series if you want an easy ride into the BBC's catalogue, but there are a whole host of other hidden gems worthy of hunting down.

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Post by felgekarp » Fri May 04, 2007 10:55 am

Sureshot wrote:Despite my vote for the BBC, I'm by no means a purist. The C64 obviously has a whole host of great games and SID chip goodness (I also own more C64s than BBCs), and the Speccy also has some good titles.

The BBC does have a lot of great games, but unfortunately, not many people know about them, or they weren't distributed well enough. Superior and Acornsoft whacked out some awesome titles in their day - you should really track down the Play It Again Sam, Superior Collection and Acornsoft Hits compilation series if you want an easy ride into the BBC's catalogue, but there are a whole host of other hidden gems worthy of hunting down.
Agreed stuff like Imogen, Sim, Repton etc, there where some top games on the beeb as there where on the Spectrum, C64 and probably even the Amstrad :wink:
Splink!

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Post by Matt_B » Fri May 04, 2007 11:07 am

Revs is worth a mention too. The best racing simulator around until Geoff Crammond did it again with Formula 1 Grand Prix on the 16-bits. OK, there was a port to the C64, but that's like playing the game at half-speed compared to the BBC version.

I'd guess that where the BBC loses out is that it didn't get all the big name license deals and arcade conversions that the other three machines did. Still, given the poor quality of many of them, that's not necessarily such a bad thing. :)

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Post by oswald » Fri May 04, 2007 11:12 am

gury wrote:
oswald wrote: secondly matrix 2 movie intro is not impressive with 192k ram, maybe try some stuff on stock hardware. sadly the atari scene can only produce demos for expanded hardware like the speccy scene, while the 64ers are happy with the stock machine what does that show? the c64 has better hardware.
You are absolutely WRONG!!! Atari 8-bit scene has great library of impressive demos and intros, even for stock 64K and 130XE computers.

Check this out:
http://atari.fandal.cz/demos.php
http://gury.atari8.info/demos.htm

And check The Shrine demo, impressive work:
http://atari.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5545
well I may be wrong here, but the best demos are using 192k expansion arent they?:) and only 398 demos alltogether? :shock: you have thousands on the c64 8)

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Post by oswald » Fri May 04, 2007 11:17 am

Matt_B wrote:Revs is worth a mention too. The best racing simulator around until Geoff Crammond did it again with Formula 1 Grand Prix on the 16-bits. OK, there was a port to the C64, but that's like playing the game at half-speed compared to the BBC version.

I'd guess that where the BBC loses out is that it didn't get all the big name license deals and arcade conversions that the other three machines did. Still, given the poor quality of many of them, that's not necessarily such a bad thing. :)
the beeb is indeed faster when it comes for vector graphics, but the majority of the games was 2d, and the c64 had superior gfx modes and sprites supporting it making the games nicer and faster 8) btw revs is one hell of a game I've desperately tried for a week to play it on c64 (where it felt in fact FAST compared to other 3d games?:)) but the controlls and gameplay made it impossible to play it properly. :cry:

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Post by Sureshot » Fri May 04, 2007 11:18 am

Matt_B wrote:I'd guess that where the BBC loses out is that it didn't get all the big name license deals and arcade conversions that the other three machines did. Still, given the poor quality of many of them, that's not necessarily such a bad thing. :)
Yep in some cases, but not all:
Acorn's software division, Acornsoft, released an exceptionally accurate clone of Pac-Man called Snapper for their BBC Micro and Acorn Electron home computers. After allegedly receiving a sternly worded cease and desist letter from Atari, Acornsoft modified the game, changing the maze layout and character graphics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man

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Post by Matt_B » Fri May 04, 2007 11:21 am

Don't forget Acornsoft's Defender... oops! I mean Planetoid too. :)

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Post by psj3809 » Fri May 04, 2007 11:31 am

oswald wrote:1. this poll only asks for the best 8 bit machine ever, and not for the whole experience.

2. I am not a gamer I'm coding demos on the 64, and I'm comparing from the hardware viewpoint, there's no point in comparing the games as that even depends a lot on how good they were written, frankly 95% of the c64 games could be done atleast twice as good.
The clue might be in the title 'Retro GAMER' !!!

Its like 'Tech Programming Geek Monthly' asking what the best 8 bit is and people voting for a computer because it has the best games !

Forget if the computer can do some techy thing the other cant, the mags called Retro Gamer, its obvious its about the best machine for games.

At the end of the day the polls pointless anyway as we're all biased and vote purely for the computer we had as a kid

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Post by oswald » Fri May 04, 2007 12:13 pm

psj3809 wrote:
oswald wrote:1. this poll only asks for the best 8 bit machine ever, and not for the whole experience.

2. I am not a gamer I'm coding demos on the 64, and I'm comparing from the hardware viewpoint, there's no point in comparing the games as that even depends a lot on how good they were written, frankly 95% of the c64 games could be done atleast twice as good.
The clue might be in the title 'Retro GAMER' !!!

Its like 'Tech Programming Geek Monthly' asking what the best 8 bit is and people voting for a computer because it has the best games !

Forget if the computer can do some techy thing the other cant, the mags called Retro Gamer, its obvious its about the best machine for games.

At the end of the day the polls pointless anyway as we're all biased and vote purely for the computer we had as a kid
well realise that the c64 is in the guiness world book as the best selling single computer modell. the userbase, the number of games, etc etc all outnumber wastly the rest of the machines listed here. in fact did you know that in 1990 the c64 was STILL considered as the machine with the biggest installed user base. I understand everyone loved his childhood computer the most but these are facts.

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Post by gury » Fri May 04, 2007 12:39 pm

oswald wrote: well realise that the c64 is in the guiness world book as the best selling single computer modell. the userbase, the number of games, etc etc all outnumber wastly the rest of the machines listed here. in fact did you know that in 1990 the c64 was STILL considered as the machine with the biggest installed user base. I understand everyone loved his childhood computer the most but these are facts.
No, the installment of userbase and selling number are not important. Important is how specific computer performs and how established is dedicated userbase scene for it. There are many computers of the time which equal or outperform C64: Atari8 bit, Coco3, Enterprise, MSX2...

I will never abandon my 8-bit Atari. People at Atari scene are great fellows to talk, help, cooperate and enjoy old and new products for our little Ataris: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showforum=12

Atari 8-bit home computer is very well designed with custom chips, making it very powerful and fast machine. Good graphics and sound, awesome library of games with great playability, music and there are many fantastic demos, applications... And SIO + cartridge port makes it very open for outer world... new handlers, USB, Flashcards, hard disks... I like the selection of DOSes for disk drives like Atari 1050 or XF551. You can use this machine as ordinary machine for many tasks, even today.

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Post by neuromancer » Fri May 04, 2007 1:21 pm

gury wrote:
oswald wrote: well realise that the c64 is in the guiness world book as the best selling single computer modell. the userbase, the number of games, etc etc all outnumber wastly the rest of the machines listed here. in fact did you know that in 1990 the c64 was STILL considered as the machine with the biggest installed user base. I understand everyone loved his childhood computer the most but these are facts.
No, the installment of userbase and selling number are not important. Important is how specific computer performs and how established is dedicated userbase scene for it. There are many computers of the time which equal or outperform C64: Atari8 bit, Coco3, Enterprise, MSX2...

I will never abandon my 8-bit Atari. People at Atari scene are great fellows to talk, help, cooperate and enjoy old and new products for our little Ataris: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showforum=12

Atari 8-bit home computer is very well designed with custom chips, making it very powerful and fast machine. Good graphics and sound, awesome library of games with great playability, music and there are many fantastic demos, applications... And SIO + cartridge port makes it very open for outer world... new handlers, USB, Flashcards, hard disks... I like the selection of DOSes for disk drives like Atari 1050 or XF551. You can use this machine as ordinary machine for many tasks, even today.
Ah, a fellow Atarian - I love my 130XE too; it's been a long time since the real machine was powered up, but I still emulate it. There's some mind-blowing demos (mainly from Eastern Europe) that were written in the late 90s and early 2000s, and still today - they make the machine perform feats I'd never have believed back in its heyday.

Stepping up from a Speccy (which I love to bits too) to a machine with a 5 1/4" disks, multi channel sound, and 256 simultaneous colours (manipulating the display list) was astounding. The fact it was never huge in the UK made it that bit more mysterious. Treks up to Tottenham Court Road in London foraging for new software are still fondly remembered. A good friend of mine moved to Germany where Atari were massive in the mid 80s - he had access to tons of games, utilities, demos and so forth - great times.

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Post by oswald » Fri May 04, 2007 2:20 pm

gury wrote: No, the installment of userbase and selling number are not important. Important is how specific computer performs and how established is dedicated userbase scene for it. There are many computers of the time which equal or outperform C64: Atari8 bit, Coco3, Enterprise, MSX2...

Atari 8-bit home computer is very well designed with custom chips, making it very powerful and fast machine. Good graphics and sound, awesome library of games with great playability, music and there are many fantastic demos, applications... And SIO + cartridge port makes it very open for outer world... new handlers, USB, Flashcards, hard disks... I like the selection of DOSes for disk drives like Atari 1050 or XF551. You can use this machine as ordinary machine for many tasks, even today.
the c64 scene community counts ~45000 demos & game cracks and ~12000 sceners (including retired ones) at the moment, and counting. How much does atari have ?

speaking about chips the sid was selected into the top10 most important chips in the 20th century by the byte magazin. The c64 has better graphics when it comes to color density AND resolution. You can eat your 256 colors when you cannot display them only 4-8 on the same screen. The c64 has better sound. The sid collection HVSC has 33000 sid tunes (not counting sub tunes) and its still growing. You have no charmode which makes it hard to smooth scroll games, and you have unusable sprites which makes it impossible to display players / enemys in a smooth& nice way.

hardware upgrades, the c64 had _commercial_ products like 20mhz cpu, Harddisk, memory expansion up to megabytes. Today we have IDE HDD/CD, MMC, true tcp/ip card, cartridge with flashable roms. We have GEOS a real gui os which supports harddisks memory expansions.

I have googled around and feels like the atari game market stopped in the early 80s. Not too good when we talk about the machines as a gaming platform. The c64 had games made for it 82-95. Can you beat that and the number AND quality of games? How about comparing the best platform/shoot em up / adventure/rpg/racing sim/strategy games on the platforms? The longest listing was about 300-400 games I've found for atari, the c64 had THOUSANDS.

Why is selling number not important ? People considered the available games quality and what they can do with the machine and price, and from that the c64 comes out as a winner again.

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Post by gury » Fri May 04, 2007 2:48 pm

oswald wrote: You have no charmode which makes it hard to smooth scroll games, and you have unusable sprites which makes it impossible to display players / enemys in a smooth& nice way.

hardware upgrades, the c64 had _commercial_ products like 20mhz cpu, Harddisk, memory expansion up to megabytes. Today we have IDE HDD/CD, MMC, true tcp/ip card, cartridge with flashable roms. We have GEOS a real gui os which supports harddisks memory expansions.
You talk crap, really. Atari has charmodes, color-wise too (Antic 4 and 5), 5 colors per scanline (160x192 modes, similar to gr. mode 7+ with 4 colors on scanline). 4-8 colors onscreen? Are you nuts? Atari can show up to 256 at a time, 128 usually more simple. Hard to smooth scrolling? Atari has great fine scrolling capabilities (hardware registers, very SIMPLE use). Unusable sprites? You are really talking nonsense here. Player/missile graphics is really great stuff, 4 - 5 sprites with 128/256 pixel height it can be very useful sometimes, it is even possible to have 5 sprites on every scanline. PMG also have other features like priority, collission detection and size change.

And music tunes... POKEY is really good sound chip, with 4 channels and 16-bit sound, if you desire. But Atari can do another thing... emulate SID chip.

About the hardware upgrades... nothing beats Atari.

Talking about smooth scrolling... it is true Atari has 160 pixel resolution for scrolling, but it don't make games unplayable. Opposite... Atari games are very SMOOTH, no jerking. Same with sprites...

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Post by OriginalJax » Fri May 04, 2007 3:32 pm

This is turning into a fascinating thread - I've learned a bunch of stuff I never knew about some of the other machines (myself being an old 64'er, primarily).

Perhaps it might be prudent to start a new topic, though, where such tech trivia could be bandied about without polluting what was (I believe) a poll to determine the best 8-bit based on the games, etc., as was pointed out earlier.

Just a suggestion. Or given the apparent increase in coder-types, perhaps there could even be a new sub-forum - 'Tech Talk'. It's certainly interesting to a lot of folks...

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WTF!? The 80's are GONE!? And they're never coming BACK!?

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Post by oswald » Fri May 04, 2007 3:35 pm

gury wrote: You talk crap, really. Atari has charmodes, color-wise too (Antic 4 and 5), 5 colors per scanline (160x192 modes, similar to gr. mode 7+ with 4 colors on scanline). 4-8 colors onscreen? Are you nuts? Atari can show up to 256 at a time, 128 usually more simple. Hard to smooth scrolling? Atari has great fine scrolling capabilities (hardware registers, very SIMPLE use). Unusable sprites? You are really talking nonsense here. Player/missile graphics is really great stuff, 4 - 5 sprites with 128/256 pixel height it can be very useful sometimes, it is even possible to have 5 sprites on every scanline. PMG also have other features like priority, collission detection and size change.

And music tunes... POKEY is really good sound chip, with 4 channels and 16-bit sound, if you desire. But Atari can do another thing... emulate SID chip.

About the hardware upgrades... nothing beats Atari.

Talking about smooth scrolling... it is true Atari has 160 pixel resolution for scrolling, but it don't make games unplayable. Opposite... Atari games are very SMOOTH, no jerking. Same with sprites...
sorry about the charmode and smooth scroll, my knowledge lacks on the atari my mistake:P

...yes you can do nice raster bars out of 256 colors, but you cannot show 16 colors in 320x200 on the SAME scanline. Too bad... bye bye nice graphics. You can not display anything close to this quality:

Image

compared to the eight 24x21 pixel multicolor objects what the atari has is unusable. 4/8 pixel wide sprites and 128/256 pixels high on atari? LOL. We can easily cover 256 lines with sprites aswell but in a way more wider area (192 pixels!) with more colors.


pokey vs sid: sid has 3 channels each with 16bit frequency resolution, the pokey can only outdo that with 8 bit misstuned 4 channels. (8bits is not accurate enough!) pokey has No programmable ADSR envelope. No 6 different waveforms. No widely programmable filter with Low pass, Bandpass,High pass, Notch outputs, Variable Resonance. Pokey cannot input and filter audio from the outside. Pokey has no oscillator sync / ring modulation. Pokey has no A/D pot interfaces. Pokey has no programmable width (16bit!) square waves. Finally Pokey was not in the top 10 best chips of the 20th century in any listing.

hardware upgrades, do you have 20mhz cpu ? megabytes of rams? true network card? the ones you have listed are all done for the c64.. except the atari specific drives. we have a floppy drive integrated on a fpga chip, so we can emulate floppy drive and load stuff from mmc.

but you failed to respond to some of my points so the c64 has

more sceners ~12500
more scene releases ~45000
longer lifespan (games were made 82-95)
more games (the most I found was only like 400 for atari)
better games
better graphics

do you have any games that are on par with the best c64 ones? I mean the latest games from atari are like from 86, on c64 stuff from 86 counts medieval ages :D

show me your best shot em up /adventure/platform/strategy/car race, you will be punished with fine c64 quality :)
Last edited by oswald on Fri May 04, 2007 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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