Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

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Which was better?

The 64. SID power!
28
41%
The ZX. Cheaper and cooler.
28
41%
I was the odd CPC kid
8
12%
Atari forever!
4
6%
Something else entirely
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 68

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necronom
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by necronom » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:55 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:One edge the ZX had over the 64 was CPU speed and the ability to output slightly higher-res visuals.
It didn't. The Spectrum resolution is 256×192 pixels. The C64 is 320 × 200 pixels, with more useful colours, and more variety.

You can guess which one I voted for, though I own both and played on both as a kid.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by c0nfu53d » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:58 pm

I have had almost zero experience with the c64 so against my better judgement I have to say the Spectrum. That said I voted for the CPC cause I'm a Amstrad fanboy.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by mrmessy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:00 pm

necronom wrote:
outdated_gamer wrote:One edge the ZX had over the 64 was CPU speed and the ability to output slightly higher-res visuals.
... The C64 is 320 × 200 pixels...
I'm guessing that mode was virtually never used then?
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by merman » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:19 pm

mrmessy wrote:
necronom wrote:
outdated_gamer wrote:One edge the ZX had over the 64 was CPU speed and the ability to output slightly higher-res visuals.
... The C64 is 320 × 200 pixels...
I'm guessing that mode was virtually never used then?
320x200 is high resolution bitmap mode, allowing one foreground colour and one background colour per 8x8 tile. Unless it's handled well you end up with colour clash ;-)
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paranoid marvin
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:30 pm

Some games looked absolutely gorgeous on the C64, not blocky at all. Others were blocky, but you didn't mind that if the gameplay was good. Once you start to really get 'into' a game, you cease to notice the graphics anyway, they're there more for getting you into the game in the first place and for onlookers.

Some games on the C64 aren't available on the Speccy and they're absolutely brilliant. Stuff like Labyrinth (Activision), Manic Mansion, Pirates!,Creatures Defender of the Crown etc

Other games on the Speccy aren't available on C64, and again are fabulous - Cyclone, Deathchase 3D, 3D StarStrike, Atic Atac, Wild Bunch.


(yes I know there are later fan ports, but they don't count here)


Then there are some games that came out on both machines that are far better on the C64 - Kung Fu Master, Ikari Warriors, the Games series, Impossible Mission , Wizball etc.

There are some games that came out on both machines that are far better on the Speccy - Enduro Racer, R-Type, Bomb Jack, Chase HQ etc.

There are some where both versions are great , and are appreciated by fans in both camps - stuff like Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, Commando, EHIS etc

Then there are the really interesting ones where each machine gets a different interpretation of the game based on the strengths of the machine - Amaurote, Carrier Command, Paradroid/Quazatron, Glider Rider etc.

So overall for every great Speccy game there's an equally great C64 game. The C64 had by far the best sound , and some average games were rescued because of the aceness of the SID (eg G'n'G), whilst some Speccy games had absolutely censored graphics but made up for it with awesome playability (eg Journeys End).

So it's absolutely a draw - BUT there are probably more Speccy games I go back to than the C64. But that's not because of the hardware, it's because of the games.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by outdated_gamer » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:44 pm

English Invader wrote:I'll vote for the C64 but not because of the SID chip. I just think it's a much better designed system:

1) They got it right the first time and didn't have to release later models with more memory and better keyboards. A bog standard C64 will run Forbidden Forest or Wizard of Wor just as easily as Mayhem in Monsterland or Lemmings.

2) The hardware is nowhere near as sensitive as Speccy hardware. An unfortunate knock or moving the computer will in most cases make the Speccy crash.

3) The C64 has an on/off switch and gives composite output without any modification (having said that the +2 Spectrum models have RGB and give a great picture if you use that instead of RF).
I think they compromised the ZX quite a lot to get a lower price tag. The "dead flesh" keyboard and 48k RAM without proper sound chip were clearly to save up on the costs. The C=64 was more expensive but also more feature packed. I respect the developers who managed to get impressive results on the ZX, but this still doesn't hide it's technical shortcommings. But the lower price ment that it was pretty widespread and popular and a entry point for gaming and programming for many. This argument is not weak and it's understandable why many prefer it. But when I look up retro 8-bit comparisons, it's often times the C=64 versions which run the best (most smoothly) and have the most catchy tunes. This is important to me because I find that higher framerates and good tunes can make even average games play and feel better. That's not to say the ZX games don't run any good, but on the whole the 64 seems to have the edge here. With that said, I do think both systems were worth owning as they both offered a nice, not too expensive, entry into the computer world of the time.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Swainy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:07 pm

I think that you should all watch this: https://youtu.be/VtLaOBhG1Zg

Truth is though, they are both great machines.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:23 am

outdated_gamer wrote:
English Invader wrote:I'll vote for the C64 but not because of the SID chip. I just think it's a much better designed system:

1) They got it right the first time and didn't have to release later models with more memory and better keyboards. A bog standard C64 will run Forbidden Forest or Wizard of Wor just as easily as Mayhem in Monsterland or Lemmings.

2) The hardware is nowhere near as sensitive as Speccy hardware. An unfortunate knock or moving the computer will in most cases make the Speccy crash.

3) The C64 has an on/off switch and gives composite output without any modification (having said that the +2 Spectrum models have RGB and give a great picture if you use that instead of RF).
I think they compromised the ZX quite a lot to get a lower price tag. The "dead flesh" keyboard and 48k RAM without proper sound chip were clearly to save up on the costs. The C=64 was more expensive but also more feature packed. I respect the developers who managed to get impressive results on the ZX, but this still doesn't hide it's technical shortcommings. But the lower price ment that it was pretty widespread and popular and a entry point for gaming and programming for many. This argument is not weak and it's understandable why many prefer it. But when I look up retro 8-bit comparisons, it's often times the C=64 versions which run the best (most smoothly) and have the most catchy tunes. This is important to me because I find that higher framerates and good tunes can make even average games play and feel better. That's not to say the ZX games don't run any good, but on the whole the 64 seems to have the edge here. With that said, I do think both systems were worth owning as they both offered a nice, not too expensive, entry into the computer world of the time.
The Spectrum certainly was designed to a much tighter budget, as you'd expect for something that was half the price when the C64 launched, but it does have one significant technical advantage over the C64 that goes a long way to offsetting the shortcomings, and that's a CPU that's clocked faster and with a much richer instruction set. Most games that are computationally expensive tend to perform better on it, such as the isometric arcade adventures that were a mainstay of the Spectrum scene from 1984 onwards.

It's a bit of a historical accident that the Spectrum has the more expensive CPU of the two, and you've got to go back to the ZX80 and ZX81 to see why. Sinclair's engineers realized that the Z80 could pull double duty as both the CPU and also as an address generator for the video circuitry, saving them a chip and working out cheaper overall. It no longer performed this function in the Spectrum, as Sinclair had managed to find space on the ULA to implement a rudimentary address generator in hardware, but they were still locked into the same CPU for a number of other reasons by that point.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by retrofan011 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:13 am

merman wrote:
mrmessy wrote:
I'm guessing that mode was virtually never used then?
320x200 is high resolution bitmap mode, allowing one foreground colour and one background colour per 8x8 tile. Unless it's handled well you end up with colour clash ;-)
Really?
Here are some examples of C64 hires mode (320x200), 16 color and no colour clash at all.
All that you see is virtually impossible to achieve on Spectrum and proof of the C64 strength.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOOi7IizWRY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXLLFOBonfk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMNxlYMcmbs

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by psj3809 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:42 am

Well we can all get picky and display certain games. Lightforce on the Speccy was a good shoot em up with no colour clash. Look at R-Type as another great game where in this instance it depends on the developer you get, this game was great, Nemesis was terrible.

How about Knight Lore ? Something the C64 cant handle. An exceptional looking game and amazing for its time

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by retrofan011 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:23 am

I chose this "certain" games for a reason, to show that the C64 also can produce better hires multicolor games without color clash and without restriction of 2 colors per attribute.
C64 can handle Knight Lore and similar type of games, but Spectrum can not handle anything from what I showed as well as many other games.
In terms of graphics and sound C64 is a superior machine.
This I will play for a few months on the C64:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVHRGbb ... nFfDsKaTyc
What are you going to play on Spectrum, with similar quality?

And btw, Spectrum Light Force has a color clash, although it used character based sprites scroll, to avoid it..

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:46 am

retrofan011 wrote:C64 can handle Knight Lore and similar type of games, but Spectrum can not handle anything from what I showed as well as many other games.
It can certainly do them, but typically much more slowly than the Spectrum and that significantly impacts the gameplay.
And btw, Spectrum Light Force has a color clash, although it used character based sprites scroll, to avoid it..
Er... no. It scrolls vertically a pixel a time. You might be confusing it with the sprites that move in exact character squares.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by The Beans » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:52 am

retrofan011 wrote:
merman wrote:
mrmessy wrote:
I'm guessing that mode was virtually never used then?
320x200 is high resolution bitmap mode, allowing one foreground colour and one background colour per 8x8 tile. Unless it's handled well you end up with colour clash ;-)
Really?
Here are some examples of C64 hires mode (320x200), 16 color and no colour clash at all.
All that you see is virtually impossible to achieve on Spectrum and proof of the C64 strength.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOOi7IizWRY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXLLFOBonfk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMNxlYMcmbs
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by AceGrace » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:58 am

DPrinny wrote:Dragon 32
I love the Dragon. I really wanted one when my Spectrum keyboard membrane fried and Sinclair wouldn't replace it. My dad went out and came back with a BBC Model B!

Move on 25 years and I picked up a Dragon locally boxed for £20.

Still, GREEEEENNNN!

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by joefish » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:05 am

This whole discussion seems to be based on woeful misinformation.

Yes, on the C64 in hi-res you're stuck with two colours to a character square, but there are still hardware sprites that can be drawn anywhere.
In lo-res, you've still got a restriction - it's just four colours to a character square, not 2. But again, the hardware sprites can go where they like.

You only get colour clash problems if you're drawing software sprites, which is unfortunately the only way to go on the Spectrum.
And you can quickly run out of hardware sprites on the C64 if you try and get too clever, since they come with their own limitations.

But that Cave Wizard does look impressive. It shows off the C64's graphical capabilities, whilst simultaneously hinting at the inevitable tediousness of a game designed purely around the graphics...

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