Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

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

User avatar
markopoloman
Posts: 11657
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:03 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by markopoloman » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:13 pm

paranoid marvin wrote:Look at Bombjack on the C64 - great SID tunes, nice colourful graphics. The Speccy version has no music, average (at best) effects and minimal colour. But most importantly, the Speccy version plays far,far better than the C64 version.

Just because a machine has better hardware, doesn't mean that the games are any better. For any C64 owner , would you prefer the Amiga or the 64 version of Wizball?
Wizball... C64 is far better. For the record, as the C64 was my only computer - I enjoyed Bomb Jack! My mate had a speccy and I enjoyed playing on that but never had the chance to play Bomb Jack on it. I've since played it on MY SPECTRUM and thought it was a jolly good game - it's even better with the C64 music playing in the background! :lol:
OFF TOPIC DISCUSSIONS - http://retrocanteen.boards.net/

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5458
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:18 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:But like you said, the CPU in the Speccy had to do all the work when in the C=64 you had dedicated graphics and sound chips which took care of things the Speccy had to do in software on the CPU alone so the speed advantage was kind of negligible. It's a bit similar situation to the SNES and Mega Drive, or if you prefer, the Amiga and ST situation, where one system had a slower CPU but better graphics and sound hardware and the other had a faster CPU but worse graphics and sound. By definition better graphical and sound capabilities should mean better graphics and sound, the CPU is mainly tasked with game logic, AI and such things. You mention isometric games as an example where the Speccy shined, but I'm pretty sure I've seen some nice-running isometric games on the C=64 (e.g. Paper Boy, Marble Madness, Head Over Heels, etc). I mean the main thing here is a different perspective, otherwise they're still as 2D as 2D gets and when it came to real 3D stuff, neither were particularly good, for proper polygon 3D the ST and Amiga were really the bare minimum. Hard Drivin' runs like crap on both, the Speccy and the C=64, as do many other 3D games, so I doubt the faster CPU really helped much here too.
The dedicated graphics chip in the C64 is all well and good if you're only interested in games with a few small sprites and a single scrolling bitplane, but that's pretty much all they give the machine an advantage with. And I pity anyone for whom that was the totality of their gaming horizons either back then or now.

Heck, even on the C64 many of its best games don't use either of those capabilities much. The likes of Pirates, Maniac Mansion and Pool of Radiance would all be good reasons to own the machine back in the day, as they're great games; the fact they've got mostly static screens with Lego-brick graphics doesn't enter into it.

I won't deny that the C64 has a few good isometric games, but there are dozens of them on the Spectrum. To be honest, I got a bit bored of them back in the day as there seemed to be three or for new ones every month for several years, but once in a while you'd get a Gunfright or Quazatron that stood out from the crowd, and there are plenty of hidden gems that passed me by at the time too.

And 3D games? Have you never heard of Mercenary, Elite and The Sentinel? They're three of the most highly regarded games on the C64 full stop. You massively missed out if you never enjoyed them. There might be more faster and slicker games in that mould for the Spectrum, but they're a bit strength in the catalogue of both machines.

User avatar
crusto
Posts: 5586
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:18 pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by crusto » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:23 pm

Both systems were crap, just varying degrees of it. For me all 8 bit systems were crap, and its only nostalgia which makes them seem good imo. Hats off to the programmers who managed to produce games that were capable of entertaining us! Imagine being a child now, with the likes of ps4 etc and all their fantastic titles to choose from. I am truly jealous of my kids lol.

For me the fun only began in earnest with the MD and its ilk.
Image

Eat your nans pants

English Invader
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by English Invader » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:43 pm

crusto wrote:Hats off to the programmers who managed to produce games that were capable of entertaining us!
That's more than the AAA developers are doing today.

User avatar
Katzkatz
Posts: 6984
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: Sunny Eastern London suburb of Leytonstone and my own mind!

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Katzkatz » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:51 pm

paranoid marvin wrote:Look at Bombjack on the C64 - great SID tunes, nice colourful graphics. The Speccy version has no music, average (at best) effects and minimal colour. But most importantly, the Speccy version plays far,far better than the C64 version.

Just because a machine has better hardware, doesn't mean that the games are any better. For any C64 owner , would you prefer the Amiga or the 64 version of Wizball?
Actually, funny that you should mention this, as I always thought that the C64's version of Paradroid was a lot better in terms of gameplay than Paradroid '90. Although, it has to be said that the C64 version does scroll in all directions, where as the Amiga and ST versions only two - what the hell was going on there? A rare case of an 8 bit machine's version of the game being technically superior. I don't doubt it was down to not having enough time to implement it, but still.

Back on topic, the C64 - because I love those many shades of "brown". :lol: :lol: The blockiness as well. I suppose the C64 had the better sound(due to the SID), but I think having the faster CPU on the Spectrum helped out a lot - especially isometric and 3D stuff. I think it was easier to program as well?

Of the 8 bit machines though, I am impressed with Atari 800 range. The POKEY gives the SID a really serious run for its money, on sound. The graphics are also very good on those machines. I suspect that I overlooked that machine a bit, but I did know someone who owned it - only ever saw Druid 2 on it. I think it might have been because everyone either had a Spectrum or C64 by then. I'd say that it's a very technically advanced machine.

Don't forget the "king of 8 bits" - the amazing Amstrad GX 4000. If only that came with a green screen monitor. Man, what I would have given to own one of them. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5458
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:49 am

Paradroid 90 was hampered by the fact that it's very difficult to get a smooth horizontal scroll on the Atari STFM while keeping up a 50/60fps frame rate. There are a few games that manage it, most famously Enchanted Land, but I'd guess that either the techniques weren't known to Braybrook at the time or he felt that he'd have had to compromise the gameplay too much to employ them.

Had the game been written with the only the Amiga, and perhaps also the STE, in mind he probably wouldn't have made that choice though.

psj3809
Posts: 18886
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by psj3809 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:19 am

retrofan011 wrote:I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.
Enjoy your "monochrome graphics and crappy sound" games, I will not disturb you in the future, I promise.
The years 2016, we're not kids in a playground anymore. I love the Speccy, i can totally appreciate however how many great games the C64 had. If you're just going to basically slate the Speccy theres not much point you 'contributing' to the thread.

Both machines had quality games, if anything lets hunt down the strange people who voted Amstrad or Atari in this poll ;)

User avatar
joefish
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 pm

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by joefish » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:21 am

Sad thing is, it's only former C64 owners that obsess about 50Hz frame rates anyway! :lol:

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5458
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:38 am

joefish wrote:Sad thing is, it's only former C64 owners that obsess about 50Hz frame rates anyway! :lol:
Yeah. If frame rate was everything, we'd all be PC gamers with 144Hz monitors. However, it isn't and we aren't.

User avatar
Mayhem
Posts: 4741
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:05 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Mayhem » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:07 am

paranoid marvin wrote:Look at Bombjack on the C64 - great SID tunes, nice colourful graphics. The Speccy version has no music, average (at best) effects and minimal colour. But most importantly, the Speccy version plays far,far better than the C64 version.
There's a project going on currently, like Commando and Ghosts 'n Goblins previously, to get C64 Bombjack improved. By the time it's done, I reckon the Speccy version will be the inferior version, it's looking that good so far.
Lie with passion and be forever damned...

Image

User avatar
Treguard
Posts: 2392
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Treguard » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:12 am

psj3809 wrote:
retrofan011 wrote:I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.
Enjoy your "monochrome graphics and crappy sound" games, I will not disturb you in the future, I promise.
The years 2016, we're not kids in a playground anymore. I love the Speccy, i can totally appreciate however how many great games the C64 had. If you're just going to basically slate the Speccy theres not much point you 'contributing' to the thread.

Both machines had quality games, if anything lets hunt down the strange people who voted Amstrad or Atari in this poll ;)
8) We cannot be defeated, we are legion.



Alright, we are 8. But as a proportion of people voting that's still quite high...

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5458
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:57 am

Mayhem wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:Look at Bombjack on the C64 - great SID tunes, nice colourful graphics. The Speccy version has no music, average (at best) effects and minimal colour. But most importantly, the Speccy version plays far,far better than the C64 version.
There's a project going on currently, like Commando and Ghosts 'n Goblins previously, to get C64 Bombjack improved. By the time it's done, I reckon the Speccy version will be the inferior version, it's looking that good so far.
That's good to hear. Let's face it, there's no good technical reason why the C64 shouldn't have a version of Bomb Jack that plays just as well as the Spectrum one while having more colourful graphics and a top notch soundtrack.

Still, I don't think it's got that much relevance if you're going to discuss the merits of the machines back in the day. They got the versions of the games that they did, and time, money and developer talent were more likely to be the limiting factors than what the hardware could manage.

retrofan011
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:45 am

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by retrofan011 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:06 am

markopoloman wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:Look at Bombjack on the C64 - great SID tunes, nice colourful graphics. The Speccy version has no music, average (at best) effects and minimal colour. But most importantly, the Speccy version plays far,far better than the C64 version.

Just because a machine has better hardware, doesn't mean that the games are any better. For any C64 owner , would you prefer the Amiga or the 64 version of Wizball?
Wizball... C64 is far better. For the record, as the C64 was my only computer - I enjoyed Bomb Jack! My mate had a speccy and I enjoyed playing on that but never had the chance to play Bomb Jack on it. I've since played it on MY SPECTRUM and thought it was a jolly good game - it's even better with the C64 music playing in the background! :lol:
C64 Bomberman is a brilliant game and speaks for itself:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySSX5r6ho3s

...and here is "superior" Spectrum version, mentioned earlier:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6l5byzo1_Y

About 3d graphics, a good example is Stunt Car Racer, graphics, sound and gameplay all best on c64:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOD6qtRPSI8

...and spectrum version at 3.5Mhz:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7c0ckYBnC0

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5458
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:36 am

Oh dear.

Someone doesn't seem to know the difference between Bomb Jack and Bomberman. Back to retro-gaming school 101 for you. :lol:

And, for what it's worth, you might have noticed that those Bomberman games had very different dates on them. The Spectrum one was made in 1983 and was a game you could actually play on it back in the day - as many of us did in its guise as Eric and the Floaters - while the C64 game wasn't released until 2007.

And, while the C64 version of Stunt Car Racer is indeed a very respectable effort, I guess bringing it up means you think 3D games matter after all. In which case perhaps you'd also like to compare and contrast games like Starglider 1 & 2, Starion, Tau Ceti, Academy, Starstrike 1 & 2, Starfox, Carrier Command, Virus, Micronaut One and, well, practically everything else that used 3D graphics? You can pretty much count on one hand the number of developers who could get superior performance out of the C64 in that area.

User avatar
joefish
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 pm

Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by joefish » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:48 am

I forgot to mention, I also enjoy the criticisms of the Spectrum keyboard from people who only ever pressed two keys on the C64 in their entire lives!

The C64 may have had a raised keyboard with individually-switched keys, as did PCs of the day, but those things are still agonising to type on for any length of time - particularly when raised up a few more inches than it needs to be. Just because it costs more to manufacture doesn't make it 'better'.
Matt_B wrote:Oh dear. Someone doesn't seem to know the difference between Bomb Jack and Bomberman.
And, for what it's worth, you might have noticed that those Bomberman games had very different dates on them. The Spectrum one was made in 1983 and was a game you could actually play on it back in the day - as many of us did in its guise as Eric and the Floaters - while the C64 game wasn't released until 2007.
And now on the Spectrum we have Bomb Munchies, with a recent 3D overhaul, that supports four joysticks for four players. I know which version I prefer.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests