Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

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Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by BarbaricAvatar » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:54 pm

Continued from "The Greatest Games Systems of All Time" topic.
Antiriad2097 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:47 am
BarbaricAvatar wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:40 pm
Indeed. But that in turn makes the list misleading as it becomes not "what was the best for gaming" but more "who here owned one".

With regards to the Spectrum and Amstrad debate, i'm genuinely intrigued. Does Spectrum still have an active fanbase in 2018? Are people still writing games for the system that are intended to be played ON the system rather than through an emulator?

You've got that completely round the wrong way. Out Run or R-Type are the exceptions to the rule, not the definition.
You give yourself away a bit by not having a clue about the current Spectrum scene. The poll is for 'best gaming system's, not 'which is technically superior'. I can't think of a system that has more games 'released for it each month than Spectrum. There's a constant stream of them. They can almost all be played on real hardware, games that only work with emulators are exceptionally rare. Your cluelessness about Speccy games is further compounded by the assertion that Amstrad has a majority of good games over Spectrum. It doesn't even come close. I realise I may be coming across as fanboyish here, but how else can I deal with such a blinkered view of Amstrad.
That just comes across as you "saying something before someone else can say it". Yes, i don't check up on the scene of systems i've never owned, hence my asking. Where's your website as proof of continuing development for Spectrum btw?

Technical ability is nothing if the games aren't up to much, but i did do research yesterday to compare versions of games on a variety of systems (including C64, BBC and MSX) to ensure that what i was saying was objective and not just the ramblings of an embittered minority. I wouldn't be so stupid to suggest ALL games are better on one system, but more often than not in direct comparison the Amstrad titles are better gameplay experiences than the Spectrum thanks to a having a similar playability coupled with a larger colour pallette and better sound effects.
Did you even look up those titles i mentioned, or are you just covering your eyes and saying "I can't see it, so it's not true"? There are plenty of counterpoint games you could bring up that DO play better on Spectrum. But because you didn't, i'm going to do this:
Your namesake ;)
Antiriad Spectrum:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReLqykT3gT8

Antiriad CPC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4642lddEfKs&t=1m44s

I'm open for a proper discussion, but it's pointless if the other party is just going "Lalalala i can't hear you"! I'd like to know what Spectrum does better, specifically.
For example, why is it that the Spectrum version of Robocop is considered better than the CPC version? Is it just because it has in-game music and chugs along a bit more slowly? It's close, not one-sided in this case.

Spectrum 128k:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqEBj2JEaxk

Amstrad 6128:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CU3tVicyRc

I've got PLENTY of other examples to defend the Amstrad, but what i really want to see is the best of what the Spectrum has and how it compares, and why people think it's better.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by The Laird » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:28 pm

Ok, challenge accepted :mrgreen:

Here's some that sprung to mind:

Space Harrier

The weird horrible slow Amstrad version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31600K9A154
Far superior, faster and more authentic Spectrum version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ATzG7ciYVI

R-Type

Slow, jerky monochrome and rather lacking Amstrad port: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxXyYTvTn64
Bright, colourful and closely converted Speccy translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4VFSibLxqA

Pac-Mania

Stuck in treacle with not even a yellow Pac-Man on Amstrad CPC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEY73c4xLCk
Similar but faster, smoother Spectrum and more playable edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9U4CKWrjg

OutRun

The utterly horrendous and might as well get out and walk CPC port: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYGCti-t5co
The not exactly stellar but at least it moves Spectrum version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFa8YRlfdV0

Robocop

Pretty decent but slightly lacking CPC version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CU3tVicyRc
By far the best version of the game on the Speccy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD8SyQ_rQKQ

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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by jdanddiet » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:21 pm

To be honest I don't get these arguments. Yeah we all had fun as kids, but we're adults now, right?
I had a speccy. I loved it. My mate had an Amstrad. He loved it. I admired some of the games, I always remember him playing tau ceti and marvelling at the crunching sound effects. We had a lot of fun playing bombjack too on the Amstrad.

Just play the computer you want to play and love it and leave it. It's nostalgia. There will never be a clear winner in any argument.

It's all about the games and as long as you enjoy them, f**k everybody else :D
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by shiftytigger » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:57 pm

I think rather than prodding this argument , it may be easier to prove to yourself via a Google search that the Spectrum scene is very much alive , with games still being released.
Perhaps the same could be said of the Amstrad scene and I sincerely hope it is. Great things can be achieved by enthusiasts - of which there still are plenty.
Some of the music and tech demos alone are amazing.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by Matt_B » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Yeah, it seems pretty pointless to make blow by blow comparisons about the quality of individual games when whether they're any good or not has far more to do with the abilities of the developers rather than the hardware in question. Back in the day, you'd be running out of time and pocket money long before you'd exhausted all the good games on either system. If you had both machines like I did, the chances are you were buying games for the two of them too.

So far as the current scene goes, the Spectrum is undoubtedly bigger. Again, there are far more games coming out for it than I could ever hope to find time to play, and I've got to pick and choose carefully. It's less the case with the CPC but there are still some impressive looking games that come up. Take a look at Super Edge Grinder, the R-Type Remake or Star Sabre for instance, and they're just the scrolling shooters. That's not really surprising to me as the Spectrum sold far better, and it's a much simpler machine to develop for with a selection of great tools to get you started. The bar to entry for the CPC is just a little bit higher, and if you want to do something really distinctive with the hardware there's considerably more to get your head around first.

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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by psj3809 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:49 pm

If it was C64 vs Speccy then fair enough. But the unpopular ‘ginger stepson’ Amstrad in the argument ? Come on. Laughable. Can’t change history

The Speccy homebrew scene remains huge and is still very popular. I did a whole book on the Speccy home brew scene years back.

There’s still lots of homebrew releases on tape plus emulator image. Technically the Amstrad was good back into the day but it’s all about the games and the C64 and Speccy back then rule supreme.

Then again I can’t see us convincing this blinkered Amstrad fan one bit ! Bit like some Oric fan turning up wanting to argue

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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by paranoid marvin » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:50 pm

Doesn't matter what the technical abilities of a system are, or how many 'bits' it has. Doesn't matter if it was great at word processing or was useful to museums. All that matters is 'where the games any good?'.

Games made specifically for the Amstrad were usually fairly decent, but most games weren't ; they were usually conversions (often from the Speccy) and suffered. Badly. Scrolling was awful (unless playing in a postage stamp window) graphics often blocky and overly colourful. Just like with the A8 and it's conversions of C64 games.

However games that were made specifically for the machine (usually from French software houses) looked , sounded and played very well. But that was the exception rather than the re, so Amstrad usually got Speccy conversions. And bevause they were conversions they were usually worse than the otiginal.

Of course there are always exceptions , but for every Chase HQ , Barbarian or Sorcery there were far more G'n'G, Rambo and Op Wolf.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by kiwimike » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:31 pm

Hang on, I'll just make some popcorn :wink:

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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by BarbaricAvatar » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:27 am

jdanddiet wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:21 pm
To be honest I don't get these arguments. Yeah we all had fun as kids, but we're adults now, right?
I had a speccy. I loved it. My mate had an Amstrad. He loved it. I admired some of the games, I always remember him playing tau ceti and marvelling at the crunching sound effects. We had a lot of fun playing bombjack too on the Amstrad.

Just play the computer you want to play and love it and leave it. It's nostalgia. There will never be a clear winner in any argument.
I'm not here for an argument, or to "stick it to Spectrum gamers", i'm here to learn and maybe teach! Though judging by other responses, most people aren't as interested in opening their minds and seeing what they might have missed as i am.
The Laird wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:28 pm
Ok, challenge accepted :mrgreen:

Here's some that sprung to mind:

Space Harrier

The weird horrible slow Amstrad version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31600K9A154
Far superior, faster and more authentic Spectrum version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ATzG7ciYVI
Space Harrier's a tricky one. Both versions are a little off; the Spectrum has garish colours and the Amstrad has wireframes all over the show in order to keep the speed up.
I don't think this one's a slam-dunk either way, especially as the Amstrad version (64k) has the proper music and the Spectrum does not. That adds as much to the authenticity as the small speed differential IMO.
If you'd said Space Harrier 2, then i'd have agreed with you. Amstrad went full-sprite and chugged badly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krNQmY3jqUs
The Spectrum version fixed the colours but lost a bit of speed in the process, still better in this comparison though:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCyaRfYGHzM
The Laird wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:28 pm
R-Type

Slow, jerky monochrome and rather lacking Amstrad port: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxXyYTvTn64
Bright, colourful and closely converted Speccy translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4VFSibLxqA

OutRun

The utterly horrendous and might as well get out and walk CPC port: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYGCti-t5co
The not exactly stellar but at least it moves Spectrum version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFa8YRlfdV0
Yeah, i mentioned this pair in the other topic. No contest, Amstrad versions were terrible!
The Laird wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:28 pm
Pac-Mania

Stuck in treacle with not even a yellow Pac-Man on Amstrad CPC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEY73c4xLCk
Similar but faster, smoother Spectrum and more playable edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9U4CKWrjg
Yep, i haven't played this game but agree that the Spectrum delivered a better version of the game it's based on.
The Laird wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:28 pm
Robocop

Pretty decent but slightly lacking CPC version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CU3tVicyRc
By far the best version of the game on the Speccy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD8SyQ_rQKQ
I already posted this comparison and it's not as clear cut as you say. One has music, one looks great. Both play well.
---
Here's a good one.
Turrican
Spectrum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTtz3anyrAk Jerky clunky jerky jerk. Very colourful though.
Amstrad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbxz7qGmbIo Smooth movement, similarly minimal sound effects but a far better game overall.

Ghostbusters
Spectrum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMIphX8Ipak Colour bleeding everywhere, basic sprites and everything happens very slowly.
Amstrad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3e2bt_XRJI Similar in a lot of ways, but doesn't have the colour bleed and the environments are much nicer. Actually fun to play on Amstrad.

Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure
Another close one. Both have flickering sprites.
Spectrum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=103Wo_Ik15g What the hell is that title music?! Crisp, clear visuals but again a lot of colour bleed. Minimal sound effects and 1-shade Dizzy.
Amstrad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRYdU0NXYMc Non-squelchy menu music AND a jaunty in-game tune. Gameplay and visuals are much the same but the extra detail and music make this version a clear winner.

Exolon
One of my favourite games. Both have slowdown when there's lots happening on-screen (not that that should bother HC gamers)
Spectrum = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcE459z-rhY&t=40s Not sure if this vid is accurate but the crunching sound when something explodes is very off-putting. I'll assume this isn't normal.
Amstrad = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O_Xx-HYehI&t=40s
Games are pretty much identical, but one has more detail. I won't drive that point home too hard. :D
I wouldn't be glum if i had to play it on Spectrum, it's a great game either way.

Discuss!

psj3809 wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:49 pm
If it was C64 vs Speccy then fair enough. But the unpopular ‘ginger stepson’ Amstrad in the argument ? Come on. Laughable.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by Mayhem » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:23 am

paranoid marvin wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:50 pm
Games made specifically for the Amstrad were usually fairly decent, but most games weren't ; they were usually conversions (often from the Speccy) and suffered. Badly. Scrolling was awful (unless playing in a postage stamp window) graphics often blocky and overly colourful.
This is what I was going to say, that the Amstrad version was often an unoptimised (sometimes colourised) port of the Spectrum version, and thus often not as good. Likewise many Amiga versions just being tarted up ST ports. Because the C64 had a different CPU, you'd get one team working on the Z80 projects and one team working on the 65xx versions.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:38 am

BarbaricAvatar wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:27 am
I'm not here for an argument, or to "stick it to Spectrum gamers", i'm here to learn and maybe teach! Though judging by other responses, most people aren't as interested in opening their minds and seeing what they might have missed as i am.
This isn't how your initial post read at all, and you weren't asking for any 'proof'.

Some of us have been at this for decades and long ago did comparisons. There were some ace threads on here years ago comparing various games across systems, and there's no end of youtube videos that do the same.

I'm open to the idea that there are some good CPC games. I had a thread here for it a while ago, and it proved this.

Overall though, it's simply the case that the Spectrum has more good games than CPC, and in general more where the Spectrum version is better than CPC (often due to lazy ports, but the reason doesn't matter, it comes down to what's out there to play).

You grew up with an Amstrad, so you like its graphics. I've always found them to be rather garish. Sound is much the same as Speccy, though tbh I've no fondness for AY. I like the old beeper.

For the current Spectrum gaming scene, have a look at World of Spectrum. Unfortunately, the database is a tad out of date with new releases (it's being worked on, and has been for a while now), but there are loads of threads for them in the forums.

For what its worth, I bought my Speccy and C64 on the same day, and already had friends with both systems. I'd read the mags and get the best version of the games I wanted that reviewed well. It was very rare that CPC would leave me wanting, I can't think of an instance where I ever wished I had one (though I did own one for a bit, then bodged a repair and broke it so it got binned).

These are not rose tinted spectacles. My opinion is born of experience both bitd and in recent years. Could, and should, have been much better imo given how late it arrived, then it may have warranted more effort from developers.

I'l give you Head Over Heels. CPC version of that is good, though I wouldn't be embarrassed by the Speccy version either.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by Crusty Starfish » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:47 am

This site is good for new releases and news... even Amstrad stuff pops up on the odd occasion!

http://www.indieretronews.com/

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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by BarbaricAvatar » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:53 am

Mayhem wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:23 am
paranoid marvin wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:50 pm
Games made specifically for the Amstrad were usually fairly decent, but most games weren't ; they were usually conversions (often from the Speccy) and suffered. Badly. Scrolling was awful (unless playing in a postage stamp window) graphics often blocky and overly colourful.
This is what I was going to say, that the Amstrad version was often an unoptimised (sometimes colourised) port of the Spectrum version, and thus often not as good.
I realise that, but there are also going to be occassions where the port is handled properly and is an improvement over the original version, like the aforementioned Ghostbusters.
Then there are games that add a little but lose a little, like Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge. The Spectrum version appears to be a little smoother, but the Amstrad version has the elements individually coloured as opposed to the screen being 2 colours with black outlines. One can't objectively say one is better than the other in those cases.
Not really sure why "overly colourful" is a bad thing, could you expand on that? Isn't it better that GBC has more colours than GB?
Crusty Starfish wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:47 am
This site is good for new releases and news... even Amstrad stuff pops up on the odd occasion!

http://www.indieretronews.com/
Cool, thanks. Will read with great interest. :D
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:15 pm

BarbaricAvatar wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:53 am
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge. The Spectrum version appears to be a little smoother, but the Amstrad version has the elements individually coloured as opposed to the screen being 2 colours with black outlines. One can't objectively say one is better than the other in those cases.
Yes, one can. The smoother, more playable version is better. More colour is not always better, especially with the CPC's garish palette which is so often overused.

Colourful graphics do not a great game make.
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Re: Discuss: Spectrum vs Amstrad Gaming

Post by psj3809 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:48 pm

It is amazing how things could change though. If my best mate had an Amstrad that Xmas then i would have followed him months later and got one for my birthday (or next xmas). Back then computers were new as anything, instead or parents buying their kids a £20 Tomy and a few star wars figures suddenly there was this new computer, £150+ so a much larger sum back then and for all they knew it might have been a one year fad and kids would be playing with someone else a year later.

The Speccy was the cheapest so i presume my mates parents went for that and that starts off a chain reaction. Most of my mates had Speccys so it was great getting tons of games. I also had a mate with a C64 which was really impressive, didnt know anyone with an Amstrad in my area. Saw a couple of Orics/Dragons but no Amstrad.

Crash/Zzap were huge mags, Amtix wasnt such a huge hit. In 'history' everyone talks about the 8 bit battle of C64 vs Speccy, the Amstrad doesnt get a mention. Bit like saying in the 90s it was Oasis vs Blur then someone turns up and says no no no, it was Mansun who were the most popular/best ??!

Granted you love your Amstrad, it is a very good machine but just like Betamax (better than VHS 'technically') it didnt matter as the majority of kids had C64's or Speccys. My mate had an Oric and praised that to high heaven, the Gameboy was the most popular handheld of the 90's but you'll still get people saying the Lynx was the best.

But homebrew ? The Speccy scene is huge, lots of games from the UK, Spain and other countries. Cronosoft sell tape versions of lots of Speccy games as do a few other places. Amstrad came a distant third in the 8 bit battle, yeah unfair as it was a good machine and 'technically' better than the Speccy but again kids didnt care in the 80's, they wanted the best games, the most games they could get and that was C64 or Speccy

Give me playability anyday over a few more colours. Thats one reason why i still love Atari VCS games or other older games (Gameboy etc). Its like kids of today playing Pacman or other arcade hits and saying theyre rubbish as the graphics are poor. Its all about gameplay. Theres been threads before where people talk about how much better xxx was than xxx due to technical stuff. No one cared about that ! Like i say it was games games games

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