The problem with Amstrad games

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paranoid marvin
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The problem with Amstrad games

Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:42 am

Ok , I've done a few games comparisons over the last 24 hours. I have not ever played on an Amstrad previously , but used the excellent Winape emulator. I've tried to be objective as possible , but I'm having a problem - all 3 games I've compared have looked pretty awful on the Amstrad . All highly colourful , but quite blocky. I'm wondering if Amstrad programmers made their games TOO colourful , at the expense of the definition of the graphics.

Dynamite Dan

Amstrad

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Speccy

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But when the colours are toned down a little , and more attention is spent on the resolution of the graphics , there's a much better result

Dynamite Dan II

Amstrad

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Speccy

Image[/img]
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Re: The problem with Amstrad games

Post by FatTrucker » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:48 am

paranoid marvin wrote:I'm wondering if Amstrad programmers made their games TOO colourful , at the expense of the definition of the graphics.


The Amstrad had 3 resolution modes each allowing varying amounts of colour.
Games programmed in the lowest res mode (mode 2 I think) offered a much larger colour palette but produced blocky graphics.

It really depends on the games you try, who programmed them, what mode they run in and which emulator you use and how you have it set up.
The games look nowhere near as naughty on an original Amstrad CPC colour monitor as they do on a modern monitor at a different size and resolution to the original games.

Its clear that in the hands of a skilled programmer, writing software specifically to the strengths of the machine it could produce some stunning (for an 8 bit computer at the time) looking software. Its also unfortunately true that many games suffered from lazy programming or were merely ported from the Speccy since the two machines shared the same main processor.
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Re: The problem with Amstrad games

Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:55 am

FatTrucker wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:I'm wondering if Amstrad programmers made their games TOO colourful , at the expense of the definition of the graphics.


The Amstrad had 3 resolution modes each allowing varying amounts of colour.
Games programmed in the lowest res mode (mode 2 I think) offered a much larger colour palette but produced blocky graphics.

It really depends on the games you try, who programmed them, what mode they run in and which emulator you use and how you have it set up.
The games look nowhere near as naughty on an original Amstrad CPC colour monitor as they do on a modern monitor at a different size and resolution to the original games.

Its clear that in the hands of a skilled programmer, writing software specifically to the strengths of the machine it could produce some stunning (for an 8 bit computer at the time) looking software. Its also unfortunately true that many games suffered from lazy programming or were merely ported from the Speccy since the two machines shared the same main processor.
DDII certainly appears to be a poor port of the Speccy version , graphics look better than DDI , but nowehere near that of the Speccy.
I was suprised with the quality of the sound though - much better than I expected from other reports
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Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:06 am

Ok , can anyone suggest a game I can review on 8-bit comnparison which they consider to be best on the Amstrad?
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Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:21 am

paranoid marvin wrote:Ok , can anyone suggest a game I can review on 8-bit comnparison which they consider to be best on the Amstrad?
Barbarian, if it's not already been done. The CPC version is better than the '64 release and the Speccy one. (And, yes, BBC fans—it's even better than your version.)
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Post by Opa-Opa » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:25 am

The problem with Amstrad games is that they are they are played on an Amstrad...
The machine was made by a company that just makes cheap knock-off's, the software for their pile of tot computer was also knocked off, mainly from the spectrum...

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Post by markopoloman » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:26 am

CraigGrannell wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:Ok , can anyone suggest a game I can review on 8-bit comnparison which they consider to be best on the Amstrad?
Barbarian, if it's not already been done. The CPC version is better than the '64 release and the Speccy one. (And, yes, BBC fans—it's even better than your version.)

Obviously not! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:29 am

markopoloman wrote:
CraigGrannell wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:Ok , can anyone suggest a game I can review on 8-bit comnparison which they consider to be best on the Amstrad?
Barbarian, if it's not already been done. The CPC version is better than the '64 release and the Speccy one. (And, yes, BBC fans—it's even better than your version.)

Obviously not! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Well, I played each for about 10 mins each - I'm not sure why the C64 version is meant to be worse than the Amstrad. Sonically , it's better , and unless you like fighting bright pink/cyan opponents , the C64's lower-toned fleshy coloured graphics are more appropriate
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Post by markopoloman » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:31 am

The Amstrad seems to be the Picasso of the 8 bit era........

A Bright colourful mess!

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Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:37 am

markopoloman wrote:The Amstrad seems to be the Picasso of the 8 bit era........

A Bright colourful mess!
Yeah sometimes more (colour) is less..
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Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:40 am

paranoid marvin wrote:Well, I played each for about 10 mins each - I'm not sure why the C64 version is meant to be worse than the Amstrad.
The audio is better on the C64, but I prefer the CPC's graphics. The dodgy armour colours aside, the backgrounds are much prettier. Also, when I was writing the Barbarian feature a while back, the C64's AI didn't seem as fine-tuned as the CPC game did the other day.
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Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:01 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:Well, I played each for about 10 mins each - I'm not sure why the C64 version is meant to be worse than the Amstrad.
The audio is better on the C64, but I prefer the CPC's graphics. The dodgy armour colours aside, the backgrounds are much prettier. Also, when I was writing the Barbarian feature a while back, the C64's AI didn't seem as fine-tuned as the CPC game did the other day.
The Amstrad played a tougher game , more adept at blocking , but very easy to push back with the roll - C64 played a more aggressive game
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Post by batman877 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:03 pm

Sometimes the CPC suffers by the use of too many bright colours. However try the following games as I feel these ones got it right:

Addams Family (1991 - Ocean)
After the War (1989 - Dinamic)
ATF (1988 - Digital Integration)
Cybernoid 2 (1988 - Hewson)
Dan Dare 3 (1990 - Virgin)
Game Over (1987 - Dinamic)
Gauntlet II (1986 - US Gold)
Gryzor (1987 - Ocean)
Operation Wolf (1988 - Ocean)
Purple Saturn Day (1989 - Exxos)
P-47 (1990 - Firebird)
Powerdrift (1989 - Activision)
Rainbow Islands (1987 - Ocean)
Robocop (1987 - Ocean)
Shadow Dancer (1991 - US Gold)
Sorcery+ (1985 - Virgin)
Stormlord (1989 - Hewson)
Smash TV (1991 - Ocean)
Trantor (1987 - US Gold)

This is by no means a definitive list, but if you can't find something here that you'll enjoy then you're beyond hope of looking at the Amstrad objectively.

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Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:24 pm

batman877 wrote:Sometimes the CPC suffers by the use of too many bright colours. However try the following games as I feel these ones got it right:

Addams Family (1991 - Ocean)
After the War (1989 - Dinamic)
ATF (1988 - Digital Integration)
Cybernoid 2 (1988 - Hewson)
Dan Dare 3 (1990 - Virgin)
Game Over (1987 - Dinamic)
Gauntlet II (1986 - US Gold)
Gryzor (1987 - Ocean)
Operation Wolf (1988 - Ocean)
Purple Saturn Day (1989 - Exxos)
P-47 (1990 - Firebird)
Powerdrift (1989 - Activision)
Rainbow Islands (1987 - Ocean)
Robocop (1987 - Ocean)
Shadow Dancer (1991 - US Gold)
Sorcery+ (1985 - Virgin)
Stormlord (1989 - Hewson)
Smash TV (1991 - Ocean)
Trantor (1987 - US Gold)

This is by no means a definitive list, but if you can't find something here that you'll enjoy then you're beyond hope of looking at the Amstrad objectively.
Well , I;ve just played a few of those I thought Addams Family , Op Wolf and Robocop were again colourful but very blocky to the point of being a litlle indistinct - none are better than Specrum 128k versions. I was most disappointed by Gryzor , as I had been told this was one of the best Amstrad games. Turns out to be a flip-screen game when it should be a scroller - why do this? Ruins the game

Trantor and Cybernoid II were excellent however - great graphics with nice sound - I think perhaps the fact that both these games play against largely black/plain backdrops complements the graphics , stopping the background being mixed up with the sprites - much like Speccy was
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Post by SirClive » Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:09 pm

I have only found 1 game that the Amstrad has the best 8 bit version of and as Craig mentioned before it is Barbarian. I actually got an Amstrad in a job lot recently but am too scared to use it :shock:
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