What's wrong with new 8- (and 16-) bit games?

When the other folders just won't do!

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psj3809
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Post by psj3809 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:41 am

Crunchy wrote:Look, do me a favour and stop posting if you're just going to keep entirely missing the point of what I'm saying and you're going to make stupid assumptions about how I game. All that's going to happen is your abject stupidity and lack of comprehension are going to wind me up and this thread will go rapidly downhill as a result.
Sorry but p*ss off. I have to listen to you constantly go on and granted you have to listen to me. You think what i'm writing is rubbish, i think what youre posting time and time again is rubbish (and always negative).

I'm wasnt totally slating your opinion previously and havent given out stupid insults about intelligence here. Some of us still like playing older older games and some dont, no need to go OTT. You might not agree with my reasons i've said a few times, i dont agree with yours. Enough with the stupid rude comments though. Neither of us are the expert here.

I dont expect someone who plays MAME a ton to prefer some of the Speccy versions. However back to the original question i'm surprised how many Speccy retro fans dont seem to want to play the new games for the Speccy.

Anyway i give up ! You win ! Your opinion is 100% right and mines wrong !

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:58 am

Crunchy wrote:The key word there is "prefer", and the effect that has on sales (or, in this case, download habits). That doesn't automatically mean nobody should not or would not play the older version, it means that the majority would be less likely to.
So we have one end of the scale, people who will favour the Spectrum version of R-Type or Commando over the arcade but for some reason automatically assume without playing that a new Spectrum game based on Puzzle Bobble won't become one of their preferences. On the other hand we've got people who automatically "replace" the older games with newer versions, possibly even if the newer one doesn't play a better game... i wonder how many people went from the arcade Defender to the more recent PS2 version for example?
Crunchy wrote:If Farmer Jack had come out back in the day it wouldn't have recieved rave reviews unless it came out at a very particular time early in the machine's history. It would have been a decent budget title. If that. This is true of most homebrew I've seen. Which I stated very early on in this thread.
i'd say the ratio of wheat to chaff with current homebrew is around the same as the ratio for current gen games, games released during the 1980s or 1990s, remakes, the works. You get some really good stuff, you get more average releases and there will always be some shyte too.

Personally, i've pretty much always hoped that my stuff would have been at the Mastertronic or hopefully Rack-It end of the market, budget but still games that people enjoy... as long as i'm not early Atlantis or Power House, i'll pretty much be happy. Something like Joe Gunn or Newcomer on the other hand are the full-pricers (the former really needs to be sat and played with, a first glance just doesn't do it justice), as are at least the third and fourth Metal Warrior titles (all four really, but the latter two are more polished compared to the early ones) and Turrican 3 could happily have been released a year after Turrican 2 as a continuation of the series - i'd go as far as saying it's a better third game that is more in keeping with the series than the official one that Factor 5 did.

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Post by Bub&Bob » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:11 am

psj3809 wrote:Some of us still like playing older older games and some dont, no need to go OTT.
People here like playing older games? WTF? I thought this was a current gen games forum only.

I will have to find a forum which suits my needs instead. Hopefully one where if someone doesn't agree with what I say I can be a rude, childish arsehole..........
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Post by Crunchy » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:56 am

TMR wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote:Why wold I want to play a 'new' version of Puzzle Bobble (for example) on the Speccy when I've got MAME?
...
paranoid marvin wrote:So I'll play R-Type on the Speccy , Buggy Boy on the C64 , Pirates! on Amiga , DOTC on ST and Paperboy on MAME
Okay, so the obvious question that has to be asked here is why play R-Type on the Spectrum, why play Buggy Boy on the C64? You've got MAME for those... if the answer is that you prefer those versions for some reason, have you given Cannon Bubble at least a try on the Spectrum on the grounds you might prefer that too?
You seem to feel that a gamer is duty bound to try everything that comes out on the offchance they might like the game. The common theme coming from you throughout this thread is that we, as "retro" gamers, have a responsibility to play these homebrew games.
Pardon me, but that's a ridiculous attitude.

I already know what the 8bit machines can offer. I don't have to try any game out to know that the graphics will be poor, the gameplay limited and the sound likewise. I can pre-judge a game on those machines without ever seeing them and still know a lot about the game because I know the machines.

In order for me to actually seek out a new game for something like the speccy that game would have to be exceptional with everybody raving about it, in a genre I'm interested in and offering something I can't get elsewhere.

I would never, ever waste my time on a game like Cannon Bubble for the spectrum. I know what the game is. I know the machine it's on. I know it cannot hope to match, in any way, later versions of the game on more advanced systems. The game is brought to my attention ... and dismissed. It doesn't matter how playable you think it is or how clever the developer has been or how great it would have been back in the day, the simple fact is that it isn't what I'm looking for and it's never going to be. I don't have to try the game out to know this, even though I play plenty of other old games (including 8bit games, I'm currently playing Citadel on the C64). The same is true of almost all this retro homebrew stuff. The same is also true when it comes to games like R-Type. I'd take a look at it on the speccy for old time's sake. And then crank it up in mame for a real play of it. I very much don't feel that just because I play one old game I should be playing them all. I play whatever I feel like and my criteria for choosing what I play is entirely up to me and nobody else. I would imagine most people are the same.

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Post by TMR » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:07 am

Crunchy wrote:You seem to feel that a gamer is duty bound to try everything that comes out on the offchance they might like the game. The common theme coming from you throughout this thread is that we, as "retro" gamers, have a responsibility to play these homebrew games.
Pardon me, but that's a ridiculous attitude.
It's a good job that's not my attitude then; i don't believe every gamer is duty bound to do anything of the sort, but i do want to know why the majority of people who are apparently predisposed to playing 8-bit games seem to place some fairly arbitary barriers that limit what they're willing to play.

You've stated why you personally don't play new games and you've answered the original question and mine too as well as offered some insight into why you don't like them so ta very much. But this thread isn't titled "why doesn't Crunchy play new 8-bit games" and you'll have to excuse me if i don't take your point of view as being the norm for anyone else; Marvin offered a different view, i wanted to understand why he'd play R-Type on a Spectrum in preference to the original in MAME but wouldn't consider doing the same for a recent Puzzle Bobble clone. That seems a fair question if, as i keep saying i am, i were trying to understand the reasoning behind peoples' opinions.

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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:46 pm

I'm no doubt going to shock a lot of people by saying this, but I don't really care for a lot of the new homebrew titles.

I've always been a big fan of Jonathan Cauldwell's work and I'll always play his new releases, because they're so damned clever and inventive, but generally, I can take or leave everything else.

While I do admire the fact that there are people out there willing to pour their heart and soul into these projects, it's something of a double edge sword.

Part of the reason we're only running two pages of homebrew is simply down to the fact that individuals take it very personally when you don't like their games.

Farmer Jack (just because it's the only mr do game on the spectrum, doesn't make it good) is the most obvious example, but there have been plenty of cases in the past when I've received quite nasty emails, from either fans or the programmer themselves because a game received under 80% and they thought we were being unfair or targeting them.

Some people (not all mind) appear to be under the opinion that because we're retro gamer and they're making something on an old system we should automatically love it and that they're immune from criticism.

This is something I greatly disagree with. If something genuinely comes along which is frikking amazing, then we'll genuinely praise it, but we'll never give something a high score in order to stay popular with the retro community. That's just not how we roll.
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Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:06 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:This is something I greatly disagree with. If something genuinely comes along which is frikking amazing, then we'll genuinely praise it, but we'll never give something a high score in order to stay popular with the retro community. That's just not how we roll.
Mm. Reviews should be entirely objective, and that even goes for free stuff—while you don't pay for it, you have to spend time playing, and time is valuable. In the same way Retro Gamer shouldn't go "OOH! A new Namco compi on the DS—99%!", it shouldn't be going gaga over mediocre homebrew.

I'm also on the 'give me something new or amazing' side of this. I'm perfectly happy to try out something new on any system, but I also don't really see the point of recreating an existing game on a lower-end system, aside from for tech-demo purposes. A good example is that C64 Zoo Keeper clone released a while back. I played a few games and then wondered what the hell I was doing. I have a DS, and I have Zoo Keeper, and that combination is immeasurably superior to the C64 effort, despite the best intentions of the author.
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Post by Turrican » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:11 pm

...and from the brink of all out war the dove of retro peace comes flying overhead with a SID chip in it's mouth.... ;)

Darran is right, but then this answer has been used throughout the previous pages, albeit in slightly different ways. Games are games, whether they be retro or not and some will want to play them, some won't.

Anyway... back to the trenches... :D
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Post by Shaun.Bebbington » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:29 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Farmer Jack (just because it's the only mr do game on the spectrum, doesn't make it good) is the most obvious example, but there have been plenty of cases in the past when I've received quite nasty emails, from either fans or the programmer themselves because a game received under 80% and they thought we were being unfair or targeting them.

Some people (not all mind) appear to be under the opinion that because we're retro gamer and they're making something on an old system we should automatically love it and that they're immune from criticism.
I've never had this problem personally, so I don't know why they would attack you and not me? This week, for instance, I gave a 6 out of 10 for a Jeff Minter game converted to the Atari XE/XL (note that this is largely Minter's original code too) and no one has yet to complain... so either people aren't reading my column, or my review was written well enough to justify the rating, or people just don't care what I think.

As a guide, I generally won't review a game that I won't be giving at least a 5 out of 10 as an overall mark to, and I simply report new games that I would only rate 4 out of 10 or less. This is something that I'm going to change in light of some of the comments made in this thread and elsewhere.

Regards,

Shaun.
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Post by TMR » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:21 pm

Shaun.Bebbington wrote:I've never had this problem personally, so I don't know why they would attack you and not me? This week, for instance, I gave a 6 out of 10 for a Jeff Minter game converted to the Atari XE/XL (note that this is largely Minter's original code too) and no one has yet to complain...
i was one of the people tossing around the idea of porting Metagalactic Llamas (i even have a re-sourced version of the original sat on my laptop's hard drive that i'd started before Heaven said he'd begun work too) and, i suspect, fairly involved in how it turned out; i read your review earlier today and thought "fairy snuff" because it wasn't meant to be anything amazing, just a fun game to kill an hour or two once in a while. i really don't side with the idea that every new game has to be a vast, amazing and sprawling epic of a thing, i'd much rather see a variety of titles from big buggers like Newcomer to fun single screen action games like the second Farmer Jack to pick a couple at random.

Of course... now i've said that, i'm wondering if i'm too close to MetaLlamas and if i should review it for RG as i was planning to...! [Emails Darran]
Shaun.Bebbington wrote:As a guide, I generally won't review a game that I won't be giving at least a 5 out of 10 as an overall mark to
Oh, i bloody will... if it's bad i'll try to go through my reasons why because i think it needs to be said; programmers need feedback, positive and negative and i give as good as i'd prefer to receive in that respect.

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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:14 pm

Shaun.Bebbington wrote:
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote: As a guide, I generally won't review a game that I won't be giving at least a 5 out of 10 as an overall mark to, and I simply report new games that I would only rate 4 out of 10 or less. This is something that I'm going to change in light of some of the comments made in this thread and elsewhere.

Regards,

Shaun.
It's tricky, because when you're only covering certain games it sort of gives a false impression of the homebrew scene.

Still you're obviously changing that policy so good on you :)
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Post by Mayhem » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:36 pm

True, Darran. When you asked me to do an issue of the homebrew reviews (I won't say which issue, viewers can go find it themselves heh), I had a lot of titles to choose from. So I generally picked the ones I had a good opinion of and went from there. Would it have been more balanced to also include some of the lesser opinion ones? Hard to say. There wasn't enough room for all the good ones, let alone the rest in the magazine.

Btw out of interest regarding the Metagalactic Llamas port to Atari, which version it is derived from? I ask cos the C64 version wasn't programmed by Minter, only the Vic20 version was...
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Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:44 pm

TMR wrote:
Crunchy wrote:You seem to feel that a gamer is duty bound to try everything that comes out on the offchance they might like the game. The common theme coming from you throughout this thread is that we, as "retro" gamers, have a responsibility to play these homebrew games.
Pardon me, but that's a ridiculous attitude.
It's a good job that's not my attitude then; i don't believe every gamer is duty bound to do anything of the sort, but i do want to know why the majority of people who are apparently predisposed to playing 8-bit games seem to place some fairly arbitary barriers that limit what they're willing to play.

You've stated why you personally don't play new games and you've answered the original question and mine too as well as offered some insight into why you don't like them so ta very much. But this thread isn't titled "why doesn't Crunchy play new 8-bit games" and you'll have to excuse me if i don't take your point of view as being the norm for anyone else; Marvin offered a different view, i wanted to understand why he'd play R-Type on a Spectrum in preference to the original in MAME but wouldn't consider doing the same for a recent Puzzle Bobble clone. That seems a fair question if, as i keep saying i am, i were trying to understand the reasoning behind peoples' opinions.

The thing is , I already KNOW these old games are good - I'm not prepared to sift through all the homebrew to find the gems. And the reason I know they were goiod as I played many for hours/days at a time - because they were the closest I could get to the arcade original

Over the years I have grown to cherish these titles as icons of a bygone era. When I play them I get an injection of exhiliration for the nostagia factor , but I'm also enjoying playing a game that I am familiar wth
- unfortunately the samecannotbe said of modern Speccy titles
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Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:11 pm

I've got to say though , that I DO admire the effort and skill that programmers put into these games. To learn to program and produce software for -to all intents and purposes - a 'dead' machine , and for little or no profit , has to be commended

HOWEVER , like I've said before , these games lack that 'x' factor
Someone le mentioned that they could tell that , put in front of them , they could differentiate between an 80s and a 00's game. I think I could too

For example I played a homebrew Jet Set Willy game based on 007 . Brilliant premise , but the game was woefully undercooked. The main sprite was poorly designed (too big for a start) and the game itself was WAY too hard - I couldn't even complete the first part of the first screen!
Now NO game , even one made to challenge pro-players should be this difficult (the closest commercial release I can think of is Chaos Strikes back on Amiga)

I play games to enjoy them - a technical masterpiece is nice too see for a couple of minutes , but I want to PLAY, not sit back and watch.

I have not played enough homebrew to say for sure , but would it be fair comment to say that most software is produced to appeal to other homebrew scene regulars , rather than those approaching the format for the first time?
Last edited by paranoid marvin on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Emperor Fossil » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:49 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:I'm perfectly happy to try out something new on any system, but I also don't really see the point of recreating an existing game on a lower-end system, aside from for tech-demo purposes. A good example is that C64 Zoo Keeper clone released a while back. I played a few games and then wondered what the hell I was doing. I have a DS, and I have Zoo Keeper, and that combination is immeasurably superior to the C64 effort, despite the best intentions of the author.
That's fair enough in your particular case, but isn't it also fair to judge a game on a particular platform according to its own merits while acknowledging that it is a clone?

For those of us without a DS who might be looking to play a version of Zoo Keeper, we can choose between the Flash original, Zooo on the GBA (if you can find a copy), or Zoo Mania for the c64. If you don't have a DS and you want a two-player version, then that leaves you with Zoo Mania. And if, for example, you own a GP2X or a PSP and you want some portable Zoo Keeper-style fun, you could stick a c64 emulator on there along with Zoo Mania and away you go.

Obviously the point I'm making is that there are situations where a clone of a particular game provided on an alternative platform could well be appreciated, so to say there is no point to them aside from tech-demo purposes is unfair.

Finally, although I'm well aware that time is valuable, money is pretty valuable too, and even if I had a DS, I think I'd be tempted by the thought of playing Zoo Mania for free under emulation rather than spending money on Zoo Keeper. Perhaps if I got really hooked on the game, I'd consider picking up Zoo Keeper if I came across it later on.

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