Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

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Matt_B
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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Matt_B » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:37 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:26 am
Yes? Your point? I'm not comparing the two machines on a technical level. I'm not the one pulling out tech specs. They're not from the same time period, so it's pointless. I did compare their situation, where they weren't able to show their technical capabilities at the time, but have since. I compared their fans, with the more realistic worldview of the Oric owners compared to the overly optimistic Amstrad ones. Not a comparison of the systems though.
My point is that, despite what you're saying now, you've made a number of claims about both systems that are technical in nature such as bringing up the CPU, the sound chip, the Oric's attribute system and the purported lack of innovation in the CPC. And those can only really be addressed by looking at the hardware both in them and available at the time. Also, I'm not sure how you can say that the Oric is from a different time period when it was still on sale when the CPC launched, and new models of it - the Stratos and Telestrat - were released subsequently, even if they weren't commercially relevant. When pretty much every 1980s computer was mostly made of components designed in the 1970s, it seems odd to say that a technical comparison is pointless because they were launched 18 months apart, and that's all the gap between the Oric-1 and the CPC464 was.

Still, if you just want to claim that the CPC and Oric were similarly unable to show their technical capabilities, that doesn't really make sense either. The Oric was commercially dead after a couple of years and most of its best games date from 1983 with just a smattering from after that. Programmers would have barely even got started with it in the time they had, and we really did have to wait until recent ports of games like Pulsoids, Skool Daze and Stormlord to see how it could have held its own in the late 80s, at least if Tangerine's finances hadn't been quite so precarious. Some of them are quite impressive, and its easy for me to see how it could have held a similar position in the market to the Spectrum had the roles been reversed.

In contrast, the CPC was seeing new software for about a decade, so some developers really got to grips with it and it saw some very nice original games and ports during that period. I don't think I'd need to rattle off a list or anything, because you can just pop over to YouTube and see umpteen videos of the best games from any given year. It's against those contemporary games that the ports with Spectrum graphics and slow gameplay get judged harshly, not ones that have only just been made. I didn't need to wait 24 years to see that R-Type could have been done better, for instance, because I'd already seen Zynaps.

Getting back to Vespertino, I don't really see it as a game that could have been made back in the day - even if it's going to run on the original hardware - because it appears to be leaning too heavily on demo scene techniques that were only developed much later. It's a bit like those Nirvana+ Spectrum games; it's nice to know that the hardware can do it, but I'm not overly surprised that nobody figured it out in the 80s.

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ivarf
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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by ivarf » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:15 pm

Most 8-bits can't even do a loading screen like this
Image

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Rory Milne
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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Rory Milne » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:17 am

It looks fantastic. To be fair, though, there are other 8-bits that can run impressive looking racers too. For example, the NEC PC-8801 MC has a Z80-based CPU and you can play PC Engine games like Outrun on it. :)

Image

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by ivarf » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:55 am

Rory Milne wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:17 am
It looks fantastic. To be fair, though, there are other 8-bits that can run impressive looking racers too. For example, the NEC PC-8801 MC has a Z80-based CPU and you can play PC Engine games like Outrun on it. :)
The specs are very impressive with 48kB to 256 kB video RAM.

N mode: PC-8000 series compatible graphic mode
V1 mode: 640 × 200 8 colors, 640 × 400 2 colors
V2 mode: 640 × 200 8 out of 512 colors, 640 × 400 2 out of 512 colors
V3 mode: 640 × 200: 65536 colors, 640 × 400: 256 out of 65536 colors, 320 × 200: 65536 colors, 320 × 400: 64 out of 65536 colors

Only V3 had 256 kB video RAM. New models released from 1981 to 1989. Even the 1981 model had the V1 and V2 graphics modes. How much did these machines cost? Must have been awesome having one of these in 1981 when your friend just got his brand new ZX81 kit computer.

On the other hand, the videos I have seen so far doesn't look as good as I was expecting. I haven't found a Youtube video of the Outrun-version you showed. It would be very interesting to see it. Is the NEC PC8000-series computers in any way related to the 8-bit NEC PC Engine? The support graphics chips for the PC-Engine, are at least of Amiga quality.

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Rory Milne » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:00 am

Not many games were specifically made for the NEC PC-8801 MC, which is a shame, but as you say it was backwards compatible with the previous models in the PC-88 series. Additionally, the CD drive that came as standard in most PC-8801 MC's was identical to the CD-ROM² add-on for the PC Engine, and you could play PC Engine CD-ROMs - such as Outrun on it. As as you might have guessed the shot I posted earlier is of the PC Engine Outrun.

So a hunt for PC-8801 MC videos would likely not result in much - or anything - but the many videos of PC Engine games that you find online give you an idea of what sorts of games the PC-88 MC could run.

According to an old issue of ACE, the PC-88 MC cost around £1,000 to buy in the UK, so maybe the ZX81 had something going for it after all! ;)

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by ivarf » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:37 am

Rory Milne wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:00 am
Not many games were specifically made for the NEC PC-8801 MC, which is a shame, but as you say it was backwards compatible with the previous models in the PC-88 series. Additionally, the CD drive that came as standard in most PC-8801 MC's was identical to the CD-ROM² add-on for the PC Engine, and you could play PC Engine CD-ROMs - such as Outrun on it. As as you might have guessed the shot I posted earlier is of the PC Engine Outrun.
You got me thinking...
What is the best PC you could get running and still call it an 8-bit. The Tseng ET-4000 chipset was capable SVGA card. Online sources tells me it works in an 8-bit ISA slot. I wonder how that would run in a extremly slow 4.77 MHz 8088 8-bit PC. What would be the fastest 8-bit PC you could get with old components that you still could call an 8-bit? It has been many years since the last time since I have looked at very old PC specs. Wasn't there something called V20 and V30 that was faster than Intels line? Is there an 8-bit PC processor that can get decent performance in games with a good early 1990s graphics card like the ET4000?

I guess nothing can beat the PC-engine performance wise considered as an 8-bit computer for games. The only exceptions I can think of is custom-hardware used in the arcades

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Matt_B » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:33 am

Sadly, the PC-8801MC just shares the same CD drive as the PC Engine and won't actually play its games. The CPU and graphics hardware are totally different, and they'd have needed to put the entire guts of a games console in there for it to be possible. We'd have to wait a few years until another company in a different part of the world would do something so idiotic as that. :)

There was one model, the PC-88VA with the aforementioned V3 graphics, that I'd think does give the PC Engine a run for its money graphically though. Also have a look at the Fujitsu FM77AV and the MSX Turbo R for other late-model Japanese 8-bits. You can find videos of all of them in action on YouTube.

Ultimately though, the main reason you'll find few successful 8-bit computers that can put out graphics of that standard, is that 16-bit CPUs were quite affordable by then, and several models were already making inroads at the time.

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Rory Milne » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:47 am

Matt_B wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:33 am
Sadly, the PC-8801MC just shares the same CD drive as the PC Engine and won't actually play its games. The CPU and graphics hardware are totally different, and they'd have needed to put the entire guts of a games console in there for it to be possible. We'd have to wait a few years until another company in a different part of the world would do something so idiotic as that. :)

There was one model, the PC-88VA with the aforementioned V3 graphics, that I'd think does give the PC Engine a run for its money graphically though. Also have a look at the Fujitsu FM77AV and the MSX Turbo R for other late-model Japanese 8-bits. You can find videos of all of them in action on YouTube.

Ultimately though, the main reason you'll find few successful 8-bit computers that can put out graphics of that standard, is that 16-bit CPUs were quite affordable by then, and several models were already making inroads at the time.
You're absolutely right about the PC-8801 MC, and Mobygames is wrong - see link below. Thanks for putting me straight.

https://www.mobygames.com/attribute/she ... teId,1774/

There's a nice video on the PC-8801 MC that discusses the system in detail:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6SX3wkJRtc

The 8-bit home computer that I was confusing the PC-8801 MC with is the Sharp X1 Twin, which, as you suggested, incorporated a PC Engine. :)

https://japanese-pc-games.fandom.com/wiki/Sharp_X1_Twin

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Matt_B » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:35 am

In all honesty, I'd forgotten about that and was thinking of Amstrad's Mega PC with the MegaDrive in it.

The X1 Twin is a very odd beast though, especially when you consider that NEC and Sharp were major competitors in the Japanese computer market. It'd be the equivalent of Commodore going to Atari, asking if they could put their latest games console in one of their computers, and the two co-operating to get it to market.

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Rory Milne » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:04 am

Matt_B wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:35 am
In all honesty, I'd forgotten about that and was thinking of Amstrad's Mega PC with the MegaDrive in it.

The X1 Twin is a very odd beast though, especially when you consider that NEC and Sharp were major competitors in the Japanese computer market. It'd be the equivalent of Commodore going to Atari, asking if they could put their latest games console in one of their computers, and the two co-operating to get it to market.
You could make the argument that Japanese firms were / are more pragmatic than US ones. There were the Sharp systems that it made with Nintendo: the Twin Famicom, the Sharp Nintendo Television, the Famicom Titler and the Super Famicom Naizou TV SF1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Famicom
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_Nintendo_Television
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famicom_Titler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Fam ... zou_TV_SF1

Then there was JVC's Wondermega / X'Eye system and Pioneer's LaserActive, both made in co-operation with Sega.

https://segaretro.org/Wondermega
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaserActive

Of course, the Nintendo PlayStation is another example of Japanese inter-company collaboration.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51628836

I think the tactics behind these partnerships are often that you work with a rival so that you can figure out the secret to its success. After that you should in theory be able to make your own successful product without them. It's off topic, but Sony working with Marvel Studios feels like an example of this strategy to me. But who knows, really.

At any rate, the X1 Twin is certainly an odd arrangment from a hardware point of view. :)

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Rory Milne » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:05 am

Rory Milne wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:04 am
Matt_B wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:35 am
In all honesty, I'd forgotten about that and was thinking of Amstrad's Mega PC with the MegaDrive in it.

The X1 Twin is a very odd beast though, especially when you consider that NEC and Sharp were major competitors in the Japanese computer market. It'd be the equivalent of Commodore going to Atari, asking if they could put their latest games console in one of their computers, and the two co-operating to get it to market.
You could make the argument that Japanese firms were / are more pragmatic than US ones. There were the Sharp systems that it made with Nintendo: the Twin Famicom, the Sharp Nintendo Television, the Famicom Titler and the Super Famicom Naizou TV SF1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Famicom
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_Nintendo_Television
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famicom_Titler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Fam ... zou_TV_SF1

Then there was JVC's Wondermega / X'Eye system and Pioneer's LaserActive, both made in co-operation with Sega.

https://segaretro.org/Wondermega
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaserActive

Of course, the Nintendo PlayStation is another example of Japanese inter-company collaboration.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51628836

I think the tactics behind these partnerships are often that you work with a rival so that you can figure out the secret to its success. After that you should in theory be able to make your own successful product without them. It's off topic, but Sony working with Marvel Studios feels like an example of this strategy to me. But who knows, really.

At any rate, the X1 Twin is certainly an odd arrangement from a hardware point of view. :)

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by ivarf » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:11 am

Matt_B wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:35 am
In all honesty, I'd forgotten about that and was thinking of Amstrad's Mega PC with the MegaDrive in it.
Meanwhile I was thinking about the Amstrad plus machines with "the GX4000 in it"...

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Re: Stunning new Amstrad CPC racing game

Post by Matt_B » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:27 am

ivarf wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:11 am
Matt_B wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:35 am
In all honesty, I'd forgotten about that and was thinking of Amstrad's Mega PC with the MegaDrive in it.
Meanwhile I was thinking about the Amstrad plus machines with "the GX4000 in it"...
The difference is that the CPC+ machines could actually use the extra hardware. :D

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