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Question - How did the Amiga shape up against the SNES/MD?

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You make some good points. I was always planning to get an Amiga, but due to the cost, and also because I realised how much I like arcade games, I plumped for the SNES. It was tough in the beginning in terms of the game prices, but once a second hand game market opened up and the price of games came down It was great, and I built up an excellent library of games.

However, I always thought I missed out by not having titles like Deluxe Paint and other productivity stuff to play around with. I was also jealous of point and click adventures like Monkey Island. I did though play some Amiga platformers via emulation and they were a bit grim.

In terms of the arcade conversions, If you read the current issue of Retro Gamer it has a good feature on arcade games conversions for the home computers. The programmers rarely had access to the arcade game assets and often had to rely on recording a playthrough. I reckon the Amiga could have been home to better conversions.

In the Retro Gamer article it also mentions that the Amiga/ST conversion of Operation Thunderbolt 'extracted the assets from the arcade ROMs'. I've never played this version, but I remember it got brilliant reviews. Can anyone confirm how close it was to the arcade?

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Perhaps I view it a little differently because of my preference in game genres and my use of the Amiga as more than a gaming machine. I had an Amiga as well as the two 16-bit consoles, and they filled different roles for sure. I tended not to bother with arcade conversions or action games in general on the Amiga, because it was more a home to the adventures, RPGs and sims that I grew up preferring. Sure, I loved Mario World to bits, and knew the Amiga wasn't up to anything of the sort, but that didn't matter because I was dropping dozens of hours into Carrier Command and Damocles, as well as messing about with Deluxe Paint and rooting through endless discs of demoscene stuff.

For me, computers have always been more interesting and useful as general tools for art and media, with the gaming stuff being a side bonus. For these reasons I still hold dear my time with the Amiga over any other machine I've ever owned, excepting modern PCs (which are a cheat because they can essentially be any machine I've ever owned).

Finally, yes for sure there was that strong sense of the UK/European gaming industry that I had followed since the 8-bit days. I still get a glow of nostalgic happiness when I see a name in the credits of a modern title that I recognise from a demo group or 'bedroom' programmer back in the day. Just remember all the guys that started out on these machines. DMA Design, dude.

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OK back in the 90s most of my friends had Amigas, they had huge collection of games brought and pirated and it just seemed like a genuine great machine. So instead of getting an Amiga I didn't know what I was thinking at the time but I wanted something different, I didn't know why and its one of those things I regretted as kids swapped floppy disc with games during lunch. So instead I got an Atari Ste 1040, its was OK but the library of software wasn't as great and the gui was bit rubbish. Of course I always wanted a console a snes or megadrive but there was no way my parents would buy me one as playing games were akin to destroying my soul.

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The Amiga was an amazing computer- nothing (not even the Mac) came close to it at the time.

The trouble is that, like with all retro machines, you would only play the really excellent games now. If you let nostalgia decide that for you - the chances are the games will be shite. The trouble is that the majority of games haven't aged well on the Amiga. The single button stick is an issue, most games were shite knock offs of better console games (zool or sonic?)

Trouble was back then, it was really expensive to own a console. If you owned a megadrive- chances were you owned about 5 games.

The Amiga ? You had hundreds (mostly pirated !)

S you have to whittle it down to 5 games that weren't on anything else.... And unfortunately it's not mostly arcade type games.

Hostages, north and south, sim city, Rocket Ranger, defender of the crown, swos, cannon fodder, space taxi 2 have aged well on the Amiga.... And it's hard to play them on other formats.

Just don't play xenon 2 or zool!

But that's the hard thing with the Amiga. Nostalgia is horrible with it.the majority of games are shite now.

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Well this certainly strikes a cord - I've had very similar early-gaming experiences to you; I was generally insulated from the console crowd as most of the other kids I knew also had Amigas or Atari STs. I also have a complete set of Amiga ROMs and whenever I've dipped back into them I've been a little disappointed - but having said that I've only ever gone back to play the games I'd seen in Magazines but never actually owned - in the words on Neil Gaiman, you should never try and return to the waters you knew as a child as it's likely long moved on.

But I think I'm going to have to say no, I don't think the Amiga was rubbish.

I was completely won over by the computer when I first got it - up until that point I had had a BBC Micro, where I'd dabbled with Elite and Exile and done about as well as a 7 or 8 year old could actually have been expected to do - terribly. The BBC had some fun versions of Asteroids and Arcadians, but really it was a BBC Micro - the educationalists favorite, not the exciting gamer's C64, for certain.

Anyway, it turned out that my father worked for the company that did the marketing for the Amiga "Batman: The Movie" bundle box - and of course sent round an Amiga or two for photography and never asked for them back (I guess it was a sunk cost or something). My father managed to end up getting one of them with a couple of games that I don't really remember, but it did have a copy of New Zealand Story, which was completely amazing. The following weekend, my dad returned home with a couple of Toner boxes full of pirated games which he'd sourced from people at work who, had Amigas. I guess it's not a huge surprise that people in the creative industry would have a computer that had a fair few creative uses.

But anyway, the delivery of that machine and all those games all at once, coupled with enough time to play them over a summer holiday pretty much blew my head off as a gamer and it's probably fairly safe to say that I'm fairly biased toward the machine in many way - after all I've grown up into primarily a PC gamer so perhaps I just ended up more comfortable with the clickety-clack of the keyboard.

---

I had a vague understanding of arcade gaming and the consoles, but little first-hand exposure to them - most of it came from reading magazines like Zero that covered a whole bunch of formats - I remember looking at the arcade reviews in those magazines and simply being unable to believe that they were real - the size of the sprites and the fidelity of the art was simply amazing, likewise whenever I found myself in arcades, I was blown away by how much better everything was. Home Amiga conversions of things like Final Fight were good fun and I honestly couldn't tell you these days how crippled they were in comparison, all that matters was that I had great fun playing it with friends. I guess on the other hand you had things like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade conversion, as well as the nightmarish Amiga Street Fighter 2, so it wasn't all great.

Perhaps I could have had better experiences with games on Consoles? I doubt it would have been as broad or as deep, though - I pirated the fuck out of the Amiga and got to play so much stuff. So did all my friends and with the new software coming in for friends birthdays and eventually friends of friends of friends birthdays, I had access to an unimaginable software library - I suspect that had I been bought a 16-bit console I would have had a much narrower experience. And that's not to say the Amiga was only home to second rate software. Sure, a lot of stuff ended up being all over the place, but on my disk-based computer I got to play things like Mega-lo-Mania, to Civilization to Knights of the Sky. There was an absolute glut of fantastic software and I generally had access to pretty much all of it.

So really, it sounds like I'm concluding "the Amiga was great because of Piracy" - and there's more than just a seed of truth to that. I didn't have any issues with Piracy back then and I don't have any issues with it now - the difference being that back then I had time to play everything and these days it's not worth pirating stuff because I just won't have time to put a dent into any of it.

Sorry, I've not been as focused as I should be in answering your thread when I read this back - I guess it's very hard for me to actually find fault with the Amiga because of that most dreadful of poisons, nostalgia. I mean - Amiga Power, those Psygnosis boxes and exposure to things like Monkey Island, Frontier and Populous 2 really shaped the way I look at gaming. So really, I'm no help whatsoever. Soz.

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For people whose main machine was an Amiga or Atari ST at the time:

- Were you jealous of console gamers?

Consoles were not a concept to me at the time. I had upgraded from a C64, and a C16 prior to that.

The first console i took notice of in the end was the Sega Master System.

- Did you have a full understanding of what was happening in arcade gaming and American/Japanese consoles? Or were you mostly informed by what was happening on the Amiga?

Amiga Only. I did see a NES running Mario in the shops, but it didnt know what to make of it really.

- Do you think the Amiga left any lasting legacy, or gaming DNA, that can be observed in games today?

it certainly proved that people were going crazy for Arcade conversions in the home. This of course filtered onto the consoles in the form of games like Street Fighter II. ( And the large amount on the PC Engine that i wish i'd known about at the time!)

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For people whose main machine was an Amiga or Atari ST at the time:

- Were you jealous of console gamers?

Yes! The console games were far more professional in terms of presentation; console games had a better control systems (multiple button controllers!); you could get arcade conversions that looked vaguely like the originals; and console format-exclusives were far more appealing. (Super Mario World or a million identikit Amiga platform games? No competition.)

- Did you have a full understanding of what was happening in arcade gaming and American/Japanese consoles? Or were you mostly informed by what was happening on the Amiga?

I followed what was going on on all hardware formats, as I read multi-format magazines from time to time, and read schoolfriends' games magazines about other formats, even crap like Total!. Before the Internet, you sought out any and all visual information you could about games!

- Do you think the Amiga left any lasting legacy, or gaming DNA, that can be observed in games today?

Nothing, except the occasional 69p games on the iPhone app store.

Actually, confession: after early 1993, my main games machine was no longer an Amiga but a Super NES, after my mother bought one out of the blue. Which was a big deal in our family, as our dad didn't/doesn't like anything "foreign", dismissing Nintendo or Sega products as "Jap crap". I was very pleased, of course, and I don't think it is much of a coincidence that I still have a Super Famicom plugged into my living room TV, but since the 1990s haven't played any Amiga games apart from occasional odd moments using UAE.

If you emulate classic games today, I see little or no reason to emulate an Amiga, to be honest. The conversions of 8-bit games that were the staple of the Amiga's early years play better on the 8-bits. Arcade conversions? Just boot up MAME instead and play the real thing. Anything else, well, there's superior PC, Mac and console versions of those games available to emulate without the hassle of using UAE.

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Lots of good points, and this is something I've often thought about, as an Amiga owner back in the 90s.

I sadly have to agree with the OP here. Apart from some acknowledged classics the Amiga really couldn't compete with the consoles when it tried. And it tried. That was the main problem. Even at the time games like Superfrog felt like they were aping the consoles, and thanks to limited processing power and 1-button input* it was never going to stand up.

Where it shone was in RPGs, strategy games and things like Frontier that could only really be played on a computer. I played Ultima V on the Amiga and loved it. UFO Enemy Unknown was another, you would not see that on a console.

Mainly though I used the Amiga for making music with ProTracker/MelonTracker and the like, Dpaint, some AMOS, bit of programming, and I was into the demo scene. It was a great machine for being creative, and as has been mentioned it was the springboard for lots of people in the games industry. I'd hear people on the demo scene say things like "you can't create stuff on consoles".

If you read the multi-format mags at the time the Amiga vs ST wars sort of kept the console heat off the Amiga. It could say it was better than something, even if the sound was better and you had more colours. It's all very small beer now but then you'd get kids going "the Amiga version is better". However, if you owned an Amiga purely for games you really must have felt you were losing out, unless you played lots of point-and-clicks and RPGs.

The Amiga crash combined with the rise in more affordable PCs really put the mockers on the Amiga as a popular computer. The really sad thing is it didn't really get any of the ongoing support the C64 did (and still does). Yes, you had your '060 types, but they were more interested in running a computer that functioned more like a PC. I've said it before but I wish there was a community of people who try to do their best with a near-stock 1200, maybe put a CF card HD in there.

I did buy a SNES in 1993, mainly after seeing demos in places like Boots and Dixons. £40-50 for a game meant I'd often be stood there thinking really damn hard about which games I wanted. I should say I was 21 at the time though unemployed. By the time I sold it a year later I only had 3 games apart from SMW: Zelda A Link To The Past, Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt and Super Mario All-Stars. I was reading mags like Mean Machines and wanted to properly play the games, but seeing as I'd grown up with computers, and gaming on the Amiga wasn't the priority, I wasn't overly bothered. Bothered enough to buy a SNES, mind.

* you could get 2-buttons if you plugged a Megadrive pad in but very few games used this, sadly.

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I'm a bit like Goaty up there in the sense that home consoles were never really on my radar. Although my dad had an Atari 2600 I was a bit young to be fussed with it and my first real gaming experience was with the CPC464, so carrying on with home computers seemed like the natural progression for me, though I did have an Atari Lynx II (go me!). Only one of my friends at school had a console (NES) - everyone else I knew was playing on home computers and trading tapes and later, disks. It was only in the twilight days of the SNES that I really paid any attention to consoles when I bought one second hand off a friend and discovered the joys (sadly, very late to the party) of SFFII and Mario Kart. Prior to that I'd been an Atari ST man, while most of my friends were either on Amigas or PCs by that point. I can tell you unequivocally that I was jealous of my Amiga owning friends though, with their smooth scrolling Cannon Fodder. Bastards.

Even when I did eventually discover the joys of the SNES, I didn't really feel like I'd spent years missing out. While it's obvious to anyone with eyes and a brain that it wiped the floor with the ST as a dedicated gaming machine, I'd still had a lot of years of amazing gaming with the humble little grey computer. Like Vimster said, I wouldn't have played stuff like Dungeon Master, Bloodwych, Cannon Fodder, Megalomania Syndicate, Populous or Midwinter if it weren't for the 16 bit home computers. I know some of those had console releases but they really were more at home on a computer.

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I'm honestly flabbergasted that there's even a thread titled this, let alone the fact that some people actually agree with it's sentiment. I'm not even sure it's a worthy subject to talk about but I can't stop myself.

During the mid 80s and early 90s the Amiga was a colossus of the British and European games industry and without it I doubt many of the people now working in the industry would be have turned out to be.

- Were you jealous of console gamers?

Um nope. The Amiga had classic after classic released for it from all types of genres, which was possibly it's strongest asset. From flight sims to adventures games and everything inbetween it played host to an utterly fantastic array of original and arcade titles.

- Did you have a full understanding of what was happening in arcade gaming and American/Japanese consoles? Or were you mostly informed by what was happening on the Amiga?

I had a complete understanding of the overall market. I liked all games and would regularly buy multiformat magazines which kept me abreast.

- Do you think the Amiga left any lasting legacy, or gaming DNA, that can be observed in games today?

I honestly think this is a joke question.

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It certainly true that time has not been kind to the Amiga, while console games are easy to go back today, Amiga games not so much.

I dont think its fair to compare the amiga to the snes or megadrive though, it was out quite a few years before them, and probably should be compared to the master system or NES which I would say it trounced.

Certainly I felt my Amiga was getting old by the time I got a megadrive in 1992. I probably had it for 3 years by then, which seemed like ages at the time!

But I had already got a load of fantastic gaming out of the Amiga by then. The Amiga arcade conversions may seem poor now, but at the time they were vastly superior to the C64/Spectrum we had before. Plus original games like Dungeon Master, Wings and such.

I remember thinking at the time in terms of game depth/complexity, moving to consoles from the Amiga was a bit of a step backwards. Certainly for simulators, strategy, and RPGs.

But for arcade conversions, platform or action games the Amiga couldnt compete. After playing the Amiga version of Street Fighter 2, when I had been playing the SNES version I knew for sure that the Amiga had, had it's day.

I certainly dont think i missed anything on the NES/Master system for my time on the Amiga, I wasnt really interested in the games and thought they were hugely overpriced.

I would like to think the Amiga did leave an impression on gaming, I'm sure the cineware games had an influence on story driven modern games. I'm sure there are better examples than that though.

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At the time of the A500 I didn't know anyone with consoles, and though I was aware of them they weren't a consideration at the time. I wouldn't have swapped for a NES or Master System, not least because of the lack of easily swappable games, but also as I'd not seen anything that impressed me.

It was only a few years later when I went to university that I played on friends SNES and Megadrives which did feel like the world had moved on.

It's fair to say that a lot of Amiga games have aged badly though :(

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I never felt I was missing out by not owning a SNES or Megadrive. As others have said, the Amiga had a huge glut of software turning up every other week. Yes, there were arcade conversions but there was so much more as well that you couldn't get other places (save for the ST in some cases). At the time, the games were stunning, and while it's true, time hasn't been as kind, there's still plenty of great games worth playing. Nostalgia perhaps hasn't been gentle but couldn't you say that about most home computers? I've been back to stuff I played on the Spectrum and in some cases, have needed the rose tinted glasses turned right up.

I don't think the Amiga was a bit rubbish at all. But if you judge it from today I can see how you might think that. And you only need to read the likes of Retro Gamer to see how many people went from the Spectrum/C64 to the Amiga, SNES and Megadrive - and then on to the PC, Xbox, PSX etc. Its DNA is as ingrained as any other machine - perhaps more so in some cases given the people who crossed over from the demo/music scene of the time, and are still working in the industry today. Certain consoles games do stand the test of time, but I bet there's a much bigger bag of them that don't.

So the arcade conversions weren't up to scratch in some cases - meanwhile we were all off playing a pile of other stuff!

I got a megadrive at some point and owned around six games for it. With the Amiga, I'd get more than that a week. With consoles I always felt like you were treading a tightrope that was on fire. The games cost so much that you couldn't really afford to make a wrong a choice because it might be another six month before you get another one.

So while time might not have been kind looking back, at the time, I felt the Amiga was far and above anything a little box under the TV could achieve. Personally, I still think the machine is better than them.

(Great thread by the way!)

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I'm not so sure about the assertion that retro console games generally stand up well. We tend to immediately think of a particular bunch of classics for each machine, and forget everything else. I'd happily play pretty much anything from K's list up there and more, for example, but ask me to sit down with a NES and if it's not Mario, Castlevania, Mega Man, and maybe half a dozen other favourites I'd be hard pressed to have a good time. Even some of those get by more on their historical stature than any particular fun or technically impressive elements. You know, like when you download an emulator and full romset, get momentarily excited at the sight of hundreds of games, but end up just playing Contra III for ten minutes before turning it off.

But, this isn't meant to be a consoles V computer thread anyway. Like I said before, computer games were always more attractive to me with their diversity and tendency towards openness.

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Purely talking about games (the Amiga was an incredible machine for just dicking about on and being creative), like for like against the consoles the Amiga couldn't really hold it's own. And later in it's life it suffered against the PC... but it's weird - I meet people in their mid 20s who genuinely believe Starfox was the first 3D videogame you could play at home and I think about Knights of The Sky, Stunt Car Racer, No Second Prize, F1 GP... (never mind stuff like Elite, Castle Master on 8 bit systems etc.)

There was a lot that might seem throw-away now but was incredible at the time - the brilliance of Sensible Software or something purely aesthetic like the soundtrack to the Chaos Engine. THE VERY EXISTENCE OF JETSTRIKE.

And 4 player Moonstone, my second favourite version of Bomberman, public domain masterpieces like Air Taxi and Gravity Force 2/Gravity Power etc, Speedball 2, SWOS, Hired Guns and it being the home system for Worms and Super Skidmarks. Just hours and hours of happy memories.

It was a machine of it's time and I'm glad I got to witness it at it's peak. I'm also weirdly happy it was still my main gaming machine into the mid 90s when it was truly dead - pottering about with the games I'd missed out on while the gaming world moved on around me (although fuck the Amiga version of UFO:Enemy Unknown - it was terrible no matter how souped up your Amiga was).

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I first had an Amiga. It was my first proper gaming device and I spent a lot of time playing games such Oscar, Dennis and Top Gear 2. Then I got Lemmings 2 The Tribes which was bloody fantastic and kept me busy for a long time. But then the mothership landed, I got Civilisation. I cannot describe the enjoyment that game gave me. A whole new life experience in itself. Unlike any other gaming experience I had ever had...

Meanwhile I was aware of the Sega and Nintendo by playing round my school friends houses. I was super jealous and really wanted one. I used to be allowed to borrow my uncles Sega over the Christmas period and during this time the Amiga wouldn't get much of a look in.

I started getting into football at about 7 years old and I can remember playing a football game at my friends on his Nintendo, it was so much better than anything I had played on the Amiga. The same can be said of Mortal Kombat and WWF in the Nintendo.

Then one Christmas my uncle let us keep the Sega and afterwards the Amiga didn't get much of a look in at all...

So I would say the Sega and Nintendo did trump the Amiga in my childhood. But the Amiga was a fantastic alternative and only slightly worse. By no means shit!!

I have great memories of saving over my elder brothers Civilisation saves. I've always been a troller in games and this habbit was born on the Amiga! Not being able to save on the Sega/Nintendo did limit it to an extent in comparison.

Both great gaming systems!

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Thanks for everyone's replies so far.

Mainly though I used the Amiga for making music with ProTracker/MelonTracker and the like, Dpaint, some AMOS, bit of programming, and I was into the demo scene. It was a great machine for being creative

Quite a few of you have said you enjoyed being creative with the non-gaming software, and I agree -- I spent countless hours making silly little animations in Deluxe Paint III and playing around with music sequencing and stuff. It must have killed so much adolescent boredom. If I'd been a Nintendo or Sega kid, I'd have needed to find other things to do!

If you read the multi-format mags at the time the Amiga vs ST wars sort of kept the console heat off the Amiga. It could say it was better than something, even if the sound was better and you had more colours.

I was mostly sheltered from what was going on beyond the world of Amiga because I only read Amiga magazines (I didn't want to spend money on multiformat mags because they seemed console-focused and didn't have a coverdisk). Amiga magazines kind of lived in a bubble where only the Amiga mattered, and therefore, so did I. The only other machine that Amiga mags constantly referenced was the Atari ST.

I never considered that the silly playful "Amiga vs ST" war in the magazines may have been to distract you from a greater concern: the 16-bit consoles were totally trouncing the Amiga and ST when it came to action games.

During the mid 80s and early 90s the Amiga was a colossus of the British and European games industry and without it I doubt many of the people now working in the industry would be have turned out to be.

Yes. There hasn't been a British "feel" to the games industry since the Amiga, but many of the game studios around today are still British and filled with the kind of people who started on the C64 and Amiga. For example, we might not have the Grand Theft Auto series if DMA Design hadn't started on the Amiga.

Many of the Amiga's best "computer" games were also on PC DOS; but I don't think the x86 PC would have cultivated many programmers and game designers by itself. It was the affordable British and American home computers that created a computer games industry. Then they all died, and we were left with only "the PC".

The Amiga had classic after classic released for it from all types of genres, which was possibly it's strongest asset. From flight sims to adventures games and everything inbetween it played host to an utterly fantastic array of original and arcade titles.

That's what I always believed, and it's the reason I was so shocked to find so much disappointment in the Amiga's game library. Most of the "classic after classic" action games were also released on the consoles; most of the "classic after classic" mouse-driven games were also released on the PC. The Amiga had less exclusives than I thought, and I was shocked to see the low-caliber of most of the Amiga's original action games. I can only count a few games like Worms and Alien Breed as exclusives to be proud of.

I'll agree that most of the games shared with the PC -- flight sims, god games, RTS, adventures -- were more accessible to a young lad with an Amiga. Commodore's computer was under £400, and only nerds built themselves an expensive x86 PC. I played the likes of Frontier Elite II and Monkey Island on my Amiga, and I cherish it for that.

- Do you think the Amiga left any lasting legacy, or gaming DNA, that can be observed in games today?

I honestly think this is a joke question.

When I spoke of "gaming DNA", I was more concerned with the question of whether Amiga games contributed artistically to what gaming is like today. Nintendo and Sega created and published games that are still the foundation of all videogaming. Nintendo - and the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto - layed so much of the foundation of game design. Can we say the same about the Amiga? Or was the Amiga mostly home to genres that are now dead, or didn't matter outside the Amiga? When the best games from this generation are assessed, would anyone recognise any of the DNA coming from the Amiga?

I dont think its fair to compare the amiga to the snes or megadrive though, it was out quite a few years before them, and probably should be compared to the master system or NES which I would say it trounced.

Certainly I felt my Amiga was getting old by the time I got a megadrive in 1992.

Good point. I think I've made a mistake by comparing this 16-bit computer to the 16-bit consoles -- I only got my Amiga in 1991 when the competition with consoles was inevitable. I didn't consider that the Amiga came out in 1986, and must have been very impressive at the time. British kids didn't really grow up on Nintendo in the 80s like American kids. We started on C64, Spectrum or Amstrad (or in my case, Acorn Electron!), and the Amiga was a graduation from them.

I got a megadrive at some point and owned around six games for it. With the Amiga, I'd get more than that a week. With consoles I always felt like you were treading a tightrope that was on fire. The games cost so much that you couldn't really afford to make a wrong a choice because it might be another six month before you get another one.

Exactly. Console games just weren't affordable. The reason all my friends had Amigas and STs is because our parents would never have let us have a machine with games that cost £40-£60 each, but they were happier to see a shelf of budget Amiga games in WH Smiths for £5-10.

Did video rental shops in the UK not rent out console games at that time? I can't remember. The answer must be no. That certainly seems to be why the NES became huge with American kids... they rented the games! But we didn't even get a decent video rental chain like Blockbuster (ha) in the UK until the early 90s. So console gamers in the UK had to save up their pocket money for months to buy one game.

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I never had an Amiga and I didn't know anyone with one. Majority of us had a console and a family PC (my dad got his through work and though it lacked a sound card, I was happy enough with the games I had). As a result, I was never interested in the Amiga, though I had an Atari something when I was really little but back then we only had one TV in the house and given it took half an hour or more to load a tape, they weren't too keen on me hogging the telly for that long.

Honestly, part of the reason I got a console was because it just switched on. I had a Master System, and amongst my friends we had the NES, Mega Drive and Game Boy also covered.

I don't think there were many Amiga titles that didn't come to PC in some shape or form and I guess you just didn't care too much what you missed out on then. I wish I had the same sort of willpower now.

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- Do you think the Amiga left any lasting legacy, or gaming DNA, that can be observed in games today?

Yes, I do. Not in the games themselves, but in the people that owned the machines.

It's easy to look back on the Amiga as a sub-par gaming machine (which in many respects it was) but it introduced a generation of British people (kids mainly) to a computer that had a colour display with a reasonable palette, with a mouse and window based interface - basically the earliest computer I ever used that resembled how we use computers today. In my case, the games attracted me to start using the machine but as I grew older I learned about all of the other things it could do.

I imagine there are many people with computer skills that were derived in a similar way - even those working in the games industry.

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The Amiga/st was a better bet than pc/console gaming in its day. 87-89

Then my mate imported a megadrive and all bets were off.

That's not strictly TRUE, mind. I struggled on until about 92-93, we were still using the Amiga for video editing, and the st helped me though a-level music.

Then the pc/snes, the pc/ps1.

And then pc gaming really kicked off... Almost full circle, except pc legacy made it difficult to keep up, so became dedicated to console gaming when my x2 3800 wasn't good enough anymore, with a cheap laptop for non-gaming pc stuff.

I guess I was lucky.

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Did video rental shops in the UK not rent out console games at that time? I can't remember. The answer must be no.

:lol: Logic how does that work!

Yes, you could rent console games from as early as 1991. The indies caught on that the games were too expensive and so did rentals and swaps. The small independent video shops rented the games too. I had a guy that would come to my house with a car boot full of the latest import Megadrive games I could rent 2 for a week for £5.

Much like today the problem with rental was the publishers complaining they were losing sales to rentals (like preowned today). so publishers had to somehow make it breaking the law to rent them and then bringing in their own legal rental stock.

On topic, my mates had Amigas, I liked looking at the tech demos playing some of the original games and PD Porn. The music was better than the Megadrive too. Arcade conversions were crap, but as far as they were concerned free crap is better than expensive good.

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I had no jealous feelings toward Master systems or megadrives or NES/SNES. My Amiga had all my gaming needs covered. I bought it in 1987 and it got replaced by a PC in 1995 - To be fair though the last two years of its life it hardly got touched due to fatherhood.

You had Lucasrts, Cinemaware, Team 17, Psygnosis, DMA, Sensible Software, blah blah blah. Concentrating on poor imitations of console platformers is missing the point of the Amiga..

.

As for lasting legacy. DMA design, cut their teeth on the Amiga. After that they became Rockstar North. Bullfrog and Peter Molyneux invented the God Game on the Amiga.

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- Were you jealous of console gamers?

I got an Amiga in 1990, when I was fifteen. It was an easy choice, as I wasn't JUST a gamer, I liked programming, music, etc.

Games-wise, I didn't know of ANYONE who owned a Nintendo or Sega machine, not even friends of friends. We were still pretty much just kids, and nobody could afford the games. Let's be frank: a vast library of games that I could buy for £2 from the local market, or copy freely from friends, was a massive draw. I got two boxes of blank discs as a Christmas gift with my Amiga, and I was all over town "visiting friends" throughout the day. I remember seeing Sonic the Hedgehog on telly and thinking "that looks pretty good", but I always had a half-dozen decent games on the go at any one time.

- Did you have a full understanding of what was happening in arcade gaming and American/Japanese consoles? Or were you mostly informed by what was happening on the Amiga?

From what I remember, the consoles at the time were the NES (which seemed laughably primitive compared to the Amiga), and the Megadrive, which looked alright but, again, games were too expensive. The local arcade was always up to speed with the latest stuff, so I spent plenty of time and cash in there. Also, I would read about things like the Neo Geo, PC Engine, etc, and think "it must be great to be rich and be Japanese/American". It was all just faraway science fiction pie-in-the-sky. But I never really though "I wish I didn't have to put up with this shitty Amiga", because while most of the console stuff seemed fast, colourful and exciting, they all looked a bit samey, with shoot-em-ups, beat-em-ups and platform games being the norm. The selection of games on the Amiga was an embarrassment of diversity.

However, 1992 rolled in, and the double-whammy of getting a source of proper income, and the Street Fighter 2 craze hitting the arcades, meant I just HAD to have a SNES. The Amiga was pretty much scrubbed thereafter. And DOOM kicked its corpse.

- Do you think the Amiga left any lasting legacy, or gaming DNA, that can be observed in games today?

Sadly no, come to think of it. At least not in the big league console world of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. Like the other home computers before it, it has been sidelined in gaming history. Something I miss terribly in games these days is the stamp of eccentric personality that is usually found when a game has been crafted by just one or two people, and not focus-grouped into oblivion. In my mind, the Amiga was the the last machine where that seemed to be still at large.

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Music was the one area where the Amiga not only knocks out its opponents but knocks out all the spectators and people watching at home on television. Even if you think that the SNES and Megadrive had better games – and this is a totally reasonable point of view, even if it’s wrong and evil and only held by fools – the Amiga absolutely dominated in terms of the quality of the in-game music. Even on stuff like Flashback, where the megadrive version was an excellent conversion, the music didn’t even come close to the Amiga original. Ditto stuff like Cannon Fodder, and SWOS (although that didn’t come out on the megadrive admittedly).

Also, Chaos Engine; Hired Guns, Lotus Turbo 2; Turrican; Blood Money; Shadow of the Beast 2. And loads more. The Megadrive had Revenge of Shinobi and Streets of Rage in terms of music, which admittedly was so banging I occasionally stick it on of an evening, put on a wifebeater vest, headband, and high-top trainers, and shadowbox until the sun goes down. But it didn’t have much else (apart from Alien 3 why am I undermining my own argument). To summarise, the Amiga is best.

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Not much point me adding any more, I'll just keep pos'ing K.

I'm truely amazed by some of the comments in this thread though. I think a lot of it comes down to time though. Many people here simply weren't around or were too young during the heydays' of the 16bit computers.

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The Amiga was far from rubbish. It's true that here were games that it struggled which as many have already said was some arcade conversions. However there were plenty of decent original titles that were better than their console counterparts.

As for music, I've just finished recording this Amiga music special for Retro Asylum.

http://retroasylum.podomatic.com/enclosure/2013-03-22T03_04_51-07_00.mp3

Episode-355-Featured_zpsce40af74.jpg

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I think the Amiga’s legacy is probably to be seen in huge chunks of European game development. This is pure speculation on my part, but given how popular the Amiga and ST were, and how anyone who was interested in game development in the late eighties and early nineties would have had to have learned to make games on a home computer, I’d be really surprised if a majority of European developers didn’t grow up playing (and making) Amiga and ST games.

Look at DICE – they started off as Amiga demoscene programmers, went on to produce Amiga games, and now are one of the biggest developers in the world. The same goes for Rockstar North. I guess you could dispute how much the descendants of Digital Illusions and DMA Design have in common with the current entities, which are basically subsidiaries of EA and Rockstar, but the continued existence of those companies is in itself the legacy of the Amiga days.

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