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Amiga Appreciation Thread

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Love the Amiga - fantastic series of computers. Again, a machine which I never actually owned, but by way of friends and relatives I got to play on them quite a lot back in the day.

 

My first memories come by way of a few games:

 

Syndicate - The moment my cousin rounded up an entire disposable army with his persuadertron, packing gauss guns, lasers and whatever else, I was in absolute awe at the spectacle of the game and its incredible cyberpunk atmosphere. I did manage to get my hands on a copy eventually by way of the Mega Drive version, which my brother and I completed in co-op.

 

Brutal Sports Football - Absolute carnage, which of course appealed to my young, impressionable mind. I remember being elated at seeing it in the previews section of Mean Machines one month (albeit with a new name - 'Beastball') and racing down to my nearest Future Zone to ask them when it'd be hitting the shelves. They, consequently, looked at me like I had ten heads and said they'd never heard of it, and indeed it unfortunately never made it out of the prototype-phase on the Mega Drive. However - by the power of the internet - we are now able to marvel in its elusive glory. I did also pick it up on the Jaguar version later on, and it became a firm favourite to play before hitting the town in my uni days.

 

Body Blows - well, it was better than the Amiga's Street Fighter II port... my cousin owned both, and this definitely got more playtime. In fact, I remember getting cut off by my aunt because we were duelling it out for so long on one occasion.

 

Played a bunch more as time went on, with favourites being IK+, Cannon Fodder, Skidmarks, The Chaos Engine, Pinball Fantasies, Monkey Island, Wizkid (and all its wonderful insanity), Turrican and Laser Squad. (NB: for the obvious games not mentioned, I probably experienced them first/played them more on the Mega Drive or PC).

 

Also, I am convinced that something is wrong with me as this song crops up in my head on an almost a monthly basis, I'd say:

 

 

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I set my A600 up this afternoon to check it all over before a potential sale and ended up having a thoroughly enjoyable hour on Defender of the Crown! I thought I'd be ok going back to emulation but I dunno. The real hardware is so nice.

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Yeah, playing on actual hardware is a joy. The only issue is just how unreliable real Amigas can be these days. Disks are real hit and miss if they still work (copied games still work, yet originals fail to load!). But when it does all work, it's brilliant.

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Anyone got a CD32?  What's worth picking up for it over a standard Amiga (bearing in mind I don't have an A1200)?  Obviously I know about the biggies like Gloom, Banshee, Alien Breed etc.  The one I bought came with a few decent games like Liberation, Jungle Strike and Microcosm, but mostly just shovelware other than that. 

 

Yes, I am accusing Chuck Rock of being shovelware.

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I had one many years ago.... you can burn off the game compilations where they took whdload games and added an interface to it for the CD32. Many are 1200 games. There are loads of unofficial CD32 conversions and compilations.

 

couple of brilliant games are Guardian (basically a cross between star fox and defender) and RoadKill - an overhead racer. Other good games are Pirates Gold and the Assasins CDs - collections of all the Assasins PD disks. Speedball 2 also got a great makeover with a brilliant CD soundtrack. Skidmarks was great on the CD32 too!

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I'd second the recommendation for Guardian, maybe the last great Amiga game.

 

CD32 Wing Commander is very good too. And Overkill is a good companion shmup to go with Banshee.

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I loved overhead racers back in the 16-bit era and there were a few crackers on the CD32. If you like overhead racers then give this unofficial compilation a try from here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=83560

 

Includes the games

 

Super Cars - Codetapper
Super Cars 2 - Codetapper
Micro Machines - JOTD
Champion Driver - Psygore
Jupiter's Masterdrive - Psygore
Overdrive - JOTD
Nitro - Harry & Bored Seal
Turbo Trax - Psygore
Super Grand Prix - Codetapper

 

 

They won't have anything over the Amiga 500 versions, but a good compilation nevertheless. 

 

ATR had a pretty good CD32 release too (in fact, I've still got it somewhere)

 

 

Roadkill is a brilliant game that was 1200/CD32 exclusive: 

 

 

And of course Skidmarks... which the CD32 version removed all the annoying disk swapping!

 

 

Did you like Emlyn Hughes on the C64? Wembley International Soccer was an unofficial followup and again the CD32 version was really good (although you have to play it in side view, like the original game - the overhead option was crap). One feature that was cool was the zoomed in boxes of the players you could pass to - so you could see if they were being marked or not.

 

Shadow Fighter was an Amiga only beat-em-up that I really enjoyed back then. Haven't played it in years, so not sure how it plays now...

 

Super Stardust has been recently updated for modern consoles, so why not give the best version a try?

 

One final one for now was The Speris Legacy, a sort of Zelda rip off. Again, I thought this was great back then (and I had a SNES plus Zelda too), but reviews don't seem to be too kind to it. I think I've still got it somewhere, although I've since lost the big box and the code sheet (doh). The cover looked like it had Colin Hendry on the front!

 

 

boxart_sperislegacy.jpg

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God I miss my A1200. I gave it to someone on here a few years back, because it just wasn't really practical. But I upgraded and loved that machine to hell and back. Extra CPU and RAM, HDD, CD-ROM and all sorts. It was great. :(

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Cheers, @moora!  I've read that the controllers are prone to breaking so I've just ordered a PS1 pad adapter rather than forking out the ludicrous price fleabay scabbers want for proper ones.  It looks quite neat with rapid and autofire options, mouse emulation and joystick emulation on a Dual Shock analogue stick -

 

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3KcKvhuC9qvQmpLOVRjQ3BLLXpwQlBBejItbTFTa25rR2ZJ/edit

 

 

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Well, she works! That's always a bonus.

 

Chuck Rock is the perfect example of a lazy port to CD. They couldn't even be arsed sticking a new soundtrack on it. Tut tut, Core. At least they managed to stick a funky high quality tune over Nigel Mansell's, even if the game is another simple port. Jungle Strike is a nice conversion on the CD32. Super smooth and fast but looks a bit bare bones, and would you believe tonight was the first time I've ever played Microcosm? Seems pretty slick. Love that cheese-ahoy intro!  I also played a couple of shit platformers in Beavers and Premier. Probably the most interesting CD that came with it is one packed to the rafters with PD, demos and shareware. There's tons to pick through but I've already found a pretty good R-Typeish shooter I'll definitely be going back to.

 

I need to get some decent games burned, stat. On the whole, it's a pretty sorry bunch it came with and Liberation won't boot up :(

 

I did download a CD compilation but I couldn't get that to boot either. Had trouble with PCE ISO's too, but no problems burning CD-i or 3DO ones, so I don't know what's up. I'll just keep trying until I nail a combination of disc and software which works, I suppose.

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13 minutes ago, Nathan Wind said:

I did download a CD compilation but I couldn't get that to boot either. Had trouble with PCE ISO's too, but no problems burning CD-i or 3DO ones, so I don't know what's up. I'll just keep trying until I nail a combination of disc and software which works, I suppose.

 

Go here for he best compilations

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The laziness for the CD32 games is incredible. The ones where they make the effort are often around 350-400MB in size (there isn't that many), whilst the straight Amiga ports never go beyond a couple of MB.

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It was unfortunate that the CD32 was caught between two generations - the 16 and "true" 32 bits like the PlayStation and Saturn. If it had come out in say 91, then it could have done well for a couple of years with a better version being released to compete with the PlayStation. 

 

Instead ad you got developers not knowing how to make use of the unique selling point - CD media. So while Microcosm is a good example of what could be achieved with CD Rom media, it was little more than Space Harrier with a funky intro and digitised backgrounds.

 

However, most companies just used it as a way of removing disk swapping and at best putting on a CD soundtrack. Speedball II is a good example, it's a brilliant game but there was no way people were going to buy a CD32 for it. When the Playstaion came along, with the likes of Destruction Derby, and the PC with Doom and Quake, you knew that the CD32 was done for. 

 

But hey, I really loved it back in the 90s and there's some cracking games for it. The unofficial conversions and compilations since have made it quite an interesting console. I'd love to get one , after stupidly throwing mine out 15 years ago because I thought emulation was good enough (still kept the games, mind...)

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18 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

I don't disagree, but that's not what I'm saying.  It's the very definition of a lazy port to CD.

 

I know mate, sorry if that came across as a dig. I just wanted to say (type) it as it's not very often you can say that and people will know what you're talking about ;)

 

18 hours ago, Ersatz Nihilist said:

 

I actually still occasionally find myself humming it, even though the last time I played it was about 28 years ago.

 

*thumbsup*

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At the time I always felt the A1200 and by extension the CD32 were undersold by the lack of decent AGA specific software. Over the years though I've read up a lot on the Amiga hardware out of curiosity and there's some interesting reasons why that might have been the case (warning, technical babble incoming...)

 

First up the blitter in the AGA chipset was the same as the OCS/ECS version which meant using the higher colour modes was far slower than sticking to 16 or 32 colours because of the bitplane graphics system the Amiga used. For example drawing a 16x16 pixel tile in 256 colour mode (8 bit planes) took twice as long to draw on screen than it did in 16 colour mode (4 bit planes). The CD32 had a byte per pixel mode to get around this issue but that meant if you were writing a game for OCS/ECS, AGA and CD32 you had to write three separate sets of graphics routines for the three separate screen modes. Probably a wasted effort considering the decline of the Amiga market. You could in some edge cases have the CPU and Blitter rendering graphics in parallel with some clever programming but again, that was more development time to appeal to a fraction of the audience.

 

There were loads of tricks you could do with those extra bit planes in AGA for not much extra CPU and Blitter overhead (see the fog effects and transparencies in Banshee for a good example) and the AGA chipset under certain conditions allowed for extra wide sprites, I still think those aspects of the hardware were under used, but I remember a lot of AGA games just using two 16 colour dual play-fields so you could get an extra layer of parallax with very little CPU and Blitter overhead and not much re-working of code from the OCS/ECS versions (your draw routines for the front layer would essentially be the same, just drawing to different memory addresses). Getting good results out of the Amiga was all about what you could get drawn on the screen "for free" using a combination of the Copper, Sprites, hardware scrolling of bitmaps and trying to minimise actual writes to screen memory through clever programming.

 

I still think of the A1200/CD32 as a beast of a system thanks to that 2mb chip RAM and extra headroom for good old technical trickery with the faster CPU and extra bit planes. I bet you could make a killer JRPG or tactics game for it if it was designed specifically for the hardware.

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4 hours ago, BabelRich said:

 

I know mate, sorry if that came across as a dig.

Nah, don't be daft.  Imagine how glorious is could have been if they'd just recorded the same tune at CD quality, maybe with some decent clean synth instruments or samples.  I liked Chuck Rock back in the day but when I first played it I hadn't really played any of the glorious SNES or MD platformers of the time.  Going back to it now, it's very mediocre.

 

Edit - so much glorious! Glorious!

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Also, can anyone recommend an external CD burner which can burn at slow speeds? I fear it's probably going to be a case of scouring eBay for an ancient one.  The one in my PC is 48x and all the external ones I've looked at are 24x for CD-R's. 

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1 hour ago, Nathan Wind said:

Nah, don't be daft.  Imagine how glorious is could have been if they'd just recorded the same tune at CD quality, maybe with some decent clean synth instruments or samples.  I liked Chuck Rock back in the day but when I first played it I hadn't really played any of the glorious SNES or MD platformers of the time.  Going back to it now, it's very mediocre.

 

I might put my band back together for just this, would need a keys player tho.

 

The rest is spot on too.

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2 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

Also, can anyone recommend an external CD burner which can burn at slow speeds? I fear it's probably going to be a case of scouring eBay for an ancient one.  The one in my PC is 48x and all the external ones I've looked at are 24x for CD-R's. 

 

You could try buying a cheap laptop on ebay from about 10 years ago. Might be easier. Could keep it then as your ROM burner!

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Oh shit, I have got an ancient XP laptop in the cupboard. Completely forgot.  It's one I bought for making Atari ST disks from when I bought that 1040STE off you a few years ago.  I'll dig it out but I'm not convinced it has a CD burner.

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3 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

Oh shit, I have got an ancient XP laptop in the cupboard. Completely forgot.  It's one I bought for making Atari ST disks from when I bought that 1040STE off you a few years ago.  I'll dig it out but I'm not convinced it has a CD burner.

 

If you really struggle might be even cheaper to buy an internal burner from years ago.

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