Jump to content

Recommended Posts

41 minutes ago, mikejenkins said:

Most of the Bitmap Bros games seem to have been written with the ST in mind, in that they have limited colours and are mostly squashed on the Amiga versions.

Really? I didn't know that. Stuff like Speedball 2 and Gods I thought of as fairly Amiga-first. Always seemed very smooth to me and like they were chucking a lot at the hardware. I guess I can see it with earlier stuff like Xenon and the first Speedball. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, MrSpiggott said:

I feel a bit uneasy talking about this game because by all modern measures the gameplay is not good, but then you can say that about a lot of games from this era.

Released in 1988 it looked and sounded like nothing else. I was driven to finish levels just to discover what the next levels looked like.

I give you, Sword of Sodan :unsure:

 

I can understand why anybody getting an Amiga a few years later and coming back to look at this wouldn't be impressed at all, but at the time....wow.

 

 

 



 

 

image.jpeg

Always wanted this when I had an Amiga but it never turned up in the bargain bins or on the piracy circuit which were my main two sources of games, aside from asking for one AAA title for every Christmas and Birthday between 1990-2003.

Played it since on emulation and yes, it's terrible! The Mega Drive version is even worse. 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, mikejenkins said:

Most of the Bitmap Bros games seem to have been written with the ST in mind, in that they have limited colours and are mostly squashed on the Amiga versions.

Yes. The patented Bitmap Bros metallic look was designed around the ST’s palette limitations. Also; Sensible Software’s games, Cannon Fodder and Sensi Soccer were obviously based around the ST (16 colour graphics and so on), despite being more associated with the Amiga in popular consciousness.

 

(I’ve always been an Amiga fan over the ST, but have to admit that the Amiga never really escaped the ST’s orbit in many ways.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

I wonder what the last ST port for the Amiga was? I seem to remember the STs popularity as a games machine dropping like a stone at around the time the "golden age" I wrote about in the OP finished.

It looks like the notorious Tiertex soted their act out around 1991, judging by this list https://www.lemonamiga.com/games/list.php?list_developer=Tiertex

 

52 minutes ago, mikejenkins said:

Most of the Bitmap Bros games seem to have been written with the ST in mind, in that they have limited colours and are mostly squashed on the Amiga versions.

Their graphics were amazing considering the 16 colours. The scrolling in Gods though :wacko:. It's funny how the Megadrive port runs too fast because there was no easy way to emulate the ST's judder.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Really? I didn't know that. Stuff like Speedball 2 and Gods I thought of as fairly Amiga-first. Always seemed very smooth to me and like they were chucking a lot at the hardware. I guess I can see it with earlier stuff like Xenon and the first Speedball. 

 

Speedball 2 is clearly better on the Amiga (although the ST does a decent job of scrolling for a change) but Gods and Xenon 2 are very choppy on both platforms. I think by the time the Chaos Engine came around there was a big difference in quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Yes. The patented Bitmap Bros metallic look was designed around the ST’s palette limitations. Also; Sensible Software’s games, Cannon Fodder and Sensi Soccer were obviously based around the ST (16 colour graphics and so on), despite being more associated with the Amiga in popular consciousness.

 

(I’ve always been an Amiga fan over the ST, but have to admit that the Amiga never really escaped the ST’s orbit in many ways.)

 

I think by the time that would have happened, PC VGA was the main "other version" so we still got stuck with 320x200 res games with the odd exception like Sensible Soccer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, MrSpiggott said:

I feel a bit uneasy talking about this game because by all modern measures the gameplay is not good, but then you can say that about a lot of games from this era.

Released in 1988 it looked and sounded like nothing else. I was driven to finish levels just to discover what the next levels looked like.

I give you, Sword of Sodan :unsure:

 

I can understand why anybody getting an Amiga a few years later and coming back to look at this wouldn't be impressed at all, but at the time....wow.

 

 

 



 

 

image.jpeg

I was trying to think of the title of this because at the time this was the sort of game where the screenshots looked out of this world, this was a real step up from 8-bit. Huge characters! Loads of colours!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's worth pointing out that most Amiga games used a 16 colour palette because the CPU speed was halved in 32 and 64 colour modes due to memory bandwidth being shared between the CPU and the custom chips. Also 32 or 64 colour screens needed 1 or 2 extra writes to memory per 16 pixels on top of that.

 

You got extra colours with the hardware sprites and through using the copper "for free", but very few Amiga games actually used 32 (or 64) colour bitmap graphics in game. 

 

Amiga developers would always boast about having 100+ colours on screen because there was a chintzy rainbow effect in the background though! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Were there any Amiga games that user the HAM mode in - game? I know there was Pioneer Plague and a few others that used it for still screens. But my understanding was always that games that used more than 16/32 colours tended to do it with copper trickery (as mentioned above) to just create gradients with extra colours. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Knights of the Crystallion and Links seem to have used HAM mode in game. Must admit I don't remember seeing Knights of the Crystallion or Pioneer Plague back in the day. Both were created by the same developer.

 

I think most good looking games like Lionheart etc. used copper effects though as HAM mode must have been very expensive performance wise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, crocked said:

Knights of the Crystallion and Links seem to have used HAM mode in game. Must admit I don't remember seeing Knights of the Crystallion or Pioneer Plague back in the day. Both were created by the same developer.

Same developer made very early Amiga game Mind Walker, which was if anything weirder than his other games. Didn’t use HAM (as far as I can remember) but definitely did some weird trickery to get some additional colours onscreen at times.


(CD-based game The Labyrinth of Time used HAM for static images, but that was released in 1994, so not an early Amiga game.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure there was an unreleased Amiga game that intended to use HAM mode for a platform game, and  I've been wracking my ancient brain all afternoon trying to remember what it was called. It was Dynamic Debugger. See here:

 

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/ddt-dynamic-debugger/

 

I remember those screenshots being incredibly striking and they are pretty vivid and colourful by the standards of the time, even if the game screen looks to be mainly focused on some nice colour gradients and some very detailed sprites, and not much else.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The golden age referred to in the original post was spent in the shadow of the ST, a bitter pill for those that paid such a premium for it only to find most of the  incredible possibilities supposedly only its custom chips would allow replicated by clever programmers on the 'humble' ST it was only in the 90s that the Amiga managed to emerge from the shadow of the ST but then was very swiftly eclipsed by the 16 bit consoles a couple of years later.

 

Sorry dont want to reignite the old war but thats just the way things panned out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Weirdly enough I think the games that hold up best from the Amiga's early years are the sims, RPGs and strategy games. Genres the ST handled fine.

 

In 89 you start to see the Amiga pull away with games like R-Type, Silkworm, Battle Squadron etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So many great games but Cinemaware were my gods. Defender of the Crown, Lords of the rising Sun, It came from the desert. Wings was probably my favourite though. I played it so much but never completed it. Played through again recently on Emu and still haven't seen the end! I also loved TV Sports Football. As a budding Grid Iron enthusiast the level of detail was unbelievable. So much love and craft went in to their games.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, mwaawm said:

The golden age referred to in the original post was spent in the shadow of the ST, a bitter pill for those that paid such a premium for it only to find most of the  incredible possibilities supposedly only its custom chips would allow replicated by clever programmers on the 'humble' ST it was only in the 90s that the Amiga managed to emerge from the shadow of the ST but then was very swiftly eclipsed by the 16 bit consoles a couple of years later.

 

Sorry dont want to reignite the old war but thats just the way things panned out.

The big-name, memorable games I mention in the OP are mostly US games though, Cinemaware, Origin, Sierra and suchlike - I am not sure if those were ST ports (would say that the Cinemaware stuff certainly wasn't.) Maybe the early Lucas stuff was?

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the ST/Amiga point, according to the Bitmap Brothers Universe book, the Bitmap Brothers did the graphics on the Amiga first from Speedball 2 onwards, and then modified them / tweaked them for the ST's palette. I think they were very much an Amiga-first developer for the most part.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cinemaware would be a rare exception where in that earlier pre 1990 era the amiga versions were superior to the ST ones but even then many of their games made it to the ST in just as playable (and in the case of Defender of the Crown more playable) form.

 

I'm really racking my brain to think of any games in that time that made me feel I was missing out by not having an Amiga...don't get me wrong later on there were games that made the ST pale in comparison (wolfchild is one I seem to recall) but by then I'd already begun the transition to console based gaming...so effectively missed out on what might more accurately be described as the Amigas golden era.

 

As others have mentioned for simulations, rpgs and 3d based games the ST was as if not more capable than the Amiga. This is just a rough recollection of some games I enjoyed on the ST dont feel any of them had my enjoyment significantly curtailed by them not being on the Amiga.

 

Supremacy, Gauntlet 2, Captive, Dragon Breed, Populous 1&2, Swiv, Saint Dragon, Ishar, StuntCarRacer, Mega lo mania, Speedball, Carried command, Conqueror, Lemmings, Dragons Breath,Volfied, Monkey Island, Lure of the Temptress, Kick off 2, Wonderland, Simulcra, Virus, Archipelago, Starglider, Epic, Interphase, Vroom / Domark F1, Bombjack, Bloodmoney, Civilisation, No Second Prize, Lotus, Midnight Resistance, Toki , Battlechess, Operation Wolf, Midwinter 1&2, Hunter, Turrican, Legend, Wings of Death, Onslaught, Mig 29, Falcon,Legends of Valour, Thunderhawk, Defender of the Crown, Rocket Ranger, Graham Gooch Cricket, North & South, Wrath of the Demon, Knights of the sky, Microprose golf....

 

 

Don't want to derail the thread but think the golden era definition should really be pushed out to when there were more unique games that shone on the Amiga alone. (Lionheart, Albion etc?) If the focus is going to be early games then there's very little that was being done uniquely on the Amiga

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can’t be sure of this but it’s certainly how I remember it and that is that once the Amiga hit its stride (between 89-92 imo) games were always released for it first. followed later by an ST version. That was a huge deal back then.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 18/02/2021 at 19:11, mwaawm said:

 

 

Don't want to derail the thread but think the golden era definition should really be pushed out to when there were more unique games that shone on the Amiga alone. (Lionheart, Albion etc?) If the focus is going to be early games then there's very little that was being done uniquely on the Amiga

Yeah I'm not really meaning to use the phrase golden era to mean it was the time the best games were coming out. More that it was the time when the Amiga was looked up to as a fantastic machine where you were likely to be playing the best possible version of a game, if it existed on the format. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, gizmo1990 said:

I can’t be sure of this but it’s certainly how I remember it and that is that once the Amiga hit its stride (between 89-92 imo) games were always released for it first. followed later by an ST version. That was a huge deal back then.

Seem to recall most games that were going to be cross platform on the 16 bits having pretty much near simultaneous release dates right up till around 1992 though admittedly by then the Amiga was beginning to get more exclusives from developers such as team 17 and psygnosis.

 

Veering back on topic.....The TV sports franchise of game(s) I seem to recall being games in the early days that looked great in screenshots, not sure if they were Amiga exclusives but dont seem to remember playing them on my ST so they may well have been.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mwaawm said:

Seem to recall most games that were going to be cross platform on the 16 bits having pretty much near simultaneous release dates right up till around 1992 though admittedly by then the Amiga was beginning to get more exclusives from developers such as team 17 and psygnosis.

 

Veering back on topic.....The TV sports franchise of game(s) I seem to recall being games in the early days that looked great in screenshots, not sure if they were Amiga exclusives but dont seem to remember playing them on my ST so they may well have been.


TV Sports Football at least was on a lot of formats including PC, ST and even PC Engine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just stumbled across an Amiga exclusive title called Ebonstar while looking at scans of AUI June 1988. The warped grid remind me a little of Geometry Wars, without the seizure-inducing explosions (or speed). Reviews mention that it supports up to 4 players on the same machine using a combination of joystick, mouse, and keyboard.

 

I'm surprised there haven't been more Geometry War-style games in recent years. It seems to be a genre that plays to the Amiga's strengths.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had that, it was from the same publisher as Faery Tale Adventure on the Amiga and I think I bought them both together from one of the independent games shops in the Bullring. It was a much slower tactical affair compared with Geometry Wars etc and using the gravity of the hole to bend shots around and get an opponent was great fun. I played this quite a lot with friends when we weren't shouting at each other playing Speedball 2 or Kick Off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some more reading. Remembered that Voyager and Quartz were both considered pretty good in 1988/9, but in retrospect, seeing as both were also ST games, most of the appeal must’ve been the general 16-bit computer ‘wow factor’ rather than anything specifically Amiga. And Voyager seems to look like an unofficial 16-bit remake of Paul Woakes’ Encounter....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.