Shadow of the Beast - 15 years on
I've only just got around to visiting the other versions of this landmark title.
Were the graphics and sound for this game really a boundary pushing exercise for the Amiga (lets overlook the obvious playability flaws), was and is it still really the tour de force it once was?
The answer..... is yes!
The Super Nintendo (Famicom) in lots of areas is a superior machine to the Amiga, but you'd be hard pushed to notice this in the SNES version of Beast.
Graphically its very nearly the equal of the Amiga version, in fact the bitmap graphics are slightly smoother looking, but other than that, it retains the same visuals of the Amiga version.
Sonically however, I really can't believe that Psygnosis thought that they had even remotely captured the mood of the Amiga original. Granted, Psygnosis were not about to spend a load of money have a 32Megabit cart to store all the music, but the soundchip in the SNES is a very capable one, shame they couldn't be bothered. The music is dire!
The Sega Megadrive/Genesis version is worse still. Whilst both the Genesis and the SNES are able to match the Amiga for the amount of objects being thrown around on screen, graphically, the Genesis version is washed out and a hell of a lot less colourful. The sound again is dire, with pale imitations of the original Dave Whittaker tunes.
I'm only covering these two machines because they were the Amigas stiffest competition, and Beast was the Amigas premier title, and many people would have you believe that the SNES and Megadrive were the better machines.
How odd it is then that Psygnosis were seemingly incapable of replicating the Amiga original, it only went to show just how technically profficient Reflections were, and this in 1989, the SNES and Megadrive versions were 3 years later.
I won't even bother with the utterly dire ST version (of which most ST owners readily admit isn't even a pale imitation), the Atari Lynx version is superior to that one in every way.
I've looked again at Beast on the Amiga, and it STILL looks and sounds good today, the SNES version dubbed 'Super' just helps to reinforce this.
Just a thought.....