Originally Posted by Photon
It didn't push many boundaries, it's just that Reflections made use of the Amiga hardware. They looked at the custom chips and thought what kind of game it could be used for. (That's why the gameplay sucks, as opposed to thinking about which elements make a game great.) Hence the parallaxes, halfbrite, copper shades etc. A few weeks after, a bunch of 16-year old demo coders had duplicated the effort, usually with a scroll instead of the main sprite.
It's a bit tough to ask SNES developer to duplicate the music with f.ex. 100kb sample voice etc with the semi-crappy SPC700 chip in the SNES. The only ones who could do it would be the Follin brothers imo.
It's not so odd if you consider that the whole game was based on what the Amiga could do, and the Amiga, with its blitter and copper was unique in those days. To do what it did put a heavier strain on the CPU than most systems could cope with, while the blitter and copper relieved the CPU of working too hard on the Amiga.
Reflections then went on to do other great things, like Driver, where the gameplay is truly great. It's always nice to see small teams pull off a big project like a game! But S.O.T.B. really didn't impress us demo coders in those days, we could instantly see how every graphics "trick" was made and knew how to do the same thing.
But it sure beats Bitmap Brothers' way of making 16-color ST games and do an Amiga port to make more money. (Take Gods, for example.)
Sorry Photon, but you miss the point entirely.
The fact is, Reflections did it first, and did it before the demo coders.
Before Beast, I'm sorry, but the state of graphics and code wasn't anywhere near as polished as Beast, thats just a fact. Its ok to say "oh we could see how it was done", the fact is, they did it first for you to be able to say that, a world of difference from Reflections taking their cues from the demo scene.
Hence why the demo scene then saw fit to duplicate some of the coding tricks employed in Beast in some of their demos.
I also disagree with it not pushing boundaries. It was the first genuine attempt by anyone to produce a game that in the technical department could claim to properly look 'arcade quality'. In comparision to all the other platform wannabes, nothing came close, not until Lionheart and Brian the Lion, and in the case of Brian the Lion, that was the demo coders coming of age title.... but again, it was for Reflections!
Also you underestimate the power of the SNES. If ANY game relied upon the processing power of the SNES, then I'm afraid every game would come to a halt as the processor was a bag of shite! It too relied on its custom chips, and Shadow of the Beast was quite easily more in tune with what the SNES was capable of than the Amiga.
The basic sound chip of the SNES was also VERY VERY good, many good musicians other than Tim Follin were able to reproduce great music on the system. My point about the SNES version of the music in Beast was they clearly didn't make any attempt to bother! Perhaps I didn't make it too clear, the music renditions in Super Shadow of the Beast are dire of the direset order, they are so completly crap, that the Atari ST version sounds better! Thats how bad it is.
And frankly, if you were as you say not impressed by Beast technically, firstly I would say I think you are being economical with the truth, because just about every demo group then did something that was inspired by Beast! You guys certainly dedicated a lot of effort to a game you claim wasn't very impressive!
I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but at least be honest
And I didn't ever dispute the gameplay... it does somewhat lack in that area