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Old 08 December 2018, 07:16   #1
tpgb12
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What if any Japanese developers got on board with the Amiga?

I've been playing a lot of PC-98 games through emulation recently, and it kinda got me thinking... what if any Japanese developers got on board with the Amiga? I'm well aware that there really aren't any directly Japanese-made games on the platform (except perhaps Koei ones,) and it's a bit unfortunate because I really think they could have pushed the hardware to its limits. Like, imagine Konami making A500/CDTV versions of Snatcher or Policenauts.

As far as a game like Policenauts being ported to the CDTV is concerned, I'd imagine them using the PC-98 version as a basis. What I think would mainly have to be done is to convert most of the audio to 8bit mono PCM at a lower sampling rate. Perhaps the music at 11khz and voices at 8khz. If you wanted to have audio going through both sides, you could have up to two samples playing at once. I don't think you'd really have to change the graphics much since, like the PC-98, the Amiga has a 640x400 16/4096 color mode (even though it's somewhat slow on an A500-like machine.) The biggest concern would be the 1MB of chip ram and the 1x CD-ROM drive maybe being too slow to buffer all of the data reasonably well.

Any thoughts on this topic? I'd be interested in hearing from you all.
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Old 08 December 2018, 12:55   #2
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Having japanese companies like konami, compile, falcom and others could have been an influx of great masterpieces if taking advantage of the amiga chipset. I too wondered of such productions at the time.
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Old 08 December 2018, 22:05   #3
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Think of all the great PC-98 ports we could have had! (I did run a fair share of PC-98 games adapted to DOS/V under PCTask -- they were semi-playable on a 68060. There were actually a lot of unofficial hacks to get PC-98 stuff functional in DOS/V even when there wasn't an official port.)

Granted, most of them were pr0n.
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Old 09 December 2018, 05:51   #4
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Are there really that many good PC-98 games? I was looking at porting one of the emulators for it, but after looking at the library didn't really see that many good games that were playable without knowing Japanese or weren't hentai.
Please convince me otherwise what are the PC-98 masterpieces?
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Old 09 December 2018, 06:29   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grelbfarlk View Post
Please convince me otherwise what are the PC-98 masterpieces?
Here are some examples of what I think are good PC-98 games:
Flame Zapper
Rude Breaker
Tetris 2 + Bombliss
Thexder
Prince of Persia
Lemmings
Populous
Quarth
Touhou Games 1-5
4D Driving
Flashback
Metal Force

Does this at least somewhat convince you otherwise? lol. Not all of these are exclusives, of course, but all of these games and others I haven't mentioned I consider to be quite solid. And btw, not all hentai games are necessarily bad. Yu-No is a genuinely very well made adventure game with a fantastic OST. The Elf Classics Windows version has an English translation, but I wish the native PC-98 DOS version would get the same treatment someday.

Last edited by tpgb12; 09 December 2018 at 06:35.
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Old 09 December 2018, 09:45   #6
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Great thread... The Amiga was barely available in Japan, but was there as C64 had its presence, same for Atari. If the local talent had jumped on board, I think the Amiga would have been the pre-x68000 to their market, at the time.

The machine has the capabilities, it was just the marketing that needed to push it, and I think it would have been the same as the Mac for that market with niche genres taking over... look at RPG, Hentai, puzzles and beat em ups... that is their forte.
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Old 10 December 2018, 02:29   #7
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The Japanese were amazing in that timeframe, and their support would have helped the Amiga a lot. Basically:

America == Great game designers but mediocre programmers, resulting in some great games but limited performance, only really shining when they were given overpowered hardware around the turn of the millennium.
Europe == AMAZING programmers and a few good game designers but they rarely worked together, resulting in lots of impressive "games" that were more playable tech demos, and some great games that suffered from the same restrictions as American developers. Very rarely did the two meet.
Japan == Great programmers and great game designers who actually worked together. The programmers weren't *quite* as good as the European ones, but were still in the same league -- but they had the added benefit of working with top-notch game designers, which resulted in the most impressive games of the 80's and 90's, only eclipsed in the 2000's by western developers when the hardware became so powerful that game design became far more important than programming ability.

If the Amiga had been popular in Japan during the 80's it would have been a huge benefit for the platform. You'd see a lot of great games developed to the strengths of the hardware rather than the bad arcade ports that got cranked out of the US and Europe by programmers who weren't even given the original source code and stupid deadlines to implement the bare bones minimum viable product.
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Old 10 December 2018, 22:44   #8
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Originally Posted by tpgb12 View Post
Prince of Persia
Lemmings
Populous
Flashback
I don't understand, at least these four are games that originated in the west. What's the argument here?
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Old 11 December 2018, 02:02   #9
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Semi-related:

I remember going to a store in Akihabara and purchasing a very expensive Amiga software package that gave the Amiga kanji/kana abilities. It was 3rd party. The idea was that it would give you a "KanjiTalk"-like experience (That was what Apple called the Japanese versions of the OS up through maybe 7.x or so). In reality, it was super unstable, and not particularly great function-wise.

I think it was probably the only Amiga store in all of Japan. Back then, Akihabara was still mostly about electronics and computers, and not about maid-cafes and whatnot.

Sadly I sold that when I sold my A3000 back in 1993 or so. that's a double-bummer (miss that A3000).
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Old 11 December 2018, 04:04   #10
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At least we are spared all the awful Japanese RPGs. :-)
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Old 11 December 2018, 06:21   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rare_j View Post
I don't understand, at least these four are games that originated in the west. What's the argument here?
I was just listing some random games I could think of for the one guy earlier in the thread. Not directly related to the topic, but I just wanted to give him an answer. And a fair bit of the Western-originated games for the platform I think have some cool unique traits to them compared to other versions.

Here's the PC-98 version of Prince of Persia, for example. I really like the 640x400 visuals here, and the music is also quite good:

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 11 December 2018, 06:30   #12
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And something else I should clarify just in case some might take it wrong...

This topic is not about downing the platform at all. I own an A500 and enjoy a lot of games on it, such as Leander, Hunter, Stunt Car Racer, etc. I just brought it up because I think It'd be interesting to imagine what if these talents did exist on the Amiga as far as games go.
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Old 11 December 2018, 10:30   #13
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The BC Kid conversion by Factor 5 is probably the best conversion of an original japanese game on the Amiga, maybe along with Rodland, Pang and A-Train.

I'd also love to see adventure games like Snatchers or Policenauts on the Amiga, maybe the CD32. I can't see why the machine wouldn't be able to run it.

Note that Earok did make so astonishing conversion of FMV japanese games recently.
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Old 11 December 2018, 11:37   #14
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At least we are spared all the awful Japanese RPGs. :-)
What would be wrong about having games like Act Raiser, Soulblazer, Illusion of Time/Gaia, Terranigma, Final Fantasy IV and XI, Phantasy Star series, Secret of Mana etc. on the Amiga?

They may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they could have only strengthened the Amiga's offering.

In response to the rest of the question, yes I think it could have brought something to the table, although the Amiga was let down by its slow start, leading to some less than great ST ports, and then a whole level of dire arcade conversions from US Gold's destroyers in chief Tiertex, had they been first party conversions, it could have only improved things.

So again I'm not overly familiar with the PC-98, but it could have only strengthened the Amiga's offering.

Ironically I think the A1000 was largely built in Japan?
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Old 11 December 2018, 12:11   #15
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The BC Kid conversion by Factor 5 is probably the best conversion of an original japanese game on the Amiga, maybe along with Rodland, Pang and A-Train.
Arkanoid is pretty fantastic on the Amiga, too. Extremely close to the arcade.
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Old 11 December 2018, 14:21   #16
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@Marle:

I don't know about that, maybe the more games the better but they would have lowered the average quality of the platform's games, in my opinion.

Last edited by Minuous; 11 December 2018 at 17:23.
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Old 11 December 2018, 21:00   #17
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@Marle:

I don't know about that, maybe the more games the better but they would have lowered the average quality of the platform's games, in my opinion.
Fair enough I'd be interested what it is that leads you to that opinion? I think that would be great for the discussion! We all have valid opinions
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Old 11 December 2018, 21:42   #18
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When you see all games on the Sharp X68000, you can easily imagine those games coded on Amiga as the hardware doesn't seems far better than the Amiga 1200 hardware with a 030+ accelerator board
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Old 11 December 2018, 22:43   #19
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I've already seen this topic somewhere...lol

Japanese developper on amiga woulld have make big differences for sure!

The reason is simple the japanese reached professional develepement level long time

before the european did. just see what hudson soft released for the amiga by 1993,

off course they hired european companies to code theirs games but not the crapiest

one. meaning they where seeking to realease top knotch games!

Trust me if the amiga market was growing by this time i bet they would start to set up in

house team to code their upcoming project. In my opinion 1994 started to show what the

OCS chipset was able to pull out, professional devellopement kit and average

developement team up to 4 to 5 people mangement helped to reach this level. so what could have

10 people highly skilled and very knowlegable with the 68000 motorola could have done?
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Old 12 December 2018, 15:40   #20
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Quote:
When you see all games on the Sharp X68000, you can easily imagine those games coded on Amiga as the hardware doesn't seems far better than the Amiga 1200 hardware with a 030+ accelerator board
I don't think thats true. The X68000 has video capabilities that goes way beyond an Amiga can push. I am not sure a 030 would be able to compensate.


Quote:
The Amiga was pushed to the max in lots European games in different ways anyway, plus i dont see how games like Policenauts or Snatcher is pushing any system to its limits?
Many european games pushed the hardware to its limits... and while I do love the system obviously, like it has been stated, many games were more tech demos than real games. European devs always seemed to be more interested in the coding part of doing games than in the design. At that point Japanese developers WERE better, I don't think it's even possible to argue that. You can say it's because they had better tools, bigger teams, bigger budgets, whatever if you want it to though, as it is all true.

Take a look ate Vampire Killer on MSX (its "castlevania" game from Konami). It's an 1986 game for an 8 bits machine, the staff was made of 16... yes, SIXTEEN people. What Amiga game had 16 people on its staff already in the 90s? This does make a big difference.

But then even when japanese games were mady by smaller devs (There were also a lot of games made by a single coder back at that time, many "made at garage" stuff, many "I just finished college and now I am underpaid on this game coding job" in Japan just like in Europe), japanase games still usually were better than European ones.
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