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Old 18 February 2020, 16:32   #21
Retro-Nerd
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It's okay to dislike a game but calling a competent product a "stinker" is just not very fair.

For the ST at that time, maybe. But NOT for the Amiga. This game scrolls very slows and still manages to be jerky. The controls are sluggish and slow too. Not to mention the boring level/weapon design. Yes, it was massively overrated back then. Maybe a 5/10.

Well, the ST got the brilliant Wings of Death later and showed that it's possible to do something better on the weak hardware.

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Old 18 February 2020, 18:28   #22
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By the way, both SOTB and the rendition of MegaBlast were done by Dawid Whittaker - around same time btw (end 1988/first half of 1989) so is its own playroutine for its own music format that sucks
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Old 18 February 2020, 18:58   #23
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Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
For the ST at that time, maybe. But NOT for the Amiga. This game scrolls very slows and still manages to be jerky. The controls are sluggish and slow too. Not to mention the boring level/weapon design. Yes, it was massively overrated back then. Maybe a 5/10.
But you're probably in the minority along with Hewitson. The rest of us love it still, and loved it back in the day. That's why it was highly rated.

I know it's a shock that people will accept a game you don't like, but that's how life works
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Old 18 February 2020, 20:05   #24
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I have to Agree some games might not fit in with Japanese style games but there still enjoyable I even like Agony

But then again I don't think much of SOTB 1&2 so each to there own.
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Old 18 February 2020, 20:31   #25
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Either way Hybris kicks Xenon II's arse BIG TIME!
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Old 18 February 2020, 20:32   #26
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But you're probably in the minority along with Hewitson. The rest of us love it still, and loved it back in the day. That's why it was highly rated.

I know it's a shock that people will accept a game you don't like, but that's how life works

I don't think that i'm in the minority. Anyway, i can accept that people like it for the style, not the actual gameplay. Just like Beast 1.
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Old 18 February 2020, 20:40   #27
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Got to agree the ST version does sound better to me also or at least let me say I prefer it.

The Amiga one sounds like it's been track from rock star ate my hamster, probs due to the filter applied?. The ST version is closer to the original for me.
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Old 18 February 2020, 21:12   #28
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I don't think that i'm in the minority. Anyway, i can accept that people like it for the style, not the actual gameplay. Just like Beast 1.
We don't have a very big sample size anymore, but given that I'm not the only one in this thread (and others) that pile in saying how much they love it, I'm inclined to disagree
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Old 18 February 2020, 21:28   #29
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Poll Time again.

But with the correct question: "Do you think Xenon II is actually a good Amiga shmup, gameplay-wise?".
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Old 18 February 2020, 21:34   #30
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Poll Time again.

But with the correct question: "Do you think Xenon II is actually a good Amiga shmup, gameplay-wise?".
Yay, poll time!

And I think it is below average.
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Old 18 February 2020, 22:01   #31
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Poll Time again.
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Yay, poll time!
Last time I created a poll in a thread for a valid question; I got abuse
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Old 18 February 2020, 22:12   #32
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Last time I created a poll in a thread for a valid question; I got abuse
Last time was an awful poll for a decent game, now we have a decent poll for an awful game! :P
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Old 18 February 2020, 22:18   #33
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Well, if the thread starter i.e. Hewitson wants a poll, and gives me the desired questions then I'll create
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Old 18 February 2020, 22:23   #34
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It might be interesting to note that Lemon Amiga scores this game a 7.3 out of 10 based on 228 votes. Which is a good three points more than I'd personally rank it, but does show that there is a sizeable group of people out there that do like it.

Just goes to show there's no accounting for taste and that people who either praise games to high heavens or bash them to hell are only rarely a true representation of what the wider audience thinks
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Old 18 February 2020, 22:34   #35
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I would like to hear people's preferences on the Xenon II intro. Yes, we all know it's a shit game, but the music is pretty special.

In my opinion the ST kicks the Amiga's ass. I've never said that before, and I'll probably never say it again, but it really does with the music on this game, the first Xenon also sounds better on the ST.
I also prefered the first Xenon musically on the ST. Yes I know it uses one less channel, but Whittaker insisted on using that nasty electric guitar sample on the Amiga version, and its cut too short, i.e. no-one would EVER play an electric guitar in that way, and it just sounds horrible.

It might also help that I had an ST at the time of Xenon and its the version I heard first.

But as for the claim that Xenon 2 intro music sounded better on the ST, never heard so much rubbish in my life!

The ST version was but a mere snippet of the original music, yes its closer to the original music by Bomb The Bass because its a sample of it, but its not something you could play over and over because its cut far too short.

For once, Whittaker did a decent remix/interpretation of the original, and its a full version you can listen to over and over again.

And i'm sure I wasn't alone but I didn't ever listen to Amiga music through a monitor or a TV, I always had it connected to my stereo system for decent sound output and the problems people are aiming at the sound quality seem at odds with the best way to listen to it.

On the subject of whether Xenon 2 was any good or not, graphically and whilst its only in 16 colours, it does for me still look great, although the earlier levels have the better graphics, sonically its alright, but its the programming design that utterly lets Xenon 2 down.

I have NO idea why The Bitmap Brothers got The Assembly Line to program it for them seeing as NOTHING The Assembly Line did before then ever suggested it was something they were capable of.

The design brief seemed to be "Get as much shit on the screen as possible", except the way it was programmed (i.e. redrawing EVERYTHING) meant it wasn't going to work properly or smoothly.

Its embarrassing to watch someone over their shoulder play it on an A500 with full firepower and see the scrolling come to almost to a halt as it redraws everything.

But then it wasn't programmed with the Amiga in mind, it was programmed with what the ST could get away with and then ported across to the Amiga.

Granted the music and sound fx on the Amiga were at least upgraded, but the area it desperately needed to be Amigafied was the programming.

The design was too ambitious and the programming talent simply wasn't upto the task of pulling off the design properly, or telling The Bitmap Brothers that they needed to cut out the dreams and hopes and deal with what they could deliver.
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Old 18 February 2020, 23:20   #36
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I am thinking it is time for a remater of the game...? The CDTV version is just playing redbook audio, so that is kinda cheating...
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Old 18 February 2020, 23:26   #37
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The CDTV version is just playing redbook audio, so that is kinda cheating...
So you could just replace the Audio Tracks on the CDTV version with the Atari version if you wanted, but anyway ST version is just some horrible sample.

CDTV version always seemed a bit smoother to me on my CD32 don't know if its my imagination but of course its not using any processing power for the music.

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Old 20 February 2020, 14:56   #38
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Compared to this c64 track player just about everything is crap:

[ Show youtube player ]

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 20 February 2020, 15:34   #39
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the music module has to fit in around 450k chipmem. There's a lot of "long" samples in the title tune, they probably had no choice than cutting the sampling rate to 8KHz.

Check some 2 unlimited remake modules. Some are 700K size. But at the time 1MB chipmem didn't exist or wasn't common. Not saying that it couldn't be possible with 512K extra fast and on-the fly copy, but Xenon II is 512k and that would have been more complex for the player.

The genius of Richard Joseph for instance was to re-use the samples to the maximum and mix them to save memory. Not saying it hasn't been done on Xenon 2, though. But there are long sampled parts in X2 which are probably only a sample, no multiple notes.
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Old 20 February 2020, 21:06   #40
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Let me clarify: Whilst the samples on Amiga sound better than ST (naturally, considering the ST's limits), the notes being played on Amiga sound "stilted", like the notes are not hitting exactly the same time each time, so the exact number of milliseconds between each one varies. This is most noticeable on Shadow of the Beast. Whether this is down to poor samples or a poor replayer, I'm not sure, but plenty of other game tunes I've heard don't sound this way.

Atari ST - Music sounds a bit poorer, but plays smoothly
[ Show youtube player ]

Amiga - Music sounds better, but playback doesn't feel as smooth
[ Show youtube player ]

I noticed this was the case with Amiga Xenon II as well.

About Xenon II on the Amiga you got a long track that was considered almost a perfect replica of the original track, and of course much better quality than the ST sample (quite short indeed). Now, the ST sample probably plays faster and perhaps you could like more that way, that is just a matter of individual tastes, but indeed the faster playback helps to cover the low quality (try any old sample played slow).


About Beast, come on, the ST game was created 1 year later and it was not planned at 1st, so saying that the notes are not hitting the exact time has no sense, as the composition was created that way, and adapter later on ST, quite good indeed, but def no so good to beat the original. Perhaps you could like more the changes made after, but again just your taste but really no better quality (very far I would say)... (and is only 1 track, while the original has a lot of wonderful tracks, imho even beter than the intro one).
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