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Old 21 January 2020, 16:39   #1
sparhawk
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Original dedicated games on Amiga

Some days ago I was browsing through games and had somehow the impression that there are many games which are just poor ports from somewhere else, and don't even do justice to the power that the Amiga represented.

Maybe I just took the wrong games, but I wonder which or how many games exist which were actually either ported in such a way to take advantage of the Amiga hardware, or were even really designed around it without cutdown because of some other machines disadvantages in mind.


When I read the "Retro Gamer" magazine this view is even emphasized, because often I read there, that this or that game was just an ST port, so it is not as good as it could be.

Obviously "Shadow of the Beast" comes to mind, and possibly Turrican as well, but I would hope that there are also others worth looking into.
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Old 21 January 2020, 16:45   #2
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Maybe this could help?

http://hol.abime.net/hol_search.php?N_isoriginal=yes
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Old 21 January 2020, 19:36   #3
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Defender Of The Crown was made for Amiga originally and has started a new era in gaming fx. It was a truly a next-gen game, a killer app for the Amiga.

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
"Compared to other video games of the time, Defender of the Crown established a new level of quality. IBM had Kings Quest by Sierra On-Line, a decent but primitive adventure game. The Macintosh had games like Checkers or Backgammon, or board games like Risk. Defender of the Crown had richer graphics than any computer, console, or even arcade game could boast in 1986. It was a revelation. "
Lost Patrolis a similar example. I remember seeing DotC and then those digi-sequences from Lost Pattrol at some computer fair and I knew the time has come for my poor ol' ZX Spectrum.
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Old 21 January 2020, 19:50   #4
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I remember when I played DOTC and I was really blown away. I guess for todays standards, it offers a rather limited gameplay, but I have good memories of it.
Don't know Lost Patrols, I'll check that out, as I'm looking for some cool games I can idle the time away.
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Old 21 January 2020, 20:06   #5
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Yeah, it's strange, all Cinemaware titles have rather limited/wonky gameplay, but I still find them quite playable somehow (especially It Came From The Desert and King Of Chicago).

Lost Patrol suffers from the same syndrome And DotC on C64 is actually better as a strategy - they had more time to implement some features missing on Amiga.
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Old 21 January 2020, 21:50   #6
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I'd suggest Jim Power. This game really makes good use of the Amiga hardware, using many of its hardware features.. Although it was ported to Mega Drive and SNES, Amiga plays, looks and sounds better than those versions.
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Old 21 January 2020, 21:53   #7
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The typical mentioned games over the years: Lionheart, Ambermoon, The Chaos Engine, Turrican series, Brian the Lion, Battle Squadron, Apidya, Lotus series, Pinball games from DI and so on.
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Old 22 January 2020, 14:24   #8
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I love Defender Of The Crown and all Cinemaware games really; well, besides say S.D.I. (Cinemaware) as I never got into it; and Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon (which is an abomination compared with other computer versions).

Luckily meynaf ported the Atari ST version: Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon (Atari ST Conversion)

Yes, the graphics are always absolutely amazing and blew everything at the time out of the water
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Old 22 January 2020, 18:38   #9
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It's a shame about Sinbad as it looks like it was all done by Bill Williams, who I thought did an excellent job with Pioneer Plague.
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Old 22 January 2020, 18:55   #10
DamienD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by th4t1guy View Post
It's a shame about Sinbad as it looks like it was all done by Bill Williams, who I thought did an excellent job with Pioneer Plague.
Read this th4t1guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saimon69 View Post
This could explain a lot:
Bill Williams: The Story of a Life

I know somebody could recode a new version of this game with new graphics, however after reading this i wonder if would be appropriate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
Thanks for that saimon69, very interesting story and one I wasn't aware of.

Have quoted the "Sinbad" parts below, the last paragraph says it all:


Quote:
Through an old colleague from Synapse, Bill was put in touch with Bob Jacob, just in the process of starting Cinemaware. Along with Doug Sharp, Bill was signed to become one of Cinemaware’s two lone-wolf developers, given carte blanche to independently create a game based on the movies without being actually being based on a movie; the newly formed Cinemaware was hardly in a position to negotiate licenses. Bob had plenty of ideas: “Bob is a generation older, and he would be recommending movies that were more the stuff that really jazzed him when he was twelve or so. I knew if I didn’t come up with a counter-idea, I was going to have to do one of his.” A big fan of the stop-motion visual effects of Ray Harryhausen, Bill settled on an homage to the 1958 adventure classic The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

Bill’s Cinemaware game didn’t turn out to be terribly satisfying for either designer or player. While plenty of his games might be judged failures to one degree or another, the others at least failed on their own terms. Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon (1987) marked the first time that Bill seemed to forfeit some of his own design sensibility in trying to please his client. It attempts, like most Cinemaware games, to marry a number of disparate genres together. And, also like many other Cinemaware games, the fit is far from seamless. Whilst trekking over a large map as Sinbad, talking with other characters and collecting the bits and pieces you need to solve the game, you also have to contend with occasional action games and a strategic war game to boot. None of the game’s personalities are all that satisfying — the world to be explored is too empty, the action and strategy games alike too clunky and simplistic — and taken in the aggregate give the whole experience a bad case of schizophrenia.

Sinbad also attracted criticism for its art. Created like every other aspect of the game by Bill himself, I’ve heard it described on one occasion as “gorgeous folk art,” but more commonly as garish and a little ugly. Suffice to say that it’s a long, long way from Jim Sachs’s lush work on Defender of the Crown. It didn’t help the Amiga original’s cause when Cinemaware themselves ported the game in-house to other platforms, complete with much better art. Nothing was more certain to get Amiga users up in arms than releasing Atari ST and even Commodore 64 versions of a game that looked better than the Amiga version.
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Old 22 January 2020, 19:17   #11
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Yeah, Sinbad is not Cinemaware's proudest moment but I still kinda like it, because it was so bizarre and different.

Another quintessential Amiga game is of course Another World.

Quote:
"Another World on Amiga is not, properly speaking, a port. Since the A500 was the development machine, it is the original version built from 1989 to 1991 by then 21 years old Eric Chahi working alone[8] in his bedroom. [...]Two reasons made the Amiga the perfect development machine. First, the GenLock allowed to super-impose a video camera output onto the computer own outputs which enabled rotoscoping. Second, and most importantly, the Amiga Agnus immensely facilitated polygons rendering."
Quote from a highly technical article, too much for me, but it has an amazing photo of Eric and his toys:https://www.fabiensanglard.net/another_world_polygons_amiga500/eric.png

Another World was a revelation for me. The gfx, mute storytelling and non-gamey gameplay were all groundbreaking. It's sad it often gets bad rep these days.
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Old 22 January 2020, 20:15   #12
Master484
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Quote:
Maybe I just took the wrong games, but I wonder which or how many games exist which were actually either ported in such a way to take advantage of the Amiga hardware, or were even really designed around it without cutdown because of some other machines disadvantages in mind.
When you look at games that were released on both Atari ST and Amiga, then you'll find out that many early Amiga games were "lazy Atari ST ports". Those early ST to Amiga ports totally ignored the advanced features of the Amiga hardware simply because the Atari ST didn't have them: Blitter, Copper, Sprites, Hardware Scrolling, Dual Playfield, 32 color mode, etc, all thrown to the trashcan.

The end result? Games like Rolling Thunder.

But later, around the years 89 and 90, Amiga ports started to get special attention, resulting in games that were better than their ST counterparts. Good examples are games like War Zone and X-Out, and later arcade conversions like Forgotten Worlds and Golden Axe.

And later, when developers actually started to design games for the Amiga hardware, then the ST ports of those games were often vastly inferior. It's interesting to do Amiga vs Atari ST version comparisons of games like Ork, Pegasus and Z-Out...games like these clearly demonstrate how the Amiga is almost like an arcade machine in comparison to Atari ST.

And games that actually push the Amiga chipset, such as Agony, Kid Chaos or Elfmania, these games are in all likelyhood almost impossible to make on the Atari ST.
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Old 22 January 2020, 23:16   #13
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Elfmania looks really cool. That's definitely some kind of game I would have ecpected from an machine like Amiga.
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Old 22 January 2020, 23:29   #14
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I agree that you should look later, to 1990-1993. 1985-1988 we were still getting many ST ports, or even Apple II ports(!), when the 8-bits got rewrite ports (this is what you need to take advantage - or in the case of porting down specs - even make the port possible).

Lemmings, God games, XCom, flight sims, and some action games came here that do take advantage. In some cases, whole genres were created on Amiga that later got ports to other systems, or inspired them.

I would also say that if you look past the few famous classics, there are still games all the way back to 1988 that are original and take advantage, such as F/A-18 Interceptor.
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Old 22 January 2020, 23:31   #15
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Originally Posted by sparhawk View Post
Elfmania looks really cool.
Unfortunately IMHO it isn't great though; yes the graphics are really good.

Fightin' Spirit is way better as a SF2 / Neo-Geo fighter clone; followed by Shadow Fighter and then Shaq Fu.

Last edited by DamienD; 22 January 2020 at 23:36.
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Old 23 January 2020, 05:33   #16
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Let's face it, none of the fighting games on the Amiga are actually worth playing. The fact that Shaq Fu is one of the best we have says it all.
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Old 23 January 2020, 11:23   #17
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Lemmings, God games, XCom, flight sims, and some action games came here that do take advantage. In some cases, whole genres were created on Amiga that later got ports to other systems, or inspired them.
What genres do you have in mind? I can agree on god games but can't think of any others.

Also XCom was a port from PC, and only the AGA version could keep up so it's not really that relevant.

Another early game (1986) which took advantage of Amiga hardware was Faery Tale Adventure - its gameworld was allegedly the biggest one of the RPGs released to date.
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Old 23 January 2020, 13:41   #18
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"Faery Tale Adventure" I even remember and liked playing it.
Personally I like RPGs, Adventures or Platformers. I played "Impossible Misison" on C64 several times through and was quite happy when I learned that there is a port on Amiga as well. Unfortunately, I felt it was so bad, that I couldn't stomach to play it.
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Old 23 January 2020, 14:05   #19
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Elfmania does look awesome, but suffered in playability.

On a technical level, I've always been impressed by Pioneer Plague. Runs in HAM mode all the way, which is neat. I've also always had a soft spot for Ruff'n'Tumble (even with it's technical limitations).
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Old 23 January 2020, 16:13   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparhawk View Post
I played "Impossible Misison" on C64 several times through and was quite happy when I learned that there is a port on Amiga as well. Unfortunately, I felt it was so bad, that I couldn't stomach to play it.
Which one exactly?

... Impossible Mission 2025: The Special Edition which also includes Impossible Mission
... Impossible Mission II
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