English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Retrogaming General Discussion

View Poll Results: Which Version of Elite II Frontier was best?
A1200 (Stock) 12 44.44%
DOS/PC 12 44.44%
They're pretty much the same. 3 11.11%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01 August 2019, 08:43   #1
005AGIMA
Re-loading. Please wait.

005AGIMA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Perth, Australia & England
Posts: 333
Frontier Elite II: A1200 vs DOS

Which in your opinion is the better version?

I owned Frontier on DOS. Would have been originally on my 386DX with 4MB Ram (he says hunting his memory for landmarks to hook onto).

However I really do want to get an A1200 at some point soon, and note the "Frontier Pack" was a thing. Given my love for the game, it makes it a sensible pack to target.

I'll probably still re-buy it for DOS because that's what I had....

I'm talking STOCK A1200.

But from those of you who played BOTH, which in your opinion was the better version? and why?
005AGIMA is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 09:30   #2
AmigaHope
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Sandusky
Posts: 239
DOS version all the way. Has texture mapping and 256 colors. That said, I still prefer the Amiga music slightly over the MT-32 music of the DOS version because even though the MT-32 instruments are way better, the Amiga music modules seem better composed.

The Amiga version suffered from some bad color mapping glitches to get it into 32 colors. This is really obvious in the intro when the ship first lands on the planet -- the colors on the mountain in the background flip around wildly. This probably could have been fixed with some better color mapping code but it sticks out like a sore thumb as is.

The CD32 version really should have been upgraded to 256 colors, it's a crime that they didn't.

That said, the game is playable on a stock A1200. If you add some fast RAM it actually becomes good. Not silky smooth but very playable. The game was not very playable on a stock A500.
AmigaHope is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 09:43   #3
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 4,115
On the A1200 (and CD32) it was probably the best balance of performance versus visuals that they could get. Doing finer remapping would have slowed it down, as would more colours, and the playability was already borderline on the stock A1200. Texture mapping was a no-no.

Personally, I prefer Frontier on the Amiga (and the CD32 version has a couple of features and fixes that never made it into any other version). The music sounds better, despite clashing with the sounds effects due to the Amiga's lack of channels. Texture mapping tends to be pretty ugly at those sorts of resolutions, so to me the clean polygons of the Amiga version are much nicer. And I mostly played it on an '060, so it was silky smooth
Daedalus is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 10:33   #4
Dunny
Registered User

Dunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Scunthorpe/United Kingdom
Posts: 1,293
On stock machines, the DOS/PC version blew the Amiga out of the water. It had better graphics by a long chalk, and the gameplay was pretty much identical.

Add an accelerator though, and it maintained a perfect 50fps - which even a powerful PC struggled to do (not that it couldn't reach 50fps, it just wasn't smooth like the Amiga).
Dunny is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 10:45   #5
Glen M
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Belfast
Posts: 398
I've spent WAY to much time (hundreds if not thousands of hours) with this game so:

On a stock A1200 if you play the game in space it'll fly. You'll get a solid(ish) FPS and smooth gameplay for combat, asteroid mining, fuel scooping, photographing missions etc, it will slow a bit around stations but not too bad.

Planetary landings is where it gets fun because the FPS will plummet to single figures close to the surface. You can control it just about but its slow, jerky and you'll crash often so remember to save. Assassination missions are usually fine as you just chase the target into space and pew pew there. Auto pilot in this game is bugged and likes to crash your ship a lot so if using auto pilot put the speed setting to max to land instantly and not explode. With fast ram it'll be better and with an 030 it'll be mostly smooth. Honestly you gents with an A500, I have no idea how you played this game.

OK all that said little me 13 years old didn't know any better and loved every bit of it but looking back now and errr lets just say when I first got my Amiga back out and booted it up this was the first game I grabed and I thought my 1200 was broken....

The DOS version of the game has textured polygons which is all well and good but in my opinion the Amigas flat shaded polygons stand up better with time compared to the really bad texturing. I do admit though I'd like to see the Amiga have a go at a textured version of Frontier just for giggles.

On the Amiga version the sound and music is a lot better than the PC and that includes the MT-32 version which sounds like ass, I'm sorry but its terrible. Not that the music and sound effects are that good and unless you like classical music you'll probably do as I do and just turn it off. I really would of liked to have seen different sound effects for the different weapons but hey I suppose once you plug a galaxy on a single disk there isn't much room left.

As a direct comparison to your 386DX I have run this game on my 386SX 20mhz and I can tell you with the graphical settings turn down to flat shaded polygons (so it looks like the Amiga version) the 386 runs it nearly as good as my 50mhz 030. All I'm saying is if you were used to playing on a 386DX I can tell you the Amiga experience will be slower but at least it will sound better.

I swear I could talk about this game all day.

Do you play Elite Dangerous?
Glen M is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 10:56   #6
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 4,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen M View Post
Do you play Elite Dangerous?
CMRD Daedalus2097 here Though I should add that I've very little time for any games these days...
Daedalus is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 11:17   #7
Glen M
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Belfast
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
CMRD Daedalus2097 here Though I should add that I've very little time for any games these days...
I'm CMDR Unite_81 see you out there in the stars.

I too don't have a lot of time to get on these days but when I do I'm usually in the Mobius euro group. I've been mapping the entire pleiades sector in the hunt for Raxla. Probably about 50-60% through it and naff all so far.
Glen M is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 17:21   #8
Shatterhand
Warhasneverbeensomuchfun

Shatterhand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rio de Janeiro / Brazil
Age: 36
Posts: 3,316
I played this a lot on my A600, loved it.

It was REALLY funny to fire a laser while landed (or try to take off without permission). The game would send lots of vipers after you and framerate would plummet to slide show territory.

It wasn't "Frames per second" anymore, but "Seconds per frame".
Shatterhand is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 18:14   #9
d4rk3lf
Registered User

d4rk3lf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Posts: 480
IMHO, the texture mapping in early 3D games is way overrated. It's very low res, and in most cases it looks pretty uneven, and very rough.
I think it takes more then it gives, and personally I like more clean smooth shaded polygons.

Never played much Frontier on the PC, but I played a lot a First Encounter... Didn't really noticed so much difference between that, and Frontier on Amiga.

Also, most of the games are nicer on the Amiga, simply because TV (and I play on old TV ), gave it a little bit blurriness, and it's so much nicer to look, then on the old PC monitors.

Well, I'll guess I'll vote that they are pretty much the same.
d4rk3lf is offline  
Old 01 August 2019, 19:06   #10
Galahad/FLT
Going nowhere

Galahad/FLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 46
Posts: 7,296
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
IMHO, the texture mapping in early 3D games is way overrated. It's very low res, and in most cases it looks pretty uneven, and very rough.
I think it takes more then it gives, and personally I like more clean smooth shaded polygons.

Never played much Frontier on the PC, but I played a lot a First Encounter... Didn't really noticed so much difference between that, and Frontier on Amiga.

Also, most of the games are nicer on the Amiga, simply because TV (and I play on old TV ), gave it a little bit blurriness, and it's so much nicer to look, then on the old PC monitors.

Well, I'll guess I'll vote that they are pretty much the same.
I agree, lots of Amiga, SNES and Megadrive stuff has aged much better than the early low res texture mapped stuff on PC and PS1, lots of stuff on PS1 I just cant play anymore.
Galahad/FLT is online now  
Old 01 August 2019, 21:23   #11
Seiya
Registered User

Seiya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Italy
Posts: 948
It's not only a texture or brush that you have to consider. Also the graphic detail at the same config (Amiga very high and PC very high) it is much more on DOS version. PC version at least tried to apply some brush or very early texture to give nice graphics

Last edited by Seiya; 01 August 2019 at 21:40.
Seiya is online now  
Old 02 August 2019, 03:02   #12
005AGIMA
Re-loading. Please wait.

005AGIMA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Perth, Australia & England
Posts: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen M View Post
I've spent WAY to much time (hundreds if not thousands of hours) with this game so:

On a stock A1200 if you play the game in space it'll fly. You'll get a solid(ish) FPS and smooth gameplay for combat, asteroid mining, fuel scooping, photographing missions etc, it will slow a bit around stations but not too bad.

Planetary landings is where it gets fun because the FPS will plummet to single figures close to the surface. You can control it just about but its slow, jerky and you'll crash often so remember to save. Assassination missions are usually fine as you just chase the target into space and pew pew there. Auto pilot in this game is bugged and likes to crash your ship a lot so if using auto pilot put the speed setting to max to land instantly and not explode. With fast ram it'll be better and with an 030 it'll be mostly smooth. Honestly you gents with an A500, I have no idea how you played this game.

OK all that said little me 13 years old didn't know any better and loved every bit of it but looking back now and errr lets just say when I first got my Amiga back out and booted it up this was the first game I grabed and I thought my 1200 was broken....

The DOS version of the game has textured polygons which is all well and good but in my opinion the Amigas flat shaded polygons stand up better with time compared to the really bad texturing. I do admit though I'd like to see the Amiga have a go at a textured version of Frontier just for giggles.

On the Amiga version the sound and music is a lot better than the PC and that includes the MT-32 version which sounds like ass, I'm sorry but its terrible. Not that the music and sound effects are that good and unless you like classical music you'll probably do as I do and just turn it off. I really would of liked to have seen different sound effects for the different weapons but hey I suppose once you plug a galaxy on a single disk there isn't much room left.

As a direct comparison to your 386DX I have run this game on my 386SX 20mhz and I can tell you with the graphical settings turn down to flat shaded polygons (so it looks like the Amiga version) the 386 runs it nearly as good as my 50mhz 030. All I'm saying is if you were used to playing on a 386DX I can tell you the Amiga experience will be slower but at least it will sound better.

I swear I could talk about this game all day.

Do you play Elite Dangerous?
haha you and me both on playing for hours. Man this game was a 2nd life for me. I spent most of my time to be honest, doing cargo runs on a 2 system swing. Fruit and veg one way, and gem stones I think it was on the return. Slogged that out until I had a fully kitted out panther clipper that laughed in the face of pirates. Then I started just pissing about.

When I got First Encounters, I pretty much repeated the same trade route lol, with the same result.

The run was from memory, between Fomalhaut, and......(consults a star chart to see what looks familiar in that region.....) Possibly Ross 154?

LOVED the story book that came with Frontier too.

I do have Elite Dangerous. Commander BLVCKK. However I have it on PS4 not PC (yet).

To be honest, I was a tad disappointed with it.

Dont get me wrong. it's a GREAT game, but (on the PS4 at least) the graphics already feel dated.

That's good in a way. Perhaps it gives it a modern retro feel. Not sure. Seems more of an excuse I'm making for it.

But what I really dont like is that it's 100% online, even in solo. I get "why" but I still dont like that. I wanted a modern take on the old games. Just let me roam around with no-one but AI like the good old days.

It also REALLY feels like more of a slog than the older versions. I have a job. I dont need a pretend one lol. But that said, there are plenty of tutorials on how to make fast money now so maybe I'll put some more time in.

But....I have plans to upgrade the GPU on my PC (only to a 1050TI) so looking forward to re-buying the PC version of ED, throwing on my PSVR Headset via Trinus, and just re-igniting the passion via total immersion

Going back to my love of Elite II (and III) though, I kid you not....we were at a friends farm in Somerset YEARS ago, and my mate was rigging up a telescope so we could look at the moon that night. He pulled out a cardboard disk star map, and I was glancing at it as the name Fomalhaut stuck out like a soar thumb, and I said "I've been there!" lol

Coz in my head...I had.

Last edited by 005AGIMA; 02 August 2019 at 03:23.
005AGIMA is offline  
Old 02 August 2019, 11:11   #13
d4rk3lf
Registered User

d4rk3lf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seiya View Post
It's not only a texture or brush that you have to consider. Also the graphic detail at the same config (Amiga very high and PC very high) it is much more on DOS version. PC version at least tried to apply some brush or very early texture to give nice graphics
Well, few polygons more, here and there, doesn't make a huge difference to me.
What made a huge difference to me, is when I saw a Freespace 2 for the first time, after playing many space sims.
d4rk3lf is offline  
Old 02 August 2019, 11:50   #14
Glen M
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Belfast
Posts: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by 005AGIMA View Post
haha you and me both on playing for hours. Man this game was a 2nd life for me. I spent most of my time to be honest, doing cargo runs on a 2 system swing. Fruit and veg one way, and gem stones I think it was on the return. Slogged that out until I had a fully kitted out panther clipper that laughed in the face of pirates. Then I started just pissing about.

When I got First Encounters, I pretty much repeated the same trade route lol, with the same result.

The run was from memory, between Fomalhaut, and......(consults a star chart to see what looks familiar in that region.....) Possibly Ross 154?

LOVED the story book that came with Frontier too.

I do have Elite Dangerous. Commander BLVCKK. However I have it on PS4 not PC (yet).

To be honest, I was a tad disappointed with it.

Dont get me wrong. it's a GREAT game, but (on the PS4 at least) the graphics already feel dated.

That's good in a way. Perhaps it gives it a modern retro feel. Not sure. Seems more of an excuse I'm making for it.

But what I really dont like is that it's 100% online, even in solo. I get "why" but I still dont like that. I wanted a modern take on the old games. Just let me roam around with no-one but AI like the good old days.

It also REALLY feels like more of a slog than the older versions. I have a job. I dont need a pretend one lol. But that said, there are plenty of tutorials on how to make fast money now so maybe I'll put some more time in.

But....I have plans to upgrade the GPU on my PC (only to a 1050TI) so looking forward to re-buying the PC version of ED, throwing on my PSVR Headset via Trinus, and just re-igniting the passion via total immersion

Going back to my love of Elite II (and III) though, I kid you not....we were at a friends farm in Somerset YEARS ago, and my mate was rigging up a telescope so we could look at the moon that night. He pulled out a cardboard disk star map, and I was glancing at it as the name Fomalhaut stuck out like a soar thumb, and I said "I've been there!" lol

Coz in my head...I had.

My trade run was always starting with the fruit and veg to barnards star and robots or computer back to sol then waiting days to get someone in the bulletin board paying double for their goods. After I save some money then change up to moving robots to ROSS 159 and Animal Skins back to Barnards Star which are illegal but good money and err save often. I would save up to get my asp explorer then start grinding the missions. All sorts of fun.

Elite Dangerous can feel like a bit of a "job" at times and the grind is really bad. Especially the guardian stuff which is cool the first time, nice the second time, getting familiar the 3 time then just hurry up I need resources for the next 50 times.

I've made my billion now so can do most anything I want. Got there with a combination of void opal mining and my trip to Colonia with a few detours to get elite in exploration and several hundred million in exploration data.
Glen M is offline  
Old 02 August 2019, 18:46   #15
AmigaHope
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Sandusky
Posts: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
On the A1200 (and CD32) it was probably the best balance of performance versus visuals that they could get. Doing finer remapping would have slowed it down, as would more colours, and the playability was already borderline on the stock A1200. Texture mapping was a no-no.
Agreed that doing texture mapping would have made it 040/060-only. Still, it would have been nice if they'd left the option in.

I think they could have done 256 colors though. Calculating 8-bit color would have taken exactly the same amount of cycles as 6-bit color, it would have just added 33% more writes to bitplanes. Since graphics writes were clearly not the majority of the code running, I bet they could have made the game 256 colors with only maybe a 5% performance penalty.
AmigaHope is offline  
Old 02 August 2019, 19:40   #16
Amigajay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: >
Posts: 1,967
It was slow enough on stock AGA machines back then, adding more colours or textures was a complete no-no, should have included a wire- frame version for people who wanted a higher framerate! and how they though they could even attempt to port First Encounters was very strange!
Amigajay is offline  
Old 02 August 2019, 20:10   #17
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,281
Elite 2:Frontier seem to not be AGA optimised in any way. Looking at it in the WinUAE visual DMA debugger shows it uses the Blitter to clear the screen during bitplane DMA. On an A500, this makes a lot of sense as both interleave almost perfectly at that stage. On an A1200 however, this does not make sense as is.

It would've performed somewhat better on a chip memory only A1200 (and in fact all AGA machines) had they used the higher fetch modes AGA provides and used a combined CPU/Blitter clearing routine instead. It probably would also have been able to do better in other ways if the code was 68020 optimised rather than 68000 optimised as it apparently is.

That said, I've seen and played Frontier on a PC. It runs markedly smoother. It also has ugly textures. Though extra colours and a better frame rate are good, I agree with several others in this thread that the Amiga 'look' has aged better. However, the PC can run without textures IIRC, so it'd still be better.

Edit: note, I love this game. Played it for days on my A1200. The above is not a criticism of the game, just a minor niggle that would've been nice to see different.
roondar is offline  
Old 02 August 2019, 20:12   #18
E-Penguin
Banana

 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Darmstadt
Posts: 832
I used to play it for hours on my A500. Never managed to successfully land anywhere...
E-Penguin is offline  
Old 03 August 2019, 11:41   #19
Predseda
Puttymoon inhabitant
Predseda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: The City of Townsville
Age: 41
Posts: 5,395
Send a message via ICQ to Predseda
It was better on Amiga for me, because I have never played it on PC ;-)
Predseda is offline  
Old 05 August 2019, 11:01   #20
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 4,115
It was written for all Amigas, so naturally it was OCS/ECS and 68000-optimised. That also meant 5 bitplanes (not 6 - it was 32 colours and didn't use EHB mode).

As for the number of objects, the CD32 version (despite still not being AGA or '020 optimised) had extra details that weren't present in the PC version. Things like additional buildings, power lines and so on were added, as well as the navigation computer that only appeared in FFE.
Daedalus is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Elite II - Frontier mancity support.Games 78 29 August 2013 17:13
Elite 2: Frontier Galahad/FLT support.Games 28 06 November 2010 16:52
Frontier Elite 2 dug26 Retrogaming General Discussion 9 26 June 2007 03:12
Frontier Elite Dr. Dude support.Games 10 25 October 2004 13:47
Frontier Elite II Enverex Games images which need to be WHDified 6 04 April 2004 14:02

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:31.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.09366 seconds with 14 queries