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Old 01 November 2022, 23:59   #1
Bruce Abbott
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PC games that made the Amiga look like Shit

When the Amiga was released in 1985 its graphics were light years ahead of the PC. However that soon changed. In 1987 IBM released VGA, with 256 colors and hardware scrolling. Super VGA arrived soon afterwards, with 256 colors in 640x480. Still no sprites or copper effects, but the CPUs were getting faster to make up for it. In 1986 Compaq released the Deskpro 386, with a 16MHz 80386DX and fast 32 bit RAM. By 1991 386 PCs were all the rage, and 486 machines were starting to appear.

Now it's a well known fact that during all this time Commodore just sat on their hands and did nothing, expecting the aging OCS chipset to carry the Amiga through despite the PC's obvious superiority. In 1992 they belatedly released AGA, which was widely criticized for being too late. By this time many Amiga users had already jumped ship to the PC because they were sick of waiting for Commodore to catch up. They did this with a heavy heart because they loved their Amigas, but PC games were just so much better that they had no choice...

As part of my efforts to document these developments, I looked at lists of top PC games of the period expecting to see see clear evidence of their overwhelming superiority. However, perhaps due to my lack of familiarity with PC games or poor judgement, I had a hard time finding any that fit the criteria, let alone a plurality.

So my question to you is, which PC games do you remember that made the Amiga look like shit? Specifically, games with much better graphics (you can mention other features as well but it won't affect the score) and what about that graphics made it so much better than anything on the Amiga.

For the purposes of this discussion we will limit the period to games released between 1985 and 1991, as this is when Commodore did nothing to improve the Amiga. Screenshots and links are welcome. To get you started, here's a list of

50 Best DOS Games Of The 80s That You Must Play
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Old 02 November 2022, 00:15   #2
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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1990) comes to mind first: [ Show youtube player ]
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Old 02 November 2022, 00:34   #3
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Its a little ambiguous but I don't think you're specifically looking at games that were released on both platforms. You're looking for PC games at the time that simply were beyond the Amiga. Right?

A topic which I'm a little tired of because for every game you can list which the Amiga did not see a release of will trigger a response of "muh the Amiga could definitely do that". You can't discuss these things in a fun way.
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Old 02 November 2022, 00:45   #4
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lollypop
legend of the kyrandia
gobliins 1 , 2 ,3

etc
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Old 02 November 2022, 01:03   #5
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I'm struggling to be jealous of most of that list. Many of them are on the Amiga with better graphics and sound, and most of the others are just as good on the C64, though sometimes disk-only. And there's a LOT of ghastly CGA and beeper sound in there. Wasteland is a forgotten classic, The Ancient Art of War is probably more important than its obscurity suggests, the first Wizardry has great historical value, and Vette! was pretty innovative (though it got mixed reviews in its day).

Looking at 1991 or earlier on MobyGames, I'm struggling to find much that the Amiga didn't get, beyond Wing Commander, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe and Jetfighter II, but you'd need spend £1500 on a PC (which in those days were ugly, charmless boxes with unfriendly text interfaces and a million configurations) to get slightly better games than a £400 A500, was it worth it? The Apogee and early iD stuff might be fondly remembered by PC owners, but it doesn't touch similar Amiga stuff. You needed at least a 486 to match A500 performance on 2D action games. The PC got lots of American classics like the Monkey Islands, Eye of the Beholder and Civilization before us though.

Last edited by Megalomaniac; 02 November 2022 at 01:19.
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Old 02 November 2022, 01:18   #6
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Since the Amiga had fixed chipsets and the PC had moving hardware (different every 6 month) I think comparison is not reason...
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Old 02 November 2022, 01:19   #7
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btw,
all sierra games on the Amiga are very lame compared with the pc versions
however some of them are not so bad and somewhere playlable
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Old 02 November 2022, 01:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimbal View Post
Its a little ambiguous but I don't think you're specifically looking at games that were released on both platforms. You're looking for PC games at the time that simply were beyond the Amiga. Right?
It's easier to compare games that were released on both platforms, but no I am not limiting it to that. I want to see the best the PC had to offer, whether there was an Amiga 'equivalent' or not.

Quote:
A topic which I'm a little tired of because for every game you can list which the Amiga did not see a release of will trigger a response of "muh the Amiga could definitely do that". You can't discuss these things in a fun way.
For this evaluation I don't care about what the Amiga 'could' do, but what it did do. Any discussion about theoretical abilities of either platform is off-topic.
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Old 02 November 2022, 01:34   #9
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Quote:
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lollypop
legend of the kyrandia
gobliins 1 , 2 ,3

etc
Thanks for that.

What is this game 'etc'?
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Old 02 November 2022, 02:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malko View Post
Since the Amiga had fixed chipsets and the PC had moving hardware (different every 6 month) I think comparison is not reason...
I'm only interested in graphics. Though different graphics cards were released regularly, games couldn't rely on having all the advanced features of a specific card. A game might require 'VGA' which almost always meant 320x200 in 256 colors, or possibly 'Super VGA' 640x480 in 256 colors. Some cards might be faster than others but this doesn't affect how they looked, and was mostly only an issue for later 3D games anyway.

So rather than 'every 6 months' you are looking at several years between CGA, EGA, and VGA, with a few games using SVGA towards the end of the period. We should remember too that the majority of PC owners had older machines, not the latest model. Therefore, at least in the time frame we are considering, publishers generally avoided releasing games that needed the very latest graphics card etc. because it would limit sales.

From the Amiga fan's perspective it would not (or should not) be seen as a continuous development of better cards, but discrete steps up to each new 'standard'. However it would take time for games to make full use of it, just as we saw (and are still seeing today!) on the Amiga. The 'proof of the pudding' is in what games were produced. What I expect to see is graphics getting better over time independently of gradual hardware improvements, to the point where Amiga fans finally realized how much better VGA was. It is that point that interests me.
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Old 02 November 2022, 07:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimbal View Post
A topic which I'm a little tired of because for every game you can list which the Amiga did not see a release of will trigger a response of "muh the Amiga could definitely do that". You can't discuss these things in a fun way.
Aww, at least 20% of EAB's content are rants about how amazing and much better the Amiga was to anything except maybe in certain circumstances sliced bread. It just wouldn't be the same with a reasonable look back at a machine we all liked and could talk about without jumping into defensive mode everytime somebody dares to say that there might have been something wrong with it.
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Old 02 November 2022, 08:08   #12
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Napalm is a an example of what can be done on Amiga here. Looks every bit as good as C&C on PC, even on A2000 W/Accel.

Chris
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Old 02 November 2022, 08:13   #13
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My issue with this thread is the time slot given. I can remember the days I played games with my friends on my A500. But I was a kid back then and easy to impress and playing stuff all the other kids played so we could keep up with the talks in the schoolyard. PC games came much later for me than 1991. 30 years later it‘s fun to see the reaction of my kids when playing BubbleBobble, BloodMoney on a Pi. Graphics are crap for my kids, but gameplay of some old games are what still triggers them today.

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Old 02 November 2022, 08:32   #14
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I'd say very small amount.
And this is not only applied to Amiga, but also if you compare PS VS Genesis or SNES.

These old games were mostly 2D, and when some game had beautiful art, it doesn't get worse after 10, 30, or 100 years, but it remains beautiful.
With 3D games it's a different situation. First 3D games (on any platform) were ugly as hell, and if you take for example: Alien Breed 3D, and recreate it in Unreal 5, of course it would look million times better.

32 VS 256 colors.
I must say that when I see some beautiful graphics with only 16/32 colors (Simon The Sorcerer, Elfmania, Ruff'n'Tumble... etc) it only get's additional plus for me, as it speaks of mastery of the artist.
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Old 02 November 2022, 09:02   #15
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Just had this video as a recommendation on YT:
PC vs. Amiga - 8 games from 1991 [ Show youtube player ]
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Old 02 November 2022, 11:07   #16
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before 1992?
very few imo
yes, some VGA LucasArts and Sierra titles, but well, the Amiga counterpart weren't shit at all

curious thing, i think to remember Beneath a Steel Sky was considered graphically better in his 'less colorful' Amiga version, at the time? magazine reviews talking

not graphic reasoning (so prolly off-topic here), i remember the old Grand Prix Circuit running with a good speed also with crappy pc, back in the day;
on Amiga it was very choppy
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Old 02 November 2022, 11:43   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCD View Post
Just had this video as a recommendation on YT:
PC vs. Amiga - 8 games from 1991 [ Show youtube player ]
Curious. This video was a bit difficult to follow because it constantly switched from one platform to the other without telling you, except at the introduction of each game. What made it even harder was that except for two games (Eye of the Beholder and Street Rod) there was little difference between them graphically. I actually got more clues from the sound, and in some cases the screen ratio (PC version often looked a bit stretched vertically).

The PC version of Street Rod appears to have EGA graphics, while the Amiga version has noticeably has better colors and more of them. The PC graphics are well drawn and make good use of the limited palette, but this is not a game you would point to as a reason for switching to the PC.

Only Eye of the Beholder looked to me like a game possibly worth getting a PC for. The Amiga version seems to have a 'compressed' palette, particularly in the control panel background. The extra colors available in VGA make this area look more 'magical', setting the tone of the game. The rest of the graphics are nothing special in either version, but overall the PC version looks more polished and 'believable', while the Amiga version is a bit crude in comparison. Had AGA been around 1991 the Amiga version could have been just as good as the PC version, but it wasn't so it couldn't.

Unfortunately this video shows the limited usefulness of comparing games released on multiple platforms at the same time. I haven't checked the origins of all 8 games yet, but I suspect most of them were produced on the Amiga or ST first and then 'ported' to the PC, which would tend not to show off the PC to best advantage. Still, they are what they are. If you wanted to play these games in 1991, it doesn't look like switching from Amiga to PC would do a lot for you.

Another resource that I just remembered is MyAbandonware, which has screenshots of many games on multiple platforms making it easy to compare them. I will collect these screenshots to make side-by-side comparisons for each of the suggestions posted in this thread. When I have enough I will present them and we can rank the games according to how much they make the Amiga look like shit compared to the PC (or the opposite!).
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Old 02 November 2022, 11:50   #18
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Barely any games used SuperVGA before 1991, even for static screens. As a benchmark for specs, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe (released in late 1991) recommended a 286, and a 286 with DOS, 3.5 inch drive, a 40Mb hard drive that could fit about four games and a sound card was still well over £1000 at that time. You could get an Amiga AND Megadrive AND SNES once it launched AND some games for the same price, and they'd still be useful in 1994 whereas by then a 286 was a museum piece. 386s were 2-3 times that price. The idea of buying a PC for games (and still only sim / strategy / adventure / RPG stuff - an A500 still beat a 386 for 2D action games) didn't take off until maybe 1993 here, once you could get a 386 for under £1000.
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Old 02 November 2022, 12:13   #19
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Only Eye of the Beholder looked to me like a game possibly worth getting a PC for. The Amiga version seems to have a 'compressed' palette, particularly in the control panel background. The extra colors available in VGA make this area look more 'magical', setting the tone of the game. The rest of the graphics are nothing special in either version, but overall the PC version looks more polished and 'believable', while the Amiga version is a bit crude in comparison. Had AGA been around 1991 the Amiga version could have been just as good as the PC version, but it wasn't so it couldn't.
Interestingly the sequel a year later that also didn't use AGA looks a lot closer to the VGA graphics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
Unfortunately this video shows the limited usefulness of comparing games released on multiple platforms at the same time. I haven't checked the origins of all 8 games yet, but I suspect most of them were produced on the Amiga or ST first and then 'ported' to the PC, which would tend not to show off the PC to best advantage. Still, they are what they are. If you wanted to play these games in 1991, it doesn't look like switching from Amiga to PC would do a lot for you.
Indeed. If you had an Amiga in 1991 there was very little reason to get a PC especially for gaming. That would slowly change the next year with games like Ultima Underworld and Wolfenstein 3D. But 1993/1994 were the years when a lot of games on PC made the Amiga (mainly the OCS machines) look dated.
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Old 02 November 2022, 12:30   #20
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Amiga games rulez
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