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  1. #1
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    Atari ST games that outshone the Amiga

    We all know that the Amiga was the better machine and, in general, had better versions of the same games.

    As Amiga owners, we were smug; taking the piss out of the Atari ST and its inferior nature in the famous 16bit wars of the golden days.

    But let us not be so pretentious in victory fellow Classic Amiga veterans. Let's show our respect for a machine that some of us may have owned, even enjoyed, in those days of old. Let's help the Atari ST for once in our lives and put forward the names of games that shone on the nemesis format.

    Admittedly, this could be a very short thread and many examples may come from the early years when the Amiga got crap ports, but so what? Let the inferior machine have its moment of glory.

    Games unreleased on the Amiga are also permitted, just to help posters with their choices.

    I'll start then:

    Falcon

    The famous flight simulator. I ordered the original of this on the Atari and it was a great flight sim of the time. Due to the Atari's faster CPU (higher clocked 68000), the Amiga version was actually slower.

    Apparently I heard the Amiga's blitter could have been used to make Falcon run smoother on the Amiga had it not been a direct port, but the fact remains - Falcon was better on the Atari ST. There I admitted it. Shoot me.
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  2. #2
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    The last point you made was a big factor in Atari ST games badly ported to the Amiga. The ST didn't have custom chips like the Amiga so had to process most data using the main CPU. So porting a game to the Amiga without recoding it to take direct advantage of the Amiga custom chipset would leave a game running slower than the ST original due to the 68000 CPU in the ST being clocked slightly faster than that in the Amiga. Not good.

    I never played Falcon on the Amiga, but did own the game on the Atari ST and it was great at the time.

    We also mentioned in another thread about Captain Blood and how the ST version was better than the Amiga version, the graphics and gameplay were identical. It was the music and audio that were superior on the ST, which is completely mad when you consider the Amiga had far superior 4 channel stereo sound compared to the 3 channel mono of the ST. The samples used for the music in the Amiga version were muffled compared to the ST version, and the speech heard when talking to aliens in the ST version was completely missing from the Amiga version. Why? Who knows.

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  3. #3
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    Errmmm, I only ever own, Falcon, StarTrek, Dungeon Master and Lombard RAC Rally. I have to agree, Falcon captured my imagination for Flight Sims. It was the first flight I had ever seen, .

    I thought Midwinder seemed better on Atari ST (played it on my uncle's).
    On news of PSPUAE update on DCEMU came this reply, lol.

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  4. #4
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    Some good examples there. Dungeon Master was better on the ST and Star Trek - I'd forgot all about that! My goodness, that was an early release title!

    I have loads of examples, but I don't want to blurt them all out at once.

    Xenon was better on the ST, but the Amiga got revenge with Xenon II.

    It wasn't all bad owning one. The ST also had quite a good demo scene and chip music disks. Anyone remember "The Big Demo":

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ycVwRwqM9hU



    I quite enjoyed my Atari ST years (before I snatched an Amiga Batman Pack)
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  5. #5
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    I enjoyed owning an Atari ST too until I eventually got hold or an Amiga, but I did always hate the GEM desktop environment. It was so clunky and crap. Made Workbench look very revolutionary by comparison.

    Why do you think Xenon was better on the ST? I owned both versions and thought they were identical, except the audio was in stereo on the Amiga!

    Dungeon Master was originally an exclusive on the ST and didn't appear on the Amiga until quite a bit later. That was one game I was glad of owning an ST for at the time. Great game and very revolutionary for the RPG genre at the time. Was the game any different on the Amiga? I played it quite recently on the Amiga and thought it seemed exactly the same.

    Was the Star Trek game, Star Trek: The Rebel Universe, by Firebird? The one with the digitised graphics from the series? That was cool at the time. Was also on the C64 and DOS. The only Star Trek game at the time on the Amiga was a PD game AFAIK. Good but not as good as the ST game.

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  6. #6
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    You know what – you’re right!

    I guess what makes those games seem better in my mind (Xenon, Dungeon Master) was simply the fact they weren't improved for the Amiga, so didn't outshine my original Atari ST memories. If I’d played Xenon on the Amiga first, it’d probably be the other way around!

    I also thought the ST chip music suited Xenon and actually sounded better, regardless of the stereo and lack of channels. That tune was chip music at heart. On the Amiga it sounds, well, muffled and has strange guitar samples and stuff thrown in.

    I might be wrong as it's been a long time, but wasn’t Dungeon Master more sluggish and less responsive than the ST version? Again down to the 1Mhz CPU speed difference and direct porting?

    Captive, Nitro, Operation Stealth, Super Wonderboy and Tiger Road were better on the ST. Or were they? Perhaps my memory isn’t very reliable, since I’m trying to think back so many years without recent evidence. Time to fire up the emulators I guess…

    We've also still got the Atari ST exclusives to mention as well. Star Trek is one of them - yes, it was the one with digitized graphics!
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  7. #7
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    It is a shame they never updated that Star Trek game for the Amiga. With the 32 colour palette the digitised graphics it would have looked much better (if they had done a proper version and not just a port). I looked it up and it was released in 1988, so the Amiga was at its height, so I imagine the game would have sold well.

    At least we did get the great AGA Star Trek 25th Anniversary later. That was a great game.

    I see your point regarding Xenon. The music was altered in the Amiga version from a chip tune to a mod track with guitar samples and it did sound a bit muffled in comparison. So in that respect the clear and crisp chip tune of the ST version did sound better (if in mono). Xenon was also one of the first games to ever have digitised video in it. I remember seeing the making of Xenon on a TV program at the time and the developers showed how they made the "Sector 1" little video clips, along with the game itself. Still think that was a cool addition to the game. I cannot remember the program it was on those as that would be great to find again.

    That is actually something I miss these days. Back then developers instantly had access to features on a new generation that were a completely new level compared to the last. The biggest jump was definitely from the 8-bit era to the 16-bit one, with developers suddenly having access to sampled sound, and processing power fast enough to move graphics around the screen at decent rates, parallax scrolling, the first digitised video, and proper sampled speech. There was another leap with the 32-bit era, but it wasn't as big, mainly just allowing a larger colour palette and access to processing speed fast enough to manipulate 3D fully. But these days although the processing speed increases the visual aspect is really the only move forward for this current generation. There is little that can be achieved on the current generation that could have been done on the PS2 or even the Dreamcast.

    Gauntlet II. There is another game I remember being great on the ST. I used to play that for hours and we (my friends and I) even bought the joystick expansion unit for that so we could play it 4 player. That was a great game, until it looped at the last level! I used to hate it when games did that! No sense of achievement as you never reach the end. Xybots was another favourite game of mine that did that!

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  8. #8
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    LOL! This is turning into the Bloodwych and Harrison Atari ST appreciation thread! On an Amiga board no doubt.

    FOL however came forward with Midwinter which I forgot to comment on - I've never played it, but have heard others claim it's better on the ST.

    Very true what you said about game advancement. I've played on a PS3 and although I recognized more eye candy, the playability seems stuck in time. Perhaps a topic for another thread?

    On the subject of technical ability - that was the ST's problem in the graphics area. The CPU had to do everything! Good job it was 1Mhz faster! Even the C-64 had hardware scrolling and better sound - shame on Atari!

    So to bring a little Amiga back into this sickening ST zone (joking, or am I? ), I agree; Star Trek AGA was a great game to finish. First true A1200 game I bought back in the day, even though it was more of a PC port. Loved the ship fight sequences, changing speed and raising shields! Split up the point and click gameplay nicely. Also, the first time that robot thing looking like a Klingon emerged from the cave on mission one and attacked was a shock! Had me in a panic as I hadn't fully grasped the controls!

    Guantlet II and even the first one (that was exclusive to the Atari ST), were great games. Hours of playability. I finished the spectrum version in two player mode with us both on keyboard. It was fantastic on the ST and I doubt the Amiga bettered it.

    Talking of exclusives, the Atari ST had OIDS. Loved that game! Super Sprint was also a fav - three player via two joysticks and keyboard was a scream! Not counting the scrolling car games, the Amiga had Indy Heat and Super Off Road, but I never enjoyed them as much as Super Sprint. The sounds and music from that game will live with me forever!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodwych View Post
    LOL! This is turning into the Bloodwych and Harrison Atari ST appreciation thread! On an Amiga board no doubt.
    Very true. On certain other Amiga boards we would have been fried to a crispy twiglet by now!

    Personally I think all systems have their plus points and gave something to the gaming world. That's why I let everyone chat about anything they like on here, not just the Amiga. The Amiga may have been technically superior, but the ST still saw some nice releases and exclusives.

    On the subject of technical ability - that was the ST's problem in the graphics area. The CPU had to do everything! Good job it was 1Mhz faster! Even the C-64 had hardware scrolling and better sound - shame on Atari!
    It was a bit of a rush job for Atari after they lost the Amiga to Commodore. They didn't do such a bad job when you consider that. All parts were off the shelf components. And the STE shows what they really wanted to do with the system; finally adding a full blitter, stereo 4 channel sound, proper ram expansion slots, and some other updates. Shame the STE came too late in the STs life that most games were still written for STFM compatibility so didn't take advantage of the improvements.

    It seems mad now that so many arguments started because of one small MHz difference in CPU speed between the two systems. Actually it was only 0.8MHz. I always loved the way ST owners failed to include the Amiga custom chips in such arguments.

    the first time that robot thing looking like a Klingon emerged from the cave on mission one and attacked was a shock! Had me in a panic as I hadn't fully grasped the controls!
    That was a great moment early in the game. Got me panicking too.

    What was that multiplayer maze shooter on the ST? It could link up to 16 STs together to play some great multiplayer games. Each character looked like a 3D pacman style character when you saw other players in the mazes. I used to play that a lot in a gaming place in Southampton.

    I've mentioned that place before on here. The shop was called CompuServe and had rows of STs down one side and Amigas down the other, and around the walls were tons of games in their original boxes. You could go into the shop and pay to hire the computers for so long (much like an internet cafe today), and you could then just take any of the games from the shelves and play them. That was a really cool place. We used to spend lots of our Saturdays playing the latest games releases in there before buying them. And they used to hold games competitions and tournaments. Was a great place.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  10. #10
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    That 0.8MHz difference counted for nothing most of the time, but it is one thing for the die hard Atari fans to hold onto. That and the built in midi. It always made me laugh that they decided to put the most used ports, joystick, hidden and in a hard to reach place but gave the midi port prime position on the side.

    As you said, each machine had something to offer and made the scene more colourful and interesting. It was the software and users that gave each machine character and a unique feel. I'd always choose the Amiga over an ST, but the ST had a very neat scene. Those crunched game disks are awesome, especially the unique demo menus, and of course today they don't have to deal with copyrights unlike Amiga fans.

    I always forget that Atari lost the Amiga to Commodore. I wonder how things might have turned out under Atari? Actually, thinking of the success of the Jaguar, not much different! Their last computer, the Falcon, looked interesting - especially the built in DSP. At least it had an 68030, but was too expensive and late to the party to challenge the A1200.

    That game you've mentioned, I remember it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI_Maze

    One of the first ever first person shooters. Networked death matches, well before doom!

    Sounds like you were very lucky to have such a gaming cafe. Must have cost a bit to setup; and think of their electricity bill!
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