Poll: How bad was the Atari ST, really?

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  1. #1
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    If you are really honest, how bad do you really think the Atari ST was?

    I don't think the ST vs Amiga arguments and discussions will every be completely over until the last person dies who lived in the 16-bit era of the 80's and 90's.

    However it has now been years since the Amiga and ST were commercial products and were competing against each other for sales, and against each other in terms of their communities.

    But now that both platforms are retro and we are all a bit wiser and a bit older, can you be honest and say what you really think of the Atari ST compared to the Amiga?

    We all know the history behind the two platforms. The fact that the Amiga was originally going to be Atari's 16-bit computer, but got bought out from under them at the last minute by Commodore. And we know that the ST's hardware was quickly put together from off the shelf parts, making the hardware physically not as powerful as the Amiga's. However even with the differences the ST could still hold its own as a gaming platform and for productivity work.

    So what do you think of the Atari ST?

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


  2. #2
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    Never Owned one. Never used one. Tried an emulated one and hated GEM. Always got pissed off the ST games were cheaper than Amiga games.
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    I don't have much experience with the Atari ST, so I can't really write a long comment here. From what I've seen though, the OS looks and feels a lot worse than the Amiga Workbench.

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    It was kind of OK, but inferior in many ways.

    I have an Atari 520STfm and an Atari 1040STf sitting at home .... I still 'sometimes' play on them, but much prefer the Amiga.

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    It was good, but.... Amiga was/is better!
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    They STs weren't exactly robust.
    A few mates had them and they seemed to be very flakey.
    Games locking up on a regular basis, parts breaking and the like.
    All though they all claimed the machines were fine until I walked into the room.
    Maybe the machines sensed my hatred and it unnerved them.
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    Only ever used an ST at school in music and I didn't like it much so I went back to the drum machine lol (needless to say I failed GCSE Music).
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    I still have a 1040ST but never used it. Got it from a friend some years ago. I think it was Ok.

  10. #10
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    Nice to see the forum up and running again!

    I have very fond memories of the Atari ST, because I was fortunate to own one pretty much from the release of the 520STFM (single sided drive LOL) up until I ditched it for the Amiga Batman pack.

    The ST was a fantastic leap from a Spectrum +2. The games just blew me away back then - Super Sprint, Barbarian and Star Wars being my first ever 16-bit games experience. The load times of course were a big factor - just having a computer with a disk drive and 512MB RAM seemed like a dream in 1986.

    Defender of the Crown blew me away and even Plutos and Time Bandit seemed awesome compared to the 8bit computers. I bought the flight sim Falcon and played that for ages - loved the realism it offered at the time.

    Can't get away from the fact that the ST was just a jacked up 8bit machine with worse sound and scrolling than a C64. It had next gen features, but still had an 8bit design philosophy. The games played just as well as the 8bit ones, for example gauntlet was great and OIDS, but with vastly superior graphics so it had its place.

    The Amiga however was a true next gen step. It had next gen graphics; next gen sound; next gen smooth scrolling - it was a true step forward when the ST was a incremental one.

    Having said that, the ST Amiga era wouldn't have been the same unless both of the machines existed. The ST had a great demo scene and looking in those brilliant range of mags that existed at the time and comparing versions (the Amiga ones looking better ) was fantastic.

    They both had a different feel about them and added to the ambiance of the 16bit era. I'm glad the ST existed - it made the Amiga seem that little more special.
    Last edited by Bloodwych; 7th March 2009 at 08:46.
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