What was so good about the Amiga?
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I've been having a bit of a retro-revival recently, and have been filling my Switch with games from throughout the ages (and occasionally playing them).

When it came to the Amiga, I found myself struggling a bit. I think I owned an Amiga during what would be considered its heyday (Christmas 92 - death), but I'm really struggling to think of many games that I enjoyed (or even games I missed out on), where the definitive version was on the Amiga. I'm pretty much stuck at swos (Cannon Fodder doesn't count as the engine has been ported to the Switch).

I suppose there are things like Alien Breed or the Chaos Engine, but I wasn't really into them that much at the time. So what have I forgotten about that will make me yearn for the days of Amiga Power?
It had the definitive version of Speedball 2 in my opinion.
It wasn't so much the exclusives, but the range. With the consoles you were stuck with arcade games for the most part due to the limited controls. On PC, action games were difficult due initially to low power and then the huge technical and financial barriers to common folk.

The Amiga was a n excellent balance and an open platform. All things to all people. And affordable.
Off the top of my head - Xenon 2, Shadow of the Beast (not a good game but the music!), Batman the Movie, Stunt Car Racer.
TheVision wrote:
It had the definitive version of Speedball 2 in my opinion.


Yup
BikNorton wrote:
Off the top of my head - Xenon 2, Shadow of the Beast (not a good game but the music!), Batman the Movie, Stunt Car Racer.


Big up SotB 2 & 3, braap, braap.
Dungeon Master & Black Crypt as well.
Every time I think about setting up an Amiga again, it's mainly because I get the urge to play Captive. I know there's an old PC version of it somewhere, but I couldn't get that to behave properly.

I do wonder how other favourites of mine like Hunter and Moonstone have aged though.
For me it was the sound and music it could produce with the 'Paula' audio chip, it was so far ahead of anything else in existence at the time, and absolutely wiped the floor with its main 16-bit competitor, the Atari ST. (Which basically had a 128K ZX Spectrum AY audio chip.)

Add on the amazing Amiga demo and cracking scene (which led to full demos and amazing 'cracktros' respectively), along with that Copper colour stuff it could do, and you were left with a unique home computer proposition.

I was still on 8-bit machines in 1988/1989, but a friend at school had an A500, and me and a couple of other mates would spend every hour we could round at his house, just soaking in the graphics and music. Sometimes we'd load games in and not even play them properly, we just wanted to look at them and listen to them, 'cause the game itself was perhaps a bit crap.

Some of the stuff the demo scene managed to squeeze out of an A500 with the 512KB RAM upgrade (to make a total of 1MB) and a second disk drive was jaw-dropping.
OK, seriously, no word of a lie, I just looked for a couple of old Amiga demos as I was writing that post, and had one of them playing in the background, Mrs Hearthly comes into the room, and says 'That sounds like Jesus on E's' - this is an Amiga demo from 1992, and she recognised it from the audio before she even got into the room.

I had a massive collection of Amiga demos back in the day, and used to have them running an awful lot of the time, it was kind of like my Spotify of the day when I didn't want to listen to a normal vinyl/CD album.

Granny's Garden.
DavPaz wrote:
Granny's Garden.


Probably the best multiplayer game I played last year. Definitely the most fun.
Oh yes and I remember us playing the original 'Test Drive' game, and we came up with the idea of one of us writing notes on the course and reading them out to the other on subsequent runs, gradually building up a full narration of the entire game, we took it in turns to drive and narrate. It was 'pace notes' before we had any idea that pace notes were actually a real thing.

So it's memories as well, I suppose, I have lots of good memories of the Amiga. I was pretty fucking miserable for a lot of my teenage years, but the Amiga was always a bright spot.

"What was so good about the Amiga?" and "What should I play now using an emulator?" are very different questions, obviously.

The former:
- Sound (the best)
- Graphics (not the best but up there)
- Price of hardware
- Breadth and depth of games
- Price of games
- Demo scene
- Amiga Power

The latter one is tougher to answer as a lot of the best games have either been re-released or re-made for newer systems, or better games in their genre have been released since then (sometimes many times over).

SWOS 96/97 is debatable because you can download and play an up-to-date PC version with online play these days. But for handheld it's pretty much a must.
Speedball 2 is indeed the definitive version. Others feel quite wrong.
Any point and click adventures I would avoid, unless you can use the touchscreen
Lemmings has the best music and is the definitive version, but again without a touchscreen input it would be fiddly to play
Same with the Settlers
Same with Syndicate
Any of the Gremlin racing games like Super Cars or the Lotus series were great at the time but you've got modern arcade racers which have superseded them
Same with Geoff Crammond's F1GP (F1 games and sims in general)
Same with Civilization/XCOM (TBS)
Same with Wings/Knights of the Sky (flight sims)
Same with Slamtilt or Pinball Dreams/Fantasies/Illusions (pinball)

So I'm struggling, tbh.
TheVision wrote:
DavPaz wrote:
Granny's Garden.


Probably the best multiplayer game I played last year. Definitely the most fun.

"Do you want to help?"
N
"You have to"
Mr Chonks wrote:
"What was so good about the Amiga?" and "What should I play now using an emulator?" are very different questions, obviously.


Fair point! I tend to get a bit gushy about the Amiga.

I'll have a think about, y'know, actual games as well.

Starter for ten:

Pinball Dreams
Pinball Fantasies (If we're counting the A1200)
Stardust
Super Stardust (A1200)
Lotus Turbo Challenge 1 / 2 / 3
Lemmings
Super Skidmarks
Turrican 2
Xenon 2 Megablast
Mr Chonks wrote:
"What was so good about the Amiga?" and "What should I play now using an emulator?" are very different questions, obviously.


Obviously, but I'm really enjoying the responses. The Amiga, at the time, was absolutely brilliant, and it was a machine that enabled you to play almost anything that was available at the time. And, yes, obviously I appreciate that with access to virtually any version of any game, it's a totally different prospect to 25-30 years ago.

However, I am finding that going through the history of other machines I've owned - spectrum, NES, megadrive, amiga, snes, playstation, and pretty much everything after, there's always "something" worth playing on each machine (although having written that list, that's probably the nature of console exclusives, and obviously the Speccy was the best, so no alternatives needed there).

Although having said all that, Speedball 2, of course.
What was the competition at the time?

The ST had noticably worse sound, and while it did have a 10% faster CPU there weren't many games that really made use of that. Most were straight Amiga ports and there were more Commodore exclusives than Atari ones.
PCs had crappy EGA graphics unless you could afford to spend a fortune on new fangled VGA, and even then you didn't have anywhere near that breadth andd depth of games available.
16 bit consoles could do stuff the Amiga couldn't, but then games cost 40 or 50 quid each and couldn't be copied so you could only afford a couple a year.
Power Drift was an astonishing conversion. And yes, Lemmings. And Worms.
Oh and of course F/A-18 Interceptor.
I don't think I ever played Power Drift on the Amiga (I bought it, but couldn't get it to work on my A1200). The obvious answer now though would be Arcade (or even Dreamcast, was there a Saturn conversion?). Having said that, I'm struggling to get the arcade version working on my Switch, so maybe I'll add that to the Amiga pile.
Joans wrote:
I don't think I ever played Power Drift on the Amiga (I bought it, but couldn't get it to work on my A1200). The obvious answer now though would be Arcade (or even Dreamcast, was there a Saturn conversion?). Having said that, I'm struggling to get the arcade version working on my Switch, so maybe I'll add that to the Amiga pile.


The Saturn version was Japan-only I believe. There's a version of it on Sega 3D Classics for the 3DS too.
devilman wrote:
Joans wrote:
I don't think I ever played Power Drift on the Amiga (I bought it, but couldn't get it to work on my A1200). The obvious answer now though would be Arcade (or even Dreamcast, was there a Saturn conversion?). Having said that, I'm struggling to get the arcade version working on my Switch, so maybe I'll add that to the Amiga pile.

There's a version of it on Sega 3D Classics for the 3DS too.


I already have that, perhaps I shouldn't restrict myself to a single handheld.
BikNorton wrote:
Power Drift was an astonishing conversion. And yes, Lemmings. And Worms.


I have Very Strong Opinions That Are Correct about Power Drift bit I don't want a falling out.

Lemmings, Monkey Islands, Beneath a Steel Sky,Battle Isle, Historyline, Moonstone, SWOS, Supremacy, Syndicate, Lotus 1 and 2, Supercars 2, Super Skidmarks.

Beautiful games and happy memories
All sheer joym
Moonstone is a major one there.

I'd say Dune, but the PC version with midi sound and voices is better.
Dreamweb is the same on PC.
Liberation I still have cravings for.
It Came From the Desert.
Legend and Worlds of Legend.
Morph was a good puzzle platformer.
Fire and Ice.
The awfully awful but good Crime City.
Oh, North & South was always good for a quick blast too.
CD32 Simon the Sorcerer has Chris Barrie voicing it.
It Came from the Desert is a good shout. The DOS version is poor
MaliA wrote:
BikNorton wrote:
Power Drift was an astonishing conversion. And yes, Lemmings. And Worms.
I have Very Strong Opinions That Are Correct about Power Drift bit I don't want a falling out.
falling out? Unlikely. I'm interested to hear!
devilman wrote:
Every time I think about setting up an Amiga again, it's mainly because I get the urge to play Captive.


Absolutely! I friggin’ love me some Captive. Captive wasn’t finishable but I did finish it a fair few times.

And Knightmare too. I never did finish it either which annoys me to this day. That was one of the better Dungeon Master-clones. In fact, Captive, Knightmare and Black Crypt was my jam. Eye of the Beholder can eat a fat dick though.
Jesus, what was the bloody name of that Captive clone where you had 4 screens and 4 guys? It had guns and stuff instead of magicking.
Dimrill wrote:
Hired Guns

Review coming next month!
It were baaaaad. Whoever thought you could divide your attention to four different screens it a fastish paced ruppug needs a good telling off. Spulk was similarly a bad idea.
Satsuma wrote:
Jesus, what was the bloody name of that Captive clone where you had 4 screens and 4 guys? It had guns and stuff instead of magicking.


Hired guns
MaliA wrote:
Satsuma wrote:
Jesus, what was the bloody name of that Captive clone where you had 4 screens and 4 guys? It had guns and stuff instead of magicking.


Hired guns

Next issue already?
I’ve just remembered, it was called Hired Guns or something like that.
Game example, and this wasn't a great game, Psygnosis put out a lot of stuff that wasn't really that great with the benefit of hindsight, but I remember me and the guy who did the Test Drive pace notes mapping out Obliterator in the same way, it took us days and days, feverishly playing it for hours after school, using paper and pencil to get the whole thing susssed.

But just listen to the music on the ST versus the Amiga, I honestly don't think we'd have seen it out on the ST, but on the Amiga, the music pushed us through, even though, honestly, it wasn't a great game and it literally ran at about 5FPS sometimes.

(They also used the enhanced colour palette on the Amiga)

ST VERSION:



AMIGA VERSION:



DIRECT TIMESTAMPED LINKS TO THE GAME OVER MUSIC:

ST - https://youtu.be/FFhEdW-S1S4?t=149

AMIGA - https://youtu.be/L1rFgrHe1A4?t=204

We never skipped through the game over music. Never.
BikNorton wrote:
MaliA wrote:
BikNorton wrote:
Power Drift was an astonishing conversion. And yes, Lemmings. And Worms.
I have Very Strong Opinions That Are Correct about Power Drift bit I don't want a falling out.
falling out? Unlikely. I'm interested to hear!


I feel: The draw distance is tiny, like one car length. Cars just appear in front. Winning is due to luck
Hearthly wrote:
AMIGA VERSION:



Did you have to play with the mouse?
“Walker” was great an’ all. I don’t reckon that got a port anywhere.
Early Bullfrog platformer Flood was ace.
Gravity Force 2
Dimrill wrote:
Early Bullfrog platformer Flood was ace.


I might be misremembering this but wasn’t the end when your main character emerges from the sewers you’ve spent the entire game and several hours and gets immediately run over a car deadid?
Satsuma wrote:
“Walker” was great an’ all. I don’t reckon that got a port anywhere.

It was obviously very pretty, but I didn't think much of it as a game.

The title music was epic, though.
Satsuma wrote:
Dimrill wrote:
Early Bullfrog platformer Flood was ace.


I might be misremembering this but wasn’t the end when your main character emerges from the sewers you’ve spent the entire game and several hours and gets immediately run over a car deadid?


Shamefully I was not a good game person bakc then so didn't manage to get to the end.


YO! JOE!
Ruff N Tumble
Z
Barbarian
Harlequin
Blues brothers

I also really enjoyed that open world-ish robin hood game, even though it was a real pig to control.
The Adventures of Robin Hood were indeed good. Also Rome AD 92 that came after it.
Dimrill wrote:
The Adventures of Robin Hood were indeed good. Also Rome AD 92 that came after it.


Ooh, I hadn't heard of that. It appears that at one point you encounter a Roman boy band undergoing an identity crisis.
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