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Angry Video Game Nerd

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It is all just subjective opinion piled on top of opinion piled on top of hyperbolic statements about games reviews of the past.


Yeah games mags talked shite back then, they talk shite now too. And yes single format mags bigged up their own platform's games and put down others.


And yes the CD32 was not a great machine and was a misstep, arguably C64GS,GX4000,CDTV were all worse but YMMV.


But you have to allow for other points of view and experiences...


Hand on heart if I was given the choice between playing Chaos Engine on the Amiga 1200 or a Mario game on the SNES I would choose to play Chaos Engine. I play more chaos engine now than I play Mario retro games.


if you asked me to play a retro platform game I'd choose Mario.


Rick Dangerous was always shit, never liked it. I never liked Xenon 2 when it came out. Platformers were weak on the Amiga as were shooters and beat em ups. But again if you asked me to play a beat em up I'd play IK+ I'm just not into the multi button beatemup with combos and stuff like that, doesn't appeal to me.


If someone asked me to pick a shoot em up to play now I'd play Uridium or Paradroid - I'd even play the inferior Amiga sequels if they insisted. Apart from modern Llamasoft shoot em ups I play more of those two than any other shooter modern or retro.


Given choice I'd play Wizkid on Amiga before I played most console titles. It is all subjective opinion. You'll find people who loe Rick Dangerous and Xenon 2 (mad people but there you go :D )


And here is the real kicker - if you asked me to choose between a1200 and console back then (knowing what I know now) I'd have still chosen the A1200. And indeed I did have the choice between CD32 and SNES and Megadrive. I didn't see the point of the CD32 as I had an A1200 so I owned a megadrive for about six months as a result but I wasn't that impressed so I stuck with the A1200 and then Playstation was announced and I waited for that.


As a result I didn't own a SNES or megadrive again properly til the 2000s and now the NES and SNES mini. Both are nice machines and have great games and I can see where they excel and where the Amiga excels - it all depends what you want to use it for just like any console/computer ever made (within reason).

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Chaos Engine is a personal favourite and one that I still periodically play. 


Another game that got mentioned earlier was Banshee which I thought was amazing back in the day but had mentally filed away as another overrated Amiga action game. I revisited it 3-4 years back after years in between playing SNES, Megadrive and arcade shooters as well as plenty of classics on PS1+2, Dreamcast and the 360 ports of various Cave games. And...


Turns out it's still a good shmup, despite the lack of music and the 25fps framerate. Not an all time classic but packed with detail and variety and plays well.

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As an aside, the SNES version of Chaos Engine is surprisingly good, and is one of the few Amiga-to-console conversions that really nails the music. The music from the first level doesn’t quite have the nasty, squidgy acid bassline of the Amiga version, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless. 

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I love the Amiga, and as I said earlier, "computer" games were often great on it, but the specific point in this thread is that Commodore decided to stick a CD drive on an Amiga 1200, call is a console and then wondered why all the games were terrible and no-one bought it. 



The AVGN is making that point, the CD32 was actually a very capable piece of hardware, but it was a computer pretending to be a console, and console games are a totally different thing to computer games. Commodore was expecting to become a contender to the Sega and Nintendo formats, proving they didn't understand the console market at all.  

The CD32 was the biggest selling CD based console in Europe for 1993,  selling more than the Mega CD and Cdi. But one of the (many) problems Commodore had was that it wasn't a games developer, whereas SEGA and Nintendo were. Then when you added in the fact the CD32 (and Amiga) was in the middle of a huge shift of games development (and budget) from Europe to Japan and America, getting the same calibre of games as from SEGA, Nintendo, Capcom, Konami was unrealistic. 


But when there were talented development teams involved, they could produce games that were easily on the same level as consoles. Take Shadow Fighter, which might be seen as a poor man's Street Fighter (when it's more like an upgrade of International Karate/Way of the Exploding Fist, but with Street Fighter energy levels), imagine what could have been done if they had a decent budget (it was made by a handful of guys in Italy). 




The CD32 lacked a keyboard and mouse, and so all the genuine great Amiga games could not be played on it.  Theme Park, Cannon Fodder, Lemmings, Civilisation, Monkey Island etc were all computer games and were great.  But none of these would work on a CD32 because it was a console and therefore it only had the Amiga console-style games converted to disk.  




You could just plug in a standard Amiga mouse and an Amiga 4000 keyboard (both easily bought back then)!


Cannon Fodder, Lemmings, Simon the Sorcerer, Beneath a Steel Sky, Syndicate, Gunship 2000, Pirates Gold all had great CD32 conversions, despite them being traditional "Amiga/home computer" type games because they usually added some benefit - either CD Audio or not having to swap disks. Because at this point, Hard Disks were incredibly expensive - I remember paying £150 for a 128MB HDD in 1995 - so being able to have something like Syndicate, Banshee, Gunship 2000 and not having 4 disks to swap, or Beneath a Steel Sky having CD Audio and not having 15(!!!) disks to swap was a massive benefit.


But these are all easily forgotten in the days of emulation and the equivalent 128MB SD card costing pennies.



Be honest, if you owned an Amiga, and then you bought a SNES with Mario to go with it, would you ever buy an Amiga platformer game ever again? Would you ever buy a 2D shooter and expect it to be anywhere near as good as Contra? 


I owned a SNES and an SX-32 expanded CD32 (so essentially a 1200). Yes, I played Super Mario World, Street Fighter II on the SNES, but I played Dune 2, Syndicate, Turrican, Lotus on the Amiga because games back then cost a fucking fortune on the SNES (even though I only ever bought SNES games second hand, I could buy at least 2 CD32 games for the price of one SNES game.) That's the thing that's easily forgotten about now. If you had a SNES, you'd be lucky to own more than 5 games because they were so expensive (£50-70 a game when you were a student or had a paper round money? Jesus...). If you had an Amiga, you'd probably have hundreds of (copied) games and a couple dozen originals.  So if it came to spending £50 on Contra or £20 on Turrican when you fancied playing a platform shoot em up, which one would you go for (and to be honest, Contra might be great but it was never worth £50). Likewise, Shadow Fighter above cost me £19.99 when it was released. So when it came to either Super Street Fighter II on the SNES at £70 or Shadow Fighter at £20, when you had bugger all money to spend, guess which one was bought? ;-)  


Original RRPs, and just how little disposable income you had back then, are easily forgotten now we can just download hundreds of ROMs in an instant.



Edit - for screenshots of 1943 and Xenon 2, have a look here to see the same point being made http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/lesson1.htm


Edit 2 - Holy shit , that article also nails the Amiga classics, Rick Dangerous (both One and Two) as the complete shit they were.   I don't know if @Rev. Stuart Campbell still looks here, but that's a spot on piece of writing if ever I saw one.


I'm not sure quoting Stuart Campbell backs up the argument that the Amiga was shit compared to consoles. I get his argument about Rick Dangerous and Kick Off being shite (they are), but then he did have a big hand in picking the Amiga Power Top 100 http://amr.abime.net/amr_amiga_power_top_100.php?year=1995 which had plenty of games that weren't available on consoles (also no Rick Dangerous, Xenon 2 or Kick Off)


I'm going to leave this one final thing.. when it came to football games, everyone knew the best was Emlyn Hughes International Soccer was the best footy game on the 8-bits. Well the CD32 had the mostly unknown sequel, Wembley International Soccer, and it was fucking amazing.



That's what is great about the Amiga (and CD32), the majority of the internet seems to go on about a revisionist history of gaming - like FIFA and ISS were the only football games worth playing - when they're missing out on really brilliant games. But brilliant games that are being more and more forgotten.

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