PDA

View Full Version : if you could only have 1 european retro pc



Soviet Conscript
11-21-2009, 11:57 PM
well i ask because i want to set aside a spot in my setup for a EU only pc and i was wondering what the options were. i know they all kinda have there strengths and weaknesses but overall if you could only have 1 what would it be and why?

things like the c64, amiga and msx don't count since they were released elsewhere as well. i'm thinking more along the lines of the ZX spectrum, amstrad cpc, bbc micro, ect...

Tupin
11-22-2009, 01:13 AM
The ZX Spectrum was the Commodore 64 of Britain. Literally thousands upon thousands of programs were written for it.

slapdash
11-22-2009, 01:35 AM
Technically, the C64 was the C64 of Britain, but I agree that the ZX Spectrum is probably the one, since (1) it was developed in Europe (the UK specifically) and (2) it was cloned all around Europe, especially behind the Iron Curtain, which might interest a "soviet conscript", da?

Soviet Conscript
11-22-2009, 01:57 AM
Technically, the C64 was the C64 of Britain, but I agree that the ZX Spectrum is probably the one, since (1) it was developed in Europe (the UK specifically) and (2) it was cloned all around Europe, especially behind the Iron Curtain, which might interest a "soviet conscript", da?

yhea i found that out when i did an ebay search and 90% of them were Soviet clones. but i would probibly spring for a UK model

tom
11-22-2009, 02:31 AM
Technically, the C64 was the C64 of Britain...

Not of Germany then? Russ, C64 was the number one 8 bit computer in Germany, the C64 sold more units in Germany than in UK.

UK top sellers was like: 1 ZX Spectrum (a joke of a computer), 2 C64, 3 Amstrad CPC
in Germany it was 1 C64, 2 Atari XL 3 Schneider CPC

As for 1 Euroepan PC, gotta be the Thomson TO8, nothing beats that PC

Soviet Conscript
11-22-2009, 03:53 AM
the zx spectrum does seem well...i don't want to say limited the but the color scheme just seemed primitive, i acually like it in a way but still.

the huge libray of spectrum games seems to be its big selling point but

1) are they mostly good and or playable or is 50%+ of that software crap titles?

2) are many (any?) of the good/decent titles exclusives or were they simply made into superior ports on more powerful systems like the amstrad

phreakindee
11-22-2009, 08:15 AM
ZX Spectrum as the top pick for sure! So many great, unique games...

I actually have a 48k Speccy, but I have yet to be able to get it to work here in the US. It's an absolute PAIN to find a display that works with its RF output!

AB Positive
11-22-2009, 08:30 AM
Get a 1702 monitor and an RF -> AV convertor. I use my PAL amiga through the AV spots on the 1702 no problem. :)

phreakindee
11-22-2009, 12:55 PM
Any particular type/brand of RF to AV adapter? The only ones I have seen go the other way, to get AV to work on RF.

And the Spectrum works differently than an Amiga, in that it outputs to BBC-Two, which is UHF channel 36. You think that would still work? I'd been wanting to get a 1702 for a while now anyways, also for a PAL Amiga...


Get a 1702 monitor and an RF -> AV convertor. I use my PAL amiga through the AV spots on the 1702 no problem. :)

slapdash
11-22-2009, 07:14 PM
@Tom: well, it was Tupin that I was paraphrasing, and HE brought up Britain.

And as far as the C64 goes, it was all over, so I'm not saying that SC shouldn't have one in his collection, but rather it should be thought of as more of a world-wide computer. If he's really looking for something "European", the Spectrum is more likely to fill THAT niche.

Tupin
11-22-2009, 08:47 PM
Phreakindee, do this mod to display with Composite:

http://womblesretrorepairshack.blogspot.com/2008/11/zx-spectrum-composite-video-mod.html

Soviet Conscript
11-22-2009, 09:10 PM
@Tom: well, it was Tupin that I was paraphrasing, and HE brought up Britain.

And as far as the C64 goes, it was all over, so I'm not saying that SC shouldn't have one in his collection, but rather it should be thought of as more of a world-wide computer. If he's really looking for something "European", the Spectrum is more likely to fill THAT niche.

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/2540/commitf.jpg

already have a c64 setup :)

any particular spectrum model? i'm assumeing the more powerful ones are better.

no love for the archemedies or amstrad cpc. still curiouse if most of the spectrum games are avalible as superior ports on these systems.

blue lander
11-23-2009, 09:01 AM
Spectrum hands down. The Speccy's library has a ton of grade A titles, many of them unavailable on other platforms. The Amstrad CPC is a technically superior computer and most good Spectrum games were ported to it, but I can think of one game exclusive to the platform that's any good. I played a few French and Spanish games for it that were decent, though.

Choice number 2 would be a Acorn Electron or BBC. The library's not very large, but it at least has a few good exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else.

But if you're only going to import one European computer, it's a no brainer. Go with the Spectrum

Wookie
11-23-2009, 10:14 AM
But wasn't the Spectrum released in the US as the Timex/Sinclair 1000,1500,2068 models? Not sure how compatible they are, but picking one of those up would avoid overseas shipping costs and power/video compatibility issues.

98PaceCar
11-23-2009, 10:39 AM
I've been slowly collecting the parts I need to make a ZX Spectrum work in the states. I just got a hold of a DivIDE interface along with an SD to IDE converter to handle storage needs. I have purchased a +2 and a ton of tapes for it, but I'm still working on getting it shipped over (expensive).

From my research, it appears that it's easy to make a +2 work with a 1084S (via the RGB connector), so that covers the video needs. Power is just a simple step-up transformer, so no worries there.

I'm not sure if the +2 is the best model to go with, but I found a killer deal on one from ebay UK so I went for it. Hopefully I'll be able to mess with it a bit in the near future.

Raedon
11-23-2009, 11:23 AM
ZX Spectrum. But it would have to be just handed to me.

Collecting classic computers takes up a lot of room I'll never have. I don't want to be the guy who has a closet filled with old computers that never get used. I've come to the conclusion that I'm done collecting hardware beyond C64 and Amiga add-ons. Life can be hard sometimes.

blue lander
11-23-2009, 11:34 AM
But wasn't the Spectrum released in the US as the Timex/Sinclair 1000,1500,2068 models? Not sure how compatible they are, but picking one of those up would avoid overseas shipping costs and power/video compatibility issues.

The TS1000 was the Sinclair ZX81, the TS2068 is the Spectrum. I don't think it's anywhere near 100% compatible with a real Spectrum, and they're very rare and expensive.

I'm running a +2 off a standard 15khz NEC Multisync II monitor, and I built my own power supply since I didn't want to pay for shipping on a power brick. The thing only needs +5 volts to run, it's not too picky.

Pantechnicon
11-23-2009, 01:57 PM
Count me in on the Spectrum bandwagon as well. Since my first computer was a TS1000 (or ZX81 in Europe), the Spectrum was one I always ogled because of the color and sound capabilities. Never seen one in action but I'd really like to one day.

Soviet Conscript
11-23-2009, 02:17 PM
But wasn't the Spectrum released in the US as the Timex/Sinclair 1000,1500,2068 models? Not sure how compatible they are, but picking one of those up would avoid overseas shipping costs and power/video compatibility issues.

acually ill be paying for a timex 1000 i'm buying in about a minute here. but yhea its just a US version of the ZX81. can't wait for some 3d monster maze goodness (if i can find it, zx81 games seem to be scarce on ebay).

i read about the rarity of the 2068 as well as the incompatibiblities but i was also reading that the later spectrum models had the same problems. looks like the later amstrad models have incompatibiblits (+2, +3 models) which is a shame cause i liked that built in cassette deck.

anyone know how incompatible they are? looking like the zx spectrum 128 is the best all around machine for function/compatibility. is there any later stuff it can't play? agree/dissagree?

98PaceCar
11-23-2009, 02:32 PM
I don't remember the specifics, but isn't there a cart that gives the 2068 a high level of ZX compatibility? I seem to remember Icbrkr talking about it when I first mentioned wanting a ZX.

Soviet Conscript
11-23-2009, 02:50 PM
I don't remember the specifics, but isn't there a cart that gives the 2068 a high level of ZX compatibility? I seem to remember Icbrkr talking about it when I first mentioned wanting a ZX.

from wikipedia



However, these changes made the machine incompatible with most Spectrum machine-code software, which is to say virtually all commercial titles; less than 10% would run successfully. In an attempt to remedy this, many TS users built a cartridge with a Spectrum ROM for emulation. The emulation was sufficiently accurate that it was able to run the majority of software produced for the Spectrum. Only later Timex of Portugal produced a Spectrum emulator cartridge that auto-boots. This cartridge do not fit TS2068 as it is higher than normal cartridges. TC2068 casing was changed to allow this.


would still be way more trouble then its worth in my opion. its more of a hassle, probibly way more expensive and i doubt your still getting 100% compatibility and thats IF you can find either of them. seems like it would be easer just convert the voltage and getting a pal monitor.

it is an intresting footnote though.

blue lander
11-23-2009, 05:42 PM
i read about the rarity of the 2068 as well as the incompatibiblities but i was also reading that the later spectrum models had the same problems. looks like the later amstrad models have incompatibiblits (+2, +3 models) which is a shame cause i liked that built in cassette deck.

I read the 2068 was only like 80% compatible even with the compatibility cartridge. I only have 30 or 40 Spectrum games, and the only one that I can't get to work on my +2 is Skool Daze. I think, with the +2, the only incompatibilities you're going to run into are with really early Spectrum stuff. Maybe the older programs aren't as well behaved and use the hardware in odd ways the +2 doesn't like. The later stuff seems to run fine.

Ze_ro
11-24-2009, 02:10 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the TS2068 compatibility cartridge is so rare that you're really wasting your time and money unless you REALLY like Timex's, or despise PAL. Importing a ZX Spectrum seems the more sensible option all around.

--Zero

kedawa
11-24-2009, 03:00 AM
I've always been fascinated by the Acorn Archimedes, myself.

Nature Boy
11-24-2009, 09:44 AM
If it were me I'd definitely go for the Speccy.

"Retro Gamer" used to just gush about it, so you kind of catch the fever after awhile. I don't know if any of those articles are available online or anything, but I would recommend doing what you can to track down *something* so that you can get a feel for how big England was into the Spectrum in it's day. You'll know which games to look at too as a consequence!

blue lander
11-24-2009, 11:15 AM
I've got an Archimedes, an A3020 I think. It's a neat computer, but most of the games are just ports of Amiga titles. It supposedly has one of the best versions of Elite, though, and I hear Paradroid 2000 is pretty good as well.

Soviet Conscript
11-24-2009, 02:34 PM
If it were me I'd definitely go for the Speccy.

"Retro Gamer" used to just gush about it, so you kind of catch the fever after awhile. I don't know if any of those articles are available online or anything, but I would recommend doing what you can to track down *something* so that you can get a feel for how big England was into the Spectrum in it's day. You'll know which games to look at too as a consequence!

yhea. reading my copies is what got me really looking into the uk retro computer stuff.


I've got an Archimedes, an A3020 I think. It's a neat computer, but most of the games are just ports of Amiga titles. It supposedly has one of the best versions of Elite, though, and I hear Paradroid 2000 is pretty good as well.

i hear the same thing but i still can't confirm that though i've tried
http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=131104

Arkhan
11-27-2009, 03:32 AM
Id take an Amstrad over the speccy any day. The colors are alot better, and the music doesnt blow.

They also look cooler (the unit itself)

Soviet Conscript
11-27-2009, 08:57 PM
Id take an Amstrad over the speccy any day. The colors are alot better, and the music doesnt blow.

They also look cooler (the unit itself)

can't that be compaired to saying something like

"Id take an Atari Jaguar over the NES any day. The colors are alot better, and the music doesnt blow.

They also look cooler (the unit itself)"

just an example, i acually like the jag.

does the amstrad have the same number of good games? exclusives?

it may be more colorful or better sounding but if the games are crappy or not as plentiful....

Ed Oscuro
11-27-2009, 09:55 PM
I'm not into boxes for the sake of boxes, Sir Clive's Sinclair Spectrum is my choice. There's a lot of games on it that I want to try out, and some are arcade ports (but not all).


it may be more colorful or better sounding but if the games are crappy or not as plentiful....
Amstrad has a good-looking port of Contra (Gryzor) but nothing else sticks in my mind.

Actually, the ZX Spectrum has a pretty decent-looking version of Savage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage_%28video_game%29) which I've been meaning to play. There may be better versions, but that one doesn't look horrible.

Arkhan
11-27-2009, 10:20 PM
can't that be compaired to saying something like

"Id take an Atari Jaguar over the NES any day. The colors are alot better, and the music doesnt blow.

They also look cooler (the unit itself)"

just an example, i acually like the jag.

does the amstrad have the same number of good games? exclusives?

it may be more colorful or better sounding but if the games are crappy or not as plentiful....

no it cant, because then youd be comparing apples and oranges. Atari Jaguar != NES in terms of time of release and general spirit of the hardware...

Your original question was RETRO COMPUTERS, so its assumed all comparisons are within that realm.


As for the Amstrad, look up the game library, alot of the same games as the spectrum with nicer colors, and better sound. Gryzor is a big one to show off. Things got a very good library of games.

ALOT of the games look really sharp, and have very vibrant colors. I really dont like playing games on a computer where the palette is dull, or monochrome.

The PSG in the amstrad does some pretty nice stuff!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2EqX3rpJ6M check that out.

and dont mind the Platoon remix in the middle of it

Soviet Conscript
11-27-2009, 11:38 PM
no it cant, because then youd be comparing apples and oranges. Atari Jaguar != NES in terms of time of release and general spirit of the hardware...

Your original question was RETRO COMPUTERS, so its assumed all comparisons are within that realm.


As for the Amstrad, look up the game library, alot of the same games as the spectrum with nicer colors, and better sound. Gryzor is a big one to show off. Things got a very good library of games.

ALOT of the games look really sharp, and have very vibrant colors. I really dont like playing games on a computer where the palette is dull, or monochrome.

The PSG in the amstrad does some pretty nice stuff!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2EqX3rpJ6M check that out.

and dont mind the Platoon remix in the middle of it


point taken, but i did say it was a bad example.

though i get the impression that the spectrum has many more exclusives not avalible on the amstrad and perhaps an overall much larger library of games?

i'm going to make a guess here that the amstrad is also harder to find and more expensive.

Arkhan
11-27-2009, 11:57 PM
amstrads aren't too hard to find, and contain the typical 80s spread of games.

i cant think of any exclusives, but i also cant think of any on the spectrum really either

tom
11-28-2009, 03:03 AM
Both are horrible, but as far as gaming concerned, the Spectrum is just useless. So yes, Amstrad; also large library of games, better sound/graphics/playability (hey you can connect an Atari joystick to the machine, you can't to the Spectrum), and an inch better than the Speccy.

Yeah there are some exclusives on Spectrum, Ultimate games spring to mind, but they are not worth persuing.

ventrra
11-29-2009, 11:18 AM
Having been playing with a number of the previously mentioned in emulation, I'd really like to have a BBC model B. It has quite a few good games and seems to be pretty easy to program.

blue lander
11-30-2009, 10:37 AM
Funnily enough, before I had played either computer I got in a big argument on a British gaming forum about the Amstrad being better than the Spectrum. I made the same arguments you guys are about the Amstrad having better graphics. But when I actually imported and played both systems, I completely change my tune. Amstrad games may be colorful, but they're SLOW and many are virtually unplayable.

There are lots of great exclusives for the Spectrum and virtually none for the Amstrad. Plus, almost all Spectrum to Amstrad ports look just like the Spectrum version, so they don't really take advantage of the extra colors. The Amstrad isn't a bad machine, it's much more reliable than the Spectrum and there are less compatibility issues across models, it's just a completely unnecessary computer.

If you're looking for arcade ports maybe the Amstrad is better, but who in this day and age wants to play arcade ports when you have MAME and whatnot? The only reason to dust off any of these old computers is to play the exclusives, and there's no comparison between the Amstrad and Spectrum.

Arkhan
12-01-2009, 03:59 AM
theres no comparison between either of them really. When you get right the hell down to it they're both huge piles of garbage.

blue lander
12-01-2009, 09:33 AM
From a technical standpoint the Spectrum is definitely a toy computer, but it actually has a fantastic library of creative, well written games we didn't have access to in the United States. Getting a Spectrum is like getting an MSX, you discover dozens of world class games you didn't even know existed. I think British game developers lost their way in the Amiga era, when they were too obsessed with outdoing Mario and Sonic, but back in the early 80's they cranked out quality games on par with what was coming out of the US or Japan.

Also, for everybody who's saying that Spectrum games look better on the Amstrad when they're ported over, can anybody name one? I'm not talking about arcade or Commodore 64 ports, I mean a game that was developed on the Spectrum and then ported to the Amstrad with superior graphics.

tom
12-01-2009, 12:27 PM
world class games....I wouldn't go that far. Cranked out quality games on par with USA and Japan.. You gotta be kidding.

Actually, many British computer programmers started out on Spectrum, doing some half arsed covers of well known titles...eg Frogger, Galaxian, Missile Command, Miner 2049er and so forth. They learned their craft and did some excellent programming later on Amiga, ST, consoles. The rest was shovelware from the likes of Ocean, Elite, Domark, Grandslam, CRL.....

But one thing you will not find on a Spectrum...a world class game.

blue lander
12-01-2009, 02:03 PM
I'd have to disagree. I'd compare the games produced by Ultimate PTG, Hewson, and Codemasters against what was coming out of Japan or the US at the same time. I'm not saying I'd necessarily put Raffaele Cecco and Matthew Smith in the same category as Shigeru Miyamoto, but they still made some damn fun games.

tom
12-01-2009, 06:26 PM
You cannot compare UK companies with classic US companies like Origin, early EA, Infocom, Sierra, Sir-Tech, Mindscape, Broderbund, Synapse, Microprose, Omnitrend, Activision (in their prime before Activision set up a UK software house and went downhill), Datasoft, Lucasfilm, Sirius Software...etc. Those companies produced high quality 8-bit software by very talented programmers...Joe Vierra, Bill Hogue, Sid Meier, Richard Garriot, Doug Smith, Anne Westfall, Dan(ny) Bunton, Stephen Landrum, Bill Heineman, Edward Hobbs...etc..... their games sold wordwide, softs by Ultimate PtG on the other hand, did not.

Some of those companies actually had softs out on Spectrum, eg Activision, Microprose, well, they tried, what can one say....Codemasters on Spectrum, that'll work, Sir-Tech, obviously, that would never work.

Soviet Conscript
12-02-2009, 01:28 AM
theres no comparison between either of them really. When you get right the hell down to it they're both huge piles of garbage.

lol, for someone that knows so much about retro computers you certainly seem to hate them.

i can scarely recall a computer in any of our conversations that you didn't think of as "junk" possibly with the exception of a few MSX2 models. i'm not harping on you or anything, you've helped me out pc wise on many occasions but i just find this funny.

Mayhem
12-02-2009, 05:33 AM
The UK certainly had a wealth of programming talent though: Jeff Minter, Andrew Braybrook, Nick Jones, Chris Butler, John Twiddy, Zac Townsend, Dave Collier, John Rowlands, Jon Hare, Stephen Ruddy, Geoff Crammond, Archer Maclean, Paul Woakes, Nick Gollop, Dan Phillips, Stan Schembri, Steve Snake, Andy Walker, Peter Baron, Dave Thomas, Jon Ritman. And that's a quick think on matters...

Just because some of their output isn't as well known as that produced by the people Tom mentioned, doesn't mean it wasn't good. Mind you, I'm only going through my brain for C64 guys here cos that's the machine I know best ;)

tom
12-02-2009, 07:01 AM
The UK certainly had a wealth of programming talent though: Jeff Minter, Andrew Braybrook, Nick Jones, Chris Butler, John Twiddy, Zac Townsend, Dave Collier, John Rowlands, Jon Hare, Stephen Ruddy, Geoff Crammond, Archer Maclean, Paul Woakes, Nick Gollop, Dan Phillips, Stan Schembri, Steve Snake, Andy Walker, Peter Baron, Dave Thomas, Jon Ritman. And that's a quick think on matters...

Just because some of their output isn't as well known as that produced by the people Tom mentioned, doesn't mean it wasn't good. Mind you, I'm only going through my brain for C64 guys here cos that's the machine I know best ;)

Yes, excellent programmers....on C64 and A8. Also, Raffaele Cecco excelled on C64, but Matthew Smith and his Manic Miner/Jet Set Willy....ouch.

blue lander
12-02-2009, 09:41 AM
Getting back to the main topic, (and this is a question for people who have actual hands on experience rather than just watching videos on youtube) If somebody wanted to buy one European computer, would you actually recommend the Amstrad over the Spectrum? And I'm talking about a nice Amstrad built Spectrum +2 with a built in reliable tape deck, good keyboard, uses Atari joysticks and doesn't reset every time you look at it funny.

Mayhem
12-02-2009, 09:57 AM
The Speccy +2 you mention is probably the best compromise and certainly one of the better build quality and reliability issues. Plus you get 128k for some enhanced or exclusive games.


Raffaele Cecco excelled on C64

Raf didn't program anything on the C64; Nick Jones converted all his games while at Hewson and Mikro-Gen along with Time Machine, and Jon Williams programmed First Samurai on the C64 for Vivid Image.

Nick Jones btw would later work on various console projects including the Earthworm Jim titles... guy was an unheralded legend in C64 circles imo.

blue lander
12-02-2009, 10:28 AM
Did the +2 have a better sound chip than the earlier models? Because if you listen to the theme title of a game like Aufweidersehen Monty (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVl-_wH84dc) and compare it to older Spectrum games whose soundtracks consist of beeps and fart sounds, it's hard to believe they came out of the same device

tom
12-02-2009, 10:49 AM
The Speccy +2 you mention is probably the best compromise and certainly one of the better build quality and reliability issues. Plus you get 128k for some enhanced or exclusive games.



Raf didn't program anything on the C64; Nick Jones converted all his games while at Hewson and Mikro-Gen along with Time Machine, and Jon Williams programmed First Samurai on the C64 for Vivid Image.

Nick Jones btw would later work on various console projects including the Earthworm Jim titles... guy was an unheralded legend in C64 circles imo.

Yeah, I meant Nick Jones, Cybernoid and Stormlord, excellent C64 titles, but Raffaele Cecco got all the credit.
A good prove how UK programmers learned their craft on 8-bit and were great on consoles later on.

Mayhem
12-02-2009, 11:02 AM
Did the +2 have a better sound chip than the earlier models? Because if you listen to the theme title of a game like Aufweidersehen Monty (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVl-_wH84dc) and compare it to older Spectrum games whose soundtracks consist of beeps and fart sounds, it's hard to believe they came out of the same device

Yes. The 128, +2 and similar models used the AY-3-8910 chip, from the same family that was also used in the Vectrex, Atari ST and Intellivision.

Actually the AWM track isn't too bad of a translation from the original C64 SID version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvVA8pP_Ego)...

blue lander
12-02-2009, 11:13 AM
Nothing can hold a candle to the SID, but in this instance I actually prefer the Spectrum version of that song. Seems like it has more channel separation. The Amstrad version is probably the weakest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXpcmEU_qrA

Soviet Conscript
12-02-2009, 02:40 PM
to bad shipping on any of them to the US is murder.

i mean just for a speccy its like $50-$80 shipping alone :( and i don't think i've ever seen one for sale domesticly

blue lander
12-02-2009, 02:54 PM
If you're handy with a soldering iron, ask them to ship you one without the power supply. The power brick weighs a ton, and the Spectrum +2 just needs 5 volts DC to run. You could easily get a power supply from Radio Shack that does that, you'd just need to wire up a connector that plugs into the Spectrum. I think it's a 5 pin Mini DIN, nothing exotic.

Ed Oscuro
12-02-2009, 06:14 PM
My dad had a Spectrum back in the day (sold it for a TI-83, which no longer works, lulz). I think they sold them domestically. Is this an issue of needing one of the better models for improved software compatibility?

Soviet Conscript
12-02-2009, 08:05 PM
My dad had a Spectrum back in the day (sold it for a TI-83, which no longer works, lulz). I think they sold them domestically. Is this an issue of needing one of the better models for improved software compatibility?

hmmm, as far as i know they didn't and if they did it would probibly be harder to find and more expensive then a uk model

unless your refering to the Timex Sinclair 2068 which is rare, expensive and largly incompatible with zx spectrum games

Arkhan
12-02-2009, 11:18 PM
lol, for someone that knows so much about retro computers you certainly seem to hate them.

i can scarely recall a computer in any of our conversations that you didn't think of as "junk" possibly with the exception of a few MSX2 models. i'm not harping on you or anything, you've helped me out pc wise on many occasions but i just find this funny.

I can't help it most of the computers talked about are steaming piles of crap. :)

Stick a spectrum, amstrad, MSX, C64 and Atari next to each other

the speccy and amstrad are junk in comparison. The gaming experience just isnt the same. Its under-powered... you feel cheated while playing them. Your friend is enjoying say Ultima III on an MSX while youre enjoying some monochrome game that sounds like a speaker tossed into a blender.....

The lack of Origin alone kills some computers imo.

I wont deny the c64 being nice and all but the community, and dodgy hardware are pretty lame. Its unfortunate really. ROFL

Games are alright but when the 1541s are wacko and you have to diskswap alot it becomes tiresome. And then you bump your breadbin and it goes out. ._.

MSX is the most bang for the buck if you're looking for a sweet time. Does an MSX count as a retrocomputer from the UK since it had Euro models? If so then hell that's my choice. Philips NMS ftw.

of the 'retro computers' I think my ultimate two would be the MSX and the C64, even if I do hate the thing/people.

Ed Oscuro
12-03-2009, 12:01 AM
Opinions, opinions...

Speccy graphics are pretty lovable when done right. Also, Trantor. Spectrum games aren't monochrome, not by a long shot.

Arkhan
12-03-2009, 01:08 AM
They ain't done right too often, that's for damn sure.

Not often enough to make the thing a worthy computer. :)

:monkey:

tom
12-03-2009, 03:44 AM
MSX was excellent, of course, but not very widespread in Europe, same as Apple ][. MSX does have a great range of Japan carts, but they were never available in Europe, maybe some were, but I don't know.

Apple ][ was the 8-bit with the biggest and best software range, but only successful in USA:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c173/thomasholzer/SWScan00023.jpg

I post this article from USA gaming magazine Electronic Games (1985) straight away, before someone like Mayhem.....'but the C64...blah, blah'

.

Mayhem
12-03-2009, 07:27 AM
I'm sure even the Spectrum would argue otherwise too heh... personally I'm not certain the actual answer will ever come out given the directories of both Speccy and C64 keep going up with time (C64 is now well over 20k in GB64).

tom
12-03-2009, 01:05 PM
(C64 is now well over 20k in GB64).

You know very well in reality it isn't, they include BCK, PCS, SEUCK, Loder Runner screens, German C64 magazine listings, Game Maker, Quill and whatnot, so the truth is far less.

88 Boulder Dash games? Somehow I don't think so. (that's just searching under the name Boulder Dash, many, many more selfmade Boulder Dash screens under a different name).

But of course, WoS and AM are just the same.

blue lander
12-03-2009, 01:10 PM
Of all the 8 bit computers we've talked about here, If I had to use one for actual work rather than gaming, I'd definitely go with an Apple ][. As a gaming computer it wasn't half bad either, but I could never get used to analog joysticks.

Soviet Conscript
12-03-2009, 07:14 PM
i wouldn't count the MSX or apple II for the purpose of this thread. i'm thinking more EU only computers. or things that were so rare or limited outside of EU they may as well be.

Arkhan
12-04-2009, 01:51 PM
MSX was excellent, of course, but not very widespread in Europe, same as Apple ][. MSX does have a great range of Japan carts, but they were never available in Europe, maybe some were, but I don't know.


.

Lots of importing :)

The current MSX scene is definitely pretty happening compared to other stuff.

buncha new games for msxdev '09

AB Positive
12-04-2009, 02:04 PM
I gotta disagree with Arkhan on the Speccy (this time, we're in agreement usually from the looks of things).

Speccy has a LOT of great games on it, and for me the best non-arcade version of R-Type out there. Yeah - you heard me.

I've never personally owned one, but thanks to the the evil black wizardry of emulation I can vouch for the following 'off the top of my head' games as awesome:

1) Renegade
2) Target: Renegade
3) Head over Heels
4) R-Type
5) Jet Set Willy
6) Manic Miner
7) Monty on the Run
8) Solomon's Key (another damn fine arcade port...)
9) Jetpac
10) Fantasy World Dizzy
11) Treasure Island Dizzy



... I'm no ZX mastermind or anything but... there ya go: 11 reasons to have a Spectrum, easy.

Yes - the sound can be tinny and there's color bleeding everywhere but still. The machine packs a big punch with small amounts of hardware.

tom
12-04-2009, 02:21 PM
Well, some people like ZX Spectum, some people like 8-bit computers.

Arkhan
12-05-2009, 12:05 AM
I gotta disagree with Arkhan on the Speccy (this time, we're in agreement usually from the looks of things).

Speccy has a LOT of great games on it, and for me the best non-arcade version of R-Type out there. Yeah - you heard me.

I've never personally owned one, but thanks to the the evil black wizardry of emulation I can vouch for the following 'off the top of my head' games as awesome:

1) Renegade
2) Target: Renegade
3) Head over Heels
4) R-Type
5) Jet Set Willy
6) Manic Miner
7) Monty on the Run
8) Solomon's Key (another damn fine arcade port...)
9) Jetpac
10) Fantasy World Dizzy
11) Treasure Island Dizzy



... I'm no ZX mastermind or anything but... there ya go: 11 reasons to have a Spectrum, easy.

Yes - the sound can be tinny and there's color bleeding everywhere but still. The machine packs a big punch with small amounts of hardware.


but... you named games that are on other computers too... including the Amstrad. Pretty sure all of them except Jetpac, jet set willy, and headover heels made it to the amstrad.... with renegade and Target Renegade being wayyyy better on the Amstrad... So I don't see why these make the speccy the clear winner here..... Try them in Amstrad too!

and, Try R-Type on an MSX! Its got FM and nice colors.......
and then... the PC-Engine and Sharp X68000 ones.......

spectrum kinda farts out in comparison

The spectrum gets some fast, very smooth gameplay at the cost of colors. the graphics are just bad. monochrome tiger handheld lookin crap. Yeah double dragon plays way better on a spectrum than the c64, but its B&W ....


I could understand if it was like '85 and you were broke and got a spectrum, but its 2009! If you could pick just one, why pick the one with the gimpy video capabilities and poorly utilized PSG. (MSX has the same one and does way better with it!)

blue lander
12-07-2009, 10:04 AM
Take a look at these two screenshots of Sabre Wulf and tell me which one you think looks better:

http://www.cpcgamereviews.com/s/sabre_wulf.pnghttp://www.retrogamer.net/users/99/thm450/sabrewulf.jpg

(Sorry I can't find a larger picture of the Amstrad one, but the Amstrad's online community is rather miniscule compared to the Spectrum's so there aren't many places to get good screenshots.)

The amstrad version might be more colorful, but the resolution is so low it looks like something a toddler drew with sidewalk chalk. The Spectrum version is much sharper, and the sprites may be monochromatic, but they're much more stylish. And on top of that, Spectrum games move much smoother than Amstrad ones. Many of the best Amstrad titles look more like slide shows than video games.

And if you really want the best looking version of a game, the C64 port will almost always blow both the Spectrum and Amstrad out of the water. If you want the most playable European version, it's almost always going to be the Spectrum.

I'm not saying the Amstrad is a bad computer or that you shouldn't get it, but if you're only going to get one Euro computer, the Spectrum is going to give you the broadest library of playable games. If you end up liking the Spectrum, get an Amstrad as well.

If somebody asked "I want to buy one 8 bit console from the mid 80's, what should I get?", would you recommend the NES or would you tell them to get a Sega Master System? The SMS has better graphics, but the NES has a much better library. Plus the NES was *the* defining console of that era. The SMS is great too, but it's a clear choice which one to get if you're only going to get one. Same thing goes for the Spectrum.

Arkhan
12-07-2009, 10:38 AM
thats the one thing the spectrum has going for it is that theres like no games that run choppy. They run smooth as hell, but they look like abominations.

I did find that if you play them with 3D glasses on theyre kinda interesting.

tom
12-07-2009, 12:04 PM
If somebody asked "I want to buy one 8 bit console from the mid 80's, what should I get?", would you recommend the NES or would you tell them to get a Sega Master System? The SMS has better graphics, but the NES has a much better library. Plus the NES was *the* defining console of that era. The SMS is great too, but it's a clear choice which one to get if you're only going to get one. Same thing goes for the Spectrum.

I'd say the SMS has a better games library and better gameplay. At least in Europe, where the NES 'FLOP', defined nothing.