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Thread: diffrences in 8-bit computer ports

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    Pear (Level 6) Soviet Conscript's Avatar
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    Default diffrences in 8-bit computer ports

    did a pretty intresting thread awhile back about whats ports were generally superior on 16 bit computers (DOS, Amiga, Atari ST)
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=115141

    so i was wondering the same about the 8-bit line. i know it varies between games and possibly what system the game was origionally ment for but what computer tended to have the superior port of games (graphics, sound, control)

    i'm mostly thinking between, atari 8-bits, apple II and C64

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    ServBot (Level 11) tom's Avatar
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    not really much difference

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    In theory, the Atari 8-bit and C-64 should have always won out over the Apple II because their base graphics and sound capabilities were generally far above what the Apple II was capable of. With that said, a lot of software originated on the Apple II and sometimes featured little to no improvements when ported to the Atari 8-bit, or, increasingly as the 80s went on, the C-64. Of course, while the Apple II had the best support for games that required 128K of RAM, a lot of software was designed around 48K (or less), just like it was on the Atari side, though of course later it was reasonable to support 64K. The C-64 always had the 64K specification (I'm putting aside the C-128, as few games took advantage of the extra memory), though had the slowest disk drive of the lot (which was a big Apple II advantage, though a big disadvantage was the difficulty in setting up more than one joystick).

    Naturally, when a game was designed around the platform's capabilities and was in the hands of a capable programmer or programmers, the results could be extremely impressive. Of course the results were often far below that, even for platform-specific or platform originating titles.

    So, the answer is, it's a tough question with no easy answers. Multi-platform games would have to be taken on a case-by-case basis, and only when a reasonable amount of effort was put into optimizing for the target platform, which, as was stated, was quite rare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Loguidice View Post
    In theory, the Atari 8-bit and C-64 should have always won out over the Apple II because their base graphics and sound capabilities were generally far above what the Apple II was capable of. With that said, a lot of software originated on the Apple II and sometimes featured little to no improvements when ported to the Atari 8-bit, or, increasingly as the 80s went on, the C-64. Of course, while the Apple II had the best support for games that required 128K of RAM, a lot of software was designed around 48K (or less), just like it was on the Atari side, though of course later it was reasonable to support 64K. The C-64 always had the 64K specification (I'm putting aside the C-128, as few games took advantage of the extra memory), though had the slowest disk drive of the lot (which was a big Apple II advantage, though a big disadvantage was the difficulty in setting up more than one joystick).

    Naturally, when a game was designed around the platform's capabilities and was in the hands of a capable programmer or programmers, the results could be extremely impressive. Of course the results were often far below that, even for platform-specific or platform originating titles.

    So, the answer is, it's a tough question with no easy answers. Multi-platform games would have to be taken on a case-by-case basis, and only when a reasonable amount of effort was put into optimizing for the target platform, which, as was stated, was quite rare.
    the problem for me is with all 3 setups to choose from you would naturally want (barring the nostalgia factor) the better version. unfortunitly while a good deal of information on specific games seems to be out there there is apperently very little information compairing said games so one can make a decision.

    one of the features i love about the site hardcore gameing 101 is how they evaluate all the ports and explain the diffrences along with compairison pictures.

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    Armchair Arcade
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    That's a valid point, though as an owner of all three systems+, unless there's a major difference - and there usually isn't - I'd generally want to play it on the system of origin. I went through this exercise before with the Ultima series. While there are enhanced ports out there for other 8- and even 16-bit systems, the first five games were designed on an Apple II for an Apple II, so it's hard to pass up that version.

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