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matt0

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  1. It's not standard Amiga hardware running Wipeout 2097. It's a machine with a replacement processor and entirely new graphics hardware. I don't think there were many in existance, but if you were going to pay through the nose to build a crazy Frankenstein's Monster of a computer I can't think of many better uses for it then playing Wipeout 2097.
  2. I don't think the system that would run Wipeout 2097 counts as an Amiga anymore to be honest. An Amiga to me is a system with a 680x0 processor and either the original Amiga chipset or one of the enhanced variations of it. If you're running a Power PC based system with entirely new graphics hardware in a custom tower, what you have is pretty cool from a hardware enthusiast / hobbyist point of view, but it's essentially a completely different system. At most it represents a hypothetical future Amiga that never came to be.
  3. The time difference had been mentioned a few times already admittedly . But thinking of them as being from distinct hardware generations really never occurred to me, I just mentally filed everything away as "16 bit era" but it's way more spread out than that. I'm not claiming it's a grand revelation to anyone other than me!
  4. I've never thought of it like that before but it's essentially true. There's 4 years difference between the A1000 and the Mega Drive. 5 years for the SNES. The time between the Amiga launch and SNES launch is the same as the SNES and the PS1.
  5. Is this the same innards as the C64 mini? Had a go on one of those and the input lag was really noticeable, especially on Uridium. Did that ever get fixed with firmware updates or is this a new machine under the hood?
  6. I spent most of October playing through every game in the Halo Master Chief Collection on Heroic difficulty. I finished all of them on Legendary except for Halo 4 back in the day, but I just don't have the stamina these days! I have some thoughts (especially about Halo 2 for some reason...): Halo CE: It's the core combat, with the grunts, jackals and elites, combined with a weightier more deliberate feel that was smoothed over in the later games, that makes CE shine. The second half becomes a bit of a slog, the flood are over used (as a reveal and a change of pace I've always liked them, but they get boring to fight fast). But that magic 30 second loop against the three main covenant enemy types - remixed and reworked over and over again throughout the game, is perfection. The franchise has been chasing after that lightning in a bottle combination ever since and never quite found it. The 60fps, widescreen, 1080p treatment has an almost Namco arcade game sheen to it. That arcadey feel when pulling off multiple headshots against a squad of grunts feels more arcadey and slick than ever. The persistence of enemy bodies, dropped weapons, wrecked vehicles across levels is still impressive even today. You can't melee an enemy corpse over and over until there's so many blood decals that the game grinds to a single figure frame rate and eventually crashes any more though which always makes me a little sad. The remastered graphics on this remain as ill judged as they were in CE: Anniversary Edition with horrific contrast free lighting and textures overloaded with pointless detail that makes surfaces hard to read at a distance and leaves nowhere for the eye to fall naturally. They do serve one purpose though, quickly switch them on and then off again periodically and it really emphasises the skill and craft that went in to Halo CE's visuals. The use of very minimal textures (low texture memory on the original xbox?) contrasted with well chosen patches of high detail and superb lighting all come together to sell these huge, alien spaces. The first light bridge room on the second level? It seems impossibly vast - hard to fathom, the outlines of strange alien structures fading into shadows and odd silhouettes. Stark and monolothic, awe inspiring. Put the remastered graphics on and you can see how small the actual geometry of the room is and how perfect the illusion of the original graphics was. The less said about the remastered sound track the better. A flawed masterpiece whose promise was never fully realised but still offers the highest highs in a largely excellent franchise. Halo 2: There's a new cut scene they've clumsily pasted in at the start with some spartan talking to the heretic about some waffle or other. I don't know who the spartan is. Is he Locke? I don't really know who Locke is to be honest. Years ago I downloaded a fan compiled version of the Marathon trilogy which started the player in some weird mystic cave and presented you with loads of text lore dumps before segueing in to the first level of the first game. It felt off. Reading the FAQs for the fan version the author talked about how chronologically this made sense according to a time loop or something...? It was the worst kind of fan wank bullshit and now 343 have done that in an actual commercial Halo release. Wow. Visually it's a weird one. Bland textures and flat lighting in comparison with Halo CE at its best. Hilariously the remastered graphics massively overcompensate with high contrast shadows everywhere - the exact opposite of the problem with Halo: CE. The character models genuinely look like an early 360 game though, except for that one cut scene Marine who has a head made out of kebab meat. All the texture load in problems are gone now which is cool, but overall it's aged more than the original despite looking a half generation ahead in some ways. Odd to think about. I feel like some of the criticism Halo 2 got at launch was hyperbolic. It didn't even occur to me to be disappointed until I'd had it for a couple of weeks and I'd run through the game on Heroic, then Legendary and done another big chunk of a legendary co-op run. Even then it was more of a "I think I like the first one better" than an actual sense of disappointment. One major criticism that's faded with time is the duff ending. Playing on the MCC collection, you just fire up Halo 3 and there's your proper ending. I still don't understand anyone who doesn't like the Arbiter levels ("I wanted to be the Master Chief! Waa!"), the hand at the bottom of the screen is a different colour and you get to fight alongside elites and grunts. First thing that slaps you in the face starting this immediately after the first game, your shields soak up less damage and you have no health, so you're instantly very fragile. Maybe it was an attempt to shift the gameplay on the difficulty levels so normal felt more like Halo: CE's heroic, heroic felt more like legendary. It doesn't work, the possiblity space of any given encounter is flattened because you can't make heroic runs, have less time to pick targets, spend more time cowering. Your shield recharges faster, but if you can only take a couple of hits before you have to dive back in to cover, then that doesn't really count for anything. It's at its worst with the jackal snipers, counter sniping is fun, but not when you can die in a single shot... Lots of tinkering at the edges of what made Halo great. Some of it good, like Elites laying down suppressing fire and enemies being less aware of your movements which lets you have incredible moments of stealth where you blindside and execute enemies even in the middle of fire fights. Some of it bad, like the enemy AI being completely unable to deal with long range attacks and enemies getting stuck on the corners of physics objects. It's clear now, after it went away for a few games then came back, how a key part of Halo's identity as a shooter is down to having an overpowered, scoped pistol. The battle rifle is cool, and I like what they did with different types of mid to long range rifles over the franchise, but you need that scoped pistol - it's a major piece of the puzzle. Vehicle sections are frequently just fun park rides now, separate from the core combat loop as opposed to being a complement to it. They're lots of fun, they have a grand sense of scale, but something is lost. The Brutes are clearly unfinished. Janky animation transitions, they get stuck on scenery loads etc, just not much fun to fight - they get refined in later games but never make a convincing replacement for the elites. A lot of the changes and additions, the wider weapon set etc, got refined down the years through the games that came after - but Halo 2 is the awkward transition between the comparatively minimal weapon and feature set of Halo:CE and the more bombastic, feature packed later games. There are moments. Big, punch the air, this is fucking amazing moments. I might not be that fussed about fighting the flood again, but fighting the flood with my own squad of grunts and elites backing me up? Fuck yes! ODST drop! Hunters are scary again! Plenty of cool surprises like this throughout the game. There's lots to like, but ultimately plenty to gnash your teeth at too. ... Spend longer than I thought I would writing those two up, so I'll write about the rest when I get a chance... 2019 so far:
  7. I remember coming home from school once and spending an entire evening playing Warlords on the Amiga listening to a tape that had Out Of Time by REM on one side and Countdown to Extinction by Megadeth on the other over and over on a shitty, tinny little tape deck with no bass.
  8. Another often forgotten side of the Amiga was it got a lot of the early games that were instrumental in the evolution of the Total War style grand strategy genre. Lords of The Realm and Fields Of Glory are two that stand out. Again, games that have aged worse than a well crafted platformer or action game, but were at the pinnacle of their genre at the time.
  9. While I'm always quick to shut down the idea that the Amiga was "more powerful" than the consoles, or some of the weirder takes in this thread (including Rick Dangerous being something you'd hold over the SNES and Megadrive), the Amiga was still an incredible games machine, and had a couple of good years left in it after the SNES came out in the UK. Sensible Soccer wasn't even out until 92! Cannon Fodder was 93. That's two of the systems most iconic games. The Amiga has been treated especially unkindly by history because a lot of its best games, if you were going to play them now, you'd choose to go with the PC versions. But back in the day, when the PC you needed to run those better versions cost twice as much, if not more, than a base Amiga... You wouldn't complain too much that Syndicate ran at half the resolution as the PC version and chugged a bit when it got busy, or Dune 2 wasn't as colourful. You wouldn't complain because you were playing fucking Syndicate! I wouldn't argue that Ultima 6 was a better game than Final Fantasy 6 or Chronotrigger, but I definitely don't think it's any worse. It was embarrassing to see the Amiga press try and make out Guardian as a Star Fox beater in the systems dying days, but having played both games recently, I think Guardian is a better arena shooter than Star Fox is a rail shooter. And I like F-Zero as a pure racer more than anything on the Amiga (that frame rate counts for a lot), but I don't think Stunt Car Racer or No Second Prize are that far behind either.
  10. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    I've got cloud saves and sync between my Xbox and PC for Wargroove, Bard's Tale Trilogy and Everspace and it seems to be working okay. That said I've not tried uninstalling anything on the PC yet.
  11. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    On the first two games my preferred settings were to knock the handling model down on a couple of settings, have manual gears (I think they were automatic by default...?) and the opponent difficulty up one notch. So we're probably angling for slightly different experiences. That's another great thing about the series, how well it caters for different players.
  12. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    The genius of Forza Horizon games is that you can knock the realism down until it's quite arcadey but it still keeps the physics model and the feel of realism. They occupy that middle ground that PGR used to.
  13. Even as late as 1995 when almost everything released for the system was terrible there was still one last trickle of great games: Pinball Illusions, SWOS, Worms, Colonisation, Zeewolf 2. A suitably Amiga-esque selection.
  14. The Amiga DID have true hardware sprites. It just only had 8 of them
  15. It's almost forgotten now, but there was about a 5 year period of time where most high profile CRPGs had an Amiga version, and it was usually the best version. When VGA support started to become standard on PC Eye Of The Beholder and Ultima 6 looked a bit shabby on the Amiga in comparison, but then an Amiga was still half the price of a VGA equipped PC and would plug in to a TV. That's the thing about the Amiga, it's a machine that's aged more than its contemporaries because a lot of what it did have is out of fashion and in 2019 nobody is thinking about the relative costs of an Amiga vs. a PC in 1991.
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