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AuthorTopic: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list  (Read 563 times)

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Offline SteveH

Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« on: September 07, 2020, 10:50:07 AM »
The UK's Guardian newspaper today has a feature on the 20 greatest home computers of all time, and the Amiga comes in at ... well, I won't spoil it for you. You can see the full countdown at https://www.theguardian.com/games/2020/sep/07/the-20-greatest-home-computers-ranked
The Commodore 64 and Vic-20 also feature, by the way.
Steve
 

Offline BozzerBigD

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2020, 02:12:58 PM »
Hmmm. Should the IBM PC be on that list? Really? People only bought them for home use to run work applications in the 80s, the heyday of the home computer scene! They weren't 'home computers' until Windows 95 and even then they were rubbish! Seriously!

Doom I understand was a killer app but green screen monitors, single bleep sound chips, MS-Dos and Commander Keen were abominations! You had to use a game port on the early sound cards to even plug in a joystick early on! My PC owning friend who claimed the Amiga was "only for games" used a flight stick to play Mortal Kombat! Awful times when the PC was rammed down our throats as the only way forward! Then C&C came out and i nearly believed the hype 8)

Hated our Windows 98 laptop in the 2000s and MSN basically bricked it when my sister installed it!!!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 02:18:47 PM by BozzerBigD »
"Art challenges technology. Technology inspires the art."

John Lasseter, Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 03:23:16 PM »
Hey, we're all critical of the PC to some extent, but don’t go knocking Commander Keen! ;)
Those games are a masterpiece and the fact that we didn’t get an Amiga port is one of the greatest software tragedies of the early 90s.
 

Offline BozzerBigD

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 12:32:21 PM »
@Matt_H

Quote
... but don’t go knocking Commander Keen! ;)
Those games are a masterpiece and the fact that we didn’t get an Amiga port is one of the greatest software tragedies of the early 90s.

It's only because it was the first time a PC was shown to be capable of scrolling smoothly. The art style was memorable and I remember the green aliens from episode 1 but the bright gaudy graphics didn't do it for me! Sonic and Mario were the games that developers were shooting for. The Great Giana Sisters is far superior to Commander Keen and that was 3 years earlier! Keen looks like an Amiga PD game. There is an Amiga port of Keen Dreams now but I seldom play it for more than 5 minutes. It's got a kind of fever dream atmosphere to it!
"Art challenges technology. Technology inspires the art."

John Lasseter, Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios
 

Offline Gryfon

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 04:10:31 PM »
To me the IBM PC / compatibles were always "work" computers which slowly encroached into the home environment; so for me the PC being on a list of "Home Computers" is a bit of a stretch.  In the home is where they ended up though.

Looking back I can sympathise with software developers moving over to the consoles and eventually the PC.  Doesn't mean I have to like it though.

\\"We should take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.\\" Ripley, Aliens
 

Offline BozzerBigD

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2020, 04:32:07 PM »
@Gryfon

Quote
In the home is where they ended up though.

Yes, but they were not suited to it and mid-90s PCs were often bundled with MS Works rather than Office which made them next to useless. I was far more productive with an Amiga with Pagestream and TurboPrint than my PeeCee owning friends! But they still thought I was messing around with a computer that could only handle games! Morons! In addition, I often think that the American public lived in a distortion bubble considering the PC superior and forgetting the Amiga prior to AGA! Yes, the vast hardware superiority was over but the PC wasn't at all pleasant to use until at least Windows XP. To see middle aged Americans reminisce on YouTube about early PC hardware is frankly baffling to me! Doom made the PC interesting for gamers but before then the platform was a mess for home users.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 04:36:41 PM by BozzerBigD »
"Art challenges technology. Technology inspires the art."

John Lasseter, Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 05:15:49 PM »
@Matt_H

Quote
... but don’t go knocking Commander Keen! ;)
Those games are a masterpiece and the fact that we didn’t get an Amiga port is one of the greatest software tragedies of the early 90s.

It's only because it was the first time a PC was shown to be capable of scrolling smoothly. The art style was memorable and I remember the green aliens from episode 1 but the bright gaudy graphics didn't do it for me! Sonic and Mario were the games that developers were shooting for. The Great Giana Sisters is far superior to Commander Keen and that was 3 years earlier! Keen looks like an Amiga PD game. There is an Amiga port of Keen Dreams now but I seldom play it for more than 5 minutes. It's got a kind of fever dream atmosphere to it!

To each his own, I suppose :)

See, Giana Sisters never did anything for me. I loved it on the C64--it was a marvelous 8-bit game--but I expected so much more from it for the Amiga era. The levels were still one-dimensional (i.e., one screen tall) and exceedingly difficult, and it still had that blocky 8-bit look, with almost everything drawn within 8x8 (or whatever) grids.

I thought Commander Keen, apart from being a technical achievement for the inferior PC, had lots of variety in level design, a friendlier learning curve, more nuanced gameplay with the pogo stick (and ammo conservation being a key component of the earlier games), and some *huge* monsters. The performance they got out of the usually awful PC speaker fit the design aesthetic of the game (1950s space pulp) well, and they made excellent use of the 16-color EGA palette, especially by the 4th game, Goodbye Galaxy. Now imagine what they could have done on the Amiga with a 32-color or 64-color EHB palette, parallax scrolling, sampled sounds, and a full MOD soundtrack... Gaah! It's almost painful that we never got it. :) Still, as much as I love Superfrog and Zool 2, Commander Keen might edge them out on my list of favorite computer platformers.

Keen Dreams is the weakest of the series, though, so I don't blame you for not liking that one. ;)
(But really, give Goodbye Galaxy a try--that's the best of them :) )
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 05:37:11 PM »
Unfortunately, I think the PC's dominance in the home was inevitable once it had conquered the office, all having to do with the simple fact that people like to play games instead of working. They'll play those games using whatever tools are at hand. People wrote games for the big Unix servers in the 70s because the machine was simply there. Likewise, in the 80s, people wrote games for PCs because the machines were simply there at the office. Once the hardware from the office got cheap enough for individuals to own at home (and price competitive with the existing home computers)... well, that would have been a hard tide to turn back. :(

Offline Gryfon

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2020, 09:21:00 AM »
Unfortunately, I think the PC's dominance in the home was inevitable once it had conquered the office, all having to do with the simple fact that people like to play games instead of working. They'll play those games using whatever tools are at hand. People wrote games for the big Unix servers in the 70s because the machine was simply there. Likewise, in the 80s, people wrote games for PCs because the machines were simply there at the office. Once the hardware from the office got cheap enough for individuals to own at home (and price competitive with the existing home computers)... well, that would have been a hard tide to turn back. :(

I agree.  Hindsight is 20/20 of course.  But the writing was on the wall.  Commodore gone, Apple in the doldrums, Sony (Playstation) Sega (Saturn) and Nintendo (N64) about to release their new consoles and SVGA gaming with Doom around the corner to light the fire, where else were developers going to go?
\\"We should take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.\\" Ripley, Aliens
 

Offline Motormouth

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 03:11:39 PM »
Hmmm. Should the IBM PC be on that list? Really?

Unfortunately yes.  After all the PC and x86 ultimately won.
 

Offline trekiej

Re: Amiga features in Greatest Home Computers list
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 02:20:20 AM »
Attack of the Clones?
Amiga 2000 Forever :)
Welcome to the Planar System.