Don’t get me wrong, I like the Commodore 64. The SID sound chip in the C64 still makes me cream my jeans, and I’m working on a SID MIDI synth but in terms of quality of games, the Amstrad CPC always wins out. It was like the underdog of the mid 80’s game computers. Better colours, more power, SOMETIMES better sound when someone didn’t know how to squeeze the SID the right way. But I mean I’m trying out the old style games that I am getting inspiration from, and trailblazer on the C64 (disk image here) is simply a bucket of lame compared to the CPC version (disk image here). (Emulators at end of post).
Sure it has a lot to do with the fact I grew up with a CPC (464… tape version, none of this funky disk crap for me!), but I mean the colours are better, the sound was better, CPC had music, the c64 didn’t and the game was more playable…. but I guess one of the oddest things is that it is a different game! The levels are completely different in the CPC version than the C64 version. Completely. Its not like a Mac vs PC thing… different levels entirely, as far as I’ve played!
I guess the main thing you can say about both versions of the game is that they are both $%#%ing impossible! None of this nice second decade of the new millenium stuff where you are slowly edged into the difficulty building skills on the way. None of this fl0w business! The first few games of trailblazer on the CPC I got past the first level with milliseconds to spare and never past the second as yet so far! No tutorials, just BAM. You’ve got to be the king of the joystick and king of the game from the first sitting in the seat. Relentless. Thats one quality in gaming that has changed… letting the plebs into the exotic world of crazy video games. The only people who played games in the 80s were coked up schoolchildren as far as I can tell. This was long before there was any theory of game making and it was just dudes sitting in their bedrooms and garages making up shit that had never been done before. I know quite a few golden games made out of infinite creativity from this era, and as I come across them, I’ll wack them up
Anyway, the point of this post? The Amstrad CPC was a heaps better unit than the Commodore 64 Given the same game, 7-8 times out of 10 it would be better on the CPC.