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[AMSTRAD CPC] Midnight Resistance - Longplay & Review
[AMSTRAD CPC] Midnight Resistance - Longplay & Review
4 May 2011, 7:30 am

 
[AMSTRAD CPC] Midnight Resistance - Longplay & Review
[AMSTRAD CPC] Midnight Resistance - Longplay & Review

Midnight Resistance on the Amstrad CPC - longplay through to completion (no life lost) and review/commentary! A popular run 'n' gun coin-op gets an above-average/decent conversion to the Amstrad ... although it's a Speccy port it plays OK and surprisingly faithful to the arcade original. Thought the coin-op featured rotary joysticks that you could twist to aim your weapon - which of course wouldn't be possible on the home conversions the programmers Special FX / Jim Bagley did a good job in recreating this at least. cpc-power.com en.wikipedia.org www.arcade-museum.com (Sequel to "Heavy Barrel" that sadly didn't see a conversion to the Amstrad en.wikipedia.org
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Offline MacDeath

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=As I told in comment I guess the effects on this games are too numerous/big  to get it working fastly.
Because they were designed in a speccy logic... = cheap graphics to display.
When it gets into a CPC, this is getting so intense.

examples :
-big round bullets (as the triple shot) : those large circle 16x16pix masked sprite flashing in 2 colours... could have been quite smaller (one 8x8 char max) as this is a lot of stuff to animate/generate.
-explosions : they were colored but originally Spectrum friendly... I don't like their design and they have a lot of frames... again each explosion is a heavy stuff to display IMO : 32x32 pix with to much frames (4 frames of animation...)
-Deceased opponent that fall to the bottom of the screen : cool effect (Rick Dangerous like...) but CPU intensive too... as even a dead baddy gets fully animated (moved on screen instead of simply disapear fast).

These extra animations may get the game far more playable if tuned down.

"Solutions" :
--Dead mens : simply a one frame "explosion", not the guy falling the entire screen...
--Big bullets : only 8 pixels wide dot instead of 16 pixels...
--Explosions : less frames, each explosion launch a cycle of 4 big frames in 32x32pix to display...ouch...

Tadam... the CPU have a lot of job removed.
just see how the screen may look when it is fully covered in explosions, bullets and falling guys... while you move your guy and get the scrolling activated...ouch d'uh. :'(

On the other hand, the graphics have been fully put into 2bpp and look pretty good for a mode1.
Yet we all know the proper way would have been to get original Graphics in Mode0... ;)

=interesting comparison :
http://www.retro-sanctuary.com/comparisons%20-%20Midnight%20Resistance.html


=Surprisingly, CPC version got (sometimes) rid of the "halo" on sprites from ZX speccy version.
this "Halo" is some sort of way to reduce the problem with colour clashes... it simply make the sprites a bit more visible.

On CPC this is not really needed as you can have sprites using different colours to backgrounds (well...Mode1 is only 4 colours in total so...)

Yet the player's sprites would actually need a bit of "white" highlight on the trousers... (or a camo effect)

As some parts retain their "halo" (endboss...)

=Good point : the CPC version frequently change palette (from levels to levels) so the whole game keep an interesting coloured feeling.

Such palette changes is a common way to get a mode1 game with a coloured feeling (Head Over Heels).


Also : no real Co-Op mode (2players)
That's a typical shame from 8bit Arcade ports in this era...

DragonNinja and Gryzor per exemple...

I mean, having twice player means far more stuff for the poor Z80 to manage...
« Last Edit: 14:32, 04 May 11 by MacDeath »

Offline arnoldemu

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I mean, having twice player means far more stuff for the poor Z80 to manage...
I agree, but also think of the cpc's keyboard/joystick clash!

Gauntlet was a classic when played with two players... "hey I didn't go that way!"

I do like that they took time to redo the graphics for the CPC version of this game. I think this is one of the much better spectrum ports.

Sad the screen is quite small...
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Offline MacDeath

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Keyboard clash :
Rampage too... quite notorious... especially in 3 player mode. :laugh:
Those keyboard clashes are somewhat one of the main flaw in CPC design...IMO.

I heard that just a few resistor enable to get rid of them ?
If only Amsterad put 2x AY on their CPC... we would have had a 6 sound channel computer and no Keyboardclashes, perhaps... ::)


Quote
Sad the screen is quite small...
and get easily fully covered by bullets and explosions and falling guys... ouch...
 

Picture related... :laugh:

All the "bullets" are to be moved on the screen... all impact/explosion laubnch 4 frames and the boss are still large sprites which fire big missiles (also got to move this on screen...) while the player try to dodge all this, and the player is of course quite heavy on animation too because it is a 8 direction run and gun platformer... lots of frames too because you must be able to shoot in 8 directions...

ouch ouch ouch...

Some times you even run at the same speed as the bullets you fire... ;D
« Last Edit: 14:47, 04 May 11 by MacDeath »

Offline arnoldemu

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This'll make you angry. The Spectrum version has music thoughout the game, the CPC version doesn't :(
So they ported the game, made nice gfx and threw away the music :(
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Offline arnoldemu

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Keyboard clash :
Rampage too... quite notorious... especially in 3 player mode. :laugh:
Those keyboard clashes are somewhat one of the main flaw in CPC design...IMO.
It's a common flaw that happens in a lot of keyboards I think.
I don't think resistors will fix it. 

Well 2xAY would not fix the clash, but we could have 6 channel sound.

The only way would possibly be an intelligent controller in the keyboard, or perhaps an intelligent keyboard scan routine.
not sure.
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Offline MacDeath

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You can also manage keyboards with an AY...not just produce sounds...
Well I guess you can... :-[
perhaps not after all (where did I see this ?)

Quote
This'll make you angry. The Spectrum version has music thoughout the game, the CPC version doesn't :(
So they ported the game, made nice gfx and threw away the music
got to get rid of something...
I mean all the Graphic Datas were twice heavier at best (sprites and Tiles) yet I suppose sprites were masked on speccy (= 2bpp...sort of).

Yet twice the Datas for tiles can still be quite heavy, provided the game also must run on 64K CPC.

Also the game runs quite slowly on CPC, adding some music would simply Jam the thing... or get irregular tune (slows as the game slow down...) which is never good.

Best way would indeed have been to reduce all those visual effect a bit... As I already told. :)
Or also get it a proper PLUS version too on a sweet 256K cartridge. :D

 
« Last Edit: 18:08, 04 May 11 by MacDeath »

Offline Bryce

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There are Keyboard scanning methods that use resistor matrixes that do (mostly) avoid clashing if implemented well, but there would be no easy way of modifying the CPC Keyboard with resistors to achieve this. The AY port that reads the keys is digital, so only 5V and 0V can be read. Adding a second AY and using it's port could reduce clashes by half, but it wouldn't remove all clashes and would also mean polling two seperate ports to scan the entire keyboard, so reading the keyboard would take twice as long.

Didn't Gauntlet have a similar issue? I seem to remember being able to hold down certain keys, and in doing so, stopping the other player (my brother usually) from moving in certain directions.

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Offline redbox

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Didn't Gauntlet have a similar issue? I seem to remember being able to hold down certain keys, and in doing so, stopping the other player (my brother usually) from moving in certain directions.

I remember this exact thing happening when playing with a mate of mine, but unfortunately I was on the receiving end of it (think he had been practicing on his brother before me too).

Never realised it was due to keyboard clash at a hardware level.  Are there any games that overcame this with clever coding?

Offline TFM

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Never realised it was due to keyboard clash at a hardware level.  Are there any games that overcame this with clever coding?

You can't overcome hardware by software 8)
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The solution... PLUS.

Having some controller connected on Analog port and other on digital port... :P

Quote
You can't overcome hardware by software
But I believed this was the exact purpose of the Demo stuff...

 
« Last Edit: 00:44, 05 May 11 by MacDeath »

Offline sigh

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The keyboard/Joystick clash on Gauntlet was a real annoyance, but I don't remember it happening on Target Renegade so often. Couldn't this of been solved by creating some sort of advanced joystick splitter?

The solution... PLUS.
   

Your dying for a PLUS game aren't you ;D !!!

Offline AMSDOS

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I thought the 4 colour mode 1 graphics are amazing, had a hard time trying to figure out where the Spectrum Graphics were. True it's a small playing screen though it never really worried me. Though I got through Midnight Resistance heaps of times (guess I just too good for it!  ;D ).
I got Midnight Resistance on a 2-game compilation back called "Dark Force" which includes "Night Breed" - unsure how common this compilation pack is cause I don't recall AA or ACU Reviewing it (it could have been in an issue I missed), and paid £7 for it which I thought was good value for two Discs!  ;D 
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Offline Bryce

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Sometimes you can improve hardware with software (Apple does it with the iPhone :D ), but the CPCs keyboard clashing can't really be solved with software.

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Sometimes you can improve hardware with software (Apple does it with the iPhone :D ), but the CPCs keyboard clashing can't really be solved with software.

Bryce.

Improve hardware by software? No, they just use the hardware with high efficiency. But software never can change hardware in a physical way - disregarding VHDL (But even here the hardware dictates the limits).
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