Author Topic: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review  (Read 2353 times)

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[AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
[AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
29 July 2011, 10:19 am

 

Wonderboy on the Amstrad CPC review and longplay! A very old arcade platformer from Sega gets a conversion to the Amstrad CPC.... and it's a pretty poor one too. I wanted to do this one as this was one of the earliest games I ever played, and in fact the first game I ever played on the Spectrum.
« Last Edit: 12:17, 15 December 11 by Gryzor »
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Yeah, very great game. I enjoyed the very well-balanced gameplay in this game, it was accessible as a kid. It was like playing "Mario Bros" on my CPC.


Years later, I now prefer the C64 version because of its smooth scrolling + sprite fluidness (even if there are less colours).


Offline MacDeath

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Quote
(even if there are less colours).
I don't really think C64 version actually have less colours...

The CPC version use this same old crappy technique as used on Ghot/and Ghostblin games...
Mode0 with only 4 colours per background and 3 colours only for sprites.

Which is quite practical as it enables easier straight C64 graphics port.

Totaling exactly 7 colours for the playfield.

On the other hand WonderBoy also add some bits of Mode interrupts changes, to get the HUD in Mode1... which I guess use/waste some extra CPU.

Post edition : I also suspect the game to use those mode1 graphics as 1bpp graphics and translate them on the go into 2bpp graphics in "VRAM" area... which could also be part of the sluggishness. but I would need to have a look at it running with winape to check this.

But this enables +3 colours on screen totaling an awesome total of... 10 colours on screen for a "mode0" game.

Whooohooo.

The good part is that the cartoonish style of the game surely is a bit better in CPC colourfull palette...
Well, could be.


Also, the palette is actually regularly changed from levels to levels so yeah, you get a colourfull feeling...

The CPC displays less colours on screen but the game actually use more colours in total.



This game is often cited as one of the first exemple of a proper Scrolling on CPC...

In my memory it was still a bit sluggish.

But nonetheless a fairly good game on CPC from this time...
And quite difficult.



Anyway if only "Wonderboy II" could get that amount of colours on CPC, would have been quite decent perhaps.




Sidestory : the wonderboy series is a mix up from Japanese different franchises...
Executive medlings all the way, lol.




Not sure a properly programmed CPC version could get a more "almost arcade perfect" feeling (or look), despite being somewhat a bit slowlier...


We have to remember good old Arcade machines from this era were often 8bit CPU and not that impressive video wise...
Lots of Hardsprites and scrolls, yeah, but actually few colours...

Just look at Donkey kong...
CPC pulls out a decent almost Arcade perfect game.


Lets look :

Sega System 1 :
  • CPU1:Z80 @ 3.33MHz - 4MHz (speed varies whilst running)
  • CPU2:Z80 @ 4MHz
  • VIDEO:SYSTEM1 VDP - 256x224 with 256 colors. 4KB VRAM
  • VIDEO INFO:2 background layers, 1 sprite layer, hardware collision detection
  • SOUND1:SN76496 @ 4MHz - 4 analog channels (3 square, 1 noise)
  • SOUND2:SN76496 @ 2MHz - 4 analog channels (3 square, 1 noise)
  • OTHER:Z80 PIO or PPI 8825 used for intercpu communication
2 CPU, one for the sound, the other for the rest...
I couldn't find the number of sprites nor the specs concerning palettes.
I guess the 256colours is actually 16 palettes of 16 colours for tiles or sprites...
« Last Edit: 22:03, 09 August 11 by MacDeath »

norecess

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I feel bored when people (most of people actually) evaluate a game uniquely by its technical specificities, and not about its gameplay value..

Offline Gryzor

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I used to like this; would play it for so long, but never even saw a boss before!

Hey, the music was not awful! It was pretty nice :) It did drive you crazy after a while, though...

"20 or 30 mins"? :D :D

@MacDeath: hey, I'm surprised you didn't post comparison vids :D

Offline redbox

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I feel bored when people (most of people actually) evaluate a game uniquely by its technical specificities, and not about its gameplay value..

I don't.

I think MacDeath's (albeit often a bit rambling) comparisons and evaluations compared to other platforms interesting.  It shows where developers went wrong and what could have been done with the CPC, which is one of the big failings of the platform in it's day.

Offline Gryzor

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Sometimes I can't reach the end of MacDeath's posts, but they're always very interesting, and I get to learn lots of new stuff and aspects I hadn't noticed before... for that I'm grateful.

Offline MacDeath

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Quote
I feel bored when people (most of people actually) evaluate a game uniquely by its technical specificities, and not about its gameplay value..
Sorry for this.

did I told I liked this game too when younger ?
Well that was actually the case.


But today I can understand that If I were a good hacker/coder at the time, knowning what to do, such kind of game could really have been improved into a faster one perhaps... or even better looking one..


Anyway there you go : 8-bit Wars !!!

C64 :
[youtube]JpPn3s_-NRc[/youtube]

CPC :
[youtube]woYMMTbEIfM[/youtube]

Speccy :
[youtube]M2k8uzQ0jz8[/youtube]

Also the "official" 8bit wars video :
[youtube]jnEJdGvo8B4[/youtube]
C64 wins, of course...


The HUD part is obviously graphically Speccy ported, and most of the game engine was too, of course.

While speccy just pulled some attributes, CPC got perhaps to manage some mode change interrupt and turn some 1bpp into 2bpp too perhaps.
Got to check wether as in some other games the engine still use some Attributed logics ?

But on the other hand the "4colours+3colours" method (how is it named ?) enables to reduce the DATA weight from others graphics if I remember correctly.


Also : behold the mighty MSX version !
[youtube]zBo46TZLN64[/youtube]
This one is obviously Japanese production so the engine is completely not ported, also the graphics use the better attributes from MSX and the Hardsprites enable to get no attribute clashes (which explain why the Speccy version was monocolour...)

Graphics are a bit different because you know, this game was in the center of a great executive meddling and corporate shitstorm.

The music is also different despite originated by a Z80 machine and an AY psg just like CPC or Speccy.

And as usual the MSX can't handle proper "almost smooth" scrolling (gotta wait the MSX2+ if i remember correctly to have real Hardware scrollings).
« Last Edit: 22:41, 09 August 11 by MacDeath »

Offline McKlain

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The adventure island / wonderboy story is quite interesting  ;D

Quote
Escape/Westone had a licensing arrangement whereby they owned the rights to the game, but Sega retained rights to the main characters, bosses, and names. Because of this they teamed up with Hudson Soft to produce a conversion of the game for the NES, under a new license. To get around the licensing issue, Hudson Soft simply had the graphics of the main character and the title changed. The result was Adventure Island, which instead of featuring Tom-Tom, featured a character known as Master Higgins, who bore a striking resemblance to Tom-Tom, albeit with a hat. The game was, however, Wonder Boy in all but name. In this arrangement, once again, Hudson Soft retained the rights to the character and name, allowing them to continue to produce future games using the Adventure Island name and characters. These sequels are not based on the Wonder Boy sequels. Hudson released Champion Takahashi's Adventure Island for the MSX. This version featured Master Higgins as the main character but retained the music of Wonder Boy, unlike the NES Adventure Island which had a completely different soundtrack.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Boy_%28video_game%29#Clones
« Last Edit: 23:43, 09 August 11 by mcklain »

Offline Xyphoe

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Thanks for the info there mcklain

And I would also encourage technical discussions about these games, especially on the longplay vids that are posted in the News forum - certain or strange techniques may come to light that might prove useful or give budding programmers here new ideas ... or at least *what to avoid*  ;D Remember we learn from our mistakes to improve - and there were plenty of commerically released mistakes to go on!!!!

True MacDeath rambles on (LOL - sorry dude!) and I usually scan his longer posts also, but thanks for the contributions and don't stop doing them :)

Offline MacDeath

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I am at the moment looking at SpaceGun.


I couldn't find videos for the CPC version actually.


I now it is a lame game but it is also fun to analyse I guess.


Many unfinished stuff were too straightly ported from speccy.
But some details were also "finished" and promising.


Could you try to do some video please ?

i would love to get some debate on this one too. ;)

Offline Xyphoe

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I am at the moment looking at SpaceGun.

Yes ... I've been meaning to do a vid of this for a long time. I've tried many times to get through this game to do a longplay but unfortunately due to the severe LAG that occurs the game is pretty much impossible to complete, well at least without cheating. Typcially I only like to do Longplay vids on my channel, but maybe I'll just do a review for this one.

Offline Xyphoe

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Actually does anyone have any pokes or cheats for Space Gun?

None are listed on the CPC-Power website.

Offline ervin

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What sort of lag are you experiencing?
The game seems perfectly playable to me (albeit rather jerky!).
My (cancelled) entry for the CPCRetroDev 2017 Competition http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/programming/my-cpcretrodev-2017-entry/
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Offline Xyphoe

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What sort of lag are you experiencing?
The game seems perfectly playable to me (albeit rather jerky!).

Tried shooting any aliens? Especially when there's more than 2 on screen? :O

Offline MacDeath

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As perhaps one of the only official "6128PLUS" release... the emulation may be a little faulty.

I got to test it on the real Hardware.
On emulator it simply feels unplayable to me : it's often as if shooting at monster simply do nothing.
Or collision detection is quite unefficient.


But anyway perhaps we should open a new topic for SpaceGun then...



Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #16 on: 02:20, 18 December 12 »
Woot! Just finished this tonight after I came very close to doing so in 1988 by getting to the final baddie.


I can rest, finally :)
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No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Offline db6128

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #17 on: 02:46, 18 December 12 »
Since it’s been bumped
 
The CPC version use this same old crappy technique as used on Ghot/and Ghostblin games...
Mode0 with only 4 colours per background and 3 colours only for sprites.

Which is quite practical as it enables easier straight C64 graphics port.

Totaling exactly 7 colours for the playfield.

[…]

But this enables +3 colours on screen totaling an awesome total of... 10 colours on screen for a "mode0" game.

Whooohooo.
But on the other hand the "4colours+3colours" method (how is it named ?) enables to reduce the DATA weight from others graphics if I remember correctly.

This type of spriting is sometimes called Rotovision, after the name by which Paul Shirley called himself on some editions of Mission Genocide, a.k.a. ZTB, which made good use of it. You may not like the method, but it has to be judged by the right standards, not by its inclusion in a game like this, which is sluggish for different reasons. The bit-masking logic that it uses is quite inspired and enables very fast operation of masked sprites as they can be plotted using ORing, without needing to store (as you hinted) or compute ANDing masks – and removed to restore the original background simply by ANDing them out, rather than having to copy the background into a buffer. So, it’s done not necessarily out of laziness but perhaps for valid technical reasons instead. Wonderboy just happens not to be a good example of the efficiency that can be gained from this method.
 
I think this method is very interesting and promising in the right contexts, and have an idea for some graphics that will use a slightly more evolved version of it; I just need to sit down and do the math to confirm that it’ll work.
[The owner of one of the few existing cartridges of Chase HQ 2] mentioned to me that unless someone could find a way to guarantee the code wouldn't be duplicated to anyone else, he wouldn't be interested.
Did he also say things like "My treasureeeeee" and is he a little grey guy?

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #18 on: 05:32, 18 December 12 »
I guess this "Rotovision" could get some good result on a system such as the PLUS, with massive use of Rasters colour changes, perhaps even a few Hardsprites and Hardscroll...

Could get this Atari 8 bit vibe as well.

Despite being somewhat critisized, Ghost and Goblins and GhoulsNghost were not bad using this technique.

I guess one issue with Wonderboy is that it tries too hard to emulate a few speccy/C64 aspects, I mean having a split screen with HUD in Mode1 may not be helpfull and the code must be lacking in some parts too.

While the Xyphoe's video seems to have a few sprites flickering issues, I don't remember this being that bad on a real machine in my fond memory. This must come from the emulation.

And as I told, this rotovision could be really interesting with a 128K PLUS game.

Just for Wonderboy...
Scrolling being for CPC (old) it is hard to do it properly, and the raster/split multimode screen could also benefit a little bit on the PLUS...
And many minor things like the bonuses or a few monsters could really be done quite easily in Hardsprites, which would reduce the "only 3 colours" effect.

The sprite layer suffer from a few sprites clashes (attribute character clashes of a sort) when a few sprites are in the same character... Having some use of hardsprites could also ease for this.
« Last Edit: 05:53, 18 December 12 by MacDeath »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #19 on: 16:07, 18 December 12 »
Quote from: Shaun M. Neary
Woot! Just finished this tonight after I came very close to doing so in 1988 by getting to the final baddie.


I can rest, finally
Well, only took 24 years, give or take :D What's next? Harrier Attack maybe?

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #20 on: 16:17, 18 December 12 »
Well, only took 24 years, give or take :D What's next? Harrier Attack maybe?


I finished Rasterscan and Rambo last year, that was also a good feeling. :D
Christ knows what i'll go after next. :)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #21 on: 16:55, 18 December 12 »
Quote from: Shaun M. Neary
Quote from: Gryzor on Today at 16:07:43
I finished Rasterscan and Rambo last year, that was also a good feeling.
Of course it is :) Last year I sat down and finished Op Wolf, felt young(er) again. Shame noone was at home to celebrate with.

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Re: Xyphoe's Vids - [AMSTRAD CPC] Wonder Boy - Longplay & Review
« Reply #22 on: 17:07, 18 December 12 »
Of course it is :) Last year I sat down and finished Op Wolf, felt young(er) again. Shame noone was at home to celebrate with.


That game is impossible to play on PSPCap32 for the PSP due to requiring the use of the space bar for the grenades. Although i think that can be re-defined if memory serves me correctly.


Must dig it back out and try it. Miss that game. Only ever made it to stage 3, my tape copy had a fault back in the day and wouldn't load stage 4.
« Last Edit: 17:11, 18 December 12 by Shaun M. Neary »
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1GB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?