Top Amiga Arcade Conversions

As I am away of yearning arcades of the past my thoughts have turned to great arcade conversions to the Amiga.

Below are twenty of the best in my eyes – any I missed ?

  • Toki
    Toki
  • Super Hang On
    Super Hang On
  • Star Wars
    Star Wars
  • Snow Bros
    Snow Bros
  • R Type
    R Type
  • Rod Land
    Rod Land
  • Rampart
    Rampart
  • Rainbow Island
    Rainbow Island
  • Pang
    Pang
  • Pacmania
    Pacmania
  • Midnight Resitance
    Midnight Resitance
  • Marble Madness
    Marble Madness
  • Ivan Ironman Stewarts - Super Off Road
    Ivan Ironman Stewarts - Super Off Road
  • Indy Heat
    Indy Heat
  • Golden Axe
    Golden Axe
  • Bubble Bobble
    Bubble Bobble
  • Arkanoid
    Arkanoid
  • Badlands
    Badlands
  • Silkworm
    Silkworm
  • Escape from the planet of the robot monsters
    Escape from the planet of the robot monsters

13 thoughts on “Top Amiga Arcade Conversions

    • September 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm
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      @boatofcar – not tried the amiga version, will check it out

  • September 13, 2017 at 3:47 pm
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    The best Amiga games in my opinion were usually developed specifically for the Amiga but you definitely picked out some great arcade conversions here and I can’t think of any as good as these that you missed.

    • September 14, 2017 at 10:51 am
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      I’ve thought of some I’d include.. Ninja warriors, Iron man Stewart’s super off-road, dragon breed and saint dragon, I also seem to remember I quite liked final fight although it seems to be widely slated as not being very good

      • September 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm
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        @darrencoles, some good picks – but Iron Man is already on my list 🙂

  • September 14, 2017 at 11:31 am
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    Definitely You have missed Saint Dragon and Liquid Kids. I am looking and I have checked – it seems that they change Toki’s girlfriend size for bigger one! If You know what I mean 😉

    • September 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm
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      @Gzegzolka – yes! , those two are cracking games , amazed I missed Saint Dragon

  • September 16, 2017 at 2:32 am
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    I can’t argue with those picks. Is the slideshow gizmo a new WordPress plugin? Very slick. I’ll have to give that a go myself.

    Another fun list would be Amiga conversions that are *better* than the original.

    • September 16, 2017 at 3:08 am
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      new slideshow plugin DC 🙂 That sounds an interesting list to go for as well

    • September 19, 2017 at 5:59 am
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      I can I can! 😉
      Overall the list is quite sound and I am not criticizing Chris’s choices (except one, cf my first point) but many of these conversions are nevertheless shadows of what they could have been:
      • Super Hang On is actually not that good. It looks good in screenshots but it plays at max 15 FPS when it should have been 50/60 (PAL/NTSC), the gameplay is miles away from the smoothness of the arcade, competitors have erratic and jerky trajectories and bump into you randomly, and finally the graphics are not that good with sad colors which contrast with the originals bright ones.
      • Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Island, New Zealand Adventures (which you did not list) should have been arcade perfect gameplay wise but aren’t : often, the pace is not the same, controls are not as tight and graphics use only 16 colors instead of the Amiga 32 or 64 (in Halfbrite mode) which all of these games could have boasted at full frame rate since they are not that demanding. These conversions are good but they could have been near perfect and aren’t (especially gameplay wise).
      • Granted, Rodland and Toki are really good (no surprise, they were made by The Sales Curve). It must be noted that Silkworm Amiga, although an excellent game on its own is not a perfect conversion since it plays quite a bit differently from the arcade and does not have exactly the same behavior for enemies, graphics could also have been better but it was one of their first titles and as I said it stands on its own beautifully nevertheless so. 😉
      • Pang, Badlands, are very good and probably super close to arcade perfect. Pang probably misses slightly it in the graphics department despite its high color count (cf CodeTapper’s site) but it plays great.
      • Golden Axe, R-Type are in the category “overall faithful and playable” (even if R-Type is insanely hard just like the arcade) but they lack in the graphics and frame rate department and could both have been smoother and more impressive graphically.
      • Toki is really really really close to arcade perfect. Gameplay wise it almost is (the feeling is sometimes slightly different but great most of the time), graphics wise it is impressive with the parallax scrolling in 32 colors and smooth frame rate. Really a fantastic conversion.

      I know I am being picky but put the arcade originals and the conversions side by side and you will see many problems pop up that we miss when not having the original visible for a comparison. And even if graphics, sounds sometimes cannot possibly match the arcade the gameplay should at least be as good. Often that was not the case alas.

      I have the project to re-do some of the Amiga arcade ports in a way that takes better advantage of the Amiga capabilities and have started working (for quite a bit already but alas on and off depending on available spare time) on an engine usable for driving games which I plan to use for Pole Position, Hang On, Super Hang On, Chase HQ, etc.
      Progress is slow because of time constraints and the task won’t be easy because I would like to obtain official licenses (which should not be too expensive for the small unit numbers of the current Amiga market) but I have good hope to bring very pleasant surprises in the future. 😉
      (Don’t hold your breath though until I can sort out some of my current time constraints. 😉 )

      • September 19, 2017 at 6:02 am
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        Argh I mistakenly said Toki was from The Sales Curve when it is from Ocean, not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that. 😉
        Also I forgot to subscribe to email notifications for the comment when posting, is it possible to add it afterwards?

      • September 21, 2017 at 5:30 am
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        Thanks for the feedback. However I played Super Hang On today and still like it despite the flickering – but I guess everything is subjective and lots comes from the nostalgia berries.
        You are correct the excellent New Zealand story should have made the list.
        I agree most are not perfect, but should have been for the power of the machine but talking to coders from that period they said they were on fixed cost, fixed timeline contracts and never had access to source code nor graphical or sound assets most of the time so it was a real recreation job.

        • September 21, 2017 at 9:04 pm
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          Ahah, indeed, our opinion of Super Hang On seems to differ so much that I would almost think that you were intoxicated on these nostalgia berries when you last played it. 😉

          Joke apart, yes, you are right, these kittens were on horrendous schedules and sometimes it seems almost a miracle that early games were playable at all given the unreasonably tight constraints under which they were made. The industry has gotten (only sightly alas) better over time but when I entered it in 98 I still went through pretty nightmarish schedules for the best of 7 years before things settled down so I can imagine how unproductive the early game coding environments were.

          In that theme, I just received my copy of the book “The Amiga in pixels” in which lies an interview of the Factor V kittens where they explain that they only had three months to port R-Type to the Amiga… It is almost miraculous that the game is any good with such a ridiculous deadline. The team must have been on life support for weeks thereafter to recover I imagine. 😉

          This said, this does not explain everything. Like how poor ports from the ST were when less than a week of work would have been enough to modify sprite routines to use the blitter instead giving an instant and obvious performance advantage over the ST overloaded CPU. In this instance, we are forced to recognize that incompetence (managerial sometimes, coders don’t always choose) also played a role. It is true though that when people are under high levels of stress for extended periods of time they quickly lose perspective and experience tunnel vision which severely restraints their ability to explore efficient solutions to problems.

          I forgot to mention that your post taught that Rampart was ported to the Amiga which I had not realized yet. So thanks for that too!
          Now I need to see if I can buy it on eBay for less than the price of a house. 😉

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