MSX2 1942 Game quality

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By PingPong

Prophet (3972)

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31-10-2022, 12:59

I think this game was poorly developed.
No music on intro screen
Horrible sound effects while playing (irritating)
It does not appear to properly take into account the sprites / scanline limit:
It does appear to waste a lot of sprites on big airplanes
it does not handle the sprite flickering in a good way (slow flickering)
BG Graphics are not so much detailed considering the bitmap screen mode usage.....
What is your impression?

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By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6889)

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31-10-2022, 13:40

I agree. The use of the vdp is very basic, software sprites would have helped to get better looking enemies. I think that the coder has started from some other version and has adapted it to msx2 without having experience with the limitations of the system.

By JohnHassink

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31-10-2022, 19:09

Oh, I'd like to politely disagree. Smile
I'm wondering if you actually know that this was a port of an arcade game? Which was from 1984, so - pretty good for its time, but quite primitive when we look at it now.

Apart from the over the top sprite flickering, I always thought it was a very good port of the arcade (which I had played a lot). The MSX2 version looks and plays very much like the original. The bitmap 'cells' are as good as they could be, being direct renditions of the source material.

The sound is pretty much like the original as well, which didn't have intro screen music, either. The only 'real' songs in the original are the special boss fight tune and the name entry, which both are present in the MSX ports.

There's something to say about trying to improve and expand upon a port, like for instance Compile did when they ported Xevious to MSX2, but with 1942, the developers obviously tried to approach the original as closely as they could get.
If you'd ask me about MSX2 ports from arcade titles that truly could and should have been a lot better, something like Rastan (-Saga) would come to mind. Even though I actually did enjoy Rastan Saga back in the day.
Another one would be Legend of Kage, with its catastrophically broken gameplay.

But indeed, the sprite flickering is bordering on the unacceptable. Remarkably, the MSX1 port didn't suffer from this issue as much. Maybe it's even more playable, which seems a fair trade-off for the less colourful graphics.

By Parn

Paladin (809)

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31-10-2022, 19:09

I never knew the MSX2 version, I'm actually surprised by how close it is to the arcade.

By geijoenr

Champion (352)

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31-10-2022, 20:33

Yeah, I also agree it looks pretty good.

Comparing the video of the arcade vs the port, the arcade also has super annoying sound effects. I guess the developers just did what they were told and do a port as close to the original as possible, not "fixing" anything.

By PingPong

Prophet (3972)

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31-10-2022, 20:37

When i say sprite flickering i mean the big plane. This flicker a lot and given its size i think is made up of too much hw sprites overlapped causing the flickering sprite drop effect, that is handled at very low framerate . The result is that all does flicker a lot.

The effect you told is due to the sat update needed to keep the score (which are sprites) on the same Y position . Unfortunately due to a stupid feature of vdp when y "is the magic number" all sprites disappear.
Plus the sat update is done out of sync so there is a kind of "tearing" effect in the score board.
Very sloppy coded.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5620)

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31-10-2022, 21:23

Well, maybe someone could have a look into the code (or even reverse engineer a bit). It probably could be improved, indeed. Especially with the knowledge we have collectively gathered about the MSX in this day and age. Smile

By Pentarou

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31-10-2022, 22:45

MSX2 port is actually a very good port: Much better than the NES and even with its flaws it's the best 8 bit port!
Yes, it's 20Hz, there's flicker and the sound is hampered by the missing 2nd AY8910...
But the graphics are good, the sounds (the fanfare and the effects) are almost identical to the arcade and they didn't cheat by reducing the size of the enemy sprites.

By gdx

Enlighted (5815)

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01-11-2022, 02:00

JohnHassink wrote:

Oh, I'd like to politely disagree.
...But indeed, the sprite flickering is bordering on the unacceptable.

I agree with you on the sprites. but it's not just that. The graphics colors of the MSX version are quite poor and the scrolling is a bit choppy. The music at the start of the stage is annoying.

JohnHassink wrote:

If you'd ask me about MSX2 ports from arcade titles that truly could and should have been a lot better, something like Rastan (-Saga) would come to mind. Even though I actually did enjoy Rastan Saga back in the day.

Also Yaksa.

By AxelStone

Prophet (3174)

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01-11-2022, 10:19

I like very much 1942, I feel that it's a very good port from the arcade.

By PingPong

Prophet (3972)

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01-11-2022, 13:16

Pentarou wrote:

MSX2 port is actually a very good port: Much better than the NES .

NES does not have sprite Flickering nor scorebar tearing.
Sound is pratically the same.
the only thing i've found are "squared" blue tiles when they clash with non blue (like the boat or island)
So i do not see how could be better.

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