ZX Ported Games that could have been better on msx

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By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

28-06-2007, 18:36


the real problem are background gfx.
the c64 uses a mode that allow 4 selectable color per 8x8 cell, paying the half of x resolution.
while msx1 screen modes allow more colors in a single 8x8 cell, the limit of 2 colors / 8 pixels make things harder.

NOTE: MSX1 screen2 allow 15 colours (+1 transparent colour) in single 8x8 cell compared to 4 colours in c64 halved resolution (160 pixels horizontally, if I am not wrong......) multicolor mode.... Wink

I have too thought about Last Ninja 1 & 2 for MSX1...

I think, when somebody suggests c64 game to be converted to MSX1, many of you have ALWAYS same problem with that:

It seems that you ALWAYS think c64 --> MSX1 conversion must look 100% perfect compared to c64 original !!!! And if that can´t be done, you think there is no reason to convert such game for MSX1. (which is usually the case....)

There is absolutely no sense in such way of thinking!!

MSX and c64 have different hardware, so why c64 --> MSX1 games should look exactly same as commodore 64 games??

If someone makes MSX1 screen2 game which has 16 colours in every single 8x8 cell, should MSX --> c64 conversion look exactly the same as MSX original?? Hope you get what I am saying! Smile

It seems you guys ALWAYS are starting to say something about "for msx1..? no way... it must be MSX2 or better or that game can´t be done....".

Of course there´s nothing bad in thinking MSX2 conversion could have more colour and sharper graphics as MSX1 conversion...

What I mean is this:

When converting c64 (or Atari 800, BBC, Atari ST/Amiga..etc) game to MSX1, THERE´S NOTHING BAD IN IT, IF EVERY PIXEL IN 8X8 CELL DOESN´T LOOK EXACTLY SAME AS IN ORIGINAL GAME!!!!

You can do wonders using screen2, but still you cannot always "clone" all the graphics from original game!

You do all what can be done with screen2 and that´s it! Then you have a hellishly good looking MSX conversion!

When looking Last Ninja (1 & 2) screenshots, they are NOT too hard to convert for MSX-1 !!!!!!!!

Only problem is in your own minds!!

Check out these links to see:

Last Ninja 1 walkthrough:

http://lastninja.lemon64.com/walkthrough1.htm

Last Ninja 2 walkthrough:

http://lastninja.lemon64.com/walkthrough2.htm

There´s no sense to try to make every game look EXACTLY same as original version, you take advantages of MSX hardware and do the best what can be done!

If every 1980s programmers had thought "arcade versions have sharper graphics and better sound than my computer, that´s why there´s no sense to convert home versions of arcade hits" then there would have been only few games for home computers in the eighties.... and none of them would have been arcade conversions... c64 has crap graphics compared to many arcades... should c64 programmers/software houses of the 80s had thought they shouldn´t even try to program c64 versions of biggest arcade hits as c64 cannot produce as many colours/pixels?

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6564)

ARTRAG's picture

28-06-2007, 18:51

Actually doing screen 2 isometric graphics is impossible unless you do not use two colors only.
(think to Alien8 and similia)
The fact is that in screen 2 you cannot draw diagonal edges unless using 2 colors only.
The color constrains are such you simply cannot draw coloured objects from that prospective.
IMHO
Last ninja could only look like alien 8, that's all

By Huey

Prophet (2675)

Huey's picture

28-06-2007, 19:33

Actually doing screen 2 isometric graphics is impossible unless you do not use two colors only.
(think to Alien8 and similia)
The fact is that in screen 2 you cannot draw diagonal edges unless using 2 colors only.
The color constrains are such you simply cannot draw coloured objects from that prospective.
IMHO
Last ninja could only look like alien 8, that's all

I agree with ARTRAG. I tried bit it is almost impossible to work with diagonals in screen2 and use more than 2 colors.

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

28-06-2007, 20:03

yes, colourful isometric graphics are hard to convert..

thought, in these last ninja games, you can do SOMETHING at least... there are bushes and other things of scenery in certain "rooms" that can be made of more than two colours.. I know, most of the screen should still made of two coloured 8x8 cells... but anyway, there are many screens in c64 original which are mostly made from just 2 colour 8x8cells...

Check out Last Ninja 1´s first stages.. The wastelands, the wilderness, palace gardens...

they don´t look too hard to convert well. I know, later levels have decorated walls and furniture, but still commodore original still has just 2 (1) colours in most parts of background. Of course game can be succesfully made in screen1 too.

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

28-06-2007, 20:06

Even in screen1, you SURELY get something lots more colourful Isometric graphics than MONOCHROME Alien 8!!

By Huey

Prophet (2675)

Huey's picture

28-06-2007, 20:16

Even in screen1, you SURELY get something lots more colourful Isometric graphics than MONOCHROME Alien 8!!

True. But it won't be the easy way.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6564)

ARTRAG's picture

28-06-2007, 23:13

MäSäXi, a porting is just a waste of time.
Color graphic in isometric games is just outside the VDP possibilities.
Assume you use one color for the majority of the objects, and that you study
object overlap in composing scenes in order to have that the same colors overlap
when object is in front of the other all the time (a big puzzle, think to this).
Only having 1 color per object you can try to overlap them without colorclash.
This implies also you can overlap only 2 objects at time.

Once you did so, you have got always the main character and the animated enemies to represent.
Drawing on tiles would be impossible has you have already solved the color puzzle above
(provided you did) and you cannot use any other colors for drawing animated charachters.

Moving the tiles is impossible for small diagonal movements (if you do that you'll get
jerky moves) and in any cases you cannot mask the background (see above).

Using sprites could be done, but so you introduced color inthe background and you
have to accept MONOCROME charactrers!!

Conclusion: IMHO any porting attempt of games with isometric color graphic is a waste of time
unless you move to monocrome graphic.

Think on how many isometric game there are on msx1. Think how many of them are monocrome
and how many have colors.

Still do you think this is a feasible thing?
Question

By Ivan

Ascended (9299)

Ivan's picture

28-06-2007, 23:23

I see that The Last Ninja 2 for MSX1 has not been a good example Tongue And what about MSX2? Take a look at La Abadía del Crimen by Manuel Pazos.

As I said earlier The Last Ninja 2 is considered one of the best games ever made for C64.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6564)

ARTRAG's picture

29-06-2007, 00:25

ok msx2 is a totally different thing. bitmap modes revert all the discussion.
in particular i find la abadia del crimen a bit poor in the use of the colors:
maybe the graphic could have been improved using better (variable scene by scene)
palettes, more dithering, and a some more details in the scenes.

I do know, but I have also the strong feeling that this kind of games is the sole that
can be realized in SCREEN 8.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6564)

ARTRAG's picture

29-06-2007, 01:12

Consider this:

1) you can load from the ram the objects in the rooms as you can safely take your time passing from a room to another
2) all moving objects are few, small and slow
3) you have 2 pages for duble buffering
4) you can use soft sprites having as working area the room under the borders
5) you can do screen split and use a bit of the second page for storing animations and as larger workspace
6) you can do ram/vram transfer of animations frames you cannot fit under the borders

So, why not using screen 8 at least once in 25years?
I think that isometric games are a good field for exploiting screen 8 and in general the 2pages modes (I think to 2+also)

so what about alien 8 in screen 8 ?
Wink

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