Friday, 6 December 2013

So far so good... FRGCB in 2013

Since my blog has the arrogance to call itself "Finnish Retro Game Comparison Blog", I might as well write a quick retrospective of the blog so far on the Finnish independence day. This post is basically just a list of all the games so far featured on the blog, so if you have read everything so far, I thank you for that very much indeed, and you don't really need to take a look at this list, unless you really like lists.

One of the reasons I made this blog was all these half-arsed Commodore versus Spectrum websites and articles such as and I know there have been more of these around, but I couldn't bother to find more of them now - just google them up if you really have a fixation for this sort of thing, like me. What some writers cannot seem to get, is that each machine's technical capabilities don't necessarily guarantee a better version of a game to an inferior machine's version. It hasn't been noted here yet, but there are even some games that are more fun on the Atari 2600 than on XBox, but then again, I'm probably in the minority here.

The table below shows a somewhat different kind of a list. In addition to the game titles and computers/consoles they were released on (R), you'll also find which platform each game was originally released on (O), which I think are better than the rest (X) and which have been mathematically declared the winners of each blog entry (W). Additionally, I have marked versions that surprised me in some positive way with an S, and unreleased, but found and belatedly released versions with a U. In a left-to-right order, the machines listed are as follows:

Arcade, Apple ][, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari 800-variables, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, BBC Micro/Electron, Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4, Commodore 64/128, Colecovision, DOS-based PC's, Intellivision, MSX, NEC PC-8801, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sharp X-1, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore VIC-20.

Click on this table to get a better look.

I know there looks to be a clear bias towards the Commodore 64, which should be kind of understandable, considering Finland is more of a Commodore country, so the vast majority of games comparisons will be written with that in mind. The ZX Spectrum really was a bigger thing only in the U.K., Spain and Russia, and the C64 in comparison had more users in the U.S., most other countries in Europe and Australia. It is a simple case of marketing, really - the C64-centered games just get a bigger readership than the ones for the DOS, MSX, Amiga, Atari machines and even the almighty Spectrum, that is clearly in the second place here, so I have no good reason to make comparisons of more games that originated on machines that have less audience, other than my own nostalgic reasons. In fact, I should probably concentrate more on the NES and Atari 2600 games to get more American and perhaps even Japanese readers.

Counting the so-called winners from the list above, this is what we get:

1. Commodore 64 - 8 wins.
2. ZX Spectrum (48k & 128k) - 6 wins.
3. Commodore Amiga - 3 wins.
    Arcade - 3 wins.
4. Atari 800 XL/XE - 2 wins.
5. Atari ST - 1 win.

So, at least the Spectrum users should not have anything to worry about. It's really the 16-bits that have some serious catching up to do, and I'm planning on concentrating on some more modern games once we get to 2014. Before that, I still have a small list of games to work with, which will be more related to the 8-bits. In any case, this blog was not created to build another useless pissing contest between the two major leaguers, C64 and Spectrum - it was to show a bunch of my favourite games and a bunch of requested ones, and compare them in the light of what I think should be regarded as good ways to measure quality. The truth simply is, some games just are better on different machines than what you feel is the only choice for you because it is your choice when taking a trip down the memory lane.

Finally, here's the Top 10 of the most viewed entries on the FRGCB, as it was at 1 pm (UTC+2) on the 6th of December, 2013:

1. Commando - 370 views
2. A History of Finnish Games, Part 1 - 227 views
3. The Great Giana Sisters - 190 views
4. DuckTales: The Quest For Gold - 172 views
5. Stunt Car Racer - 171 views
6. Bruce Lee - 166 views
7. A History of Finnish Games, Part 2 - 142 views
7. Bump 'n' Jump - 139 views
8. Wizball - 131 views
9. Twofer #1: Percy the Potty Pigeon + Wanted Monty Mole - 117 views
10. Twofer #3: Saboteur 1+2 - 115 views

Other entries that have crossed the 100 views mark so far:

- Batty - 111 views
- Samurai Warrior - 111 views
- The Sentinel - 109 views
- Twofer #2: Blue Max + Blue Max 2001 - 103 views
- Platoon - 101 views
- A History of Finnish Games, Part 3 - 100 views

As a thank you prize for reading this entry, I shall give you a couple of teasers of some future game comparisons in store, most of which will very likely be published in the beginning of 2014. Thanks for reading!

Coming attractions!

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