Re: [stella] tangent: Supercharger vs. CV

Subject: Re: [stella] tangent: Supercharger vs. CV
From: Kurt.Woloch@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 08:29:41 +0200
Rob wrote:

>Let me just add here that by and large, I think the Supercharger games are
>better than most Colecovision games.  This is mainly because the
>Supercharger had programmers behind it who were already versed in
>optimizing for the 2600, whereas most games released for the Colecovision
>seemed to be knocked off fairly quickly.  

This could be true.

>Even if you compare Supercharger Frogger with Colecovision Frogger though,
>I think Supercharger Frogger is more playable and even looks better (better
>colors or something.)  This is especially ironic considering the CV had the
>same processor as arcade Frogger and should have been able to reuse more of
>the code.

Well, the same processor, basically yes... but I think the whole other
hardware differs grandly.
I don't know what hardware the arcade machine actually used, but it either
had a capability of soft-scrolling the background (like the C-64 has) or
large amount of sprites, neither of which the Colecovision has. So yes,
maybe some code could be reused, but not all of it, and especially not the
code that is crucial for creating the graphics.
Besides, speaking of that, I saw Frogger on the Coleco, on the MSX and on
the TI-99. The remarkable part on this is that these three systems have the
same video chip, the TMS 9918 or 9929, I don't recall exactly which one, and
the Coleco and MSX even have the same CPU, yet the game looks different on
each of them.
The MSX version, done by Konami, to my eyes is the worst one. The scrolling
does about 6-8 frames per second (Yuck!), and seems to be in Hi-Res mode
(Bitmap mode, to be exact, for that's what it's called on the TMS 99xx).
The Coleco version looks much better, it seems to scroll in steps of 4
pixels (out of the 256 pixels vertical resolution of the video chip), but
still it's a bitt choppy.
The TI version by Parker, to my surprise, is the best one, scrolling in
2-pixel steps, which isn't bad for a system that by hardware doesn't allow
for smooth scrolling, and especially when you consider that the TMS-9900 CPU
delivers a rather weak performance compared even to a 6502 at 1 MHz, like
the Commodore machines used.

With love from Austria (and many Froggers to compare)
Kurt Woloch

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