Anyone still play C64 games on an actual C64?

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EnglishInvader
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26 Nov 2017, 6:28 am

SabbraCadabra wrote:
I don't know if I could deal with the real hardware, though...I can't imagine a tape drive being much fun at all =) I mean, besides the fact that I'm in NTSC-world.


The vast majority of US release C64 games were on floppy disk. The 1541 and its variants were a lot cheaper in the States. The increased file storage meant that the US game library took a very different turn to the European one. Most of the American C64 users I've come across tend to branch out to the PAL library (they don't seem to be content with the US library) and I would say that you need to be a fairly hard core import gamer to pull it off; the ZX Spectrum would be even harder although I have seen American Speccy users on YouTube.

The tape drives are actually quite pleasant to use. They can take a bit of time to load but some game developers made up for it with lots of neat tunes and demos to keep the user occupied (some loaders even have a mini game that runs while the main game is loading). Some people devote their whole lives to exploring C64 tape loaders.



VengefulMenace11
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26 Nov 2017, 5:31 pm

staremaster wrote:
I played quite a bit of C64, some of the games were really bad. I remember the C64 Contra being pretty good, the Commodore would accept Sega controllers.


Well, i have A LOT of bad games for mine. Quite a few bootleg games, too.



SabbraCadabra
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26 Nov 2017, 6:07 pm

EnglishInvader wrote:
The vast majority of US release C64 games were on floppy disk.

I was talking about the Speccy =) I've seen some games with REALLY long load times. Thankfully the emulators support fast loading, or even pre-loaded snapshot files.


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Ichinin
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27 Nov 2017, 1:08 am

Fortunately, there were cartridges like Final Cartridge III that could write a memory snapshot to disk or tape (first file was a fastloader, second file was the memory dump of the active memory content) that supported accelerated loading, even without the cartridge itself. Sort of a "make snapshot" feature like virtual machines have today.

Also a very good feature when you were looking to progress in a difficult game: save at the difficult point, use the snapshot to quickly get back if you used up all your lives.


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MagicKnight
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27 Nov 2017, 9:39 am

SabbraCadabra wrote:
Also, seems like a lot of really great C64 games are just lazy Spectrum ports, albeit with some nice SID chip music added in. Or Atari 8-bit ports. Or Apple ][ ports with more colors...


That's all partly true but the C64 has many exclusive games and also, the other way around, games the were ported *to* other platforms. In these cases, there's nothing that can be compared to native C64 games in technical terms.

The C64 had the best gaming hardware of the 80's even if a tad under-powered on the CPU side. Programmers who managed to master that machine did wonders that could rival even the NES, which came much later.

I know, that may sound weird coming from a Speccy guy but as much as love this machine, I am not a blind fan boy. I know exactly what's right and what's wrong with it. The Speccy is the best machine for my taste overall, it's got the games I like the most and I grew on it. Nevertheless, it's got so many flaws as well. All home computers from back in the day were flawed one way or another.

SabbraCadabra wrote:
I don't know if I could deal with the real hardware, though...I can't imagine a tape drive being much fun at all =) I mean, besides the fact that I'm in NTSC-world.


The Commodore disc drive was almost as slow as the tape drive, despite being itself a whole computer apart and costing as much as the C64. It's a very inefficient and expensive device. This is why tapes were the norm for European C64 users: budget and value for money. US citizens always had more purchasing power so they went full on the disc drive route instead.

The Spectrum had many disc drive standards and they were very fast and reliable but since budget was the norm in Europe, not many people had disc interfaces for their Spectrums. Besides, the ZX Spectrum is the best machine to use with tapes. As long as your recorder isn't total crap and your tape didn't come off the landfill, it will load your tape. In fact, if a tape comes from the landfill but you have a reasonably good recorder, the Spectrum will most probably load it. I have had such an experience countless times.

Besides, these days there are many alternatives to using the original hardware with tapes. Most of us don't use tapes anymore, we use these gadgets that load the tape images to the home computer memory instantly off a SD card or the Internet even. I'm talking modern interfaces in the likes of the divIDE and Interface1-Bis but of course, the Spectrum emulators out there do a great job. It's probably the most emulated machine there is.



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27 Nov 2017, 1:18 pm

MagicKnight wrote:
The Commodore disc drive was almost as slow as the tape drive, despite being itself a whole computer apart and costing as much as the C64. It's a very inefficient and expensive device. This is why tapes were the norm for European C64 users: budget and value for money. US citizens always had more purchasing power so they went full on the disc drive route instead.


Not only that, in the late 80's the 1541 cost as much as 2-3 times more here in Sweden than in other countries, shipping costs today is much cheaper than they were, and VAT didn't help either. I got an Amiga 500 and a 1541 in around 87/88 just because my dad won on the lottery, if that had not happened i wouldn't have had them for years, as a kid i didn't exactly have lots of money.

Some stuff is still very expensive today, i can get a RGB23-SCART cable from a bulk retro reseller in Germany for €4 instead of buying it for €30 from the local retro store. And don't get me started on the prices vs Aliexpress... got 5 x IDE->CF adapters for ~€10 (bulk), on a local webshop, they cost €6 each(!).

Only downside is the shipping from China takes a month or more, shipping is usually free and they don't get more expensive because of toll as long as you keep under €150/€20 (depending on the thing you order), so retrofitting your C64/Amiga can be really cheap if you know where and what to buy.


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27 Nov 2017, 9:25 pm

Now I'm remembering all my unfinished C64 text adventures..."Go north! Use the sword! Use torch!!" Nevermind, I'm dead lol
I'm sure they would be easy prey nowadays with internet resources.



SabbraCadabra
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28 Nov 2017, 8:44 am

MagicKnight wrote:
That's all partly true but the C64 has many exclusive games and also, the other way around, games the were ported *to* other platforms. In these cases, there's nothing that can be compared to native C64 games in technical terms.

Do you know any lists? I usually just play Sword of Fargoal and Turrican. Most games, I'll just settle for a port.

The G.I. Joe game looks cool, except it's exclusively two-player.

SimCity for C64 is...uh...interesting. It plays like it's an unfinished prototype.


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MagicKnight
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28 Nov 2017, 1:35 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
Do you know any lists? I usually just play Sword of Fargoal and Turrican. Most games, I'll just settle for a port.


What I did was just to download the whole C64 TOSEC library to SD cards which I use with my 1541-UII and SD2IEC devices. I assume you know what TOSEC is but if you don't, just Google for it and the answer will pop up promptly. You'll find the lastest TOSEC updates from Torrents.

If you need reviews and opinions to get started and pick from the thousands of available games, there's Lemon64 and YouTube. Most of my favourite C64 games however have nothing to do with the consensus of a majority. Anyway you'll find these titles among the best regarded: Turrican, Uridium, Mayhem in Monsterland, Defender of the Crown, Impossible Mission, Paradroid, The Great Giana Sisters, Wizball, Katakis, Armalyte, Creatures 1 and 2, Project Firestart, Ghosts'n'Goblins, Ghouls'n'Ghosts.

Many of those games aren't among my favourites, though. Some of my personal faves: Death Wish III, Space Taxi, The Last Ninja 1 and 2, Bruce Lee, Buggy Boy, (John Anderson's) Rally Speedway.



SabbraCadabra
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29 Nov 2017, 9:02 am

MagicKnight wrote:
What I did was just to download the whole C64 TOSEC library...

I meant like a list of the best C64 exclusives =) Obviously there are tons of platforms where I can play games like Defender of the Crown or Ghosts'n'Goblins.


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MagicKnight
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29 Nov 2017, 12:27 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
MagicKnight wrote:
What I did was just to download the whole C64 TOSEC library...

I meant like a list of the best C64 exclusives =) Obviously there are tons of platforms where I can play games like Defender of the Crown or Ghosts'n'Goblins.


Where I wrote "exclusive", read "native". I don't know of any lists though. I just know what games were originally designed for a specific platform from experience, never seen a comprehensive list like that around.



remmargorp
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16 May 2018, 9:45 pm

I still have a C64, but I don't play it much. Unfortunately, the floppy disk drive doesn't work, so the only games I can play are on cartridge.