Author Topic: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC  (Read 872 times)

Offline TL

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The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« on: April 05, 2013, 22:04:05 PM »
[align=center:1kkadhb1]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTsiriJ6qRE[/align:1kkadhb1]

Offline onthinice

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 04:30:38 AM »
This is a game I wish I had played in the arcades. All three look like good ports.

Since I can not choose the Nes.  I like the speed of the C64 even though the graphics seem lacking. C64 gets my vote.

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 11:56:34 AM »
Speccy version could have been the def.version here, if only it was faster.

As for which Sinclair mags raved about it: 9/10 from Crash+8/10 sinclair User.


C64 version i did play shortly before ditching the C64 in favour of the ST, fast, but too messy a game, visually for myself, see it pulled in 92% at review in C+VG and 79% (at re-release) in C-Force.


Always thought this would have made for a great conversion to the Atari Lynx myself.

Offline TL

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 12:00:37 PM »
Spectrum version wins with ease for me.

Amstrad version is terrible with its tiny window, crap scrolling and lack of sprites. C64 version is too fast and very ugly.

You are right though RT, would have made a cracking Lynx game.

Offline Havantgottaclue

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 10:39:10 AM »
I only ever played the demo of NARC on the C64 but I have to say it was very playable indeed. It was an interesting compromise they made here graphically. It doesn't look great but the fact that it all moves so well and at pace I think counts for a lot.

As a programming problem this sets a similar problem for the C64 as scrolling beat-'em-ups do - namely, the need for lots of animated characters on the same line with just 8 sprites to play with. Obviously you can split the screen or multiplex to get more sprites but whatever you do you're never going to get more than 8 sprites on one line without inducing flicker.

Also, to get a human shaped sprite with anything like sufficient detail you're going to need two sprites rather than one. And if you go the Target Renegade route and overlay the sprites with a single-colour black sprite to reduce blockiness, you're going to need 4 sprites per character. The upshot of this is that to get more than two characters on a line you need to time the redraw between the top and bottom half of each character, which inevitably results in tearing and other glitches. There's obviously a speed impact as the multiplexing routine eats up CPU cycles. And even if it all works out, you're still not going to get 5+ characters in the mix, which is why the C64 version of TR is so sparse (albeit quite pleasing graphically).

The choice they made with NARC is clearly designed to prioritise speed and amount of characters on screen by limiting the amount of sprites to two for the main sprite and only one for the assailants - they are expanded vertically so the pixels are 2x2 - hence the dog-foodiness of the look generally. Plus, there is an *awful* lot of brown going about, which is probably inevitable but hmmm ... surely they could have done something.

I think if you're looking at it from a late 80s perspective, you clearly have a very fast-moving and playable game, if not a particularly aesthetically pleasing one.

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Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 11:08:28 AM »
Zzap 64 gave it 86% for graphics due to the animation, smooth scrolling (seen some users say it's better than the Amiga version), having only a few less sprites than the Amiga version had and a simult.2-Player mode, so it was quite a technical achivement.

Overall score for C64 version was 86%.


Thing is your talking converting a 32 Bit Arcade game that use Rotoscoping, digitised sprites and a high res. screen, to a C64 running on a SD TV.When converting any arcade game, guess developer faced with choice of whats going to make the cut...do you try and replicate the game visually as best you can, at expense of things like speed? (Speccy ver.does low too slow for myself) or do you try and capture the fast and frantic pace of the game, knowing you'll be looking at workman like visuals?.

Offline Havantgottaclue

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 11:21:50 AM »
That's it in a nutshell RT, and I think that's why we find these comparisons so interesting to this day. Having to tailor these ports to machines with a fraction of the power of the original, with the abilities of the machines being so diverse too, creates some interesting problems. It's very different to your average 360 v PS3 face-off, where the issues are usually little more than which drops a few more frames or tears from time-to-time, or what type of anti-aliasing is used. Much as though I do enjoy modern gaming I find it hard to imagine doing these types of comparisons on current games in 20 years' time!

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 12:02:52 PM »
Quote from: "Havantgottaclue"
That's it in a nutshell RT, and I think that's why we find these comparisons so interesting to this day. Having to tailor these ports to machines with a fraction of the power of the original, with the abilities of the machines being so diverse too, creates some interesting problems. It's very different to your average 360 v PS3 face-off, where the issues are usually little more than which drops a few more frames or tears from time-to-time, or what type of anti-aliasing is used. Much as though I do enjoy modern gaming I find it hard to imagine doing these types of comparisons on current games in 20 years' time!

Very wise words and it's going to be the same a generation before that, with Middleware engines so common place a VS or Wars comparison going to boil down to PS2 VS G.C VS XBox with things like slightly higher resolutions, few frames faster, better textures faster loading times, in terms of mere seconds and then your into Dolby Pro-Logic II VS Dolby 5.1/ ability to use your own soundtracks, and which joypad you prefered.

The ONLINE side will be meaningless as servers all shut down and any exclusive DLC or characters etc per game would be pretty mute points, lol.

There will be a few differences if your talking something like Makken X/Shao on Dreamcast VS PS2 1's a FPS viewpoint, the other a 3rd person affair, but these will be few and far between.

Offline Rogue Trooper

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 00:18:20 AM »
C+VG gave C64 Narc 92%.

Offline 108 Stars

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Re: The 8-Bit Wars: NARC
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 03:23:44 AM »
Never heard of this game before, but from the video I'd pick the C64 version. It has a large amount of enemies on screen, plus good speed (too fast even) where both other versions lack in speed and the Amstrad doesn't have enough enemies.

I must say I am impressed with how many sprites the Speccy handles though.
Systems owned: Atari 2600, Lynx, Jaguar, NES, SNES, N64, GameBoy, Master System, Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Game Gear, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Wonderswan