Comparing MSX-1 to other 8-bit computers

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By Totta

Rookie (22)

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18-10-2009, 13:18

@ Totta:
Wow, I'm impressed by the looks of the C64 Salamander. Smile
Too bad it does not scroll in multiple directions within stages, but the overall look is great!
Looks a bit like the NES version to me.

That's because they are both based on the original arcade version of Salamander, not the "totally-different-game-with-the-same-name" MSX version.

But Konami were wizards. Why abandon a fully working side scrolling engine like the Gradius / Knightmare one? I totally understand that they went the easy way and made a Gradius 4 out of Salamander.

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

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19-10-2009, 14:56

VRAM you mean? But wasn't that the same for other systems (VRAM as part of normal RAM)? Still a fair comparison in that case.

Most systems never had dedicated memory for their VDP chips. Into some systems the memory was integrated into the Main RAM, like in the ZX Spectrum (that seems to possess "slower" access to the lower 16KB due to the Video display) [information taken from the book: An Expert Guide to the Spectrum (GUIA AVANÇADO PARA O SPECTRUM) BY MIKE JAMES]. Into the AMIGA 500/600/1200 the (CHIP RAM) memory for Audio, Video and programming is the same. It is possible to use FAST RAM for other applications, but there is the CHIP RAM for Audio and Video. For MSX there is dedicated memory for VIDEO (VRAM) and optional AUDIO (MUSIC MODULE).

Usually the problem that the MSX had with scroll has more to do with the type of display that the MSX could use than the memory access. Block scroll (8x8 or 4x8) seems to work fine in most cases, sure it is not smooth scroll, but at least there is the illusion that the screen is moving ...

By Metalion

Paladin (1004)

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19-10-2009, 15:27

As I choosed MSX instead of Commodore 64, because MSX´s far better BASIC, even I lost my chance to hundreds of free pirated cassette games, many times in later years I have wondered, what if I could have been clever (?) enough to forget MSX and ask my daddy to buy Commodore 64 WITH Simon´s Basic cartridge?

Could that Simon´s cartridge had been good enough to make me happy with Commodore 64? I still remember, that my pal had Simon´s Basic cartridge copied to tape, but there was no use for it for me, because how I can use it´s commands without manuals?!

Is here anyone ex-Commodore 64´er who has really used Simon´s Basic?
I did ...

My neighbour and friend had a C64 with the Simon's Basic cartridge, and I had a MSX (of course).
We used to make little programs on his C64, so I remember it.

What I can say is that Simon's Basic was truly complete ! It had every instruction you could dream of.
It was really on the same level as the MSX-Basic.

But I cannot vouch for its speed ... I don't remember if it was slow or fast.

BTW, your interrogation ('what if') is a very good one ... I choose to buy an MSX also because of the more advanced BASIC compared to other home computers. My own answer to that one is : yes, it would have been more clever to buy a C64 with a Simon's Basic cartridge than to buy an MSX. But I am proud of my difference, discovering the MSX has been a rich experience, and I liked every moment of it.

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

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26-11-2009, 21:00

..and they live hidden away from civilization in the Amazon rain forest or what?

Nooo ... It was only the "*Manaus FREE TRADING ZONE*" (Zona Franca de Manaus) that is on Amazon. It was the place that the MSX boxes came from ...

By the way ... 2009/11/25. It would do a interesting game ... Imagine the quantities of dead fishes around! It is one of the effects of the Light!

By Yukio

Paragon (1541)

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27-11-2009, 22:02

This site compare some games on Commodore 64 vs ZX Spectrum, MSX is not mentioned ... but, most games also possess a MSX version.
C64 vs Spectrum

Yie Ar Kung Fu I&II

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

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28-11-2009, 10:14

looks like programmers on spectrum did not spent as much time as on C64.
Games on C64 really take the best of it , spectrum looks monochromatic and it is not a technical limitation... it is more like it takes more mips to handle these graphics ( dixit the article )
Maybe it was easier to do games on C64 , you had less optimizations to do ...
It seems systems sharing one RAM for everything are easier to program.
Lets face it MSX < C64 < MSX2 ( and not talking about music ... ) , but if you look nemesis you see MSX > C64 , so with more work MSX can reach C64

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