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Thread: Side by Side: Chaos Engine (Mega Drive vs. Amiga CD32)

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Puyo Side by Side: Chaos Engine (Mega Drive vs. Amiga CD32)

    Chaos Engine, or Soldiers of Fortune, as it's known in the U.S., was a great shooter by the Bitmap Bros. that saw releases on several different formats. In this installment of Side-by-Side, we take a look at how Sega's version stacks up against the one released on the Amiga CD32. Which one comes out on top? Read on and see!

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    Pirate King Phantar's Avatar
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    That was a good read. Nice to see a more balanced attempt to review something regarding the Amiga CD32 without outright slamming the system. Personally I think the idea of a CD-based consolized version of the Amiga definitely has merit - too bad that Commodore in the 90s had lost its focus and was already in an ongoing downward spiral of mismanagement and bad marketing (not to mention some shady business decisions in general), otherwise the hardware might have had a better fighting chance.

    Also good to see that some team effort went into the feature .

    One minor complaint though (or maybe more of a nitpick, if you will):

    That is much harder to do with the CD32 pad. “But wait, Zebbe, don’t you know there is another pad for the CD32 by Competition Pro”, you say? Yes, I know, and I have it. The Competition Pro pad is like a mix of the three 16-bit console pads: the shape and D-pad of the three-button Mega Drive controller, the button layout of the SNES, and the turbo switches of the TurboGrafx-16.
    Competition Pro was a gaming accessory brand, not a company. The original joysticks were manufactured by a dutch company called Suzo and later on produced by a german company called Dynamics Marketing (and in some locations distributed by Kempston Micro Electronics). The gamepads entered production after Dynamics Marketing was acquired by Powerplay Ltd. So basically, the correct phrasing would be "don't you know there is also a Competition Pro brand gamepad for the CD32".



    Regards, your friendly neighborhood smartass

    /edit: By the way, regarding the A500 version: Personally I prefer that one over the Mega Drive port myself. However, the A500 version also doesn't have selectable difficulty (and is thus permanently stuck on the "hard" setting), and it only supports one fire button per default. So if you think that these issues give the Mega Drive port the edge, I don't think you will change your mind after playing that version either.

    (Also, fun fact, the CD32-version of the Chaos Engine is itself based on the enhanced A1200 version which uses the AGA graphics chipset. Which means it has more colors, out of a greater pallette, than the Amiga500 OCS one; however, I still believe the A500 version looks better - it's grittier, while the A1200-version looks almost too vivid and lively, ironically enough. I think many people prefer the A500 version for that very reason. And also because the A500 was cult, but I digress )
    Last edited by Phantar; 01-25-2016 at 12:19 PM.
    The funny thing about an oxymoron is, even if you remove the ox, there'll always be a moron. The Question Remains: Y?

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    Nonconformist Hedgehog-in-TrainingWCPO Agent EyeDeeNo76's Avatar
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    Genesis Constitutional right to defend in the midst of chaos

    My hypothesis is that Spectrum HoloByte renamed the United States releases to Soldiers of Fortune because the word soldier is better associated with US kids at the time of the run n' gun style of the game also the characters are hired and paid a large amount of money (a fortune) to destroy the Chaos Engine.
    The Preacher character was renamed a Scientist because the publishers felt that a priest killing people was offensive.
    Last edited by EyeDeeNo76; 01-25-2016 at 08:03 PM. Reason: I really am dyslexic

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    Zebbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantar View Post
    That was a good read. Nice to see a more balanced attempt to review something regarding the Amiga CD32 without outright slamming the system. Personally I think the idea of a CD-based consolized version of the Amiga definitely has merit - too bad that Commodore in the 90s had lost its focus and was already in an ongoing downward spiral of mismanagement and bad marketing (not to mention some shady business decisions in general), otherwise the hardware might have had a better fighting chance.
    Thanks! Yeah, I like the system too. There are quite a few great games like this one and Simon the Sorcerer on it and you can also play A500 games on it and expand it to a complete A1200. What a moron that Mehdi Ali was. He got paid $2 million per year for destroying one of the greatest computer hardware companies of all time .


    Quote Originally Posted by Phantar View Post
    Competition Pro was a gaming accessory brand, not a company. The original joysticks were manufactured by a dutch company called Suzo and later on produced by a german company called Dynamics Marketing (and in some locations distributed by Kempston Micro Electronics). The gamepads entered production after Dynamics Marketing was acquired by Powerplay Ltd. So basically, the correct phrasing would be "don't you know there is also a Competition Pro brand gamepad for the CD32".
    I didn't know that, thanks for clearing it up! Maybe Melf can revise the article?


    Quote Originally Posted by Phantar View Post
    /edit: By the way, regarding the A500 version: Personally I prefer that one over the Mega Drive port myself. However, the A500 version also doesn't have selectable difficulty (and is thus permanently stuck on the "hard" setting), and it only supports one fire button per default. So if you think that these issues give the Mega Drive port the edge, I don't think you will change your mind after playing that version either.

    (Also, fun fact, the CD32-version of the Chaos Engine is itself based on the enhanced A1200 version which uses the AGA graphics chipset. Which means it has more colors, out of a greater pallette, than the Amiga500 OCS one; however, I still believe the A500 version looks better - it's grittier, while the A1200-version looks almost too vivid and lively, ironically enough. I think many people prefer the A500 version for that very reason. And also because the A500 was cult, but I digress )
    Yeah, I read people on LemonAmiga prefer the A500 version because of the grittier palette. True, the CD32 version is based on the A1200 version, which is no surprise since the system de facto is a consolized A1200 .


    EyeDeeNo76: Your hypothesis sounds good! Can't blame the publishers thinking that way about the Preacher, though I still prefer a game without censorship!
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    I didn't understand why the VS screen wasn't used in the Sega-16 home's carousel.

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    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    Great read, thanks for that. The hell is the CD32 version windowed for?

    I've been meaning to pick up a copy of the Chaos Engine at some point, it's a good game and probably the Bitmap Brother's finest hour alongside Speedball 2.

    Skeleton Krew is another similar game I've been on the lookout for. That also has a CD32 version, music sounds better on MD though from what I've heard though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I didn't understand why the VS screen wasn't used in the Sega-16 home's carousel.
    Takes up too much bandwidth I guess :/.
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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I didn't understand why the VS screen wasn't used in the Sega-16 home's carousel.
    I didn't use it because I prefer the articles to have featured images that are easily associated with them. You can't tell the article is about Chaos Engine just by looking at the vs. screen image, and while it might not be a problem on the carousel, it affects the article views in Google and other searches.

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    Hero of Algol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melf View Post
    I didn't use it because I prefer the articles to have featured images that are easily associated with them. You can't tell the article is about Chaos Engine just by looking at the vs. screen image, and while it might not be a problem on the carousel, it affects the article views in Google and other searches.
    Oh, I see. Thanks for the reply.


    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    Great read, thanks for that. The hell is the CD32 version windowed for?
    It's probably thanks to the original game have been designed for the OCS.


    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    I've been meaning to pick up a copy of the Chaos Engine at some point, it's a good game and probably the Bitmap Brother's finest hour alongside Speedball 2.)
    For sure.
    I wish the MD's music wasn't so thin though.


    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    Skeleton Krew is another similar game I've been on the lookout for. That also has a CD32 version, music sounds better on MD though from what I've heard though.
    Skeleton Krew is dope, I love it.
    The MD's music is really awesome IMO, the way it rocks a subwoofer is mind-blowing. Just listen to this masterpiece (real hardware recording): www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUioJ_3lDdg

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantar View Post
    Personally I prefer that one over the Mega Drive port myself. However, the A500 version also doesn't have selectable difficulty (and is thus permanently stuck on the "hard" setting), and it only supports one fire button per default. So if you think that these issues give the Mega Drive port the edge, I don't think you will change your mind after playing that version either.
    What's the deal with these three difficulty settings anyway? Do they really affect gameplay? Why they were implemented in the Microprose european published version, and moreover why they were eliminated in the following Spectrum Holobyte US version? Something's fishy here...

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    Back in 2016, fusaru also released an hack to make the game look more like the Amiga version:

    http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2754/

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    None of these versions seem to share passwords, am I correct?

    How's the Microprose european concile password system with three difficulty levels? Different passwords for each difficulty setting?

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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    I don't know if it was the source material for those sound files, but the CD32 version sounds much cleaner to me than the Genesis version.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Master of Shinobi Thenewguy's Avatar
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    The Amiga version definitely has better sound than the Mega Drive version tbh.

    The Mega Drive version has slightly less finicky game play though due to the multiple buttons.

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