Lutris' blog

Day 14 : The Amiga vs the Atari (1991)

by on Apr.25, 2010, under lutris

Since I haven’t posted in a long time, I’ll make this day special by running two games on two different machines.

The games I’ve chosen are Strider (because that’s my nickname and also was one of my first games on the Amiga 500), and Lemmings. Two really good classics.

The Amiga 500

The Atari ST

In the early 90’s, the Amiga and Atari were the best machines around, they were computers very simple to use by everyone and were way ahead of the PC at the time. They were also much more powerful than gaming consoles and allowed to run graphic programs (such as Deluxe Paint), music programs, word processors, etc…

Amiga had a good reputation for graphics and Atari for music, you could easily plug in a MIDI keyboard on an Atari wereas you had to buy an expansion to achieve the same thing on the Amiga.
Enough with the historical part, let’s talk about Lutris !

Amiga is supported by UAE emulator and it’s been in Lutris since the very first versions. The first reason is quite simple and is because the Amiga was the first machine I owned and I wanted to bring good support for it in Lutris. The second reason for supporting UAE early is that it’s hard to configure in order to get good results. UAE’s settings are ‘crappy by default’ and that quite a shame.

A few word about E-UAE which is supposed to be a more advanced version of UAE, I didn’t find any reason to use it. On a very low end machine (OLPC) UAE runs much better that E-UAE and anyway UAE’s latest version has caught up with E-UAE more advanced features.

I’ve never had any support for the Atari since today, and quite frankly, I almost never played Atari games in my entire life. I’ve used the emulatorĀ  hatari which gave very satisfying results. There is another Atari ST emulator called steem which is not worth bothering with since it’s closed source and therefore not available in Debian and Ubuntu. I tried it, there was nothing great about it, hatari ftw ! One nice thing is that hatari is much more simple to configure than UAE, you get decent sound by default and that’s nice.

And I said descent, notĀ  good. That was the surprise of the day , Atari ST games sounds like crap compared to their Amiga counterpart ! What about it’s reputation of being a great computer of audio ? Well it seems, it applies only to professional audio software, not games. The basic audio chipset really sucks, you rarelly get digitized voices or sfx and everythong sounds kinda dull.

Given the fact I mostly play these old games because of their memorable music, I don’t think I’ll use this new hatari runner much.

The grahics of both games are quite similar on both platforms, and I found that Strider was much less playable on Atari ST which is weird.

The Amiga may be a much better machine than the Atari, hatari is much more enjoyable to use than uae and that’s why Lutris is here: to give pleasurable experience for both platforms.

Don’t forget to checkout today’s code source, play some nice 16bit games and report your experience here.

1 Comment for this entry

  • Ventzislav Tzvetkov

    For better sounds from the Atari try some Atari STe or Atari Falcon games. The STe have Amiga-like sound. Obsession Pinball is one such example. The Falcon have even better sound than the Amiga, but not much games are utilizing it, which is a shame.

    Anyway I also prefer the Amiga over the Atari. The Hatari have nice interface, I have to admit. I am using Hatari on Amiga!

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