Atari ST or Commdore Amiga? Which computer had the better games?

The better Home computer for games?

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Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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#1
So I know gaf is primarily console based but I'm sure there may be a few guys who actually played an Amiga or an ST.

Now with that said, the question is which of these two powerhouses (that collapsed into themselves and allowed Windows/PC's to dominate computers) of computer gaming do you prefer? Which had the better games overall?


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IMO, the Atari St is a vastly superior product. While Commodore had the C64 and some nostalgia may make people choose the Amiga becaue of that, it's really not the better machine imo. For one, the Amiga Library is filled with 9x more shovelware, and Amigas model compatibility issues from the early 80's models to the 90's models meant that several developers put out compromise games that were not much better than your average Apogee developed PC game, or worse. The review aggregates side with the ST by a 24% gap.

Atari ST had a more consistent library as well as more best sellers since everything wasn't spread so thin. The Atari ST also had better architecture for 3D, allowing the ST 3D games whether exclusive or cross-platform running at usually a significantly higher frame rate than the Amiga versions, even with unoptimized games the ST is usually 5fps ahead. But most of the time the differences were huge with the Amiga 3D games being slide-shows or having slowdowns that looked like time slowed down.

When you realize that the ST has more quality games and a lot of the Amiga library was shovelware, once the rose glasses are taken off, you'll find that the only real advantage the Amiga has over the ST is sound, and in some cases, 2D games can be better, depending on what the game does, however, while people will often bring up Amigas superior 2D. it only applies 2D games without much going on, once you start getting all those objects, parallax, and pseudo 3D effects, which granted weren't that common on Amiga, the Amiga would choke while the ST would run them smoothly. Amiga is best when there's not much going on, which put it behind the advancement of gaming at the time.

(skip to 2:50 in below video)
(As you can see as soon as polygons get on the screen after the race starts the Amiga chucks like a potato. While ST is smooth from the start.)

You also have around 200 exclusive ST only games not ported anywhere else giving better value, while a lot of Amiga games are also on PC, other computers, and sometimes consoles. In many cases the other versions are better which really hurts the library for those without rose-tinted glasses and didn't grow up with an Amiga.

If you wanted the top Hi-fi 2D and best 3D games optimization, you got the ST, Exclusives? ST, Wanted to start in gaming music and get a job doing music for a developer/publisher? ST. Wanted to use your computer for games and also take it seriously enough to actually be an alternative to a PC (at the time) for serious or business work? You chose the ST.

I mean of course don't take this as me saying the Amiga library doesn't have good games, it does, just if you had any other computers or consoles it's games most likely ran better not on the Amiga. This is something that was always a flaw with Amiga not "focusing" on games and Commodore not taking the Amiga as a gaming machine seriously. Rarely did Commodore publish games or put games on a pedestal, they made it easy to print games for the machine and then let things go, they never really had an ecosystem, which would effect their 2 attempts at trying to turn the Amiga into a home game console. How can an Amiga game console success with no real ecosystem, no real development/publishing platform, no developer relationships, and poor logistics? Not to mention they were behind the trends at the time, usually pseudo 3D games and actual 3D games were what was generating excitement, so the regions like NA, Korea, Eastern Euro, etc. the ST did well in, it dominated the handily. Of course, the Commodore 64 gave Amiga a good distribution network throughout the rest of Europe which prevented their slaughtering and gave them an advantage they otherwise would not have had.

All In all, this thread is asking which of the two you prefer. The Commodore Amiga (all models) or the Atari ST Line (all models) for gaming?
 
Likes: DT MEDIA
Sep 17, 2012
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#9
Add also the Mac to the poll if you include 16bit systems.
But I'd advise to browse some AtariST and Amiga forums first for more information and guidance because unlike the previous polls, this has many gaps and inaccuracies. Had you used this poll in a Sega vs Nintendo thread you could even get a warning by the mods.

Games that were programmed for the system and were not AtariST ports, would actually run better on the Amiga.
But yes, AtariST was used for music production professionally up to the mid-90s, while Amiga was used mainly for graphics, 3D and video production (Newtek Video Toaster and Lightwave 3D). Eg Video Toaster systems costing 5000$ could even equal professional systems costing over 100000$.

Also Amiga 2000 was back then the best home computer for years and it did not cost a fortune, like IBM PCs or Japan's Sharp X68000. In fact for the price of the Sharp you could add an extra accelerator card to the A2000 and it would even surpass it.
 
Likes: DT MEDIA

Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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#10
Add also the Mac to the poll if you include 16bit systems.
But I'd advise to browse some AtariST and Amiga forums first for more information and guidance because unlike the previous polls, this has many gaps and inaccuracies. Had you used this poll in a Sega vs Nintendo thread you could even get a warning by the mods.

Games that were programmed for the system and were not AtariST ports, would actually run better on the Amiga.
But yes, AtariST was used for music production professionally up to the mid-90s, while Amiga was used mainly for graphics, 3D and video production (Newtek Video Toaster and Lightwave 3D). Eg Video Toaster systems costing 5000$ could even equal professional systems costing over 100000$.

Also Amiga 2000 was back then the best home computer for years and it did not cost a fortune, like IBM PCs or Japan's Sharp X68000. In fact for the price of the Sharp you could add an extra accelerator card to the A2000 and it would even surpass it.
such as?
 

Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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#13
This is a seriously weird poll. Why are you comparing the 16bit Amiga and Atari ST to the 8bit Amstrad CPC series?
The 90's models (including the enhanced 80's models) were meant to compete with the 16-bits. With the 6128/gx4000 spearheading it. of course Amstrad didn't realize how far behind they would be but it has its share of fans.
 
Dec 24, 2010
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#14
The 90's models (including the enhanced 80's models) were meant to compete with the 16-bits. With the 6128/gx4000 spearheading it. of course Amstrad didn't realize how far behind they would be but it has its share of fans.
The 464 and 664 were not 'enhanced models'. Their presence in this poll seems dumb. You may as well be comparing the Vic 20 to the original Playstation.
 
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Afro Republican

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#15
The 464 and 664 were not 'enhanced models'. Their presence in this poll seems dumb. You may as well be comparing the Vic 20 to the original Playstation.
But in the 90's you COULD enhance them. hence why I mentioned that, and why you ignored the fact I also mentioned the GX4000 and the 6218. You're also exaggerating the gaps in power but eh.

Take a look at some of the enhanced games, they match the TG16 in several ways, but the TG16 seems to be consistently better.
 
Dec 24, 2010
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But in the 90's you COULD enhance them. hence why I mentioned that, and why you ignored the fact I also mentioned the GX4000 and the 6218. You're also exaggerating the gaps in power but eh.
Uh. No. I'm not 'exaggerating the gaps in power'. If you believe that an 8bit Amstrad 464 was in any way comparable to a 16bit Amiga, you're either out of your mind, or you have no idea what you're talking about. It's a stupid comparison.

But, go ahead. Show me an Amstrad 464 title that looks anything like a 16bit Amiga/ST game.
 
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Redneckerz

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#18
Amiga CD32 is damn interesting since it plays unprotected CD's so you can play dozens of homebrew. One day ill acquire this machine.

I mean, i was too late for the Amiga but damned if i do if i never buy one in the future. The Vampire V4 Standalone, which for purists is heresy, is something i find very interesting too.

Atari ST is also pretty amazing just by sheer capability sakes, but taken all by account, including demoscene, Amiga is what makes my heart beat. Its the ultimate fuck you system where every nook and cranny is open to everyone and can be exploited by everyone.

Also, crappy poll, but i am sure you knew.
 
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Afro Republican

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#21
Uh. No. I'm not 'exaggerating the gaps in power'. If you believe that an 8bit Amstrad 464 was in any way comparable to a 16bit Amiga, you're either out of your mind, or you have no idea what you're talking about. It's a stupid comparison.

But, go ahead. Show me an Amstrad 464 title that looks anything like a 16bit Amiga/ST game.
Hm, I said if you enhance them, you keep ignoring that part. In the 90's you can upgrade those machines power (for games.)

Of course it's still not as good as a 6128 but the whole point was to try and compete with the big boys, and it ended up backfiring.
 
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Hm, I said if you enhance them, you keep ignoring that part. In the 90's you can upgrade those machines power (for games.)

Of course it's still not as good as a 6128 but the whole point was to try and compete with the big boys, and it ended up backfiring.
Great, then show me an 'enhanced' Amstrad CPC 464 with graphics that are comparable to a 16bit Amiga or Atari ST. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I lived through that era, and remember no such thing, but apparently you know something I don't, so let's see it.
 
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Afro Republican

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#23
Great, then show me an 'enhanced' Amstrad CPC 464 with graphics that are comparable to a 16bit Amiga or Atari ST..
Except your' fanboy is killing your reading comprehension because I never said the 464 had comparable graphics, in fact I said this twice:

Amstrad didn't realize how far behind they would be
I never said the 464 was comparable, yoru first response was you ignoring I said "you could enhance them" and though I was talking about a native 464. Then ignore that I said Amiga was behind.

Shoe me where I said the 464 was comparable, it doesn't exist.
 
Dec 24, 2010
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#24
Except your' fanboy is killing your reading comprehension because I never said the 464 had comparable graphics, in fact I said this twice:

I never said the 464 was comparable, yoru first response was you ignoring I said "you could enhance them" and though I was talking about a native 464. Then ignore that I said Amiga was behind.

Shoe me where I said the 464 was comparable, it doesn't exist.
You set up a poll which compares the Atari ST/Amiga and the Amstrad 8bit line. And now, you're claiming that no comparison is being made by you. Are you drunk?

And, what am I 'fanboying' for, exactly?
 

Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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#25
You set up a poll which compares the Atari ST/Amiga and the Amstrad 8bit line. And now, you're claiming that no comparison is being made by you. Are you drunk?

And, what am I 'fanboying' for, exactly?
Because AMSTRAD had put out the GX4000 and the ^218 (as well the ability to enhance the other models) to COMPETE with the 16-bits.

However, of course, they misjudged and were outclassed. That's the part you aren't getting.

GX4000 console came out in 1990. GEN was already out, AMIGA and ST were blaring, and SNES was just recently being thrown around. DOA, died in less than 1 year iirc. AMSTRAD bet on the wrong power-horse but they did try competing.
 
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Because AMSTRAD had put out the GX4000 and the ^218 (as well the ability to enhance the other models) to COMPETE with the 16-bits.

However, of course, they misjudged and were outclassed. That's the part you aren't getting.

GX4000 console came out in 1990. GEN was already out, AMIGA and ST were blaring, and SNES was just recently being thrown around. DOA, died in less than 1 year iirc. AMSTRAD bet on the wrong power-horse but they did try competing.
I think that the part that you're not getting is that you set up a poll which specifically names the 464/664/6128 and asks us to compare them to the Amiga and Atari ST.

Then, you claim that you're talking about the 'enhanced versions'.

Then, you claim that there's no comparison being made.

Then, you call me a 'fanboy', but can't tell me what it is that I'm fanboying for, exactly.

Just admit that you made a stupid, dumb poll and let it go. You're embarrassing yourself.
 
Likes: hariseldon
Apr 7, 2017
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#28
A lot of strange replies in here, it’s a gaming poll not debating Brexit.

Jeez.

Anyway, Atari fanboi here, grew up with an Atari 520STe. Loved it and held on to it for years before defecting over to a Windows PC. Never jumped on the Amiga bandwagon but I played on my mates Amiga 500 a lot after school when doing “homework” lol.

Fav games? My top 3 would have to be Paradroid 90, Flood and Escape from the planet of the robot monsters.

Good times, good times.
 
Sep 17, 2012
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#29
You mean games? Native Amiga ports of arcade games were better, though sometimes they did lack compared to 16bit Sega and Nintendo consoles. Read recently UK Retrogamer and it compared ports of Ninja Warriors. Amiga version was better than AtariST.
Amiga versiin of Silkworm is even better than the arcade version, same for Toki.

Ironically some AtariST ports did not even have proper music compared to the Amiga version.

 
Likes: DT MEDIA
Jul 29, 2013
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#30
Ironically some AtariST ports did not even have proper music compared to the Amiga version.
I noticed that when comparing the respective versions of Defender of the Crown. AtariST sound is way off compared to the Amiga. Curiously, it seems to have slightly different gameplay, since I don't remember enemy players melting down heirlooms, or soldiers on the field during battle. On the other side, it looks like the nice map view at the end of turns is gone on AtariST compared to Amiga. Graphically I like Amiga, but it's really close. Sound goes to Amiga.

Amiga:
AtariST:
 
Jun 8, 2004
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#31
I never got to experience either the Amiga or the Atari st due them not really being popular here in canada at the time (so I have no nostalgic feelings for either). But I really can't see how a computer that put less colors on screen, had little to no hardware support for 2D graphics, and considerably worst sound as vastly superior. Later ST models fixed this, but wasn't it like far too late by then (due the rising popularity of PCs)?
 

DT MEDIA

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#33
Having grown up with the Atari 8-bit home computers, I was always curious about the ST (and later TT and Falcon), but the computer line was never popular in the US and I wasn't a musician when I was a teenager. The Amiga, however, was very popular for its powerful OS and graphics capabilities (Amigas were used by some local television stations right up to the year 2000), and it was the ultimate games machine.

I always felt the Amiga was the true heir to the Atari 800, as it was designed by the legendary Jay Miner. RJ Mical and Dave Needle, two members of the Amiga team, went on to create the Atari Lynx, which is basically a portable Amiga (if only we had those classic Amiga games).

The Atari ST, meanwhile, was created by Jack Tramiel as a serious business machine, and playing computer games was the last thing on his mind. His goal was to beat Amiga and Apple Macintosh with a powerful 16-bit computer at a fraction of the price, and at least in 1985, it was a success and saved Atari Corp from bankruptcy. The addition of MIDI ports proved to be the masterstroke that made the computer a success with musicians for years.

I'm not very familiar with the computer games on the ST, but a cursory glance on Youtube and a quick glance at consensus is that Atari is notably inferior to Amiga for games. There are many classics on the system such as Dungeon Keeper, which was hailed as a killer app when it was released.

Personally, I think it's a mistake to think of which system has the "better" computer games. Both Amiga and ST will have a great library of games that are fun and engaging, as well as a number of hidden gems and surprise classics. There are also the multimedia (Amiga) and music (ST) functions that will see a lot of use.
 

dopey

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Jan 5, 2019
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#36
IMO, the Atari St is a vastly superior product.
Hmmm, I don't know. It had a higher clock speed on the CPU (8 MHz versus 7 MHz on the Amiga), on the other hand it was limited to 16 colors while the Amiga had 32 and the Amiga also had a blitter which helped move graphics (blitter objects) around faster, and of course better sound.

As for games, initially Atari ST had a good lead, but when the Amiga started gaining traction most of the popular games were ported, and from there on games (16 bit) were typically written for the Amiga first and then ported to the Atari ST. When it comes to 3d games, my experience is like yours, the ST performed better due to having a faster CPU (the blitter didn't really help here), 3d games like Elite etc were more enjoyable on the ST due to this.

Overall I spent more time with my Amiga than with my ST, so I would say it's my preferred machine.
 
Mar 30, 2011
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#37
I noticed that when comparing the respective versions of Defender of the Crown. AtariST sound is way off compared to the Amiga. Curiously, it seems to have slightly different gameplay, since I don't remember enemy players melting down heirlooms, or soldiers on the field during battle. On the other side, it looks like the nice map view at the end of turns is gone on AtariST compared to Amiga. Graphically I like Amiga, but it's really close. Sound goes to Amiga.

Amiga:
AtariST:
The Amiga version was the initial version of Defender of the Crown, while the ST version came out later and included extra gameplay features that Cinemaware initially wanted to include in the Amiga version, but didn't have time to implement.

Overall, the Amiga was a slightly better gaming machine than the ST. If you include price, the ST was probably a better value and held its own. The STE (Enhanced) could match the Amiga in graphics and sound, but it came out a year or two too late and very few games took advantage of it. The Amiga had way more games though, especially after 1989. As an ST user, I was extremely envious of Amiga users, as they got all the SSI AD&D Gold Box games, while the ST only got one.

Pirates!, Amiga


Pirates!, Atari ST
 
Aug 22, 2018
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#39
I loved my Atari ST but it was a weaker games machine. I also had an Amiga later down the line. The Amiga's multitasking was impressive but the OS wasn't particularly user friendly.

On games, generally 2D games were better as the STFM lacked a blitter chip and had a reduced colour palette, though the STE rectified both issues at the cost of some compatibility, which in an age of no patches meant an upgrade wasn't always worthwhile (especially for a fairly incremental update).

Similarly, the STFM had a shit sound chip, while the STE had something a bit better. STfm was generally a 512k machine, not many 1040s in the wild, and upgrading RAM involved soldering. This led to the most popular model being the weakest and holding things back somewhat. The STe was easier to upgrade I think.

One other thing, the joystick ports were awful on the 520stfm, hidden under the machine. You had to wiggle the cable a lot to pull it out to swap between mouse and second joystick, but the ports were soldered directly to the motherboard which wasn't the cleverest design as it tended to disconnect eventually, necessitating some soldering.

The Amiga and ST overlapped but I'd say the Amiga's peak years were later than the ST's, and it held on a bit longer, also the 1200 did rather better than the Falcon when they both moved to 32 bit.
 
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Likes: DT MEDIA
Apr 11, 2018
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#40
My own gaming journey involved the Amiga for 8 years: 1990 - 1998. A500 to A1200.

Ultimately, I went:

Commodore Plus 4
Commodore 64
Amiga A500
Amiga A1200
PlayStation
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4

I dabbled in PC gaming for a bit, but the draw of the consoles was too strong. When my A1200's HDD started to die (I think it had 60MB storage space!) I bought a PS1 after seeing the ads on TV for Final Fantasy 7.

I still fondly remember the Amiga days, though. Played Worms to death, UFO: Enemy Unknown, too. Lemmings 1 and 2, Turrican 2, Syndicate, Batman, Alien Bread 1 & 2, and all the Dungeons and Dragon "Gold Box" games were amongst my favourites. Psygnosis and Team 17 were the premier devs back then, for sure.
 
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#41
I noticed that when comparing the respective versions of Defender of the Crown. AtariST sound is way off compared to the Amiga. Curiously, it seems to have slightly different gameplay, since I don't remember enemy players melting down heirlooms, or soldiers on the field during battle. On the other side, it looks like the nice map view at the end of turns is gone on AtariST compared to Amiga. Graphically I like Amiga, but it's really close. Sound goes to Amiga.

Amiga:
AtariST:
In all fairness, the Amiga was always going to have better sound, can't think of any ST games that may have reversed that, though my memory is more than a little hazy now.

The ST machines looked cooler though. Wish I still had my 520 and the Amiga 1200 has retired gracefully to the loft.
 
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Afro Republican

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Aug 24, 2016
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#48
The Amiga any day of the week.

Okay, so some 3D stuff was slightly faster on the ST but that's about as far as it went.
Most 3D stuff, and most 2D with 3D-esque graphical effects, which was the popular trend of the time. Amiga generally was better at 2D though, could have more objects moving on screen., more color, larger sprites, etc.

I think that the part that you're not getting is that you set up a poll which specifically names the 464/664/6128 a
No you're evading your poor reading comprehension because even when I explained in post what I meant you still didn't read it and thought I was comparing a native 464, and I also got you backtracking on the "you said it was comparable" statement, which I never said.

These are all competitors. Amstrad fans, the ones who would vote for that option, would KNOW that the 464 I'm referring to would be the one you would enhance. Why would an Amstrad owner wanting great games intentionally not upgrade the- you know what I've made my point.

Also nice how you avoided the fact the GX4000 and the 6128 were released AS 16-bit competitors because Amstrad miscalculated, which is what I said earlier, they fell behind. Doesn't mean they were not trying to compete. Maybe if you actually used an Amstrad before you wouldn't be so riled up.

Having grown up with the Atari 8-bit home computers, I was always curious about the ST (and later TT and Falcon), but the computer line was never popular in the US and I wasn't a musician when I was a teenager. The Amiga, however, was very popular for its powerful OS and graphics capabilities (Amigas were used by some local television stations right up to the year 2000), and it was the ultimate games machine.

I always felt the Amiga was the true heir to the Atari 800, as it was designed by the legendary Jay Miner. RJ Mical and Dave Needle, two members of the Amiga team, went on to create the Atari Lynx, which is basically a portable Amiga (if only we had those classic Amiga games).

The Atari ST, meanwhile, was created by Jack Tramiel as a serious business machine, and playing computer games was the last thing on his mind. His goal was to beat Amiga and Apple Macintosh with a powerful 16-bit computer at a fraction of the price, and at least in 1985, it was a success and saved Atari Corp from bankruptcy. The addition of MIDI ports proved to be the masterstroke that made the computer a success with musicians for years.

I'm not very familiar with the computer games on the ST, but a cursory glance on Youtube and a quick glance at consensus is that Atari is notably inferior to Amiga for games. There are many classics on the system such as Dungeon Keeper, which was hailed as a killer app when it was released.

Personally, I think it's a mistake to think of which system has the "better" computer games. Both Amiga and ST will have a great library of games that are fun and engaging, as well as a number of hidden gems and surprise classics. There are also the multimedia (Amiga) and music (ST) functions that will see a lot of use.
Thing is that the Amiga has no focus or real ecosystem in place for the games, so prices were all over the place, and the share-ware era hurt that even more. When you want to look at the best selling Amiga games mos games barely broke through into high numbers while the ST actually put out games for the market to buy. I think this crack in Commodores armor basically made it impossible for them to really compete with other gaming machines. The ST, at least for awhile, did to an extent.

Commodore was huge, they could have set-up dev studios or at least publishing, gaming partnerships, retail presence, logistics, infrastructure, and could have been able to compete with consoles like the SNES etc. But they never really did anything, they made it easy to make games for the Amiga, they got ports made for them, and they basically let the gaming-end of the Amiga run itself.

It made Commodore not realize how the industry actually worked, they put out the CDTV at a barebones level $799, more with content, instead of cutting out all those unnecessary computer parts and selling the CDTV at $299-399. They put out the CD32 as a last ditch effort, but had no infrastructure in place. They just, as with the CDTV, plopped the console out, got people to bring games to CD and let things run itself. This was always a big weakness for Commodore.

In comparison, NEC, which was a computer company, got the infrastructure in place, gradually build its logistics, go publisher relations and had their own studios, had marketing agreements in place, put games out on pedestals to attract buyers, and really created a quick moving ecosystem (at the expense of quality control) and ended-up successful to a certain extent with the TG16/PC Engine. Commodore never did anything and that's why it's gaming reputation really didn't do anything for the Amiga long-term especially at the end where they realized an affordable game consoles, which they should had done long-ago, was there solution to avoid bankruptcy but again did not actually do what they were supposed to and had no platform in place to launch off. Commodore just though getting a bunch of games and throwing out hardware is all that was needed and kept that mindset to the end.

Did Amiga have Sundog: Frozen Legacy? That was my favorite ST game.
Nope, but to be fair the developer of that was basically ST focused while the platform was relevant. So they really didn't port a chunk of the earlier output to the Amiga. Some fans ported a few games years later though.
 
Likes: DT MEDIA
Dec 24, 2010
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#50
Most 3D stuff, and most 2D with 3D-esque graphical effects, which was the popular trend of the time. Amiga generally was better at 2D though, could have more objects moving on screen., more color, larger sprites, etc.


No you're evading your poor reading comprehension because even when I explained in post what I meant you still didn't read it and thought I was comparing a native 464, and I also got you backtracking on the "you said it was comparable" statement, which I never said.

These are all competitors. Amstrad fans, the ones who would vote for that option, would KNOW that the 464 I'm referring to would be the one you would enhance. Why would an Amstrad owner wanting great games intentionally not upgrade the- you know what I've made my point.

Also nice how you avoided the fact the GX4000 and the 6128 were released AS 16-bit competitors because Amstrad miscalculated, which is what I said earlier, they fell behind. Doesn't mean they were not trying to compete. Maybe if you actually used an Amstrad before you wouldn't be so riled up.
Your poll is poorly worded, and implies - very, very clearly - that a comparison is to be made between the 464/664/6128 systems and the Amiga/Atari. I don't give a fuck what you 'meant' - perhaps your poor English and inability to accurately represent yourself has led you constructing a terrible poll.

Maybe if you actually used an Amstrad before you wouldn't be so riled up.
Yeah, and that's the point where I jump off here. You're a troll, you're spamming the threads with shitty polls, and you'll be taken care of by the mods soon enough - I've wasted enough of my time on you.
 
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