A basic comparison of the 16bit Another world games. The game started life on the Amiga so this is the version that all others are compared against for better or worst. These versions have been completely longplayed and can be downloaded fromt he website or watched on youtube (once they get through the schedule)
A few images just to show the native aspect of the respective platforms, not necessarily the same image you would see on the tv. Its not frame accurate but should show what I want it to show. Looking at the first row of images, the circle light on the right, it would seem the snes suffers the most with the image being compressed. It may look better once stretched out by the tv, but not perfect like the original.
Amiga - Native res 320x200
PC DOS - Native res:- 320x200
SegaCD - Native res 304x192
Sega Mega-Drive - Native res 224x176
Super Nintendo - Native res 224x160
The Amiga version looks great throughout and is the original so it is upto the other ports to be upto scratch. The snes version doesn't look bad, but you can see chunks missing in scenery, its lower resolution stands out. The sega cd version looks spot on but you can see that whole lines have been cropped off around the edges of the image. Mega-Drive version doesn't look bad in terms of resolution, but when put up against the snes and amiga, you can see its limited colour palette coming into play which is more noticeable later in the game. It is notably brighter however. The sega cd shares the pallete problem, but can be forgiven due to its higher resolution, it balanced out nicely.
The Amiga Original also had blood. This was removed in the console ports or at least changed to a more family friendly green, however it is still retained in the pc dos version.
Sound and Music
The Amiga version has only 2 pieces of music, but what great pieces of music they are. Intro really sets the up ready for the adventure and the ending is a very memorable piece that fits the game perfectly. Some great sounds through out including some background noises to keep you immersed. The snes keeps these sounds but adds a dramatic music overlay throughout the game and makes it feel movie like. I feel the ending tune should have been left with something similar to the original Amiga version though.
Onto the genesis........what the hell happened here? The great sounds of the original completely gone and replaced with sounds which just arnt that interesting. The game has music during play just like the snes version but again, just like the sfx, it just doesn't sound right and overall its pretty poor and kills the immersion. The sega-cd version however is a great comeback. The iconic sounds are back and a great cd audio track is overlaid for music. The music also keeps the original theme of the Amiga version and reworks it a bit to make this overall the best version for an immersive, almost movie like experience.
The game is mostly the same across all versions. There are some additional scenes on your way to the colosseum that were not in the Amiga version. The snes version slows down in a lot of places that can make firing your gun abit more difficult. for instance you want to rapid fire but the game sees it as one long input so makes you a shield or charge shot. in the cave with the falling rocks the game also slowed and can effect your timing of dodging them. The megadrive/segacd didn't really suffer from this. Early oon when rolling around in the vents, the steam pipes cause damage in the console ports. Im sure this didn't occur in the Amiga version. In the battle tank section at the end, you are invincible in the Original Amiga version. The ports have been changed where you get a short amount of time to fire everything off and eject before being blasted to oblivion. Only the snes version shows signs of damage before you explode.
PC DOS Version
This is 90% the same as the Amiga version. The only difference worth a mention is perhaps the sound quality. It is limited to 5khz or 10khz if you had a fast machine. Overall it sounds the same as the Amiga if only a little grainer on some samples. It also has the extra level found in the console ports as well as time limited battle tank stage. The blood is also int his version, I guess this was made before the console censors got their way.
Considering that the game was mostly developed on the Amiga, I am surprised the additions made to the dos version didn't find their way back into the Amiga version when the game was re-released. Maybe it would have meant an extra disk and the publisher wasn't going go for it.
I know of ports to Mac, AppleII and 3D0 but haven't played these to comment on them. I have played the 15th anniversary edition and that is a great remake bringing the game to new audiences and replayability for some of us old folk who fondly remember the original. There is also a version for gba based on the AtariST version and even an Atari Jaguar version which I believes has both classic and 15th anniversary modes.
I really liked the Amiga version. It was the original, and one I first played and played most of. Its a fantastic game with very little you can call negative about it. The segacd version I think is the best version (not including the 3d0 or 12th anniversary hd edition) helped greatly by its cd audio track and image quality stays close to the original although slightly less colourful. Perhaps DOS version + megacd audio tracks would be the ultimate version should it have existed. Mega-Drive vs snes .... well the snes wins simply due to better audio keeping you immersed in the game even if the genesis version does look ever so slightly better.
This is not a review of the game, just my personal opinions (not that of longplays.org) regarding a great game I enjoyed playing and longplaying. I always find it interesting to compare multiple versions to see where corners were cut or what changes were made to the game. What was true then is still true today. The game is usually the best on the hardware it was originally developed on and time isn't taken to make sure a port makes great use of the hardware its being moved onto. We know snes is a powerful console, but shifting Amiga games onto it usualy doesn't work well. The same for console ports onto the Amiga, often requiring an aga 1200 just to entertain a port.
Edited by MadMatty on 24-11-2013 13:33, 8 years ago
I saw we also had a longplay of the GBA version so have added comparison shots for that version too. The game is a fan remake based on the AtariST version, and enhancements authorised by Eric Chahi (the original game developer). The rom was released into the public domain.
GBA - Native res:- 240x150
Mac version showing the hires mode which certainly makes it look a lot less jaggy. The game it self is identical to the pc dos version.
Apple Mac - Native res 640x400
Apple IIGS port based on the the snes version game code yet retains the higher quality gfx of the original. It can be slow to play in parts with lots going on, but its quite a feat that it exists at all. It even has background music similar to the console ports.
Apple IIGS - Native res 320x200
I was going to longplay 3d0 version, but see that is done so have added some shots again for comparison purposes.
3D0 - Native res:- 320x200
These are the final versions with the game ported to just about every device that's left (android/ios/ps3/xbox/steam). The game is redrawn in hd (1280x800 in the case of 20th edition as far as I can tell from game assets) while the polygons are upscaled to be hires without all the jaggies. Pretty much the same as the old Dos version with some changed sounf fx and remixed music for the intro/outro. No ingame music like the old console ports.
PC 15th / 20th Anniversary Edition
Edited by MadMatty on 28-11-2013 13:31, 8 years ago
I know the OP is 2013, but this is an exceptionally detailed & vividly interesting comparison, I can't say I've ever read something this interesting before on 16-bit games port-development.
If your still here, MadMatty, I greatly enjoyed your post/article & additionally was very illuminated about the subject in-general, you have my sincere gratitude.
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