AuthorTopic: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast  (Read 22130 times)

Offline pixelsforhire

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • http://heylookitsmatt.deviantart.com/
    • View Profile
    • http://heylookitsmatt.deviantart.com/

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #10 on: November 11, 2006, 12:46:28 am
It remindes me somehow of Abe's Odyssey. I'm certainly not at a level where I could crit this, but I'll mention some funny things I noticed. First off, I love the slinky dude. I'm so making one when I get Spore! In the second video, those giant hands coming out of the ground look like they have ribcages. The bosses seem pretty easy. He just walks up and trades hits until they fall three seconds later. Yeah, and apparently the way to kill something really big is to punch its toe several times. I hope the ants don't figure this out. This certainly doesn't look like its going to win any awards for gameplay. Nonetheless, I think they really acheived the mood they were looking for, and that's pretty cool.

Offline Willows

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 223
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #11 on: November 12, 2006, 08:44:39 pm
It seems to suffer a lot from enemies seeming to be behind the platform, rather than on it, thus making the giant fireballs being shot look like they'd just go right past the beast. Is there any particular reason for this, and would lowering said sprites a pixel or two, so they're actually on the same plane as the beast be enough to ruin that illusion, or is there something in terms of contrast/colour selection that would do better to fix that prollem?

Also, what are the restrictions on this system? Monochrome enemies don't look good, in my opinion, and I'm curious if it was just a lesson not yet learned or a restriction that I don't know about that led them to actually use some of those.

Yap. The backgrounds all look rather good (Yes, INCLUDING the spraypaint-tree), but the sprites seem... well, ugly, and depth-lacking.

Offline Helm

  • 0110
  • *****
  • Posts: 5142
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #12 on: November 12, 2006, 08:50:10 pm
No forced limitation of the A500. Just a lesson not yet learned as you say. The art was as far as I know, made by one guy. All of it. He used whatever techniques he invented, as this was in 1989 and there wasn't a lot of... academic information on drawing with pixels. I think it's that special sort of naivete that almost in-spite of everything, creates a very strong and enduring aesthetic coherency for the artwork.

The plane issue is further amplified by that the Beast sprite has sharp highlights and dark areas, as it should be, covers the whole span, whereas enemies are 3-6 colors mostly, covering the lightness scale from 0 being black to 100 being white, somewhere around 20-60. This pushes them naturally... to the background. Thankfull they're animated and going about so you can't exactly miss them for decor, especially in a game so deadly as Beast, but it does its damage, sure.

Interesting thoughts, Willows.

Offline robotriot

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 168
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Tubby mechanical friend
    • View Profile
    • robotriot

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #13 on: November 25, 2006, 10:38:19 am
I'm wondering if the release year of 1989 can count as an excuse though, since Defender of the Crown was already three years old at that time and Xenon 2 came out the very same year (maybe at a later date though). Imo, both these games are far superior to Beast concerning graphics, but maybe that's just my personal taste :)
WELCOME TO BATTLE SQUADRON

Offline Helm

  • 0110
  • *****
  • Posts: 5142
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #14 on: November 25, 2006, 11:29:11 am
Defender of the Crown was a gem in any age though. Jim Sachs amognst others, some of the best index painted graphics on the amiga. Ever. It's unfair to compare. Xenon I can take or leave.

Scotteh

  • Guest

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #15 on: November 25, 2006, 12:35:51 pm
This may be a bit random, but could someone give me a link to play the game?  But only if its free  :D

Offline TheAbyss

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #16 on: December 10, 2006, 05:04:04 pm
One word. Google. http://free-game-downloads.mosw.com/abandonware/amiga/games_sa_si/shadow_of_the_beast_1.html

Ps. You may need an emulator, I don't know, and I didn't feel like finding out.
Japan + Canada = Japanada

Offline Mathias

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1742
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/9542.htm
    • http://mathiaspaints.tumblr.com/
    • View Profile

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #17 on: March 24, 2007, 08:08:03 pm
Looking at the screenshots more, I just can't believe the monotonous color ramps this guy used for everything. Amiga500 I know, but come on!'

Pixeling has come a long way indeed.

Offline Mixel

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #18 on: April 14, 2007, 08:06:25 am
Sorry if this is considered necroposting, it's a few weeks since the last post, and the topic was posted ages ago!

Wow.. This thread was the straw that broke the camels back and got me to join the board.. It's really good to see people discussing SOTB. Was one of my favourite old Amiga games, and though not 100% because of the graphics, it was in large part.. The combination of graphics/music/atmosphere really grabbed me.. Well something must have, as the gameplay wasn't too hot!

I think the 1989 thing is a good "excuse" for the odd technique.. Some of it's definitely sloppy and pillowy.. But a lot of the gradients remind me of some older airbrushed fantasy art - which you don't see so much anymore.. The smooth gradients showed off what at the time was a crazily big colour palette, too. Its hard commenting on such an old game.. Where would this guy have learned spriting back then? Messing around in the demo scene as practice with DPaint, and no online communities for feedback or anything - I think he did an insanely good job. Especially if what I've read is true, and the entire game was put together in 9 months.

As Lackey touched on; I love the consistent inconsistency in the monster designs too.. They are totally random seeming.. But they add to the alienness of the world and made it more rich, I think. The world/backgrounds though I'd say were very consistent - something jarring there and the atmosphere could be completely broken.

Has anyone played the Marty/FM-Towns version of SOTB? I think that showed that increasing the colour palette and "improving" the graphics could seriously mess up the atmosphere.http://sotb.free.fr/Fichiers/screen_fmtowns.html - a bit of a travesty, it's like they completely missed the point when redoing the graphics *and* music..

Technical spec of the A500.. 32 colour palette + 4096 colour copper gradients (the background sky) except using 64 colour halfbright mode (which I'm pretty sure SOTB didnt, as it ran on the A1000).. By making the critters all 4-6 colour mono, at least you got some variation between the different enemy cols within each section of the game.. In games like Xenon2 (mentioned earlier in the thread) the palette of each level could be pretty overpowering.. Everything coming at you in orange/grey. :) I think the field you start off in, with the parallax and the sky and everything is what really sold the game, and lots of Amigas..

Looking at it now I still think it looks crazily good for 32 colours + a sky gradient.   Brings back memories.. Watching the youtube movies.. The "paff!" noise when you punch enemies, and the way they just fall off the screen.. Brilliant, haha.. Shame he didn't do enemy death anims for some of them at least. .. Sorry I haven't really added anythign new to the thread here, its.. Just.. SOTB!! I had to write something.  :lol:

Offline Helm

  • 0110
  • *****
  • Posts: 5142
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Commercial Critique - Shadow of the Beast

Reply #19 on: April 14, 2007, 07:34:36 pm
Thanks for the post, don't worry about necroposting. These threads will stay around forever, that's how they're made to be.

Quote
I think the field you start off in, with the parallax and the sky and everything is what really sold the game, and lots of Amigas..

That's quite the case. First of all the rest of the game is nowhere near as imaginative in design or coding as that section, though there's a few bits just as atmospheric (treehouse, castle) and secondly, it's so damn hard I can see a lot of people never even seeing anything than the plains-roaming stage.