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The best version of Tempest.


Keatah
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Tempest was something of a holy grail for me as a kid. And I suspect the same for many of you. We admired the speed and high-contrast vectors. Something we always wanted to see at home. And of course the uniqueness of it all. It was a same-ol same-ol shooter, but yet abstract and quite different.

 

So what version(s) of tempest capture the spirit of the original game best? It can be any version on any platform.

 

My personal choices are:

 

1- The original, through a real arcade cab or MAME.

2- Tempest 2000 for the PC, dated around 1995'ish.

3- Typhon 2001, a "modern-day" remake with ultra hi-speed OpenGL graphics. Amazing!

4- Honorable mention - Tempest Tubes mod.

 

Anything else pales in comparison. Between these versions I can get my Tempest fix in style.

 

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Arcade. Nothing else seems to hold a candle to it. The x/y color monitor, the movement of everything in the play field, the sounds and the timing....even the whir of the spinner knob. It all adds up to a unique experience that simply has not been captured in any of the sequels, ports or even the tubes upgrade. The original is one of those arcade games that truly stands the test of time. I still break into a cold sweat when I start getting into the higher levels....super intense!

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My gosh! The Jag version is identical to the 1995 PC version! That's impressive because my PC in 1995 seemed to have less gaming prowess - 50MHz 32bit 486, 50MHz 16-bit 2D graphics with 12MHz ISA interface, 8MB system ram. ISA soundcard. And it ran at full speed!

 

 

Shoulda' been a poll.....

 

I didn't make it a poll because I do not know all tempest versions available.

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TxK for me, Vita or PSVR/Oculus version (the latter especially lovely with a spinner control).

 

T2K on Jag is fine but I feel a pain in my heart when I see the frame rate drops.

 

And of course I love the original, as the seed from which the other versions grew.

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Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar as I remember it, which is better than it actually was.

 

The Vita game TxK is better in almost every way, and it's a crime Atari shat on it.

 

I liked Arashi on Classic Mac OS, because it was long before MAME and such a good version. There was an even older one called STORM. It's nothing much now, but it was pretty cool at the time.

http://macintoshgarden.org/games/arashi

 

 

I liked Microsoft Arcade's Tempest for the same reason.

 

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TxK for me, Vita or PSVR/Oculus version (the latter especially lovely with a spinner control).

 

T2K on Jag is fine but I feel a pain in my heart when I see the frame rate drops.

 

And of course I love the original, as the seed from which the other versions grew.

I just got TxK today. Dang fine game. I played it during my last bit of a lunch break (which was amazing as I hardly get one). The graphics looked pretty spectacular but I accidentally discovered they look better in the dark as the lights went out in my office during play. I sat still for too long and the motion detectors for the lights thought the roon was empty.

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Yeah TxK does look lovely in the dark, especially if you have one of the older Vitas with the OLED screen.

 

Speaking of things Tempestuous somebody pointed out this KS to me this morning which seems to have a fair bit of Atari branding and specifically states that it is going to have a version of Tempest 2000 on it.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gameband/gameband-the-first-smartwatch-for-gamers/description

 

Quite how effectively they manage that, and how they go about implementing effective controls remains to be seen. I shall be keeping a critical eye on whatever they end up doing to my game.

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Best version of Tempest that isn't the arcade original (real or emulated hardware)?

 

5200 Tempest. Hands down. Easily the best.

 

Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar comes next. X3 and this games other ports come close but are definitely less than the Jag version.

 

All other Tempest ports are just pale shadows.

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For the original Tempest, definitely the arcade version, then the emulated Windows version from the late '90s. Really nice with mouse control.

 

For all others, Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar is my top pick. It's the most well-balanced package of the remakes and has a smooth ramp up in difficulty. Some of the visual effects that were chopped out of the other versions, as well as the original cart soundtrack gives it an energy that remains unmatched today.

 

TxK is my next pick of the remakes. Beautiful looking game, but it gets knocked down a few points by becoming stupid-hard much sooner (which I can't really say was needed--T2K is already tough enough as-is).

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I seem to recall that Tempest 2K on the Saturn ran better than it did on the Jaguar. (I had both for a while; I still have the Saturn version but sold the Jag.) I don't remember if there were any gameplay differences, but I do remember that there seemed to be constant frame rate drops on the Jag that weren't there on the Saturn, and the Saturn version seemed to run at a higher frame rate to begin with.

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Can't say I ever noticed any framerate issues in Jaguar T2K. Must be extremely minor or barely noticeable for me to care if I did. The game is a technical marvel, especially so considering the system it originated on. :)

 

Isn't the Saturn version missing some of the Melt-o-vision graphics? Or colors in the webs or am I thinking the DOS version? Used to have and play both when first released, but it's been too long. Got rid of 'em as I always preferred the gameplay of the original Jaguar version.

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Yes, the Saturn and DOS versions have higher framerates, but they lack the melt-o-vision effects and they use the CD OST which lacks much of the energy of the Jag version. The framerate definitely stutters here and there in the Jag one when things get crazy, but it's pretty solid overall.

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