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Reply 2320 of 2357, by badmojo

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newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-14, 04:44:

Dark Forces
...
Although I'm not a huge fan of some of the level design in this game, everything else is fantastic. The cleaner textures give it a sharper look than Doom, while the the audio is simply amazing—between the excellent sound effects and the fantastic dynamic soundtrack (Sound Canvas), you feel like you are in a movie. I also love how it controls. It controls slightly more grounded/realistically than Doom and all the guns feel just right.

The level design kills it for me and it's such a shame because like you say everything else is beautifully done - so close to being one of the best 2.5D shooters and yet so far. Strife suffers from infuriatingly maze like levels later in the game too and I guess that's one of the side effects of that era FPS shooter engines with limits on how much textures, etc can vary.

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 2321 of 2357, by hyperrmachine

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newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-14, 04:24:
hyperrmachine wrote on 2020-10-13, 13:49:

I played Sam & Max: Hit the Road a while back.

Sam & Max: Hit the Road felt like an extended Day of the Tentacle but with better graphics, a more engaging story, a interface that feels broken sometimes and a mediocre ending. I first played Sam & Max with the hint book, but I gave up and used a walkthrough.
My rating for Sam & Max: 6/10

I tried playing through Sam & Max a while ago and felt similarly. Purely in terms of graphics, sound, music, and dialog it's 10/10, but the puzzles made no sense to me at all.

Purcell's art is the best thing ever to come out of this planet
By the way its drawn by the same man who co-directed Pixar's Brave

A comic by Steve Purcell, from The Adventurer

adventurer_12_pg12.jpg

Last edited by hyperrmachine on 2020-10-15, 00:08. Edited 2 times in total.

HYPERR.BAT

Reply 2322 of 2357, by hyperrmachine

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utahraptor wrote on 2020-10-07, 17:33:

I just played for the first time the Secret of Monkey Island and finished in one day. It was great!

62805-the-secret-of-monkey-island-dos-screenshot-close-up-of-guybrush.png
Guybrush's pretty handsome for a point and click adventure game protagonist

Last edited by hyperrmachine on 2020-10-15, 00:07. Edited 1 time in total.

HYPERR.BAT

Reply 2323 of 2357, by robertmo

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badmojo wrote on 2020-10-14, 05:49:
newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-14, 04:44:

Dark Forces
...
Although I'm not a huge fan of some of the level design in this game, everything else is fantastic. The cleaner textures give it a sharper look than Doom, while the the audio is simply amazing—between the excellent sound effects and the fantastic dynamic soundtrack (Sound Canvas), you feel like you are in a movie. I also love how it controls. It controls slightly more grounded/realistically than Doom and all the guns feel just right.

The level design kills it for me and it's such a shame because like you say everything else is beautifully done - so close to being one of the best 2.5D shooters and yet so far. Strife suffers from infuriatingly maze like levels later in the game too and I guess that's one of the side effects of that era FPS shooter engines with limits on how much textures, etc can vary.

I think level design, sound and music in Pył are nice.

Reply 2324 of 2357, by yawetaG

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Started playing SimCity 4 Deluxe (GOG version). It's even more addictive than the other SimCities, although I don't really comprehend how it is very hard compared to SC2K and SC3K - it's a bit harder, but not impossible.

My first city (Tutorial city) was a bit of a disaster. It makes money - barely - and depends on almost all of the bad buildings that bring in more money to actually make that little bit of money.
For my second city, I went with my favourite SC3K strategy: The Mountain city (i.e. lots of mountains and the city is build stringed out on top of the mountains). That one makes about 2K a month now...and I still have half of the map to fill 😁 No highways, trains and other fancy stuff yet, only avenues and some bus lines.

Reply 2325 of 2357, by newtmonkey

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Hillsfar
Finished! That was a fun diversion between RPGs. I was honestly a bit surprised at how short and easy it is, but honestly it's just the right size for what it is. It consists of only a handful of different minigames with a "quest" structure that has you performing a linear set of missions for your class guild. I was just starting to get bored after mastering the minigames (it didn't take long), when I ended up completing the final quest! I received a bunch of gold (not needed) but a HUGE max HP boost (from 30 to 54) which brings the character (fighter/thief) up to the HP levels of the pure fighters in my winning Pool of Radiance party.

I'll rank the minigames in the order I enjoyed them:

  1. Arena fights - Each of the enemy combatants has his own attack pattern, and it's fun to learn how to beat them. It's also the best looking part of the game with some nice clean EGA graphics.
  2. Lockpicking - A very clever implementation of lockpicking where you need to study a continuous series of tumblers and select the right lockpick (each with a different pattern on either end) to unlock tumbler by tumbler, under a somewhat strict timeline. This would probably have been #1 for me if I had been forced to do it more often; with an 18 STR fighter I could normally just smash the locks open.
  3. Thievery/exploration - I warmed up to this. I earlier complained about having to find the stairs, but I found that the entrance and stairs were generally around the same areas in each location.
  4. Horseback riding - Far too simple to rank any higher, though it's not unenjoyable. You have to do it far too often though.
  5. Archery - Could have been great, but it's too easy to time your shots even with the moving targets.

I suppose back in the day if all I had was this to tide me over until Curse of the Azure Bonds, I'd probably spend the time to take each of my Pool of Radiance characters through before transferring to that game. I actually enjoyed playing through the game finally, but I think just the one character is enough!

---

I'm about 100 pages away from the end of the Azure Bonds novel. I'll finish that up this week and then get started on the Curse of the Azure Bonds game.

Reply 2326 of 2357, by PatientZero

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Grim Fandango is my go to game. I run it on my Aptiva 433 with a patch. I like to use the “Test Your Hardware” feature in the start menu to see if my machine is good enough. Like others it’s not about the game so much as it is about the machine.

Reply 2327 of 2357, by hyperrmachine

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PatientZero wrote on 2020-10-15, 14:23:

Grim Fandango is my go to game. I run it on my Aptiva 433 with a patch. I like to use the “Test Your Hardware” feature in the start menu to see if my machine is good enough. Like others it’s not about the game so much as it is about the machine.

I'm planning to play that game soon after I finish Full Throttle. I've seen people compare that game to Pixar's Coco even though they have little in common (setting, character design, etc.)

(Why I do keep on talking about Disney/Pixar 🤣)

HYPERR.BAT

Reply 2328 of 2357, by Joseph_Joestar

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Finished with my Gothic2 + NOTR playthrough. I think I'll take a break from RPGs for a while and play the third part of that series at some other time.

Moving on to the original Splinter Cell now. Running it on my AthlonXP + GeForce4 rig to get the best looking shadows and effects. The game looks awesome, but the frame rate is kinda all over the place. I get 60 FPS in some areas and sub-20 FPS in others, mostly in places where the advanced shadow/lighting effects are used. Going by Phil's video series, this seems to be the norm for playing the game on such a system with all settings maxed out. Still worth it for the looks though.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 2329 of 2357, by newtmonkey

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Curse of the Azure Bonds
I couldn't resist the temptation, so I imported my winning Pool of Radiance party and Hillsfar character and ended up playing for a few hours over the last couple of days!

As a sequel to Pool, it's very good. For some reason I was under the impression that it was linear and story-focused, but it actually becomes very nonlinear after the first hour—in some ways even moreso than Pool! It's also a lot more challenging than Pool, much to my surprise.

Technically, it still uses EGA for graphics and PC speaker/Tandy sound for sound effects, but is actually a noticeable step above Pool, with much more detailed EGA graphics and somewhat impressive Tandy sound effects. All in all, a worthy sequel so far.

Once I complete this one, I'm going to put the direct sequel (Secret of the Silver Blades) on hold and continue the Gold Box series chronologically; that means I'll be starting out with a new party for Champions of Krynn, which has some interesting changes to the formula in terms of classes and theme. It's also one of the few Gold Box games that supports the MT-32, though I think it's just for the title screen music.

Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World
I finally was able to put a solid block of time into this after not playing it for what seems like months. I explored a good portion of the wilderness around the first couple of towns and gained a level or two and some better equipment, but didn't really make any real progress. Still, it's a joy just to explore in this game, and no series of games delivers such satisfying exploration as Might & Magic!

There's a lot I like about M&MII over the first game. It has some really great 16-color graphics (make sure to run the game in MCGA mode graphics mode; all the characters have purple skin if you select EGA for some reason!), and I really like all the random equipment you win in battle; it seems like nearly every battle you end up finding an upgrade of some sort. The towns and dungeons are also all really interesting to explore, even better than the already stellar dungeons in M&MI.

Some things are not as good, though.

First, encounters appear to be scaled to your level. This would not be such a big deal, since M&M is all about surviving individual encounters rather than stretching limited resources among multiple encounters (as in Wizardry)... however, the game also has increased the maximum number of enemies you can encounter in a single combat, up to (I think) a maximum of 255. This is tedious! Yes, it's satisfying to hold down CTRL+A and blast through enemy after enemy, but anything more than, say, 20 enemies is just too much imo.

Second, the design of the world map is not as enjoyable as in M&MI. I liked in M&MI how there were natural barriers you could never cross. It made you feel like you were actually exploring a world. In M&MII, you can very easily (and quickly) purchase skills to cross mountains and deep forests, so basically nothing stands in your way. It feels less like world to explore, and more like a lawn to mow.

Even so, it's an amazing game and it's absolutely full of stuff to find. No game does it better, and although I'm definitely taking my time with this one, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. I've got a save deep into M&MIII waiting to resume, and then I'll probably do M&MIV and V separately rather than as a combined game.

Reply 2330 of 2357, by Horun

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Am still playing AOE 2 the HD version. Have tried some of the old add-on campaigns from original AOE 2 and they do work, some have minor glitches but good fun !

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 2331 of 2357, by clueless1

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newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-16, 17:59:

Once I complete this one, I'm going to put the direct sequel (Secret of the Silver Blades) on hold and continue the Gold Box series chronologically; that means I'll be starting out with a new party for Champions of Krynn, which has some interesting changes to the formula in terms of classes and theme. It's also one of the few Gold Box games that supports the MT-32, though I think it's just for the title screen music.

Have you read the Dragonlance Chronicles? I read those in high school and really loved them, so much that I still (in my early 50s) use some of the character names in my various RPG adventures.

I'm now 7.5 hours into Betrayal at Krondor and am pretty much hooked. There's a lot of similarities to other RPGs. The overhead map travel reminds me a lot of Realms of Arkania or Darklands overland travel. The towns are set up like Darklands and Arkania as well, where sometimes there are individual buildings that you walk up to, sometimes you have a screen with a town/city artwork/mural and you just click on different areas to "go into" an Inn, shop, etc. There's no big towns to walk through so far. Combat is cool, again like Arkania where it's a 3/4 view with grid, turn-based and so far there have only been no more than 3 enemies in a single combat for my 3 characters. Spellcasting can only be done if there is at least one square between the enemy and the magic user (Owyn). The spells are a bit sparse so far, but useful. One spell blinds an enemy for a few turns, which means they can't move or attack. Another spell draws the enemy towards the caster, which is useful if the enemy is a spellcaster, because then they can't cast their own spells if they're next to one of your players. The only other spell I've used with any regularity so far is Flamecast, which is kind of like a fireball spell. It damages the target most, but also does less collateral damage to others nearby (including your own!). If you right-click on your characters you get a wall of backstory text on them, and lots of things can be right-clicked for more info, such as when you find rations it will tell you whether they are spoiled or not. There's generally a lot of textual info on items, as you'd expect in an RPG that is designed to be played like an interactive novel. It doesn't appear that enemies respawn, so after you've cleared an area in first-person view, you can backtrack through it in overhead view for quicker navigation if you need to go back to the previous town to sell your loot. I'm still in the first chapter (there are 9 chapters) because I'm exploring every nook and cranny rather than just beelining it to the objective (which in chapter 1 is to escort Gorath to Krondor). And I've recently discovered that at least some Temples allow you to "teleport" to other Temples for a hefty fee. I suspect that later in the game when currency is more plentiful, this will come in handy to travel far distances quickly.

If you decide to play this game, it is speed sensitive, so your system can't be faster than a slow 486. At least on my system it works out that way. MIDI music gets jacked up if I don't run SETMUL CCD on my P200MMX, which works out to about a 16Mhz 486. I think even with FM music, the game will freeze/lock up if you get beyond about 486/33 speeds, but you'll have to try for yourself, because it may vary depending on your system. Maybe a natural 486 would play it fine at higher speeds...

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 2332 of 2357, by Tiger433

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I just ended The Flesh Consumed episode of Ultimate DOOM, before that I ended once more Quake 1 and 2, now I'm playing Diablo II without expansion 1.00 version.

W7 "retro" PC:Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2, Phenom II 555, 6GB DDR2 667, HD6850, 500 GB HDD
Retro XP PC: ASUS A7V600-X, A2500+, 1 GB DDR400, Radeon 9500PRO, 80GB HDD
My Youtube channel

Reply 2333 of 2357, by newtmonkey

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clueless1 wrote on 2020-10-17, 16:57:
Have you read the Dragonlance Chronicles? I read those in high school and really loved them, so much that I still (in my early […]
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Have you read the Dragonlance Chronicles? I read those in high school and really loved them, so much that I still (in my early 50s) use some of the character names in my various RPG adventures.

I'm now 7.5 hours into Betrayal at Krondor and am pretty much hooked.

There's a lot of similarities to other RPGs. The overhead map travel reminds me a lot of Realms of Arkania or Darklands overland travel. The towns are set up like Darklands and Arkania as well, where sometimes there are individual buildings that you walk up to, sometimes you have a screen with a town/city artwork/mural and you just click on different areas to "go into" an Inn, shop, etc. There's no big towns to walk through so far. Combat is cool, again like Arkania where it's a 3/4 view with grid, turn-based and so far there have only been no more than 3 enemies in a single combat for my 3 characters. Spellcasting can only be done if there is at least one square between the enemy and the magic user (Owyn). The spells are a bit sparse so far, but useful. One spell blinds an enemy for a few turns, which means they can't move or attack. Another spell draws the enemy towards the caster, which is useful if the enemy is a spellcaster, because then they can't cast their own spells if they're next to one of your players. The only other spell I've used with any regularity so far is Flamecast, which is kind of like a fireball spell. It damages the target most, but also does less collateral damage to others nearby (including your own!). If you right-click on your characters you get a wall of backstory text on them, and lots of things can be right-clicked for more info, such as when you find rations it will tell you whether they are spoiled or not. There's generally a lot of textual info on items, as you'd expect in an RPG that is designed to be played like an interactive novel. It doesn't appear that enemies respawn, so after you've cleared an area in first-person view, you can backtrack through it in overhead view for quicker navigation if you need to go back to the previous town to sell your loot. I'm still in the first chapter (there are 9 chapters) because I'm exploring every nook and cranny rather than just beelining it to the objective (which in chapter 1 is to escort Gorath to Krondor). And I've recently discovered that at least some Temples allow you to "teleport" to other Temples for a hefty fee. I suspect that later in the game when currency is more plentiful, this will come in handy to travel far distances quickly.

If you decide to play this game, it is speed sensitive, so your system can't be faster than a slow 486. At least on my system it works out that way. MIDI music gets jacked up if I don't run SETMUL CCD on my P200MMX, which works out to about a 16Mhz 486. I think even with FM music, the game will freeze/lock up if you get beyond about 486/33 speeds, but you'll have to try for yourself, because it may vary depending on your system. Maybe a natural 486 would play it fine at higher speeds...

Thanks for posting your thoughts, this definitely sounds like a game I want to play! I've got a P133 that I can slow down to a 386-40 and 486-33 through disabling caches, so I'll give the game a shot at these speeds and see how it goes.

I just started the third book of the Dragonlance Chronicles series, but took a break to read Azure Bonds in preparation for playing the game. 😀 I enjoyed the first two books, so I'm sure I'll like the third as well. I'll probably read the Dragonlance Legends series after, but I think that's as far as I'll go haha.

Reply 2334 of 2357, by kolderman

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Finished Unreal 1 boss battle. Not that hard once you jump up onto the circular platform giving her little space to teleport to.

Now on to finish off Doom2, and after that I want to fire up Diablo1 for the first serious play since 1997(!!).

Reply 2335 of 2357, by Joseph_Joestar

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It's kind of surreal playing Splinter Cell on a retro Windows 2000 PC and then realizing that all the computers which you access in-game also use that OS. 😁

Anyway, the game is fun, but the first couple of missions feel very scripted, almost like an interactive movie. Especially the one on the Oil Rig. Not much freedom to do your own thing. If I'm remembering correctly, things get better once you get the SC-20k which is where I'm at right now.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 2336 of 2357, by robertmo

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newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-16, 17:59:

Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World
There's a lot I like about M&MII over the first game. It has some really great 16-color graphics (make sure to run the game in MCGA mode graphics mode; all the characters have purple skin if you select EGA for some reason!)

Check Mac version for even more colours.

Reply 2337 of 2357, by Shagittarius

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-10-18, 09:48:

It's kind of surreal playing Splinter Cell on a retro Windows 2000 PC and then realizing that all the computers which you access in-game also use that OS. 😁

Anyway, the game is fun, but the first couple of missions feel very scripted, almost like an interactive movie. Especially the one on the Oil Rig. Not much freedom to do your own thing. If I'm remembering correctly, things get better once you get the SC-20k which is where I'm at right now.

The whole reason I liked Splinter Cell was because of the compartmentalized stealth sections. Unlike Thief, screwing up doesn't mean you get most of the units on the entire map after you. I'm not really a fan of the Thief design and much prefer the less open world designs of Splinter Cell.

Reply 2338 of 2357, by Joseph_Joestar

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Shagittarius wrote on 2020-10-18, 21:22:

The whole reason I liked Splinter Cell was because of the compartmentalized stealth sections. Unlike Thief, screwing up doesn't mean you get most of the units on the entire map after you. I'm not really a fan of the Thief design and much prefer the less open world designs of Splinter Cell.

I don't mind the linearity and smaller scale of Splinter Cell's levels, even though I like Thief's approach more.

What bothers me is when you're suddenly thrown into a firefight because a scripted sequence demands it, despite being perfectly stealthy throughout the whole level up to that point. Granted, this doesn't happen very often, but it's super annoying when it does.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 2339 of 2357, by Shagittarius

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I'll tell you what I'm not playing:

Black Ops 4: Just installed all 100+GB of this ready to play a great campaign and surprise, NO CAMPAIGN. Ugh, deleted.

Darksiders III: I really loved the first 2 games so I installed this one and gave it a shot and...they changed it to be a Dark Souls alike. Ugh! I hate Dark Souls despite having tried to get into it 3 separate times. Really disappointed Darksiders went this route. Uninstalled...sigh

I just installed Call of Cthulhu , the newer adventure one but haven't tried it yet, that's what Im going to give a shot next. I hope I'm not in for another disappointment for some unexpected reason like the last 2 games.