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Reply 3400 of 3577, by Joseph_Joestar

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Moving on to Thief 2: The Metal Age. I'm using my AthlonXP system for this game since it's more demanding than the first one. The graphics are a bit better, while still retaining the familiar art style of the original.

EAX sounds much nicer in Thief 2. Not sure if that's because I'm now using a SBLive or due to the improvements the devs made to the engine. In any case, the soundstage feels very immersive, especially when using headphones. BTW, I really like having a dedicated headphone jack and a physical volume knob on the LiveDrive front panel since it makes sound adjustments super easy.

At the moment, I'm having a great time with the missions, though I'm still in the early stages of the game. Levels seem to be larger, less linear and mostly focused on actual thieving. We'll see how things go when I start encountering mechanical opponents.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
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Reply 3401 of 3577, by appiah4

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Nearing the end of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. I kind of like that each of the factions is a different kind of asshole and no matter who you side with you don't end up in a moral high ground. Even the oppressed faction immediately goes on to commit atrocity as soon as they have yourbacking. I kind of like that the pirates are the only faction who are actually honest about being self serving asshole anarchists, and their code of honor (while not perfectly moral) is at least more reliable than any of the others. However, unlike the original game, it doesn't seem to improve as you near the end. Actually, it is exactly the other way around. Whereas in the first game you started out with an obscure event the importance of which became apparent only halfway through and by the end game you were holding council with the gods, this time around you start getting trampled by a god, then have a council with the gods and then the game degrades into pretty mundane happenings of the Deadfire. The potentially world ending plot conclusion becomes an afterthought by the time you realize you are about to get to it. I wanted to like it, but the pacing is pretty bad. This game's writing could make for a good book but did not make for a good interactive adventure, I feel.

Not sure what to play after this. I want to start something I can finish by year end, so maybe 50 hours long at most.. I think I might give Life is Strange another go.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2021-10-23, 14:33. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 3402 of 3577, by Joseph_Joestar

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-10-23, 09:03:

Not sure what to play after this. I want to start something I can finish by year end, so maybe 50 hours long at most.. I think I might give Life is Strange another go.

Excellent choice. One of the few modern games that I actually enjoyed.

Its prequel "Before the Storm" is decent too, though not quite as good as the original.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 3403 of 3577, by newtmonkey

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Phantasie (Apple II)
I had known about this series of RPGs from back in the day, as I saw it mentioned in SSI catalogs and had (briefly) played the first game on my friend's Atari ST. For some reason, I decided earlier this week to start playing the first game in the series.

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Rambling commentary on difficulties getting this game to work, etc.

Let me tell you, it is VERY difficult to find clean disks of these games. This is especially important for the first two games, as the game writes to the game disk as you play it. This includes exploring dungeons and tripping encounters, exploring the wilderness (!), and of course the character roster. All versions of the game include reset utilities, but I've found that the C64 and Atari ST versions reset only the dungeons/encounters and character roster, but NOT the wilderness. This allows the game to be played and completed, but a huge part of the game is exploring the wilderness and revealing the world square by square, and you lose that on a copy that has been played. I found this to be the case even on uncracked images, and even on a set of C64 images labeled as "never been played."

Luckily, the Apple II version comes to the rescue. The reset utility on this version actually does clear the wilderness map as well, so you can generate completely fresh disks for all three games in the series. It's probably for the best anyway, since the Apple II versions are the originals and the only ones designed and programmed by the same guy. The C64 versions suffer from much worse visuals, strange changes (the world map is rotated 90 degrees from the original in Phantasie I!), and a frustrating control scheme that completely ignores the keyboard and forces you to move a cursor through menus to select actions. Likewise, the Atari ST version forces you to use the mouse to do absolutely everything in the game (though it looks great).

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Phantasie is really quite unique, for back in 1985. Outside of Ultima III/IV, no other game up to this point provided such a complete RPG package as this one. You have tactical combat (including several different attack options with varying damage and accuracy modifiers), a wilderness to explore, great dungeoneering mechanics (listening at doors, picking locks, finding/disarming traps, the ability to look down hallways to see beyond your immediate vicinity), unique plot-based encounters in dungeons, and plenty of spells with all sorts of effects. It also feels quite modern once you get used to the interface, and even has automapping of both the wilderness and dungeons (in fact, filling out the automap is a key part of the game). All the hints you find are written on scrolls discovered throughout the world—as long as you hang onto those scrolls, there's no need to take notes (however, inventory space is limited so it's best to read the scrolls, take a photo of the screen with your phone, and then drop the scroll!). The game does autosave, but only when you leave a town, so it's not the kind of thing where it will save you in an unwinnable state or anything. Just in case, the game even has a backup utility to save your characters to a backup disk. Very friendly! I am very impressed with how this plays in 2021... in fact, I ended up playing it three hours straight without realizing it.

Combat is difficult at first, but the game is pretty generous in allowing you to flee and you quickly learn which enemies are too strong for you. Winning just a half-dozen battles or so is enough to level up some of the more basic classes, and the power difference from level 1 to level 2 is significant.

I am playing on actual hardware, and the loading is not too bad from disk. It would obviously be a much smoother experience on an emulator with disk acceleration turned on, and I think I would recommend that for most people. For me, this was a good reason to (finally) spend some quality time with my Apple IIc.

Reply 3404 of 3577, by liqmat

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If anyone is an Atari 8-bit computer aficionado the absolutely amazing recent port of Prince of Persia (final version) is ready for download and free. Amazing work!

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/298914-unic … sia-for-the-a8/

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Reply 3405 of 3577, by clueless1

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liqmat wrote on 2021-10-24, 14:03:

If anyone is an Atari 8-bit computer aficionado the absolutely amazing recent port of Prince of Persia (final version) is ready for download and free. Amazing work!

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/298914-unic … sia-for-the-a8/

That is impressive! I never had an Atari 8-bit, but my bro did at the same time I had an Apple IIe, so we both played on each others' systems. I can definitely appreciate the work that went into making this happen.

I'm just about done with the "From the Ashes" DLC for Kingdom Come Deliverance. This is a great DLC that basically lets you build a town from scratch (you are appointed the bailiff and have complete control). It requires a lot of groschen (gold), but if you take it on like I did after you finish the main quest, you'll already have a ton of groschen, which will make it more flexible. You will be able to build the best buildings without worrying about cost. The goal is to make the town self-sufficient, so a lot of thought needs to go in which buildings you build and in what order. I'm currently generating about 2000 groschen a day from the income generated from the tavern, forge, bakery, guardhouse and traders, so now I can freely roam the countryside and never worry about running out of money. There's a nice touch of adding a daily "judgment" in which an issue is brought to you to decide on. It could be a spousal argument, a woman wanting to take one of your citizens away because she claims he got her pregnant, gossip and complaining about how the baker is making his loaves of bread, claims that an herbalist is practicing witchcraft, etc. Some of these judgements can impact your town's income, others your own reputation amongst the citizens, and still others may cause your population to increase or decrease. I think it's a great DLC to finish the game with. Crazy as it sounds, I'm over 200 hours in and still really enjoying this game. Just exploring is fun enough. Also, occasionally dropping in on old friends in other towns will often yield new conversation branches. My dog Mutt has been trained up to be very good at finding secrets and helping attack enemies when I'm outnumbered. I'm waiting to get tired of this game, but it hasn't happened yet. I'll just keep going until then.

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Reply 3406 of 3577, by notsofossil

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Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, original retail version (not steam or gog), playing it on an HP Compaq nc2400 running Windows XP.

Thinkpad T42 Win9x Drivers | Latitude D600 Win9x Drivers
Next: Dell Inspiron 8000

Reply 3407 of 3577, by Namrok

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Well, I finally wrapped up my playthrough of Blood II: The Chosen.

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You know, I have a marginally distinct memory of playing the demo when it was released on or near Halloween night, 1998. I remember begging my dad to get me one of those new Riva TNTs, since my Riva 128 was just totally dogging it. I was mostly content with my P233 though, because Pentium II's seemed hopelessly out of reach for a teenager. I know at one point in 2000 or so I possessed a hand me down Slot 1, maybe 700? Rocking a Riva TNT which I think must have been PCI since it would have originally inhabited a vanilla Socket 7 system.

Anyways, playing Blood 2 now, I'm shocked at how uninspired it was. The duo of airship levels were a neat gimmick. And some of the Cabalco offices were at least inoffensive. But the sewers and industrial areas were a dark, tedious bore. I loathed the enemies you could barely see, squeaking along the ground, jumping up in your face. I hated the autoaim hitscan Cobalco troops. I hated how boring hitscan bullets seemed the most effective weapon against everything, despite the insane variety of weapons otherwise.

Mostly it was just tedious. I can see why young budding edgelord Namrok enjoyed the one liners, and the main character that was basically Evil Ash from Army of Darkness. And a few of the jokes even still gave me a chuckle. But yeah, a depressingly mediocre game.

I finally quit fucking around with drivers on my P233/Riva128 system long enough to decide I think I want to beat Quake 2 on it. For whatever reason, running the latest Nvidia reference drivers cause the system to not want to power down properly, and none of the extra panels to change settings want to pop up. My guess is they just slowly lost compatibility with Win95, which the system is running. I was using the "latest" 182 STB drivers, since I have a Velocity 128. They had some pros and cons. Then I found some drivers off a "2.0" install CD on archive.org which purport to have an even later version number, and the file modified date on the CD is a few months later as well. So maybe? They seem to work pretty well I think. No clue what version of the reference drivers they are based off of. I spent a good chunk of last night looking at old news pages of rivazone.com on archive.org trying to piece together a timeline of driver releases. Wasn't that helpful. I wish there were somewhere I could reliably find all the old Riva128 driver versions. It's so unloved.

Maybe I'll try something else on there though. I've been playing a lot of FPS lately. Perhaps I should try an adventure game, or an RPG. Been itching to play Might & Magic VI again.

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 3408 of 3577, by liqmat

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Don't judge, but this.

Always loved the Colecovision version back in the early 1980s when I was a kid. So nostalgia bit me hard on this one.

Yeah, I know. 🤣

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Reply 3409 of 3577, by Almoststew1990

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2021-10-16, 09:20:

I'm still trying to decide on my next game, and I'm feeling an RPG. I'm sort of swapping between Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age Inquisition and Morrowind on three different systems...

In the end I decided on Assassins Creed Origins, which I've now completed (and the Hidden Ones DLC), my last save was half way through the game fortunately so I did not have to start again for the 4th time...

Now, on to Cryostasis for some reason.

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Reply 3410 of 3577, by DracoNihil

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I'm nearly done replaying the Ghorkov campaign in Urban Assault: Metropolis Dawn, streaming it live on Twitch to a audience of nobody.

I just recovered the Gigant vehicle so, now I have something that will rapidly erase Host Stations and Power Stations alike.

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Reply 3411 of 3577, by newtmonkey

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Phantasie (Apple II)
I was able to put a couple more hours into this one over the past few days. I'm still really enjoying it, and in a lot of ways it feels way ahead of its time—what CRPGs back in '85 had automapping for not only dungeons but also wilderness areas? I also like how the game gives you large world to explore, but also provides immersive in-game hints (through scrolls you find in dungeons, sold in stores, etc.).

However, I have arrived at a bit of a difficulty spike, as I've completed the first dungeon, but am finding the enemies near the second dungeon to be much more powerful than my party—even after making use of the many buffing/debuffing spells the game provides. That suggests to me that I'm underleveled. This makes some sense, as I've just been exploring along the main roads in the wilderness so far. I decided, then, to start exploring the first few screens of the wilderness areas, partly to see if I missed anything, but mostly just to gain some more EXP/gold.

It didn't go as well as I hoped, as my party is clearly too powerful now for low level enemies in the starting area and the rewards were paltry. Even so, I was able to level up one of my priests and all of the first map screen explored (except water areas).

My next plan is to head south and explore some more wilderness. The enemies there are harder, but not too hard, and provide a lot more gold. 4/6 of my characters are actually ready to level up, but I simply don't have enough gold to train them. It's an interesting system in that it puts a soft limit on grinding while avoiding more annoying stuff like scaling encounters or the experience provided by enemies.

Reply 3412 of 3577, by brostenen

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Battlefield 1942, UT-2003 and return to castle wolfenstein on Mac Mini PPC G4. Then Real Racing 3 on my phone, that I have been playing since 2009.

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Reply 3413 of 3577, by Shreddoc

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Finished Super Mario Odyssey. Awesome experience, though quite a bit shorter than I was expecting - seems like I spent a lot longer playing through earlier generations like Galaxy, New-SMBU, and 3D World. Bit of a weird outdated storyline if I'm honest, but I guess that's just following the legacy of 30+ year old writing, the original meme stories of Rescue The Princess (before she gets, errr, assaulted, by the giant toxic masculinity monster that has kidnapped her) etc. At the end when she's sort-of, taking a moment to

Spoiler

consider between the two desperate "potential suitors" of Mario and Bowser, that was quite weird. The dude just kidnapped you by violent force, was going to force marry you under duress, and presumably was then going to rape you, you know. Are those really the kinds of memes and social dynamics we should be impressing upon our young generations ??

Anyhow. That commentary got slightly darker than I intended, but yeah, it's a bit of a minor weird underpinning of what is an incredible flagship game.

Reply 3414 of 3577, by HangarAte2nds!

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I am trying to get through the original version of Mafia. I thought it would be fun to play the original after having played the definitive edition. In some ways I like the original better. and in some ways I like the new version. The main thing that surprised me was how good the graphics actually were for 2001. Driving sucks equally in both versions though 🤣
I have only played the first few missions so I am not sure which one I will prefer in the end.

Reply 3415 of 3577, by gerry

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HangarAte2nds! wrote on 2021-10-28, 07:56:

I am trying to get through the original version of Mafia. I thought it would be fun to play the original after having played the definitive edition. In some ways I like the original better. and in some ways I like the new version. The main thing that surprised me was how good the graphics actually were for 2001. Driving sucks equally in both versions though 🤣
I have only played the first few missions so I am not sure which one I will prefer in the end.

i wasn't aware of the definitive edition, looks great and apparently extends and improves on the original - how a remake should be done

the original is a good game and coming so soon after gta 3 looked good too. i always found the driving frustrating but took is a sign of the era rather than the game being weak as such - although some the follow/chase missions are just too irritating! The controls generally made things a little tricky but the story and the depiction of the era was done really well

Reply 3416 of 3577, by Joakim

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I think mafia is a game that I will not revisit. But I have fond memories of it, graphics were amazing and it had a lot of cool details. Like that you could shoot the tires of cars (made some chases much easier, haha) and that you could ride the trains. The world felt alive from what I remember. I remember it being stupid that the cops were so eager to arrest you of you drove 1 mph to fast though.

Reply 3417 of 3577, by clueless1

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This is why I'm continuing to play Kingdom Come Deliverance 50 hours after I beat the game.

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Just exploring large forests, looking for treasure and weird stuff now. I do feel like I'm nearing the end of my journey, though. Over 200 hours so far sunk into this game...

Edit: oh, wow! Is this a new forum feature? Downgrade uploaded images to 256 colors? 🤣.

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 3418 of 3577, by Sombrero

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-10-30, 13:48:

Edit: oh, wow! Is this a new forum feature? Downgrade uploaded images to 256 colors? 🤣.

VOGONS is just letting you know what it thinks about your crysis engine powered, high resolution high fidelity modern shenanigans.

You'd better go play something with EGA graphics and pc speaker sounds before it gets really agitated!

Reply 3419 of 3577, by Caluser2000

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Still hunting the Wompus. He is an elusive we thing.

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Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉