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Reply 3460 of 4043, by matze79

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-11-03, 10:09:
matze79 wrote on 2021-11-02, 22:25:

Condemned 2 😀

It was a huge letdown after the first game..

Yes Part 1 was excellent

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Reply 3461 of 4043, by Namrok

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Well, I wrapped up Quake 2.

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You know, I think that was actually better than I remembered. I'm not sure I've played it to completion maybe since it first came out. The warehouse level felt like a low point, but that could be because I'd played it so many times over the years, starting and getting distracted on the game. Not that long ago I think I played about as far as the Big Gun in Quake 2 RTX, and then got distracted.

I still prefer the level design in Quake, with it's more traditional level progression, and labyrinthine networks of secrets. The units were a clever idea in Quake 2, but at the same time often felt a bit contrived. I also often found myself forgetting which widget I needed to wuzzle two levels across the unit when I took a break for the night. But that could just be my age acting up.

Towards the end I actually found myself really impressed with the Palace unit. Which is cool since by the end of Quake, it really felt like they were phoning it in. By comparison I felt Quake 2 finished on a really strong note.

You know, I've made it through 16 games now since I built a retro pc about a year ago. Dabbled in probably a dozen others. Some, like MOO2 and StarCraft, were every bit as brilliant as I remembered. Some I'd never played to completion before like Populous or Prey. Some I had never played at all, like Lords of the Realm or Syndicate. Some I can barely understand why I ever liked them, like Blood 2. But I think Quake II is the first one that has rose in my esteem across the board. It runs great, looks great, and had a lot better level design and gunplay than I remembered.

After my initial love affair with the game when it came out while I was in middle school, I don't think I gave it a thought. Things were moving so fast in the 90's, and graphics were king. Within months Unreal outshown it, even though it ran like ass compared to Quake II. And then Half-Life and it's mod scene more or less took over rapidly after that! Quake II never felt like it had the deep and abiding multiplayer or mod community Quake had, and my memory mostly goes from playing Quake online (or Team Fortress to be more accurate) to playing Quake 3 and Half-Life mods all the damned time at LAN Parties.

Which is unfortunately, because I now realize that Quake 2 was probably near the pinnacle of a more action oriented FPS design that is making a steady comeback lately with all the retro shooters coming out. And the emphasis on story telling that Half-Life pioneered has either devolved or been played out. I find myself better able to appreciate what Quake 2 did so well, as opposed to looking at Unreal or Half-Life and seeing it as being "less".

So yeah, here's to Quake 2.

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 3462 of 4043, by RandomStranger

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Now it's time to play Quake 4 while your memories are fresh about 2 and start hoping there will be a sequel some day, because it really needs one, and not just reboot the franchise.

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Reply 3466 of 4043, by Joseph_Joestar

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Finished Thief 3. It was a solid game overall, though much shorter than the previous ones.

I did miss some of the features that got removed, such as swimming. Traversing rivers, moats and canals used to provide alternative entry points in the earlier games. Now, even the slightest contact with the water is fatal. Rope arrows are gone as well, but the climbing gloves make for a decent replacement.

The sound design was truly remarkable though, with EAX and positional audio receiving further improvements in this game. For example, some missions had rooms with wooden ceilings and creaky floors, where I was able to hear opponents walking above and below me thanks to the CMSS-3D headphone stuff. Quite useful in a game focused on stealth.

One small issue with the sound did bother me. Every character in the game produces the exact same footstep sounds, be it a slender noblewoman wearing some fancy shoes or a burly guard in heavy boots. Some extra nuance here would have been welcome, since you spend a lot of time listening to these sounds in order to identify approaching opponents.

On the plus side, the levels had a fair bit of variety this time around. I particularly enjoyed Overlook Mansion. A very atmospheric area with some novel features, such as lightning strikes illuminating the shadows through the glass dome. The Cradle was another one that stood out, though I found its horror theme to be slightly out of place here. And the final museum mission was reminiscent of the earlier games, in all the best ways.

The story felt engaging and had some interesting twists and turns. Ultimately, it concluded in a satisfying way, with the final cinematic mirroring a scene from the first game where Garrett initially encounters the Keepers. A nice little nod to the returning fans, and a fine way to end the Thief trilogy.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1

Reply 3467 of 4043, by Almoststew1990

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I've started GTA:V for maybe the 10th time in 8 years. Maybe I'll complete it this time...

Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | AMD 6800XT | 2Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
AMD DX2-80 | 16MB RAM | STB LIghtspeed 128 | AWE32 CT3910
I have a vacancy for a main Windows 98 PC

Reply 3468 of 4043, by clueless1

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Namrok wrote on 2021-11-08, 15:15:
Well, I wrapped up Quake 2. […]
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Well, I wrapped up Quake 2.

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20211108_Quake_II.jpg

You know, I think that was actually better than I remembered. I'm not sure I've played it to completion maybe since it first came out. The warehouse level felt like a low point, but that could be because I'd played it so many times over the years, starting and getting distracted on the game. Not that long ago I think I played about as far as the Big Gun in Quake 2 RTX, and then got distracted.

I still prefer the level design in Quake, with it's more traditional level progression, and labyrinthine networks of secrets. The units were a clever idea in Quake 2, but at the same time often felt a bit contrived. I also often found myself forgetting which widget I needed to wuzzle two levels across the unit when I took a break for the night. But that could just be my age acting up.

Towards the end I actually found myself really impressed with the Palace unit. Which is cool since by the end of Quake, it really felt like they were phoning it in. By comparison I felt Quake 2 finished on a really strong note.

You know, I've made it through 16 games now since I built a retro pc about a year ago. Dabbled in probably a dozen others. Some, like MOO2 and StarCraft, were every bit as brilliant as I remembered. Some I'd never played to completion before like Populous or Prey. Some I had never played at all, like Lords of the Realm or Syndicate. Some I can barely understand why I ever liked them, like Blood 2. But I think Quake II is the first one that has rose in my esteem across the board. It runs great, looks great, and had a lot better level design and gunplay than I remembered.

After my initial love affair with the game when it came out while I was in middle school, I don't think I gave it a thought. Things were moving so fast in the 90's, and graphics were king. Within months Unreal outshown it, even though it ran like ass compared to Quake II. And then Half-Life and it's mod scene more or less took over rapidly after that! Quake II never felt like it had the deep and abiding multiplayer or mod community Quake had, and my memory mostly goes from playing Quake online (or Team Fortress to be more accurate) to playing Quake 3 and Half-Life mods all the damned time at LAN Parties.

Which is unfortunately, because I now realize that Quake 2 was probably near the pinnacle of a more action oriented FPS design that is making a steady comeback lately with all the retro shooters coming out. And the emphasis on story telling that Half-Life pioneered has either devolved or been played out. I find myself better able to appreciate what Quake 2 did so well, as opposed to looking at Unreal or Half-Life and seeing it as being "less".

So yeah, here's to Quake 2.

I'm glad you liked it. I had the same conclusion after I finished it back in late 2017/early 2018. It was exactly as you put it -- gaming tech was moving so fast at the time that I didn't stick with the game through the end because the next shiny one was always on the horizon. When I finally beat it, it was on a retro rig I don't even have assembled anymore -- a P2 500 with V2 SLI. It was such the perfect rig to play it on and I had a blast from beginning to end. Way better than I remember it being. Looking back at my ratings, I scored it 83/100, which is middle of the pack. Basically, if a game is barely good enough to finish, I score it a 70, and move up from there based on how much I enjoyed the experience.

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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 3469 of 4043, by Joseph_Joestar

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I got an itch to fire up the original Deus Ex. It's one of my favorite games and I have replayed it several times in the past. However, this will be my first playthrough in Glide mode using original hardware. For this purpose, I've temporarily moved the Voodoo3 to my AthlonXP system, since this game needs a fairly powerful CPU.

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At 800x600 using the highest settings, I'm getting around 35 FPS on Liberty Island. Not great, but still quite playable, especially considering that this is one of the most demanding areas in the game.

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On the other hand, I'm getting 60 FPS on average during the training mission, which takes place entirely indoors. It will be interesting to see how the frame rate holds up during the later parts of the game.

As far as sound is concerned, EAX support and positional audio seem to work fairly well on my SBLive 5.1 using headphones. For example, I can clearly hear the boat's motor running behind me at the start of the first level. Also, I can easily pinpoint the location of the robot that's walking around the dock with sound alone.

BTW, the sheer amount of gameplay options that this game throws at you is amazing. I'm probably going to end up with a melee-oriented stealth specialist this time around, since I'm used to that playstyle from the Thief series. Should be a fun playthrough.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1

Reply 3470 of 4043, by NovaCN

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-11-10, 11:17:

I got an itch to fire up the original Deus Ex. It's one of my favorite games and I have replayed it several times in the past. However, this will be my first playthrough in Glide mode using original hardware. For this purpose, I've temporarily moved the Voodoo3 to my AthlonXP system, since this game needs a fairly powerful CPU.

At 800x600 using the highest settings, I'm getting around 35 FPS on Liberty Island. Not great, but still quite playable, especially considering that this is one of the most demanding areas in the game.

On the other hand, I'm getting 60 FPS on average during the training mission, which takes place entirely indoors. It will be interesting to see how the frame rate holds up during the later parts of the game.

As someone who never played the original Deus Ex until about a decade after it released (when I found a copy of the GOTY Edition at a toy store for 5 bucks) I've only ever seen it run at a consistent 60 at max settings. Same with a lot of other famously demanding games that I didn't get around to until long after the fact, like Crysis. So seeing these 600p screenshots and mention that it's barely cracking 30 frames running on contemporary hardware makes me think about that Tim Rogers quote: "PC games are remasters of themselves."
Observing the gradual evolution of hardware and seeing just how differently a game runs upon release vs. on more powerful machines years afterward really is a fascinating thing. Just a damn shame all the games we end up leaving behind to do it, due to compatibility weirdness. I still have a few old games I've never played because I couldn't get them running properly without hunting down original hardware that I just don't have the space for.

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Reply 3471 of 4043, by Joseph_Joestar

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NovaCN wrote on 2021-11-10, 13:35:

Observing the gradual evolution of hardware and seeing just how differently a game runs upon release vs. on more powerful machines years afterward really is a fascinating thing. Just a damn shame all the games we end up leaving behind to do it, due to compatibility weirdness.

Agreed. It's funny how games that came out in say '97 needed hardware from one or two years later to run optimally. Then again, people's standards have changed over the years too. Back in the day, having around 30 FPS was considered fairly playable.

That said, there are a ton of ways to play Deus Ex on modern hardware using improved, community-made renderers nowadays. I wanted to go down the memory lane mainly because I first played the game on this very system around 2001, though with a slower Thunderbird CPU and a TNT2. I remember wishing I had a Voodoo card back then, so here it is now.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1

Reply 3472 of 4043, by Namrok

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-11-10, 13:56:
NovaCN wrote on 2021-11-10, 13:35:

Observing the gradual evolution of hardware and seeing just how differently a game runs upon release vs. on more powerful machines years afterward really is a fascinating thing. Just a damn shame all the games we end up leaving behind to do it, due to compatibility weirdness.

Agreed. It's funny how games that came out in say '97 needed hardware from one or two years later to run optimally. Then again, people's standards have changed over the years too. Back in the day, having around 30 FPS was considered fairly playable.

That said, there are a ton of ways to play Deus Ex on modern hardware using improved, community-made renderers nowadays. I wanted to go down the memory lane mainly because I first played the game on this very system around 2001, though with a slower Thunderbird CPU and a TNT2. I remember wishing I had a Voodoo card back then, so here it is now.

"Around 30 FPS" could definitely have more wiggle room than you'd think too. I've been doing a lot of gaming on a $2000 sticker price 1997 PC, although I goosed it in some anachronistic ways. Mostly just running the FSB at 100 versus 66 on a SS7 board, and using PC100 ram instead of PC66. Because a P55C seems able to handle that just fine.

So far I've beaten Shogo and Quake 2 on it, both games one would expect to play on a brand new expensive machine that came out within a year of buying it. Shogo did ok at very low settings, mostly playing in the 20-30 range, although a few scenes could drop that into the teens. Quake 2 ran very well at high settings, with similar performance. I haven't tried Unreal yet, but I'm not hopeful. I may try Half-Life though.

It's remarkable how quickly the FPS genre made Pentium II's more or less required in 1998. I remember as a teen that feeling of a computer being obsolete almost as soon as you bought it back then. But being a kid, there was no expectation of having the latest and greatest either. You played Unreal as a slideshow in software mode because you didn't have a Voodoo card, and you liked it!

But for now I'm taking a break from FPS. Playing Zork Nemesis on a different machine. Blasted through the opening area last night, and unlocked the other worlds. Already I'm remembering how tantalizing the Temple of Agrippa was in this game, and all the places in it I craved to explore. So many inviting nooks and crannies.

I have no recollection as to the quality of the game. I was too young to figure out most of the puzzles, and relied heavily on walkthroughs. Unlike it's sequel, Zork Grand Inquisitor, which I found followed a rather intuitive Zork Logic. Going to do my best to play Nemesis without assistance, but we'll see how it goes.

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 3473 of 4043, by Shagittarius

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NovaCN wrote on 2021-11-10, 13:35:

As someone who never played the original Deus Ex until about a decade after it released (when I found a copy of the GOTY Edition at a toy store for 5 bucks) I've only ever seen it run at a consistent 60 at max settings. Same with a lot of other famously demanding games that I didn't get around to until long after the fact, like Crysis. So seeing these 600p screenshots and mention that it's barely cracking 30 frames running on contemporary hardware makes me think about that Tim Rogers quote: "PC games are remasters of themselves."
Observing the gradual evolution of hardware and seeing just how differently a game runs upon release vs. on more powerful machines years afterward really is a fascinating thing. Just a damn shame all the games we end up leaving behind to do it, due to compatibility weirdness. I still have a few old games I've never played because I couldn't get them running properly without hunting down original hardware that I just don't have the space for.

One of the things I've always most enjoyed as a PC gamer was loading up a game I already completed when I got a new video card to experience it again. Granted currently, most games with a top of the line card run maxed out perfectly fine so it's not really as much fun as it use to be. Still back in the day getting a new video card was cause to break out all your old games and see how they ran now.

Reply 3474 of 4043, by liqmat

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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-11-10, 18:43:
NovaCN wrote on 2021-11-10, 13:35:

As someone who never played the original Deus Ex until about a decade after it released (when I found a copy of the GOTY Edition at a toy store for 5 bucks) I've only ever seen it run at a consistent 60 at max settings. Same with a lot of other famously demanding games that I didn't get around to until long after the fact, like Crysis. So seeing these 600p screenshots and mention that it's barely cracking 30 frames running on contemporary hardware makes me think about that Tim Rogers quote: "PC games are remasters of themselves."
Observing the gradual evolution of hardware and seeing just how differently a game runs upon release vs. on more powerful machines years afterward really is a fascinating thing. Just a damn shame all the games we end up leaving behind to do it, due to compatibility weirdness. I still have a few old games I've never played because I couldn't get them running properly without hunting down original hardware that I just don't have the space for.

One of the things I've always most enjoyed as a PC gamer was loading up a game I already completed when I got a new video card to experience it again. Granted currently, most games with a top of the line card run maxed out perfectly fine so it's not really as much fun as it use to be. Still back in the day getting a new video card was cause to break out all your old games and see how they ran now.

Yes. Oblivion and Bioshock were two that fall into that category for me. Although, I never completed either. Time. Always need more.

Reply 3475 of 4043, by robertmo

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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-11-10, 18:43:

One of the things I've always most enjoyed as a PC gamer was loading up a game I already completed when I got a new video card to experience it again. Granted currently, most games with a top of the line card run maxed out perfectly fine so it's not really as much fun as it use to be. Still back in the day getting a new video card was cause to break out all your old games and see how they ran now.

I think you still haven't tried Pyl 😉
file.php?id=10607&mode=view

Reply 3476 of 4043, by Shreddoc

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robertmo wrote on 2021-11-10, 19:05:
I think you still haven't tried Pyl ;) https://www.vogons.org/download/file.php?id=10607&mode=view […]
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Shagittarius wrote on 2021-11-10, 18:43:

One of the things I've always most enjoyed as a PC gamer was loading up a game I already completed when I got a new video card to experience it again. Granted currently, most games with a top of the line card run maxed out perfectly fine so it's not really as much fun as it use to be. Still back in the day getting a new video card was cause to break out all your old games and see how they ran now.

I think you still haven't tried Pyl 😉
file.php?id=10607&mode=view

Ahh, Pył, that forgotten classic that most of us can't Google because our keyboards don't contain an ł. :p I'm sure there's some kind of lesson to be learned there about unconventional names (looking at you, bogan parents).

Reply 3478 of 4043, by Namrok

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-11-10, 19:46:

Ok, time to stir the pot.

System Shock 2 > Deus Ex

Now you've got me honestly thinking about that. I want to say a weaker end game in System Shock 2 hurts it relative to Deus Ex. I recall a lot of complaining about the sections of the game in the body of the many effectively invalidated character builds that up to that point had been entirely viable. I think people considered the final boss sequence obnoxious as well. But it's been probably 20 years since I played either game to completion.

On the other hand, I always found System Shock 2 so much more atmospheric. I think maybe it was the lighting and the excellent sound engine. The sights and sounds of the Von Braun are for more permanently ingrained in my aging memory than the streets of New York in Deus Ex. Or Hong Kong. Or Paris. Or Area 51.

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