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Reply 3500 of 4034, by Namrok

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Another evening, another world of Zork Nemesis down. Wrapped up the Asylum level, which even in the 90's a lot of reviews called out for being excessively gruesome. It was OK I guess. Nothing bothered me. Possibly because what macabre medical experiments it shows are rendered in such distinctly 90's 3DStudio Max style graphics.

My policy of writing absolutely everything down that seems relevant and then magically finding I have all the answers when I get to an actual puzzle continued to work wonders. Weirdly enough, the solution to one puzzle actually stuck with me from way back in 1996 when I first played the game. So that was nice.

Once again, the world just felt kind of short to me. I think it took me under an hour? I guess there was that one part I actually remembered though, but I consider it relatively minor.

With one world left, and then the end game, Zork Nemesis is seeming to me to be a quaint little adventure game. Rather off brand for Zork, but not altogether bad. Going off the number of puzzles, and carrying the Zork moniker, I might feel like I didn't get my money's worth in 1996. Going off the production values though, with 3 CDs worth of multimedia content... Well if that's your thing, and it was practically the only reason I bought it as a kid, it ain't half bad. Sure doesn't help it age well though.

I'm looking forward to wrapping this up tomorrow, and then deciding what I might want to play next. I'm a bit in the mood for the RPG, but also a little put off by their typical time investment. We'll see.

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 3501 of 4034, by Claris

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You know, this is gonna sound weird. But alot of single player or story driven games just don't do it for me anymore.

I sometimes find myself just wanting to sit down and play a few rounds of Apex Legends or Warzone. Just something easy to pickup. No story, no long cutscenes, no grind. Just point and shoot. Instant multiplayer action. Red Alert 3 was one of the few non FPS games that also gave me that satisfaction. Iv been binging that game too.

Otherwise i have been digging the Metal Slug games lately and a bunch of other Neo Geo classics. Simple, fun, easy to pick up and play.

Reply 3502 of 4034, by clueless1

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Namrok wrote on 2021-11-14, 03:41:

I'm a bit in the mood for the RPG, but also a little put off by their typical time investment. We'll see.

Two of the shortest RPGs I've played that were still really entertaining were Legend of Grimrock I and Eschalon: Book I. They each took about 25 hours, and I play games slowly. If you want something older, both System Shock and Ultima Underworld were also in the 20-30 hour range.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
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Reply 3503 of 4034, by AppleSauce

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2 games at the moment

1: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon: Interesting adventure game from legend entertainment , very whacky and offbeat with a ton of humor and puns.
The game revolves around a run of the mill suburban bar , what's not run of the mill however is that people in the bar mingle with alien denizens , mythological creatures and other intergalactic paranormal happenings and treat it as a regular thing.

Your character Jake Stonebender is a regular who hangs around the bar a lot and gets dragged on weird adventures , but just goes along with it.
Currently I've teamed up with a time traveling cop , who sent us back a few hours to save a rare species of coca plant from destruction by a Brazilian pencil company.
I'm kind of sad people don't mention it as a classic along the lines of monkey island or beneath a steel sky , it seems pretty up there.

2: Ecstatica , I'm pretty sure most people have heard of this one however , Its an alone in the dark style game with tank controls , takes place in a town in europe.
As a traveler you stop in town for a presumable rest only to find the town has been mobbed by demonic entities who have impaled , murdered and tortured most of the towns inhabitants. You pretty much have to improvise from there and figure out how to help the town. The game has a very unique art style , the characters are composed of ellipsoids instead of triangles which looks a bit weird but from a performance perspective I can see what they were going with.

Reply 3504 of 4034, by newtmonkey

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Phantasie (Apple II)

Completed! All in all, this took a good 20-30 hours to complete.

DSC-0637.jpg

The game is played from on overhead perspective, with unexplored areas blacked out then revealed as you pass through/near them. That means the game has an automap, making it very user-friendly for a 1985 release!

The dungeons are a high point here. They have layouts that make sense, a nice mix of fixed and random encounters, and most impressive of all, unique themes and events. For example, one dungeon has you getting throw into jail, from which you have to escape. Another has you shutting off sewage valves to explore previously blocked areas. Truly a pleasure to explore.

Combat isn't very complicated, but you have several tactical options to use. All characters can select one of several types of attacks with varying damage and accuracy modifiers, fighters can lunge into the middle enemy row, while thieves can attack any row without penalty. Spellcasters have a nice selection of spells, including plenty of buffing/debuffing spells (which work more often than not!). Even before battle starts, you have some options including attempting to flee, demanding that enemies surrender, or surrendering yourself.

Outside of Ultima IV, I don't think a more "complete" RPG had been released to this point (though of course Might & Magic Book One would be released the following year in 1986). I'd definitely recommend this as a good starting point for anyone that wants to get into older CRPGs but feels intimidated by old interfaces (Gold Box series) or the need to map (Wizardry).

Reply 3505 of 4034, by clueless1

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newtmonkey wrote on 2021-11-14, 09:20:
Phantasie (Apple II) […]
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Phantasie (Apple II)

Completed! All in all, this took a good 20-30 hours to complete.

DSC-0637.jpg

The game is played from on overhead perspective, with unexplored areas blacked out then revealed as you pass through/near them. That means the game has an automap, making it very user-friendly for a 1985 release!

The dungeons are a high point here. They have layouts that make sense, a nice mix of fixed and random encounters, and most impressive of all, unique themes and events. For example, one dungeon has you getting throw into jail, from which you have to escape. Another has you shutting off sewage valves to explore previously blocked areas. Truly a pleasure to explore.

Combat isn't very complicated, but you have several tactical options to use. All characters can select one of several types of attacks with varying damage and accuracy modifiers, fighters can lunge into the middle enemy row, while thieves can attack any row without penalty. Spellcasters have a nice selection of spells, including plenty of buffing/debuffing spells (which work more often than not!). Even before battle starts, you have some options including attempting to flee, demanding that enemies surrender, or surrendering yourself.

Outside of Ultima IV, I don't think a more "complete" RPG had been released to this point (though of course Might & Magic Book One would be released the following year in 1986). I'd definitely recommend this as a good starting point for anyone that wants to get into older CRPGs but feels intimidated by old interfaces (Gold Box series) or the need to map (Wizardry).

That's awesome. Did you play Phantasie on original hardware? If so, tell me a little about your rig. I owned an Apple IIe with 128KB 80-column card, dual floppy, green monitor (used TV for color gaming) and a Mockingboard. It was my only computer from 1983 to 1990 (when I got my first IBM-compatible). It served me from middle school to college. The Mockingboard really brought Ultima IV and V alive!

I'm getting close to the end of Metro Last Light Redux. My current save point is right before the giant mutant bear in Chapter 28: The Garden. I am not the best at FPS games, so there have been a number of battles that took several tries to get through, and I've struggled with having enough filters to get through several of the later sections. I've literally gone into the next chapter with zero filters, scrambling to find one or two at the start before I die. I consider this a very difficult game on Normal Difficulty, but I know there are other more skilled players that would consider this game easy...Ranger Mode is not for me! So far I'm 18 hours in, so suspect this will end up being a 20 hour game for me.

I'm starting to think about the next game. I might do another FPS before diving back into an RPG. Or not. Candidates for next FPS are Doom 2016, Tomb Raider 2013, Bioshock 2 Remastered, and Dark Forces II. Candidates for next RPG are Realms of Arkania 3 (I haven't played a DOS RPG on original hardware since Wizardry 7!), Arcanum, MM6, and Darklands. Yeah, I know Tomb Raider is not a FPS but I categorize it such for my purposes. 😀

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 3507 of 4034, by RandomStranger

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pete8475 wrote on 2021-11-14, 16:46:

Call of Duty, the first game on my Pentium 3.

I'm sure I played it when it was new but I don't remember it at all.

Interesting. The most vivid memories I have about that series is from that episode. I think I beat it more than 7 times. Once or twice in each difficulty.

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Reply 3508 of 4034, by badmojo

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-11-14, 14:45:

Candidates for next RPG are Realms of Arkania 3 (I haven't played a DOS RPG on original hardware since Wizardry 7!), Arcanum, MM6, and Darklands.

Is Gothic II somewhere on your list? If not please add it 😁

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 3509 of 4034, by BitWrangler

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Got Links: The Challenge of Golf CD Edition that I picked up last week running on the Armada 1750.. needs to run in full MSDOS mode out of w98 and the setblast command run to set IRQ 5 otherwise it defaults to IRQ 3 for the soundblaster and hangs.

So, first time out round Firestone Country Club, I got round in only 110 strokes when it's total par of 70, I must be a natural 🤣
Actually got a one under par, a couple of pars, most of the trouble was judging the power on the putts, chasing it around the green in 4 or 5 attempts 🤣

I am not a real life golfer but realised earlier this year that I've quite liked playing the golf demos and golf on the wii, so maybe I should look out for golf games, then this showed up in a thrift for a buck so I grabbed it. Quite a nice game, realistic looking for it's release date, 1990, I dunno what the reviewers were complaining about for the redraw times though.... oh yeah, PII-366 vs 286

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 3510 of 4034, by badmojo

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That looks pretty good - I love a golf game too, they're very mindful and cathartic I find.

Links 386 Pro is my go-to, the next in the series from yours I think.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 3511 of 4034, by clueless1

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badmojo wrote on 2021-11-14, 23:03:
clueless1 wrote on 2021-11-14, 14:45:

Candidates for next RPG are Realms of Arkania 3 (I haven't played a DOS RPG on original hardware since Wizardry 7!), Arcanum, MM6, and Darklands.

Is Gothic II somewhere on your list? If not please add it 😁

I did buy it from GOG awhile back thanks to your recommendation. 😉 I remember there's a lot of mods you've added to make it just so, I remember a post you made on it. It's somewhere on my list. 😀

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 3512 of 4034, by clueless1

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badmojo wrote on 2021-11-15, 00:21:

That looks pretty good - I love a golf game too, they're very mindful and cathartic I find.

Links 386 Pro is my go-to, the next in the series from yours I think.

I was a big Links 386, then Links LS player back in the day. At one point I was in the top 10 in the world (at least according to the main online platform at the time). I have both installed on my P200 system and occasionally drop in for a few holes. I competed in some of the Ryder Cups that boasted the best online players in the world. That was a long time ago!

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 3513 of 4034, by Namrok

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And that's the end of Zork Nemesis.

Endgame Trophy
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You know it's funny, I honestly thought I remembered the end game, and it turns out I had completely, not even a scrap of memory, forgotten nearly all of it. I had one small glimpse of recollection when I first accessed the beginning of the new section of the temple. And the rest was as new as it had ever been. One final puzzle I had completely forgotten. Though it was rather rote.

Nothing in the final world of the game, nor the end sequence, really gave me much to add that I haven't already said. Except that I will always and forever loath musical puzzles.

Still having a solid think about what I want my next game to be. I really, desperately want to beat something like Might & Magic or Bard's Tale. But I really just don't know if I have the stamina for them. Icewind Dale is also tempting. Or Might & Magic VI. I also have a copy of Anvil of Dawn on the way, which I've never played before. Or Fallout. Or Jagged Alliance.

I'm just awash in choices.

And then there is the Pentium III rig I just finally finished which would just be perfect for Max Payne.

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 3514 of 4034, by newtmonkey

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-11-14, 14:45:

That's awesome. Did you play Phantasie on original hardware? If so, tell me a little about your rig. I owned an Apple IIe with 128KB 80-column card, dual floppy, green monitor (used TV for color gaming) and a Mockingboard. It was my only computer from 1983 to 1990 (when I got my first IBM-compatible). It served me from middle school to college. The Mockingboard really brought Ultima IV and V alive!

Hey clueless1, yeah I played it on my Apple IIc. Not much to report about it, it's just a standard IIc with a Floppy Emu device installed to replace the disk drive. I've got it plugged into my Sony PVM broadcast monitor via composite.

I got this back when deals were still possible on Ebay, just 5 years ago or so. The seller listed it as "untested" but included a screen of it booting a disk, so I knew it worked to some degree. He also didn't set a minimum amount, so I ended up getting the IIc and the original monochrome monitor+monitor bracket for less than $100—including shipping to Japan! When it arrived I was overjoyed to discover that everything worked absolutely perfectly.

This is the first RPG (or any game for that matter) I've completed on the Apple II, and it was a pleasure! Disk loading is soooo much quicker than the C64 (even with JiffyDOS installed). I'm thinking of playing either Shard of Spring or Deathlord next on the Apple II.

I've become a huge fan of the humble Apple II now! This thing seems like it was born to play RPGs on haha. I'd love to get a IIe with Mockingboard, etc. some day, but I think getting any kind of deal is impossible now. There are a couple sitting on Yahoo Auctions now, one listed as "junk" (for equivalent of 400 USD) and another listed as working perfectly with a disk unit for around 500. I'll just stick with my IIc I guess!

Reply 3515 of 4034, by BitWrangler

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clueless1 wrote on 2021-11-15, 00:28:
badmojo wrote on 2021-11-15, 00:21:

That looks pretty good - I love a golf game too, they're very mindful and cathartic I find.

Links 386 Pro is my go-to, the next in the series from yours I think.

I was a big Links 386, then Links LS player back in the day. At one point I was in the top 10 in the world (at least according to the main online platform at the time). I have both installed on my P200 system and occasionally drop in for a few holes. I competed in some of the Ryder Cups that boasted the best online players in the world. That was a long time ago!

Well that sucks that your glory days were before e-sports were big, not even a motherboard, GPU or mouse named after you. 🤣 I think I remember buzz about online tourneys on compuserve mid 90s, was only on there briefly though using up free trials.

When I picked up the CD in store, I thought then it was maybe a successor to Links386 because for one it was on a CD and secondly looked decent quality print and not faded so thought it was mid-late 90s, only when I got home I realised it said it was produced 1991 in the small print I realised it was the predecessor, derp. Kind of amazed it was on CD.... there's only 3MB of data on the thing though, I had visions of it being packed with dozens of courses.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 3516 of 4034, by RandomStranger

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-11-06, 16:33:

I started Fallout on Windows 98 SE. Somehow feels more satisfying than playing it on Steam or GoG (though I leave the steam version running just to log the length of my playthrough).

And it is done in 26.3 hours.

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Reply 3517 of 4034, by Joseph_Joestar

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I think I'm about half way through Deus Ex. The graphics are the only aspect of this game that feels dated. Everything else is either on pair or better than what you'd find in current day AAA games. For people who haven't played this, be sure to stay with the game past the first level. It really opens up once you get to Hell's Kitchen and start interacting with NPCs.

Having so many choices on how to achieve your goals feels incredible. I'm playing a stealthy melee character and mostly use non-lethal means to deal with enemies. But it's refreshing that you can just pick up a rocket launcher and go to town on some giant robot when the situation demands it.

I don't really have anything bad to say about the game except this. Whoever on the dev team decided to add seizure-inducing flickering lights was an utter idiot. The most egregious example of this can be found in the elevator shaft of the 'Ton hotel. I had to temporarily disable shadows in order to move through that area. The entire goddamn screen was flickering otherwise.

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Reply 3518 of 4034, by BetaC

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As can be expected given the impending new release, I have been playing through the Halo series again, going through the PC port of the Master Chief Collection.

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Reply 3519 of 4034, by appiah4

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BetaC wrote on 2021-11-16, 08:56:

As can be expected given the impending new release, I have been playing through the Halo series again, going through the PC port of the Master Chief Collection.

I can't believe I don't own this yet, if only to play through Halo Reach and 4 (which I haven't played yet..)

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