Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Tomb Raider II Gold for the GOG.com Release

November 3, 2012

Several months ago, the first three Tomb Raider games were released on GOG.com. Usually, their releases feature all expansion packs and DLC. However, this was not the case with Tomb Raider. The first three Tomb Raider games had mini expansion packs that were, of course, only available on the PC. The first two Tomb Raider games were rereleased as Tomb Raider [I/II] Gold, and included their expansions: Unfinished Business for Tomb Raider I, and The Golden Mask for Tomb Raider II. It was also released on the Internet for free for the then current owners of the two games. Tomb Raider III, on the other hand, did not feature a free expansion. It was a standalone expansion pack (The Lost Artifact) that was sold in stores.

 

While, I can (sort of) see the lack of The Lost Artifact in the GOG release, due to perhaps licensing issues, I can’t see it for Unfinished Business or The Golden Mask, as they were released for free. Thankfully, there is a way to play Unfinished Business with your GOG copy, which also features the PlayStation soundtrack (it was never included with any PC version, for some odd reason). I’ve never found a way to fully play The Golden Mask with the GOG release. There is a “glitch” that involves installing the demo version of Tomb Raider II and then installing The Golden Mask, but it doesn’t feature the soundtrack. My goal is to find a way to play The Golden Mask with the GOG release and the full soundtrack. And I believe that I have achieved that goal.

 

First, you will need the following:

 

 

As soon as you have the above, you should create a folder on your desktop. I used “TR2Gold”. After that, I then copied the installed GOG release of Tomb Raider II to that folder. Then, I deleted the contents of the “data” folder in the copy of the of the game that I copied to the “TR2Gold” folder and deleted “tombpc.dat” that resides in the main folder. All of the assets for Tomb Raider II were deleted, including tombpc.dat, which is the main script for “tomb2.exe”.

 

Now, you should install the standalone copy of Golden Mask. As soon as it is installed, you should copy over the contents of the data folder to the data folder in “TR2Gold”. Then, copy tombpc.dat in the data folder to the main folder. If you wish, you can delete the “savegame” files in this folder since they will only work in the main game. Finally, run Tomb2.exe. There it is: Tomb Raider II Gold in all its beauty, soundtrack included. No CD required.

 

NOTE: I have yet to play the entirety of Tomb Raider II Gold, so I do not know if there are any severe bugs. I doubt it, though.

Call of Duty 4, We Hardly Knew You

April 8, 2012

Call of Duty 4 was released in November of 2007, which in PC gaming terms (should, in today’s world) is not that long ago. I mean, look at Counter-Strike. That game has been out since the beginning of time and it’s still one of the top games on Steam (4/8/12: The top played game on Steam). I can still find decent servers for that game. Why not for CoD4? Why is it that the CoD4 server browser seems to be filled with “64 PLAYER 24/7 BROADCAST!!!”? Why is it that there aren’t any servers with a sane player count and a variety of game modes and maps? Why? Why, indeed. What makes it even worse is the fact that the console version is broken to hell and back with those hacks and cheats that I hear so much about. That cannot be fixed, but the issues with the PC version can easily be fixed.

I’m Racist? Really?

January 15, 2011

When you play a game online, communication is key. A crappy team with communication will for the most part win over a good team without communication. But what happens when you’re in a game where people are communicating, but in a different language? What happens when they lag so bad, that other players feel like they’re lagging? I was playing a game today where all that was happening and I pointed this out. Another player called me a “racist”.

Is it racism when you want to play a game where communication and lag can make or break a game?

Valve, You’re Losing Your Touch

October 30, 2010

The latest Team Fortress 2 updates¬† have (in my opinion) practically destroyed the game. Micro-transactions. New items that don’t fit with the art style. Its turned into an entirely different game than the one I purchased several years ago. Hell, everything up to the War! update (December 2009) was great. Even the Engineer update was pretty good. But everything after that went down hill.

Micro-transactions are quite possibly the worst idea to grace video gaming. Originally, they said the micro-transactions would be cheap. Cents. Maybe a dollar or two. That was an idea I could go along with. Cheap items to customize your game play (but not let you have a have an advantage over other players). The Team Fortress 2 micro-transaction system (the “Mann Co. store”) is not cheap. The game itself cost $20 when I bought it (standalone retail release in April 2008). As I write this post, it is currently 50% off, going for $9.99. The Orange Box (which included Team Fortress 2, Portal, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episode One and Half-Life 2 Episode Two) cost $50, when released in October of 2007. Look through the screenshots below to see how much some items cost. It’s amazing, actually, that people purchase these “items”. And, some of these items have bonuses when purchased through a bundle. Valve said that items for purchase can also be dropped using the item-drop system. From what I can tell, some items are only available for purchase.

Valve, I don’t want to think this, but you’re turning into Activision or EA. That’s something I thought would never happen. But I was naive. In the end, everyone sells out.

Why Dice, Why!?

July 2, 2010

I love the Battlefield series. I can honestly say that a good portion of my most epic moments in gaming came from that series. Jets. Helicopters. Tanks. Jeeps. You name it. I’ve piloted one (in game, at least) and I’ve killed (again, in game) lots. I buy every new Battlefield game for the PC. And every Battlefield game is buggy. Not a little buggy, but very buggy. From extremely crappy server browsers to the menu that takes 10(+) seconds to load. And yet I put up with it. Why? Because as soon as I’m in game I have as much fun as anyone could possibly have while blowing shit up.

But with the latest game (Bad Company 2), I really can’t say the same. The server browser is downright horrible (the latency doesn’t even show up correctly). The buggy quirks annoyed me. It was like every other DICE game; the game is great except for those little things. And a lot of those little things make a big thing. After the Modern Warfare 2 (I’m sorry but MW2 was and always will be Mech Warrior 2) dedicated server, or lack of, fiasco, DICE promised that BC2 would feature dedicated servers. And they were right.. well somewhat. The game does indeed have dedicated servers. But they’re not servers that I could run in my basement. I have to rent a server from an “authorized provider”.¬† With BF2, there were ranked (rented) servers, that would allow unlocks and unranked servers that wouldn’t allow unlocks, but anyone could run. Why isn’t there an option for that in Bad Company 2? I would like to be able to practice flying the different helicopters offline, but with this I can’t. Why don’t you allow for unranked servers?

Steam, Steam, Forget What I Said, I Love you Afterall

May 12, 2010

After hearing about Valve porting Steam (and all of their games, including Half-Life [1]) to OS X, I thought that they would port it to Linux. Linux is more similar to OS X than to Windows, after all. And they did port Source to Open GL. So why not do a little more work and open up to a new market: Linux gamers. So when I open Slashdot today and see that they are indeed planning to port Steam (and their games) to Linux, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not to mention that Portal is free until the 24th for Windows and Mac users (and presumably Linux users too, after they release Steam for Linux and it’s advertising for Portal 2, but what the hell).

Steam, forget all that I’ve said. I might dislike some of the things about Steam, but then Valve goes and does this. This outweighs the bad.

All I Can Say is “Ha ha ha”

March 7, 2010

Yes, I know I’ve been quiet for the past few months, but there are something that I just have to discuss. One of those being Ubisoft’s new DRM system for Assassins Creed 2. In case you don’t know, the DRM system in AC2 requires an active Internet connection at all times during the game. If you somehow get disconnected (perhaps on your end, perhaps on their end), you get kicked out of the game and you have to restart from your last checkpoint. And you know what? Their little system is down.

Yes, that game that you payed for, err I mean “licensed” (for $60, that is!) can no longer be played by you! Isn’t DRM grand? Well, at least this time a LOT of people are angry about this, “corporate apologists” and all. Maybe this will be the “catalyst” that will start the removal of DRM. Perhaps.

Yet Another Steam Blog Post

February 3, 2010

After reading the comments of the people on the forum, I feel I must respond: Steam is probably one of the “better” DRM schemes out there, but as with pretty much everyone else, I would prefer no DRM at all. Compared to StarForce (the DRM technology that destroyed an optical drive of mine), it’s wonderful. The “Steam Community” is an excellent feature. My primary complaint is the lack of resale/giving games you don’t use anymore to a friend. Let’s say I bought a game on Steam, and I thought it flat out sucked. I should be able to “de-activate” it from my account and authorize access to another Steam user. I belive very much in the first-sale doctrine (a US law, for those Australian readers, as I’m based in the US). Hell, don’t even allow resale, just let me give a game I don’t like to another Steam user.

Overall I don’t really hate Steam. Some of the bugs annoy me, yes. And I will admit that I really dislike the UI in the Steam app, but looking beneath the bugs, it’s not all that bad.

Come on, you can do better…

November 3, 2009

After seeing that Team Fortress 2 had an update I was excited. What could they have possibly added? Engineer update? Demoman update? My heart was pounding as I right clicked on “Team Fortress 2” in Steam, and hit “View Update News”. What was it? Something remotely exciting? No, not exactly. More like anger inducing.

TF2Anger“Added Bill’s Hat for players who pre-purchase Left 4 Dead 2“. I have not pre-purchased Left 4 Dead 2. I haven’t even played the original Left 4 Dead (which entails an entirely other story). Yet, those of us who purchase Team Fortress 2 are left out. I had very hope that they release Bill’s Hat for all players after Left 4 Dead 2 is release, or… well, we won’t get into that now.

Interstate ’76 And the Nitro Pack

February 1, 2009

Anyone remember Interstate ’76 and the Nitro Pack they released? Well, I found the CDs today, along with the Interstate ’82 CD (which I never opened, because I heard it sucked). Last time I played it was in 2005 on Windows XP, and it installed perfectly, but when I tried to install it this time, I had to resort to some hacking, plus at that time I used 1024×768, but today I use 1440×900. And… it can only go up to 1024×768 in software mode and 640×480 in D3D mode (which ain’t special, to say the least). Anyone have it, and want to play against me? And, did anyone ever play I ’82? Did it suck? Should I give the game away? Should I just play it?