No, I have not played C&C4 yet, though I will soon.
And no, this is not a post analysing in detail the gameplay, estetics, production quality, storyline, etc of the various C&C incarnations and how they have gone to shit since EA toolk over Westwood and then abolished it.
Instead, I am going to simply demonstrate something that very nearly and very completely encapsulates the difference between C&C during Westwood en C&C during EA.
The Installation of the game.
See here first of all, the DOS installer for C&C1
Then see here the DOS installer for Red Alert 1
Now lets look at what we get with C&C3 installer:
Its not even in English, i dont even get to choose the language.
EA, FUCK. YOU.
Well, suffice to say, I managed to fix the problem just a day after my last post. It was Dalrain that suggested the awnser, and after looking up the correct timings from my ram, the instability issues instantly vanished.
So my mistake was assuming that the default settings of the mainboard, setting everything to auto, would be the most stable situation. As per usual, you need to know what you are doing first and not make any assumptions.
The Fluffgame PC is now back in its corner, and the passively cooled GT9800 that is on loan to me is still performing well.
I dropped by the shop to see if they had gotten a replacement in for my 295GTX, but they didn’t have it yet. Its very hard to come by.
What really irks me is that I know that the card was perfectly fine now. So my own stupidity has caused me to go without the best possible graphics experience I could have had.
Its especially sour because I have no finished Mass Effect, with graphics quality less than it could have been, and am now stuck into ARMA II, which really taxes the grahpics card with its wonderfull outdoor scenerey and highly detailed balistics effects.
Mass Effect was AWESOME by the way, I mean really friggin awesome. One of the best games I have played in years. The storyline was so good, and the way the action was direction, and the final cutscene and choices where supurply done. I may replay it but not soon. Mass Effect 2 is on the way anyhow 😉
ARMA II is the third game by Bohemia Interactive in what was originally their “Operation Flashpoint” line of games. As per usual the engine is amazingly realistic, and the game works and feels identical to its predecessors. Some people hate the realistically “sluggish” feel of moving around. The engine isn’t as “tight” as a typical FPS, and takes getting used to if you havent played a Bohemia game before
What I friggin LOVE about their games though, is the sense of complete realism these games provide, and the atmosphere is amazing. If you have ever taken a long walk in the countryside, you know the feeling you get. Its quiet and pastoral, you hear the birds in the trees and the rusling of the treest and grass in the wind, Its calm and tranquil, only broken by the occasional car going by on small narrow roads. Rolling hills with forrests on the horizon, birds and insects around.
Get the picture? Good, now imagine 4 M1A2 Battle tanks roaring across that same hill, startling cattle as the come over the horizon. You can actually hear them a lot sooner than you see them crashing through the trees and bushes. In the very far off distance, you can hear gunfire and shelling.
The soundscape of ARMA II is the single most impressive thing, that contributes to the realism. I use my G35 serround sound headphones to get a full experience and its so damnimpressive.
Yesterday saw the arrival of my long awaited Logitech G35 Headset.
(click here if you cant see the video above)
I am quite happy with it. I have only tried 1 game with it so far, but the spacial 7.1 sound is good. Later today I will give some DVD’s a try. The most impressive is the overal quality for music. The base is very good and the sound seperation is excellent. I can hear detail in my favorite songs I never noticed before.
Also in the gadget department, is the most awesome Android app I have found so far:
(click here if you cant see the video above)
Last weeks news that Microsoft had fired the entire MS Flight Sim development team, came as a shock to the entire Simulation community.Here is the staple Flight sim, one of Microsofts most succesfull products, and they decide to get rid of it. The sense of this has many analysts scratching their heads.
It does, however, present an interesting prospect. It means that for the next 3-4 years at least, the community and third-party products around MS Flight Sim will stabilize. That means that right now is a good time to go buy the last MS Flight sim product, FSX (Flight Simulator 10 )
Third-party add-on producers will be churning out a lot of products, now that they know the platform will not change for next few years.
I recently lamented what I perceived as the death of realistic combat flight sims, as I hardly ever heard mention of them in the mainstream gaming press.
I needed to look a little harder though, because as it turns out, there are in fact a LOT of products on the market right now, and more coming out in 2009. They are just not getting on the radar of the mainstream gaming press, and dont even seek to. They cater, as always to the nich market of sim enthusiasts.
Even a quick glance at a site such as SimHQ, shows that the market is, in fact, alive and well.
SimHQ RSS Feeds
I am slowly adding in some RSS feeds of Sim sites to my Google Reader (check the combined feed out here
I noticed that SimHQ’s mainpage doesnt provide any RSS feeds, so I made my owning using Feed43.
These feeds are very ugly screen scrapes, so don’t be surprised if they are buggy. The feeds only contain a title and the link, and its not always obvious what the content is about specifically.
DCS: Black Shark
Today I saw another thing that got me very interested.
It seems the DCS, the Russian-based company behind the very excellent Lock-On Modern Air Combat, have just released “Black Shack”, the first part of what they are calling their “Digital Combat Simulator”, a platform that they will be releasing more add-on products for in future.
The “Black Shark” is the Nato codename for the Kamov Ka-50 gunship
Fully interactive and highly realistic cockpit, super realistic flight model and avionics, see this page for details
In other words, there is a good chance that at some point in the next year, I will go out and get myself one of those Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS sets, and dig right back into these sims!
In the runup to CES, Logitech just announced a new G-series keyboard the G19, and other goodies. I am not looking forward to this one as much as the G13 and I wont be replacing my G15 anytime soon, but its still really sexy. The color LCD screen is sweet, opens up new avenues for game info and other apps.
They also announced a new variation on the G9, he G9x
Also new is the G35 headset. It offers virtual 7.1 surround field and lots of cool buttons! My main question is alwways how comfortable they are with prolonged use. Read more at Ubergizmo
You know I still havent seen the G13 in any shops here in the Netherlands yet!
So, to play GTAIV I had to sign up to an xbox live account, as part of the game being “Games for Windows” enabled.
I don’t actually have an xbox, but whatever.
Here is my xbox live gamer tag:
Put your gamertag here too.
GTAIV is amazing by the way. I especially love the acting and storyline. The writers for these games are gods.
Expect some video and stuff soon.