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One hardcore classic and one sequel to a hardcore classic coming right up! I've finally managed to get a hold of the 15th Anniversary edition of Another World, which is by no means a new title, and I got a copy of the new addition to the Simon the Sorcerer series, Simon the Sorcerer 4: Chaos Happens.


It's been a few months since I obtained these items, but I just didn't bother to post anything about them. I guess now the time is as good as ever. First one up, Simon.


Since I'm currently in the process of playing through some other games, including Dragon Quest VIII, I didn't spend much time with this title, except for trying it out. It looks and sounds pretty nice. Pre-rendered 3D backdrops and fully 3D characters compose together quite nicely. It's nothing new and it works.


There's one minor detail that bugs me though. The game is protected using the infamous StarForce. If you're not familiar with it, it's a security measure that's been applied to both the game files and the disc structure to make it impossible to make a working copy, and it works. The only problem is, the protection scheme of StarForce is so invasive, many have labeled it as malware.


StarForce is a protection of great complexity and it employs many debugging, disassembling and unpacking countermeasures. It also checks the disc structure before each game run to make sure the disc you are using is authentic.


To be able to operate, StarForce installs its own device driver. The problem is, it does so without ever informing the user about it, and that's not cool. And the trouble doesn't end there. The mentioned driver can be connected to reducing the stability of your system and degradation in performance of your CD drive. In other words, the protection screws with other software and hardware.


But hey, don't let StarForce get in your way of taking Simon the Sorcerer 4 for a spin. Luckily, the drivers can be removed after you're done with the protected game and you can rest assured that you'll be enjoying the title and your pirate ass friends will not.


Now, onto Another World 15th Anniversary Edition. This one has been out for quite some time, and I don't mean the title, I mean this particular edition. It's avalable from most of the major resellers, so if you want it, search your local Amazon store or just search for it. You should find it in no time.


So, what's so special about this edition? First of all, it comes in a nice box. You get some fine artwork and two discs. One contains the soundtrack, which is thirteen tracks and 22:56 minutes long [this won't be new to those, who own Heart of the Alien for the Mega CD] and the second contains the game itself.


The box also contains a nice postcard with great artwork by Eric Chahi depicting Lester sitting in front of his computer. More bonus features are contained on the game disc. These include a "The making of" feature, which, if you purchase the game in a country other than France, is hard subbed [and that sucks], and two *.pdf files. These two files are Developer Diaries [which features some nice concept artwork, early sketches and illustrations, aswell as the storyboards] and a scan of Chahi's notebook containing his own information on code and scripting.


The game itself features both high and low resolution graphics with either old or updated backgrounds. There is, of course, no censorship so all of the scenes are there, you will see blood, guts and gore, of which there are very little, but still, in some console ports few scenes went under the axe.


The game comes on a regular CD and is protected by SecuROM. This means you won't be able to play it if the CD is not present in the drive. I've actually created a small No-CD patch and if someone wants it, I could release it. All it does is allowing you to run the game you legally bought without the need of having it in the drive.


This little gem is certainly worth getting, especially if you're new to the title. There are many people out there who know it but haven't actually played it thruogh. Get it, play it, love it. This is one milestone of a game you don't want to miss. You get a nice edition, a great game and you gain a great experience. Surely you want to be able to say you've played Another World and mean it?

PR

I got inspired by this weekend's Quake II multiplayer session so I've decided to take on a game even older, but by no means forgotten. I've previously mentioned Doom: Legacy, so you might guess that Doom is the game I mean. This time no LAN, but proper online deathmatch. How do we achieve that? Simple. We install Skulltag.


Skulltag is a yet another Doom source port that improves the original game angine in a number of ways. Just as in Legacy, you're able to look around freely [in online multiplayer mode this must be allowed by the server], graphics are improved and so on. As you can see, I found a rather impressive number of active servers. Nevermind the latency, it got screwed up.


One important thing before you start killing off other players - you need to get yourself a proper map pack. Here I would strongly recommend "Crucified Dreams". Many servers use these maps, so you'll be all set to go. After that, it's ownage time. Beware, noobs.

It's monday again. Another week of boredom has just begun, you don't feel like working, you don't feel like getting up in the first place and there's not much to do. Being a good employee that I am, I tried running Doom II at work today. The Legacy port with network support to be exact. We couldn't get Warsow running on one of the computers, so my idea of playing a couple of quick deathmatches went to hell.


Fortunately, there's Legacy. If a custom modification of the Quake II engine is too much for your computer at work, try Legacy. It's hard to find a better deathmatch option with equally low system requirements. It's stable, it works, and it has it all. Jumping, freelook, teamplay ... What more could you ask for?


Oh, and since you can choose to run it through OpenGL, the pixels are gone. If you're a fan of the retro feel, you can run it in software mode though. Don't forget that Legacy, while being a source port of Doom, still requires the original WAD files.


It looks like Quake II is still going strong. After a long break from the multiplayer mode I've decided to give it a go once again. No matter what continent you're from, there are plenty of servers for everyone. It's not that hard to find opponents either. It's great to see that after ten long years there's still a moderate amount of interest in this title.


The screenshot above comes from the BOSS2 map. This scene can be found in a secret chamber that can only be reached either using the noclip command or "spectate" mode. In another section of this chamber photos of ID team can be found. The screenshot was taken while in Quake II - EGL. As usual, click to enlarge.


There's nothing like too much security to spoil your day. Aside from Quake II, I also tried to play some Warsow today and I've noticed that many servers use the BattleEye client to protect themselves from cheaters. That's fine, cheaters is the last ting we want, except that Warsow 0.32 no longer supports BattleEye, or to be exact, doesn't integrate it, which basically means that all new users can go fuck tehmselves if they encounter a BattleEye secured server.


To add some insult to the injury, BattleEye website has no info nor downloads concerning the issue. That's nice. While playing Q2 I was also required to instal the Anti Cheat AprQ2 by Maniac. The solution is not integrated into game code, so it works fine as far as I could tell. At least I haven't encountered any cheaters during my few hours of deathmatching.


Valve also provides their customers with server security called V.A.C. and everything would be nice and dandy, except every time I try to play Half-Life: Deathmatch, some assholes pop in, sniping your left eyeball while doing backflips and if you manage to somehow kill them, they respawn with a full array of weapons. V.A.C. secured my ass.
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