A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Game Collection: Bill Gates Sees a Window and He Wants to Make it Suck

Ahh yes.  After DOS.  The days of Windows.  The somewhat backwards compatible OS most of us endure.  While never very good it tends to have a lot more compatibility and popularity than OSX on Macs do.  (BITE ME 10.7)

I didn't get Windows 95 (Let's face it.  Very few people gamed or did anything outside of business stuff with 3.1.  Unless Solitaire counts.) till my Pentium Pro 150 bought in late Winter 97.

By that point very few PC games at all were DOS only outside of budget rereleases.  Even the big hits were dual format by then.  So I mostly got on Windows 95 at the right time.  While I would have DOS support via dual boot options for the short term, long term DOSBox would arrive in the early 00s and give all my older games a second lease on life.

Windows 95 began the online era effectively as well.  Microsoft saw the future and coded (sort of) for it.

And here is my collection of games covering Windows 95, 98, XP, and 7.  (I skipped ME, Vista, and 8.  Windows is sort of like Star Trek movies.  Many are ok but some are downright AWFUL.)

Now of course because of the eras of Windows there are some incompatibilities even within modern Windows (and more during the shift to 64 bit versions) so what is sad is I can play more of my DOS collection right now than Windows!

(For those who forgot or haven't seen, the previous PC games collection posts:
There.  Enjoy.  Now come back.)

But let's start with the 9x era.  Mostly in the age of large cardboard boxes I was a big stupid and threw away.
 The Activision Packs were early retro collection disks.  My PSP and PS2 Activision packages gave you a lot more games for your money.  But these came out years before.  The C64 pack never appeared elsewhere though many of the games one would want from Activision on the 64 are not on here. (Licensed titles like Ghostbusters, Aliens, and Transformers.  The 2600 ports that were superior on the 8 bit micros.  Great job Kotick.)  Age of Empires 2 and its expansion are still one of my favorite RTS games.  Beast Wars was a VERY flawed action game based on the Transformers show running at the time.  The Japanese language tutor I still haven't even tried.  Just like Betrayal at Antara, the sequel to Betrayal at Krondor.  (Without the Riftwar license.)  Chessmaster 9000 is a Chess program.  From a venerable franchise.

Civilization 2 Gold is the best and most complete version of that legendary strategy game.  And the best version.  Command & Conquer Red Alert is still my favorite RTS.  Descent 3 is a great 1st person action flight game.  Dune 2000 is an ok update to Dune 2.  Never even tried Dronez.  Diablo was the action RPG that really made that genre take off.  Dungeon Keeper 2 is the fun RTS base building game.

 The original manuals to Fallout 1 and 2, plus the RPG's Tactical semi sequel.. Tactics.  The Space Flight simulator Freespace and its sequel.  The funny action game Giants, and of course the legendary FPS Half Life.

 Half Life's superior mission pack, Opposing Force (made by the now reviled Gearbox), the interesting 3d Space RTS Homeworld, the flight sim Jane's USAF I haven't messed with, and an Intellivision collection that again has been replaced by more comprehensive collections on consoles & portables.  (Until they all realized they could sell one game for 5-10 dollars as opposed to 20 odd games for 20.  And not even have to press disks!)  Missionforce Cyberstorm was an ok turn based Mech wargame.  Myth 2 is an RTS game I haven't had time to mess with.  I mostly bought it back when I was trying to get a Mac games collection going when I foolishly thought I was gonna be a turtleneck wearing hipster computer user forever.  Luckily it is dual format.

 Need for Speed High Stakes is a fun racing game one of my Voodoo cards game packed with.  Rollercoaster Tycoon is like Theme Park only with massive Coaster making.  Its surprisingly addictive.  The two Star Wars things are basically what we get on Special Features for our expensive Blu Rays and DVDs.

 Jedi Knight is the legendary FPS sequel to Dark Forces.  Rogue Squadron is the action flight game.  TIE Fighter and X Wing Alliance are Spaceflight sims.  System Shock 2 is an amazing FPS/RPG hybrid.  Thief is basically the same concepts as System Shock but instead of Sci Fi, its Fantasy and more like playing a FPS where you are a D&D Thief class.  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is the excellent Extreme Sports action game.

 Unreal is the stupidly overhyped FPS that was supposed to be a Quake 2 killer and merely heralded the stupid design decisions Doom 3 would use.  Virtual Pool 2 is a 3d Pool simulator with amazing for the time physics modelling.  Warlords 3 Darklords Rising is the sequel to one of my favorite games (Warlords 2).  Sadly it makes the whole thing a bit too complicated.  And it doesn't like Windows XP-7.  War Wind was SSI's attempt at countering Warcraft 2.  It never got much notice.

Worms Armageddon is the excellent installment of the Worms franchise.  An action turn based enhancement of the old Artillery Duel game.  X Com Apocalypse was the disappointing sequel to the traditional X Com in DOS.

Luckily I did keep a few games from this era in their boxes, or they were other odd format boxes from the later days.  Here they are.  (And two games I hastily added because they weren't properly put in with their ilk.)

 Wizardry 8 was the interesting but flawed final US/Canada made RPG in that classic series.  Wing Commander Prophecy too was the last of it's franchise as we know it.  Batman Arkham City and Doom 3 are Windows 7 era DVD case games that I mentioned should have been above.  We will see Arkham City again in a future project.  Also I need to play it and its predecessor which I have for the PS3.  I have mentioned Doom 3 above as well with its stupid monster closets taken from Unreal.  And its silly light system which this edition apparently fixes.)

 Morrowind is the FPS RPG I couldn't get into but upgraded my videocard to play.  Interstate 76 is kind of like Mechwarrior 2 but with cars in an alternate 1970s and I need to give some time to.  Links LS 1998 is a golf sim that gets replaced in a couple years.  (But I can transfer some of the courses over so cool.)  The Movie Collection I only bought for the Star Wars game (haven't even played the first two) which is the Star Wars universe in the Age of Empires 2 game engine.  SWEET.  Longbow is sadly a limited version of the full game (SPECIAL EDITION MY ASS) and again not a replacement for Gunship on the Commodore 64.  Which is one of my two favorite Flight Sims.

Starcraft Battle Chest is the complete collection of Korea's favorite game.  I do not care for it at all.  Voyager Elite Force is an excellent FPS taking place during a bad TV show.  X Wing vs TIE Fighter and its expansion were more Spaceflight Sims except with a more multiplayer bent.  In a day before that had caught on.  And Warcraft Battle Chest is the RTS I played through mostly because the story was cool as hell.  And I am not a big RTS guy.

 These are most of the pack in CDs from the first run of Retro Gamer, a UK magazine about old gaming I will cover in depth another time.  (I found another disk or two after the photo was taken.)  While a lot of this is freeware stuff, plenty of it is like giving me legal copies of many classic retro UK games.

And keeping in that theme, we get to my CD Case Only titles.  Mostly 9x compatible games or early XP releases put into jewel cases and sold in the ghetto racks section of Staples, Target, and Wal Mart.  (Though these days it's 90% HIDDEN PICTURE crap.)  

 Civil War is a massive scope turn based game covering the entire war while Gettysburg is more a proper light turn based hex wargame.  Capcom Arcade Hits is another of those things replaced by PS2 era collections.  The Computer Gaming World disk is a HEY FREE GAMES thing.  Just click for big and look. Gives me Thief 2 legit.  Disciples 3 Gold is a turn based wargame/kingdom sim just like Heroes of Might & Magic 3 complete there.  And Heroes 5's Orc standalone.  Divine Divinity is a Diablo like Action RPG.  Dungeon Lords is a real time RPG I haven't even tried yet.  Fritz Chess is another Chess game.  The two Microsoft Flight Simulators are what they say, but hurt due to the poor tutorials of the original era and these jewel cases not having big manuals I could read.  Pinball Arcade is a prototype of the modern Pinball sim.  This does a fantastic job for its time, but many of the tables are pre 1970s and are more of historical interest than something to play for pure fun.

Septerra Core/Shogo was a neat dual pack.  Septerra is a western made JRPG, and Shogo is an FPS where you have Mech segments.  Silent Storm is a Tactics styled RPG possibly hindered by the vile Starforce Copy Protection.  Sim City 4 is that City Sim game I haven't played since the SNES Sim City is still my favorite.  Super Frog I honestly thought was a different game of the same name that was famous on the Amiga.  (And now semi infamous for having a dirty furry making the opening cinema.)  Oh well, I can get the game I wanted from Good Old Games, or wait for the remake in progress.  The two Star Wars games are FPS titles but Republic Commando hates both Windows XP AND 7.  Which is a shame because the demo on the original X Box was rad.  Was only 2.50 at Toys R Us though.  X3 is an Elite like space fighting/exploration/trading sim game I also need to actually try.

Now we come to the XP era or late 98.  See consoles were beginning to completely dominate and the PC games manufacturers thought one of the problems were the differently sized game boxes and most of the game boxes being stupidly large.    Games that sell to a smaller market in larger boxes taking up more shelf space?  NO SIR.  So... the industry decided to come up with a roughly standard sized box.  It lasted a few years but PC shelf space continued shrinking.  And the boxes were still twice as thick (if not more) than console games.

 Arcanum is the buggy but interesting Steampunk RPG.  Atari Anniversary is another of those retro collections I keep buying and getting replaced by easier to use and more game laden console collections.  Civilization 3 Complete is like Civ 2 Gold.  Only not as good IMHO.  Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 is Red Alert's sequel.  Meaning the spinoff series now has its own sequels.  Good though.  Defender of the Crown is a TERRIBLE remake of the Amiga/C64 classic.  Deus Ex is a well regarded FPS RPG.  Diablo 2 and its' expansion are the sequel to Diablo that is better in some ways and worse in others.  Dungeon Siege is a mediocre Action RPG like Diablo but with a party AI so good you don't have to really DO anything.  I bought it as it was to be used for some Ultima fan projects.  Which took many many years past the game's release.  Ooops!

Freedom Force and the sequel are nifty Real Time RPGs that are also probably the only good comic book styled RPGs period with a heavy Jack Kirby influence.  I need to go through all of the sequel eventually.  Freelancer was a disappointing Elite styled game.  Galactic Civilizations 1-2 were disappointing Master of Orion 4X games.  Without the awesome spaceship combat.  And the fact the company behind it is run by a foul and terrible man.  Konami Collector's series is the NES ports of my favorite two NES franchises.  And it was only 10 dollars.  Rad.  Laser Squad Nemesis was a weird X Com like game by the same original creators only sort of real time and multiplayer focused without the base building.  Links 2003 is the last of that legendary series on the PC and probably the best Golf game ever made.  Massive Assault is a great Turn Based Wargame.  Until it inevitably locks up and crashes.  Starfleet Command 3 is a dumbed down sequel to the first 3 now taking place in the Next Generation era without all of the Starfleet Universe races.  So.. less ships with less complexity.  Eh.  Not awful but.. not the way that series should have ended.\

Battlefront is the Star Wars equivalent to the Battlefield franchise team FPS series where you can climb into vehicles and stuff.  Bridge Commander is sort of a Star Trek Next Generation simulator where you get to put your Picard on.  I couldn't get into it.  Taito Legends is an awesome collection of Taito arcade games.  EXCEPT WHERE IS ARKANOID?  Titans of Steel is a TERRIBLE turn based Mech Wargame.  Trackmania is a cool as hell Racer/Puzzle Game/Construction Set hampered by having Starforce.  Ultimate Battle Pack I bought for the Apache game.  Like every other Flight Sim collection the lack of a proper physical manual KILLS IT.  No idea what the other two games even are.

And we end in the modern era but not counting Steam or Good Old Games digital downloads.  The DVD case has won out.  Its the size and format most physical media comes in nowadays.  While some disks have thicker boxes for multidisk titles, and a PSP case is taller than a 3DS, they are all basically designed to fit on the same media storage racks.

(Two different media racks.  Note how Blu Ray, Wii, 360, PSP, PS3, and DS games all fit together pretty well?  Standardization son!)

It is in this time that the twilight of the PC as a product to buy retail games is in.  The PC is awesome and loved but.. it keeps getting shoved aside for more Brogamers playing COWADOOTY and giving each other handjobs hi fives when they get a sweet headshot.

 Angry Birds Star Wars I haven't played yet but its that casual game everyone talks about but Star Warsed up!  Battle Academy is an excellent turn based wargame hampered by the Battle of Bulge campaign being impossible.  Best of Games RPG is a collection of a lot of mostly unknown Eastern European RPG and Adventure games.  Disciples 3 is the sequel to Disciples 2 up above.  Elven Legacy is a turn based game of some sort I got cheap.  Eschalon Book 2 is the somewhat flawed turn based RPG sequel to the first one I never got.  I finished this one on the Mac but.. you have to be VERY careful with how you build your character otherwise the game will become unwinnable.  Fallout Trilogy is the collected version of the original 3 Fallouts I got super cheap and now won't have to worry about finding patches.  Fallout New Vegas is the first game here where it is more or less a Steam game in a box.  But it is the second 3d FPS Fallout and the superior one.  King's Bounty Armored Princess is another Heroes of Might & Magic like game.  And its awesome even if your heroine needs more clothes.  (Her Mage class outfit is.. err..)  Lego Indiana Jones 2 I haven't played at all but its another silly fun Lego action game where you solve simple puzzles and laugh at the loving jokes at the source material they mock.  Got it super cheap.

 Lock On is another Flight Sim that probably should have had a manual printed with it and may have Starforce.  Memento Mori is an Adventue game I mostly bought because cheap and the lead heroine looks pretty and isn't dressed like a sex fantasy.  Sam & Max is the collected series of formerly downloadable Adventure game installment Adventure games.  Solace is basically Axis & Allies: Fantasy Edition which makes it good as it can be balanced and doesn't have to worry about historical accuracy.  Sin Episode 1 is a FPS on Steam using the Half Life 2 engine (and including the original cruddy Sin) that never got it's whole story finished.  It was the first Steam required game I bought.  TMNT is a Brawler I got free with the Movie DVD of the same name, and Transformers War for Cybertron is a 3rd person Action Game/Shooter I really should just restart one day.

Witcher 1 and 2 are action RPGs where your choices matter.  I bought them both super cheap and in later editions as shown where some flaws were fixed.  The problem is the main character is basically a grimdark Fantasy World James Bond.  And seems to use women in the same way.  Whenever I get to them hopefully I can choose to not play a misogynist bastard.  X Com Enemy Unknown is the true GOOD sequel to the original X Com.  In fact its BETTER.  Fixes all the flaws while still having hardcore options for the loonies.

And there we have it!  All of my PC games.  Between this, the Hobby Games Gone Computer, Id Software,  MMOs, and the DOS installment you can see my massive collection of PC games acquired since I got Frankenstein the Tandy 486 back in 1993.  

So many games.  Many I never played at all, sometimes only a little, a few completed entirely, others absolutely exhausted in time played, others about halfway and never returned, and many I would love to play but incompatibilities have harmed and going through VOGONS ( http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7mpMtJVRmxwA4ilXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1cGJjOWFlBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA01TWTAxMV8xMTM-/SIG=11gphddos/EXP=1368794316/**http%3a//vogons.zetafleet.com/ )  to find possible fixes is like pulling teeth.

But..  in spite of all the effort, all the money, all the lack of passion and social support console gaming gets from people (and support in general from retailers) it is honestly worth it.

Computers and playing games on them just.. CLICK with me.  While there are many console games I absolutely adore, gaming on a home computer is always the tops with me!


imredave said...

Actually in my neck of the woods the Amiga was kicking windows backside as a gaming computer until the introduction of DOOM and Duke Nuke'm in about 1995.

Captain Rufus said...

Here in North America the Amiga barely existed. Most people didn't even know what one was.

Arquinsiel said...

I played Monkey Island and all the other Lucasarts greats on my Win 3.11 box. Sure, it was natively handing DOS emulaton, but that totally counts.


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