Yesterday a few “very important” things happened.
- I picked up the game X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter at the fleamarket in Sittard.
- I picked up the game Total Annihilation at the same fleamarkter.
- I replaced the SB PCI 128 in Stoomketel with a SB-Live! Value
Take the games X-Wing and TIE Fighter from Lucasarts, mold them together, add multiplayer and you get X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, the classic great spacesim from Lucasarts based on the famous Starwars franchise. What I didn’t realise though is that this game requires a joystick. They also had a Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback stick standing there on the fleamarket, but I thought: I won’t use a joystick anyway, why bother? On second thought I should have taken it… Anyway, I still have a Logitech Wingman Extreme Digital lying around, but it’s busted, it will always tilt to the left (can’t calibrate it) and it doesn’t respond when you pull the stick back. Because the stick has 3 axis and each axis has 2 contact points on the print inside the stick it’s probably one or more of these contact points that’s causing the trouble. So I’m going to open it up and see what can be done to make it work again, maybe some contact-spray will do the trick.
Total Annihilation is a RTS (Real Time Strategy) game which features about the most controllable units in one game ever seen. 150 total. You can either play as the ARM or CORE, both featuring a sh*tload of units which all have their own unique look. The game looks very good for it’s time and is completely 3D. Allthough the 3D doesn’t look all that convincing in this game, because of the fact that the camera is positioned at 90 degrees above the battlefield. So the game actually feels very 2D, but from the movement of the units over the terrain you can still tell that it is actually 3D.
The game starts out pretty simple and basic, so you can easely get to know the how the game feels and how it plays, this is a neccesary option, because the amount of units can be quite confusing when you’re playing it for the first time.
The only thing I can complain about with this game is that the units have no spoken acknowledgements and those robotic hums can become pretty annoying over time, but that is only one minor thing and can be disabled anyway.
All in all, this is a great game, especially for fans of the RTS genre.
SB-Live! Value > SB PCI 128
That the SB-Live! Value is better than the SB PCI 128 has several reasons:
- Superior sound quality
- DOS drivers
- Subwoofer support
- 4.1 surround support
- SB 16/SB Pro/SB Pro 2 compatible
Especially the DOS drivers and the SB 16/SB Pro/SB Pro 2 compatibility are of interest to me. I installed that pc with Windows 98 to be able to use it for old games and since I have quite a lot of DOS games I wouldn’t get any sound with that SB PCI 128 because of the lack of drivers and the lack of SB 16/SB Pro/SB Pro 2 compatibility also caused a lot of trouble with some Windows based games.
I already tested the SB Live! Value with the old DOS game Dune, from Cryo Interactive and it’s working perfectly. I always loved that game, but even in the 13 years that I have owned this game I have never even finished it, how’s that? I think it’s really bad and I should do something about it and that is exactly what I will be doing.
For the people who are wondering, I have the enhanced cd-rom version from 1993, the original floppy version is a bit older and doesn’t feature any sound for as far as I know, I could be wrong though, I have played that version only once and it didn’t have any sound, or the sound wasn’t working. It wasn’t on my pc, so I don’t know that. But the enhanced cd-rom version features sound effects, background music, some neat voiceovers and even some FMVs (Full Motion Videos). So you can figure that that version is quite a bit better than the original.
…End of line.