Author Topic: PC retro gaming  (Read 2244 times)

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Offline phinix

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PC retro gaming
« on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 03:03:57 »
Some of you, old gang, remember those amazing times when games pulled you to your beloved beige PCs and you could dive in their colorful, pixelised worlds.
I started my adventure in late 80s with my first computer, Commodore 128, then few years later, got my first PC, 386SX 40MHz.
Those were the times.
I feel that nowadays, games have lost something. Of course they look amazing, have huge stories, unbelievable graphics, sound etc
But I do not feel that, what I felt playing games back in 80-90s. Personally I compare it to same feeling that covers cinematography - moveis from those years had that something. Today you won't feel the same - I think its because most movies back then covered stories that we never seen before, they were new, amazing, shocking at times. Today we can say we've seen everything and another new movie just shows other way/angle of same story.
I feel the same with games. Of course there are few gems, that come up with something new, but this is very rare and designers need to really prepare and come up with fresh ideas to make us say WOW...
So I decided to play old games, again. Some of them will be played for 10th time, some only a second time.
Wanted to share this with you and hear what you guys think about these games, have you played them, do you come back to your favourite titles, do you collect games in those sweet big boxes? Share with us what you got there  :thumb:

First game to tell about would be ALone in The Dark.
I have played it not a long ago and have to say it was great to see it again. Being older by almost 30 years, it was not that scary anymore, but still showed some potential to tickle me that way :)





At few times I had to google some solutions for it, as I wasn't sure what to do - but that was alwyas a thing with those adventure games, one of my favourite genres. Same as this horror-adventure one, like for example point&click adventure games were my favourite ones.
Have you guys palyed it back in the days? Did you like it?
I noticed something new about it when played this year - it wasn't that long, it felt right, story was layed in time long enough to give me fun, but not too long, to make it boring. Something that very often happens with modern games.
« Last Edit: Thu, 12 May 2022, 09:23:45 by phinix »
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 10:42:15 »
I feel that nowadays, games have lost something. Of course they look amazing, have huge stories, unbelievable graphics, sound etc

We're actually entering an era where TONS and TONS of games are being lost forever.
Too many require not just an activation server but a server in general to run and when those are shut down the games are dead. Not that most will be really lost as too many of them are just clones of each other. Do we need another battle royal or Fifa?

As for old games I still play Red Alert 2 on a regular basis.
Apparently some people are now using Wii and Chromebooks to play old games since they make great emulators for old console games.
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Offline noisyturtle

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 14:33:01 »
I still want to do a '98 PC build of the comp I really wanted as a kid specifically to have that environment available. Playing older games via DOS emu is rough sometimes, even today. Older parts are becoming increasingly rare and expensive though. Especially older GPUs, who would've thought boxed vintage GPUs would become a collectable?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 20:02:58 »
the RA2 campaign or online ?
I just do multiplayer against the computer.
I usually try to starve them out, brute force is too easy.

I have a 1v1 save against the computer where I won with 0 deaths 0 kills.
Took way too long, but quite interesting to try and do.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 23:13:50 »
the RA2 campaign or online ?
I just do multiplayer against the computer.
I usually try to starve them out, brute force is too easy.

I have a 1v1 save against the computer where I won with 0 deaths 0 kills.
Took way too long, but quite interesting to try and do.

LLann's brutality knows no bounds, 

/mad sus,  she's a ru55ian agent planted in a former us military position, now still under deep cover as a civilian computers contractor.

Offline phinix

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 13 May 2022, 02:34:27 »
the RA2 campaign or online ?
I just do multiplayer against the computer.
I usually try to starve them out, brute force is too easy.

I have a 1v1 save against the computer where I won with 0 deaths 0 kills.
Took way too long, but quite interesting to try and do.

...mad sus,  she's a ru55ian agent planted in a former us military position, now still under deep cover as a civilian computers contractor.


I knew it!  :p
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Offline phinix

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 13 May 2022, 02:38:29 »
Nostalgia aside, those old games have brought something new to the table, when they came out, that is why they were so interesting, fresh and addictive.
My favourite and most played game would be Settlers II.
I have played it few months ago and now playing another World Campaign. I love to build my empire, get heavy army and then slowly burn my way down to enemy's castle.
I'm so happy they made HD version, so I could play on modern monitors etc LOVE IT.



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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 13 May 2022, 08:20:37 »

Took way too long, but quite interesting to try and do.

LLann's brutality knows no bounds, 

Naw, she just needs something to do on her laptop while she is waiting during a re-install of Windows XP for one of her clients.
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(3) Q: Why do they use these tactics? A: Because emotion clouds reason.
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Offline yui

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 13 May 2022, 09:43:02 »
i regularly try to replay Half-Life, but only manages to see that i have become much worse at gaming :), also discovered that OpenRA is still a thing, even with EA reselling the original RA and C&C, an other good old strategy game that i like is warzone2100, i do recommend to any fan of the rts genre to give it a try.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 13 May 2022, 09:50:51 »
Naw, she just needs something to do on her laptop while she is waiting during a re-install of Windows XP for one of her clients.
True!
Usually Win10 these days, but yes.

Old games are actually great for laptops because they run just fine without a GPU and you can pause the game and probably won't even need a network connection. What a concept.
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Offline phinix

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 21 May 2022, 11:15:33 »
I started playing one of the old ones again, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers.
One of the best point and click adventure games of all times, they say.
There was 20th anniversary edition, remake in HD, but they changed a lot of things, I wanted to play old version with old voice acting and music.
Pretty cool.

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Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 25 May 2022, 18:16:13 »
Some of you, old gang, remember those amazing times when games pulled you to your beloved beige PCs and you could dive in their colorful, pixelised worlds.

First game to tell about would be ALone in The Dark.
I have played it not a long ago and have to say it was great to see it again. Being older by almost 30 years, it was not that scary anymore, but still showed some potential to tickle me that way :)

Show Image


Show Image


I had "Alone in the Dark" for my old '486, but it was just the demo at the time.

It came on one of those 'demo disks' of shovelware. Stopped at an early point in the game. That's okay, because I was too young and was having trouble with the 3D navigation and such.

Played the full-version circa 2010. It's a very engrossing experience. Very atmospheric, even the primitive 3D characters had a lot of ... character.

It's a great companion to the first "Laura Bow" game, which made great use of an EGA palette, IIRC.

Lots of dangerous obstacles in AITD. Encourages a save-scum playstyle, unfortunately. [At least, with Laura Bow, it was fun to get sub-optimal outcomes]. Really a "heart of darkness" kind of thing as you get further and deeper into that house. [Like S.T.A.L.K.E.R: SoC did very well much later.]

Offline sefixmm

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 28 May 2022, 03:09:28 »

First game to tell about would be ALone in The Dark.
I have played it not a long ago and have to say it was great to see it again. Being older by almost 30 years, it was not that scary anymore, but still showed some potential to tickle me that way :)

Show Image


Show Image


So great to see Alone In The Dark here, I'm a big fan of the first one, I played it when I was young and I love it, it's one of my first big gaming experience with Doom 1. Never finished it, it was to hard for the young me, I still have the collector version of the three Alone In The Dark on CDRom (bought with my Soud Blaster).

Old games are just fantastic because of technical limitations and creativity of a new media, game designers experiment new ideas and a game like Alone In The Dark is all that, very innovative with a real graphic touch.

I'm so happy to know early computer gaming, I'm a little bit nostalgic of this time, when games are fun and different. Today, gaming is not as fun as it was, why, I don't know, maybe because I'm old or just because all the magic in games are gone to let place of ranking, money and standardization ?
« Last Edit: Sat, 28 May 2022, 03:11:21 by sefixmm »

Offline Hak Foo

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 29 May 2022, 23:47:41 »
My first PC game was Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, delivered with a 16MHz 386SX clone that was basically obsolete the day it left the factory.  The funny thing was the copy-protection was "look up this locomotive".  Between myself, who had been doing model railways for a few years, and my father, who was a rail enthusiast back to his youth watching the end of steam propulsion in the UK, we never needed the manual.
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Offline sefixmm

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 30 May 2022, 02:03:06 »
My first computer was a clone with an Intel A80486DX4-100, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_DX4. Such a great computer, I have played so many games on it like Doom, Theme Park, Quake 1, Alone In The Dark,... And tone of shareware.

I would like to go back in retro gaming but prices for old computer parts are just so high that it's not an option. I would give a try in emulation, do you have any recommendations ?
« Last Edit: Mon, 30 May 2022, 02:07:07 by sefixmm »

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 30 May 2022, 09:35:40 »
There isn't much need for retro computers to play most DOS games, IMHO.

It's a nice thing to have, but emulation is very capable today.

Doom can be played perfectly in DOSBox. And it has many accurate ports that allow the game to be run natively on modern systems. For example, "Chocolate Doom," which is basically DOS Doom, in DOS screen resolution. Works on Windows/Mac/Linux today. "Crispy Doom" is the same thing, but at 640x400 or so, like it used to run on some computers.

Enhanced versions of Doom for DOS also work in DosBOX, like MBFDoom [higher limits and features] and Boom [similar].

I can't remember if Theme Park has any ports for modern OSes, but you might want to check GOG.com to see if you can just buy it and run it. Most games you listed are there.

Quake is enjoying a long second-life because of ports. Sure, you can play DOS Doom even today in DOSBox. But you can even hack the old WinQuake and GL editions to run on modern Windows, I think. There are undoubtedly tutorials. But why bother? So many modern ports. The most accurate / hassle-free is probably Quakespasm. It's good for running user levels. There's also Darkplaces, if you want to add packages that give HD textures, sounds, monsters, lighting. There are so many new levels, mission packs, mods and total conversions that it's hard to know where to start. Except you should try Quake 1.5 and especially "Arcane Dimensions." Quake Lives!

There's also an emulator called ScummVM that runs most of those old Sierra-like point-and-click adventure games. Runs them natively and smoothly in modern OSes. Some games received an HD re-release like Monkey Island and Full Throttle. ScummVM also runs Eye of the Beholder, the dungeon crawler.

There are also many nostalgic games today, inspired by some of the ones you listed. Thimbleweed Park, based on the old point-and-click adventures. Dusk, based on Quake. Lots of shareware-like Indy games like Spelunky. Also check into what the 8-Bit Guy is doing on Youtube, as he ports real new 8-bit games to DOS.


------------

From a hardware standpoint, you'll ideally want to get a modern computer with a single-thread processor speed of at least 3.20 Ghz. I'm talking emulation. This should allow the computer to emulate challenging games like Blood at full-speed and accurately. No ticks and slowdown. You might even get away with 640x400 or higher, with the right VESA drivers in DosBOX.

It also helps to use something closer to the old 4:3 resolution. You could find an old 1400x1050 or 1600x1200 LCD monitor [or smaller!] for perfect, hassle-free 1:1 scaling. Or use a newer monitor in 16:10 ratio, that allows IPS monitors like the Dell U2412/15M. There will be black bars on the side, but otherwise a perfect 4:3 square in the middle, taking up most of the screen. Good use of real estate.

So a 3.2+ Ghz processor [multi cores don't help much, dual-core should be enough] and a 4:3 or 16:10 monitor. That's what you ideally need for DOS gaming today. [That processor would also help with NES emulation. There's an emulator that does perfect NES, but needs that speed].

If DOSBox isn't enough for you [I think it is for about 70% or more of games], you can just install FreeDOS on a computer. I've never used this. But if you have a processor capable of virtualization, you can run FreeDOS in a virtual machine on your regular computer. And it's no different that having a DOS machine. It's real, native DOS running on your hardware in your OS. So you can run Doom and so on, and it should be like running it on DOS 6.22 or so.

BTW there are new peripherals that help in emulation, you can buy a USB-device that you can attach an old but genuine, refurbished Roland MT-32 sound chip in. In DOSBOX-X, you can then output sound through that chip, playing DOS games with genuine Roland through your USB.

Offline phinix

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 31 May 2022, 02:58:23 »
My first computer was Commodore 128.
Then 2 years after, my first PC - 386SX 40MHz, 2MB RAM, 80MB HDD. It was a monster back then, just few of my friends had 286.
I started with DOS, then Windows 3.1. Golden days of gaming.
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Offline sefixmm

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 02 June 2022, 04:01:40 »
So much blabla

Who, thanks for all the information :thumb:

Actually I play at Brutal Doom, love that mod :)

Offline phinix

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 04 June 2022, 18:46:58 »
I'm still trying to run Syberia I. Hard with today's hardware, but should work.
Now when latest part is out, I would like to re-do first two parts.
Anyone played?
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Offline granola bar enthusiast

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 05 June 2022, 10:21:53 »
me and my friend are gonna try out old runescape sometime, idk about his opinion on old games but i always loved the look of the early 2000's-90's games
« Last Edit: Sun, 05 June 2022, 11:09:36 by granola bar enthusiast »

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 05 June 2022, 10:30:30 »
real_life is meaningless, live truth in Runescape.

Offline noisyturtle

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 06 June 2022, 19:40:03 »
There's a big controversy going on in big box retro PC games. Apparently a well known "collector" from Italy has been selling noticeably bad reproductions of rare valuable games like Ultima for years now. A lot a fakes got into collector's hands before anyone noticed. Some even got graded, which further proves how braindead and unreliable grading services are. When you see the side-by-side pics it's totally obvious, the seller literally printed the label wear and damage on the label. Idiot.
https://ftw.usatoday.com/2022/06/classic-game-fakes-ultima

Offline phinix

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Re: PC retro gaming
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 07 June 2022, 03:50:02 »
There's a big controversy going on in big box retro PC games. Apparently a well known "collector" from Italy has been selling noticeably bad reproductions of rare valuable games like Ultima for years now. A lot a fakes got into collector's hands before anyone noticed. Some even got graded, which further proves how braindead and unreliable grading services are. When you see the side-by-side pics it's totally obvious, the seller literally printed the label wear and damage on the label. Idiot.
https://ftw.usatoday.com/2022/06/classic-game-fakes-ultima

Jeez, that is heavy. Imagine, you need to pay a lot of money for those old big boxes, he must have pulled a lot of money for this, over 100k euro.
I have maybe 10 of old big boxes, as they are expensive, I cannot collect all I would love to have. But at least I try to get all those that were close to my heart back in the days.
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