The Gamer Emporium
Welcome back to the Gamer Emporium. We will be talking briefly about DOSbox, mods, and a couple of quick reviews.
DOSbox (http://www.dosbox.com/) is a program that creates a DOS environment within another operating system (OS). For gaming purposes, DOSbox allows you to run all of those old school DOS games within Windows, Linux, Mac, OS/2, BeOS, and other OSes. DOSbox greatly increases the compatibility of old games on modern computers. DOSbox allows you to play your old Sierra, Interplay, Origin, Apogee, and other classic DOS games with modern hardware and OSes with a minimum amount of fuss.
A lot of publishers are utilizing DOSbox to re-release their old DOS catalogue on modern systems. For example, if you purchased Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, or some of the X-Com games through Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/), then you have already enjoyed the benefits of DOSbox.
Also, Activison Blizzard (formerly Vivendi) incorporated DOSbox in their re-released compilations of the old Sierra Quest games (King’s Quest series, Space Quest series, Police Quest series, and Leisure Suit Larry series) for Windows XP and Vista. The best place to purchase these compilations is through Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/). In addition, relative new comer Good Old Games (GOG) (http://www.gog.com/en/frontpage/) utilizes DOSbox to help older games run under Windows XP and Vista.
The greatest benefit of DOSbox is that it resurrects a lot old DOS games that still provide tons of entertainment such as the Wing Commander games, Ultima Series, Sierra Adventure games, LucasArts Adventure games, Shareware games, and anything else you may still have at the bottom of your closet. In order to enjoy these classic DOS games, I recommend you download DOSbox from their site (http://www.dosbox.com/download.php?main=1) and then follow their great tutorial located at (http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Basic_Setup_and_Installation_of_DosBox).
It takes only five minutes after download to be up and running and blasting through classic DOS games. Ultimately, I highly recommend DOSbox to anyone who has a craving to indulge in some truly classic games.
The Emporium’s Quick Pick
The biggest weakness in all of these compilations is the graphics and text-parser interface in some of the games. You haven’t gamed until you had to type all of your commands. If you have never played any of these games, then you are in for a treat. Just make sure you give the games the time and patience they require.
Overall, I give each compilation the following final score:
Space Quest – 4.5 out 5
GOG allows you to download classic games and play them on Windows XP and Vista. Among the GOG games, I highly recommend starting with Fallout and Fallout 2 for some great RPG action. This may go without saying, but due to adult content these games are not for the faint of heart, the squeamish, or the young ones. What makes these games great is the humor, satire, cultural references and diverse quests that will keep you entertained through each of the main story lines. The downside to these games is the dated graphics and the occasional bug, especially in Fallout 2. Also there is Fallout Tactics which I only recommend to those gamers who enjoy the series.
For those of you who have already played these games or want something a little lighter, I recommend Beyond Good & Evil which should receive a sequel in the next two years. Beyond Good & Evil also suffers from bugs and dated graphics. Also, I would check out Shogo: Mobile Armor Division for some obscure first person shooter action. Shogo is set in a futuristic world that combines an amine art style with western gaming sensibilities. Shogo also allows you to play from both the perspective of the main character and the giant Mobile Armor (mecha) he pilots. Shogo is based on the Lithtech engine that at one point competed with the Quake and Unreal engines. However, Shogo suffers from a fair amount of glitches and bugs that may hinder your enjoyment. I would recommend checking out the Shogo wikipedia page located at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shogo:_Mobile_Armor_Division to see if the game would appeal to you.
Overall, I give each game the following score:
Fallout – 4.5 out of 5
If any of the above games or any other game are giving you trouble and have you stumped, visit http://www.gamefaqs.com/ for hints, tricks, FAQs, and secrets.
Join me next month when I discuss the April Update to Guild Wars (provided it is updated in time), a top five most anticipated list, and a quick review or two.