Obstacles to Playing Old Games

So I’m a bit of an old fashioned gamer. My PC isn’t massively up to date graphics-wise etc. because there’s no need for it to be (and it causes more problems than it solves) – I don’t tend to play very taxing, or very new, games. I like sticking around with games from the early-mid 2000s or the 90s, and it seems like I’m always running into errors.

I know technology advances – of course it will, and that will create some issues, bizarre as some seem to me. (I am still truly baffled that my computer can run the first three Monkey Island games no problem, but Escape From Monkey Island won’t launch – despite it being newer. I have an older gaming PC for some games, and it works there at least, so that's something.)
 

But I constantly seem to be running into errors these days – some small, some large. I’ve just been playing the Syberia games and they had issues but were mostly playable. The first game crashed repeatedly after picking up an item, but a quick google popped up a solution to do with graphic settings that got me past that bit. Other than that, there were just some minor speech issues (the first game had overlapping speech with long dialogue, the second game cut short spoken dialogue if it was too long – but the whole sentence was there in the subtitles at least). So they weren’t too bad.
 

Then there are just bizarre issues with some games, like Rollercoaster Tycoon – which I can get to run absolutely fine – until I try to save or load, wherein the game crashes. If I play a game in one sitting it has no issue and it remembers that new areas have been unlocked.
 

Today’s issue, and what finally inspired this blog, is an old adventure game called The Black Mirror. It installed no problem, try and launch it and… bang, my anti virus popped up with a Trojan alert. From googling, this seems to be a common issue, though I can’t figure out from varied responses if this is a false positive or an actual Trojan. (My anti-spyware software found nothing, and my anti-virus didn't find anything further either) The fact that all the game publisher’s sites seem to no longer exist doesn’t really help matters. So I’ve no idea if I should ever even consider putting this game disc in my PC again, or if it’s a risk. Naturally this classes as a pretty big barrier to playing the game. I'm wondering if this issue is just something to do with how it tries to launch the game (it does seem familiar, so I suspect this might have happened with one of my games before). Next step, I think, will be seeing if I can get it to run on the old gaming PC without it freaking out.

 

Are any of the rest of you people who enjoy old games? Do you often come across issues, whether big or small? Do you get annoyed at even small issues, or do you just get on with it?
 
(Sorry for the repost if you've seen this before, had a slight technical issue and decided to repost.)

2 Comments
3 Comments
Posted by Khantael

So I’m a bit of an old fashioned gamer. My PC isn’t massively up to date graphics-wise etc. because there’s no need for it to be (and it causes more problems than it solves) – I don’t tend to play very taxing, or very new, games. I like sticking around with games from the early-mid 2000s or the 90s, and it seems like I’m always running into errors.

I know technology advances – of course it will, and that will create some issues, bizarre as some seem to me. (I am still truly baffled that my computer can run the first three Monkey Island games no problem, but Escape From Monkey Island won’t launch – despite it being newer. I have an older gaming PC for some games, and it works there at least, so that's something.)
 

But I constantly seem to be running into errors these days – some small, some large. I’ve just been playing the Syberia games and they had issues but were mostly playable. The first game crashed repeatedly after picking up an item, but a quick google popped up a solution to do with graphic settings that got me past that bit. Other than that, there were just some minor speech issues (the first game had overlapping speech with long dialogue, the second game cut short spoken dialogue if it was too long – but the whole sentence was there in the subtitles at least). So they weren’t too bad.
 

Then there are just bizarre issues with some games, like Rollercoaster Tycoon – which I can get to run absolutely fine – until I try to save or load, wherein the game crashes. If I play a game in one sitting it has no issue and it remembers that new areas have been unlocked.
 

Today’s issue, and what finally inspired this blog, is an old adventure game called The Black Mirror. It installed no problem, try and launch it and… bang, my anti virus popped up with a Trojan alert. From googling, this seems to be a common issue, though I can’t figure out from varied responses if this is a false positive or an actual Trojan. (My anti-spyware software found nothing, and my anti-virus didn't find anything further either) The fact that all the game publisher’s sites seem to no longer exist doesn’t really help matters. So I’ve no idea if I should ever even consider putting this game disc in my PC again, or if it’s a risk. Naturally this classes as a pretty big barrier to playing the game. I'm wondering if this issue is just something to do with how it tries to launch the game (it does seem familiar, so I suspect this might have happened with one of my games before). Next step, I think, will be seeing if I can get it to run on the old gaming PC without it freaking out.

 

Are any of the rest of you people who enjoy old games? Do you often come across issues, whether big or small? Do you get annoyed at even small issues, or do you just get on with it?
 
(Sorry for the repost if you've seen this before, had a slight technical issue and decided to repost.)

Posted by Jay444111

X-com Apocalypse tries to have a no disc inserted error whenever it wants. I always feel threatened due to it and I feel stress that I have to restart my computer whenever I play it. I love the game, but it fucks up way to often...

Also. X-com terror from the deep is just glitched. If you select the wrong thing to research you are FUCKED and you will never be able to finish the game if you do fuck up. ARGGGGGHHH!!! Not even Fallout New Vegas had such problems!

But yeah, I mainly play my old games from GOG (which fix almost all games for newer systems.) And steam for the games they don't have like the X-com games. However they are more glitchy due to the sane fact that they don't do what GOG does with older games that makes them work so well on newer systems.

Posted by Ubersmake

GOG is awesome at re-releasing old games. Like said, GOG does do some fixes to make older games run on modern platforms. Steam just packages old games with DOSBOX, which is fine for most cases, but my mouse and DOSBOX apparently don't get along, which makes the original X-Com a lesson in frustration.

And all this is why I'm glad this exists: http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Home

Unfortunately, there doesn't look to be a page for The Black Mirror on there. Nor is there one for Amber, an adventure game that I'd like to play again. Which is laden with FMVs that run on some ridiculously old version of QuickTime. But there is one for Grim Fandango, which is a game I'm looking forward to replaying.

I'd love to take some time to see how old games, like my old, old DOS copy of MechWarrior 2, work on a virtual machine. Or even Windows Virtual PC. But until I actually get time to try that out, the only other alternative is to dig out the Gateway machine from 2001 that's sitting somewhere in my closet.