Sunday, May 3

Bad Timing: Mom pwns me with solitaire

You may recall me singing's praises as far back as last October when I got into their first closed then open beta's.

Since then they've gone live and been pretty successfull, especially with Bethesda's Fallout 3 bashing anti-fans who needed to actually have played the original games in order to be able to properly bash Bethesda's remake of the IP. Regardless, the Fallout franchise has become their flagship title.

Their catalogue keeps expanding monthly and some true classics have made it to the platform.
I'm still missing Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Alien Crossfire dammit! That was the pinacle of the Civilization franchise if you ask me and I would dearly love to replace my completely illegal Bit Torrent of the game with a completely legit digital download guaranteed to work on XP version through Here's hoping they convince Sid of the veracity of their scheme.
I do legally own the game as well btw, but the original discs won't properly install on XP or Vista. Dunno why the cracked version does. Apparently Sid thought he should do it on his own though and as a physical product to boot. To be honest, I'd rather have paid $9,99 through for a digital download than £4.83 plus the same ammount in shipping cost.
Also missing is the XCOM: UFO Defense franchise, but luckily that made it unto Steam instead.

Another goldie that is worth the $9,99 on average is Spellforce, an RTS/RPG combination that for me was more fun than Warcraft 1 through 3 together. Sadly Spellforce 2 isn't on their yet, but that one is only a few years old and most of's catelogue is ten to fifteen years old.
Also on sale for $5,99 is Ishar 1+2 together. While I actually have some vague yet fond memories of that game, I'd not be willing to lay down even $5,- for that today. It's worth checking out the screenshots though for a chuckle at bad interface design where getting in semi-good character portraits overrode a decent viewscreen. A common problem with those old style first-person view party RPGs. Something that's almost an oxymoron these days.

And today I just happened to click an advertisement for in one of the blogs I follow, to run into an old guilty pleasure of mine. Septerra Core: Legacy of the creator.
Guilty not because it's a game that's bad but which I secretly liked, but guilty because it's one of the few games that I pirated and never acquired legally. I'm weird in that I think that any form of entertainment that I actually like & appreciate for x amount of time, I should pay the price for it.
X differs from games to music to movies btw.
I really liked this isometric view, fully voiced over, FF-like RPG game back in '01 when I got it from a friend but never found it in the shops and after a while I forgot about it, even what it was titled. It had a really cool mixture of post-apocalyptic, steam-punk and mythologic elements and a long linear story.

This is the true value of, the "Oh I remember that now! I used to love that!" nostalgia. Even if you only play with the game(s) for a few days or a week or so, it's worth it in my book. More so than all these Old PC to DS conversions. That smacks of exploitation to me. saving money by rehashing old Content for a new platform. This is serving nostalgia. The prices are low and yet they (the folks behind add value by enabling these games to run stable on XP and Vista.

You do have to be smart about these games though. They won't look great on a 22" 16:10 aspect ratio LCD monitor at 1680x1050 or 1900x1200. They won't even look good. Personally I have some trouble playing them in windowed mode as well. Oftentimes that's just a bit too small for me. You'd wish there was a x2 magnification like you have with video files. Something the Youtube generation is slowly forgetting. So I play these oldies on my old Dell Altitude 500 laptop which just won't die. It's battery is the shits, the original HD has died on me and there's a slight scratch/smear on the 14" screen, but other than that it just keeps performing. It's also perfect for the catalogue.

After Monday Night I've got another 4 day "weekend" coming followed by two nothing-to-do morning shifts during the 'real weekend'. Ideal time to get into nostalgia mode right?
Except, this Monday I'm lending my mom my laptop so she can play Solitaire on it to recuperate/rest while on holiday with her best friend.
Dammit. I'd give her my brand new I7 to play Solitaire on if that'd give her a moment's pleasure.
Guess I'll have to wait or see if it'll be bearable if i hook up my old PC to my 107 cm LCD tv and play the game on the couch.


  1. Heh, I think I legally acquired it (Septerra Core) twice, so I got ya covered.

  2. He he, good on ya.
    But I legally own it myself now as well, so you can stop covering :-)

  3. Hmm, maybe I should illegally download Septarra from somewhere now and ask BP to cover me. It does look fun enough to try out.

    I played Spellborn not too long ago. That was indeed quite a fun game.

    And although the nostalgia feeling can be quite good, I just know I don't have the time to play them all. So I'll stick to my MMO's for now.