So it’s been a little quite on BMV, but as always that doesn’t mean I’m not tinkering away in the background. In fact since the Manchester Expo, I have been busy playing X-Files which I bought while at the event. Originally for the PSone, the game plays almost like an episode from the show. In fact many fans consider the events in the game canon. Especially as the story for the game was written by X-Files very own Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz. Filmed using Virtual Cinema technology, the game is presented in full motion video.
As my original PSone is somewhere in the attic, I’ve been playing the game on my Ps2. Because the PS2 emulates the PSone, it doesn’t always manage to do it right, X-files is one such game it struggles to run. The cursor along with game icon’s appear distorted. This isn’t much of an issue for the most part, but becomes annoying during the games shootout scenes. Where finding the right spot to shoot a villain can be hit and miss, leading me to reload at least half a dozen times before I passed the stage. Even after that, the game is still very playable and worth a look if you are a fan of FMV games or the X-Files TV show.
In truth, I think it is because I am a fan, that I’ve been so forgiving on the game for it’s bad shootout mechanics. This game was released in 1998 and for the day it was cutting edge stuff. I still have the PC version which I bought when it came out. I don’t recall the shootout’s being as hard on the PC as they are on the Playstation. Perhaps this is because you are using a keyboard and mouse on the PC, as opposed to a joypad.
I remember finishing this game in the 90’s, but for the life of me I dont remember how it ends. For that matter, I don’t remember a lot of the scenes in the game. So for the most part it has been like playing the game for the first time all over again. So here’s a tip boys and girls, if you have a game you really like, wait 16 years and then play it again!! I’m getting my moneys worth twice!
Recently my friend Mark decided to bestow upon me his entire BBC Micro collection.
- 1x Model B
- 1x BBC Master 128
- 1x Acorn Electron
- 2x Boxes of unidentifiable brick a brack
- 1x Apple Macintosh Plus (eh?)
Originally I was meant to be getting just the Macintosh Plus, as I’d been having issues with my own and having a spare is never a bad thing. Instead he gave me all of the above, much to the annoyance of my partner. So for the past week or two, I’ve been working through the boxes and switching on the machines to see what works and what doesn’t. Sadly the Electron or Elk as I’ve learned they are called, didn’t power on. A quick test of the PSU revealed it was working fine, so the problem must lay with the micro itself. Having spoken to one or two people on the Stairway to hell forums, it could just be that the ULA chip needs re-seating. It turns out certain models of Elk can be a little temperamental.
In a unique turn of events, ByteMyVdu received it’s very first freebie last week, straight from the nice chaps at TechShack. I had been reading for some time on Amibay about the UIDE interface. A device which updates the 80’s micro computer, allowing you to connect an IDE storage device to your Spectrum +2 or Spectrum +3. Most people seem to choose compact flash, the Spectrums equivalent to modern SSD! It’s small, has low power consumption and best of all isn’t very expensive. If you consider that the entire Spectrum library takes up less then 1.5Gb, you could buy an inexpensive 2Gb CF card and never had to use a tape ever again! Better still your Spectrum +2 will load many of the same files as your average Spectrum emulator, loading snapshots in at around 6 seconds. I guess that puts an end to the tea run while the game is loading!
Soon I will be writing an article dedicated to the UIDE, how to install it in your Spectrum, any pitfalls your might encounter and finally how good it is for playing games. Has the ‘Datacorder’ finally met it’s match? We’ll find out!
Until next time….keep on geeking!