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  • quzar

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 19:17
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews


    Platform: Windows (98, ME, 2000, XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Stardock Entertainment (official game page)
    Publisher: Kalypso Media
    Designer: Brad Wardell
    MSRP: £29.99
    Ratings: PEGI






    ESRB: Not rated (European Release, although all previous Galactic Civilizations II games received an E10)
    Note: This is a standalone version of the Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor expansions to the original Galactic Civilizations 2.

    Short Overview: Planet/starship centered Turn Based Strategy game. Very mature due to it's lineage (second expansion to a second game in a series all made by the same core group). You can spend anywhere from a few hours to a few months on a single game. My favorite thing was most definetly the humor, which drives the gameplay and gives needed respite from the epic nature of the game. Only flaw is the absense of a number of features that make the game difficult to micromanage or macromanage.

    Overall Score:
    Rating:

    Click HERE to see the full review. ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 18:51
    1. Categories:
    2. PC News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews


    Platform: Windows (XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Haemimont Games (official US game page)
    Publisher: Kalypso Media
    MSRP: £29.99
    PEGI: 7+ (Based on box art, PEGI site has no info)
    ESRB: Rating Pending

    Scheduled for release on 09 March 09

    What they had to say about it:
    GRAND AGES ROME is the long awaited sequel to the best-selling strategy game "Imperium Romanum".

    You are a Governor of a Roman Province in the time-honoured Roman Empire, its fortune very much lies in your hands. Choose one of five Roman noble families such as Caesar's Julii with different abilities to accomplish the comprehensive missions.

    Defend yourself against barbarian tribes, trade with other cultures, build a wealthy economic environment and fullfil the needs of your people in a huge single player campaign or with up to 3 human players in the multiplayer mode!

    And remember - even Rome was not build in a day!

    What I have to say about it: click here ...
    by Published on April 21st, 2009 10:51

    Just read this interesting article by Alex Rose of if:book which deals with the stagnation in gaming from the point of view of the book. Here's a first chunk:

    I am not a gamer.
    I do not consider myself a gaming enthusiast, I do not belong to any kind of "gaming community" and I have not kept my finger on the proverbial pulse of interactive entertainment since my monthly NES newsletter subscription ran out circa 1988.
    Save a few momentary aberrations--a brief fling with "Doom" ('93), a torrid encounter with "Half-Life" ('98), a secret tryst with "Grand Theft Auto III" ('01)--I've worked to keep my relationship to that world at arm's length.
    Video games, I'd come to believe, had not significantly improved in twenty years. As kids, we'd expected them to evolve with us, to grow and adapt to culture, to become complex and sophisticated like the fine arts; rather, they seemed to remain in a perpetual state of adolescence, merely buffing-out and strutting their ever-flashier chops instead of taking on new challenges and exploring untapped possibilities. Maps grew larger, graphics sharpened to near-photorealistic quality, player options expanded, levels enumerated, and yet the pastime as a whole never advanced beyond a mere guilty pleasure.
    Every time a friend would tug my sleeve and giddily drag me to view the latest system, the latest hyped-up game, I'd find myself consistently underwhelmed. Once the narcotic spell of a new virtual landscape wore off, all that was left was the same ossified product game producers had been peddling since 1986. Characters in battle-themed games still followed the tired James Cameron paradigm--tough guy, funny guy, butch girl, robot; stories in "sandbox" games were as aimless and hopelessly convoluted as ever.
    This is to say nothing of the interminable interludes that kept appearing between levels, clearly designed by wannabe action movie directors. Fully scripted scenes populated by broad stereotypes would go on for five or even ten minutes at a time, with the "camera" incessantly roving about, punching in, racking focus, jump-cutting., as though an executive had instructed his team to "make it edgier, snappier, more Casino."
    Where was the modern equivalent to the Infocom games, those richly imagined text-based worlds that put to shame any dime-a-dozen title from the Choose Your Own Adventure series? This isn't nostalgia talking. Infocom, like its predecessors in BASIC, put out games written by actual authors; not only did they know how to construct engaging stories and fleshed-out characters, they foresaw the opportunities presented by non-linear narratives and capitalized on their interactive potential.
    Was it me, or had "refinement" in the subsequent years become a dwindling pipe-dream, like accountability in broadcast journalism?

    Full article here ...
    by Published on February 28th, 2009 02:32


    Platform: Windows (XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Haemimont Games (official US game page)
    Publisher: Kalypso Media
    MSRP: £29.99
    PEGI: 7+ (Based on box art, PEGI site has no info)
    ESRB: Rating Pending

    Scheduled for release on 09 March 09

    What they had to say about it:
    GRAND AGES ROME is the long awaited sequel to the best-selling strategy game "Imperium Romanum".

    You are a Governor of a Roman Province in the time-honoured Roman Empire, its fortune very much lies in your hands. Choose one of five Roman noble families such as Caesar's Julii with different abilities to accomplish the comprehensive missions.

    Defend yourself against barbarian tribes, trade with other cultures, build a wealthy economic environment and fullfil the needs of your people in a huge single player campaign or with up to 3 human players in the multiplayer mode!

    And remember - even Rome was not build in a day!

    What I have to say about it: click here ...
    by Published on November 18th, 2008 08:37


    Platform: Windows (98, ME, 2000, XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Stardock Entertainment (official game page)
    Publisher: Kalypso Media
    Designer: Brad Wardell
    MSRP: £29.99
    Ratings: PEGI






    ESRB: Not rated (European Release, although all previous Galactic Civilizations II games received an E10)
    Note: This is a standalone version of the Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor expansions to the original Galactic Civilizations 2.

    Short Overview: Planet/starship centered Turn Based Strategy game. Very mature due to it's lineage (second expansion to a second game in a series all made by the same core group). You can spend anywhere from a few hours to a few months on a single game. My favorite thing was most definetly the humor, which drives the gameplay and gives needed respite from the epic nature of the game. Only flaw is the absense of a number of features that make the game difficult to micromanage or macromanage.

    Overall Score:
    Rating:

    Click HERE to see the full review. ...
    by Published on April 16th, 2007 20:33

    Sony disapoint again, heres the news from the Sonystrikes again blog

    YES ! It appears that Sony have done it again. In their zeal to make their DVD movies copyproof (yeah right) they have in fact made their latest releases unplayable on some DVD players, including my Sony DVP-CX995V DVD player. I recently rented “Stranger than Fiction” (2 copies) and “The Holiday” ( please no comments on my choice of movies) both by Sony Pictures. Both load up to the splash title screen and then load no further, then after about 60 secs the player turns itself off!

    ALL my other DVD’s and new releases from other movie companies play perfectly

    I called Sony Electronics help line and they said to call Sony Pictures 1-800-860-2878 which I did.

    The following is a compression of our discussion:

    Sony Tech: We know about this problem. Its our new copy protection that’s making these discs unplayable in some players including our own, we do not intend to change the copy protection. The only correction to this problem is a firmware update to your player. The electronics division know about this and should have given you this information.

    Me: OK send me the firmware update.

    Sony Tech: We do not have one as yet.

    Me: OK (a bit frustrated) when will it be available?

    Sony Tech: It could be 2 weeks it could be a month, we don’t know.

    He then took my phone number and said ”they” would let me know when the firmware update is available, but declined to take my address saying that they would get that when the update was available.

    I will say that I got a live person on both support lines within 30 secs.

    Here are my questions to Sony:

    After spending $350 on a Sony DVD player 3 months ago am I now supposed to avoid Sony Pictures products?

    You are still advertising the Sony DVP-CX995V prominently on the Sony USA website but I notice there is no disclaimer that it may not play some new Sony Pictures DVD’s.

    Would it not be a good idea to test changes you intend to make on your DVD’s at least on your own equipment so that if you find a problem you could have the firmware update available instead of not only inconveniencing, but alienating your own customers.

    I believe this problem is happening on other manufacturers devices, are they working feverishly on firmware updates to accommodate you?

    Well thats my rant (yeah I feel a bit better now)

    Expect this to be happening a lot more with Blu-ray discs in the future as there are like 4 different version specifications for it.

    Way to go Sony. ...
    by Published on April 1st, 2007 18:41

    drkIIRaziel has released the first public release of his Dreamcast Emulator for Windows thats now being talked about as the best Dreamcast Emulator so far:

    nullDC v1.0.0 BETA User Manual
    ------------------------------

    1. What is it?
    --------------

    nullDC is a plugin based Dreamcast emulator for x86 based computers running Windows Operating Systems.

    2. Recomended System Requirements:
    ----------------------------------

    - CPU: AMD Athlon XP/64/Turion at 2GHz or Intel Pentium 4 at 2.6GHz or equivalent.
    - Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 4 TI or ATi Radeon 8500.
    - RAM: 512MB
    - Operating System: Windows 2000/XP/2003
    - December Redistributable of DirectX 9c

    The above requirements are considered as the absolute minimum in order to run the emulator as it was
    intended to run. The emulator might be able to run on systems that do not meet these requirements
    but with issues (like slow speed, GFX errors or Sound errors).

    Notes:

    - Some games have higher requirements than the rest and have speed issues even on systems that meet
    the recomended requirements. In that case a faster CPU is necessary to reach full speed.

    - Pentium 4 CPUs perform some tasks slower than other CPUs, thus the clock speed of 2.6GHz is needed.
    On the other hand, Pentium M CPUs perform the same tasks much faster
    (A Pentium M 750 at 1.86GHz should be enough to reach full speed).
    Intel Celeron and AMD Duron (and probably Sempron) CPUs are slow and it's expected to perform worse than the rest

    - Nvidia Geforce 4 MX video cards are worse than the TI series and they do not meet the minimum requirements.

    - DirectX 9c has many redistributables. It's common to have an older version installed that misses certain necessary
    files.
    Be sure to download and install the December redistributable or the default graphics plugin will fail to Load.

    - nullDC will run on Windows Vista. However, hardware requirements will be a little higher than the ones mentioned
    above and there will probably be sound related issues (as with many other applications running on Vista).

    3. Preperations/Other Requirements
    ----------------------------------

    Before running the emulator make sure that you have the necessary Dreamcast BIOS and Flash files dumped from your
    Dreamcast.
    The BIOS must be named "dc_boot.bin" and the Flash must be named "dc_flash.bin". Both files must be placed in the "Data"
    directory which is in the location where you installed the emulator.

    The emulator will fail to run any game or software if you don't have these files.

    Please note that original Dreamcast discs (GD-ROMs) are special discs that cannot be accessed by common PC DVD/CD drives.
    Because of this it is not possible to run these discs directly on an emulator. The only way to run such a disc is
    to make a backup copy (a dump) of it using some "special" methods either by using a Dreamcast or a modified PC DVD/CD drive.

    4. Usage
    --------

    When you run the emulator for the first time you will be asked to select the plugins you are going to use.

    Here is a list of the plugins that come with the emulator:

    -PowerVR (Graphics) Plugins:

    "nullPVR" is the graphics plugin that was made by the nullDC team.
    "Chankast's video" is a port of the PowerVR (graphics) core that was used on Chankast (another great Dreamcast emulator).

    -GDRom Plugins:

    "Image Reader" is used to run images of discs (ie: cdi, mdf/mds, nrg).
    "zNullGD" is used to run discs directly from the PC DVD/CD drive.

    -AICA (Sound) Plugins:

    "nullAICA" is the sound plugin that was made by the nullDC team.
    "Chankast's AICA" is a port of the AICA (sound) core that was used on Chankast (another great Dreamcast emulator).
    "Empty AICA" is an audio plugin that produces no sound. It has reduced compatibility but is faster than the rest.

    -Maple (Input/Saves) Plugins:

    There is only one available maple plugin available that covers all the maple related functions. It has 2 divisions.
    Its first division handles each controller port and its second division handles the expansion slots of the peripheral
    connected to each controller port. Each division has various states. Divisions and states are explained below.

    Controller Division:

    "nullDC Controller [WinHook]" connects a normal dreamcast controller using input from the keyboard.

    "nullDC Controller [WinHook.NET]" connects a normal dreamcast controller using input from the keyboard but for
    NetPlay usage.
    *Refer to the NetPlay section for more information about NetPlay.

    "None" acts like no controller is connected to the port.

    Expansion Slots Division:

    "nullDC VMU" declares that a VMU (memory card) is connected to the expansion slot of a peripheral.
    "None" acts like nothing is connected to the expansion slot of a peripheral.

    In case the above looks confusing... Imagine a Dreamcast, it has four ports, you connect a controller (peripheral)
    to a port, then a memory card to the controller (the Dreamcast controller has two slots for memory cards etc.).
    Maple uses the same structure. See? Simple.

    -External Device (Modem/Broadband Adaptor) Plugins:

    "nullExtDev" acts like no modem or broadband adaptor is connecter to the external device slot of the dreamcast.

    After all the necessary plugins are selected and the "OK" button is pressed the emulator window and console will appear.

    5.1 Menus
    ---------

    Here's a brief explaination of the menu options and their usage. Whenever a menu option has an arrow next to it it will
    expand revealing more options. If it doesn't have an arrow then clicking on it will pop up a configuration/message box.


    Clicking on the "File" tab
    ...
    by Published on January 20th, 2007 15:07

    Holy Crap! Quzar made a new release!!!!

    So yea, I've been working on this for a few months now off and on, have made a couple of changes I feel are important, and so ... yea a new release was had by all.

    Here are the changes, straight from the new part of the readme (from frontpage you won't see anything, click comment to read it):

    alpha4 (01/18/07):
    *after more of eke-eke's changes, the sound stuff now works properly.

    alpha3 (01/17/06):
    *Slightly newer fame
    *put in the code for eke-eke's changes to the sound driver to fix FM sound in some games. Doesn't work properly so it is defined out.

    alpha2 (10/26/06):
    *Uses DMA for texture transfer, but only partially. Should speed up texture transfer by ~2x
    *Uses SQs in more places that affect speed more.

    alpha1 (10/22/06):
    *Faster assembly twiddling function
    *Uses store queues when possible for speedups
    *New FAME core from fox68k
    *Multilingual Menu - automatically set by the DC's BIOS settings
    *Re-Added FPS showing option
    *Modified the romlist system, so that it can now read files with spaces in their names (use an | to seperate filename from real name)
    *Small speedups in many places

    TODO:

    *Add switch for mameZ80 and Cz80
    *use DMA for sound
    *Make menu able to list roms without romlist

    For reference, this was built off the july release of gpdc by BlackAura, and includes all files except roms that you need to use it (and more!).

    The download is HERE. It includes all files needed, including the source code.

    A note to those looking at the source: every change I made is marked somehow (usually by a comment including my name or a similar define).

    If you repost this news elsewhere, please do NOT use your own download link. I'd much rather have all downloads go through this original file (I want to be able to track the number of downloads).

    Enjoy folks!

    Download and Give Feedback Via Comments ...
    by Published on January 18th, 2007 04:23

    I usually don't post product news, but this is just way too cool so I couldn't pass it up.

    http://www.estarland.com/index.asp?p...oduct=28392&q=





    Apparently it's a console thinger that uses standard SNES controllers, but has the ability to play both NES and SNES carts by having a second cart slot. At 50$ it's not that bad for anyone who either collects these weird hardware things or has a lot of carts and no longer has the system to play them on (cheaper than finding a snes and a nes).

    Thanks to DaMadFiddler for linking me to this. ...
    by Published on January 15th, 2007 17:55

    After consideration, we have revised the rules for signatures, now they can have larger filesizes. With this allowance however, we will start being less leniant with violators and those who violate it will be given an infraction just like breaking any other forum rule. The new section of rules regarding signatures is as follows:

    6: Sig pics can not be bigger than 520x120 pixels, and 75kBs in size. This size limit applies to the entire sig, not to any individual image in it. A full sized sig (120 px) cannot have more than 4 lines of text with it. For sigs without images, the text the sig contains should not be larger than the largest allowed sig with text. The staff reserves the right to take down any sig they deem unacceptable.

    You can read this and the rest of this forums rules here: http://www.dcemu.co.uk/vbulletin/ann....php?f=112&a=4 ...
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