Games make Nat happy. Jan 15, 2007

So I discovered today that Vivendi Universal has been repackaging Sierra's old adventure game series (read: some of my favorite games EVAR) and reselling them, along with an integrated and pre-configured copy of DOSBox to run them on.  Because my Space Quest 6 CD has been too scratched to play for AGES now, I just had to run out to my local game shop and grab their only copy of the Space Quest Collection.

So how is it, as a collection?  Well, it's not as great as one might hope:

  • Unlike Sierra's old collections, this one doesn't include the original 16-color version of Space Quest I, just the VGA remake.  I do like the VGA remake better, but it would be nice to include the original too for nostalgia value.  Oh well, it's easily downloaded from many sites of questionable legality.
  • DOSBox works reasonably well for running the games, but for some of the later ones (6 especially) it lags in its default setup.  Repeatedly pressing Ctrl-F12 (to increase the cycle speed of the emulator) fixes the problem.  Given that they had to do custom configurations for each game anyway, you'd think they would have included sane settings in those configurations.
  • Perhaps sloppiest of all, though - the CD nicely includes a PDF manual.  Unfortunately, it's a PDF manual for one of Sierra's old Space Quest collections, which didn't include Space Quest 6.  Bah.  I'm pretty sure SQ6 includes a manual-based copy protection part, so I'll likely have to visit an abandonware site to download a scan of the manual.

All that aside, though, it's by far the easiest way to play the Space Quest games on a Windows XP machine available today.  If you haven't played those games, I definitely recommend them - they're essentially the sci-fi equivalent of Monkey Island.  Lots of fun.

I also finally got around to downloading and playing through Sam and Max Episode 2 - Situation: Comedy.  While this one is, as most of the reviewers said, smaller and easier than Episode 1, I actually liked the acting and dialogue writing better in this one than the first.  Not to give too much away, but I seriously hope the Skinbodies aren't just some throwaway gag and they continue to show up in the series.