Tag Archives: gameplay

Haven Editorial: Running Red Alert on Windows 10

I love Command and Conquer, but EA shafted that franchise rather hard. Yet the games can be bought in a neat package at Origin. Electronic arts game platform. However making the older game run is a chore. 

Windows 10 64 bit is not the intended architecture at all. Even more problematic to record any gameplay what so ever. But I did find a workaround. One that can not be done with the origin version.

But first let’s look at the annoying issues.
Tiberean dawn can for the most part run, with the dangers of crashing. Compatibility mode is not very helpful here. Same rings true for Red Alert. Technically there exist an open Ra, which has a new engine and most of the missions. But I never got that bugger to work more than once.

There also exist a fan patch that even works with Dune 2. With custom resolution, but it crashed, then refused to start.

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Alt tab out of the games is a no go. The screen goes black with the sound still playing. I sincerely though the idea of using Origin was to make the games playable on modern systems.

Red Alert 2 has issues with a black screen that I fixed with a custom fan patch. It’s still very unstable and likes to tab out on its own and then refuse to enter the game again.

Multiplayer is no problem at all with Yuri’s Revenge, since CnC net fixes all of that. A quite good fan fix. Does not with well with the story mode though.

Command and Conquer renegade was an almost flawless experience. But as we all know almost is seldom good enough. It decided to crash after a while and the game could have been a bit better in the first place.

I have yet to fiddle around with Tiberian Sun, which is a fantastic game, but a bit poorly programmed and almost as neglected as an orphan.

The easiest way is to install Virtual Box, get Windows XP, then set it up to run virtually with Windows. In window mode, then record the window. For this to work I had to install the disc version of the games. Because the Origin version refuse to let me play then without the software itself installed.

This solution allows software like Obs (open broadcasting software) to record and stream Command and Conquer games without too many problems. It took me a lot of time to find the solution, but it works wonders. Or you could emulate the PSX version of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert, which runs at 15 fps, but has superior audio quality on the music.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Evil Genome

Haven Reviews Evil Genome

A fiery red head is shot down over a dirtball of a planet, then proceed to wake up with no memory and a questionable ai companion. Despite the amnesia she still kicks ass and takes names, while uncovering a contrived plot with some odd twists and turns.

A smooth skill based combat system, where the character only attack, or dodge when given input. The transition from kicking, to shooting dodging is smooth and very responsive. As enemies and bosses dies, loot and experience points is gained. Which unlocks various fancy skills and passive effects, when the gained points is spent within the skill tree. The world itself is littered with pickups hidden here and there, some that can only be reached with specific abilities and upgrades. Lot items can be sold, gives stats and other benefits as well. Yes Evil Genome takes a lot of inspiration from other side scrolling platform games and it works. 

Evil Genome looks very nice, especially the character models and it’s very easy to see that they put a lot of effort into them. Which is a stark contrast to the brown, bleak dust bowel of a planet the game take place on. Small texts of lore and exposition can be found as well. A bunch of minuscule side quests and a truck load of talkative npc.

Aside from an relentless onslaught of enemies and horrible nasty monsters, there is always a decent challenge to be had, because evil genome is not shy about throwing big burly bosses in your face.

Unfortunately the voice acting is a bit stiff and definitely very wooden. It’s not to shabby for a localization, just a bit flawed and flat to say the least. The subtitles does have some annoying comma and white space errors, but that’s rather minor complaint. Other than that, there is moire loading than I would like for a game of this nature.

Personally I feel that the game is a bit heavy handed on giving the player achievements. Even if there are several in game rewards. Seriously I got an achievement for watching the intro and one for opening a chest.  Other than that the a Chinese dialogue, with English subs would be a welcoming addition. All in all a solid game, with rough edges soon to be patched out. But it’s not a game I can recommend for most casual players or for people who are very picky about questionable Asian dubbing.

No money was received     for this review.

Njål Sand

Haven reviws: Sonic mania

Haven reviews: Sonic mania

«Blue streak speeds by, sonic the hedgehog». Hes back, hes blue and he got an attitude. For those who grew up with the robot fighting fluff balls, this is a true blast to the past. Which for once is a good thing

Telling a story without a voice is quite an impressive feat, even if it is a bit bit bare bone, but no dialogue which good. As usual it is about the rotten egg maister himself Robotnik and his hard boiled chaos crystal schemes.

Gameplay is very simple true and tested, left movement, right movement and jump. The rest is either character specific or tied to a shied. Since knuckles can glide and climb by holding down the button, while tails can fly by spamming it. He really need a cancel flight key. Like pressing down. The most noteworthy feature though, is that going super is a separate key. Not all is good though, the special stages suck hard. The stages takes place on a horizontal track where the goal is to catch an ufo. The problem with this is two fold. The 3d models looks like low polygon glitch fest, complete with horrible character controls and physics straight out of Sonic CD. On the flip side it highlights the problem with doing sonic in three dimensions. Much like a drunk man on ice.

The Sonic Mania music score is fantastically fabulous. With remixes of old song and a slew of new ones. A music test mode is also included. But no polar icecap zone it seems-_-. At this point in time several features would be awesome. Such as having the level music play while going super mode and turning down the pick up blue sphere volume. It is very loud and intrusive. Should be mentioned when all 50 of them are done, a replay them mode opens up.

Note worthy features includes unlockable content which take some effort to acquire. Such as  & Knuckles mode. Where he can tag along as the secondary  character. A slew of stream achievement. Time trail mode and a versus multiplayer mode.

All in all a solid Sonic experience for people who enjoyed the good old 2d sonic game play and fun for the whole family. Not recommended for people whom like to grind achievements.

Always online DRM or not, which is pure bull crap and will piss of so many people.

Njål Sand