Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The "Joys" Of Old PC Games

Last night I got a weird urge to replay Max Payne on PC again.  The first game was released in 2001 and gathered a lot of attention due to the fact it's one of the first titles to make use of bullet time.  I don't think I need to go into much detail about the game itself really, it's pretty iconic with 2 sequels and a god awful movie featuring Mark Wahlberg.

Now getting old games to run on newer systems used to be a MASSIVE problem, especially for the less computer savvy members of the gaming community but now thanks to services like Good Old Games and Steam this has become a lot less of an issue.  That said however, sometimes a title does like to be a bit of a pain in the neck and Max Payne was certainly one of those games.

I reinstall the game from my account and hit play and I wait a few moments for the title screen to pop up but nothing happens.  I click it again only to get the message "Max Payne is already running" which was a weird thing to read considering I'm looking into my desktop.  So I fire up task manager and sure as shit, there it is, but nothings actually happening on screen.  So I end the process and try again, same thing, nothing.

This is where I start to go on forums or hunt for patches and usually people are pretty good with this kind of thing, there's usually a fix somewhere to be found.  So I google my problem and get a few posts that mostly say the same thing.  "Put it in comparability mode for Windows 98/ME and run as administrator".  Seems like an obvious fix and I gave myself a little kick for not trying that first so I go ahead and do that but still the same result, nothing.  So then I start trying all sorts of weird shit like making .BAT files, renaming files and folders, sacrificing people to the sun God but none of it makes the game run.

Eventually I get it to work.  If you want to know what my fix was it's click on it lots and lots until it actually decides to show up.  I have no idea what I did or how I made it work, and I still don't but if I click on it enough times and restart Steam once or twice eventually it'll just be like "oh, go on then" and let me play.  Once in game it runs fine but with weird audio issues that I know there's a patch for but at this point I'm too lazy and I'm OK playing with gimped audio.

If anyone enjoys old games for PC I can guarantee they've had this happen AT LEAST once.  You just want to sit down and replay an old game that you remember fondly but the task of getting it run becomes a project that requires hours of research and tinkering that just eats your entire afternoon or evening.  Sometimes it can be enjoyable, like solving a puzzle but often it's just a pain in the butt because you just wanted to play a game without having to do a whole course on computer science.

Still, like I said, these problems are a lot less of a thing now we have Steam and Good Old Games giving us versions that just work from the get go.  There's also plenty of remakes kicking around nowadays which means you can play a version that's actually been made for modern systems, but where's the fun in that?

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