Monday, November 24, 2008

WINXP - DirectX

What is DirectX? (use link to find out)

As of this post, there is a problem. If you use the normal DirectX download for the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer, it does not work.

The solution is to get the DirectX Download Nov 2008 (full package) (link is for download)

This is a big file, but contains ALL current versions of DirectX for all applicable versions of Windows. I suspect the the WEB installer is suppose to download only the version you need.

The reason I am posting this information, there are erroneous WEB posts that there is a DirectX 10 for WinXP (using a Google search). What makes ALL these posts suspect, is NONE lead to official Microsoft sites. Also, note that a DirectX 10 WinXP version is NOT listed on the DirectX page at top.

The above Nov 2008 package IS the official one and for WinXP and it installs DirectX v4.09.000.0904


Some games install or modify some DirectX files specifically for the game, normally they will NOT overwrite DirectX files if you already have the game-required version installed. My experience has been that these games check for the correct basic version of DirectX, then load game-specific DirectX drivers in the game's home folder.

The bottom line, if your current version of WinXP DirectX is HIGHER than the reference shown above, leave it be. If your version is lower, consider updating by running the Nov 2008 package.

The package will ask you where to unpack the files, just choose a temporary location (you can delete all the files when done), then run the actual installer EXE from there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PC GAMING - 4th Quarter Most Anticipated Games

Well, the 2 most anticipated PC games are out.

  • Fallout 3 (F3) RPG

This is the long, long awaited sequel to Fallout 2 vintage 1998.

The Fallout series has a huge cult following, and many have decried that a sequel version had not followed by 2000.

Well, FINALLY, it's here. Published by Bethesda (aka Beth), the same people who brought us the Elder Scroll Series games like Morrowind & Oblivion (which I have mentioned before).

In fact, F3 uses the same Game Engine as Oblivion. It has the same open Game World as Oblivion and Morrowind.

I already know that I am going to become hooked on F3 just like I'm already hooked on Morrowind & Oblivion. There are going to be many different scenarios in playing F3, so I will enjoy playing over, and over, configuring my Character in different ways to get new experiences in F3.

  • Far Cry 2 (FC2) FPS

This is the sequel to the original Far Cry (FC1) from Ubisoft.

There WAS one glitch, the retail PC-DVD was shipped with the DM (Download Material) version of the FarCry2.exe file which used SecuROM protection software. The PC-DVD would not run this way. You got a SecuROM error dialog with a link that did NOT take you to the fix, the page only had a Fallout 3 fix!

It took me several hours to find the actual Far Cry 2 SecuROM Patch file on a Forum. The patch does fix this problem.

Now, as to FC2 game.....

First, this game IS a resource hog. So, low-end PCs need not apply. You can gage if it will run on your system if you can run the game Bioshock. Even then you will have to tweak your settings (see Tweak Guides in sidebar).

The only real difference between FC1 & FC2 is the Game World. FC1 takes place on islands in the tropics, FC2 takes place in areas in Africa. Otherwise both games play the same, in open Game Worlds.

The biggest change is in the number of Missions in FC2:

There are 85+ missions!
(see Statistics on gameplay Options page)
  • Main = 33 (aka Faction missions)

  • Buddy = 12

  • Side = 40

  • Total 85

  • AND unknown number of Underground missions, which you have to do to get your Malaria pills. This is a minor annoyance IMO, and I wish FC2 didn't have it.

    Note that Buddy Missions are linked to a Main Mission. If you do the Buddy first, the associated Main Mission is modified but IS completed. BUT, if you do the Main Mission first, this "kills" the associated Buddy Mission.

Travel: Trucks, cars, ATVs, boats, and of course you can walk

Weapons: I will not list weapons, but comment that there are more choices than FC1.

I am a FC1 fan; played many, many times, and will play again. So it is not surprising that I really like FC2 (so far). FC2 is immersive and fun to play, hard to STOP playing in fact.