Google’s Pacman

From here (link removed) you can download Google’s Pacman.

The current version has a couple problems. Sound don’t work when working offline. And when working online, for example on a local server, it won’t work on Opera but works fine in IE and Firefox.

Hour is getting late and I can’t really be bothered any longer with it, will eventually get back up to it. In the meanwhile, enjoy.

Update: Look here for an update.

Final Fantasy XIII

My comments on this game in a very synthetic way.

What I think about the graphics:
Pretty awesome.

What I think about the musics:
Most of them pass without anyone noticing. There’s no such song which keeps you in like, for example, The Man With the Machine Gun. Also, what I dubbed the “elevator song” in one of Pulse zones is kind of awesome as well. The only thing I hated was at the very beginning, including the initial scenes, where the songs sounded EVERYTHING like Ace Combat’s themes more than an RPG theme, which actually made me want to pick up AC5, drop FFXIII and play that instead.

What I think about the storyline:
The storyline itself starts in a rather twisted way, but being a fan of Stephen King I like this kind of startup. I didn’t particularly like the evolution reflected in the combats during disc 2 (more or less), but other than that it’s very entertaining and literally dragging yourself in. Very, very nice storyline. I could compare it to Ace Combat 5’s storyline for its depth, and that’s a compliment.

What I think about the hours of grind needed in some points of the game:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGHHHHHHH. I spent around 12 hours on end-game pre-boss CP farming and something like 6-8 hours for the initial Pulse missions (and since the storyline is over but the game is not, more grind hours await me), which totally left me phased out since I couldn’t even start thinking for a moment that I had to stop going through doing random missions just to be “powerful” enough to keep going, as if it was a standard MMORPG leveling method. Hey, I quit that stuff for a while now. Seriously, the basic need of the “wait, you need to grind up to go on” imposed on the gamer made me cry. Hard.

What I think about the lack of world exploration:
One of the features I loved most in previous Final Fantasies was that I could, at any given time, stop whatever the storyline wanted me to do and do my own business instead. People who saw me play FF8 for example, perfectly knows that I simply adored the card game. On my second playthrough that came years later, before reaching Disc 2 I already had most of the cards available in the 4 discs span, and I was already up to beat the Cards Club as soon as they showed up. With that being said, maybe because I knew of that already when I bought it, I must admit I didn’t particularly miss the feature. Coincidentally the part that grieved me the most, was Grand Pulse. If you come to this game thinking that it’s a “typical” FF, you will be hugely disappointed. But if you, like me, maybe enjoyed Final Fantasy: Crisis Core on PSP, then you will most likely enjoy this FF aswell.

There could be more to talk about, like items upgrade (I even made a whole calc sheet to help me with that), but this isn’t the time. Overall I liked the game a lot. I missed some of the features in the previous series, as much as I hated some of the new ones introduced in, but at the end of the day it’s the fun that counts, right? At least, it was last time I checked. And I had fun, even though some grinding parts made me cry and my eyes bleed, I still liked it. And what do you know, even though the game is over, I’m gonna keep playing it until every single object to focus on has been destroyed. Not even my OCD could have made me do it that if the game sucked. Which it doesn’t.

Win7 (x64) & FF8

Windows 7 (x64) and Final Fantasy VIII: A Flawless Victory!

A little time ago I decided to play again my so beloved FF8, which is the first game of the saga I ever played. But this time, since my girlfriend owns the PC version, I decided to give it a try and to use the graphics improvements that are available around the net, and I am thus writing a little howto to both help you out with this task should you ever need it, and to help myself remember this little steps in case I forget. And I forget quickly, so…

In order to start this, I’m assuming you have the following:

  • All the original 5 CDs of FF8
  • The Eidos patch for FF8 (1.02)
  • FF8 Launcher (1.31)
  • Griever
  • Windows 7 (64 bit)

About Win7, I only tested it (as clearly stated by now) on a Windows 7 box running a 64 version of it. Which means some of the registry keys will be slightly different. I have no doubt that by running a simple registry search you can find the appropriate one, however I did not delve into it, and thus I’m not reporting about it. Also, while FF8 Launcher IS needed in order to run the game on a higher resolution, Griever is just a MemoryCard Modifier, but I considered I should mention it anyway.

But let’s the fun begin. After installing FF8, the 1.02 patch, and after copying both the launcher and Griever into the game directory, let’s hack with it. The first thing you will want to do is run FF8Config.exe in order to set minor settings up.

Final Fantasy VIII Graphics Configuration

As highlighted in the screenshot, you need to set up the Movie Resolution to High, and Use High Res Fonts up. In order to do this you might need to set the display resolution to 640x480x16, but don’t be fooled by this as the resolution will be set externally. Once the graphics have been set up, the next pass is to set up the keyboard/controller.

Final Fantasy VIII Input Configuration

I’ve uploaded a screenshot with the original PSX bindings on it. This will let you understand easily how to remap the keyboard and/or your joypad assuming that, just like me, you haven’t played in a while and don’t actually remember everything. It’s worth mentioning though that you may want to swap Triangle with Circle: this will allow a way more “natural” style of playing with menus, which is the same as most FF, including the most recent Dissidia for PSP, but it’s really up to your likings.

FF8 Launcher Setup

Getting back to the graphics, the launcher is where you are really going to set it up. After selecting your Display Mode, you should enable the Expert mode.

FF8 running with some artifacts

The expert mode will allow you to modify the way the screen is shown, in order to correct graphical problems ingame. This is done using “<Ctrl>+,” “<Ctrl>+.” “<Alt>+,” “<Alt>+.”, as you can see in the README. While in-game, with those commands you will be able to fix some artefacts you may encounter. I strongly recommend to use those only after loading the game, as it’s easier to find them and fix them.

FF8 running with no artifacts

After you’ve done so, you should be fully able to run the game. And if so, start playing and have fun!

You may though encounter in some sort of registry errors. I’ve been notified for example that some people might not be able to run the game and load the game CDs if FF8 is not started in administration mode. This obviously sucks big time, I myself would never want it to run with admin rights, even though it’s not really much harm it can do, so I started some research on my box. What I found is that there are, at least on Win7 and I believe the same applies to Vista too, where some different user privileges redirects the user to a different location in the registry. After a little delving and fiddling I found out that the settings for the user mode are stored here:

HKCU\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Square Soft, Inc\FINAL FANTASY VIII\1.00

Usermode registry settings of Final Fantasy VIII

I’m fairly sure that if the CD error appears to you, the DataDrive will be something like C:. In this case is enough to change it into your CD drive and the issue should be resolved.

This is all there is to it. If you encounter some other problems feel free to notify me.

See you around, SeeDs!