Oct 15, 2008

All That is Old is Nerd Again

BattleMech Technicians Rule!

I recently started getting back into Classic BattleTech. Though perhaps more on hiatus then off, I've been playing this game for literally decades, and after a rousing game at our yearly weekend gaming fest, Nuke(m)Con, I decided to take the plunge and pick up the Introductory Box Set for my son and I to enjoy. (And, true to my typical nerd-zealotry, a map pack and a TRO too...)

Anyway, with this rekindled interest in BattleTech, I began searching for BT computer games. Firstly, I had never finished Microsoft's MechWarrior 4: Vengeance (a 2000 release), so I started checking to see if there is any widescreen support for it. (My PC is currently equipped with a gorgeous 21 inch WS Samsung LCD, and no way was I sullying it with icky stretched-out Mech graphics...) There does appear to be a registry hack. So far, so good.

Even better, MW4: Mercenaries (the 2002 standalone expansion to Vengeance) has received a ton of rapt aftermarket love from the community. First, MekTek.net has created a MekPak adding 29 more canon mechs to the game, plus more weapons, weapon slots, maps, and camo schemes. (Apparently, one can't use these mechs in campaign mode, however, without using a wonky "selling and buying back a mech three times" exploit. They are all available in the Instant Action and multiplayer modes, though. )

Second and even better, the folks at the MechStorm website have created a high-def patch for MW4: Mercs. It updates the graphics of all the original mechs (and many of the MekTek ones), adds upgraded sound effects, and improves the graphics of many of the rocks, plants, and buildings.

I've already placed an order for MW4: Mercs on nuLime.com...

Finally, a group is creating a total conversion of Crysis called Mechwarrior: Living Legends, and it's due out this winter. Be sure to check out their first teaser trailer - it's well worth the short download. This sucker is full-out BattleTech. It includes vehicles, infantry, aerospace fighters - everything! And stunning graphics that will probably break my PC...

And X-Wing Mechanics, Too!

Now, if you've been reading Ditlog lately (as thousands upon thousands of loyal fans do monthly - uhh, *cough*), you've noticed that I'm also all smitten with the Star Wars universe these days.

During a recent playtest of the starship combat in the SWSE RPG rules, we were talking nostalgically about the old Lucasarts and X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. My buddy Damon mentioned that there had been an updated X-Wing release in the not-too-distant past, so I looked it up.

Not only does X-Wing Alliance (1999) look sweet (and support widescreen), but a group at the X-Wing Alliance Upgrade site has been creating gorgeous updated models and skins for the spacecraft and scenery. I can't wait to try this one out too!

The next step will probably be finding a program to get a gamepad to play nice with these aging games...

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