Bits and Pieces

it’s been a while, but work still hasn’t quite let up yet. I expect it will keep me super busy until at least the end of July. And while that’s great, it means I have time for little else. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make a few random purchases once in a while. Here’s what I got.

Now you are playing with… very limited power, even for 2002.

First up, a Geforce 4 MX 420. This is actually beyond my usual period range of graphics card, having been released in 2002. Normally, I wouldn’t consider anything beyond a Geforce 2 for my benchmarks. But this specific card was the bottom of the barrel for the Geforce 4 MX line, which itself was already the red-headed stepchild of the Geforce 4 line, missing its shader units and looking more like a souped-up Geforce 2 MX. So I thought it was worth trying.

Unfortunately, it won’t happen – the card seems to be broken. One long beep, three short beeps, and you know there’s nothing to do anymore. A shame, because I wanted to see how it would compare to my MX440SE – essentially the same card, but with half the bandwidth due to the use of 64-bits memory. It would have been nice to see how the limited bandwidth impacted performance. But that won’t happen. Oh well, it was cheap enough that it’s worth keeping in my drawer anyway.

Italian language manual (with various strange mistakes) included. The rest of the box and game is entirely in English. Judging from the customs company sticker, this entire release seems to have been imported.

My second purchase had a happier ending. Blood Omen on PC is a game that I have been long pining for, and I finally found a boxed copy for relatively cheap. It’s somewhat beat up on the right side, but nothing too noticeable. Much more surprising was that the game itself seemed brand new – it was still shrinkwrapped, and even the jewel case inside was definitely new. The auction did say “new”, but I thought it was the usual crap. I wonder if this box had been left buried somewhere under other things, and then someone found it randomly and decided to put it on Ebay. Either way, the first thing I did was to… remove the shrinkwrap. I can already hear the collectors crying in pain, but I prefer to actually play my games.

Sits well enough with my few other PC game boxes. Love the old Crystal Dynamics logo – makes you think someone would actually remember Gex today. Hey, now there’s an idea for a remaster.

The last purchase is a copy of Splinter Cell for Xbox. With the announcement that the original trilogy was to be released on Xbox One with resolution and framerate enhancements, I thought I could finally use my own review disc to play it. Of course, that wasn’t to be. The disc isn’t recognized by the console. So I ordered a cheap replacement. Worth it overall, given that Splinter Cell is among my favorite games from the PS2/Xbox generation. Time to wait the playing game now.

What? You mean my promotional-use-only, not-final-code disc is not recognized by the Xbox One? Surely you jest! In my defense, it did run on the Xbox 360. False hope is all the rage today.

What else awaits? As usual, nobody can tell yet. I do have one hope though: now that Blood Omen is out of the way, there is only one PC game left that I absolutely need. Should I ever find it cheap enough (unlikely, I know) it will be mine. As for which one it is, that will be revealed in due time.