Windows 8 and Gaming

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draclvr
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Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:36 am

Well, here we are again! Windows 7 is already 3 years old and Windows 8 was released in October 2012. Support for XP will cease in April 2014, just a little over a year from now. Say what you want about Microsoft, the fact that they have continued to provide support for this venerable operating system for going on thirteen years has been great for those of us who are gamers. I built a low-end computer just to house my old XP hard drive.

But, things change and move on, especially in technology. And, boy, did they move on this time with Windows 8. There are good things and bad things to say about this new operating system, but I also remember much gnashing of the teeth when the “horrible disaster called XP” was released. I refused to give up my Windows 98 for four years. All I can say is that Windows 8 is here and I don’t see Microsoft going back to the “old ways” anytime soon.

So with that said, I’ve been running Windows 8 for about 6 months off and on and for about 3 months full time with Windows 8 Pro. I will leave all the arguments about whether it’s good or bad or something in between to those who know far more than I do. What I care about is if it works for me and if I can continue my self-admitted gaming addiction in the new operating system.

I installed Windows 8 Pro in my good old system that I built in 2009, so it is running on 4 year old hardware. I will include my computer specs for reference. As you can see, they are far from “cutting edge.” But I use my computers until they no longer suit my purposes or croak beyond repair.

Processor - Intel Core Two Duo, Wolfdale E-8400, 3.0 Ghtz
Disk drive - 500 GB WD 32 MB cache
Nvidia Geforce GTX 260 video card, 896 MB
Creative SB X-Fi sound card
4 GB RAM

I’m also running Windows 7 in the same system on a super fast solid state boot drive and another 500 GB data hard drive.

On to the reason for this post… games. As time permits, I’m testing all my games on Windows 8 Pro. Unless otherwise noted, these are all original CD or DVD versions of the games and I installed to the default location of C:\Program Files (x86). I have played each of the games to where I interact with inventory items by picking them up and using them, saving a game, exiting the game and loading a saved game. I’ve made sure dialogue trees work and the sound and video behave as they are intended. The list is short at this point, but I will add to it as I am able, so check this thread often. They include adventure, RPG, FPS, platformers, action and casual games. We welcome all other experiences on Windows 8 with your games. I'm concentrating on games pre-Windows 7 which was released in October 2009.

NOTE: You may see a message saying "Windows has protected your computer. SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this program might put your PC at risk." If you click OK, the window will close and nothing will happen. If you click on "More Information," you will be given the option to Run Anyway. I got this with the Squirt the Cat installers and I selected Run Anyway.

GAMES THAT INSTALLED AND PLAYED WITH NO ISSUES OR ONLY MINOR TWEAKS

American McGee's Alice 2000

Barrow Hill 2006
NOTE: Had to go to the game folder to send a game shortcut to the desktop.

Big Fish Casual Games NOTE: I had two which would not play on the Windows 8 Release Preview. I notified Big Fish and when the official OS was released, I found both games now played. They told me they were going through their game catalogue and patching any games that had problems.

Bioshock 2007

Deus Ex 2000
After a rocky start, Diat60 was able to get this game installed and running. She initially got a large installation screen that she couldn't do anything with. She then tried some fixes from another website, but none of them worked. She then uninstalled everything including the game and tried again. This time when a message box from Windows offered to diagnose and correct problems, she let it run and after a couple of adjustments on Windows part, everything worked as it should.

Diablo II Lord of Destruction Expansion Pack 2000/2001 Had a notice that the game was not compatible and giving options for getting help on line or running it anyway. I right clicked the game icon, selected Properties and then opted to run it in XP SP3 mode. The game plays perfectly.

Dracula Resurrection 2000 NOTE: Another surprise. Initially the game didn’t install, but I right clicked the setup file on the disk and clicked on Run as Administrator. The setup asked me if I wanted to install DirectX 6.1 and I said yes. The game ran perfectly – I couldn’t run it in XP without selecting Windows 98 in Compatibility Mode. I did have to send a game shortcut icon to the desktop. The game installed to C:\Program Files.

Dracula The Last Sanctuary 2001

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 2001
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 2001 Initially I got an error message that the disk was damaged or had bad sectors. Since I knew it didn't, I went to the Setup file (inside the Setup folder) on the disk, right clicked and selected Run as Administrator. The game installed and played perfectly. I played all the way through the first challenge with no problems at all.

Haunting at Cliffhouse 2012

Keepsake 2006

Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events 2004

Morrowind 2003

Myst Masterpiece Edition 2000 (original game was 1993)
My biggest surprise so far. I could not get this game to play well at all on my Windows 7 unless I did some serious gyrations. Even the GOG version did not play well without a couple of tweaks. However, I installed it on Windows 8 with all the defaults and it plays perfectly. When asked if I wanted to install Quicktime 4, I said yes. When asked if I wanted to install DirectX 6.1, I said yes.

Penumbra Overture 2007

Prey 2006

Scratches 2006
NOTE: This one surprised me. In Windows 7, it was necessary to access the Scratches game file and edit the Scream.cfg file… but not in Windows 8.

Syberia I – 2003 At the end of installation on disk 2, I got an error, but the game works perfectly. Error was DirectX 8.0a Object error; Unknown error.

Syberia II 2004

The Hobbit 2003 NOTE: Had to go to the game folder to send a game shortcut to the desktop.

The Lost Crown 2007

Tombraider Underworld 2008

Undying 2001 (Clive Barker's Undying)

Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines 2004



GAMES THAT NEEDED SIGNIFICANT EXTRA STEPS TO INSTALL AND/OR PLAY

Bioshock 2 2010 Although this is a later game, I got an error message when installing it and the same error message when I tried to launch the game. The error referred to a missing .dll file in Windows Live. This is a Games for Windows Live game, so I opened up the GFWL client which said I needed to download an update. After I downloaded the update, the game runs perfectly.

Grim Fandango 1998 I used the 3rd party installer and launcher and this 16-bit game installed, launched and played perfectly. However, when I pressed F1 and saved the game, I lost all sound when I resumed the game. When I exited and then started it back up again, the sound was fine. I tried XP SP2 compatibility with no success. Then I tried Windows 98 compatibility and was able to save, resume, exit, reload etc. with no loss of sound. You will need the installer and the launcher which can be found at these two links.

Grim Fandando Installer
Grim Fandango Launcher

Shivers 2 1997 I was finally able to get this old Sierra game working by using the installer from Squirt the Cat which can be downloaded here.

Squirt the Cat Installers

After I installed the game using the installer, I went to the game folder (C:\Program Files (x86)) and sent an application shortcut to the desktop. I also changed the icon to the one found in the game folder. The game ran perfectly after that.


GAMES THAT WOULD NOT INSTALL OR PLAY

Amber Journeys Beyond

Riven, The Sequel to Myst

Shivers I

Silent Hill 2
The game installed fine, but I had to say NO to installing DirectX 8.1. If I said yes, the installation aborted. Game loaded and I played for about 1/2 hour. Unfortunately, I could not do a save. I believe the issue concerns the hard drive size. Message was it needed 32 KB space and free space was 99999999+ KB. Then it checked the hard drive and said the save was corrupted.

Zanzarah - I finally give up on this one. We found a work around in Windows 7 which involved importing a saved game from a computer running XP. But even that didn't work. The game installed and would load, but the cutscenes had flashing lights and the whole game ran in slo-mo. Shucks.


NEW CATEGORY: LIMBO!

Myst Exile 2001 The game installed and played. However, all the video flashed constantly. Once the video was done, then the game worked just fine. InlandAZ suggested missing codecs and I downloaded and installed the K-Lite codec package. No change. Tried some settings in my Nvidia Conrol Panel and finally gave up. Inland, however, installed the game in his Windows 8 running in a VMWare image and it installed and ran perfectly for him.
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby Rosaboobie » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:56 am

I simply cant believe that Windows 7 is already 3 years old, Drac!
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Me either, Rosaboobie! As in the past, Microsoft plans on providing support for it for a good long time. The extended support cutoff is 2020 right now.
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby Ghostlady » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:05 pm

Again, Amber won't play. :(
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:16 pm

Unfortunately not. There is an installer from Squirt the Cat that does allow you to finally be able to play it on XP and Vista. But it wouldn't work on either 64-bit Window 7 or 64-bit Windows 8.
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby Kickaha » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:51 pm

Thanks Draclvr! Of interest to me as a Mac user because I have Windows 8 installed under Parallels. You're doing a great service there.
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:10 pm

Thanks, Kickaha. Those of us who love our games look at these new operating systems with an entirely different mind-set that most people. I'm impressed that games from ten and fifteen years ago are playing with no problems at all. Every time Microsoft releases one of these new OS's, I cringe that it will be the end of PC gaming. But with Windows 7 supported until 2020 and Windows 8 supported until at least 2023, I think we're safe for a long time.
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby danyboy » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:17 pm

I hate the damn Windows 8, got it on my new computer, it isn't made for home computer!

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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:02 pm

Yes, it is, danyboy! I've been using it for almost a year with keyboard and mouse and I've learned all the "ins and outs." I love all the good things "under the hood." Let me know anything you need help with! I'll walk you through it all.

This link will let you download a PDF file that will help explain some of it. Just ignore all the stuff about touch... The keyboard shortcuts are especially helpful. You can download it in French.

Windows 8 Guide

I wish some of the other guides I use were available in other languages, but they're not.
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby danyboy » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Thanks drac!
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:59 pm

Just don't get frustrated - email me for help first!
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby Melia » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:29 pm

Drac, would you recommend keeping the old computer for the older games, then? What would be the bare bones minimum I would need for this if I were to build one from scratch?
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:50 pm

I can't recommend enough keeping your old XP computer. Most all games are going to play on Windows 7 and Windows 8. But there are going to be some 16 bit games that won't play on a 64-bit system. Plus, they like old slow hardware.

I would go to eCollegePC and use their configurator to play with new builds. They will build one for about the same price you can do it yourself and they will provide a 3 year warranty. For gaming I would get a minimum of a GTX 660 or a similar AMD video card. Get 8 GB of RAM and a good 650 watt power supply. Don't get their stock Foxconn case... I've used it for a couple of very low end builds and it isn't appropriate for a bigger video card and the cooling required. For instance the Cooler Master Black Storm Scout is a better choice as is the Corsair Carbide series. Get the best processor you can - I just upgraded to a Ivy Bridge 3570 processor and a 660Ti video card on a really good Gigabyte motherboard. I'm playing the new Metro Last Light FPS which is supposed to make most video cards weep on the highest settings.

eCollegePC

Cyberpower also will build one for you and they generally have a better selection of components. Even if you end up building it yourself, these websites will help you decide what to get.

CyberPower
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby Melia » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:17 pm

Thanks for your help.
I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process.

It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance? :shock:
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Re: Windows 8 and Gaming

Postby draclvr » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:05 pm

Let me know what you decide to get - I love to live vicariously though other people's builds!

Greyfuss just got a new computer built for him by eCollegePC and he absolutely loves it. He got the big Corsair Carbide White case with tons of fans and space. Here is his build...

Intel Core i5-3570 3.4Ghz 6MB Cache Quad-Core |
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Fan/Heatsink |
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-HD3 (Intel Z77, 2xPCI-E, 6xSATA, 4xDDR3) |
8GB (4GBx2) PC3 10666 DDR3 1333Mhz Memory Lifetime Warranty |
1 TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache SATA3 6Gbps (Major Brand) |
24X LiteON Label Tag Dual Layer DVD+/-RW DVD-RAM w/Nero |
2GB GeForce GTX 660Ti GDDR5 PCI-E Dual-DVI/HDMI (Major Brand) |
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit |
Corsair White Carbide Series 500R (4 5.25, 6 3.5) 4 Fans, Audio/USB 3.0 |
650watt Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W 80 PLUS CERTIFIED |
Onboard LAN included |
Onboard Sound included |
Wires and Cables neatly tied up away from fans |
3 Year Parts and Labor Warranty
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.

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