REVIEW: ScummVM 0.13.0

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Want to play retro "point and click" adventures?
Want to play retro "point and click" adventures? Get ScummVM!

Todays games are a very different affair to those of yesteryear.  Gone for the most part are the point and click adventures with limited cut scenes (if any) and multiple lines of text.  Todays efforts are a multi-media extravaganza of cgi, sfx and mayhem.  Some say this is progress, but I honestly cant remember any recent game giving me the sense of achievement that I had when completing Kings Quest III from Sierra, or the very funny Colour of Magic game all those years ago.

The popularity of emulators has brought back some of those classics and whilst ScummVM is not strictly emulating anything (its using the datafiles of games) it is a great project for old timers like me who want to get into some of those “point and clicks” I never got the chance to.

Currently in version 0.13.0 ScummVM already offers an impressive database of almost 100% compatibility.  Check out that page here.

Even more impressive is the platforms which you can run ScummVM on.  (Iphone included!) Click here to see just how cross platform ScummVM is!

So what were my favorites? Sierras Kings Quest / Space Quest series spring to mind.  I look forward to playing some of those again.

ScummVM is a great project both for people with fond memories of the past and for new gamers who think because they can complete Oblivion they are good at puzzles…guys/girls youre in for a shock!

Click here to visit the homepage.

SDLBASIC – The high-level interpreter for all?

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sdlbasic_running_on_morphosAMOS.  That name may ring a few bells with anyone who owned an Amiga computer all those years ago.  It was a high-level language, similar to BASIC yet powerful to allow all sorts of fancy programs.  What made AMOS great was that it allowed some quite advanced software to be made by people who were not in a possition to learn Assembly or C.

One of my gripes about Linux was the lack of accessable highlevel languages for the new user, and whilst I will never deviate from my beloved C++, I understand the need for others packages to bring development within the reach of anyone.

sdlbasic_running_on_macosxThat does not mean though that SDLbasic is a walk in the park!  Its not, its a structured, intrepretted language based on BASIC with (as the creator admits) an influence of AMOS.  Its not a language that you can create a masterpiece in a few clicks.  Its a serious program that as the creator says “combines the simplicity of Basic language with the power of SDL libraries”

Ive seen a few impressive demo’s with it, and of course being an Amiga fan was very impressed at the parallax scrolling Shadow of the Beast intro!

If you are looking for an accesssable highlevel language to create some impressive works, then consider checking out SDLbasic.  I think you will be impressed.  It is also cross platform and supports PSP development.

I am amazed (again) that this package has slipped my net before, and thanks go to Mohiex99 for bringing my attention to it.

Click here to visit the official site!


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Well ok, not really, but a creative type on Youtube has produced this good little “poke in the eye” to Steve Ballmer and Microsoft.

Really, does MS think this man does the company image any good?

Ill let you be the judge.  Click here to see the advert!

Next up, a more “serious” advert and a warning to all Windows users! Click here!

and finally we end on a cute Linux advert! Click here!

Thanks for Philosopher for the last one!  Due to a Andre free day on Microsoft-Watch, things were a little slow, so we decided to make our own conversation!

Take care all.

REVIEW: GRIDWARS 2 – Manic, addictive & free!

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Article by Goblin[RFD]

Firstly, I promise that all these game reviews will stop!  As you may have realised I took away the email feature here, this was mainly due to the overwhelming response of recommended titles and the time it takes me to try out each one!

This is the last of the game recommendations that have been sent to me via email (appart from my own) so we will be focusing on a more balanced representation of Utils/Games/Misc from now on.

Ever played Geometry Wars on the Xbox360?  A great little game, a top down shooter set in an arena with colourful sprites and explosions.  It has that simple gameplay that will keep you hooked just to beat your last score and deserves pride of place on anyones distro and Im pleased to say Gridwars 2 is an excellent Linux replacement, for those of you who dont have a 360 or just want a quick shooter!

Visit the site here.

85% – Great fun, addictive and a very quick download.  Get it!

REVIEW: REGNUM – Not a system command, another RPG!

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Article by Goblin[RFD]

Sounding more like a system command rather than a game, Regnum is the latest discovery ive made in the world of free online RPG’s and more importantly, native Linux ones.

After downloading 290mb of game installation, I was ready to go adventuring!  First Ill mention the GFX, nice, and on my GFX card the environment had a “misty and dreamy” look, similar to that of Fable.  Your character selection, starts with race, which is dependent on your selection of region. You get to modify face, hair, gender, etc and choose your class.  Three are available: Warrior, Archer, Mage and the ability to specialise in a particular area when you reach level 10.

At first I thought this sounded limited, but then you realise that this game is one that is very easy to get into and offers fun gameplay for those not willing to play for hours just to be able to cast a simple spell or have a simple skill.

The game world is large, and the whole experience is similar to that of Planeshift, however this is far more advanced in the production process and is a “complete” game.  The sound is also a great feature and the tracks are professional and polished.

You’ll have fun with this one, and it scores extra points for its feature of allowing you to enter the RPG world very quickly (the extended beginner tutorial of Planeshift, let it down somewhat as it was far too drawn out).  Within a few minutes I was battling beatles on a beginner quest, casting spells and watching another user in battle with spiders.

Now onto the issues.  For experienced RPGrs who are World of Warcraft addicted, this is not as deep, and for those who like a complex experience, may wish to look elsewhere.  The limited character classes will make for not much variety between players (however the customisation of your characters race will balance that somewhat).

Next issue was vertical lines during the character creation screen, basically my whole screen was filled with them.  I have searched this problem, and it appears to be common to many users.  I will stress though, you can see the text well enough to create your character and when the game starts properly, they disappear (once the burn to your retina wears off!!!) I wont be too harsh with this issue though, as the developers need full credit for making a Linux flavour of this game.

The final issue I had was excessive loading time in some areas, although this is probably down to me running it on less than a gig of ram, and not a problem you will come across.

This game is free, however similar to Eternal Lands, you can purchase “extras” that enhance your experience.

Overall this is a great game for people who want to RP and want to do it now.  The features given to the new user will help keep interest, and whilst limited, the character class system is very good.  This is to online RPG’s what Fable was to the single player RPG.

So where does it rank?  Personally I still think Eternal Lands is the best Linux online RPG, although Id say Regnum comes in 2nd or 3rd.  I will be looking at Runescape next, the web based RPG which again is free (or for a fee with perks) and we’ll see if it manages to unseat Eternal Lands as the no1 Open Bytes rpg!

TIP: For those Ubuntu users who download this, may find that clicking on the install program does not do anything.  The solution is easy (and great if you dont want to get your fingers dirty with terminal).  Right click the icon, select properties and find the box that says “Allow executing file as program” close the window and double click again, Bingo!

Visit the official Regnum site here!

82%Pollished, easy to get into and has a Linux flavour!


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I know its been a few days since there was an Openbytes update, so heres some general news.  The reason for the silence was because of Software Freedom Day and other commitments to the open source cause, which, over the next few weeks, I will be leting you know about.

Firstly, all the Linux friends here will already know about .ogg format, but do you use it?  or do you still favour MP3?

Todays message is about promoting the use of the .ogg format.  If you are streaming media and see it offered as an option, choose it over mp3!  Also take heart in the fact that everytime you choose it over any other format, you are poking the eye of Microsoft and large companies who shudder at the thought of you using open source!

Visit the .ogg support page here!

REVIEW: NEXUIZ – FPS Mayhem for Linux

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Article by GoblinRFD

Deathmatch FPS’s are like buses, you wait for ages and then two come along at the same time, well not really, but twice Ive found a deathmatch game while looking through the Linux repository,

A really fine and polished piece of work, after download.installation the game opens up into a very slick menu system that is so intuitive you can start messing with it immediately.  After your server is selected its right into the action.  Again, you know what to expect from a deathmatch FPS.  In the case of Nexuiz, its fast, smooth and pleasant to look at.  The game flew on my test system, which is quite an achievement as it looks like a CPU demanding game and the test PC is over 2 years old.

I had only one problem with Nexuiz and that was the (now common) resolution change of my desktop when I quit out of the game.  An easy problem to fix, a quick ctrl-alt and backspace (thanks Assasin for that tip.).  I actually believe this this is a problem with my setup and not an issue with the game itself.

I never ceases to amaze me, that a game like Nexuis can be given away for free.  The class and quality  it is presented with, make it appear more of a comercial package rather than a free one.

Well done to all those involved in the project, and any players who find themselves enjoying this game (as Im sure you will) please consider donating, these people have put alot of effort into this game purely to entertain you.

This game was tested on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron.

80% – A slightly higher score than Alien Arena, purely because on top of being a great game, it worked 100% out of the box for me.

You can visit the Nexuiz website here.