Sunday, 18 October 2015

UPDATES - OCTOBER 2015 - WINDOWS 10


So, after a successful attempt at updating my laptop to Windows 10, I finally decided to do the same to my primary desktop PC. After the jump, see how well this went and my findings on the compatibility of the games featured on this site.

INSTALLATION

My laptop only took about an hour to update. There were no hiccups or issues which were promising. The majority of games I feature on this site still worked, which was a relief. I don't use my laptop to compile these games, or use it for my day job so I had no need to investigate deeper or tweek some shortcuts.

My desktop, on the other hand, was a nightmare. Not as bad as other upgrades I've experienced, but it still took days to figure out (sorry for the lack of content btw). I had reserved my copy from the beginning but decided to wait until some important jobs had completed before going through with it. The app was supposed to notify me when I had reached the front of the queue but it never came. This wasn't really an issue. It hadn't on my laptop either and MicroSoft at least had the foresight to download it directly from their website.

I began Tuesday night, not long after I'd posted my thoughts on The Guardians of Darkness, but it seemed to be taking some time to check my system so I cancelled it to begin again the next day. It's must be because I have a lot of junk on my hard drive, right?

I started again the next morning. And I waited until 8pm to see if would go past the "making sure you system is ready to install" screen. Alas it did not. After some searching online, I found that it was MicroSoft's Security Essentials that was causing the issue, making it check every single file on my hard drive. That's about 6tb of data if you add in all my secondary drives. I would've thought MicroSoft would've known about this and temporarily untick this option during the install but they didn't.

It was fast and smooth after that, but that wasn't the end of my problems. I had thought settings would carry over as well as data, but it hadn't and the unfamiliar setup made it more difficult to find a solution. Firstly, my Nvidia driver needing updating so I could change the resolution. I couldn't find a way to do this this through the OS, but the Nvidia website holds all of the files. Couple that with an inexplicably garbled wallpaper, desktop icons that never seem to fit how they were before and those ugly immovable admin shields that are now stuck on a lot of my shortcuts and you have a lot of aesthetic niggles that rub me the wrong way. At least the wallpaper fixed itself for no apparent reason.

All in all, I think most of my problems at the moment are due to unfamiliarity. It appears to be a major step up from Windows 8.1, but at the moment I feel the bells and whistles get in the way of the functionality.

COMPATIBILITY & PERFORMANCE

My desktop, may not be the beefiest of machines, but it was still capable of running all but the most graphically advanced of games. I had hoped that with the much-publicised speed and performance increase I would be able to notch up the graphics a little. In this respect, my hopes were dashed. Any improvements are so negligible that they're invisible. Where the speed is obvious is in the system's operation. It takes a lot less time to boot up the machine and searching for that misplaced file is impressively quick.

What is really disheartening is that some games don't work at all anymore, which is a great shame. As I've previously mentioned, those relying on DOSBox or console emulation are fine, but a couple that run natively through Windows do suffer. I've again done a quick test on all of these games and here are my findings:

ABA Games  Blade Runner  The Devil Inside
  • All five featured game by ABA Games work fine.
  • Blade Runner works using BladeXP.exe. Blade7.exe still crashes when looking at photos through ESPER, and the default Run.exe is derived from this. Changing this is on my to do list. 
  • The Devil Inside appears to work, though the NoCD crack does not. When starting a new game it will ask for the CD. I have not yet delved deeper to find a cure, but I suspect the answer is beyond my knowledge.
The Guardian of Darkness  Hexplore  Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
  • The Guardian of Darkness is fully playable, though a windowed border is present throughout and not just during the video scenes as before. The downside is that the top of the screen is chopped off slightly making any text there unreadable. It is only for subtitled speech, so it can still be played and understood.
  • Hexplore offered no problems when playing
  • Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis worked fully
The Kite  Nocturne  Rollcage HD Collection
  • The Kite is fully working.
  • Nocturne appears to work fine on my desktop system. It suffered graphical glitches on my laptop which is strange as both played OK in Windows 7. I suspect that the issue is in graphics card compatibility which I know has caused issues with some players no matter what version of Windows they use. If you're having trouble, try updating your drivers and give it another go.
  • Both Rollcages work, though Rollcage Extreme required DirectDraw to be installed. Both games have since been updated by the original coder so I recommend downloading from there until I have updated my own installer.
Sid Meier's SimGolf  Silent Hill: Arcade
  • SimGolf works, though it seems to crash upon exit. This crash didn't occur on my laptop.
  • Silent Hill: The Arcade is unfortunately unplayable. I know very little about the Taito X arcade emulator that makes it run as it's a Japanese program with no English alternative. I'm investigating alternatives and program updates so will let you know if I find anything.
UFOs  Yoot Tower
  • UFOs works fine.
  • Yoot Tower works well, though be aware that it runs in a window. The resolution doesn't seem to be an issue for me but it is something you may want to be aware of.
There's Windows 10 for you. I'm not sure if I like its aesthetics or some of the ways it wants to do things, but I'm stuck with it now. Time will tell if it's truly an improvement on Windows 7, but for a launch of a new OS, it's one of MicroSoft's better efforts - I still have nightmares when updating to XP.


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