Scroo’s Completed #4if

Well...

...I thought I had picked the right set of games to fix this #4if's wagon. But it got the better of me anyway. In retrospect I should have probably played in a different order than I did. But you know, I still made great progress and three out of four is nothing to sneeze at. This year's challenge was, in all likelyhood, perfectly reasonable to complete. However with the release of Apex Legends at the beginning of the month... Well lets just say that I spent a lot more time in there than I should have in order to get a #4if win this year. Am I disappointed in myself? One word - No I'm not, I certainly feel like I did pretty well all things considered. I have a life after all! get off my back Gary!

Check out how I did below.


Quake 4

Id and Raven Software came out with this one in 2005 and I played it quite a lot back in the day. I even still have a box copy with the CD installer somewhere. Quake 4 is still pretty good but it's really an example of rendering technology going beyond the hardware capabilities of the time. Using the ID Tech Engine 4, the same as Doom 3, most of the textures and polygon count were too high to get any real playable frame rates back when systems were running with less two gigs of RAM on a 32 bit OS. As a result the games were played while mostly in a hallway setting. Quake 4 does occasionally get players outside though and when that happens it's very similar to the Doom 2016, design. Even some of the storylines seem to overlap in a way that makes you feel like ID took a little of the best of both franchises to create the new Doom games.

What Quake 4 does differently than either franchise though is put players in vehicles from time to time. Either controlling a mounted gun on an on-rails situation or piloting a hover tank or walking mech it adds to some of the, then, very different feeling game play. It also takes the player though two different points of view. First you'll find yourself as a Marine of the Earth forces, sent to battle the cybernetic Strogg on their home world of Stroggos. But at a certain point you're character is captured and turned into one of the Strogg they're fighting. Though your marine squad has your back and rescues you before falling completely under Strogg control. At this point you can read Strogg computer screens and understand the Strogg language thereby receiving messages from the hive command and so on. It all adds up to a fairly engaging story to follow along with some great voice actors, not the least of which among them is Peter Stormare.

Overall Quake 4 is a straight forward shooter with pretty typical tropes but for the time of it's release it was quite deep and lots of fun. It'll probably take around 10 hours to play and is still worth it, in my opinion. If you're interested in grabbing a copy for yourself, it can be had on GoG and Steam and there are some community instructions that explain how to get the textures working properly on modern hardware along with customizing resolutions beyond 1080p. However I could never get the custom resolutions to save, so I had to stick with 1080p for my play-through. Your mileage may vary.

For this you'll have to edit some lines in the .cfg file in the game directory. I'll put those line edits below. A couple of side notes: I could not find the original poster of these edits, so whoever you are, thanks for the information. Also you should not copy/paste these lines. They need to be done in their respective places in the .cfg file and the lines don't show in this order.

Find these lines in the .cfg file and change the values as they appear here. In my case I actually had to write a line or two in that weren't there but it works to keep the textures at high res with no downscaling.

seta image_downSize "0"seta image_downSizeBump "0"
seta image_downSizeSpecular "0"
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR"
seta image_ignoreHighQuality "0"
seta image_roundDown "0"
seta image_useCompression "0"
seta image_useNormalCompression "0"
seta image_anisotropy "16"
seta image_lodbias "0"
seta r_renderer "best"

To change your resolution edit these lines below. Credit and thanks to WSGF for this information. More can be had at the link.

seta r_customHeight "1080"
seta r_customWidth "1920"
seta r_fullscreen "1"
seta r_displayRefresh "0"
seta r_mode "-1"

This is something proven to work by lots of people but I couldn't ever get the values to save properly. The "-1" is how you turn on custom resolutions, and no matter what I did I couldn't get that to stay a negative one. The height and width should be changed to your monitor's native resolution. As an example, in my case it would be seta r_customHeight "1440" seta r_customWidth "2560" to get 1440p resolution.

I'm sorry I don't have better screenshots to put in here. The Steam Overlay doesn't work with Quake 4, and WindowsKey/Printscreen only works when you first Alt/Enter and then Alt/Tab. So I didn't take very many shots.

System requirements for Quake 4 are as follows

  • Operating System:Windows® XP
  • Processor:Intel® Pentium® 4 2.0 GHz or AMD® Athlon® XP 2000+ processor or higher
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 2.8GB of uncompressed free hard disk space (plus 400MB for Windows® swap file)
  • Video: 100% DirectX® 9.0c compatible 64MB 3D hardware accelerated video card required
  • Sound: 100% DirectX® 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card and latest drivers
  • DirectX® Version: 9.0c

Mega Man 3

I have great memories from my childhood of sitting in my friend's houses in groups cheering each other on while we tried and tried to complete the Mega Man games. I myself played the first three titles on NES and later on played the Mega Man X games. I think I still have the first "X" on my SNES in an old entertainment center. Anyway, AJ, one of our own, gifted me a copy of the Mega Man Legacy Collection for my birthday last year and I decided that I'd play one for #4if. It took some time to decide which one I should bang my head against and ultimately stood by the third Iteration. I had a lot of play time in three and it was pretty much what I remember it being: hard timed platforming and pattern memory in some environments that make me glad I'm not epileptic.

It's surprising now how small the levels are in the early games. Just a few screens to the boss fights. But the areas themselves were so irritatingly difficult to get through that one could spend hours going back and forth and restarting and so on in order to find the best order to take on the bosses.

That order in Mega Man 3, by the way is:

  • Hard Man
  • Top Man
  • Shadow Man
  • Spark Man
  • Snake Man
  • Gemini Man
  • Needle Man
That's as close a win as it gets

Fought in that order, each will fall to the previous boss' power that you attain. Except for Snake Man, his weakness doesn't seem apparent and he's best fought with the Mega Buster. After that you'll be faced by the dark bosses in previously fought levels with some slight changes. But all of them will go down with the powers you're hinted at using during the fights to their rooms. Of course the PC legacy collection is quite a lot easier to go through as you can choose save states from anywhere in the game. Unlike the original NES versions which you could only save at the end of stages with an often broken code system that required you to take a Polaroid photo of the screen (old school screen shot), or copy down on a piece of paper in a grid that you better get right, or you'd find yourself starting over from scratch.

I had a great time playing through this. It brought back good old memories of get-togethers and eating lots of junk food and yelling too loud etc. It was fun times then and still is now.

System requirements for the Mega Man Legacy Collection are as follows

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series, Nvidia GeForce 8800GT or greater
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 379 MB available space

Resident Evil 2: Remake

My time so far in RE:2 has been very enjoyable. I say that coming from a guy who doesn't really like the franchise in general. I always preferred Silent Hill's foggy atmosphere and general creepiness. But I do very much like what the Resident Evil 2 remake has brought to the table. First off, this is a game from Capcom that hasn't been chopped up into little pieces and sold as individual DLC. So good on them for that. Continuing to hold a foot on that base, let me tell you what you get when you buy the game. RE:2 comes with two campaigns. One for Leon and one for Claire. In total that adds up to about 16 hours of play time. Which in this case is good because the game doesn't overstay it's welcome. But if you wish to continue even further, both main characters get second play-throughs that change various bits of the story and gain alternate endings. Even further is the Third Survivor campaign in which the player is put into the role of a character named Hunk, who was left for dead and must find a way to escape his situation. Beyond this third story is a silly "Tofu Mode" where the character is a particularly juicy looking cube of Tofu that must fight through the zombie hoards. Capcom has also announced the release of three free DLC packages to come down the road. One of which has be released already in the form of the "Ghost Survivors", DLC where you'll get three more short campaigns with three other characters. This is pretty unheard of in the industry now and for a major company like Capcom to provide so much content for a base price is commendable.

I first played through RE:2 with Leon and it took me about 10 hours while searching through and finding as much info as I could. It's worth noting that there are sections that Leon can see but cannot access in the game. That won't be completely evident at the time of playing. For instance while you're in the police station, Leon can't get into the doors that use the heart key, so don't even bother trying to find access. Claire is the only one who can unlock the doors to those rooms in her campaign.

Claire's play-through also seemed a bit easier to me. Her starting pistol only has five rounds but seems more powerful. She also gets ahold of a grenade launcher in her campaign that fires very powerful incendiary grenades to burn zombies down. Even the Lickers are downed easily with them. It's also possible to create acid grenades that will melt zombies to the ground in a rather gory fashion. Of course it also helps to have gone through the game once because even though Claire's campaign isn't the same as Leon's, there are some shared experiences and puzzles. It's pretty interesting how certain bits of information tie together and answer questions between the two main character play-throughs. Claire's brother, for instance, is a common thread.

I look forward to seeing what else is coming for Resident Evil 2 because the content is already so fulfilling. There's no fear of showing some really horrible stuff in here and coupled with a pretty good story, that sort of sets this game apart from other, more tired, zombie titles. RE:2 kind of refreshes a genre that seemed on it's way out. If I had to complain about anything, it's the fact that the scariness of this game doesn't stick. At first it's quite shocking and creepy, terrifying even. But for me, very soon after playing I was desensitized to the blood and gore. Even the Tyrant, Mr X, is only scary the first time you meet him. After that he becomes just an invincible obstacle to waylay your progress and acts as sort of a timer causing a forced sense of urgency.

System requirements for Resident Evil 2 are as follows

MINIMUM:

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: WINDOWS® 7, 8.1, 10 (64-BIT Required)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4460 or AMD FX™-6300 or better
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 760 or AMD Radeon™ R7 260x with 2GB Video RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 26 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: This game is expected to run at 1080p/30 FPS. If you have don't have enough graphics memory to run the game at your selected texture quality, you must go to Options > Graphics and lower the texture quality or shadow quality, or decrease the resolution. An internet connection is required for product activation.

RECOMMENDED:

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: WINDOWS® 7, 8.1, 10 (64-BIT Required)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3770 or AMD FX™-9590 or better
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 480 with 3GB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 26 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: This game is expected to run at 1080p/60 FPS. An internet connection is required for product activation

Dead Cells

This is the one that got me. As much as I've played Dead Cells, it was probably a little unrealistic that I was going to make a complete run given the lack of power runes needed to access specific areas. I probably should have started with Dead Cells and plowed through until I could truly complete a run instead of pushing the other three titles first. It didn't help of course, that I spent an awful lot of time playing Apex Legends With Dr. S. and Yoda. I'm still doing that. But that's not the point here. The point is that I did not make a complete run in Dead Cells and that was my prediction. I did complete a few areas that I hadn't completed in previous runs, and technically that would fall within the rules of #4if, but I'm sticking to my guns. I said I was going to complete a full run, and failed to do that. But I did have a lot of fun trying and man, Dead Cells is great.

The mechanics are solid, the game play loop is super fun, every run almost guaranteed to net you something new and the game is just beautiful. If you're interested in classic feeling, but modern playing platformer, this is your game. There's a story to uncover as you progress through each procedurally generated area. There are secrets to find, challenges to complete and you always feel like you're doing a little better than the last run. I highly recommend it.

Next time, Dead Cells... Next time.

System requirements for Dead Cells are as follows

Windows:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Processor: Intel i5+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 450 GTS / Radeon HD 5750 or better
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: DirectX 9.1+ or OpenGL 3.2+

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Processor: Intel i5+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 460 / Radeon HD 7800 or better
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: DirectX 9.1+ or OpenGL 3.2+

Mac:

MINIMUM:

    • OS: Mavericks 10.9 or later
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.2+
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: MacBook, MacBook Pro or iMac 2012 or later

RECOMMENDED:

    • OS: Mavericks 10.9 or later
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.2+
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: MacBook, MacBook Pro or iMac 2012 or later

Steam OS and Linux:

MINIMUM:

    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 450 GTS / Radeon HD 5750 or better
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.2+

RECOMMENDED:

    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 460 / Radeon HD 7800 or better
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.2+

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